Archive for December 2015

Gadgets :: 2015 December 28

By Gregg Ellman (#greggellman) & Elmo Sapwater (#imaginginsider)

Flicks 1The words on the outside of the Flicks mobile cordless boombox projector box ìA Move Theatre. Impossibly Portable,î perfectly describes the system.

I’ll add that it’s incredibly simple to work, sounds great, projects a great image and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

The all-in-one (5.31 x 11.77 x 6.52-inches) projector and Bluetooth speaker projects a crystal-clear widescreen video in 720p HD with TexasInstruments DLP technology.Flicks 2

I used it with an Apple laptop and connected it with the included-HDMI cable to display a movie, which is projected from the lens on the backside.

The lens is constructed from combination of plastic aspheric and glass spheric to deliver the image in perfect saturation and color quality.

On the product’s website they talk about showing a 100-inch image with the Flicks at just over eight feet from the wall, so I did just that a nd I was as crystal clear as advertised.

Projectors typically give off a lot of heat and this one is designed with a cooling system to pull in air and keep it cool on all sides.

On the front is the speaker for the movie audio or to just stream music wirelessly from any Bluetooth device.

A pair of custom-designed neodymium speakers and a subwoofer are inside to deliver the sound, which makes this a complete system at high or low volumes.

All the control buttons for power, volume, pairing, etc., are on the top. On the back is the lens, power, HDMI, headphone and AUX connections.  A master on/off switch is on the bottom.

There’s also a USB port, which can be used for charging (smartphones, tablets, etc.) or direct connection for a streaming music device.

Flicks are available with a 140-watt lithium-ion battery ($599), which is good for 4 hours of movies or 28 hours of music. If you want to double that, just get the 280-watt model ($699).

Both include an AC power adapter to keep it running endlessly along with a wireless remote.

http://www,dashbon.com 

Forrte 1The Twelve South Forté for Apple Watch did the impossible; it makes the luxury wristwatch look even better.

Your Apple Watch sits on the high-quality stand (3.35-inches high by 3.26-inches wide, 3.77-inches deep) and has a cable management system to use your own charging cable.

It’s cleverly designed to allow your cable to be installed or removed in seconds from the top-grain genuine black napa leather base up toForrte 2 the polycarbonate chromed ring. The removable ring secures the charging disk in place.

The base is weighted so your watch sits on the arm for charging and can be used hands-free in portrait or landscape modes at a 40-degree angle. This is the perfect angle when using the watch in nightstand mode.

The Forté is compatible with all styles of the Apple Watch.

http://www.twelvesouth.com $59.99

 The AirCharge case for iPhones introduced me to something new — wireless charging for my iPhone 6.

When you combine this made-for-iPhone certified case with the smartphone, you just place it on any Qi wireless charger (sold separately) for charging.

While the Qi charging isn’t imbedded into the iPhone system, the AirCharge case brings  the two together.

When you put your iPhone inside the case, there’s a lightning connector that goes into your phone to transfer the charge from the Qi charging base.

The wireless charging is a magnetic field in the charging base, which transfers power to a receiver (in this system’s charging case) when placed on top of the charger. All cable free.

The case is black and white and protects your device while giving you full access to the functions and touchscreen.

http://www.air-charge.com $43.99

Gadgets :: Last Minutes Gifts!

For many last minute shopping is routine. If you need ideas check out these terrific suggestions from Gregg Ellman (#greggellman).
Read More: 20151221 Last Minute

Gadgets :: Portable Power

In this special post Gregg Ellman (#greggellman) looks at portable power for all of your devices. A PDF reader is required to open this file. Enjoy!
Read: 20151217 Portable power

Gadgets :: 2015 December 14

2015 December 14

By Gregg Ellman & Elmo Sapwater

A few generations down the road we might have USB charging ports built right into our necks. Until then we need portable power and we want it now.

Fortunately, there are endless of choices to ensure that you have power on-the-go for all of your portable electronic gadgets.

One thing of note, if a portable battery says it will charge a USB device, that includes every manufacturer, including Apple, Android, digital cameras, GPS units, etc. Portable charging is not specific to any brand.

The AC powered Ventev s500 desktop charging hub is probably the most versatile and useful charging system I’ve seen.

It has two surge-protected standard 120 AC outlets built into the top of the hub and three USB ports on the side. All five ports can be used simultaneously.

One of the three USB ports is outlined in orange and is a dedicated 2.4A rapid charging port.

The surge protection lets you reset the internal circuit with the press of a button, after a power surge.

The feature that really makes this stand out is the top sided charging stand. This lets you plug your charging cable into one of the ports and then into your device, which can be placed in the stand while charging.

https://mobileaccessories.ventev.com $59.99

The Commuter is an ultra portable 3-in-1 universal battery charger with a built-in 12V car adapter (cigarette lighter for the older crowd), a foldable AC wall plug and an internal 2,600Ah battery.

The USB port lets you plug in your own charging cable to give your starving device some power, which can easily be a full charge from this battery.

What makes this a really great device past the mentioned features is the size; 3.6 x 2.4 x 0.8-inches, which can easily fit in a pocket, glove box or backpack.

There’s also an on/off button to control the power supply and a microUSB cable is included for charging the internal battery.

www.spyderstyle.com $49.99

And if a 3-in-1 device isn’t enough for you, how about the 6-in-1 Secur Products SP-4003 car charger and life saver.

It plugs into your cigarette lighter port and has a USB port to attach your own charging cable for charging a smartphone, tablet or most any other portable USB gadget.

Also built-in is 2,000mAh battery for power on-the-go, a 150 Lumen LED flashlight that will stay illuminated for four hours on a full charge and a window breaker and seat belt cutter.

The flashlight also has an emergency mode, with a flashing red emergency light, which has a run time of 10 hours.

The SP-4003 measures just 1.5 x 4.5-inches, with a weight of just 3 ounces.

www.securproducts.com $34.99.

It you just want portable power, Kensington has a slick 10,400mAh USB Mobile Charger portable USB battery. With that much power you can pretty much guarantee a few charges for any portable device.

The 2.1A USB port is tablet-friendly and a four-LED indicator shows you how much power is left.

Inside is PowerWhiz technology that lets the battery automatically detect what device is charging to ensure it gets the fastest and safest charge possible.

Kensington also has handy car charging cables with the fast charging PowerBolt chargers.

One end has a 12V car connection and the other has a microUSB ($14.99) or an Apple Lightning ($24.99).

www.Kensington.com

Zaggs Power Amp line of batteries can give you anywhere from one plus (3,000mAh) to six (18,000mAh) full and portable charges.

Their big boy, the Power Amp 18 ($99.99) has three USB ports, is 2.4A charging ready and has a built-in LED flashlight. It weighs about a pound and a half, has a cable management strap and lets you charge your devices while the battery itself is charging.

If you want pocket sized, the smaller Power Amp 3 ($29.99) and Power Amp 6 6,000mAh ($49.99) are for you and also have LED flashlights built in.

The whole Zagg Power Amp series of portable batteries are fast charging with Quick Charge technology to ensure a safe change and all come recharged and ready to go.

www.Zagg.com

 


Five Ways Online Forms Can Help Professional Photographers

We’re experiencing the golden age of photography web forms. I bet you haven’t read that sentence before. But it’s true!

Turn back the clock ten years. While photographers might have had nice websites, showing their work and their passion projects, the forms were lacking. Photography companies either needed to know how to code and embed their own forms — that most couldn’t do since they were busy running their own businesses — or they used outdated information collection methods.

Today is a different story. Savvy photography practices are starting to utilize online form building platforms to streamline their operations and save boatloads of time and hassle, and there’s no reason you can’t do it too. Below are five of the top ideas to get ahead using online forms.

Booking

Let clients reserve dates, the number of photographers needed, and the exact times required for service straight from an online form. It’s easier for them to have a presentable form to fill out, and you get the information you need in a scannable, easy-to-understand format.

jotform1

The beauty of using a contact form in addition to an email address is two fold. For starters, forms can be more enticing for prospective clients to use than sending an email, as they don’t have to log in to their email provider or aimlessly craft a message. Secondly, today’s form platforms neatly store your information in the cloud and integrate with CRM systems so that the information you collect is connected with powerful business tools. It’s just one more way to stay on top of your game.

Collect Payment

The days of depositing physical checks or chasing down clients for their money are officially over. The leading DIY form building platforms integrate with payment solutions. So not only can you whip together a professional form in a few minutes, you can quickly and securely collect payments as well. That way, if someone is serious about your services, then can give you a deposit right from the booking stage without ever even meeting you in person.

Model Release and Agreement Forms

Oh, the marvels of modern technology. Need to get a model to sign and return a release document? You can make a form for that. E-signature capabilities on many form building platforms allow clients and models to electronically sign the online form and send it your way with a single click. No printing, scanning, or mailing required.

jotform2

Staffing Up

Imagine things are humming along just fine with your one-man practice, but, all of a sudden, a huge event requests your service — an event that requires multiple photographers with expert skill sets and equipment. You could turn it down. Or, you could use a cleverly crafted online form to collect applicants from freelance photographers. Don’t think in terms of standard job applications; create form fields for what equipment they have, years of experience, and even have them submit sample photos straight through the online form.

The real benefit of leaning on online forms is that it frees up your time so you can spend it taking and editing pictures. The best part? Online form builders are cheap. Most of the major ones even offer freemium models where you get the full suite of features for free up until a certain level of usage. And it’s generally pretty inexpensive beyond that. As the photography industry gets more and more competitive, you need advantages. Online forms are just that.

Chad Reid is the Director of Communications for JotForm, a leading online form creator used by photographers all over the world. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his girlfriend and cats. 

Gadgets: Earmuff headphones are stylish with high-fidelity sound

BY GREGG ELLMAN Twitter.com/greggellman @greggellman

PowerMuffs, the warmest sound in the world. In anything but pleasant, sunny weather, standard headphones, even high-quality headphones that command premium prices, aren’t up to the task of keeping you wired for sound. PowerMuffs can deliver high-quality sound in even unpleasant weather. Whether it’s just a little chilly or it’s freezing outside, whether it’s raining lightly or snowing like mad, PowerMuffs protect your ears and keep them (and you) warm and comfortable... while also giving you the high-quality sound reproduction that lets you enjoy your music in premium fidelity. PowerMuffs are attractive, stylish, and wonderfully warm earmuffs with Bluetooth compatible speakers and a built-in microphone.

What a perfect time to write about Power Muffs, the stylish earmuff headphones that have wireless internal Bluetooth speakers. They also have an internal noise canceling microphone that you can access with the touch of a button while your ears stay warm during handsfree calls. I agree with a recent company press release, they are “the warmest sound in the world.”

Power Muffs weigh just 5 ounces and are adjustable to fit any head. Everything is controlled on the side of one muff, with power, volume and pairing buttons. A microUSB port is hidden on the bottom for charging the internal Lithium Ion battery, which should last for to six hours of use before a two-hour charge is needed.

If you keep them in standby mode, you’ll get about seven days of battery time.

I really didn’t expect much from the sound but I was pleasantly surprised after cranking up the volume and hearing the high-fidelity sound.

They are on a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which I have no doubt will hit its goal.

According to the website, “Power Muffs premium Bluetooth earmuff headphones start at only $29 on Indiegogo. Those who pre-order will receive their headphones in time for the holidays.”

The sale price is 70 percent off the $99 retail for a limited time only.

http://powermuffs.com available in black, brown or ivory

ImpeccaTM www.impecca.com, a leader of impeccably designed audio, video, digital photo, computer peripherals, window and portable air conditioners, kitchen and home appliances, announced today the new Impecca line of Power it multi-function portable car jump starter/device charger kits. 36,000mAh for light trucks and RVs: 800A peak current, includes laptop adapter and 8 tips; jump starts light trucks and RVs with 24V battery supply and 12V car batteries; over current, charge, and discharge protection.  Price: $349.95.

Another timely gadget for winter is a mouthful to say, Impecca Power it 36,000mAh Power Supply and Car Jump Starter Kit, but worth it to remember for both its convenience and the peace of mind of extra safety.

The portable power pack has enough juice to boost anything from a smartphone to an RV or light truck.

It’s crazy that a battery that’s small enough to fit in a glove compartment, measuring just 7.12-by-3.34-by-9.56-inches is powerful enough to jump start your car, but it can.

There’s also an LED flashlight with SOS safety signal, dual USB charging ports and an LED area lamp for lighting the side of a road or a campsite. An LCD displays the battery levels.

Included are alligator battery clamps, an AC power adapter, car charging cable, a universal laptop adapter cable, USB cable and carrying case.

It’s can be charged up to 3,000 times. I only did a few so if you hit that number be sure to let me know.

The Impecca website states the battery’s auto jump start is 24v or 12v output and the jump start peak current is 800A with a starting current of 400A.

There are other models available down to a 8,000mAh model, which has the USB ports and can just start a car or SUV with 12V batteries.

www.impecca.com $329.95 for the 36,000mAh down to $79.95 for the 8,000mAH power supply.

FUGOO’s portable Bluetooth speakers have quickly become one of the top-rated for their high-quality 360-degree audio, 35 to 40 hour battery life, changeable jackets, and IP67 rating, making them 100% waterproof, shockproof, dust-proof and snow-proof. A range of optional accessories and straps that let you take them anywhere makes them the ideal speaker for anyone that wants their favorite tunes wherever they are – the beach, paddle-boarding, kayaking, camping, or on the court. The larger and louder FUGOO XL offers many of the same benefits as the smaller, award-winning speaker line as well, and are easily twice as loud.8 Drivers / 360o AudioWith a total of eight acoustic drivers, the FUGOO XL throws out 38 watts of audio power by way of four neodymium tweeters, two neodymium aluminum domed mid-woofers and two passive radiators. To get true 360-degree audio, the drivers are strategically placed on all four sides of the speaker at an eight-degree upper angle to deliver a 360-degree sweet spot. The FUGOO XL easily fills an indoor or outdoor space in all directions with rich full bass, solid midrange, and crisp distinct highs. An “Outdoor” mode provides a rich, fuller sound (press and hold the play/pause button to toggle between Outdoor and Normal modes).Unique Core + Jacket DesignAll FUGOO speakers use a unique “core + jacket” design that pairs advanced audio technology in a robust “core” with an interchangeable outer “jacket.” The speakers are IP67 rated, making them 100 percent waterproof, shockproof, dust- proof and snow-proof. The Style XL and Sport XL jackets come in new colors and fabrics and will also float, making them the ideal speakers for a pool party or while fishing dock side.35 Hour Battery LifeUsing the same advanced battery technology and power management design found on the smaller, original FUGOO speaker, the FUGOO XL offers a whopping 35 hours of battery life(2), easily outlasting any other speaker of its size -- and even smaller

I’ve waited almost a year to get my hands and ears on the Fugoo XL portable speaker and it was worth the wait.

I think it would be hard for another portable Bluetooth speaker to equal the sound and features of this one but I’m sure someone will come knocking as soon as they read this.

Meanwhile, I would say the Fugoo XL is outstanding and worth every penny.

First the features; it’s built as a rugged speaker with 360-degree sound and an IP67 rating. This makes it 100 percent waterproof (beach, shower, pool or rain), is dust-proof and shockproof.

I gave it a spray of water and a small drop off my kitchen counter and the music didn’t stop.

As for the sound, it’s designed with drivers on all four sides of the speaker and each side has an eight-degree angle for even better positioning.

When I first saw the speaker at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show, my notes described it as “incredible sound, gotta try one out ASAP.”

The sound just doesn’t seem to end and it’s accurately described as ” rich full bass, solid midrange, and crisp distinct highs.”

With the rugged design it’s made for outdoors, so when you’re there, use the Outdoor mode for a fuller and deeper sound. All this is done with the press of a button.

FUGOO’s portable Bluetooth speakers have quickly become one of the top-rated for their high-quality 360-degree audio, 35 to 40 hour battery life, changeable jackets, and IP67 rating, making them 100% waterproof, shockproof, dust-proof and snow-proof. A range of optional accessories and straps that let you take them anywhere makes them the ideal speaker for anyone that wants their favorite tunes wherever they are – the beach, paddle-boarding, kayaking, camping, or on the court. The larger and louder FUGOO XL offers many of the same benefits as the smaller, award-winning speaker line as well, and are easily twice as loud.8 Drivers / 360o AudioWith a total of eight acoustic drivers, the FUGOO XL throws out 38 watts of audio power by way of four neodymium tweeters, two neodymium aluminum domed mid-woofers and two passive radiators. To get true 360-degree audio, the drivers are strategically placed on all four sides of the speaker at an eight-degree upper angle to deliver a 360-degree sweet spot. The FUGOO XL easily fills an indoor or outdoor space in all directions with rich full bass, solid midrange, and crisp distinct highs. An “Outdoor” mode provides a rich, fuller sound (press and hold the play/pause button to toggle between Outdoor and Normal modes).Unique Core + Jacket DesignAll FUGOO speakers use a unique “core + jacket” design that pairs advanced audio technology in a robust “core” with an interchangeable outer “jacket.” The speakers are IP67 rated, making them 100 percent waterproof, shockproof, dust- proof and snow-proof. The Style XL and Sport XL jackets come in new colors and fabrics and will also float, making them the ideal speakers for a pool party or while fishing dock side.35 Hour Battery LifeUsing the same advanced battery technology and power management design found on the smaller, original FUGOO speaker, the FUGOO XL offers a whopping 35 hours of battery life(2), easily outlasting any other speaker of its size -- and even smaller

I can go on and on: there’s a 35-hour rechargeable battery, an interchangeable outer jacket, an internal mic for handsfree calls, comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, and the sport XL even floats.

Inside are eight acoustic drivers, 2 tweeters and 38 watts of power.
www.fugoo.com Tough XL $249.99, Sport XL $129 and the Style XL is $199

 

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman