New Age Technology for Living and Traveling

asiseeit_fayette_headshotEvery year the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held in Las Vegas. The hundreds of new inventions coming to a home near you are introduced with every bell and whistle available. Sifting through the many wannabe gadgets to find the true innovations of tomorrow is a task in and of itself. That’s why I’ve compiled ten of my favorite items from this year’s convention. Some are designed to help you at home and in your everyday life, while others may be the perfect travel companion for your next vacation.

So, in no particular order I present you with my ten favorite inventions and innovations from the recent Consumer Electronics Show:digitsole-smartshoe

Digitsole Smartshoe
Have you ever wished for that perfect fitting shoe? You know, the one that will fit comfortably, won’t make your feet sweat, and maybe even keep you healthy? Well, your wait is almost over. Digitsole is a company that has created a new and different-looking pair of sneakers for those that are looking to get more out of their workouts and training. These new shoes have features that will automatically tighten to your desired tightness and even heat your feet all with the use of an app. Being billed as ‘the world’s first intelligent footwear,’ the Digitsole Smartshoe will also count your steps for distance traveled as well as keep track of your calories for the day. 
Expect to see the first pair being rolled out onto store shelves by the end of the summer with a price tag of somewhere around $450.

Bluesmart Smart Suitcase
bluesmartIntroducing the new suitcase that not only stores your clothes, but also charges your phone, tracks your location, and even weighs your contents. The Smart Suit case from Bluesmart combines the necessities of a traveler with the latest technology of today, all in 9.4 pounds. Here’s the suitcase that that eliminates your need of searching throughout an airport for an open outlet to charge your phone, as its built in USB charger will power up your phone, tablet, or laptop while you’re waiting for your next flight. And with the Smart Suitcase there’s no more worrying about how much your contents weigh or where they are if the suitcase is lost. With a lift of the handle, the TSA-approved carry-on will tell you the weight of your contents, so you’ll never face overweight carry-on charges again. With the built in GPS, tracking your luggage is as easy as tapping the accompanying app. You can even get alerts when you have wandered too far from your luggage, making leaving it behind virtually impossible. The app also helps you set your itineraries, check flight status, as well as setting up location alerts.
Available now, look for this product to be priced right around $350-400.

Royole-X Smart Mobile theatre

The Royole-X is the first wearable and foldable smart theatre of its kind. The noise-cancelling headphones and high level digital presentation make for an unprecedented mobile theatre experience.ces-royole-x Wherever you are, you will now be able enjoy a theatre-quality presentation wrapped around your head. The Royole-X supports several inputs that include HDMI, USB, streaming, internal storage, and Wi-Fi sharing.
This product is currently available worldwide at a price point of $699.

Nikon KeyMission 360 Camera
The Nikon KeyMission 360 is a new camera capable of recording video in the latest 4K UltraHD while being able to be worn by you wherever your nikon-action-camera-360-0075.0adventures take you. The technology behind the KeyMission 360 cam is pretty cool. It has sensors and lenses on both sides of the camera, allowing the images from each side to be combined to create a realistic, high-def image. It is designed for a wide range of conditions, typical for those using any type of action camera. Initial users have found the KeyMission 360 ease of use extremely positive for most activities. Being waterproof to depths of about 100 feet is a big plus, as well as standing up to drops, spills and low temp conditions extremely well. With its anti-vibration technology, the Nikon KeyMission 360 video quality is crisp and clear without that shaking feeling.
Look for the latest in the Nikon camera line to be available by the Spring of 2016.

Sensorwake Alarm Clock 
One of the most annoying parts of sleeping is, well, waking up. With the new Sensorwake Alarm Clock your mornings of waking to loud DJs, obnoxious buzzers, or instant-angry beeps are over. This new technology invites you to start each day by awakening to the scent of chocolate, peppermint, or even seaside beach.  With interchangeable sensor capsules, each with at least 30 “wakenings”,Sensorwake every morning can now be a fresh awakening. The Sensorwake Alarm Clock even has a built-in option of a sound alarm that will go off after three minutes if you haven’t woken up yet due to sinus troubles or a plain old stuffy nose. So just imagine starting your morning to the sweet smell of espresso, a buttery croissant, or a lush rainforest jungle.
The new Sensorwake Alarm Clock is expected to go on the market by the Summer of 2016. Prices are expected to be around $85 for the clock, with additional sensor capsule two-packs to sell for around $10.

Belty Good Vibes Smartbelt
Belty-Smart-Belt-Fashion-Tech-Self-Fitting-Adjusting
Well here’s something I hadn’t thought of. A belt that tracks your everyday movement to give you an overview of your health and wellness. Made in France with high grade leather, the Belty has adjustable straps depending on the clothes you’re wearing or the latest fashion trends. This smartbelt will learn your lifestyle and even “talk” to you through a series of different vibrations in the buckle. Belty comes with an app that encourages healthy activity, allows the user to track their progress, and customize daily and long-term goals for their overall wellness. Whether climbing stairs or just walking, Belty will set a pace for you based on rhythm, and challenge you to increase your pace when it senses the need. This smartbelt will even suggest when you should drink more water or yes, even take a power nap.
Due out in late 2016, expect the Belty Good Vibes Smartbelt to list for around $395.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is more than your grandmother’s icebox. This new innovation is something out of The Jetsons. The new Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator organizes yourSamsung-Smart-Fridge--940x529 grocery lists, helps families stay connected, and even provides information and entertainment with its WiFi connectivity. The 21.5 inch HD LCD resolution screen, located on the front door of the refrigerator, serves as digital information center, allowing families to post, share and update calendars all with an app on your smartphone. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is perfect for entertaining. It offers owners to stream music through the appliance or connecting to the home’s Bluetooth speakers. You can even enjoy your favorite television show right on the refrigerator’s screen. And oh yeah, it keeps your food cold and fresh too! Imagine that. The Family Hub is designed as well on the inside as it is on the outside. The exclusive Samsung FlexZone transforms the fridge into a freezer depending on food storage needs, while also keeping food fresher with its unique cooling system. Its flexibility and energy-saving features places this new refrigerator at the top of the market for performance, innovation and design.
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is expected to be available by the Spring of 2016 at a price of $4,999, (food, beer and ice not included).

Lenovo Thinkpad XI Tablet
LenovoThinkTablet
The new ThinkPad X1 Tablet is Lenovo’s way of responding to the needs of an ever-changing landscape of users and their needs. The Thinkpad XI Tablet has been designed to offer the best of all computing worlds between a traditional tablet and a powerful PC. The ThinkPad X1 Tablet has been designed to expand with a number of specific options based on the owner’s need. The core system can be added onto to meet the user’s needs by including optional extension modules that include new features. The extension options include the Presenter Module that transforms the new ThinkPad X1 Tablet into a powerful presentation device, while the Productivity Module allows users to work more productively for longer. Perhaps the neatest extension is the 3D Imaging Module which transforms the tablet into a 3D scanner using the new Intel RealSense R200 3D camera. The new ThinkPad X1 Tablet introduces the award-winning ThinkPad keyboard to its latest design. This new keyboard offers a comfortable and accurate typing experience. The keyboard also includes a full TrackPoint and touch pad for control more commonly seen with a PC.
Due to go on sale this month, the Lenovo Thinkpad XI Tablet’s base price will start at $899.

Apple Watch
In this new era of Dick Tracy gadgets, Apple has created perhaps the most impressive innovation on the market today. With the Apple Watch you can send and receive emails, texts, and even phoneapple-watch calls with a flick of the wrist. With the Apple Watch Activity Tracker app you can keep track of your daily calories, total steps, distance, and minutes of exercise. If you want to listen to music just tell Siri what you want to hear and your music will play on your iPhone, iPad, or through a Bluetooth speaker. With the built in ApplePay making purchases is as simple as a wave of the wrist in front of a store’s checkout scanner. Apple Watch is capable of giving you the latest weather, directions to your favorite restaurant, and other essential features all with just a raise of the wrist. The new Apple Watch is designed to reflect a wide range of tastes and personalities. Each watch can be changed out to suit any occasion, by switching bands and changing watch faces.
The Apple Watch is available now at a cost starting around $250.

Kodak’s Super 8mm Camera
The Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative has begun and its being applauded by Hollywood’s top film directors from Tarantino to Spielberg. Kodak has taken KodakSuper8mmus back to the future with its new Super 8mm video camera. With the new Super 8, Kodak is merging analogue magic with digital convenience. It’s the first Super 8 camera to feature a digital viewfinder and an integrated microphone. The Kodak Super 8mm camera easily connects to other devices making it easier to create and share creations. Each camera is finished in a sleek midnight black and bright bone china color. Purchasing the film includes the film, the processing, and digital transfer. After you send your finished product off, the lab will then send your developed film back to you as well as emailing you a password so you can get your digital scans from the cloud for editing and sharing.
The fall of 2016 is the aim release date with pricing expected to start around $400.

Each of these inventions and innovations are designed to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and certainly the subject of interesting conversations in the coming year. As with most new products, you can expect prices to come down considerably within a couple years of their initial release. But for now, if you have a little extra money stashed away or have someone looking to buy you that one-of-a-kind gift, these ten products may certainly be right for you.

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5-stars for iPhone 3Gs

If you’re a techno-gadget freak like me, you have surely heard about the new Apple iPhone 3Gs. I have never been one to ‘need’ a new piece of technology; that is until I tried out the iPhone 3Gs. This device has everything one could ever want from a phone/PDA.

The first generation of iPhone came out a few years ago to much acclaim. However with the fanfare came glitches and criticism. Now, after more than two years of refining, and two generations of devices later, the folks at Apple have cut the cost in half, upped the capabilities, and doubled the speed of accessing information. Priced now at $199, the Apple iPhone 3Gs comes with 8GB of memory (the 16GB is priced at $299), which is more than enough space for even the above-average networker. The new 3Gs technology makes obtaining webpages or downloading information much faster than before.

The iPhone’s size and power are amazing. Weighing in at a measly 4.7 ounces, and sizing up at 4.5 inches high and 2.4 inches wide, the iPhone’s barely noticeable, until you see what it can do! Its 3.5 inch diagonal touch screen provides brilliant clarity and color with its 480 x 320 pixel resolution. And it’s the “touch” part of the screen that has everyone talking. With just one tap of the phone, mail, internet, or ipod icon on the iPhone’s main screen, the user is instantly engaged into whatever application they were looking to use. For example, one touch of the phone icon immediately sends the user to a screen to access a phonebook, recent calls, voicemail, or the keypad. A nice feature with the iPhone is the ability to sift through your voicemails before listening to them. As you recognize a number of importance, you can listen to that voicemail first. Then, the other voicemails that you are tired of seeing show up on your phone, well there is a handy little, red delete icon.

From the Safari internet icon, users are taken to their last page viewed, or they can also check sites from their bookmarked favorites. Most of the webpages are just like you would see from your desktop or laptop computer. No more watered-down, text-only pages. The iPhone even has a built-in mechanism that allows you to tip the device 90-degrees to view things with a wide-screen effect. I am still patiently waiting for Apple to come up with an update to allow for viewing sites that have Java-enabled content.

Cleverly built into the new iPhone is a hidden keyboard that appears with a tap of the screen when in an application that would require the use of typing. Though it seemed slightly clunky during my first few days, I now fly through an email or text message that even makes my son and daughter impressed. And speaking of email, this now puts every email account that you have at your fingertips 24/7. The iPhone mail works with Microsoft Exchange, Mobile Me, and many of the web-based email services. The folks at your neighborhood AT&T or Apple store can easily help you set up your accounts if you provide them with your email address and POP-server information.

Though I only store my ipod music on my iPhone, and keep my ipod fully loaded with music, movies, and more, my 8GB iPhone is extremely sufficient. I can only imagine that the 16GB would be more than you would ever need. On the new iPhone the music I download comes with album art and artist info. And like the family of ipods, everything can be managed from Apple’s iTunes on your home computer. This new product even comes with the classic ipod earphones, that produce a nice sound when being played aloud.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the iPhone 3Gs is its capability of its application use, known as ‘Apps’. These ‘Apps’ can be downloaded from the www.Apple.com  website, iTunes, or directly from the iPhone itself with its 3G technology. ‘Apps’ are actually pieces of software that range from GPS software to the latest video game. They also range in price from a few dollars to, my favorite, Free! With one tap of the ‘App’ icon on the iPhone’s main screen, I am able to view and download the latest apps available. And believe me, they are being created and marketed at, well let’s call it “3G-speed”! Nearly every week I check out the latest free apps, and actually come across a several interesting new ones. Some that I currently find useful on my iPhone are Stats Pro Football, AOL Radio, and White Pages. The Stats Pro Football app shows me gameday scores of all the NFL teams, play-by-play results, and fantasy football updates. AOL Radio is basically like having nearly every type of music available in the palm of your hand. From Pop to Smooth Jazz, Rock to Country, AOL Radio covers all the bases. The White Pages app allows me to place the name of someone into its search engine, then within seconds I have their phone number and sometimes even address. It works well for businesses too. This is a pretty handy app seeing that most don’t walk around with a phonebook in their back pocket. Other apps include popular video games like MonkeyBall, Madden football, or MotoChaser racing.

SMS texting, Microsoft Outlook or Exchange-compatible scheduling, and world time and weather are all standard on the iPhone 3Gs. Now I’m not much for texting, but with the iPhone’s SMS texting, I could be. Easy to read and easy to reply messages pop up on your iPhone in a chat-like format when in use, and again, the use of the built-in keyboard makes replying very easy. Infact, I just used it recently to text my son at college to inform him that I thought I had found his missing sunglasses. I attached a photo of the glasses, that I took with the iPhone camera. He texted me back with ‘Thx, ur the bst’. (Ahh, such heartfelt words from a child). I must admit that the one thing I haven’t changed over to yet is the iPhone’s scheduling capabilities. I still use my Franklin Planner for my daily scheduling, but I am attempting to become ‘paper-free’ when it comes to scheduling for 2010. And the iPhone’s scheduler is be perfect. I know of a colleague who actually has his iPhone color-coded for work, home, and play scheduling. (Remind me to take this guy to lunch this spring). Perhaps, surprisingly, one of the features I find myself using the most is the iPhone’s world weather icon. In a ‘tap’ I can access current weather anywhere in the world, along with six-day weather forecasts.

A camera, calculator, notepad, and GPS mapping are also standard on the iPhone 3G. Nicely placed on the devices main screen is also a You Tube icon. With one tap users can access the worldwide phenomenon known as You Tube;  a nearly infinite library of video clips ranging from politics to stupid-humor. (Come to think of it, doesn’t  politics fall into the ‘stupid-humor’ category anyways?) Simply select the one of the Most Viewed videos of the day, or search for a specific topic you are interested in. Again, this new iPhone truly does bring the world to the palm of your hand.

With all the positives of the iPhone 3Gs that I’ve mentioned, believe it or not I do have a couple complaints. One, the battery life is not long enough. Though they have added an update from iTunes, so once you hook up for updates through iTunes, Apple sends something to your iPhone that does extend the battery life a little bit more. I’ve found that clicking the upper left sleep-mode button does help with the battery life too. I also recently got a battery-charger case. This nifty little accessory adds about 3 days to your iPhone battery. The other slight problem that I see with the iPhone is … you know what, I don’t have a second or third problem. This new iPhone 3Gs is spectacular in its applications and ease of use! Apple.com has a terrific tutorial for users to teach themselves the countless things the iPhone can do.

Having been one who thought he’d be satisfied with a standard, typical cellphone for the rest of his life, I have seen the light; literally….the iPhone even makes a nifty night light if you are ever fumbling for your keys at night. But seriously, to me this is one of the biggest no-brainers I have come across in quite some time. This iPhone is changing the communications world, and more importantly, perhaps it will change your personal world by providing ease of use, and instant informational access wherever you may be.

For more information on the iPhone, visit www.Apple.com, swing by your local AT&T retailer, or stop by an Apple store. Maybe the best way to judge the power of the new iPhone 3Gs is to ask someone who has one. My guess is that they’ll quickly give it a 5-star review, and you will too, after just spending minutes seeing what it can do.