Wink Hub and Home Automation on CKUA MUSE w/ Tony King

I had another cool opportunity to be a guest columnist on CKUA’s MUSE a new radio program hosted by Tony King. Today I talk about The Wink Hub and Home Automation. (06:52)  ( Original air date: Apr 5, 2015)

SMS Audio heart monitoring earbuds require no batteries

biosport-a1If I mention heart monitor sensors to you you’d probably be thinking finger clip, wristband or maybe even watch. One thing for sure, you most likely wouldn’t be thinking earbuds. SMS Audio, founded by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has teamed up with Intel to create the BioSport Biometric Earbuds, so if it’s important to you to monitor your heart rate, you can do it while out and about listing to your favourite tunes without having to worry or need to have an additional device or gadget attached you.

SMS Audio is not the first out of the gate to create the dual-purpose earbud/heart monitor. However, what is novel is that the biometric monitoring is designed to use so little power, it does not require a battery; it’s fully driven from the 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack that plugs in to your smartphone. Read more…at CANOE Tech Blog

Red gadgets to sweeten up her Valentine’s Day

 

SmileJamaicaThere’s more than chocolate to sweeten up your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. How about saying “I LOVE YOU” with funky cool red gadgets and accessories that will (hopefully) last longer than simply a dozen long stemmed red roses.

The Smile Jamaica in-ear headphones with mic by House of Marley (yes, the family of that Marley) is a Valentine inspired gadget with small and simple wood rear housing, recycled machined aluminum chassis, 52″ multicoloured fabric braided cable with plastic restrain and fire red eartips. They have noise-isolating properties and despite their size, give out a good vibrating bass.

Buying a Marley product you are also helping a cause as the Marley Family supports 1Love, their charitable organization dedicated in supporting youth, peace and the planet by using with earth friendly and recycled materials. I think she’d like that.  Smile Jamaica headphones retail for $24.99 and are available directly from HouseOfMarley.caFuture Shop, Visions & Shoppers Drug Mart. Read more… at Canoe Tech Blog

CES 2015 Last Gadget Standing winners

MeccanoidWith thousands of new products being rolled out and announced every year at International CES you always have to wonder, “which product will succeed?” which is the basis for Last Gadget Standing. It’s a competition, now in its 14th year, that sees one winner selected from a live audience at CES and the other from an on-line audience with entries having been previewed starting in late September of the previous year. For 2015, the top honours go to MeccaNoid from Meccano in the “live” category and SCiO from Consumer Physics Inc., takes home the online honours. Read more at Canoe Tech Blog.

Last minute gadget gift ideas

Epson LabelMaker Jar smallMany of us wait for the last minute to pick up our gifts for loved ones so here’s a few 11th hour ideas to help you get through that special day. If it’s too late to get them in, think of them as ideas for Boxing week, which in some places, has already started.

Ultra Portable Mini Groove Controller

If you’re looking for a great gift idea for a budding music producer, music lover or someone who just likes to tap out a beat, cue up loops or mix like a DJ, then check out one of the newest gadgets from IK Multimedia – iRig Pads, a full featured ultra-portable universal MIDI groove controller.

One huge feature is its size. It’s a little smaller than an iPad, less than 1″ thick and really lightweight – ideal to port around. It’s designed to consume very little power – in fact it draws peer from whatever it’s plugged in to.  READ MORE at Canoe Tech Blog

Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush keeps your teeth white

Oral-B BluetoothEvery day we hear about some new device now equipped with Bluetooth. The latest, are Oral-B’s 5000 and 7000 series of interactive smart toothbrushes. Now back in March here at Canoe Tech Blog, we had a look at their latest plaque fighting tooth brush technology and learned the secret about how it all came about because a German engineer had an epiphany while brushing snow off the driveway. Their latest models, Oral-B SmartSeries with Bluetooth 4.0 Connectivity 5000 and 7000 still incorporate the ridiculously fast oscillations and pulsations and still include their remote SmartGuide, but now you’re able to monitor and track your progress and even share the data with your dental professional because there’s now an app for that.

To get the lowdown on the brushes capabilities, have a look at the original article, as today, I’d like to focus primarily on the model’s Bluetooth connectivity and the app it brings to the table. What’s interesting is that not only does the brush send data to the app; the app also has customization capabilities that allows it to communicate back to the brush for personalized brushing.  Read full review at Canoe Tech Blog.

Great gadgets come in small gift packages

1 MusicProGifts come in all shapes and sizes, but bigger isn’t necessarily better or more desirable. So here are a few gift ideas all of which I had an opportunity to test-drive, that are all much smaller than a bread box and some of which might actually fit in the palm of your hand.

High Fidelity Electronic Earplugs

This first one certainly fits the criteria, but it’s designed for your ears. The Music•Pro High-Fidelty Electronic Musicians Earplugs by Etymotic Research as the name says is ideally suited for musicians, but equally sensible for anyone to find themselves in environments where hearing protection is without trading off sound fidelity, which something like typical passive earplugs can’t accomplish.  READ FULL ARTICLE at G4 Canada.

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

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

Syncable-Duo 2-in-1 microUSB/Lightning cable solution

Syncable-Duo_charger_Cable

Cables are considered accessories and rarely take the limelight in the gadget arena. You usually expect them to be either included with the device or an add-on that you have to buy. The truth is people take notice of them only when they really need them, can’t find them or if they don’t work. Others say, “Who needs cables when everything’s wireless?”  Funny thing though, most wireless devices today still require cables to charge them. Universal inductive charging across all devices is still little ways away.

So that’s my little preamble for the Syncable-Duo Charge and Sync Cable by TYLT. It’s a 2-in-1 microUSB/Lightning solution. And like the name says, it’s both a charging and syncing cable for USB devices like smartphones and tablets. The neat thing about this cable is that it basically combines two cables into one.

Read more…AT Canoe Tech Blog