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Category Archives: Innovation

3 Reasons Why the Philips Lightstrip Makes a Better Home Decor

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Philips Hue Lights have been smart home favorites because they’re easy-to-use and they make your home beautiful in a click of a switch (or at the command of your voice)!

The lightstrips are the variety which is the most interesting because you can play with light in ways that you can never do with the good old bulbs. We’ve rounded up a few reasons why you’ll want to have the Philips Lightstrips as your home decor from now on.

They give your home an instant (sometimes, unconventional) makeover.

A little light here and there and your home will look like a set from a sci-fi movie or, if done elegantly, a cozy space from a posh hotel. A neon blue light outline underneath your bed. Color wash on your walls. Lit-up stairs for home parties.

The magnitude of a lightstrip’s effect is huge, yet the effort that it takes in installing one is nothing to worry about.

It also doesn’t matter what your current decor or home style is. The lightstrips is capable of projecting over 16 million colors and a thousand shades of white.

They’re low maintenance.

First, the lights are LEDs. We all know how efficient and long-lasting they are. They consume little power and can last for as long as 50,000 hours or 5.7 years. That is, if you left them on for the whole 24 hours. They can even last longer if you use them for a few hours per day.

When it comes to cleaning, all you need is just a cloth to get the dust off. Compare cleaning the lightstrips to a chandelier or an intricate piece of furniture. You get the picture, right?

Functionality-wise, they deliver.

The Philip Lighstrips ain’t just pretty to look at. They can be smart too. Switch them on remotely before you get home or ask Siri to set them to a party mood. You can even make them pulse with the beat. Or create an IFTTT recipe to flash your football team’s colors everytime they score.

There you have it. For convenience and effortless style, it’s wise go for the Philips Lightstrips. We also got more ideas on how to use it at your own home.

[Browse Ideas on How to Use the Philips Lightstrips]

3 Totally Lit Smart Bulbs That Work With IFTTT

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The easiest way for anybody to get started with building a smart home is through the lights. They’re the easiest to setup and some don’t even need a hub — just the bulbs, a decent Wi-Fi connection, and your smartphone.

To take your lighting a little further, you can turn to IFTTT (If This, Then That) for no-sweat integration. You can set schedules, dim the lights automatically, and switch them on a couple of minutes before you get home. Here are 3 totally lit smart bulbs that have ready-to-use IFTTT recipes for you to use.

Philips Hue

We’re starting with the most popular bulbs, the Hue. The IFTTT recipes for Hue include turning the lights on/off at certain times, during sunsets or when you get home; switching the colors to blue when it rains outside; making the colors loop when you feel like it, and dimming down the lights.

WeMo Lights

You can find practical recipes on IFTTT for WeMo like switching the bulbs on and off when you get home or when it’s raining outside or track the bulb’s energy usage in your Google Drive. But there are fun uses too! You can make the bulb dim a little bit when you get an email from your SO or get notified of your favorite football team’s score with your WeMo bulbs.

LIFX Bulbs

LIFX probably has the most number of available IFTTT recipes online and they range from practical to smart-home interactive to the unnecessary, but charming.

As expected, there are recipes that turn on the lights on/off when you arrive/leave, fade the lights so you wake up gently in the morning, and flash the lights when your doorbell rings. Then, there are fun recipes which make the bulbs blink when you’re mentioned on Twitter or Facebook. Or recipes that make the bulb flash your team’s colors everytime they score!

You can get any of these bulbs, but in case you want the bulbs with the most number of available IFTTT integrations (the LIFX bulbs), you can get one at a $15 discount with the code LIFX15.

[Get $15 Off on LIFX Color Bulb]

How To Know Which VR Glasses You Should Buy

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Everybody has easy access to the virtual world these days. Thanks to the surge of various VR glasses in the market from both huge tech companies (Google, Samsung, and HTC) and from small tech brands. You can even get a pair for less than $10! Owning one isn’t really the problem now; it’s which pair of VR glasses to get.

Before you go get the most expensive and the latest VR glasses just because you think it’s the best, here are the things that you need to ask yourself:

How will I use my VR glasses?

Will you use it just to watch movies on using your smartphone or do you want to use it with your PlayStation VR? HTC Vive is perfect for movie streaming, but for console gaming, the PlayStation VR is the winner.

Is comfort your top priority?

You may still want to go for another round of games, but if your neck is easily strained with all the weight, you may want to go wtih an extra slim and lightweight one like the ACCUPiX Mybud.

How much is your budget?

If you’re after a high-end VR, you need to prepare somewhere between $400 to $800. But if you want an affordable option, which is still one of the overall best for virtual reality, the Samsung Gear VR Headset is highly recommended.

Need more help in deciding which VR glasses to buy? Here’s a detailed guide:

[How to Get Started with VR]

Skintrack Turns the Surface of the Arm into a TouchPad

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The following article is brought to you by The Tech Info Group. -Ed

The Skintrack is a new emerging technology that allows smartwatch users to transform the surface of the arm into an interactive touch pad. Developed by a research lab at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh called Futures Interfaces Group, the Skintrack uses a ring and a sensor to make the entire arm an interactive screen for the smartwatch. This eliminates the annoyance of trying to input commands into the small surface of a smartwatch screen, one of the main issues regular smartwatch users in the IT services field face.

Behind SkintrackContinue Reading

$10 DIY Microscope That Uses A Smartphone For Magnification

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Whether you’re a biologist or a student who cannot afford a microscope, and yet want to explore the nature around you to its minutest form, then spare a thought for this $10 DIY microscope conjured up by students at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Using trinkets and hardware supplies worth just $10 and a smartphone, students are building the microscope as project for their biology lab.

Using things like nuts, wing nuts, carriage bolts, plywood, washers, LED lights, keychain flashlight for the stand and laser pointer lenses and a smartphone for magnification, this DIY microscope is capable of operating in actual laboratory settings.

The powerful digital microscope, with magnification levels of up to 175 times (with single laser pointer lens) and up to 400 times (by stacking up two lenses), will serve as a how-to manual for other institutes (for developing such a microscope). Students working on the DIY microscope are enrolled in two bio sciences courses with an associate teaching professor, Terry Wilson.

VIA [ News MST ]

The World’s Leanest Keychain from TIK

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Ever had a woman ask you “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me” and realize that it was that cumbersome, overloaded keychain in your pocket she was referring to? Now you never have to worry about an embarrassing bulge because the TIK keychain is here. It is literally the leanest keychain in the world because creator Daniel Farkas has done away most of the key, leaving the functional parts intact and attached to a link in a bike chain! He claims that it gives “greater leverage for each key in the chain” and expands the “grip surface” so it’s easier to hold. Originally featured on Gizmodo, the product is backed by a Kickstarter campaign, meaning it won’t see the light of day if the campaigners don’t get at least $23,000 worth of pledges for the product. Why not thin down your side profile, prevent those pesky pressure marks on your thighs from the keys you’ve been carrying around all day and invest in a unique product all in one go? It only costs $49 for the pledge, and you’d be doing yourself and everyone else a favor.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Smart Meters Coming Sooner Than You Might Expect

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By Gilberto J Perera

This guest post was written by Gilberto who is the main article contributor for Laptoplogic.com, where you can find the latest laptop reviews.

How would you like to set your thermostat at home while you’re at the office? Wouldn’t it be nice if you forgot to turn off your water heater for a two week vacation and you were able to log on to an online portal and turn it off? How about using an energy management system for your home that charges when electricity is the cheapest and avoids the peaks where electric costs are higher? These are all scenarios that will be possible in the next 5-10 years as utilities move towards Smart Grids. The days of a mechanical meter and a visit from a meter reader are slowly approaching to an end.

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Xerox Solid Ink Cuts Print Costs by 62%

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MS Arc Mouse Reviewed. Verdict: An Excellent Travel Companion

By Ian Chiu

For road warriors going on a business a trip, the second most important thing other than a notebook is a mobile mouse, which can greatly affect productivity. Having said that, Microsoft has had numerous laptop mice over the years that are both functional and portable, but none of them is more eye catching as the Arc Mouse. The aptly-named Arc sports a hinged semicircular shape that allows it to close to nearly half-size for travel, and to unfold to a full-sized mouse. The mini USB dongle is also hidden in a crevice on the underside of the folding wing, which becomes the mouse’s palm rest.

After Everything USB spent nearly two weeks with the Arc, surfing the web and checking emails, they found the mouse to be spot-on for most tasks while preventing fatigue. The rubberized sides also allow you to get a good grip since the surface of the Arc is in gloss paint with a glass-smooth finish. In the end, while there are certainly some minor flaws in usability and set-up, the Arc mobile mouse is praised as “an excellent travel companion” that is well worth the price.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]