MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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128 MacDirectory CLOSER LOOK WHAT DO YOU GET THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING? SOMETHING FROM RICHARDSOLO WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN Richard Thalheimer has loved gadgets all of his life. So it was no surprise to anyone when he founded "The Sharper Image" and quickly built the company into the first name in unique electronics and gifts. Thalheimer left "The Sharper Image" after 35 years, but his love of gadgets lingered. So he decided to get back into the business, but in a different way. The result was RichardSolo , a company that bills itself as an "online store that puts customer service and satisfaction as a first priority." Or, as Thalheimer explained it to MacDirectory, "I decided…to do what I had done originally with "The Sharper Image" which was find interesting products and market (them for) sales online and in magazines." The first "interesting products" Thalheimer decided to pursue were Apple brands. The reason for this was simple. Thalheimer "liked my iPhone so much I wanted to focus on iPhone and iPod related products." He approached Apple about licensing and was awarded with a certification to sell official Apple products. This certification is very important, because it guarantees that all RichardSolo products made for Apple equipment are certified by Apple to be compatible and to meet both companies' high safety standards. Some of the many Apple accessories sold by RichardSolo include: backup battery solutions for iPhone and iPod, duel dock stations, Air Drives, MHubs, and a Surround XI Digital Speaker system, among others. The back-up battery solution, in particular, has become a top seller, said Thalheimer, because it "not only more than doubles the power in your (iPhone or iPod) but has a built in flashlight and laser as well. Plus it's small and lightweight, (so it) fits in your pocket." In addition, the battery is lithium, comes with or without cable, and is so popular that RichardSolo is "close to being the market leader for this solution." As to how long it actually lasts, that depends on exactly what you're doing, but "If you're just checking e-mail (on your iPhone) it might give you (as much as) 15 more hours." But lest you think RichardSolo provides accessories only for iPhone and iPod, guess again. RichardSolo has a product line that could rival even the largest catalog. Best of all, these items, unlike those found in a catalog, can be sorted by price, type, brand, or even alphabetically. Take for instance, another top seller, high- tech timer candles. These are large candles that run on batteries, but look and flicker like real candles. The product is made with LED lights and wax. When they are turned on, the LED lights heat the wax so that the candles give off a scent. Once turned on the candles burn for exactly five hours before automatically shutting off. They are also programmable, and, because they don't need to be physically "lit," the candles can be placed high up. Another RichardSolo top seller is noise- cancelling headphones. This is an item that Thalheimer is particularly proud of, as he worked with his team so the company could make a unit that is comparable to the Bose but sells for about $240 less. Or, as Thalheimer put it "These units do 95 percent of what the Bose does, for about one-sixth of the price." Then there is the newest addition to the catalog, the Inada CUBE massage chair. This clever little accessory can be used as an ottoman, or can be folded out into a full-fledged massage chair. RichardSolo also has exclusives for those who sign up on the RichardSolo home page or through Twitter. Called the "Weekly Great Deal," it is a "phenomenally great" offer that is made available to registered RichardSolo customers for one week only. So if you're looking to purchase unique gifts for family and friends "who have everything" RichardSolo is the first (and only) place you should go.

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