Don’t Miss the Small Things in Life!

Do you ever look at your phone to see what time it is and then get distracted because someone just posted something amazing? Meanwhile you stick the phone back in your pocket forgetting to check the time. We humans love gossip, we love seeing what others have to say, but did you know that we spend about 7 hours a day on the internet; watching TV, streaming, and social media? Before the technology we have now, kids between the ages of 7-18 would interact by meeting up to the closest malt shop or park to socialize. Now you can’t go without seeing a 7 year old who doesn’t have a smartphone.

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Tattoo Technology

 

Getting a tattoo is usually a special event for a person, often commemorating something important, or a mile stone of sorts. From black and grey, to full on tattoos consisting of over 25 colours, like myself, a tattoo can come in all shapes and sizes.

But, what if I told you that you could use a tattoo to control your phone, or use that same phone to listen to a tattoo?

Well, good news, folks! You can do both!

In April of 2017, Nate Siggard created the first playable tattoo that you can listen to with the use of his now popular app, Skin Motion.  With this success he created a company with the same name and created the now popular Soundwave Tattoos. The idea is that you get the sound wave image of the sound that you want tattooed onto you by a specialist. With the help of the Skin Motion app, you can then play it back as many times as you want.

Another interesting, and slightly strange, new tech coming out in the tattoo world is Duo Skin. Created by MIT Media Lab and Microsoft, a custom, functional device attaches to a person’s skin and can interact with your technology. The way that it is made is the design is created in any design software, then sent out and printed with a film cutter. This is then traced on to tattoo paper and layered on with gold leaf (used as a conductive material), where the electronics are placed. Then you apply, or “install” this onto your skin.  Some of the designs can even have LED lights put into them to enhance the look of the tattoo. There are three different types of uses for this: input devise which act like a track pad or controller; output display which changes colour based on your temperature or emotion; or communication devices, which include NFC tags so you can read data with your skin.

There are many more advances coming out in the tattoo industry, including helping in the medicine field and longer lasting temporary tattoos, because commitment is hard.

Will you take any of these new advances into consideration when you plan your next tattoo?

For more information check out these links:

https://skinmotion.com/

http://duoskin.media.mit.edu/

Creativity is the Future

There is a fear, a rumour, a nagging feeling perhaps, that robots will one day take over most of our jobs. Technology is advancing, and as machine learning comes into the spotlight, we start to wonder, are our jobs really in danger?

Machines have already started doing technical tasks in certain industries (and doing them much better than humans). Does this mean that as humans we no longer have a job at the company? Joseph Pistrui of the Harvard Business Review states that many knowledge jobs (such as lawyers and accountants) will soon be automated and that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs. Scary, right?

But there is hope for us creatives. After all, what can we do that robots can’t (yet)? Think for ourselves, make decisions, DESIGN. Joseph says, “Humans are strategic; Machines are tactical.” They do not have an imagination. They do not have the capacity for creative analysis. They do not have emotions.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Seymour Adler and Robert B. Kaiser of Harvard Business Review say we can make ourselves valuable as employees by having a strong work ethic, drive and motivation to complete jobs no matter what it takes. Ambition and eagerness for more responsibility goes a long way in making yourself valuable. Social skills is another thing we have over machines (at least most of us). The ability to meet clients face to face, show emotion, have a conversation. To manage people and build relationships, be influential and read audiences. These things we go a long way in business (and life) and cannot be replaced so easily by robots.


Image Source: http://metropolis.scienze.univr.it/altair/events/ias13tutorial/

Therefore, companies should be strategizing about how to incorporate these automations into their businesses by looking at Artificial Intelligence as a way to augment and increase their production, instead of replace employees. Some of our new job descriptions may be to look after these new technologies. After all, someone will have to take care of the machines. But it will give us opportunities to look beyond the mechanical tasks in the workforce and better ourselves for more meaningful and creative positions.

Save the creatives! We are the future. xo M.

Google Pixel Buds

As Jori pointed out last week, headphones are awesome, and I agree. They can be wireless, over ear, in ear, leather, plastic, etc. Bluetooth has been the biggest game changer but google has come out with a pair of headphones that puts the competition to shame.

Google’s, Pixel Buds, are both wireless, and the have a voice assistant feature, which means that they can translete 40 languages, while you’re having a conversation. Say you’re in a different country and don’t speak the language, just pop those headphones on and, bam, you can understand.

 

The translation feature is enabled when the user holds down a button on the right earbud, and instructs the Google Assistant to help them speak the language required. Then, as they talk, the Pixel smartphone, that the Pixel Buds are connected to, plays the translation out loud. When listening to a response, the correct translation is played back through the headphones. Like wow.

The Pixel Buds are also able to answer calls, adjust volume, play or pause music, send and read out texts, and map directions all without the need to touch the connected phone.

If fully charged, they offer up to five hours of non-stop listening. But they also come in a pocket sized case that doubles up as a portable charger, allowing the user up to 24 hours of listening time in total.

To use as a headset, you need a Bluetooth® enabled companion device running:

  • Android 5.0 or higher
  • iOS 10.0 or higher

To use with Google Assistant you need:

  • An Assistant enabled Android device
  • The latest version of the Google app
  • Android 6.0 or higher
  • A Google Account
  • A data connection

To use with Google Translate you need:

  • Pixel or Pixel 2
  • The most up-to-date version of the Google Translate app
  • The latest version of the Google app

 

These are the first headphone Google has ever made and I can say that they did a pretty bang up job!

 

Google store

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Pokemon Go! was huge two years ago, it took the world by storm by creating a game that gets people moving, interacting and used a very well known and loved game. The company Niantic, who created Pokemon Go, has been developing the game, HarryPotter: Wizards Unite!

 

 

The game will be similar to Pokemon Go!; turning real-world streets, neighborhoods and cities into a global game board, and bringing people together in a shared digital reality. It will be interactive and get you moving and socializing with people who also love Harry Potter. You’ll be learning and casting spells, battling magical creatures, and teaming up with others to take down enemies.

I LOVE Harry Potter, so I’m super pumped about this game! People seemed to have really loved Pokemon Go! I don’t know why people have stopped talking about the game, I just assume because its ran its course and people got tired of it, but I’m glad the company has continued with the Harry Potter project.

Details on the game are pretty scarce, but Niantic did say in September that the company was looking at using audio cues in future AR games because holding up a phone for an extended period of time ‘makes them look like a total doofus,’ So it’s possible that Harry Potter Wizards Unite, will have sound cues. OMG how cool is that!

The game is set to release sometime in 2018, so get ready for more strangers wandering around your neighbourhood and watch out for those people who wander out onto the street without looking! I think that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be a very good game and very popular, I personally think it will do better than Pokemon Go! So if you’re a fan of Harry Potter or augmented reality games then this is the game for you!

Can You Hear What I Hear?

http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/31558.aspx#

From Baldy Phones to EarPods and Beats, headphones made quite a change over the past century. Since music has been a big part in our lives, what is better than listening to your favorite tunes when you’re the only one listening. As headphones are placed on your head we feel like it’s an escape to our own world. Everything around us just fades away.

The first ever working headphones were created by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910, it was the only way to listen to electrical signals (until amplifiers became available). The headphones that Baldwin created were made from iron, the metal part of the headphone speakers. Think about that, wearing headphones that are made from iron? That would be so heavy, so uncomfortable and irritating (ha get it, irritating – (ear)itating). In 1958 stereo headphones became a thing, while the Sony Walkman in 1979 released the earbuds. Earbuds became very popular when they paired with the Ipod from Apple in 2001. In 2012 however, Apple designed a new look for the earbuds. A much nicer look and more fitting to the ear.

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Resources to Better Your Coding

If you’re like me, you’d like a little advice and guidance when it comes to improving your coding skills. Here I have compiled a list of a few popular resources to help you code better in the future:

  1. Scratch

Scratch is aimed at a younger audience about 8-16 years old, but don’t let that deter you if you are a bit older.  Scratch has a bright, colourful website that is easy to manipulate and navigate; which makes this a great starting point for anyone. You can visit them create and explore pages where you can learn to animate, make music, create basic games and many other activities to develop your skills.

  1. Code. org

Code.org provides tools for grades K-12 for some of the largest school districts in the United States. Some of it’s supporters are Microsoft, Facebook and Google. Annually, code.org organizes an “hour of code” which engages 10% of all student’s in the world. They offer tools for educators and much like Scratch, they have activities that the user can create with code.

  1. Codeacadamy.com

Codeacadamy.com offers a large online community where a user can go to discuss problems that others may be experiencing. Code academy is an education company that seeks to rebuild how things are taught. They offer help with the commonly used languages, such as: HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby, Java and many more popular languages.

  1. W3Schools.com

W3schools.com is an absolute must have recourse for a beginner, or even a veteran programmer. It gives lessons, tips, and a vast knowledge of coding for all levels expertise. You can choose from various types of programming languages, just like the other examples. They offer a bit of “try it yourself” where you can test what code they provide for you. This way, you can see what works and what doesn’t and apply it to the work you are doing.

  1. Other resources

I use an app called SoloLearn. It is useful because it gives small “drill” like activities or quizzes and it’s easy to use. I use it when I have a few extra moments. I also use Coding for Dummies. It sounds silly, but it has helped me a lot and really breaks down what is what.

Some of these sources are repetitive, however, you can’t get better at something if you don’t practice. And practice is just reputation by a different name!

 

Resources:

https://scratch.mit.edu/

https://code.org/

https://www.codecademy.com/

https://www.w3schools.com/

The New Reality (AR Breakdown)

I have only paid attention to Augmented Reality for a few years now but it has been going on since the late 90’s. AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. If I really wanted to, I could have a Smurf juggling apples in front of me. In reality that is, not happening but I am visualizing it through a screen. That leads me to ask the question; what is reality? With the growth rate of AR and its relative VR, otherwise known as Virtual Reality. Our realities are about to change, if they haven’t already.

PAST

AR began its life back in the olden days, well, by olden days I mean 1998. It first appeared as the yellow first down line that you see on TV while watching a football game. The term Augmented Reality was coined eight years earlier by Boeing researcher Thomas Caudell. Back then it wasn’t a serious topic but now they have evolved AR into such things like the Google glass and heads-up displays in car windshields.

CURRENT

Technology Companies are taking advantage of this and using it to evolve their apps on mobile devices. Snapchat for example, uses AR to allow users to wear an augmented mask, otherwise known as a Snapchat filter. IKEA uses AR on their app to allow customers to visualize what a piece of furniture may look like in their house before they even buy it.

FUTURE

AR is heading in a very impressive direction. Holograms becoming a reality are very near. Microsoft and multiple other companies have dedicated teams to working on such a project. AR and VR are working with each other as well, allowing users to take advantage of the benefits from both Virtual and Augmented Reality. It’s a multi-dimensional reality.

IMPORTANCE

AR is not just some toy people can play with either. Multiple industries use the innovative technology, including: healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism, and marketing.

“Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all five senses; augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy – sharing what we see, hear, touch, and even perhaps what we think and feel with others.” –Ramez Naam

It’s amazing technology; use it to your advantage.

Smartphone cameras then vs now

DSLR cameras have come a long way since 2008. Sony, Canon, Nikon were just a few that were wildly popular back then. The cameras costed anywhere from $300-$1000. Even the best compact digital camera couldn’t compete. Cell phone cameras were minuscule and most couldn’t afford to spend so much money on a huge camera.

With the demand for quality smartphones that do more than just the basic call, text and picture message; companies started paying more attention to the quality of the camera. Camera quality can also be one of the main selling points to customers. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are all heavily media based content. This allows users to quickly snap a picture, edit it quickly and post it within minutes. Instagram was released in 2010 for iPhone users. When the app began to explode in popularity there was demand for an Android version, but it wasn’t released until nearly two years later in 2012. The app gained popularity among young users, photographers, and many types of other people who wanted to share their creativity with the world.

When the HTC One M8 was released in 2013, it boasted an impressive dual lens camera which hadn’t been seen before. Users also had access to manual controls. This function allowed people to express their creativity more freely within smartphone photography. The freedom of being able to carry a tiny powerful camera that fits into your pocket is more convenient rather than lugging around a heavy and expensive camera along with its accessories. Reaching for a smartphone to capture special moments is almost second nature to many of us.

Fast forward to 2018 almost every smartphone has the ability to capture raw images, manual camera controls, and dual lenses. Companies also developed small camera accessories that have a similar function to DSLR accessories. It is hard to imagine what smartphone cameras will be able to do in the future. Will the cost of the camera drive up the price of the smartphone? Are exposure settings that of full frame DSLR? I’m excited to see what will be coming out in the years to come and I will probably base my next smartphone choice on the camera it features.

The Doctor called Robot.

In today’s society,where  there is an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses as well as increasing costs for healthcare. Many hospitals and healthcare systems are investing their money in robotic systems for medical check-ups, surgery and other procedures.

Medical robots can now perform check-ups on patients at hospitals without direct human assistance.Doctors have been turning to technology in order to provide innovative advancements in the medical field considering it is cost effective.

But even if it greatly helps us for efficient and accurate data on our patients, It might be a downside to some because having this technology to do all the workload might result to some nurses to become dependent and unreliable in their job.

This technology serves to improve accuracy and patient safety by reducing medical errors. Traditionally, nurses spent a significant portion of their shift walking back and forth between patient rooms, medication areas and the nursing station but with this technology it can also act as a nurse such as patrolling hospital hallways on more routine rounds, checking on patients in different rooms and managing their individual charts and vital signs without direct human

Below are some of the things that these medical robots can do: 

1.Medical robot can now patrol hospital hallways on more routine rounds, checking on patients in different rooms and managing their individual charts and vital signs without direct human intervention.

2.Medical robot can disinfect clinical equipment and also clean the rooms.

3.Medical robots can move medical supplies from one room to another without human intervention.This robot can move through hospital corridors ,elevators and departments at any time during the day to make deliveries

4.Medical robots can feed patients and help them to administer medications.

The Benefits of Medical Robots.

.Cost effective

.Direct human intervention is not required

.FDA cleared

.Contains two-way video screen so communication is easy no matter where the doctor is.

.Autonomous navigation

.Reduce waiting time

.Reduce spread of diseases

So far I believe that  from mic-robots that scraps plaque from arteries to personal assistant robots that help care for patients, medical robots are transforming the face of healthcare. What do you think about this?

 

Odd Ink – Kaalink

We have markers that can blend colors perfectly, and pens that can accurately copy colors from objects in our surroundings. But what if there was some way that we could have an infinite supply of ink and help the environment? Sounds strange and impossible, right? As it turns out, there’s a solution for this.

As odd as it sounds, a company in India (similar to MIT) is proposing this product as a solution to air pollution problems in Asia. What is the proposed solution though? Turning vehicle exhaust into ink. It’s unique and raises a lot of questions, but our knowledge of the product is currently very limited. What we do know, however, is that it involves what they call a “Kaalink“. The Kaalink is attached to the end of the exhaust pipe, and the device then filters and captures unburned carbon emitted from engine combustion.

 

According to the tests performed thus far, the Kaalink device is able to capture up to 93% of pollution emitted from standard internal combustion engines. That leaves only 7% for planet Earth to deal with! What about the ink itself? How long does it take to get at least an ounce? Here’s where how much you drive will come into play. It takes about 45 minutes of filtration for a single ounce of ink to be produced. So if you’re only driving around town it’s pretty likely you might not get that ounce for a while depending how long you actually have your car running when out and about.

How exactly these captured carbon emissions are processed is under wraps, but it is reported that the captured carbon comes out as high-quality printing ink that can be sold in both the consumer and industrial markets.

Currently the Kaalink devices must be individually, and manually, installed by the vehicle’s driver. Once the device is full, it can then be traded in at the lab in India. It also typically can collect carbon for up to about two weeks before it needs to be swapped out. Again, it would have to be taken back to the labs in India, thus making the availability and convenience rather… restricted. In order to be truly effective, the device also needs to be scaled up to a more significant size as well as become more supported and available in more areas.

Regardless, the idea is still quite valuable.

For further info: http://www.livescience.com/57802-device-turns-air-pollution-into-printing-ink.html

Innov8? More like do not resuscitate!

In our industry we are always using portable storage for large files, so which one should you buy? Introducing the Seagate Innov8 using Ignition Boost Technology, the Innov8 is the first 8TB USB-C-powered external desktop storage solution on the market. Just connect the device to your computer and you’re ready to go. The device is easy to move and can be placed exactly where you need it, and can handle up to 2 million songs, 4 million photos, and 800 HD movies. This device starts at $350 in stores and online. Even though the device sounds equip to do the job, is it? Speaking from experience hard drives are finicky and break. This is always heart breaking when they crash because it is months of work gone. I know many people in our class can relate to this because they have also suffered the same fate. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do when the hard drive crashes but to maybe cry and buy a new one. So what can we do to avoid this situation and not spend hundreds of dollars?

The first step is to backup your files on an extra hard drive or by using google drive, so when or if your hard drive crashes your work isn’t gone. It will also help to safely eject your drive from your device. Since hard drives are finicky sometimes it will not allow you to eject it. If the message comes across your screen I recommend restarting the computer then ejecting it after the computer has restarted. This has happened to me several times and so far has worked every time I have restarted it. Although these techniques and tips may help there is no guarantee that the hard drive will survive.

So in the end is it worth it to spend hundreds of dollars on this “awesome” technology? My conclusion is that it isn’t worth it. Being a student my world is revolved around money. I am not to pleased with having to purchase an expensive piece of technology several times because they crash. I’d rather spend my money on more important things that will not cause me pain. So overall this hard drive sounds fantastic and promises a lot of storage, but is the hard drive worth the risk?

ZUtA Pocket Printer

As we all know, printing especially on a deadline can be frustrating. First, you have to find a printer with the paper you need that’s close to you. Then there is the issue of multiple people using the same printer, which can take up a lot of time, and ink, and paper. One solution is to get your own printer, but if something needs to be printed in an emergency, you are out of luck. If only there was a way to have a personal printer that you could have with you all the time, well with the ZUtA pocket printer there is. Here is a short video demonstrating the product. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ba5ommDa4

 

The printer has a 10.2cm diameter and weighs 350 grammes. As you have seen, it is wireless and utilises a micro-USB connection to charge. As with anything wireless, we must know the battery life, this happens to be one hour, which with a speed of one page per minute, means at best you will get sixty pages off of one charge. The print quality is the standard 300 dpi, and the ZUtA comes with one ink cartridge, which is about a hundred pages, but this amount is still being tested. Sadly, at this moment in time, the ZUtA can only print in black and white, but it is incredibly likely that colour printing will come in the upcoming years.

 

As the above video is only a teaser, you may be wondering how do you start printing, well these are the steps you will take. Firstly you will turn the device on, then you will align the printer with the top corner of what you want to print on. Now you have a choice, you can either use the “print” button on the product or download the mobile app on your smartphone and print from there. To work with multiple pages, just re-align it to the top corner of the new page, and print using your desired option. If you would like more specific information on the ZUtA, you can visit their website here: http://www.zutalabs.com/.

 

AR for Visual Aide

By now, most of us have heard about augmented reality or have used it somehow. It is not a new technology, but the way it has been used lately is quite innovative and goes far beyond entertainment purposes.

Augmented Reality happens when we can see our physical real world environment and then modify, replace, or add objects to it (images, sounds, videos, graphics, and GPS data) generated by a computer. It is closely related to a wider concept called mediated reality, and it works by enhancing somehow our perception of reality.

It is important to keep in mind that Augmented Reality is soothing entirely different from Virtual Reality. In the second, we replace our real world environment by a fully simulated one.

OxSight, a new start-up, created and is testing Augmented Reality glasses to help people with very limited vision. They describe this device “as a hearing aid for the blind”. So far, the glasses have proven to work quite good for people who still have a little bit of sight (whether if it is a light detection, movement or shape impairment), and they use that slight portion of their vision to amplify it with the glasses.

One of the main advantages of the glasses, and that might be what is holding back its full potential, is that there is nothing connected to the brain and it doesn’t have a direct interaction with the eyeball. Instead, it works with well-known technologies like see-through displays, cameras and computer vision representations that have already been developed on Augmented Reality to understand the real world environment. It makes OxSight very friendly and easy to use.

Another great feature of the glasses is that their creators understand that there are a lot of causes for vision loss and that every case is different. That’s why they created a board so the user can customise and adjust the parameters of the image they are seeing. This board assures the user will be able to understand his/her surrounding and the objects in it.

For people who have lost their vision capabilities over the years, this has represented a great change because now, thanks to OxSight, they can see their families faces and that’s something they thought were never be able to do again.

THE ASPIRIN OF THE FUTURE

Personally, I think that today, most of our lives are controlled by electronics. Now, technology has advanced to the point where it could soon take up residence in our medicine cabinets in the form of “electronic aspirin.”   Are you a patient of Migraine, Headaches and Facial pain, and you use a lot of Aspirin tablets that don’t just help to stop the pain? Don’t worry because scientists at Autonomic Technologies Inc. (ATI) in Redwood City, California have developed a state-of-the-art neurostimulation  system that helps with the treatment of Migraine Headaches. And this device is called Electronic Aspirin. The Electronic Aspirin  is a patient-powered tool for blocking Sphenopalatine Ganglion (SPG) signals whenever you have a sign of a headache.

This little device is a stimulator that is just about the size of an almond which can be implanted through a surgical insertion into your gum near the molar, and most often it is placed on the side of the head where the headaches occurs most of the time. With this new technology anyone suffering from headaches can just place a remote control in the side of the cheek where the pain is and stimulate the SPG nerves, stopping neurotransmitters that cause the pain. After the pain is treated you can just remove the remote control to deactivate the implant.

This are some of the reasons I think anyone having a lot of headaches should try the little device.

1.   The patient will experience an almost pain free life.

2.  The patient will be able to control when to use the device.

3.  No downfalls of pain medication such as internal issues or tolerance.

4.  It is now  readily available  .

5.  It lasts longer than any other pain medication.

The only side effects known for now occur  during and after inserting the implant. Some common side effects include throat numbness, lowered blood pressure, and nausea. Rarer symptoms include nasal bleeding, nasal infection and a temporary increase in headache pain. But my question is would you want to place such electronic device in your body and does anyone think that he or she could be controlled through the little device?.

 

Plot Holes & Special Effects

Have you ever watched  a movie with amazing special effects. Have you ever wondered if the plots in some movies suffer because more time was invested into special effects rather than the script. Well, maybe you haven’t but I have. I was recently watching a movie with a lot of special effects and action. It was fun to watch but, as I took a closer look at some of the effects , I  started to see the seams of the movie unraveling.

An action movie with heavy special effects can be fun the first time, but that can sometimes distract the viewer from noticing how terrible the story actually is. So I thought it might be interesting to see how much money actually goes into special effects.

CGI can be really expensive.What really makes CGI costly is the people and the hardware that is used to make it.There are so many programs that developers need to accomplish some of those beautifully generated scenes and characters we have grown to love over the years. Plus you need to pay the people who do it , and you also need talented people to get the work done right. Sometimes its not done right , even with a large budget.

I can think of just a few movies with not so amazing CGI , but with amazing budgets. For example R.I.P.D had an interesting story line. But, when it came to CGI, the effects were terrible and not fun to watch . They were grotesque and just not appealing , and the story itself suffered and didn’t really receive raving reviews. Their budget was $130 million dollars.  So in some ways they had potential but failed.  Another movie that was heavily plagued with CGI is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, their budget was $250 million dollars. In my opinion they had some very good effects , especially the Smaug the dragon. Unfortunately the story failed in some ways because it dragged on. The adaptation of of the story itself suffered and didn’t please some of its long-time fans. I personally did not enjoy the effects and they verged on being creepy sometimes.

I think that CGI does have the potential to enhance a story but sometimes , it takes away. I can’t wait for the day that CGI becomes so seamless that you don’t even notice it and fall in love with the story.

 

 

 

 

Smart Fridge

For those of us who have ever bought groceries, we know that it can be expensive. And what’s worse than spending your hard-earned money on some irresistible foodstuffs? Putting it in the fridge, forgetting about it, and finding it a couple weeks later, untouched by anything but mold. Personally, I try to write things on the magnetic white board on the fridge, so I can try to remember to eat them. But let’s face it, it still happens.

SAMSUNG brings us a possible solution: The Family Hub Refrigerator.

Image result for family hub

This ultra-futuristic fridge is loaded with features and a huge, touch screen display. It has 3 interior cameras, so you can keep track of what’s in your fridge. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled, which gives its capabilities a boost. It can connect to your phone via apps, and let you view the contents from anywhere. Alternately, if you don’t want to leave the house and look for food, there are apps available (namely, Shopping by MasterCard) that let you do your shopping, online, straight from your fridge.

But the Family Hub’s capabilities not only make managing food easier, it manages your life too.  The Hub uses apps that allow you to manage your day to day tasks, just like the traditional calendars, photos, and reminders we might stick to the door of the fridge. Its calendar can be synced with the entire family’s personal calendars, making sure nobody is left out and no appointment is forgotten. Notes can also be sent from the family’s phone straight to the fridge. And don’t forget those touching family photos. Why choose one or two when your fridge can display them as a slideshow on its vibrant screen?

On top of these capabilities, its Wi-Fi connection allows it to stream music! You can jam out while you cook, play relaxing music for a dinner, or play something sweet on date night. Don’t want to miss your show while your cooking? Mirror your TV screen to the fridge and keep an eye on your favorite stories. Need to check the weather before sending the kids out to school? The Samsung Family Hub can do that too. In fact, it has full internet browser capabilities just like a tablet or smart phone.

I could see this being very useful for me. I love to cook, and this would be an easy way to keep track of recipes, play music, and make sure I’m using up all the food that I purchase. Unfortunately, this fridge costs about $6000, while their regular refrigerators are about $2000. Maybe someday!

 

The 2016 13” MacBook Pro

I’ve always been a huge fan of Apple products. Some people have different opinions but for me, working on a MacBook Pro and an iMac, actually made a difference when it comes to getting things done. I used to work on Windows PCs, but as I started needing more and more design software, all the computers I had just didn’t seem to handle it. I’m aware that there are other OS’ that would support design software even better than any Apple machine, but I just love how friendly I find the Apple’s OS.

However, last year when I heard about the very expected launch of the new 13” MacBook Pro I felt quite disappointed. There are a lot of new features that I found unnecessary, and some that I thought were just wrong for the target.

 

 

It looks kind of cool on the video, and of course, you might feel like you want it, right? Well, if we take a closer look to some of the specs, we might not feel the same. So, here we go:

  1. The price. If you go for the cheaper version of it, it will be missing a lot of the features you saw in the promotional video. So, for getting the adaptive, multi-touch screen with all the amazing shortcuts (the Touch Bar Model), you might have to pay over 1.800 USD, and that is quite expensive considering that they don’t even mention that the new features come with an extra cost. (I’m conscious that this happens with a lot of ads).
  2. The size. It is a bit lighter (11.97×8.36×0.58 inches. 3.02 pounds), but it is also smaller than the latest version (12.35×8.62×0.71 inches. 3.42 lbs). If you take a look at some of the competitor products, they do offer lighter laptops without the reduced displays. This is quite important for me since I find working on smaller screens a bit annoying.
  3. The Ports. This is one of the features that I thought was plain WRONG. The new laptop comes with barely any port. Now, for the usage I give to my current laptop, it just wouldn’t work at all. I know technology moves forward and all that, but how is it possible that it doesn’t have a USB port if that’s how we plug most of our current devices? Seriously, I know a Thunderbolt 3 port is great, but there are still too many devices that work with USB ports. By the way, they also got rid of the SD card slot. So, if you get one of this, it is very likely that you will need another 70USD for buying an adaptor. This is so bad that you wouldn’t even be able to plug the latest iPhone to this computer!
  4. The display. Even though they claim that this new version was going to be more colourful and bright, in none of the reviews I checked they say that there is an actual improvement compared to the last model.

I don’t know if some of the Apple detractors are right when they say that without Jobs everything is going to go down the hill very quickly, but I hope for the next launches they come up with features that are actually thought to make the machine efficient.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Who ever thought we’d get to the day where we needed smartphones built into watches? Well, it is that day. Fitbit, Apple, Samsung; all companies who thrive from this technology. If you tell me you’ve never heard of a smartwatch, I’d say you’re lying because I know you’ve heard of the iWatch. It’s impossible not to hear about anything involving Apple. But is the iWatch the way to go? Are they really worth it?

Enter the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is next level of smart watch. It’s sleek design makes it look more like an actual watch than its counterparts. Even in comparison to Samsung’s older models, it’s a major improvement. It has a rotating bezel that allows users to swipe through pages and apps, rather than touching them (which works as well as it has a touch screen). It’s also waterproof, so if you are like me and hate having to take off your watch all the time, this is really useful. The face is scratch proof as well but it’s 46mm in diameter which doesn’t make it the most appealing to women, but there is no rule saying a woman couldn’t rock the large watch perfectly. Samsung gives you some option for customizing, but if the variety bands that you can choose to go with the watch aren’t to your liking, you can use any other band that is 22m wide.

Now, enough about the cosmetics. The real importance is the functionality, as a smartwatch isn’t what it is without being able to use it like a phone. It can make and answer calls, set reminders, and call an uber. You can even pair your Bluetooth headphones with it and listen to your favourite music on the go.

From what I’ve read, the apps available for it aren’t the most useful, as in you can really go without downloading them. Also many of the applications for the Gear S3 are paid at the moment so it’ll cost you a bit. However, if you don’t mind paying the $469.99 for the watch, I can’t see why app price would be a concern.

Overall the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier has received great reviews and if I wasn’t a broke student, I’d most definitely purchase one. My favourite aspect of the watch is probably the fact that it looks like a watch, and not one of those cheap toy watches you would get in a cereal box as a kid (sorry Apple). It’s one of the most innovative watches on the market today, so props to Samsung for staying on top of the game.

5 Weird Gadgets You Need To See To Believe.

We all know what cool and awesome gadgets  are about, but looking at some weird gadgets is also fascinating to see. Here are 5 weird gadgets that are somewhat useful and others that are…well special in their own way.

Charging Grass-

Here’s the first of the list, you know the struggle right? When your Ipod, Phone, Ipad, or such is at it’s last 1% the endless minutes of panic as you run towards an outlet but realize soon enough you forgot your charger. This grass will charge your phone for you, and it has a cord inside. While being kind of cool just imagine if grass everywhere could charge your phone, though it would lead to lots of little pests bugging you or maybe you enjoy the outdoors.

 

LED Umbrella-

A more cooler looking gadget is the LED Umbrella, with a thought by not have an Umbrella that works but also have it look like a glow stick along the way? Don’t fret it does come in different colors, depending on what color you like, purple, blue, even red maybe. You can even get the umbrella part with just LED lights going down and a normal handle.  It helps with illuminating  your path well, which can make you the bright light for any dark night.

Sonic Grenade-

Now wait I know what your thinking, but no it’s not a real grenade. Actually the Sonic Grenade has made a name for itself as “The most annoying gadget ever created!” It has three levels of noise, one being low, to medium, then high. Have you ever felt kind of moody towards someone who’s been mean towards you, why not use this to give them a what for, sure it’s mean but still just give them a small scare. But I wouldn’t actually recommend this gadget as it is a useless annoying gadget.

Printer Toaster-

Here we have the Printer Toaster, have you ever had issues with toasting a piece of bread, and wanted it to have a letter or image? The Printer Toaster does just that, though it can be fun to playfully print letters onto a piece of bread, but why not eat it put some jam or peanut butter (if you’re allergic forget that) and have a taste of the glorious printed toast you just made.

LICKI Brush-

And here, we have probably the weirdest gadget I’ve ever seen. The LICKI Brush, designed to “lick” your cat (yes, this exists) and create a everlasting bond of friendship and love the LICKI brush brings you and your cat a greater bond.

 

Weird gadgets are fun to discover, I want to know which one made you ask “what?” the most.

Gadget Accessories

In my last blog I wrote that technology has definitely come a long way, well so have the accessories for said gadgets. It used to be that you needed a cord and an electrical outlet to charge your phone or laptop; but now, there are devices available to allow you to charge your phone while on the go without the need of an electrical outlet in the wall. An example of one of these nifty gadgets would be the La Cross Atomic Alarm Clock  this little gadget is primarily an alarm clock as the name suggests but it has a few other neat features besides being able to charge your cellphone. The La Cross Atomic Alarm clock  has other interesting features such as: Atomic time & date auto sets, Time display (hour/minute), 12/24 hr. time & 10 minute snooze alarm, 7 time zones selection, Calendar (month, day, date), USB Charging port for mobile devices (as previously mentioned)  and other cool features like: Indoor temperature, indoor humidity, moon phase, multi-color display, continuous illuminated black light using AC power, Back light dimmer, and like every other gadget it also has a low battery icon.

The cost of this clock is relatively cheap as you can purchase one of your very own at staples or on amazon for 65.00$.
Now, some people might look at a gadget like this and say “Why should I get something like this when my phone works just fine and has all of those qualities that the clock has.” And this is a valid point, as even my Samsung Galaxy 5 can do most of what the atomic clock can do with the only difference being it cannot charge other devices and can receive messages and phone calls. But those might be the reason I would choose to look into acquiring a clock such as this because I am the type of person who receives a lot of messages and phone calls and like to shut my phone off at night to get a break from those messages and phone calls. So having something like this gadget would allow me to do that while charging my phone at the same time and I’m a huge fan of multi-tasking so that would just be perfect for me.

But I did title this blog gadget accessories, so let me ask, would this be considered a gadget, accessory or some weird hybrid?

3D Pens

Many of us have heard about 3D printers which allow us to create objects out of thin air, but have you heard about the 3D pen. The first recognized 3D pen was the “3Doodler”. Very similar to a 3D printer, just one is hand sized now. How does the 3D pen work? The 3D pen is basically a safer hot glue gun. The pen is filled with a plastic based cartridge that melts and allows you to manipulate the matter into designs of your choosing. This can be a finicky piece of tech because if you release too much plastic it could possibly ruin your design. This new technology could have an endless amount of possibilities for uses, and the creativity will never end.

 

Designers, such as ourselves, could find this 3D pen to be very helpful. Eventually when we are introduced to 3D animation or Stop-Motion Animation we could use the pen to create our desired figure so we can reference it while creating it. Although we haven’t started animation yet I’m assuming it would be easier to have something that I could analysis so I can study all of the angles to get my animation just right.

 

What can we expect from this pen in the future? Both the 3D pen and printer have an endless amount of possibilities of their potential use. What are some possibilities? This technology could eventually be use to make materials for clothing, cars, and maybe even planes. 3D pens and 3D printers are also starting to be used in the health industry. For example, Grey’s Anatomy, a fictional TV show, had used this technology to make stints to save people’s lives. Although Grey’s Anatomy is a TV show it bases itself on real medical procedures and new technology that is used in actual hospitals.
Some may argue that a 3D pen may be useless or perhaps a waste of money, but I disagree. Already the technology has been helping out in medical procedures, and even saving lives, and a lot of people are not capable of doing that. Like I have stated before the possibilities are endless and the future is very bright for this technology. Maybe in the near future most of our materials will be made from either 3D printers or pens.