Category: Gadgets

July 28, 2019 Off

Why A Gadget Makes Your Life Easier

By Jill T Frey

Why A Gadget Makes Your Life Easier, In this article I will debate the main points of why and how the gadgets can significantly improve our life.

Gadgets are enjoyable and life easier

First of all gadgets are very cool and they make us smile and say: wow, it’s great! A gadget can always make you feel better because they access your deepest needs: comfort, security, usefulness and maybe most important, you can play with them. Some would say that they like gadgets because they make their life easier. In my opinion we love gadgets because gadgets are toys. Gadgets are toys for the big boys or girls. We really enjoy playing with them, testing them and integrating them in our lifes. Babies have suzettes we have gadgets.

Gadgets equal many products in one

The best example is the Swiss Army Knife: knife, fork, spoon, screwdriver, tweezers, lantern, compass etc. … Read the rest

June 8, 2019 Off

Maker Faire halts operations and lays off all staff

By Jill T Frey

Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale Dougherty.

For 15 years, MAKE: guided adults and children through step-by-step do-it-yourself crafting and science projects, and it was central to the maker movement. Since 2006, Maker Faire’s 200 owned and licensed events per year in over 40 countries let attendees wander amidst giant, inspiring art and engineering installations.

Maker Media Inc ceased operations this week and let go of all of its employees — about 22 employees” Dougherty tells TechCrunch. “I started this 15 years ago and it’s always been a struggle as a business to make this work. Print publishing … Read the rest

June 7, 2019 Off

Audi proves two little screens are better than one big screen

By Jill T Frey

I’m spending some time in the new Audi Q8, and the car company equipped the crossover with its latest infotainment system. I love it, fingerprints, dust and all.

The grimy screens are part of the story. I could have cleaned up the screens for the photos, but I thought it was essential to show the screens after a couple of weeks of use.

There are two screens placed in the center stack of the Q8. The top one features controls for the radio, mapping system and vehicle settings. The bottom screen is for climate controls and additional controls like garage door opener and the vehicle’s cameras. Both have haptic feedback, so the buttons feel nearly real.

Both screens are tilted at the right angle, and the shifter is built in a way that provides a handy spot to rest your wrist, steadying it as you hit the screens.

Car companies … Read the rest

June 7, 2019 Off

Weighing Peloton’s opportunity and risks ahead of IPO

By Jill T Frey

Exercise tech company Peloton filed confidentially for IPO this week, and already the big question is whether their last private valuation at $4 billion might be too rich for the appetites of public market investors. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons leading up to the as-yet revealed market debut date.

Risk factors

The biggest thing to pay attention to when it comes time for Peloton to actually pull back the curtains and provide some more detailed info about its customers in its S-1. To date, all we really know is that Peloton has “more than 1 million users,” and that’s including both users of its hardware and subscribers to its software.

The mix is important – how many of these are actually generating recurring revenue (vs. one-time hardware sales) will be a key gauge. MRR is probably going to be more important to prospective investors … Read the rest

June 5, 2019 Off

This year’s Computex was a wild ride with dueling chip releases, new laptops and 467 startups

By Jill T Frey

After a relatively quiet show last year, Computex picked up the pace this year, with dueling chip launches by rivals AMD and Intel and a slew of laptop releases from Asus, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Lenovo and other companies.

Founded in 1981, the trade show, which took place last week from May 28 to June 1, is one of the ICT industry’s largest gatherings of OEMs and ODMs. In recent years, the show’s purview has widened, thanks to efforts by its organizers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and Taipei Computer Association, to attract two groups: high-end computer customers, such as hardcore gamers, and startups looking for investors and business partners. This makes for a larger, more diverse and livelier show. Computex’s organizers said this year’s event attracted 42,000 international visitors, a new record.

Though the worldwide PC market continues to see slow growth, demand for high-performance computers is still being Read the rest

June 3, 2019 Off

Apple releases the $5,000 Pro Display XDR, a 32-inch, 6K display available this fall

By Jill T Frey

Apple is finally back in the monitor game. Today, at WWDC 2019, the company took the wraps off the Pro Display XDR to go along with a new Mac Pro. This is the first Apple monitor since the company discontinued the Thunderbolt Display in 2016.

The screen is covered with a new type of matte coating. Apple says the glass is etched to replace the matte effect without the downsides. A redesigned blue array shapes and controls the light while the backside of the display acts as a heatsink to allow the display 1000 nits of fullscreen brightness indefinitely. The screen can be rotated to portrait mode, too.

The backside features the same cheese grater design found on the new Mac Pro. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the backside, too.

Apple has a long history of producing class-leading monitors and left a hole in the market when the … Read the rest

May 31, 2019 Off

Teams autonomously mapping the depths take home millions in Ocean Discovery Xprize

By Jill T Frey

There’s a whole lot of ocean on this planet, and we don’t have much of an idea what’s at the bottom of most of it. That could change with the craft and techniques created during the Ocean Discovery Xprize, which had teams competing to map the sea floor quickly, precisely and autonomously. The winner just took home $4 million.

A map of the ocean would be valuable in and of itself, of course, but any technology used to do so could be applied in many other ways, and who knows what potential biological or medical discoveries hide in some nook or cranny a few thousand fathoms below the surface?

The prize, sponsored by Shell, started back in 2015. The goal was, ultimately, to create a system that could map hundreds of square kilometers of the sea floor at a five-meter resolution in less than a day — oh, … Read the rest

May 31, 2019 Off

Muro is a retro-style cylinder music box you control with an app

By Jill T Frey

The light twinkle of an old-fashioned cylinder music box evokes many things: nostalgia, childhood memories, sometimes even horror (they are a trope in scary movie soundtracks). Most music boxes play one tune, but with the Muro Box, which exhibited at Computex this week, you can use an app to pick different songs or even compose your own. It even doubles as a smart alarm clock.

Created by Tevofy Technology, a Taiwanese startup, the Muro Box’s components are mounted on a wooden base and visible underneath a glass cover, so you can watch as a 20-note steel comb creates music by plucking pins on its cylinder. The key difference between Muro and traditional music boxes, however, is that Muro’s cylinder is programmable.

The Muro Box is a music box with a programmable cylinder

Instead of a fixed pattern of pins, Muro’s patented convertible cylinder features 20 stainless steel gears, … Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

This robot learns its two-handed moves from human dexterity

By Jill T Frey

If robots are really to help us out around the house or care for our injured and elderly, they’re going to want two hands… at least. But using two hands is harder than we make it look — so this robotic control system learns from humans before attempting to do the same.

The idea behind the research, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, isn’t to build a two-handed robot from scratch, but simply to create a system that understands and executes the same type of manipulations that we humans do without thinking about them.

For instance, when you need to open a jar, you grip it with one hand and move it into position, then tighten that grip as the other hand takes hold of the lid and twists or pops it off. There’s so much going on in this elementary two-handed action that it would be hopeless to ask a … Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

Ducky’s new limited-edition mechanical keyboard pays tribute to Taiwan’s Paiwan community

By Jill T Frey

Ducky, known for its popular mechanical keyboards, is based in Taiwan and today at Computex it showed off its tribute to the country’s culture: the limited-edition “Year of the Pig” 65 percent keyboard. The latest of Ducky’s yearly Zodiac releases, the keyboard was created in collaboration with metalwork artist Kulele Ruladen, the keyboard pays tribute to the Paiwan, one of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes.

Ruladen’s design draws on several aspects of Paiwan culture, including a metal cut-out at the front of the keyboard inspired by a wild boar, a symbol of bravery for Paiwan people, and a golden backplate with images of Paiwan warriors battling the boars.

Read the rest