Archive for May 2015

Gadgets :: 2015 May 18

Skylink 1

By Gregg Ellman :: #greggellman @greggellman 

The SkylinkNet alarm system kit is nothing fancy but it’s easy to setup and works well for a simple home security system.

Like any other smart-home system, it has to be connected to a home Internet system and works with an iPhone or Android smartphone (not included).

What is included in the kit is an Internet Hub, motion sensor, key chain remote and a pair of window/door sensors.

Where you connect the sensors is your choice, there’s no right or wrong. The kit is designed to start off with the basics and then add on from there.

Window, door or garage sensors, cameras for indoor or outdoor security, water sensors for detecting leaks and even a telephone dialer can be purchased and added on.

Skylink 2As for the starter kit, it really couldn’t be any simpler to get up and running in just a few minutes. You need AAA and AA batteries (not included) to run the sensors and to put in the hub as a backup in the event of a power failure.

I’m always a fan of gadgets, which are so easy to use that you don’t have to read instructions.

In this case, since security is involved I would I highly recommend using the quick guide. Set up is well explained starting with downloading the free SkyLink app, creating an account and adding on the sensors.

The sensors have different alarm settings for when you are home or away and a panic setting. Push notifications can be set to alert you when a sensor or alarm is activated. Each step within the app is straightforward and easy to understand to get the system to do what you want.

The hub is your mission control device and has to be connected to your router at all times. It connects easy and also has a siren inside.

www.skylinkhome.com $149.99 for the starter kit

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 eWriter looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet but is essentially a digital 3-ring binder without the paper.

You take notes on the screen with the included stylus and save them as PDFs. From there you can transfer them to computers, smartphones or tablets wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Your notes are saved with the push of a button as high-resolution vector PDF files.

It measures 11.1 x 7.5 x 0.2-inches, which includes the body around the writingBoogie screen and has a slot to store the stylus. The writing area is about 9.7-inches diagonally.

The included stylus worked very well, I tried a few other stylus brands I have on my desk but they didn’t work nearly as well as the original. Extras can be purchased separately for $19.99 each.

As noted on their website, the VDC software is compatible with Mac OSX 10.8 and above, Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Also, the saved files can be edited with most illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW, as well as image editing programs such as Adobe® Photoshop

The internal battery is good for about a week, but that can vary depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

According to the company, over 5,000 PDF files can be saved in the internal memory.

e or classrooms. For me, I wish the Boogie Board existed when I was in college.

www.myboogieboard.com $90.82

BlackBelt2ndKensington’s BlackBelt 2nd degree rugged case is well named.

It’s made with military drop protection (MIL-STD-810G testing protocols) and is about as durable as a case can be.

A polycarbonate X-frame has a comfortable feel with cushioned rubber layer around it for protecting your iPad from drops, bumps or just about any potential damaging contact.

All of the tablets ports and controls are accessible for charging, volume or using the cameras.

A screen protector is included and the case has a built-in kick stand and hand strap.

www.Kensington.com $49.99 for the iPad Air 2 case, $44.99 for the iPad mini model

Gadgets:: Organize and transfer content with SanDisk 3.0 Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0San Disk’s new plug-n-play Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 has the typical USB connection on one end, as expected from a flash drive. But this one stands out because the other end has a microUSB connector which makes it ideal for moving content on devices including OTG enabled Android smartphones.

To organize and transfer content, you must download the free SanDisk Memory Zone app in Google Play. Consider that app your file cabinet to access files and move content on or off a device.

This includes photos, music, movies and contacts. You can also access and use anything on the drive without first moving to your device.

For example, if the memory of your smartphone is full and you want to watch an HD movie, plug in the Ultra Dual drive and watch it without having to transfer it.

SanDisk Dual USB Drive 3.0 2The standard USB works with any Windows or MAC computer (no driver needed). It measures just 0.43-by-0.78- by1.44-inches, has a slider to expose the connection you want and is available in 16GB ($13.24), 32GB ($18.49) and 64GB ($34.24) capacities.

Check the SanDisk for a complete list of compatible devices. The USB 3.0 port is back-wards compatible with USB 2.0.

www.SanDisk.com
The Oregon Scientific Ssmart Dynamo 2 plus activity tracker does everything you would want from a wearable

fitness device.

Ssmart Dynamo 2 plusIt’s super easy to set up and get going along with the free Smart Fit for Android (version 4.3 and above) and iOS (version 7.0 and above) devices.

It works 24/7 or as long as you wear it to track sleep patterns, fitness activities and even stay connected with friends and family.

The latter happens after the tracker is paired with your cellphone to receive or reject (Android only) calls, caller ID and displays text messages and email. It also allows you to share fitness results on social media.

As for the fitness aspect, which is the main reason to have an activity tracker, it tracks heart rate data, the distance you go and how many steps it took to go that far. It also estimates how many calories burned.

It also features Find My Phone, which if you ever have to use it, you’ll understand the value.

Within the Smart App, everything is displayed in simple pie-charts, not complicated graphs. Many features and displays can be customized to your liking, including the wristband button and the display.

Up to seven days of information can be stored on the tracker. http://ssmart.oregonscientific.com/ $99.99

TrackR bravoThe new TrackR bravo is a coin-sized device you easily attach to a valuable item and it helps you locate it if lost or the most popular, misplaced.

When you get separated from whatever you attached it to, you’ll get notified through the TrackR app in seconds. Through the app, the device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and has a 100-foot range.

It uses the Crowd GPS network to find the TrackR and displays the distance between you and the item on the App. If you ever played the game hot or cold, that’s how this works to let you know if you’re on the right track to find it.

It’s ideal for keys, mobile devices and even suggested for pets.

The rounded item measures 1.2-inches in diameter and is just .13-inches. It easily attaches to a key chain, camera strap, bicycle or a pet’s collar.

Register up to 10 TrackR Bravo devices on the TrackR app for simultaneous tracking. Also, within the app, many of the alert sounds and notifications can be customized.

https://www.thetrackr.com $29.99
Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

Gadgets:: SkylinkNet alarm system simple and secure

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

Skylink 2The SkylinkNet alarm system kit is nothing fancy but it’s easy to setup and works well for a simple home security system.

Like any other smart-home system, it has to be connected to a home Internet system and works with an iPhone or Android smartphone (not included).

What is included in the kit is an Internet Hub, motion sensor, key chain remote and a pair of window/door sensors.

Where you connect the sensors is your choice, there’s no right or wrong. The kit is designed to start off with the basics and then add on from there.

Window, door or garage sensors, cameras for indoor or outdoor security, water sensors for detecting leaks and even a telephone dialer can be purchased and added on.

As for the starter kit, it really couldn’t be any simpler to get up and running in just a few minutes. You need AAA and AA batteries (not included) to run the sensors and to put in the hub as a backup in the event of a power failure.

Skylink 1I’m always a fan of gadgets, which are so easy to use that you don’t have to read instructions.

In this case, since security is involved I would I highly recommend using the quick guide. Set up is well explained starting with downloading the free SkyLink app, creating an account and adding on the sensors.

The sensors have different alarm settings for when you are home or away and a panic setting. Push notifications can be set to alert you when a sensor or alarm is activated. Each step within the app is straightforward and easy to understand to get the system to do what you want.

The hub is your mission control device and has to be connected to your router at all times. It connects easy and also has a siren inside.

www.skylinkhome.com $149.99 for the starter kit

BoogieThe Boogie Board Sync 9.7 eWriter looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet but is essentially a digital 3-ring binder without the paper.

You take notes on the screen with the included stylus and save them as PDFs. From there you can transfer them to computers, smartphones or tablets wirelessly (Bluetooth).

Your notes are saved with the push of a button as high-resolution vector PDF files.

It measures 11.1 x 7.5 x 0.2-inches, which includes the body around the writing screen and has a slot to store the stylus. The writing area is about 9.7-inches diagonally.

The included stylus worked very well, I tried a few other stylus brands I have on my desk but they didn’t work nearly as well as the original. Extras can be purchased separately for $19.99 each.

As noted on their website, the VDC software is compatible with Mac OSX 10.8 and above, Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Also, the saved files can be edited with most illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW, as well as image editing programs such as Adobe® Photoshop

The internal battery is good for about a week, but that can vary depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

According to the company, over 5,000 PDF files can be saved in the internal memory.

There are endless ways this can be used including home, office or classrooms. For me, I wish the Boogie Board existed when I was in college.

www.myboogieboard.com $90.82

BlackBelt2ndKensington’s BlackBelt 2nd degree rugged case is well named.

It’s made with military drop protection (MIL-STD-810G testing protocols) and is about as durable as a case can be.

A polycarbonate X-frame has a comfortable feel with cushioned rubber layer around it for protecting your iPad from drops, bumps or just about any potential damaging contact.

All of the tablets ports and controls are accessible for charging, volume or using the cameras.

A screen protector is included and the case has a built-in kick stand and hand strap.

www.Kensington.com $49.99 for the iPad Air 2 case, $44.99 for the iPad mini model

Gadgets:: Ring Video Doorbell, OWC Thunderbolt Dock 2

By Gregg Ellman – #greggellman @greggellman

Video Ring 2Once the Ring Video Doorbell button is pressed, a one-way video is activated along with two-way audio so you can see and talk to who’s at your entry way.

Access the audio and video on a smartphone or tablet from anywhere you have Wi-Fi Internet access.

The most appealing feature, but far from the only one is the built-in camera lens, is the lens. It provides 180-degrees of wide-angle view of the doorbell area.

Everything you need for the simple installation is included. It takes only a few minutes from start to finish, assuming your Wi-fi signal is within reach.

Like most any smart-home accessory there is a free app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) with simple account setup. The next time the doorbell rings, the app will send you a push notification telling you someone is at the door.

You will then see a live video recording of who is ringing the bell. You can have a conversation, too. What I really like is that you can hit the decline option if you want to ignore it all. They will have no idea you were even there.

As a bonus multiple users can be setup on the app letting them also know who’s at the door.

A great feature about the doorbell is it also acts as a security camera, even without the bell being rung. There is built-in motion detection with a choice of activation settings that can be customized to record the 180-degree angle within a 30-foot range of the doorbell.

The audio/video recordings can also be saved into a cloud storage for just $3 per month or $30 per year.

Video Ring 1Other features coming down the pipeline for the product includes on-demand viewing as well as a personal weather station built-into the doorbell bracket.

Video is recorded with a 1280×720p resolution. The unit contains an internal rechargeable 5,200 mAh battery, good for up to a year, depending on usage. A microUSB cable is included for charging.

The product is certified for outdoor use and even includes the proper drill bit and screwdriver for installation on wood, stucco and cement.

Ring has also announced the Ring Chime, which is a Wi-Fi speaker that sounds within the home when the Ring Doorbell is pressed. It will be available June 1 for $19.95.

www.Ring.com $199 available in finish choices of satin nickel, venetian bronze and antique or polished brass

OWC Thunderbolt 2 DockThe OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock is far from just another dock. It’s really an incredible  accessory, which will amaze any Apple computer power-user.

All you have to do is connect a single Thunderbolt cable from your computer to the dock and then you’ll have an additional Thunderbolt port to use from the dock.

With that Thunderbolt port (20 Gb/s), up to five addition Thunderbolt devices plus a display can be connected through the single port with addition Thunderbolt docks or via a daisy chain.

But it far from ends there. You also have five USB 3.0 ports (5 Gb/s), one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI 1.5b with 4K display support, one 3.5 mm audio input/mic and a 3.5 mm audio output/headphone port.

Three of the USB ports are on the back and two are on the side. They can be used for powering up USB accessories or charging/syncing an iPhone or iPad.

The FireWIre 800 port can support a daisy-chain connection of up to 63 devices.

The dock (9.05 x 3.54 x .98-inches) is listed on the MacSales.com site to work with any Thunderbolt equipped Mac running OS X 10.9.5 or later. Windows is not supported.

PR_TB2DOCK_LIFESTYLE

On the bottom/front of the dock there is a pair of LED lights. The blue one indicates the dock is powered while the green LED lights up when there is an active data connection from the computer through a Thunderbolt cable.

While it doesn’t effect the performance, Apple fans will love the Thunderbolt 2 Dock’s appearance since it’s built to cosmetically match Apple products with it’s aluminum finish.

A DC power supply is included and the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock driver is on the product website and installs in seconds.

www.MacSales.com $249