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Category Archives: Innovation

Building a Smart Home? Start With These Easy Gadgets.

So you’re thinking of making your house smart? Great decision! Going smart will give you convenience and peace of mind. It will also give you more time to spend on things that actually matter.

For new smart home converts, we always encourage you to start with light and simple automation. Easy always does it. Get a thorough primer of what it’s like to have a smart home without the hardcore installation first.

In fact, we have compiled a list of easy products which can easily transform your house into a smart one. Here are some.

Light switches

You can still keep your old “dumb” switch. Just place the Switchmate Smart Light Switch on top of it and you can already control it on your smartphone. It uses magnetic forces to attach and is ready to use. You can also replace your “dumb” switch with Wi-Fi switches from WeMo and TP-Link if you like.

Smart sockets

As for making your lights smart, use the smart sockets from Emberlight, iDevices, and LampChamp. Just plug in your “dumb” incandescent, CFL or LED bulbs into these sockets and viola, you got yourself an instant automated lighting system.

Smart plugs 

Smart plugs are smart home staples that turn almost all your electronic devices smart! Just plug in your lamp, TV, hair iron (which you always forget to turn off before you go) or any other devices and schedule their switching times on your smartphone.

Sounds easy, right? Converting your home into a smart one is not that complicated. Don’t be too overwhelmed. Join the smart home revolution easily with our suggested devices above.

Want to know more details about these products?

[Learn More About These Smart Wireless Solutions Products]

Smart Products Are Not Just For Us — They’re For Our Pets Too!

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Come on humans, our fur babies only deserve the best! Let us not deprive them of the cool benefits of using smart products.

When we think about it, they do need these things because: 1.) We leave them at home alone and sad on most days. 2.) They’re the superstars in our lives and we can’t bear to see them sad, don’t we?

Why don’t you get your pets a little smart something this Christmas? Here are some cool pet gift ideas.

Cameras That Dispenses Treats

Aside from keeping you connected with your dog during your lunch breaks at work, pet cameras like the Petzi Treat Cam can dispense treats to your pets when you’re away. Keep them happy and watch them catch the treats. Snap a photo for memories too.

Fitness Trackers

Surprised? See, it’s not only you who need Fitbit. Track your pet’s health and make sure that they get enough exercise by making them wear FitBark. You can easily share the data with your vet so you can keep them at their top shape.

Smart Toys That Keep Them Active

During playtime, I bet it’s you who always run out of breath first. Well, there are smart toys that can let your pets play to their hearts’ content! The Petcube comes with a laser pointer which you can program. Another one is iFetch; it lets your dog play catch the whole day if they want to. These toys are best if you want to keep your dogs active, but you lack the time to regularly walk or play with them.

Give your pets any of these smart products and get a lick!

[Browse smart toys for your pets]

What You’ll Love About the Sense Sleep Tracker 2nd Generation

 Sense Sleep Tracker 2nd Generation

Sense is one of the tech Cinderella stories that was brought to life through Kickstarter. It’s this modern-looking ball that you place on your beside table to analyze your sleep.

It’s also one of the popular and well-received creations that it has already launched a newer model this year. Here’s what you’ll love about the Sense 2nd Gen.

Your favorite features, retained

It’s still the sleep-tracking ball the we have come to adore. No trackers to wear, just a tiny button to attach to your pillow. You’ll wake up to insights about your sleep — quality of sleep, disturbances, environment conditions, and the likes.

Now works with voice control

Staring at your smartphone screen before sleeping ain’t healthy. The 2nd geWith voice control, you can deal with bedtime rituals without looking at your smartphone. Just say “Sense, wake me up at 8 am.” or ask “Sense, how is my sleep last night?” and you’re good.

More sensors, more capabilities

The old sense measures light, tempertaure, humidity, noise, and air quality, but the 2nd generation can measure more. It can analyze UV levels, light temperature, barometric pressure, and volatile organic compounds, all of which can affect your sleep too.

Plus, it can now integrate with your other smart home gadgets like the Nest thermostat and Philips Hue Lights. Ask Sense to dim the lights or to start warming the room just before you wake up.

Longer battery life

The battery of the first pill, which is the sensor that you attach to your pillow, lasts for about a year. The new one can last up to over 2 times longer.

These improvements are just going to make us love Sense more, right?

[More about Sense 2nd Gen]

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

$10 DIY smartphone_microscope

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 ]