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!
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.
“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
“On the eighth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, 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.”
Actually, it’s one high-tech vacuum cleaner on steroids with eight attachments! The Dyson V8 Absolute might seem too pricey, at $699.99 but its features fast become apparent the first time you try it.
The new Dyson V8 Absolute cordless vacuum will suck the money out of your wallet as fast as it does dust and dirt.
Is it worth it? Compared to its previous more affordable siblings, as low as $299.99 on www.dysoncanada.ca , the V8, $699.99, seems to be following Moore’s Law, that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.
Ford Canada hosted a unique From Farm to Ford six course dinner at the Edmonton Art Gallery.
The automaker promoted its research on using sustainable materials in its vehicles. The program, started in 2000, uses several bio-based materials in its vehicles, and is testing many more for future applications including algae, tomato peel and carbon dioxide.
We ate some of that with wine served under the Edmonton Centre skylight.
The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the Mecca of inventiveness. More than 3,800 vendors ranging from tech giants Samsung, Sony and LG with booths the size of several ice arenas to one person 4 square meter single table booths swayed more than 170,000 attendees including some 50,000 outside the U.S.
Check out my coolest YouTube linked products at CES by clicking on the linked names.
Samsung Family Hub Fridge at CES commanded much attention. Priced at more than $6,000 CDN, it will be in Canada later this year pending negotiations with online grocery venues in Canada. It features a 21.5 inch 1080p touch screen, three interior shelve cams, self digital food labelling with expiry dates, screen photo albums, online grocery ordering, weather and more. You can also see what’s in your fridge, live, with a phone app and switch the lower right compartment to a freezer when needed.
My annual tech mecha to the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show begins from Edmonton. Follow me here as I update my experience discovering new gadgets and meeting interesting industry shakers and movers.
What does CES have in store for us this year? Lot’s of small startups from around the world on smart personal ware and ways to help us eat, drive, even shower better.
Here are some examples on Day One at CES Unveiled, an early pre-show peak of smart tech.
The self powered Eco-Sensitive Smart Shower head from hydrao.com connects to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth. It tracks your water consumption and monitors your progress or not, by changing colours.
IFA Berlin 2015, one of the largest annual global tech shows, is again the launch base for the world’s coolest technologies.
Although IFA covers a broad spectrum of technologies and trends at home, work and play, the first two days are particularly exciting as global tech giants announce their newest technologies.
One hot item showing at IFA, are smart watches, with some 40 million to be sold this year. Half of that is expected to be Apple Watches. That still pales in comparison with the 1.5 billion smartphones that will ship this year.
How do you say I love you for Valentine’s Day with technology?
For a range of affordable new personal tech gift suggestions check out my globalnews.ca/techuntangled and Edmonton Global News Sunday Morning News Tech Talk segment.
If your love has no limit, here are a few items, costing more, that have a lot of tech love to give back for the next few Valentine’s years.
- The Kobo WiFi Aura H20, $169.99, is an all-weather E Ink eReader with enough internal memory to carry 3,000 books. The 6.8 – inch antiglare 265 dpi screen features adjustable ComfortLight backlight technology for reading in brighter places.
- The New Kindle eReader, $79, is winner in many ways. It’s small, light, with weeks of battery life, 20 per cent faster processing and twice the storage capability as the previous model. The new touch interface is simple and the new Word Wise feature makes it easier for readers learning English to understand new words.