Kaua‘i Firm Creates Microlite

Microlite Tech

Homegrown in Kalaheo, a Kauai-based company called Microlite Tech recently released the Popup Microlite, a small LED light to illuminate the buttons on your remote control. If you don’t already have a remote with back-lit keys, this solution could appeal to you young folks and seniors alike – especially if you enjoy watching TV in the dark.

The Pop-up Microlite is a nickel-sized light that mounts on any remote using 3M adhesive backing and comes in glossy black. It has a patented pop-up feature that elevates the light source to reduce shadows from the protruding buttons. The light pops up with a simple push and when you’re done, push it back in so it’s out of the way.

According to Microlite Tech, there are an estimated 500 million remote controls in the U.S., and an estimated 450 million of those have no backlighting capabilities. “Ninety-percent of people enjoy watching TV or movies in the dark. That means there are a lot of people out there fumbling in the dark with their remote controls,” says Microlite Tech CEO John Teel.

I guess I’m definitely not the average user, since almost all the remotes in my house have backlit, illuminated keys (except for the ones that came with my TVs and cable boxes). Also, I generally don’t watch TV in the dark since I’m usually multitasking and doing 20 things while the TV is on (i.e. feeding the baby, folding laundry, washing dishes, etc.). Anyway, for Microlite’s inexpensive $10 price, it’s worth a try if you do watch TV in the dark and have a non-backlit key remote. You can buy it on Amazon.com, or visit microlitetech.com for more information.

Cash For Electronic Clunkers

Just as you would trade in or sell your old car to earn some cash toward a new one, NextWorth does the same thing for your phones, electronics (including game consoles) or video games.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any old devices I was willing to part with to actually test out the service, but in theory this is how it works:

Find your product on NextWorth.com and receive an instant quote, print the prepaid shipping label, pack/ship your item and they will respond back to you within 10 business days to ensure it is in the condition you claimed it was. After that, you’ll be paid via PayPal.

In order to assess the condition of your items, you go through a checklist of questions such as “Cracked Display – Yes/No?” or “What is the condition of your item?” I entered some mock items to see what they would be worth, and the amount of cash it quoted for a first generation 16GB iPod touch (“Like New”) was only $66.34. For that small amount of money, I’d rather just keep it.

On the other hand, for a 32GB iPhone 4 (“Like New”), the quote came out to $478.30. I consider that fair. I entered in some recently released video games, and the average amount was between $15 and $23. I thought those were low, considering the original price on these just-released games was $60. For $15, again, I’d rather just give it to one of the keiki in my life.

Overall, it looks like there is a wide range of how much cash you can get back in your wallet. In addition, this seems to be a good alternative to recycling and preventing more e-waste from getting into the environment.

NextWorth’s online services have been around for awhile, but it recently expanded to retailers such as Target and the military exchanges. Unfortunately, the in-store service has not made it to Hawaii yet. Visit NextWorth.com to see how much money you can make on your gadgets.

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