The below infographic, created by abbyryandesign, looks back at some of the most popular toys and gadgets from the past 50 years.
Gadget Advisor presents the best in gadget news, including audio/video, digital imaging, gaming, home automation, office, solar, toys, and more.
Geeks face a lot of pressure to stay on the cutting edge of technology. A lot of times, that means packing their lives with gadgets that average consumers aren’t ready for. Those poor, tech-deprived people!
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a geeky friend, you should consider adding these five gadgets to your shopping cart. They’re not only useful, they’re also really cool.
Trying to use a standard QWERTY keyboard for gaming is, at best, an unsatisfying experience. More often than not, it’s downright frustrating. Here your character is getting beaten to death by trolls while you’re trying to remember which key combination pulls your Elvin Bow from the Bag of Holding. It’s sad, really.
Buying a keyboard specifically made for gaming will immediately improve your skills. Some gaming keyboards have extra buttons so you don’t have to memorize as many keyboard combinations. Instead, you can assign a specific task to each button. While other players are trying to remember their macros, you just hit the G3 button and destroy them all.
Typing on a keyboard is fine for most occasions. Sometimes, though, you need to record your ideas with good old pen and paper. That not only harms your geek cred, but makes it difficult to separate ideas that are actually worth saving from those that you wouldn’t show your own mother.
That’s where smartpens come in. You can record your thoughts on paper while storing them electronically. That makes it easier for you to:
- Refine sketches and fan fiction when you have time
- Make your writing searchable so you can find the bits you want quickly
- Add tags to your class and work notes
Many smartpens come with built-in audio recorders, so you can synch up what someone says with the notes you take. It’s the perfect way to get ahead in school or your career without looking like a dweeb.
The world’s a noisy place full of car horns, barking dogs, and nagging bosses. How’s a person supposed to enjoy the new Final Fantasy soundtrack with all that audio clutter around?
Noise-cancelling headphones use digital technology to counter the things you don’t want to hear. Sony’s noise-cancelling earbuds, for instance, use a combination of microphones and algorithms to detect and block outside noises from your ears. That means you can listen to your favorite tracks without distraction.
Geeks need constant access to electricity to keep their gadgets charged. Why else do you think they spend so much time indoors? They just want to stay near electrical outlets.
Solar backpacks can change that by giving geeks a way to power their devices on the go. Several companies make solar backpacks, so you will want to explore a few options before buying one. Things to consider include:
- The volume the backpack can hold
- How much electricity the solar panels can produce for the gadgets you’ll be charging
- The cost of the backpack, considering how much you’ll use the solar power option
You’ll find designs that cost anywhere from $100 to $400. A higher price, however, doesn’t always mean it’s the best product for your needs.
All your friends are talking about how much they love their 4K TVs. There’s no denying that those are top-of-the-line screens, but do you really want to confine yourself to a world where you can only watch your favorite movies and shows on television sets? Seriously, what year is this?
Forget about TVs and move on to digital projectors to show your smartphone or laptop screen on large surfaces. The best options offer truly impressive resolution and they cost a fraction of what your pals paid for their 4K TVs. Recent improvements in projector technology also make it possible to watch movies during the day without blacking out the windows. Plus, many of them are small enough that you can take them wherever you go.
Staying current with today’s technology isn’t an easy accomplishment. By adding these five gadgets to your life, though, you can stay ahead of the curve. You’ll have things that are much cooler than what the average person owns. You’ll also be the envy of your friends who didn’t even know how deprived they were until you showed up with the latest trend.
Drone Racing has emerged as the ultimate and newest thrilling trend for the technology lovers. The rich-fan list for drones when operated with the raging and vigorous races generates certain high-end stunning results. The visual of an energetic drone creating its way through narrow lanes and risky tracks is enough to pace your pulse and fill enormous excitement. A bunch of attractive drone with robust attitude, fascinating LEDs and eye-catchy body-frames are made to race on furious racing tracks. The pilots of these competing drones are nowhere less than a F1 racer and their level of energy portrays their greed to win.
This infographic below, created by dronomag, aims to deliver information about the most amazing racing drones and drone racing competitions. The intention is to share the energy and enthusiasm of drone racing. Feel it, love it and share it further!
Text H/T: visualistan.com
The IoT (short for Internet of Things) has arrived and is quickly spreading out over numerous aspects of society. Our “things” are being connected in ways few could have foreseen five or ten years ago, facilitating new levels of convenience and efficiency in numerous aspects of life.
In some cases, the changes brought about by the ever-expanding IoT don’t relate to the average person on a daily basis. For instance, major companies are using IoT systems to improve conditions and practices in manufacturing and things like that. Those are big changes, but not ones that will affect consumers directly. However, dozens of other mainstream IoT applications are more visible and useful in everyday life. And as with most major advances in technology, that means the coming of a new wave of gadgets—in this case, those that make it easier to tap into the IoT.
Here are five such gadgets to prepare to learn to interact with, if you haven’t already.
Better Fitness Trackers
Wearable fitness trackers have been around for a few years now, and some might not readily associate them with the IoT. However, these wristbands were actually among the first consumer-friendly IoT devices to hit the market. When a device is automatically tracking information about your habits and activities and sending that information to an app or program for analysis, “things” are working together for your benefit. The exciting thing about these devices is that they’re always getting better. Just recently, this write-up took a fresh look at the top competitors in the market, and in comparing them to fitness trackers one or two years ago, the improvement is clear. We’re still in the pretty early days of this technology, and as the IoT expands and tech developers hone in on popular applications, fitness trackers are only going to get better (and more essential).
When we hear the term “fitness tracker,” we think of wristbands meant to measure how well we sleep, how far we run, and the like. But a new kind of fitness tracker has emerged within the IoT, and its implications are more serious. Specifically, the IoT is allowing for small devices to be implanted into human bodies for the purpose of monitoring various aspects of health. This list has some extraordinary ideas for how this technology might evolve in the near future, but even now we’re seeing doctors beginning to explore the use of implants to automatically report information about things like blood sugar levels or heart palpitations for those with certain health risks.
Location Monitoring Devices
GPS has a lot to do with some of the most exciting IoT applications, and this article reveals some pretty incredible ones related to the monitoring of peoples’ locations in everyday life. That may sound a little bit like surveillance, but the post explains that we can now use precise GPS connected to the IoT to automatically keep track of at-risk populations (the elderly and young children). These technologies can be used to track all movements, or simply to alert the interested party when someone wanders beyond a given area. It could completely change the ways in which we care for the elderly, in addition to how and where parents let their children play.
Universal remotes have been around for a very long time. They predate smartphones (which can now be programmed to take over most universal remote practices) by many years, and in ways they’re almost archaic novelty items for the home. However, as explained in detail here, universal remotes have new life just around the corner, and it’s entirely thanks to the expansion of the IoT in home environments. One of the most practical aspects of the IoT is the rise of “smart home” technologies, which will control not just big things like security systems and thermostats, but also light bulbs, fans, speakers, etc. Pretty much every aspect of the home will soon be connected to the Internet. While the point of that is for them all to work with each other and address your needs automatically, control will still be required. Enter the new age of universal remotes.
Finally, there’s beacon technology. It isn’t something that necessarily relates to consumers in an ordinary way, but it can be used proactively in day-to-day life. Beacons are small sensors that retail chains are stocking their stores with, and the point is that they can reach out to customers via WiFi or Bluetooth to assist in the shopping experience. Really, you won’t have to do anything as beacons are used in more stores; you’ll just have to get used to the idea of automated assistance that you can choose to use or ignore when you enter a store. If they work as well as they’re supposed to, you’ll be able to enjoy an improved shopping experience.
In all likelihood, the list of relevant IoT gadgets will expand significantly in the coming years. Projections for IoT growth in the coming decade are off-the-charts, and accordingly there are going to be lots of new devices for us to use. But even in these relatively early days of the IoT, these are some of the pieces of tech we may as well begin getting familiar with.
Lian Li is no stranger to building desks with computers crammed into them, but this is the first time it’s playing to the standing desk crowd. After all, you can justify more of those late night raids if you’re also standing up and, therefore, kinda exercising. Much like its predecessors, the DK-04 is a large chassis that’ll let you build your dream water-cooled PC with support for eight expansion slots. It also has an electronically-controlled motor that’ll let you push the table to heights between 67.5 and 116 centimeters. The other big change is to the underside of the chassis, which now tapers to provide bigger and better legroom than the originals. If this is the desk of your dreams, you can pick it up in Europe in early may for £1,269.99 and in the US for $1,499.
This post was originally published on: Engadget.
Remember the Turret, Razer’s living room-friendly mouse and keyboard combo? After more than a year of waiting, it’s finally ready for action. Plunk down $160 and you’ll get a pair of wireless peripherals (they work on both Bluetooth and proprietary connections) that are designed to be used in your lap. The keyboard has a lapboard that provides a flat surface for its high-precision, 3,500DPI mouse. The setup is primarily intended for a PC hooked up to your TV, but it has dedicated Android keys in case you’re using a Google-powered set-top box. There are plenty of other couch-oriented combos out there, but this may be your best pick if you’re determined to play first-person shooters and anything else that’s particularly involving.
This post was originally published on: Engadget.
“In our tech-addicted world, gadgets are typically thought to be counterproductive to healthy sleeping habits. But what if you could harness a new fleet of contraptions that might help you doze off soundlessly?
From the Tranquil Turtle, a stuffed animal-slash-sleeping aid that projects underwater images and plays soothing sounds for children, to the disturbingly snug Ostrich Pillow, which sheaths one’s entire head in cushioning, UK-based retailer Made to Measure Blinds has compiled aclever infographic (below) showcasing 21 cutting-edge gadgets designed to help you sleep better.
Products and apps run a multisensory gamut, with options that emit soothing scents, project relaxing visualizations and sounds, and that are delectably soft to the touch. Check them out right here:”
This post was originally published on: entrepreneur.
Memory cards—like memories—come and go all the time. Most people who shop for memory cards do so for storage, but there are many other reasons to buy a memory card. Here’s a short profile of some memory card shoppers, some recommendations, and even some tips on how to shop smart.
Infographic source: Delkin. H/t: Visualistan.com
All too often we hear the word “game changer” as if it’s something so revolutionary we’re all left in awe. As if we’re supposed to then get down on our knees to worship at the feet of the developers behind it. This happens pretty often in the tech world. We’re left scratching our heads. On one hand they may actually be useful. On the other hand we have no idea how we could add it into our busy lives.
Let’s introduce you to the concept of the future.
Computer Downsizing, it’s here, it’s real, and you can’t do anything about it.
Smart Devices have become a thing lately. With the hype of the Apple Watch being downgraded to merely giving such a wearer a cursory glance. We only recently gave these wearables permission to join our little family of scattered devices laying around our homes. Everything needs to be charged, everything needs to be synced, everything needs WiFi
So what do we need to have that we don’t already have?
That’s always going to be up to you to decide. Just don’t bring up Google Glass–trust us, they don’t–some say it was ahead of its time, others say there was never a time.
Our list of downsizing is remarkable. There are so many variants of mobility today that it’s become difficult to keep track of them. Many made the list, many didn’t. If only we had the time and space to bring them under the limelight, sigh.
When we think computer we think of desktop PCs. We’d bet many of you reading this right now have used Windows 3.1 for word processing. We agree, learning how to navigate through MS-DOS was a pain but Command line was a useful foundation to learn.
What we have here is the ASUS VivoPC.
There are several models to choose that don’t get above 190mm by length or width. They come with mandatory Solid State Drives, which is a great thing because if you read our earlier post on SSDs you’ll understand why! They all have HDMI outputs, two audio jacks, an onboard LAN, WiFi, bluetooth, and expandable RAM up to 16 GB. The CPU isn’t too shabby either. They’ve managed to cram in an Intel Celeron 2957U @ 1.40 GHz at the lower end and an Intel Core i5-4210U @ 1.7 GHz at the higher end. The GPU performance is standard with an integrated Intel HD graphics card. The exeception would be the VM62N; it has an Nvidia GeForce 820M.
All are upgradable to Windows 10. If you wanted Windows 7 we assume it wouldn’t be hard to install it provided you knew how.
Ultrabooks, the main competitor for the Macbook Air are out this year with a vengeance. We have the Lenovo LaVie Z. Touted as “the lightest ultrabook in the world.” At 1.87 lb, it packs a 2.40 GHz Intel Core i7-5500U, Intel HD integrated graphics 5500, 8GB RAM, 2k screen, and 256 GB SSD! As you might expect, having to cram all of those things into something less than a foot long is an expensive process. Accept that none of the ultrabooks on the market now are that affordable.
As far as Ultraportable Laptops go, Apple has always been the go-to for those with the means and a lifestyle that would rather have something that just works right out of the box. It is a bit long in the tooth but being last years model, it’s better priced. The 2015 Macbook sports a 12-inch 1440p screen, 1.1GHz Core M processor, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz, and an Intel HD integrated graphics card. The base model comes with a 256 SSD and of course everything gets tied together in OSX 10.10.2 Yosemite.
We’ve looked at the witchcraft that is the ASUS VivoPC, ultrabooks, ultraportable laptops, what’s next?
How small can we get?
The smallest of the bunch seems to be the Intel Compute Stick. It sells for $99.99 on Amazon in early 2015 and has since been surpassed by the Cherry Trail Atom at $154.64. Lenovo and ASUS have also made the jump to stuffing functional OS’s into something the size of a flash drive.
The next step up might be the NUC class. According to Computer Shopper, NUC stands for “Next Unit of Computing.” This initiative is being led by Intel as a catalyst for developing very small Windows-based desktop PCs using mobile processors. The HP Pavilion Mini is one such example. The best part? It affixes to the back of your LCD monitor.
This then brings us to another huge question…
What about Raspberry Pi?
Raspberry Pi seems like something everyone has heard at some point but since it wasn’t much more than a PCM board with a few connectors it sort of just slipped under the radar. Going to RaspberryPi.org we found a lot of help with our definition of just what exactly this thing was.
The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.
It’s basically whatever you choose to make it.
We still don’t understand it. Rather than try to explain it, it’s best you just watch this video.
Smartwatches and more.
We own a Moto 360, and while we often forget to charge it overnight it’s made sure we’re on top of things at all times. Especially when we really don’t feel like pulling our phone out. In our model we get the ability to look through messages, browse the web, watch videos (with bluetooth headphones), send text messages through voice, and answer calls with a swipe across your watch. They feature interchangeable digital faces as well. The hot watch this year is going to be the Moto Sport 360 running the newest edition of Android Wear.
There are quite a few mentionables such as Athena which is supposed to track and protect women via an alarm and GPS alerts, super small earpiece devices coined “hearables”, YouTube 360 taking advantage of the VR movement, “invisibles” or “tech tattoos” designed to do… something, wearable payments embedded in bracelets, and wearables marketed directly to fashion conscious women.
The idea of Virtual Reality has been around for a long time. If you can remember “The Lawnmower Man” in the 90’s and it’s successors, “Virtuosity,” and “Arcade” then you know what we mean when we say things have come a lo-o-o-o-o-ng way.
The Lawnmower Man (1992)
Oculus Rift and its little brother Gear VR by Samsung take readings from motion sensors embedded in the headset to determine how you’re interacting with the virtual environment. Controls in the Samsung Gear VR rest on the side of the device and you choose by either using a small set of buttons for directions or you make choices while looking at virtual menu boards in the viewfinder–or whatever’s in front of your eyes because you do forget you’re looking through goggles pretty often.
The Oculus Rift is a little different in that it uses dedicated control pads–either an Xbox controller or the proprietary controllers dubbed “Oculus Touch.” The requirements of Gear VR are as simple as owning one of the Galaxy S6 & S7 line of phones or the Galaxy Note 5 & 6. Requirements of the Rift are a more demanding. You’re going to need a PC that runs $400.00 GPUs or better. That means you need to have at least an r9 290x. If you’re on team green make that a least an Nvidia GTX 970.
CPU power start at an Intel i5-4590 or AMD equivalent and 8GB of RAM. Don’t think you can skimp on your OS either. You’re going to need a 64-bit system; Windows 7 and onward.
Why does all this matter to me?
It matters because “all this” has become embodied and now resides in our daily lives. Smart homes are no longer a dream of science fiction, nor are concepts like smart clothing for athletes. Despite many failures--Google Glass, Blackberry Playbook, Nokia N-Gage–we’ve come to terms with the idea that these tiny devices are going to continue to be a big part of our lives. We have smart TVs, RF microchipped pets, and kitchen appliances that tell you when you need to toss bad food. Then there’s that thing you carry around in your pocket, a supercomputer that you might only use for Facebook.
We know… we know
Yes we’ve left some out. Fitbit, Garmin, GPS Navi systems, cars with smart networking features by Toyota, NFC powered phones, wireless printing, and the like. Did we really need to tell you that they exist? We all use these devices never thinking twice about it. The Internet has in all respects, truly come alive. It’s right here in our living rooms, our garages, our workplaces, perhaps even in our bedrooms…smart “toys” anyone?
The future is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
There’s no other time I’d rather be alive.