Category Archives: Design

AFFORDABLE PHONES KEEP ON GETTING BETTER

The new ZTE Axon 7 Mini, $0 on a gold two-year term or $399 with no term from Virgin Mobile, thinks it’s a top tier phone with a low sticker price.

It follows a smart industry trend of quality affordable phones like the Alcatel Idol 4S, Samsung Galaxy A5, Moto G4 Plus and Nexus 5X with features and performance that won’t break the bank.

Continue reading AFFORDABLE PHONES KEEP ON GETTING BETTER

SAMSUNG WEARABLE DEVICES NOW ON iPHONES

 

Samsung wearable envy for iPhone users? Tired of your square Apple Watch? No more.

Now iPhone users can discover Samsung’s best smartwatches and health trackers by downloading the Samsung Gear S app for the Gear S2 and Gear S3 or the Samsung Gear Fit app for the Gear Fit2 on compatible iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Continue reading SAMSUNG WEARABLE DEVICES NOW ON iPHONES

50th ANNIVERSARY OF CES HAS MUCH TO CELEBRATE

The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is over! With information overload beyond comprehension for most folks, and more than 3,800 exhibiting company booths to explore, the 50th anniversary tech Mecca show came to an end on Sunday.

Giant brands like Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony backed by a crew of several hundred each, in multi million dollar “booths” large enough to fill a dozen homes each, impressed. In contrast, one-person booths with a single table, among the 600 startup displays the CES Eureka Park Marketplace hoped for the break of a lifetime.

Robots at CES were entertaining but robotic vacuum cleaners from LG and Samsung were smarter

Continue reading 50th ANNIVERSARY OF CES HAS MUCH TO CELEBRATE

BIG BRANDS OUTDO EACH OTHER IN SMARTNESS AT CES

CES in Las Vegas used to be just for geeks. Not anymore. Now it’s about solving the many pain points in our lives, even analog ones. Interestingly, many are rather simple products for home chores introduced by big brand companies who seem to revel at taking a break from rocket science technology. Let’s check some out.

  • The LG Hom-Bot Network Water Mop is a combination robotic vacuum and mopping machine, connected to your phone, that remembers your home floor layout.  But if you happen to be in its path, it will ask you to kindly move out of the way. LG is introducing several new versions of current home products with network capability for tracking and voice control.
Vacuum Wars Korean Style – LG Hom-Bot Water Mop  left, vs Samsung POWERbot VR7000
  • Samsung’s low profile POWERbot VR7000 Robot Vacuum ensures generates up to 20 watts of suction power while covering areas that hand-operated vacuum cleaners miss, like under beds. It has an 11-inch wide self cleaning brush and is designed to pick up dust against the wall and floor corners. Its smartphone controllable and works with Amazon Echo for folks who want to shout orders to a complying smart vacuum.

Continue reading BIG BRANDS OUTDO EACH OTHER IN SMARTNESS AT CES

THE NEW TV’S AT CES 2017

On Wednesday in Las Vegas, press day at the Mandalay Bay had multinational companies bragging about their newest technologies in big ticket items like TV’s, home appliances and the latest innovations.

This, on the eve of the four-day CES technology show, covering more than 2.5 million sq ft of show space.

But it’s the big screen TV that lead the news lines today. Not surprising to most folks.  To me, TV’s have been a big disappointment for a long time. Why? Because until a few years ago the quality of TV’s  had a long way to go to match the original visual quality of Spielberg, Lucas and Tarantino movies.

Continue reading THE NEW TV’S AT CES 2017

CES TECH IN VEGAS – A ROLLERCOASTER OF TECHNOLOGY – 2 DAYS TO GO

The four day CES 2017 giant tech show in Las Vegas, starts this Thursday. More than 180,000 attendees from 80 countries and 3,800 exhibitors on 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space will woo 7,500 media covering the winners and losers of the next Holiday season.  Follow my daily take on what’s hot and what’s not!

Livall Bling Helmet BH60

Continue reading CES TECH IN VEGAS – A ROLLERCOASTER OF TECHNOLOGY – 2 DAYS TO GO

12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 12!

At last! My 12 tech days of Christmas comes to an end today. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original had changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, last minute presents, the most high-tech items, ten low tech gizmos, nine stocking stuffers, eight vacuum cleaners, seven image catchers, six shiny laptops, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree.

OK, it’s Saturday afternoon and you still have a few tech gifts to go on your list. You don’t want to order online, you need to have it all wrapped up for Christmas morning.  We know that someone special could be you!

Someone recently got the new Googe Pixel phone. What is the best accessory for it? The Google Daydream VR headset, $99 for watching surround 36 VR online, even playing games with the nifty handheld remote control. It’s compact and covered with fuzzy woolly grey fabric. cloth. Most phone shops have them.

Continue reading 12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 12!

12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 11

Follow my daily 12 tech days of Christmas. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original have changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

“On the eleventh day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, the most hi-tech items, ten low-tech gizmos, nine stocking stuffers, eight vacuum cleaners, seven image catchers, six shiny laptops, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree.”

These awesome gifts are the best consumer technology offerings for extreme experiences. They range from several hundred bucks to more than a thousand. What is unique about them? Will they satisfy a need to go beyond what you have been used to? You may not want to go back.

Continue reading 12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 11

Follow my daily 12 tech days of Christmas. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original have changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

“On the tenth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, ten low tech gizmos, nine stocking stuffers, eight vacuum cleaners, seven image catchers, six shiny laptops, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree.”

Check out these low tech but high performing gifts that start under $10 and prove themselves invaluable in making your life a bit easier as well as protect your valuable stuff.

  • NITE IZE SPOTLIT LED CARABINER LIGHT, $7 is a mini-beacon to light up dark places or clip to anything you need to keep an eye on. A steel carabiner attaches to a key ring, dog collar, or anything with a zipper pull, he LED bulb provides enough light to read fine print or slide a key into a door lock. Available with a white or red LED at Mountain Coop 

Continue reading

12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 9

Follow my daily 12 tech days of Christmas. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original have changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

“On the ninth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, nine stocking stuffers, eight vacuum cleaners, seven image catchers, six shiny laptops, five top-tier smartphones, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java in a pear tree”

Here are some of my favourite affordable gift guide stocking stuffers that offer great value.

 

  • Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker, $30 for 1-pack or $90 for 4-pack, tracks your stuff live up to 100 ft away using low energy Bluetooth technology. Simply attach Tile to an item and find it through your phone App. Activate the Tile app to see the last location of your item on a map. Built in Li-ion battery keeps Tile fully functional for an entire year. Pressing the Tile also finds your phone! Available at Best Buy and London Drugs.

  • Samsung Gear Fit 2 (Bluetooth and WiFi) automatically starts monitoring where you go, specific activities like walking or running and heart rate, all while you are away from your phone. This includes setting alarms. When you carry your Android phone (unlike other Samsung personal wear, the Fit 2 works with all Android phones) the Fit 2 updates the stored workout info on your phone. It also notifies you with incoming messages like email, social sites and more on its generously sized AMOLED bright screen. You can upload music to its 4GB of memory for wirelessly listening to music when away from you phone vi Bluetooth speakers. You can also control more music playing from your nearby phone using the Fit 2. Download the S Health app to your smartphone to compete against a friend and push each other toward your fitness goals (requires connection to mobile device). Available in several ccolours for $130 at Best Buy.

  • The Philips Vacuum Beard Trimmer, $50 at London Drugs and the Bay, is unique with its built-in vacuum which catches cut hair as you go along for a mess-free trim. It includes accessories for beard, moustache and sideburn It has 20 precision lock-in length settingsfrom 0.5 – 10mm and is easy to clean by water rinsing. Double self-sharpening steel blades lasts a long time, with no oil requirement and it even works while charging. It’s compatible with all world-wide voltages.

  • This is cool. The Black & Decker Lithium-Ion GYRO rechargeable screwdriver is small enough to fit in kitchen drawers. It has no on/off or speed control buttons! Instead, you simply twist your wrist clockwise or counter clockwise and vary for speed control. Smart? A small light guides your work in dark places and the battery charge lasts over long storage times. Available at Lowe’s or Amazon.ca for $40.

  • Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Living-room Bluetooth Keyboard for wirelessly controlling your laptop when connected to you TV. It features a large gesture capable touch pad with left and right mouse-like buttons. Auto-adjusting backlit keyboard is handy when you dim the lights for TV watching. One charge lasts more than a week of use and only takes three hours to re-charge. The Tiny Logitech Unifying receiver is plug-and-play, allowing you to start typing immediately. Available at the Bay for $99.99.

  • The Samsung Gear VR (2016) headset gets you into the world of 360 VR online. It easily connects with Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note5 phones for an immersive gaming and viewing experience available online. In the VR world with 2D and 360-degree videos, photos, and games you simply turn your head around to view additional action above, below and around you. It’s large enough to be worn with most eyeglasses. Available at Samsung Experience Stores in selected Canadian cities and currently on sale for $99.99 at Best Buy till Dec 23.

  • Ventev makes attractively designed mobile phone accessories. They feature a smooth, almost velvet-like touch on their two-tone grey surface with orange highlights. Although US-based Ventev will be in Canadian stores soon, you can order their eclectic collection on Amazon.ca. Like all things online this week, you can alternatively buy Amazon gift certificates instead at  Check out the smart Ventev Desktop charginghub s500, $79.12 which features two surge protected outlets and three USB charge outlets (two 2A and one 2.4A) as well as a neat device stand for several devices. Smart!

 

  • Running out of memory on your iPhone? The Leef iBridge 16 GB Mobile Memory, $89.99 for 16GB to $399.99 for 256GB, is a smart way to expand your iPhone or iPad memory. It unobtrusively inserts in the lightning port and can either automatically back up your files or capture video and photos directly while you shoot. Alternatively, you can load your Leef with more movies and music to enjoy when travelling.

  • Luci Inflatable Solar-Charged Lanterns, frosted $25.95, clear $19.95, are waterproof, feather light and compact. They charge up during the day with natural light and provide night light for anywhere at home out outside like camping. They have two intensity modes and an SOS alternating white and red color flashing feature. You can inflate them from 2.5cm – 9cm tall and enjoy up to ten hours of illumination from the ten LED lamps. Available at Lee Valley stores across Canada. leevalley.com