Monday, February 1, 2016

CES ~ 2016



The “Show of Shows”, and the untold story….

© 2016 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

BOB SKIDMORE

CORRESPONDENT


CES, THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, can truly be called the SHOW-OF-SHOWS when it comes to new technology, electronics and gadgets. This year was no exception with attendance exceeding 170,000 including 50,000 from other countries and some 6,000 journalists. Imagine 2.5 million square feet with 3,800 exhibitors all showing their wares.

Once again, the highlights of this year’s show were 4K and OLED flat screens, automobiles, yes that’s what I said automobiles, wearables, drones and many unique items typically never mentioned in print. In addition, manufacturers, such as Kodak, used this event to make announcements. 



Kodak announced the return of the Super 8mm camera ($400 - $700) that shoots on film and when processed by Kodak, gives the customer a shareable video version on an SD card that’s suitable for YouTube. Is this the direction an ailing company should be taking? http://bit.ly/1lix7xj  


GM, one of many automobile companies at the show, announced the BOLT EV, GM’s second electric car that goes over 200 miles on a charge, priced under $30,000 including tax rebate and will be possibly available at the end of this year. http://bit.ly/206RIV8 What’s interesting about this announcement is that GM used CES and not the upcoming Detroit auto show to introduce it.



In the 4K world of flat screens ULTRA HDR (high dynamic range) PREMIUM was announced as a new standard for color and dynamic range in sets labeled as ULTRA HDR PREMIUM. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG are the current proponents of these specifications. Availability 3  - 6 months. 4K Blu-Ray players were visible by Samsung and Philips with the thought by others that the disc medium as we know it today may not compete with streaming in the foreseeable future. Warner Brothers says it will release 35 4K Blu-Ray movies in 2016.

CES is such a large show, so let’s look at some items that never seem to make the headlines.



Garmin’s Varia Rearview Bike Radar: Winner of the CES Innovation Award, the Varia warns cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind up to about 153 yards and displays the information on a screen mounted on the bike’s handlebars. $199.99 and available now. http://bit.ly/1LmsCwR


 iNail Intelligent Printer: A digital printer that prints designs on your fingernails. This $2800 printer prints from a vast selection of designs directly on your nail. Available now http://bit.ly/1KjzhDF


FirstResponce: Bluetooth connected pregnancy test. $15.99 available now http://bit.ly/1npVeMa


Polaroid PBT4000 Portable Turntable: Bluetooth enables interfacing with other Bluetooth devices for the purpose of listening or transferring 33’s, 45’s and 78 RPM vinyl to a digital format. $99 and available now http://bit.ly/1RWvSRl


DietSensor: With corresponding app helps you to measure daily food intake and make recommendations about what to, or not eat. Not yet available http://www.dietsensor.com/

G.Fast by Sckipio: This technology will give your telephone provider the ability to offer even faster speeds 50 times faster than broadband. Available later this year in the USA http://bit.ly/1ZDNaJ2


KeyMouse: A split keyboard that fits your hand perfectly. Move around the two keyboard halves, and it becomes a mouse. Works with Windows, MAC and Linux OS. $399 and now taking preorders www.keymouse.com.

So, that’s a little condensed taste of CES 2016….

Images: CES;  GM; Garmin; iNail; Kodak; Polaroid; DietSensor; KeyMouse

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. In some cases news services and press releases made available to the GADGETEER are used to compile this column.


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Friday, January 1, 2016

Logitec Solar Keyboard


A wireless solar keyboard.

© 2016 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

BOB SKIDMORE

CORRESPONDENT


Wireless keyboards are a neat way to interface with your desktop or laptop computer. The elimination of cables and the mobility they afford far exceed the capabilities of the old wired models that came with your computer. The problem that presents itself with many wireless models is the necessity of charging or replacing batteries. Logitech now offers a unique and effective alternative.

I recently tested the LOGITECH K750 for MAC solar powered keyboard. 



There are models for MAC or PC. The only difference with these two models is the addition of special keys for full compatibility with the specific platform used. Either model will work with either platform, but the special key functions will not be available if mismatched. You must add the word MAC to the model number to obtain the MAC version that operates on OS X 10.5 or later. The PC version supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10.

(TIP: When ordering make sure to check the spec sheet so you are certain that the model you’re purchasing matches your operating system/platform. As I discussed in this article a mismatched model will work, but some functions will be missing.

The LOGITECH K750 is powered by light. The light source can be the Sun or even a desk lamp. Generally, normal room light is all that’s necessary to keep the keyboard charged. A fully charged keyboard will stay charged for at least 3 months in total darkness. 

Selectable on-screen power Gauge.

A built-in on/off switch helps in extending the units stored charge.

(TIP: I have my keyboard mounted on a pullout tray. This type of installation decreases the amount of light needed to energize the unit effectively. So, I’ve added a Westek LSL20HBCC 20” LED strip light with a Woods 10203W foot switch for easy on/off switching. This light strip not only provides the necessary light for charging, but also illuminates the keyboard at night keeping room light at a minimum. That aids in viewing the monitor.)



The keyboard is only 1/3rd inch thick. It connects to your computer via a 2.4 GHz signal that’s received by a common tiny unifying receiver module that plugs into a spare USB port on your computer.



It’s small enough that you can keep it plugged in to your laptop when traveling.

I’m very impressed with all the features and benefits of this keyboard. It has the feel of an original keyboard supplied with your computer without the drawbacks while adding mobility and is always charged. It’s available in Black or white versions.

GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★

MSRP: MAC or PC models $59.99 ~ Westek LSLHBCC 20” LED Strip light $27.99 and Woods 10203W Lighted foot switch $8.95. All Available at Amazon.
  

For more information go to: http://bit.ly/15ITjdh

Graphic credits: Logitech, Google Images, Amazon

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ChargeHub


Charge 7 USB Devices Simultaneously.

© 2015 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

BOB SKIDMORE

CORRESPONDENT


We live is a world of USB devices that all need to be charged at some time or another. Each device generally comes with its own charger. In most cases a one-size charger does not fit all applications. An example of this would be an iPad vs a smartphone. iPads require a higher amperage draw than most other devices, so having the correct charger speeds things up and avoids damaging the charger. Having numerous devices and their respective chargers creates clutter, so is there a solution?

Limitless Innovations, Inc., a product innovations company engaged in the design and development of various cutting edge technologies for the retail market, may have an answer. I recently tested their ChargeHub – Super Value Pack, octopus in look and available as a square or round shaped charging station that allows up to seven various USB items to be charged at one time.

The ChargeHub is small in size. The Super Value Pack comes with seven assorted cables to accommodate the proper connection to various devices. 



Being an all-in-one charger, it eliminates the need to have a variety of chargers and to have enough electrical outlets to plug them all into. What you must understand is that having seven items simultaneously plugged in can affect the time required for a full charge. There is 8.8 amps total output power with 2.4 amps maximum per port. So, an iPad Air draws more power than a regular iPad and will draw up to 2.4 amps when its totally dead. A smartphone will draw approximately 1 amp when it’s completely dead. In most cases the devices that are plugged in will be at different levels of charge so averaging becomes a factor in determining how many and how long it will take something to charge. Most people will never experience not receiving optimal charge for up to seven connected devices. ChargeHub benefits from patent-pending SmartSpeed™ technology where each port works the same thus there is no special USB port for any particular brand or type of device. Due to the large current draw ChargeHub does not charge laptops.

Its compact size travels well and keeps your devices in one central location when they’re not in use and being charged. This helps to easily locate them when needed. When used with the optional International Travel Kit, it can be used worldwide as it is multi-voltage. 



If you’re interested in giving it a customized look, a set of plastic tabs is provided that allows for the insertion of a photo, logo or other unique identifier in the top center of the charger.

(TIP: A common problem with most users is to forget to charge their devices. Allowing them to fully drain is not advised. Charging them for five-minutes and then assuming they’re ready for limited use is a false sense of security and can alter the battery’s memory. I make it a habit of charging my smartphone at bedtime each night. This assures me of optimum usage the next day. If such a full charge will not last your active daily lifestyle, you should seriously consider the addition of a battery case such as those offered by Mophie, http://bit.ly/1WSPcOR. The Mophie battery pack can also be charged by the ChargeHub.)

GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★

MSRP: Super Value Pack $89.95 available in round or square design International Travel Kit $29.95 (Various other optional accessories are offered)

For more information go to: http://bit.ly/1O00ONE

Graphic credits: Limitless Innovations, Inc.

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.

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