Tech promises to make your life better. Does it?
Water Saver is a showerhead that promises to save 80% more water at salons by shrinking the droplets to be more efficient.
Water Saver is a showerhead that promises to save 80% more water at salons by shrinking the droplets to be more efficient.
EyeQue has announced EyeQue VisionCheck 2, a do-it-yourself smartphone vision test available for purchase on Kickstarter with an expected delivery of May 2021. The company touts it as the fastest, simplest way to order eyeglasses and track vision changes from home.
VisionCheck 2 is a lightweight optical smartphone attachment and mobile app (iOS and Android) with results expressed as EyeGlass Numbers, which is the lens-power needed to correct vision.
EyeQue’s mobile app presents a vision test with two colored lines viewed through an optical smartphone attachment. While using the buttons on the device, move the lines closer together or further apart to converge to a single yellow line. The amount of movement of overlapping of the lines corresponds with the refractive correction needed for each eye. Using proprietary algorithms, the EyeQue app calculates the resulting EGNs into a traditional prescription.
EyeQue states “EyeQue refraction tests do not replace a comprehensive eye exam that evaluates ocular health and binocularity. EyeQue strongly recommends people visit an eye care professional annually to receive a complete eye health exam.”
AndaSeat, a professional seating company known for manufacturing race car seats for BMW and Mercedes Benz, is bringing the technology to gamers with the Kaiser 2 ergonomic gaming chair.
Dark red with BMW leather and padded with 65-70Kg/M3 cold-cured and super high-density foam offers superior ergonomic comfort. Along with the looks, it’s designed for sitting for long periods with all-important support for the spine.
The construction consists of high tensile strength carbon and a soft flexible coating with the feel of leather. With the dual ergonomic headrest and lumbar support cushions, it can be adjusted to support the lumbar and cervical spines simultaneously while the cushions conform to body curves.
The AndaSeat has a Z-shape design and the reclining can be locked in angles up to 160-degrees, And with a lumbar cushion giving a wider support range for the lower back it’s adjustable to find the sweet spot for comfort.
The form-fitting memory foam headrest cradles the neck and head to ensure endless pain-free gaming sessions. Customizable armrests can be set in a variety of height and width adjustments for perfect mobility.
For safety, there’s an SGS certificated Class 4 hydraulic piston and explosion-proof gas spring of international standards. And the high quality 22 mm diameter steel frame is covered by a lifetime warranty.
Adidas smartphone cases are now available for the iPhone 12, with the classic Adidas log on the back.
Choices include the Adidas Samba/Samba Rose Range case ($34.95) with a leather-like front and TPU edges with stitched-on stripes. The basic Trefoil Range ($17.95) is a glossy snap case, the AOP Graphic Range ($29.95) is made of ultra-light TPU, and the Handgrip Case ($34.95 ) has a comfortable grip with a back strip functioning as both stand and grip band.
Finding a perfect mask is a daunting task and probably impossible, but I did find AirPop Pocket masks to be safe with minimum discomfort.
AirPop masks are shaped to fill the hard-to-seal area around the nose bridge, with a cushioned seal. An innovative 3D dome design is engineered for ideal air exchange, resulting in a comfortable breathing pocket and reduced eyeglass fogging.
They are made in a variety of colors and have an integrated filtration system for protecting from 99.3-percent of particles and 99.9-percent of bacteria.
www.airpophealth.com, $24.99 for a 4-pack of adult AirPop Pockets
No one wants to watch a shaky, unstable video unless you are volunteering for a headache. An easy solution is FeiyuTech’s new AK2000C handheld gimbal for a pro or beginner videographers.
If you’re not familiar with a gimbal, this is a device that attaches to your camera or smartphone. It offers extra stabilization that eliminates jerky video. In a nutshell, a gimbal is an anti-shake tool that will help stabilize and smooth the video while you’re in motion. You can tilt, pan, run, walk or move in 360-degree circles. Whatever you choose to use a gimbal will help. Even with a built-in stabilization that many cameras have, they can’t beat the results of a gimbal.
While they aren’t new, gimbals have grown in popularity and in some cases are a necessity to smooth out intentional and unintentional camera movement.
With the FeiyuTech AK2000C, you get a motorized three-axis stabilized handheld gimbal, which is easy to use for instant results and at an affordable price. Do a quick Amazon search for “Gimbal stabilizer for DSLR camera” and you’ll find hundreds of choices, including some over $5,000, making the AK2000C at $299 even more appealing.
A big feature distinguishing the differences between gimbals is how much weight they can support. The AK2000C is good for up to 5 pounds. This includes the camera, lens, and any other accessory attached, making it ideal for most mirrorless camera setups.
The 2.5-pound AK2000C gimbal is well constructed with aerospace aluminum alloy, and a color customized (carbon fiber texture, navy camouflage, or rosewood pattern) handle. Tripod legs attach and fold out of the bottom, which when folded in, can be used as a monopod.
It’s built with a three-axis motor lock and quick-release plate to securely attach to a camera’s bottom tripod thread. A 3-inch OLED touchscreen is an app free easy-to-use control center for switching modes instantly. Inside is a rechargeable battery, good for about 7-hours of use.
Using it is easy. Once the camera is attached and balanced, power them both on and hold it at any angle. The camera will remain level and go with the flow. Use it at eye level, holding it up high, at ground level, or turn it on yourself for Vlog selfie filming.
I did a test run up and down my street, doing my best to make it miss and produce unwanted movements and jerkiness but it didn’t. Going from a foot off the ground next to my dog walking and then running was more than entertaining. Even doing circles around my neighbor sitting in a lawn chair was smooth.
Whatever I chose, it worked flawlessly.
How does charging three different devices from one charger sound? For most, it’s a welcome site to clean up a countertop of cable charger clutter. That’s exactly what you get with Mophie’s new 3-in-1 wireless charging stand.
This will become any household’s go-to charging device for three everyday Apple devices at once. It’s built with dedicated quick transport on and off spots for an iPhone, Apple Watch and wireless charging AirPods.
The modern looking acrylic-finished hub (black or white) measures 8-by-4-by-0.5-inches and provides up to 7.5W of power. Putting it together takes seconds; just click the stands in place for the iPhone and watch charging. The wireless charging cases for AirPods Pro or AirPods have their dedicated charging spot built into the flat hub.
iPhones with cases up to 3mm thick can be placed in portrait or landscape mode on the stand. Apple watches go on the built-in Apple Watch magnetic charger, which is angled for nightstand mode.
An AC adapter is included, which powers all three devices.
Charging smartphones is a daily chore, often multiple times a day. And for some reason we are all in a rush and even a panic to getting the boost of power.
So how does three times faster-charging sound compared to your old charger? That is exactly what you get with Anker's new PowerPort III ($52.99) two-port 60 watt and the tiny but powerful single 20-watt PowerPort III Nano ($16.99) chargers along with new Anker Powerline charging cables.
In 30 minutes of charging starting with a zero% battery, the Anker Nano will produce 53% of the charge, while the original 5-watt chargers only produced 17 percent.
With the PowerPort III, a pair of USB-C ports with Intelligent Power Allocation make it ideal for home or travel use for charging or keeping a MacBook powered up in use. According to Anker, this feature is designed to intermittently detect the power needs of connected devices and to identify the optimum power allocation, ensuring the best charge every time.
While connected, the power is adjusted every three minutes to ensure the device is charging safely. Interchangeable US, EU, and UK plugs make it perfect for charging in over 90 destinations across the globe.
The Anker Nano iPhone Charger is the same size (1.81-by-1.08-by-1.08-inches) as the original 5-watt charger but with the new technology producing 20 watts output for increased efficiency.
Anker's PowerIQ 3.0 technology ensures perfect compatibility with virtually all mobile devices including phones, tablets, smartwatches, charging earbuds, and USB-C laptops. A full list of compatible devices on the Anker site includes devices from Apple, Samsung, and others.
The new PowerLine III fast charging cables in USB-C to Apple Lightning ($19.99, 3-foot) and USB-C to USB-C ($17.99, 6 foot) are designed for efficiency and work in both the dual port and single port charger. Multiple sizes are available and all are constructed with quadruple bulletproof fiber cores, enabling them to up to 25,000 bends.
Twelve South's Curve Riser is a desktop accessory you won't think you'll need until you use it and then you wonder how you ever lived without it.
Well, that might be a little exaggeration, but the Curve Riser premium metal stand is an outstanding addition to any workstation and helps declutter every desk. It's marketed for Apple iMacs but will work just fine with any display Mac or PC, TV, or anything needing a little lift. Once it's in place and your display is on top, the valuable desktop real estate it was taking up, is now back and with a little extra.
Keeping a display on top also provides a much better viewing height with a 4.25-inch rise, resulting in a more healthy neck, back, and eye-friendly, ergonomic viewing height. You also get a storage shelf for hard drives, hubs, cables or anything you can fit.
Small monitor-free computers, such as a Mac Mini can fit in the center shelf with an easy, open-air flowing ventilated area. Connecting cables is simple since the monitor is right there and can be run out of the back end of the open shelf where all the ports need a short connection.
Under the shelf, the base of the Curve Riser curves in to sit on a flat surface and offers more storage space.
The overall dimensions of the sharp-looking Curve Riser with a matte black finish are 4.2-inches high, 12.52-inches wide, and 9.65-inches deep. The shelf height is 1.75-inches. Displays with round or square bases up to 10-inches wide are supported.
Knowing these dimensions in advance is helpful to measure your area before purchasing.
Changing the height of a monitor can be very beneficial but can also work in reverse if the angle isn't comfortable. If it fits, the Curve Riser is a great choice.
It's refreshing to use a new piece of technology and not stare at a screen. When I read about a new handheld game that asked what's small, round, and packed with 1,000 hours of fun for all ages and does not have a screen, it got my attention. Well, the answer is Jogoball, which was easy to figure out since the email was from Jogoball and parent company Yogibo.
Yogibo is a company known for lifestyle furniture and accessories with comfort and relaxation, filled with sensory and health benefits. The new line of fun technology starts with the Jogoball.
Jogoball is subscription-free and recommended for ages 8 to 98. The baseball-sized handheld smiling character gadget has a Bluetooth speaker and a gaming console built-in with 15 games with more than 1,000 hours of content so no two games are the same.
Since it doesn't have a screen, you need the companion app (iOS/Android) to choose a game.
Game choices include music (use Jogoball like an instrument to make music), active (endurance workouts), mind (trivia), and social games. Once a game is chosen an announcer introduces the game and instructions.
To play, just toss it between players, roll or tap it — just make it move to activate any of six built-in axis of motion detection sensors inside of the durable device. A protective blue Hugibo silicone skin covering keeps it safe.
LED lights on the Jogoball blink at different times based on the game being played. Inside is a rechargeable battery, and a micro USB cable is included for charging and loading free updates and new content.
Replacement silicone character sleeve covers are available for purchase ($29) to change the look of the Jogoball.
I've had the Anker Spirit X2 total wireless sport earphones sitting on my desk for a few months and I'm glad I finally tried them. Aside from the great audio, they instantly solved a fear I have with my current true wireless earbuds.
The sport style true wireless earbuds are built with extreme durability, which ensures they won't fall out, at least not easily. With the Spirit X2s flexible ear hooks, they give you the peace of mind to know they won't fall off and roll down a street drain or anywhere else they can't be retrieved.
But there's a whole lot more to like about the Spirit X2s. If you're a bass lover, these are for you. Each earbud has a 12 mm oversized driver and Anker BassTurbo. This is done with construction and technology where an acoustic chamber is built behind the driver, resulting in a powerful bass resonance. Anker's BassUp technology uses a custom algorithm to add more bass.
With SweatGuard technology and an iP68 sweat and dustproof rating, along with the secure fit, they are ideal with any active lifestyle. With the ear-hooks and their submarine structure and hydrophobic nano-coating, Anker feels they will last 100 times longer compared to other ordinary true wireless earbuds.
Handsfree calls are crystal clear with noise reduction technology to remove background sound. And with Qualcomm aptX audio technology, the Spirit X2 delivers exceptional, lossless sound quality with the Bluetooth connection.
Along with the earbuds, the box is filled with everything you need to have the right fit for almost any use. This includes Soundcore five sizes of ear-tips and three sets of ear-wings. A charging case and a USB-C charging cable are also included.
A single charge will last for nine hours of play, with another 36 hours from the charging case.
Over a month after this year’s virtual CES tech trade show, touting new and conceptual products of the future, I was left wondering whether these products actually worked.
At this year’s show, we saw splashy announcements like transparent TVs and rollable phones. I wanted to test some of the tech that promised to make life better, and give them enough time to see if they were worthwhile.
Does the technology actually work?
L’Oreal Water Saver
L’Oreal Water Saver is a showerhead that promises to save 80% more water at salons by shrinking the droplets to be more efficient. Salons like the one I visited in downtown Manhattan can attach this showerhead to their pre-existing systems. Water shrinks, shampoos, conditioners and other treatments can be infused with water to produce “cloud foam.”
The result was a stream of water that looked visibly smaller than what a typical showerhead would produce. But once I laid my head into the basin to have my hair washed, I couldn’t feel any physical difference and it didn’t feel like I was using significantly less water. The rest of the shampooing and conditioning felt fairly standard.
If thousands of salons adopt the L’Oreal Water Saver into their routines over the next two years, as L’Oreal hopes, the company estimates savings of up to 1 billion gallons of water per year.
Pricing for the service has not been announced.
“We are also building solutions at home, with a goal to create sustainable tech anywhere consumers use our haircare products,” said L’Oreal Tech Incubator global vice president Guive Balooch.
Another gadget I tried is a mind-centered device called Cove, which retails for $490 and started shipping in January in the United States. CEO François Kress, who previously served as CEO of fashion brand Carolina Herrera and executive at Louis Vuitton, thinks of Cove as a way to send messages to the brain through the skin behind the ears, and make the mind calm down.
“The human mind is not very good at controlling itself. We know that if you want to fall asleep, you cannot just tell yourself, ‘Fall asleep.’ It requires much more effort,” said Kress. “We wanted a solution which would really simplify all these processes and not ask too much from the user.”
Cove sends gentle vibrations right behind the ears for 20 minutes a session, and it’s controlled via an app, available on iPhone or Android. The vibrations indeed felt relaxing, as I felt my mind naturally unwinding.
The first time I tried it, I fell asleep right away, only to be woken up by a vibrating signal that my session had ended.
The second time, I decided to lay on my face, so that the end signal wouldn’t shake against the pillow and disrupt my sleep. But laying in fear of getting woken up meant I didn’t fall asleep easily at all.
Cove promises the longer you use it, the more effective it is. That makes it tough for tech reviewers to to see if Cove actually can do what it promises for insomnia and anxiety. But Kress says its fans are ardent, with some customers telling him they would be willing to pay even more for Cove. As for myself, I can see Cove being useful to a degree. But after adding it to my nightly routine, I just wouldn’t give it much attention.
There are many other CES gadgets I didn’t get to try, including a paper-like soap from Proctor and Gamble that uses less water. It’ll take time — and likely many iterations of a given gadget — before we can look back and marvel at how much has changed in technology since 2021. But for now, it’s fun to take a glimpse at what the future might hold.
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