The best gadgets are usually the most innovative. Today we'll look at a pair of novel new products - headphones and a cell phone add-on - you never knew you needed.

The best gadgets are usually the most innovative. Today we'll look at a pair of novel new products - headphones and a cell phone add-on - you never knew you needed.

Audio Bone Headphones (available in orange, blue, white and black for $179 at jr.com) feed stereo sound from an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 players through the bones in front of your ears rather than down your ear canal. In other words, you place these headphones beside your ears, not in them.

The benefits are easy to understand. Joggers, runners or cyclists can listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks and still be totally aware of the sounds around them - sounds that offer protection from oncoming cars, charging dogs and other such dangers.

If you're the kind of person who cranks music to high volumes, these headphones could save you from eardrum damage. You can wear this product while driving.

They're also good for a cool dip in the pool (but don't come crying to me if you jump in and didn't think to put your iPhone in a protective waterproof case).

The audio clarity and volume coming from Audio Bone headphones is less than what you may be used to - actually, it takes time to get used to using this gadget. But depending on when and where you use it, that might not be a negative factor.

Qik, on the other hand, allows you to stream video from your cell phone to the world - not a small achievement.

People have streamed their baby's first steps, weddings, a night out at a bar, how-to videos, funerals and youth sporting events, as well as far more mundane activities. These videos can be viewed on a web browser or by Qik users on their cell-phone browsers.

Videos streamed live to Qik are also archived for later viewing. I watched a guy in Norway playing with his dog the other day.

You sign up to use this service at qik.com. Some phones comes pre-loaded with Qik (the Nokia S60 and N97) and others accept a Qik download (in all, about 125 models from more than 20 cell-phone providers), including the BlackBerry Curve, some Palm Treos and jailbroken iPhones.

While Qik may not be YouTube-sized yet, a fella named Eklund has generated 1.1 million viewings of Burt the Dog predicting hockey player Mats Sundin will sign with the Montreal Canadiens. Comedian Dane Cook has a Qik video that one million people have viewed.

Ain't innovation great?

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com