Archive for October 2016

Gadgets :: October 26, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

smartplug1The smart home product world is truly innovative, but for many it can appear complex to set up themselves.

A company appropriately named Simplehome has an automated control smart home line of products, which is accurately promoted to set up in three simple steps.

For the wifi security camera with motion detection, I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes. Even if it takes you a few minutes longer, it’s still incredibly simple and easy.

Obviously you must have your own WiFi and after unpacking the camera, just download the free app (iOS and Android), plug in the camera and add the device to view the camera. There’s no hub or anything else.

The camera can be set to turn on when it detects motion and then record video at 720HD resolution. Or you can set the camera to always be on.

It also has a microphone and speaker to communicate with anyone in the room and there’s a built-in microSD memory card slot record directly onto the card (not included). A mounting kit is included.

Another smart home product from Simplehome is the smart plug, which has a pair of 2.1 amp USB ports built-in for charging portable devices.

The plug works with the same app as the cameras and can be set to turn on or off on a schedule or manually with the app or a button on the plug. smartplug2

A standard pass-through AC port is on the front for plugging in lights, small air conditioners or anything you want to control and save energy by having it only when needed.

The USB ports are always on, so charging is controlled when you connect or disconnect your device.

Other devices you can add to the system piece-by-piece are outdoor cameras, LED light bulbs, siren alarms and motion detectors.

http://gosimplehome.com camera with motion detection – $46.49, smart plug with USB ports – $23.49

samanos1The Smanos WiFi W020i bundle alarm kit includes everything you need to set up a basic security system in your home. Included in the package is an HD WiFi camera, control panel, door/window sensor and a remote control.

The Smanos app (iOS and Android) is easy to use. The control panel (1.6 by 4.6 by 4.7 inches) is the brain of the system while connected to your existing WiFi. A round light on the top alerts you when the system is in home mode, armed or disarmed.

samanos2You can connect up to 30 accessories in the system including more sensors, water/lead detection and motion detectors.

If broken glass is detected, an alarm is sounded and a real time notification is instantly sent to your smartphone. From there you can evaluate the situation instantly.

The 5-megapixel HD camera has a 2.4mm F2.0 lens that gives you a 110-degree angle of view. Even in low light, the camera performs well with what Smanos calls Super Low-Lux Performance without IR LEDs.

smartcamera1The camera has a built-in microSD card slot to support memory cards up to 32GB.

The plug-and-play system includes a pair of wireless door/window sensor to alert you if a door or window is open or broken. Exit and entry delays can be programed into the system.smartcamera2

You can have the remote control attached to your keychain to disarm or arm the system. A panic button can put the system into the alarm state immediately.

Even if you have a power outage, a battery backup will keep you running for up to 65 hours.

www.smanos.com $269.99

Gadgets :: October 19, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

minipro Ventev Mobile has launched three dashmounts for keeping your smartphone handsfree in vehicles.

The minipro window has a suction cup mount to attach to any car window (or even some dashboards) and gives you 360-degree rotation of your attached phone. A universal adjustable smartphone mount will hold most smartphones, even while they are in a case.

While your phone is in the mount, you’ll get full functionality to the touchscreen along with all the other controls, headphone and charging ports.

The mini pro vent has all the same features, but instead of the suction cup mount, it clips onto your vehicles air vent.

A ball mount bracket with an adhesive backing is included with both.

A third option is the magdock 360 dashmount, which magnetically attach your device mount and then attaches to the cars air vent.

A magnet about the size of a quarter is included to put on the back of your case or phone to make the magnetic connection to the mount.  You’ll also get 360-degree movement and full access to all the phones features with or without a case.

Any of the three setup in seconds.

https://mobileaccessories.ventev.com $24.99

unspecifiedX-Doria replacement mesh bands for the 42mm Apple Watch install in seconds to give your watch a new look.

The bands are light weight, comfortable and have an adjustable style, which secures the watch in place with a magnetic strap.

They fit 130-180 mm wrists and are available with dark charcoal or bright silver finishes.

https://xdorialife.com $49.99

logitech3Logitech’s newly announced K780 multi-device wireless keyboards is designed to be a standard full-sized keyboard, but if far from ends there.

While typing, if you want to switch from your computer to a smartphone, all you do is press the easy-switch button. If you want to switch to typing on a table, that is also down with the press of a button.

A pair of AA batteries power the wireless keyboard for up to 24 months. It works on a Mac or Windows computer along with Apple or Android smartphones and tablets. You have your choice of wireless connections with Bluetooth or the 2.4GHz Logitech Unifying USB receiver

Typing is smooth and comfortable and an integrated rubber slot along the top securely holds many mobile devices in a easy to see reading angle.

The full-sized keyboard includes 10 keys for numbers on the right side and a row of programable shortcuts along the top.

There’s also a battery indicator light and an on/off switch.

www.logitech.com $79.99

ollo1The olloclip mobile photography lens set will be available for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in early November.

The interchangeable lens system attaches in seconds to give the smartphone camera fisheye, wide angle and macro lenses for improved photography.

Each lens fits flush with the phones lens and adds premium optics for crystal clear digital images. They are built with multi-element coated glass optics with edge-

to-edge clarity.

New for the iPhone 7 phones are the olloclip connect interchangeable lens system. The new system maintains all the features of previous versions and is now equipped to quickly configure with other individual iPhone 7 connect lenses so they can instantly adapted to your environment for any situation.

When not in use, the lenses can be tucked away in a pocket or backpack.

www.olloclip.com Core Lens Set: $99.99, Active Lens Set: $119.99, Macro Pro Lens Set:  $79.99, Combo (Core Lens Set and ollo Case):  $119.99

Gadgets :: October 12, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

If your gardening skills are anything like mine, you have gone through an endless number of electrical extension cords the got cut and destroyed by hedge trimmers.

The Dewalt 20V Max Hedge Trimmer eliminates the cord cutting problem (and associated costs) since it operates off of a 5.0Ah Lithium Ion battery, letting you work cord free.

Using the 7.5 pound tool is as easy as attaching the charged battery, removing the protective cover from the blades and turning it on.

It’s designed to trim branches up to 3/4-inches thick with the 22-inch laser cut, hooked-tooth steel blades. The long-reaching blades enable high-reaching trimming, otherwise not reachable for many.

The trimmer is designed with a comfortable wrap-around auxiliary handle with an easy to reach lock, on/off switch.

A charger is included with the trimmer and battery; additional batteries can be purchased.

www.dewalt.com/ $199 for the trimmer/battery combo, $135.49 for just the trimmer and $99 for extra batteries

Think Tank Photo’s Shape Shifter backpack has been an industry leader for photographers lugging around big, bulky and expensive equipment in a low profile form.

Based on input from pro photographers, Think Tank upgraded the backpack with the recent release of the Shape Shifter version 2.0, which gives it a narrower profile when empty, allowing photographers to configure it and have it expanded only when filled.

Even when full, expensive camera gear is well hidden from the public eye until it’s removed and it’s really amazing how much you can store in the backpack.

Like all Think Tank Photo products, the backpack has a comfortable design, top notch hardware, and numerous pockets and compartments with smooth rolling zippers.

Pockets are inside of pockets to carry photo gear, laptops up to 17-inches, smartphones, tablets, chargers, cables and it also has detachable water bottle pouch.

If you want to carry a tripod, an attachment keeps it easily accessible and weight centered.

A padded shoulder hardness is adjustable to make it simple for carrying the backpack in comfort and a removable rain cover and waist belt.

www.thinktankphoto.com available in three sizes, for 15 and 17-inch laptops; the Naked Shape Shifter can be totally customized

The innovative Yantouch EyE Bluetooth speaker works great as a standalone speaker, but it has additional great features.

The colorful bass enhanced speaker has a 10 hour battery life inside a flat, rounded design, which features a top side app controlled smart light. With the app you get the choice of 16 million glowing, changing colors, according to a press release. I only tried a few due to time limits.

I really liked the Natural Sleep/Wake-up feature, which lets the light and music gradually dim during bedtime and then wake me up with the sound of canaries singing.

If you have more than one Yantouch, they can easily be paired to form a left/right stereo system while sharing the same Bluetooth connection. The linking was as simple as described, automatically linking together with a beep.

The speaker is 6-by-2.3-by-3.7-inches and is available with black or white bottoms.  A remote control is included along with a stand for use on a flat surface or wall hanging.

www.yantouch.com $99