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Tag Archives: smartphones

iSwimband Helps Prevent Kids From Drowning

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According to the CDC, “from 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.” That’s much too large a number, and if the iSwimband pictured above can help bring it down even just a bit, we’re all for it. This device basically alerts you when it senses that one of your children could be in danger of drowning. There are two models: one is for swimmers and is worn around the head, the other is a wristband for younger kids and those who don’t swim yet. The swimmer’s headband lets kids go in the water, but will alert you on your phone if it senses its been under water for too long. The non-swimmer’s wristband however will immediately ping you if it gets wet. This way you can step away from the pool for a couple of minutes, or read that book, without having to worry that your kid will disobey you and actually get in the water like you told him not to. It’s $99 for a set including the app, and two sensors.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

GoTenna Keeps You Connected, Even Off The Grid

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There are times when cellular services just stop working. Whether it’s because we’re off the grid in the wilderness, or in the middle of a natural disaster, our lives have become dependant on being able to communicate with one another and when outages happen, we tend to freak out. GoTenna is a device that connects to a smartphone and allows it to communicate with another GoTenna-connected phone, even when you have no service. It uses low-frequency radio waves to transmit low-density data over long distances, which in ideal conditions can give you a 50.5 miles range. You can send texts to one another, or share locations so you can find your loved ones even when everyone around you is desperately trying to use their cellphones to do the same. You can even send encrypted messages to one another which aren’t stored anywhere.

It’s a powerful device with tons of features and we feel it completely warrants the $150/pair asking price. That’s the pre-order rate, which is expected to go up to $300 for a pair once it fully hits retail distribution. It ships in late Fall 2014.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ C|Net ]

Shazam for iOS Now Integrates With Rdio

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With its latest update, Shazam has gotten considerably more useful. On more than one occasion have I Shazam-ed a song only to have to then manually launch Rdio, search for it, and then play it. It’s annoying and unnecessary and I had been waiting for this kind of integration for a long time. Now, whenever you tag something, you’re given the option to play it in Rdio, or better yet, to play the song directly in Shazam without even needing to launch Rdio separately. The integration is seamless and really well done. It’s an obvious partnership that adds appeal to both services. For users of both, know that the functionality is just an update away, so get to it!

VIA [ UberGizmo ]

InkCase Plus Lets You Have An Energy-Efficient eReader Display Slapped Onto Your Android Handset

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A few friends once mentioned, as they were preparing to drop $600 for a new smartphone, that they were excited at the prospect of using it to read books. Little did they know that most smartphones’ batteries don’t quite hold up to extended use of that sort and gave up on their efforts relatively quickly. Well, these people might want to take a look at the InkCase Plus. It’s a dedicated, modular e-Ink display that nestles into a specially made case. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and is able to go up to 19 hours without needing a charge. This means that you can read a book with no trouble, as well as use it for a variety of other things, like displaying a shopping list, notifications, boarding passes, etc. The device only uses power when it changes what’s on display, which allows it to literally sip on its battery for days at a time. Only turn on your phone’s giant, battery-devouring screen when you really need it.

Sure, it’ll add some bulk to your phone, although not that much: it weighs 45g and is only 5mm thick. The best part is that you can get in on the action for as little as a $79 pledge at the moment. It’s for the Galaxy S5 at the moment, though the company says that if there’s enough interest they can make cases for other devices.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

McDonald’s Thinks Their Fast Food Isn’t Fast Enough, And Are Working On An App To Fix That

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Apparently, being able to get a burger served to you in less than a minute just isn’t fast enough in the eyes of McDonald’s. The company is running a very limited pilot test in 22 locations in Columbus, Ohio, where a new application called McD Ordering is supposed to make the ordering process even faster and more streamlined. The way it works involves you placing, and paying for your order in advance through the app, which then generates a unique QR code. Simply present that code once you’ve reached the restaurant and the food will be handed to you. The system is meant to cut down on errors and, well, interaction time with potentially less than pleasant McDrones.

It’s not being advertised anywhere, but apparently 10 orders a day or so are being placed at the moment. The app is free on iOS and Android, but the mixed reviews apparently stem from customers not being aware of which locations they can use it at.

Our only gripe with the idea is that McDonald’s food has a very narrow freshness window, which is likely to be missed as your paper bag patiently waits for you to make your way to the location. If they integrate a GPS-powered zone warning, whereby the McD’s workers receive your order only once you’re a certain distance away from the restaurant in the hopes it’ll be ready just as you walk through the door, then maybe this can work. Otherwise, enjoy your stale Big Mac.

[ BusinessInsider ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Deal Of The Day: 40% Off On iStabilizer Dolly

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More and more people are taking mobile video seriously. While you’re still not able to achieve the same quality as shots made with professional and dedicated cameras, the little phones are pretty capable. All the more so if the image is stabilized with something like the iStabilizer Dolly, pictured above. It’s a combination mini-dolly with an articulated arm that lets you track horizontally at almost any angle. As long as your device is less than 2.75 inches wide, and your surfaces smooth, you can get stable, pro quality footage. You’d normally have to pay $65 for this device, but today’s deal brings it down to $40.

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[ 40% Off On iStabilizer Dolly ]

These Pants Wirelessly Charge Your Nokia Lumia As You Walk

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The pants you’re looking at have an integrated 2,400mAh battery as well as a DC-50 Induction Charging Plate sewn right in. With this setup, your Nokia Lumia 930 phone will start charging as soon as you put it in your pocket, with no need to plug any wires or do anything. Granted, it also means your pants will need a charge from time to time, but if that means a longer battery life, we suppose we can live with it. “Created by British designer Adrien Sauvage in collaboration with Nokia for London Collections: ‘Modern Man’”, the pants will actually be available for pre-order on Amazon soon for £200 (approx. $350).

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[ Nokia ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

Make Dry Aged Steaks At Home With SteakLocker

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Dry aged steaks are the bee’s knees. They’re also typically your wallet’s worst enemy ($30/lbs to $50/lbs.), and therefore out of reach for most casual meals. It doesn’t have to be that way however, and with the SteakLocker, you could be on your way to making this wonderful beef concoction right at home. It’s a connected fridge that links to your smartphone, and monitors temperature and humidity closely. That’s important, because when you’re dry aging the meat, you’re basically rotting it in slow motion, allowing moisture to escape (concentrating the taste) while enzymes already present in the meat work to digest and dissolve connective tissue, all the while permeating the fibers with a buttery, almost nutty flavour. It’s awesome, even if it sounds gross. But if you do it wrong, you do end up with just that: rotted meat and a bad case of food poisoning. To put the odds on your side, the SteakLocker also contains a UV light that should be able to eliminate surface bacteria, as well as a fan to circulate air and an activated carbon filter to prevent less desirable smells from making it into your kitchen. So, simply place your chunk of beef in there and let it sit for at least 21 days.

It’s a fairly large appliance, measuring 34 inches tall. But at $600, you’re getting a machine that could cost almost 10 times as much, and steaks for a fraction of what they’d cost in restaurants.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ ThatsNerdALicious ]

Deal Of The Day: 16% Off On PhoneSoap

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Sometimes it’s best not to think about some of life’s realities, like what goes in a hot dog or how dirty our phones really are. The sad truth is they’re very, very dirty. Some accounts claim there are 5 times more bacteria on our phones than on our toilet seats! So that’s why products like the Phonesoap Charger, pictured above, are popular among those of us who don’t trust our immune system to do its job. Place your USB device in there to charge, while it gets blasted with UV-C light, which is apparently just the kind of ultraviolet light that kills bacteria most effectively. It’s the same kind of UV light used in hospitals, and if it’s good enough for them, it should do for you. Granted, once clean, there’s no telling how quickly it’ll get dirty again… But let’s worry about one thing at a time.

The Phonesoap normally costs $65, but you can have it for $54 through this deal.

[ 16% Off On PhoneSoap ]