Archive for January 2020

Gadgets : January 29, 2020

by Gregg Ellman

A friend of mine in the tech world always uses the expression “bigger, better and faster” when he describes a new product he likes.

Well, I’m going to use that exact same line to describe the CamRanger 2 for digital SLR cameras because this new wireless tethering and remote camera control for working with large images is indeed bigger, better and faster for delivering pictures quickly from your camera.

In recent years, one of the biggest obstacles professional photographers faced was getting images out of high end digital SLR cameras wirelessly as they are captured. And while most of the new cameras do have Wi-Fi capabilities, it’s often not a smooth process when you consider the size of these image files and the distance they need to be moved from camera to say, a work computer or printer.

Full disclosure, I work as a professional photographer; it’s all I’ve done for over 30 years and I’m in that group who have encountered this challenging issue.

While testing the CamRanger 2, I put it through two totally different assignments. The first was a corporate holiday event, where I had my assistant shoot images and the CamRanger 2 sent them to me wirelessly (about 50 feet separated us). Once I got the images, I had to make 4×6-inch prints for employees before they left the event.

In the past I’ve used other wireless devices along with just swapping out memory cards. These systems worked but there was typically a hiccup somewhere to slow the system causing me to wait unnecessarily for images to print. 

After just a few minutes with the CamRanger 2 I knew this was a game changer. Images were quickly flowing into my computer waiting to be printed, which was exactly what I needed.

The second test was the real one in my mind. I mounted the CamRanger 2 on my camera that was mounted in the rafters of an arena over a basketball hoop during a college game. I’ve done this many times over the years and unless I had a direct plugged in Ethernet connection, I often ran into issues going the wireless route to move the volume of the high res images the distance I needed and in a timely manner.

From the first test while setting it up to the post game images, everything worked as planned sending the large file JPG images to my computer, which was court side.

One great feature is the 4.2-by-2.7-by-1.2-inch, 5.6-ounce CamRanger 2 has a removable 3300 mAh rechargeable Lithium ion battery, which is good for about 5 hours of use. But since I was working in the rafters of an arena I had to set it up long before anyone else was there, which results in needing it powered up for about 7 hours. It’s normal battery wouldn’t last long enough. I needed another solution.

Image :: Gregg Ellman

After speaking with the owner of the company, he told me all I had to do is connect a portable external USB battery (not included). Once connected that solved my issue, since I couldn’t actually change the CamRangers battery during the game. The battery level is displayed in the app.

Another feature that makes this a great tool for wireless photography is setting it up. I didn’t time the setup exactly but it didn’t take long. Once you have it powered up, it works up to 5 times faster vs previous models on dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz) with a 500-foot range . Choose CamRanger in your wireless settings on a laptop, tablet or smartphone and then enter your password.

You’ll need the free CamRanger 2 companion app, which works on iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows. The app downloads RAW and JPG images, has live view, RAW or quick RAW mode, social media upload, edit/crop images and view and options change camera settings, to name a few of the features. 

The power button is on the side with the USB and Ethernet ports. Fold out antennas are on top and there’s also a low of indicator lights for power and connections.

If your camera is supported by the CamRanger 2 that means you have a USB connection, which are different depending on the camera. That connection is how your images are sent from the camera to the CamRanger 2 and then to your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

You have several options for actually mounting the CamRanger 2 to your camera. I used the new CamRanger hot shoe mount (where you would put a flash) but there are other options available with a mounting clamp, thread it to the cameras standard tripod mount or even keep it in the included hard protective case and carabina it to your camera strap. There’s no right or wrong, whatever works for your situation as long as the USB cable is connecting the two.

The CamRanger 2 has a built in SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot, which can store your images and can also be viewed in the app or just use the card as a backup.

Bigger, better, faster. $349.99, a full list of supported cameras is on the CamRanger site

Gadgets :: January 22, 2020

by Gregg Ellman

The Capstone Connected brings efficiency to a whole new level with the launch of the magical Capstone Connected Smart Mirror, designed to bridge the gap between technology and everyday life

While brushing your teeth, you can simultaneously have the mirror give you your local news, get your coffee brewing, check the traffic before your day begins and then turn the lights off as you head out.

The smart mirror looks like a mirror, with a modern design making it perfect for a bathroom, bedroom, entryway or hallway. It hangs like a traditional mirror or use it on the included stand on any flat surface.

But what makes the mirror so smart is that it performs and functions just like a tablet with both touchscreen and voice interfaces for internet access. Android operating system is built in to download apps and use Google Voice Assistant for hands-free tasks and browse social media.

And if you have multiple people using  the mirror, each user can modify and customize the Smart Mirror to fit their personal experience with browsers, apps and short cuts accessed with a simple, “Hey Google, Good Morning.” 

According to Capstone, the mirrors’ functionality is driven by the Capstone Connected Control Hub, which is integrated into the mirror through its proprietary docking feature to access anything you would access through your smartphone or tablet. The Hub can be used to set up music playlists, messaging apps, social media profiles and much more when connected to your home Wi-Fi.

The smart mirror was on display earlier this month at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas and is available in a 19-by-22-inch  inch size for $599. More sized options will be available at later dates.

And if you choose, you can have the Moshi SnapTo magnetic wireless charger hang right next to the smart mirror. First and foremost the SnapTo is a Qi-certified wireless charger but also one of most versatile charging systems you can own.

It’s designed to exclusively work with Moshi SnapTo smartphone cases, which connect to the charger for the boost of power. The case includes a 3M wall mount kit to hang wherever you charging is done, while also being able to give you full access to the smartphones screen.

Once the wall mount kit is in place, just drop in the SnapTo cased phone for viewing and charging. The charger can also be used on a flat surface as a horizontal viewing stand to watching videos and playing games.

I had it mounted on the side of my nightstand, which instantly showed me my alarm clock is even more obsolete than I knew already, since my alarm app and clock display on my smartphone was now facing me, while charging up overnight for the next day.

Moshi also has the SnapTo car mount with wireless charging, so having the SnapTo case gives compatibility to both (sold separately).

The Qi wireless charge is fast charging up to 10w. Moshi SnapTo smartphone cases are available individually or in bundled packages. $49.95

The Catalyst premium slim case for AirPods Pro will give your wireless earbuds a little colorful style but also a layer of protection. 

They protective case covers your AirPods case like a glove, are built with military grade impact protection to withstand drops and rolling around in bags or backpacks.  The case is also fully compatible with wireless charging.

A pass-through port on the bottom allows you to connect your charging cable to keep them charged up and the style comes from the choice of seven bright colors. $19.99, available for Pre-Order with an early February delivery expected

Gadgets :: January 15, 2020

by Gregg Ellman

Practical or impractical, here are some items from last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that caught my attention.

Finding what you want to watch on TV can be a challenge with the number of programming, streaming services and channels to choose from but the Dabby from DabKick is set to simplify it for you. No more trying to figure out which TV box, app or station your favorite show is on, Dabby does it for you. The freestanding device at quick glance looks like a table with a built-in kickstand. Just tell Dabby what you want to watch and it will find it from your services. The futuristic home entertainment device eliminates the need for existing remotes and upon command it’s patented Content AI engine, which uses a combination of user-friendly touch and voice capabilities, instantly searches, finds and plays your TV selection or social media content. $399

Motion Pillow’s 2nd generation pillow to assist snorers will be available this April after a successful Indiegogo campaign. I’m a snorer (so I’m told) and I got to rest my head on the pillow but falling asleep on the CES trade show floor was impossible. Setting it up is plug-and-play with a charging box connected to the pillow. It will detect the unique rhythmic snoring sounds of the snorers once the head and pillow make a bedtime connection. The pillow detects the head’s position and will gently inflate internal airbags to reposition the sleeper’s head, slightly moving the neck to improve airflow though the nose and temporarily silencing the snoring. An accompanying app analyzes your snoring data so when you awake, you’ll know what others had to hear. $420

Smardii is developing a smart diaper to be the future of elder care along with newborns with a reusable, rechargeable, and waterproof device that can be monitored and will send alerts through SmardiiStation, a single web-based application. There are two parts to the Smardii: disposable sensors embedded into a brief layer, and a reusable, rechargeable, waterproof disk called the Puck. It detects urine, stool, temperature, body positioning, and runs a real-time urinalysis, sending the information collected wirelessly. It collects and analyses critical health metrics for medical staff to look at and hopefully lead to a better quality of life and prevent other problems.

I’m a big fan of the comeback vinyl records has made, which is still evident on the CES show floor with many companies displays turntables. But one company, Tangible Formats, has taken it a step further by offering a service to cut custom vinyl records for anyone needing quantities with no minimum order. There’s a bunch of options to choose from; one choice is a custom 12-inch vinyl record for $60 (7 and 10-inch also available). It includes up to 22 minutes of audio per side, full color labels and cover fold over, an inner white paper sleeve and an outer clear poly sleeve. I watched Tangible Formats making records in minutes and the final product looked perfect, just like advertised, with the durability, look, and sound of pressed vinyl. 

Stopskate calls EBS 480 electronic brake system for inline skates the brake you’ve always dreamed of. It’s a system built by the new company with a mission to effectively, reliably and safely brake in-line skates. They want to put a stop to falls, abrasions, fractures and other unpleasant injuries caused from inline skate falls. The brake system consists of a remote control and two brake calipers, one for the right skate and the other on the left skate. A remote control simultaneously controls both brake calipers to brake the wheels of both skates simultaneously and smoothly. Both calipers run off of rechargeable Li-Ion batteries for two to four hours of use. $249

GADGETS :: January 8, 2020

by Gregg Ellman

More often then not, must-see gadgets at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas aren’t something you’ll use in your daily life. So I typically set my sights trolling the reported 2.9-million square feet of floor space looking for gadgets that will make anyone’s digital life more efficient. With that in mind, here’s a few that caught my attention to whet your appetite since you can’t buy them just yet.

The Matrixs Juno, a countertop appliance powered beverage chiller showed off some cold power in impressive fashion.  It uses proprietary thermoelectric cooling technology to rapidly and precisely chill any beverage in lighting-fast times. A demonstration showed 12 oz. can of beer was brought to ice-cold in less than two minutes. Once it’s plugged in, it’s simple to use. Insert a canned or bottled drink and push a button, which has preset favorite temperature settings. If you want it colder, keep it in longer. Juno gets your room-temperature beverage chilled so fast using precision temperature control by integrating a cutting-edge thermoelectric cooling engine with a proprietary mixing mechanism in a liquid bath with a 2300 ml capacity. When activated, the TEC engine uses the Peltier effect to quickly cool the beverage, creating a super-fast chilling system without the need for dangerous chemicals or environmentally harmful refrigerants. due out in the 3rd quarter this year with an MSRP of $299 but available for preorder now at $199

Once thing I can say first hand is products from Scosche work. So when I saw the new phone mounts for vehicles, home and office, there’s gotta be one for you that works. In all, Scosche has nine new Extendo Telescoping mounts. As pointed out to me, everyone sits differently, is different sized and needs a phone at a different angle, which makes the Extendo perfect wherever it needs to be seen. They have models with an arm to adjust from just over 5-feet to just over 8.5-feet and has a 220-degree of angle adjustment. When mounted, your smartphone will have a 360-degree axis enabling most any angle in landscape and portrait mode. The Extendo attaches to a window, dashboard, countertop, backsplash or most any flat surface. The Extendo wireless charging mounts are Qi-certified for wireless charging so if you have a wireless charging enabled smartphone, you’ll have the safest and fastest wireless charge it can handle. available in the Spring ranging from $24.99 to $69.99

I’ve written previously about PhoneSoap’s Pro device, which sanitizes and destroys 99.99% of bacteria on your smartphone in just five minutes. PhoneSoap has announced its latest venture into the health tech space – AirSoap air purifier system. With it, you get a unique approach to air purification, utilizing adapted ionic wind technology, termed Electric Wind. According to PhoneSoap this generates a high-energy plasma field that kills bacteria and polarizes airborne particles. Bacteria is collected in a filter-less graphene system, resulting in cleaner and healthier air than traditional filter-based air purifiers. AirSoap uses dishwasher safe, reusable, graphene collecting plates to efficiently reduce and eliminate invisible particulates like pet dander, pollen and dust mites, thereby reducing allergy symptoms and improving sleep quality. And if you really wanted to know a deep fact on the cleaning, AirSoaps advanced air purification system traps and kills even the smallest viruses, down to 14.6 nanometers, which is much more effective than even the best disposable HEPA filters, which can only filter down to 300 by half, due to its efficient airflow design. $299, available in Q2 2020

Gadgets :: January 1, 2020

by Gregg Ellman

The Misfit Vapor X smartwatch is powered by Wear OS by Google and works with both Android and Apple.

I love that it looks like a watch and is comfortable but also allows me to play music, track my heart rate and steps, check my calendar and if paired with an Android, view   messages.

With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in, the first thing you do is download the Wear OS by Google companion app. From there, the setup was simple right out of the box, easily connecting to my home Wi-Fi and Apple iCal. A simple swipe on the screen allowed me to get my calendar notifications, weather updates, access my heart rate with the heart rate sensor and the all important steps for the day.

Other internal sensors include accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, internal microphone (talk to Google Assistant), NFC and  Untethered GPS, all powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. Inside is 4GB of storage and 512MB memory (ram).

With the ambient light sensor, I could view the smartwatch night or day. I put it to test going from bright outside conditions to darker rooms at my home gym and the screen was always perfectly viewable.

Pushing the buttons on the side took me to the apps like Google Pay, Google Fit, and the Play Store to get more apps for the smartwatch. Third party app integration includes Spotify and Pandora.

The watch is compatible with Android 6.0+ (excluding Go edition) and iOS 10+. The internal battery (310mAh) lasted about a day with the factory setting and was quickly recharged by setting it on the magnetic charger. 

Like any other rechargeable gadget, the more you use it, the more you have to charge it. But there are multiple battery modes so you can extend the battery life before a charge is needed with the included USB charging cable.

The aluminum Vapor X is swimproof up to 30 meters, has interchangeable 20 mm wide straps for different looks and customizable watch faces. The 42 mm circular watch case is 12 mm thick and comes in a choice of black, champagne, rose gold, stainless steel and gunmetal.

All in all, there’s a lot you can do with this watch making it a fun project. Like many others, I’m on the fitness trail as the new year starts and the Misfit Vapor X is going along with me for the ride. Misfit Vapor X $279.99, additional straps range from $19.99-$39.99

Charging for multiple devices can be a problem after all the gadgets generated during the holiday season but Scosche’s has made it simple with the brand new BaseLynx charging system.

It allows for a choice of charging iPhones, AirPods, Apple Watch, iPad, cameras, portable gaming systems, headphones together or individually, all from a single AC power cord.

Scosche describes the BaseLynx as a little island of order in what can sometimes be a messy world. I think it’s really a cleaver, attractive and innovative charging system, allowing you to configure it as needed, with each module connecting to the system in seconds.

The devices you have will dictate what modules you need. Each module charges a specific device, some with Qi Wireless ($49.95), Apple Watch ($69.95) or a vertical stand ($49.94) to hold there devices where you connect your USB charging cable directly to the module. The vertical module has charging for one 18W USB-C Power Delivery port and two 12W USB-A ports.

The Apple Watch stand charges your watch flat or flip the charging element up to display your watch in Nightstand Mode while it charges.

At the end of each module you can add a BaseLynx EndCap ($39.95), to add a one 18W USB-C Power Delivery port, and one 12W USB-A port to each end of the attractive charging station.

The modules are available exclusively at Apple and can be used individually or add  more as needed. There really is no setup, just snap them together to work off the one included power cord. 

A Pro Kit has a big price savings with the wireless charging pad, Apple Watch, vertical charging station, a pair of USB (A and C) to lightning cables and dual-port end caps is $199. 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.