Tag Archives: Gear

BenQ at 2016 CES

Todd CochraneBenQ Zowie interviews Ronald Kim from BenQ. They discuss BenQ’s new line of Zowie line of competitive gaming accessories. BenQ brings in professional gamers to help them validate their gaming accessory designs.

Ron shows three models (they offer a total of seven models) of gaming mice that are specifically designed to give the end user the best possible gaming performance. They include the ZA Series, the EC-A Series, and the FK Series mice. Top-level professional gamers still prefer wired mice over wireless mice for the best possible lag-free performance. BenQ Zowie mice offer the ultimate in adjustable precision.

The mice are all priced at $59.99 each and are available now. The BenQ Zowie mouse pads are priced from $25 to $45 dollars on Amazon.

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Orca Gear to Launch at NAB

Orca LogoPro gear and accessory firm Orca has announced that their official launch will take place at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas on 7 April.

With over 30 years’ experience in the film industry, Orca’s research and development team has created a top-flight range of gear bags and accessories. The team produced the entire Orca line specifically for the audio-visual industry, designing a range of smart bags and accessories, carefully crafted to carry and protect video, lighting and sound equipment.

Integrating with their new Trolley System, Orca’s designs include the Audio Bag, Shoulder Video Bag, Light Case, and Backpack, incorporating aluminium frames and multiple access points for both protection and convenience. Additional offerings will include the Rain Cover and LCD Hood, and the full product line will be on show at NAB.

Band Pro Film & Digital have confirmed that they will carry the range following Orca’s NAB launch. Amnon Band, Band Pro’s President and CEO, remarked: “These are the best bags I’ve seen in a long time.  We’ve always prided ourselves on carrying nothing but the best, and that’s what Orca products are.  I’m really impressed with their entire product line.”

Drop in with Orca at the Band Pro Film & Digital’s booth #C10408

Yurbuds Ironman Series Earphones

Yurbuds Spring is coming, which means a lot of walking outside. I like to listen to music or podcasts when I am walking. The problem I have is my ears get sweaty and when they do I have trouble keeping most earphones in. I could wear over the ear headphones, but then I can’t hear what is happening around me and since I have to walk on the side of the road that could be dangerous. When I try to wear most ear buds they are constantly falling out as I am walking. Which means I am continually trying to stick them back in or they end up dangling down in front of me and I can’t hear the music. Either way it is very frustrating. I wanted to try to find a solution for this problem before the spring weather comes into full swing and I think I have.

Yurbuds slogan is “Developed by Athletes for Athlete” and according to the box they are guaranteed to never fall out. They come in a small box and inside the box are the headphones , a small carrying case and a card with instruction on them. The earphones are kidney-shaped and fit snugly inside the ear and then “lock in”. The hardest part is getting them in right, which is key to them not falling out. Once they are in they stay in. I wore them walking on the first warm day of spring and although I was sweating they didn’t fall out. The true test though will come in the summer when it is humid and its 80 degrees, while I am walking. My other complaint is the fact that the cords do get tangled up if you just throw them in your pocket.

The earphone are made of a soft silicon and they feel very comfortable in my ear. The audio sounds fine. I was listening to a workout music playlist from Songza and the bass beat was good, not great but good. The upper and middle tones sound fine. If you keep the volume down to a reasonable level you can hear what is going on around you, which I appreciate. Overall I am happy at this point that I purchased Yurbuds Ironman Series.

Final Pick of the Day

Techpodcast NetworkIt’s a last day of CES, Jeffrey Powers, Andy McCaskey, Alltante Sparks and Daniel Lewis gets together and talks about what they saw during the event. There were somethings that wowed them and some disappointments. They all found some small company doing inventive things and that is what they concentrated on. The average price point that they saw was around $119. Then they talked about the various pics of the day.

The first pic by Allante Sparks is a fun pic is not really a tech thing but is certainly something a lot tech people would want and that’s an Ironman suit.

The second pick by Daniel Lewis of Audacity to Podcast was from a company called Nady Systems and it is a Bluetooth wireless audio module. It is the BTM series and at this point is not yet available on their website. What this module will allow you to do is plug-in any microphone, including an XLR microphone and then pair that microphone with your computer, iPad or iPhone wirelessly using Bluetooth. This device will run about $169.90 availability is unknown.

After talking about a problem he had with a certain companies pr representative, Andy McCaskey then talked about a product he really loved called Stick N Find. It is a Bluetooth device that is the size of a quarter and about an eighth of an inch thick. You can stick the device on anything you want to track. The device is then paired up with an app on your phone. It will work with either Android or iOS. You can have it track if something is out of range or within range of the apps. For example, let’s say you always lose your keys.  You can put the sticker on your key and when you lose your key you simply tap on the app and as you move toward your keys it will start to beep and get louder the closer you get. Another example let’s you have a child that wanderers a lot you can place the sticker on something they carry all the time and if they get out of a certain range from you the app will start beeping. This was a Indiegogo project originally they asked for $70,000 they ended up getting over $931,000. One sticker runs $25 and you can get a pack of 10 for $199.

The final pick of the day was the best of all and that was Jeffrey Power’s pick it was the TechPodcast booth and all the great people who worked hard all week to keep it up and running.

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NuWave Oven

There are only two of us and heating an oven always seems like a waste of energy. Not to mention you heat up the whole kitchen something I hate doing in the middle of the summer heat. Still there are times when you need to use an oven. In fact often during the holidays one oven doesn’t seem like enough. What we wanted was something that could take the place of an oven, but it had to be small, convenient and not to expense. After do some research my husband, (who is a bit of a kitchen gadget geek) decided to purchase the NuWave Pro Infrared Oven at Sears for $97.00.

He said it was really easy to assemble, it was just a matter of getting the top connected. The first thing he did was brown a turkey breast. He did it without reading directions and said it worked fine, although in his opinion it was a bit overcooked. Due to this he said it would probably have been better if he had read the directions. According to the book that comes with the NuWave Pro Oven you can bake, broil, air fry, grill, barbecue, steam and even dehydrate in it.

I asked him what he would change about it. The one complaint he has is with the temperature read out. The read out doesn’t show temperature, but instead shows power numbers from 1–10, with each number representing a temperature range. He thought it would be better if the actual temperature was shown, that way you could control the temperature more precisely.

Despite this complaint, he said he would buy the NuWave Pro Oven again. I think that this would be a great gift for someone who doesn’t have an oven, like a student or perhaps someone living alone for whom heating up a big oven doesn’t make sense.

Fitbit Ultra Review

Like a lot of people today who work involves computers, I sit at my desk a lot. This has led to the spreading of the waistline and the raising of the weight on the scale. I know I should exercise more, but I lack motivation. The one thing that does motivate me is being able to keep track of the numbers. I have tried to keep track of my progress manually, but usually that only last for a few days. I would quickly forget to do it, and when I did do it was probably not very accurate. I started to look into different devices that I could use to keep track of my exercise routine. I have tried to use Runkeeper on my phone, which works well, except that to use it I have to bring my phone with me and not all my pants have pockets. I needed something that I could clip on to my pants or shirt. After looking at several products I ended up getting the Fitbit Ultra

The Fitbit Ultra is 2 inch in length and 1/2 inch across. You can clip it directly on to your pants or shirt. It also comes with a belt clip in case you are wearing thick pants. There is also a wristband. The setup is fairly easy, the first step is to register at the Fitbit website. It will ask for your height, weight, age and goal. Then you have to place the Fitbit into its base and plug the base into your computer via USB. Once you’ve paired your device with your account the two are than linked. The Fitbit Ultra is built to be worn all the time. It keeps track of the number of steps you take throughout the day and the number of miles. It can also measure how many stairs you climb during the day. Although I haven’t quite figured out how many stairs you have to walk before it will register. You can log your food and water intake through the Website. It also allows you to record a specific event like a morning run or walk. The Fitbit will also work if you use a treadmill or a bicycle. Although according to the forums, it doesn’t measure the increase calorie outtake when you increase the incline. It is not waterproof, so you cannot wear it while swimming. You can also wear it at night using the wristband to keep track of your sleep patterns. To see how you are doing throughout the day you simply push the button on the Fitbit and the numbers will appear, as you push the button again it will cycle through the various options. The Fitbit Web site also has an active and helpful community which I appreciate.

Some people in the reviews on Amazon and also on the Fitbit Web site question its accuracy. I wore it Friday on my morning walk and also used RunKeeper, both had very similar numbers when I finished. In my mind consistency is more important. For example if I walk a route on Monday and the Fitbit says I walked 2 miles on Monday and I walk the same route on Tuesday it should again say I walked 2 miles. I do think with some exercises like bike riding you have to experiment on where to place the device to get the most accurate measurements. The other main complaint was the lack of customer service, I tend to avoid customer service if I can help it so I really can’t comment on that.

If you are getting into an exercise program and want to keep track of your progress, Fitbit Ultra is a good way to do it. Do you use the Fitbit or a similar device, and do you like it.

GreenSmart Eco-Friendly Gadget Gear

GreenSmart Laptop SleeveA good bag can make travelling a pleasure and it’s important to choose the right bag for your needs. It’s even better if its a “green” bag. Andy and Courtney interview Tom Larsen from GreenSmart on their range of eco-friendy travel bags and gadget gear.

GreenSmart’s unique selling point is not just that the bags are good-looking and functional, it’s that the bags themselves are made from recycled materials, hence both the “green” and “smart”.

On show are laptop and tablet sleeves in a neoprene-like material made from recycled plastic bottles. There’s also a backpack made completely from recycled materials.

To reduce packaging waste, GreenSmart designs the retail display of the product as part of the bag itself. For example, a carry handle is used to hang the bag from the display rail while it’s on show in-store.

GreenSmart bags are on sale on-line and in select retail locations.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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