It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway, that I love gadgets. I even love gadgets that I’d never buy and that have been designed to fix a problem that is best fixed with a solution that is much less expensive. Today’s example is the Savel by Dreamfarm. What we have here is a colorful foldable plastic base with an attached silicone strap. The idea behind this product is that it can be used to keep cut fruit fresh longer. The base can be used flat or folded to conform to the shape of the cut fruit. Savels come in four bright colors, are dishwasher safe and are priced at $7.95 each. I’m fascinated by products that people invent, but I can’t see myself or many people buying this gadget when a roll of plastic wrap or a box of baggies solve the same problem for much less money. If you want to check out more info about this fruit saver, head over to Dreamfarm. Tip: they do offer some other products that actually look useful.
I’ve had the chance to review a few Bluetooth speakers now, but the Arctic S111BT is the first pair I’ve tried that’s designed as two separate speakers, wired together as a left and right pair. [click to continue…]
The new Kisai Adjust Wood watch from Tokyoflash Japan lets you select from six colors for the LED display, choose 12- or 24-hour time mode, and select whether the time is displayed horizontally or vertically. It also has date, alarm, and animation functions. The case and band are made of either dark sandalwood or maple; the clasp is stainless steel. Tokyoflash Japan is offering the Kisai Adjust Wood watch at a 48-hour special release price of $109 until Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 11am Japan time.
Spigen’s Air Skin cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are only 0.4mm thick and weigh only 4 grams and 6 grams, respectively. That’s hardly bulkier than a sticker skin, but the Air Skin cases are made using a new technology which compresses polycarbonate “to a stable form that can protect a device from bumps and scratches.” The case has a smooth matte finish and is coated with a layer of urethane to resist fingerprints and to prevent the colors from fading. The opening at the bottom of the case is big enough that you should be able to use most charging and audio cables with the case. The Air Skin cases are available in five translucent colors: soft clear, mint, gray, champagne, or azalea pink for $24.99 for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Spigen requires an extended handling period of 7-10 days for these products.
A while back I had an opportunity to review the Zepp golf sports sensor. The Zepp sensor is designed to help you improve your tennis, golf or baseball swings by being attached to your racket, club or bat. As good as the Zepp is, they have just upped their game by adding new features to their golf and baseball apps. Features such as the ability to video record your swing and the ability to compare your swing to professional golf and baseball players. Some of the pros who you can compare and analyze your swing against include: David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Hunter Pence, Jennie Finch, Keegan Bradley, and Brendan Steele. The new app is available today on iOS devices and will be available at Google Play in two weeks. So if you are a Zepp users or want to see what it’s all about, download the free app or check out the Zepp web pages
Most smartwatches on the market are chunky, bulky and definitely not feminine. Enter the H.Tang smartwatch, which is currently seeking funding through Pozible.com. This smartwatch looks more like a fancy bracelet than a watch that can track your activity, calorie burn, display the weather and notify you when you have an incoming call or text message. It even has an embedded UV sensor that will keep you notified of the intensity of the sun so you won’t get burned. It features a sapphire-crystal display and is even waterproof. The crowdfunded project’s goal was $8156 (odd total…), which they’ve already surpassed with a current total of $20,457. A pledge of $82 will reserve a H.Tang silver smartwatch without Swarovski CZ stones. If you want more bling, a $98 pledge will reserve a silver smartwatch without Swarovski CZ stones. For more info visit Pozible.
I’ve been an Apple product user since 1987, and wear that badge with honor. So I’ve never really used Android more than just flicking around on demo models in stores or using a friend’s device. That’s why, when Julie offered this unit to the team, I thought I’d take it for a test spin. What is it? It’s an Ematic 7″ dual core tablet with Android 4.4 KitKat. It goes by the catchy moniker EGD172. Here’s the inside story. [click to continue…]
Remember the 80’s and 90’s before there was such a thing as the iPod? In those days, the music player of choice was the boombox. Now you can relive those days with the RichardSolo BT-4000 Rechargeable Wireless Boombox. It might look retro, but it’s packed with technology too. The BT-4000 features 90mm poly driven stereo speakers, a Bluetooth so you can pair with your smartphone or tablet, and a dedicated SD card slot and USB slot so that you can play music directly from flash memory. This boombox even includes an FM radio with a built-in telescopic antenna and 20-station memory presets. The 2100mAh Lithium polymer battery makes this a mobile speaker / radio that plays up to 5 hours on a single charge. It even has a stand on top to hold your tablet or smartphone. The RichardSolo BT-4000 Rechargeable Wireless Boombox is priced at $99.95 and is available now from RichardSolo.
Last week Janet posted a great review of the iPhone 6 Plus. Go check it out of you haven’t read it yet. Verizon Wireless was nice enough to send me the smaller iPhone 6 to try out for a few days. Instead of writing a traditional review, I thought I would do something a bit different. I’m going to chronicle my experiences with the iPhone 6 for the next three or four days and report back here daily with a new section.
First of all let me provide a little background regarding my smartphone history. I was a diehard Apple fan for several years starting with the original iPhone all the way through to the iPhone 4S. During what I like to call my Apple years, I flirted here and there with Android but the relationship never worked out until I met the Samsung Galaxy S3. From then on I’ve shunned iPhones and have been happily using Android smartphones ever since, the latest being an LG G3. That’s why this will be an interesting experiment.
It is not that the Logitech Alert video surveillance system we use has become all that long in the tooth. It still works well enough. The fact is I want/need to expand my coverage and their outdoor cameras are difficult to get ahold of and surprisingly costly when you do. Julie and I have been discussing surveillance cameras for a while now and the Dropcam Pro comes up regularly. With the conversation usually ending in the sad note that it is a shame Dropcam does not have a solution for mounting their cameras outdoors. So, I started looking for an aftermarket outdoor enclosure for the Dropcam Pro and discovered how few there are. However, I did come to find out that folks were creating DIY (do-it-yourself) enclosures and decided to give it a try for myself… [click to continue…]
Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own. It’s autumn, and that means cooler weather, kids are in school, and college football is in season. Do you know what the above collegiate teams all have in common? The University of Georgia, Ohio State University, University of Texas, Arizona State University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, University of California (Berkeley), Nebraska, and Tennessee have all teamed up with LG, the official corporate partner of NCAA® Football. LG and these teams want to make sure you have the best GameDay experience possible. [click to continue…]
Due next month, affordable ARCHOS VR Glasses paired with an Android, Windows Phone or iOS smartphone up to 6 inches will provide users with a lightweight virtual reality experience that will transform games and movies into fun and educational adventures that will allow such things as:
-Transform gaming and more with the upcoming ARCHOS Bluetooth game controller
-Turn videos into 360° 3D videos and allow users to be a real part of them
-Make it possible to achieve Icarus’ dream and feel like flying thanks to drones
-Send people to time travel to ancient Egypt, actually giving the feeling of being there
With the upcoming ARCHOS Video Player update, users will also enjoy 3D videos in a stereoscopic mode on their mobile, creating the illusion of seating in a 3D movie theater. Due in November, these glasses will be priced at $29.99. Visit ARCHOS for more info.
Activity trackers are very popular right now. Every tech company under the sun seems to be announcing a new tracker every week or so. These trackers are almost exclusively designed for adults, but younger kids can definitely benefit from motivation to get more active too. The latest kid centric activity tracker to come on the market is the KidFit Wireless Activity & Sleep tracker from X-doria. The KitFit has been designed for children ages 5-13 and features a one size fits all slap style bracelet strap and splash proof casing. The tracker doesn’t focus on tracking the number of steps walked or calories burned in a day, but emphasizes a 100 point daily activity goal. It’s not clear if the LCD display on the band provides daily fitness info or just a status indicator, or if parents have to sync their kids daily progress through the free iOS or Android app using Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The app helps kids earn badges as they get close to their goals and helps parents associate those goals with actual rewards. The KitFit tracker is available in four colors and is priced at $49.99. For more info visit X-doria.
Since I travel frequently, I am always searching for the perfect backpack. Finding the balance between size, comfort, and usability is the biggest challenge. The TYLT Energi+ backpack looks to be not only comfortable, but convenient, so when I was offered to review it, I was happy to accept. I had two weekend trips to test the backpack with, so let’s see how it fared.
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Synthesizers have been around for a long, long time and many efforts have been made to turn them into expressive, virtuoso performing machines. Ribbons, X/Y pads and pitch/mod wheels have long been a staple for keyboardists but they all have one glitch…the expressiveness of the note is separated by two hands and two motions that have nothing to do with each other. You can play a note and change its pitch and modulation and, if you have a really good keyboard, you’ll have “aftertouch” to add even more expressiveness to your playing. In the recent years, new instruments have cropped up that, like when playing a note on the guitar, allow you to have complete expressive control using the finger you are playing the note with. The Haken Continuum (familiar to anyone who fancies the work of Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess) uses a mousepad-like surface laid out in a continuous keyboard pattern. Pitch changes on the X axis, pressure changes on the Z axis control the volume of the note and the Y axis can be used for modulation or effects. The Madrona Soundplane uses a capacitive pressure surface to do the same, but in a grid laid out like a guitar fretboard. [click to continue…]
Here’s a full listing of all the news, reviews and articles that we posted this week in case you you might have missed something. Grab a snack and a beverage and get reading!
With less than two weeks until Halloween, you’re quickly running out of time to figure out what you’re going to dress up as for the holiday parties you’ll be attending. Dracula and Ironman are so 2013, so here’s an idea that is not only funny, but also timely. It’s a bent iPhone 6 costume that you can make yourself. A supply list and instructions are provided along with links for accessories that will complete your costume. The only thing missing is a life size gTool: Panel Press like we showed you yesterday. For more info visit Halloweencostumes.com
If you are a video gamer you know we are all looking for that competitive edge. You don’t have to be a hardcore gamer to want to perform well while playing your favorite games. Kontrol Freek knows this and have developed a whole line devices that attached to the joy sticks of your gaming controller allowing you to improve your game. The folks at Kontrol Frek were nice enough to send me a set of FPS Freek Justice (based on the Gears of War game series) to test out on my XBOX 360.
Having a full fridge is actually a good problem to have, right? It probably means we aren’t going hungry. But not having enough space in your fridge can be a bit frustrating at times. Brian Conti, creator of the successfully funded Strong Like Bull Magnets Kickstarter projects, is back with a new crowdfunded—and of course, magnetically-powered—product. The bottleLoft is “the world’s first magnetic bottle hanger for your refrigerator.” The patent-pending design consists of a set of three strong nyodymium magnets encased in matching steel cups to direct the magnetic force. Each cup is enclosed in a custom plastic rail which is attached to the ceiling of your fridge via a strip of 3M VHB (Very High Bond) tape. Each bottleLoft is designed to securely suspend three typical steel-capped beverage bottles above while other items can be placed beneath them, giving you a bit of extra storage space for those leftover containers. Or install several bottleLofts and save even more space. Available in any color you want, as long as it’s white. Rewards start at $20 for a single, three-magnet bottleLoft. Head over to the bottleLoft Kickstarter page for details. The campaign ends November 9, 2014.
will.i.am (I find it really annoying to type his name that way) is a well known musician who makes top selling music with his band the Black Eyed Peas, but is he the new leader of what he calls fashionology with his new i.amPULS cuff? Notice I didn’t call it a smartwatch. He doesn’t want this untethered smartband wearable device to be called a watch even though you wear it on your wrist and it has a clock. If it looks like duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a… The device features a special version of the Android OS, integrated touch screen, 1 GB of memory, 16 GB of storage, 780 mA of power, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a pedometer and accelerometer and will run untethered on a 3G cellular network provided exclusively through AT&T. Sounds like a smartwatch to me, but where it differs is that unlike most smartwatches it does not need to be paired with a smartphone. The i.amPULS is a stand alone device that you can use to make/receive calls, send/receive texts, find locations on maps, listen to music and more. It even has its own Siri style assistant named “AneedA” who acts on your voice commands. There are a lot of questions left unanswered about this device including pricing and when it will be available. One thing is for sure though, I’ll need two of them so I can do a worthy Wonder Woman impression with indestructible bracelets. Seriously, the i.amPULS has some interesting features, most notably the ability to make and receive calls without being tethered to a phone. But here’s what I’m wondering, will it have a separate phone number that people will need to know in order to call and text your wrist? And how comfortable will this thing be to wear? It sure doesn’t look like anything I’d want on my wrist for very long. What do you think? For more information about i.amPULS, visit www.iampuls.com