Author Archive

Ricoh Theta M15 Takes 360 Degree Photos

Posted in Cameras by Darrin Olson on November 20th, 2014

Rico Theta M15 CameraRicoh’s Theta M15 is a small, pocket size camera able to take seemeless 360 degree photos in a single snap. These photos don’t just take a wide image, but include an entire 360 degree sphere, top to bottom as well. The resulting images can be viewed like other images, and Ricoh smartly provides some associated software with the camera allowing users to edit the images on a PC, Mac, Android or iOS device.

This is the second generation of the Theta that Ricoh has released with the most significant upgrade in this model being the ability to take short videos with a 360 degree view along with still images. The videos can be up to 3 minutes each, and the videos can also be edited with the included software by modifying the image itself with your finger on touch screens …

Microsoft Band Fitness Tracker for $199

Posted in Fitness Gadgets by Darrin Olson on October 30th, 2014

Microsoft Band Fitness TrackerMicrosoft announced on Wednesday the planned release of its own wearable fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band. The device is available for purchase on Thursday from Microsoft for $199, and will work with Android, iOS and of course Windows Phone 8.1.

Among the features targeting fitness, the Microsoft Band tracks your exercise reps, calories burned, heart rate around the clock and your sleep. It also has a UV monitor built in with real-time UX information to make educated decisions on sun protection when you go out.

The wearable tech from Microsoft helps with more than just fitness, though and throws its hat into the ring against other popular wearable devices for Android and Apple. The Band will display a small snippet of your incoming emails, syncs with a calender to provide reminders and will let the user voice interact with Cortana …

Apple iOS 8 Release Today

Posted in Apple by Darrin Olson on September 17th, 2014

iOS 8 Release TodayApple is planning to release iOS 8 today, its latest operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Apple usually lets the releases go around 11am PST but it might not get to everyone’s device right away. iOS 8 is compatible with the iPhone 4s and up, iPad 2 and up, all iPad Mini’s and the 5th generation of the iPod touch.

A quick recap of the new iOS 8 features include an updated photo album with improved on-device photo editing, enhanced voice and video messages, an updated predictive keyboard that anticipates your next word, new fitness apps, a cloud-based drive, enhanced notifications and a few others. You can see all of the details from Apple here.

Apple Pay Enables Paying With your iPhone

Posted in Apple by Darrin Olson on September 12th, 2014

Apple PayOne of the major announcements coming out of Apple’s meeting on Tuesday was another anticipated technology from both retailers and consumers called Apple Pay. This feature will be built into the iPhone 6 coming later this month and the Apple Watch being released early next year.

Apply Pay will build on the Passbook app and will incorporate a near field communication (NFC) antenna allowing consumers to pay at the counter by a simple tap. The iPhone 6 will also incorporate Touch ID to get the fingerprint of the consumer for added security and Apple also included something called the Secure Element, which is a dedicated chip to store encrypted payment information on the device.

In order to help with adoption, which has been difficult with this type of technology in the past, Apple is making it easy to incorporate your …

Apple Announces the Apple Watch for 2015

Posted in Apple Watch by Darrin Olson on September 10th, 2014

Apple WatchApple announced on Tuesday the release of the much anticipated Apple Watch and along with it came just about every feature speculated in the months coming up to is arrival. The new wearable technology comes in three different styles, the standard Watch, the Watch Sport targeting the fitness minded and the Watch Edition with a little more elegant and sophisticated look.

The features include, as you might expect with a digital interface, many face options including stopwatches, stock quotes, weather updates, photos, drawings, the digital time or simulated watch hands to name a few. It will also automatically keep the time adjusted correctly, even when you move through time zones or into daylight savings time.

Withings Home Camera for Health

Posted in Security by Darrin Olson on September 4th, 2014

Withings Home CameraWithings, creator of wireless smart devices centered around health, has an interesting HD camera called Home for use in, well, your home. On the surface the design is a little more appealing then most home automation cameras we find on the market today with a wood grain finish, but it has a few extra features not common in your run-of-the-mill home-monitoring.

For starters, its got a 5 megapixel HD camera that can record video and take still pictures, and connects via WiFi to be viewed through a mobile app. It also has motion and noise sensors and will send a short video of the current happenings to a server in the cloud when these events occur. So, not too far off of the standard yet.

3D Stairs Rug Art

Posted in 3D by Darrin Olson on September 4th, 2014

3D Stairs RugWe’ve seen some pretty incredible 3D street art around, and this simple rug brings some of it inside. I’ll bet you can’t casually stroll across this without at least feeling a little uneasy.

via Neatorama

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with Curved Display

Posted in SmartPhones by Darrin Olson on September 3rd, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note EdgeSamsung announced on Wednesday the Galaxy Note Edge, the companies latest release of the Galaxy Note smartphones. The un-missable feature with the Note Edge – the screen is bent on one side to make use of the edge of the phone as part of the interactive display.

Although there is one single continuous piece of glass as the display, the side bar interactions happen independently of the rest of the display to help with navigation and display side-note information. Samsung has some unique apps that take advantage of the curved side with a matching game, camera controls and date/time information when the phone is in standby.

Samsung Announces Gear S Smartwatch

Posted in Smart Watch by Darrin Olson on September 3rd, 2014

Samsung Gear S SmartwatchAlong with the Gear VR headset, Samsung today announced the Gear S Smartwatch, Samsung’s sixth, (yes six) entry into the wrist-wearable technology space. What’s so special about this smartwatch is that it can run on its own – no need for a smartphone to go along with it and communicate. It has a built-in nano SIM card and came make its own phone calls and receive emails directly to the device. You can even type emails right on the Gear S with a tiny touchscreen keyboard. Whether or not you want to do that might still be in question.

The Gear S features a 2-inch curved AMOLED screen at 260×480 with interchangeable bands and a slot for the SIM card in the back. In addition to calls and emails, it will support turn by turn navigation, a news feed and a couple of running apps from Nike+ and S Health.

Samsung Debuts Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset

Posted in Virtual Reality by Darrin Olson on September 3rd, 2014

Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality HeadsetToday at Samsung’s IFA event the company announced its entrance into the Virtual Reality product space along side of Facebook, Playstation and Google with the Gear VR virtual reality headset. The headset is built so that the Galaxy Note 4 (also announced today) with its 5.7 inch screen will fit inside and act as the display.

According to Samsung, Oculus is actually behind the software handy work while Samsung takes care of the hardware. They are also expecting the Gear VR to be released to consumers yet this year, way ahead of the competition. We’ll provide more info as it becomes available.

via The Verge

Elgato Makes Smart Charger for Your SmartPhone

Posted in Chargers by Darrin Olson on September 2nd, 2014

Elgato Smart Power ChargerElgato has released a smart charger to go along with your smart phone with the Smart Power portable charger. This portable charger will connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth and an iOS app and provide information on the portable charger’s status whereabouts.

The actually charging still happens through a USB cord and the Smart Power holds enough juice to charge or iPhone 3 times. It can also charge other mobile devices with a USB connection. What sets this product apart is that it lets you know how much battery is left in it through the iOS app interface and will give you a reminder to plug it in and charge it up before you go places. Given access, the app can also be integrated with your calendar to identify busy days that you would be reminded to bring the portable charger along.

Rumored Sony QX1 E-Mount Lens

Posted in Rumors by Darrin Olson on September 2nd, 2014

Sony ILCE-QX1 E-Mount LensThe Xperia Blog has leaked some photos, including the one above, of the rumored Sony ILCE-QX1 E-mount camera lens system. The QX1′s intention is to turn give your smartphone the ability to take DLSR quality digital photos.

The idea with this lens system from Sony is to basically create a very portable, professional type lens with all of the picture-taking features packed inside. They then give it the ability to mount onto your smart device and communicate with it wirelessly through Wi-Fi. The QX1 will pretty much work by itself to take pictures, but the phone acts as a viewfinder and a way to review the photos.

Engineer Makes 3D-Printed Key To Open Any Lock

Posted in 3D Printing,Security by Darrin Olson on September 2nd, 2014

3D Printed bump key to open any lockSome German engineers have revealed designs for 3D printing a “bump key” that they say can be used to break into common tumbler style locks. According to the engineers, using nothing but a photo of the lock and some software called Photobump, a working key can be created.

Bump keys are not anything really new, but the ability to produce a lock-specific bump key through 3D printing from a picture of a lock, well that’s pretty new. A bump key basically uses some force and some jarring of the lock to move the small pins in the tumbler into the correct position so that the lock will turn.

Check out the video below:

V8 Car Engine-Powered Chainsaw

Posted in Outdoors by Darrin Olson on August 3rd, 2014

Chainsaw powered by V8 car engine.Yes, you are seeing this correctly. This is a chainsaw powered by a 4.2 liter V8 car engine. The chainsaw runs at a 1:1 ration directly from the engine’s rotations and tears through a 21 inch diameter hardwood peppermint gum tree in about 2.4 seconds.

The chainsaw was built as a promotional tool by Whitlands Engineering in Australia (hence the gum tree), so they really have no plans to manufacture them for consumers, but nevertheless it is impressive to see.

ThinkEco smartAC Kit

Posted in Home by Darrin Olson on July 11th, 2014

ThinkEco SmartAC kitThis is a great energy saving tool to have if you have a plug-in air conditioner. The ThinkEco smartAC Kit will help you conserve energy all the while helping you keep cool on these hot Summer days.

The kit comes with a modlet and a remote control/thermostat. You can take the remote control with you to any room of the house, which is a convenient way to keep your location cool. If the AC reaches the room temp that you want the modlet will turn the AC off. If it gets 2 degrees above the set thermostat temperature, the AC will turn on.

Another great feature about this device is the ThinkEco software and smartphone app that are a part of the package. You can adjust the thermostat from anywhere. You can turn it on an hour …