Archive | Crazy Gadgets

Amazon Echo: It’s Getting Better All the Time!

Posted on 01 July 2015

Straight out of the realm of science fiction, the Amazon’s Echo is a wireless cloud-connected voice command device, available on the market for $179. The device runs on Amazon Web Services. Its voice recognition ability is great. Its seven microphone arrays and beam-forming technology allows it to hear your words clearly, even if you are across the room. It can be manually turned off using the mute bottom. It responds to the word “Alexa”, though this can be changed to “Amazon” if the user wishes.

Alexa is a cloud-based voice service which serves as the device’s intelligent personal assistant. The voice is natural and soothing. You can ask questions or order it to do specific tasks, such as play music, set alarms, read the news, and check the weather, and can access Wikipedia articles to provide relevant information, but at least for now, Alexa is fairly limited in its capabilities

The Echo has improved immensely since the original came out in 2014 and continues to improve as Amazon adds new features and updates. Among the new improvements are Pandora compatibility, traffic reports, audiobook playback as well as support for IFTTT (If This, Then That) and compatibility with WeMo and Philips Hue devices

The device does have its drawbacks. The speaker doesn’t play music well, with there being severe distortion at high volumes. There is also a concern about privacy, as it possibly sends sensitive info to the cloud service which can pose a security risk. It does not come with a battery and must remain plugged in. Most audio services are not supported.

All in all, the device has its share of quirks and limitations but with time, as it improves, you can expect the device to get smarter, boast more features and be truly a worthy companion for any household. For now, it is a simple device which works well and justifies its price tag in terms of performance.

Photo credit: Amazon

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Runcible (Ahead of Its Time)

Posted on 19 March 2015

We are now all witnesses to the smart watch revolution. The Runcible, which is a relatively small “smart pocket watch”, which is designed analogously in comparison to the Pebble and the very first smart pocket watch to functions both as phone and a camera. But it is not really substitute for the mainstream smart phone watch. It would be pointless if it were.

The Runcible itself is not competing with other smart watches, but rather it attempting to compete with smartphones. Runcible attempts to function under the radar by not attracting attention and providing maximum functionality. It comprises of parts from smartphones with a Qualcomm processor and operating system by Firefox.

There are no speakers or buttons on the Runcible. In order to communicate on the Runcible one would require a Bluetooth head piece since there is no other way to relay oral communications.

Due to this very reason I feel that Runcible will not succeed as a “smart phone pocket watch” mobile computing device. As it eliminates smartphone functions it makes it inconvenient in use for many of us that have grown accustomed to smartphone usage. Runcible as a device feels like a nuisance. It tries to portray itself as classy; however, it is very aesthetically unappealing. The wooden backing provides a very cheap appeal that might have been considered to be in fashion in the 80’s.

The idea of not detracting from real world aspects can be praised, but mobile technology users will not find it relevant. It is an interesting idea that a wearable technology can be the user interface and will bring about many advances in technology. However, wearable technology has to progress much further for it to be user friendly enough. I would prefer the smart phone over a technology like Runcible. However, it is a step towards progression in mobile computing and communication technologies.

Photo credit: Monohm via Whatstrending.com

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Huawei CarFi: What Will They Come Up With Next?

Posted on 13 March 2015

Now we can all be online while we drive. Thanks to the Huawei CarFi. The Huawei CarFi is like having your own personal WiFi in your automobile. This product provides mobile internet connectivity on the move to stay connected and updated while one is driving.

The Huawei CarFi is basically a wireless hotspot that is like having wireless internet connection online. It has the capacity to function as a charger for your internet device as well. The wireless Huawei CarFi can easily plug into the power port in almost every car. It receives power through its GSM technology hotspot meaning it does not provide functionality with cellular networks like Verizon and Sprint.

However, it will have connectivity with Huwaei’s own future cellular networking, which is in the pipeline. The Huawei CarFi has 4G internet connectivity with internet surfing speeds of 150 megabytes per second. It can connect to 10 devices at one time. One can conveniently connect their phones, tablets and laptops for web access, which is quite amazing!

The target market for this device is not easily definable. I mean who will use the Huawei CarFi? It could be used in emergency vehicles as ambulances or security patrol vehicles that need to link up to cloud based operating systems. It is does have the dual capability of charging your device while providing online connectivity. So, someone that is being driven around can easily access information through news and email as well as look up information they require. If the Huawei CarFi was provided in transportation systems for the masses it would make travelling by Grey Hound much more enjoyable.

The Huawei CarFi fulfills a promise of innovation that could lead to a revolutionary change in mobile computing technologies. Soon enough we will be able to access the internet by oral communication and the OS would respond. This could prove handy for a person driving that requires certain information.

Photo credit: Huawei

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Motorola Moto 360 – the First Round Android Wear Smartwatch

Posted on 21 November 2014

Almost every mobile gadget manufacturer is trying to create the perfect smartwatch. However, none of them have succeeded so far. Motorola is one of the few to introduce a jaw-dropping wearable concept watch.

Design
It is true that the Moto 360 is one of the coolest Android watches available on the market. Being the first Android smartwatch to hit the market, the watch’s design and build is quite elegant and sturdy. The watch is offered in natural stainless steel and black colors. It comprises of a brushed stainless steel body which sits on a Chicago leather watchstrap. You do have the option to change the bands if you are willing to spend a little extra. The body is thick in comparison to its strap and its display is considerably large. However, it sports a clean design and gives a lightweight feel with a little Home button on the side, making it look like a watch crown.

Features and Specifications
With a 1.56-inch display, the Moto 360 looks like something from the future. It comes equipped with several hardware distinctions. The Moto 360 includes contact-free inductive charging along with various other accessories, like a heart rate monitor and innovative noise-canceling microphone technology.
As far as performance is concerned, the Moto 360 offers 4GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM. It also houses an OMAP 3 processor which is quite effective for performing everyday tasks. The purpose of the Moto 360 is to push Google Now to your wrist. Furthermore, your notifications are pushed from your Android phone via banners in a predictive fashion. It also offers information while you are on the go, including the weather and the current commute time.

Conclusion
The watch initially had a poor battery life and could last no more than twelve hours. However, a recent firmware update has fixed this problem to offer at least twenty hours on a single charge. As good looking as it may be, it does not offer the functionality you expect from a smartwatch, especially one that costs $300.

Photo via TechRader

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Nabi Big Tab 20-Inch – a Supersized Android Tablet

Posted on 14 November 2014

There are various Windows all in one tablets that serve as both a desktop and a tabletop PC. However, the Nabi Big tab is the first of its kind. The tab is a big touchscreen Android tablet available in a 20-inch version. To learn more about the tablet, read on.

Design
The tablet is bulky, but sturdy at the same time. It also features a removable metal frame. The frame can be used as a carrying handle and can be folded into various angles. It can be used as a desktop or for reclining tabletop use. It weighs thirteen pounds and is nearly an inch thick. This can make it difficult to carry it around everywhere which is perfect since it is specifically designed for kids.

Features and Specifications
The tablet is produced solely to entertain and educated kids. It houses a 20-inch screen with a 1600×900 HD resolution. Since it is bigger than any other tablet on the market, it houses a 1650 mAh battery. The quad-core Nvidia Tegra chipset 4 may not be top of the line, but it delivers more than expected. Furthermore, it comes equipped with 16GB internal storage that can be used to modernize family time using various apps and games. With a 15-point capacitive touch screen, it offers much more than a conventional tablet.

The Blue Morpho software runs on top of the existing Android operating system. It offers a better and friendly user interface that is beneficial for parents and their kids. The software is perfect for parents looking to control the tablet and their kid’s activities through the password protected admin mode. It is also equipped with preinstalled free games and apps that are perfect for families looking to make the most of their weekend.

If you are looking to keep your kids safe without sacrificing their entertainment, Nabi Big Tab is the way to go. The 20-inch tablet is priced at $449.

Photo courtesy of Fuhu

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Samsung ATIV One 7 All in One – Review

Posted on 08 May 2014

Samsung has sworn to penetrate all technological orientated markets. Their ability to adapt and innovate is there for all to see. This has earned them the required resources and skills to compete with Apple and other brands. They now claim to be the world’s best “smart “oriented technological brand offering gadgets like phones, cameras and TVs.

Yet, Samsung isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think about desktop computers. The Samsung ATIV One 7 claims to offer performance that can only be expected from a tower desktop or a gaming rig. Inspired by their famous Galaxy series, they wish to integrate touch technology with desktop computing. This has what led to the development of the Samsung ATIV One 7 All in One.

The Design
Considering that the new edition is a part of an already existing series of All in Ones, it is different in terms of design. The white display has a round edged design and offers a screen resolution of 1080p with HDMI input. It can operate as a standalone screen for external devices as well. The widening view angle has anti-reflective coating for superior visibility.

Hardware Functionality
The All in One is quite impressive, it offers quite a lot in comparison to a normal tower desktop PC. The 24-inch screen, as mentioned before, supports HD content. The system houses the Next Gen Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD. That is sure to speed things up in terms of application functionality and multitasking. While, on the other hand, there is enough space for the customer to fill according to how they see fit and without any worry whatsoever.

The wonders do not end yet, apart from the 5 USB ports, it also has a built-in DVD drive and memory card reader. On the whole, it is definitely a delight to indulge in this technological marvel.

Photo courtesy of Samsung.com

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4 Highly Anticipated Gadgets of 2014

Posted on 30 December 2013

2013 has indeed been quite prolific for the technology industry. A number of unique and innovative gadgets were introduced which took the world by storm, such as the iPhone 5S, Samsung S4, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX tablet, Sony’s PS 4 and so on.

That being said, 2014 is anticipated to be a lot more fruitful and innovative for the tech industry than 2013. Quite exciting, isn’t it? The world is going to witness some extraordinary inventions that couldn’t have been imagined a few years ago. So without further ado, here are some of the most anticipated technology gadgets of 2014:

iPhone 6
There has been a lot of speculation revolving around Apple’s iPhone 6. However, nothing has been confirmed from Apple’s end. According to rumors, Apple will launch this incredible piece of technology at the end of 2014. Moreover, it is speculated that the handset will have a comparatively bigger and better screen as well as longer battery life.

Samsung S5
Samsung, without a shadow of a doubt is Apple’s biggest competitor. And to maintain its standard, the S5 model in its incredible Galaxy series is expected to be launched next year. The S5 is expected to be released in February and is speculated to have an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB memory and an Amoled screen.

Apple iWatch
If there was a list for “the most rumored gadgets”, then Apple’s iWatch definitely has to be among the top ones on that list. Initially, the iWatch was predicted to be launch in 2013, but wasn’t. Let’s hope that the same doesn’t transpire next year. The product is speculated to have multiple training functions and will also notify users about incoming messages, emails and so on.

Valve Stream Machine
Valve is set to launch its latest Stream Machine in the coming year. One intriguing point is that the gaming platform is predicted to be comparatively cheaper than its competitors (PS 4 and X-box One) and is supposed to provide access to a bigger library.
So there you have some of the most anticipated technology gadgets of 2014. Now let’s wait and see how many of these predictions actually come true.

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