5 holiday gadget gift ideas for a dorm or small space

nimblstand

They say that all good things come in small packages and sometimes “small” are what we need especially if our loved ones live or work in a tight space. And whether it is in a dorm room, condo, and makeshift office or for simply sitting on your couch, here are five gadgets that make ideal gifts for this holiday season that just make sense. 

Nimblstand Instant Workstation 

The iPad has become so versatile that many people are replacing their notebooks with these Apple tablets. The reality is that one never knows when or where it’s going to be used, but fear not, there’s a Nimblstand for that!   All you need to do is slide in your Apple Wireless Keyboard horizontally through the form-fitted slot, drop in your iPad in either landscape or portrait mode and you have an instant ergonomic compact two-piece workstation to help you play more comfortably and work more productively, almost anywhere. Read more… at Canoe Tech Blog.

BlueDriver deciphers your “Check Engine” light

Product Lemur

You’re driving through Banff to Fairmont Hot Springs and the dreaded Check Engine light illuminates on your car’s dashboard. Expletives come out from your mouth, followed by the onset of panic and you assume the worst. Besides the time and probably $100 or so excluding repair costs to find out what the problem might be, it also dawns on you that you and your family, just might have to spend the better part of your holiday with your new best friend – the tow-truck driver. So it’s great to know that there’s a product like BlueDriver by Lemur Vehicle Monitors touted as “Professional diagnostics for everyone”.  Now it won’t fix the problem, but it might just give you the information you need to give you peace of mind and possibly save you from unscrupulous mechanics.

More specifically, BlueDriver is an advanced diagnostic scan tool – similar to those used at car dealerships and vehicle repair outlets to troubleshoot and diagnose car trouble and demystify the dreaded Check Engine light. Read more… AT CANOE TECH BLOG.

Evernote 6 for Mac update may cause notes to appear lost

evernote main

If you launched Evernote for Mac in the last day or so only to find that all your notes are missing, fear not, they are likely there but their titles have been changed to “Untitled”. And if you have an incredible number of notes like I do, you may not realize that they are still there.

Earlier this evening I received a notice from Evernote informing me that they’ve noticed that I’m using an older version of Evernote for Mac. They encouraged me to upgrade to the latest version because the one I was using contained a bug that affected a small number of users.
Read moreAT CANOE TECH BLOG…

Office Holiday video remix not your father’s Jingle Bells

klick santaLast year at this time, Toronto-based digital health agency Klick Health entertained us with their holiday video - Bring Your Pet to Work Day. This year, they’ve decided to come out with something a little more wild but more in tune with the festive yuletide season and appropriately titled Epic Office Holiday Remix.

And to make sure the video really rocked, they called none other than You Tube sensation and fellow Canadian Andrew Huang, whose videos have been viewed over 25 million times, to produce the video. Huang is known for producing unconventional music videos, including covers of the Breaking Bad theme using meth lab equipment and 99 Red Balloons using, what else, red balloons.  Read more… at Canoe Tech Blog. 

Gadgets to look for during Black Friday Cyber Monday week and holiday buying season

CES 2014 - Photo - KX-PRW120_2

If you’re looking for that special gift for that special someone or perhaps yourself, why not take advantage of possible Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals many of which are going on for a week. Not only can you save a few bucks, you won’t be rushing like many of us on Christmas Eve trying to round up the last few items. While sale flyers and “apps for that”, can help you find the right price, here’s just a couple of ideas for gadgets I’d recommend you might want to check out and some of them are actually on sale right now.

Panasonic KX-PRW120 SmartPhone Connect Cordless Phone

People say with everyone going to mobile phones that cordless phones are a thing of the past. But the recently introduced Panasonic KX-PRW120W SmartPhone Connect Cordless Phone, which I had an opportunity to test-drive a few months back, not only gives you the best of both worlds it actually integrates them.

The phone is actually a Wi-Fi enabled device that works nicely with your wireless devices including tablets. So when a landline call comes in, for example, you can actually “transfer” your call to your mobile device that sitting on the network enabled with Panasonic’s Smartphone Connect app for iOS or Android. This will allow your son to seamlessly take a call on his iPad that you transfer to him. Even better, your landline is now freed up for other calls.    Read more… AT CANOE TECH BLOG

Tagsu new digital “wondertag” started as a joke

TagsuWhenever you go to a conference or convention, you usually get a badge or nametag at the registration desk. So how about an electronic one? Introducing Tagsu, the programmable pocket-sized digital #wondertag that offers a 32 character message on up to 42 different screens.

Tagsu originally started as a joke – something designed for friends and other developers but the Finland-based creators soon found out that there was actually a customer demand for it. Beyond just delivering information they also discovered it to be quite an attention grabber and conversation starter. Anyone who was wearing one seemed to be quickly approached by others (and that’s good for business). And with little effort, they quickly sold over 400 simply by word of mouth.

Currently, Tagsu is hand-made so of course the cost of production is really high, so they are looking at getting them mass-produced and thus just launched an Indiegogo campaign. The goal is to raise $20K US by Jan 4th 2015 to start mass production and fulfill orders they already have plus those orders generated by the campaign.  Read more… at CANOE TECH BLOG

iPad tablet stand for your backseat riders

RoadShow

A few weeks back, we reviewed the Airframe+, a practical gadget that allows you to easily mount your oversized smartphone at the front of your car, more specifically, on your vent’s grill. This week, we look at the Felix RoadShow, a tablet stand designed for the iPad and other tablets for your backseat riders.

There’s obviously no dashboard in the backseat area. However this clever gadget is designed to mount on the back of the front seat headrests.

More specifically, it clips to the headrest’s post allowing the placement of any iPad or compatible tablet including many of those with hard-shell cases to make it easier to watch your movies, play games, or whatever you like to do with your iPad without keeping it in hand. It’s durable and sturdy made from hard polycarbonate and silicone. It measures 1.5″ x 4.5″ x 8.5″ and weighs less than 200g. It’s quick to set up and get going and requires no tools. Read more… At Canoe Tech Blog

Holiday gadget highlights from LD Tech 2014

 

Sony TVLondon Drugs recently held their LD Tech 2014 conference event in Whistler B.C., where over 100 suppliers and vendors from a wide variety of areas showed off some much of their standard fare and also some of the new and exciting and cutting edge tech products that are being made available just in time for the holiday season. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take it in and get some face time with some of the vendors and their products.  And while it’s impossible to cover all of them, I’ve selected an eclectic few that had left an impression on me.

Sony High Resolution Audio

Having been an audiophile since the days of vinyl and less excited about compressed audio, I was ecstatic to hear about Sony’s new high-resolution audio systems. While CD was supposed to be an improvement over analogue, it’s 16-bit/44.1kHz sampling rate seems rather frail compared to the more precise and detailed 24-bit/192kHz capabilities of high-def. These uber-cool playback devices piggyback on any device you have and can effectively reproduce the higher definition PCM Audio files including DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz) and FLAC. And using its proprietary DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) it can upscale even compressed digital files like mp3 and AAC by restoring the high range lost during the compression process getting about as close as you can to the original recording. The Sony Hi-Res USB DAC System – UDA1B retails for $699.99 at London Drugs.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

Win a CANZ Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Canz 808 Blue

At a quick glance, it looks like an eight ounce pop can, but there’s no pop or fizzing sound that will come from it. You will however, be able to listen to your favorite tunes with this nifty little and appropriately titled Canz Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by 808 Audio.

This diminutive speaker is  only 3 1/4 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide yet offers rich sound in this sleek yet durable anodized aluminium case. It’s powered by a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that should give you up to six hours of your favorite tunes on a single charge. You can stream your audio wirelessly via its Bluetooth connection or optionally you can direct connect from your audio through its LINE-IN port.

808 Canz Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from 808 Audio, a division of Voxx International retails in Canada for $39.99 and comes with a micro USB charging cable and 3.5 mm AUX-in cable. It comes in four colours; black, blue, red and silver and works with any Bluetooth enabled computer, smartphone, tablet or music player that supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). For wired connectivity, it works with any device with a standard 3.5 mm headphone output.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

Satechi monitor stand has built-in smarts

Satechi F3

Having your monitor or notebook on a stand on your desktop is often handy, not only to add a little visual height to your peripherals, but also to give you some extra space on an often cluttered desktop for some of your other gadgets and accessories. Satechi has taken it one step further with their F3 Smart Monitor Stand; it helps clear the clutter and also helps you optimize your productivity.

The Satechi F3 Smart Monitor Stand has a built-in hub that features four side-by-side front facing USB 3.0 ports making it easy and convenient to plug in your peripherals, USB keys and high speed storage devices at data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps. Furthermore, to the right of the ports, are two colour coded 3.5mm extension ports; one for a microphone input and the other a headphone/external speaker port, so you don’t have to fuss about when needing to plug in.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG