Play music and make calls with a wireless smart button

Flic creates a shortcut to your favorite actions on your smartphone

Though it appears to be nothing more than a pleasant-looking button, Flic can actually be set to make your life simpler. Known as a smart button, it can do pretty much anything you want it to do (within reason) on a daily basis, such as snapping photos, playing music, and snoozing your alarm.

Flic_Buttons

Flic comes in a variety of colors.

Because it can stick to various surfaces, including those outside, Flic can be a part of so many things. Once set up via the accompanying app, which works with both iOS and Android, each button can be set to execute three actions — one by clicking, another by double-clicking, and another by pressing and holding. The buttons connect to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth Low-energy and have a range of up to 150 feet.

Smaller than a quarter, Flic is housed in a silicon mold and can withstand outdoor environments and dust. It also comes with a reusable double-sided adhesive, which can easily be cleaned if it gets dirty. Read More

Portable wireless breathalyzer pairs with smartphone app

Breathometer’s Breeze pairs via Bluetooth with any iOS or Android smartphone

Earlier this year the breath analysis technology company, Breathometer unveiled Breeze, the first wearable breathalyzer on the market. With its ultra-fast accurate results and easy portability, Breeze breaks new ground when it comes to personal smartphone breathalyzers.

Designed to be paired with the Breathometer app, which features integration with Uber, local restaurants, and hotels, Breeze connects via Bluetooth LE to read a user’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

Fortunately, using the breathalyzer is easy. First, the user must open the mobile app on his or her smartphone, and then when prompted, blow for five seconds directly at the LED illuminated hole on the device from about two inches away. Once measured, the app will provide an estimate of how long it will take the user to get back down to zero.

Breeze_Device

Breeze is portable and easy to use. Image via TechCrunch.

What happens when the app finds a user isn’t ready to get behind the wheel? It’s all set to display its useful features such as menu items to help get users home safely without having to drive. Read More

My experience with the Samsung Gear S smartwatch

A personal review

It’s been three weeks since I’ve gotten my hands on a Samsung Gear S smartwatch, and overall I’m pleased with it. I was honestly expecting it to be a high-tech smartphone accessory, since that seems to be what most smartwatches are, but there’s much more to it, which was impressive. First off, the Gear S has its own SIM-card slot, gets its own cell service and data, and comes with an additional battery pack. Pretty much, it’s a watch that’s also a phone.

Gear_S_Smartwatch

What caught my attention right off the bat was the modern, attractive look to the Gear S. It has a big, bright, curved 2-inch 480 x 360-pixel AMOLED display, which leaves plenty of room for swiping and pinching on the screen. To top it off, the watch comes with customizable screen clock faces to express your own style, and a snap-on adjustable wristband for a comfortable fit.

As for receiving notifications, there weren’t any issues (and it was quite exciting the first few times I received a text or an email and saw it come up on my watch), as long as I had my Samsung phone nearby. Even though the Gear S is seen as an independent smartwatch, it needs to be paired with your Samsung smartphone for most of its features to work, and it requires a connected data plan to use it as a cellular device. Read More

Wearable tech makes your skin function like a tablet

Ready or not, the future has arrived

Recently there have been many new additions to the wearable technology market, but the Cicret Bracelet really jumps out from the crowd. What’s so different about it, you ask? Well, it projects a touchscreen onto your arm.

Cicret_Bracelet

Image via Cicret.

Though it’s probably likely that most people aren’t pushing and shoving to try this one out, the reasoning behind it is this: By having a touchscreen displayed on your arm, you can very easily access and work your apps without having to take out your phone. So far it seems to work similar to the way you’d view information on a tablet. Read More

Control your home via verbal command with these voice-controlled products

Voice control is coming to the forefront of the smart home

Vocca by ActiVocal

Vocca

Vocca is much more than meets the eye. This simple-looking gadget is actually a lighting adapter that turns traditional bulbs into voice-activated ones. Stored inside is a microphone, an AC-to-DC converter, Bluetooth and memory, a natural language processor, and load relay. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi, set-up, or installation. Just by saying “Go Vocca light,” the device will be alerted that you’re ready to give a command, and from there, you can turn your lights on or off just by using your voice. With the compatible app, you can also schedule on/off times.

Echo by Amazon

Amazon_Echo

Amazon recently announced that it’s building a speaker that can be controlled with your voice. Called Echo, it acts like a personal assistant that’s similar to Siri or Google Now — just crammed into a speaker. By using seven microphones equipped with sensors that use beamforming technology, it listens for user requests, and can even understand you while it’s pounding out 360-degree audio to fill the entire room. Designed to make your life a little bit easier, Echo, which responds to “Alexa,” can also tell you the weather and answer general questions with facts from Wikipedia.

HomeKit by Apple

HomeKit

Apple came flying into the smart-home sector with the idea of HomeKit, a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories. Once available, and by using Siri, HomeKit will allow users to control locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, and switches at home.

Homey by Anthom

Homey

Operating on a variety of protocols such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Z-Wave Homey is a voice-activated automation hub that can communicate with a bunch of differently configured gadgets at once. This voice-controlled sphere is also multi-lingual — it understands English, Dutch, Spanish, and French, and is compatible with a variety of app-enabled smart home products.
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Google Glass user treated for Internet addiction

Patient suffered withdrawal symptoms when prevented from using Google Glass

After using Google Glass for about 18 hours a day, a man was admitted to a substance and recovery program for Internet addiction disorder. He’s believed to be the first patient with Internet addiction disorder triggered by the overuse of Google Glass. Although the disorder is not officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it’s becoming increasingly problematic.

Google_Glass_Image

In the two months since he bought the device, the user, who remains anonymous, only removed it to sleep and take showers, and said he felt argumentative and irritable when he wasn’t wearing it. He also experienced dreams as if viewed through the device’s small window.

The 31-year-old man was serving the U.S. Navy when he was admitted to the program, where he was using Google Glass for his job making inventories of convoy vehicles. When he entered the Navy’s treatment center, he was suffering from involuntary movements and memory loss, and doctors observed him tapping his fingers at his temple as if he were using the Google Glass touchpad. Read More

5 different uses for your everyday electronics

Your ordinary electronics can be so much more than you think.

USB typewriter

USB_Typewriter

Transform your dusty old manual typewriter into a modern computer keyboard by connecting it to your Mac, PC, or iPad. Depending on your skill level with a soldering iron, this can be a fun project, and with the “Solder-It-Yourself” conversion kit from instructables.com, it should take between four and five hours to complete. You’ll need a soldering iron and solder, a Dremel rotary tool for sanding, tweezers and pliers, a hot glue gun, wire and some tape. Though the kit works with the majority of manual typewriters, there are some exceptions. Read More