It takes a special skill set to make something as repetitive, boring, stressful, and annoying as blood pressure (BP) monitoring look and feel good. While I'm lucky enough to still be too young and healthy to worry about my own BP, I do manage a small town pharmacy in Lebanon, which requires me to perform routine measurements on many patients.
Unroll the cuff, slide it around the arm, correctly position the diaphragm, close the cuff, adjust the stethoscope, inflate the cuff, let it slowly deflate while listening in, and finally remove everything after the readout is done. Rinse and repeat. It always feels like there are way too many steps involved than necessary. Read More
Livescribe released their newest smartpen, called Livescribe 3, about 18 months ago. Why review it now? Well, with Android’s native support of Bluetooth 4.0 LE and wider adoption of KitKat and Lollipop, the smartpen finally has software support for Android. We first caught wind of the Android app back in January, its preview was released just a couple weeks ago, and now I will walk you through how the hardware and app play together. Overall, I am walking away very impressed with the experience. With that said, there are several significant drawbacks with taking notes with the Livescribe 3 that you will want to know about before picking one up. Read More
In recent years, Dropcam has been the leader when it comes to smart home security cameras. FLIR recently jumped in to the market with the FLIR FX wireless security camera. This is a mobile-centric security system that offers cool ways to review your video and receive alerts on your phone when something goes down at home. Let's see how it performs.
LG's newest smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane, costs $350. So let me just throw it out there now: judging LG's new Watch Urbane from a value perspective is sort of completely silly. When it comes to value, I don't think any Android Wear watch has especially great appeal - after all, you're paying as much or more for one than you would a relatively inexpensive smartphone, a smartphone that does many, many more things. But the Watch Urbane has even less value appeal than most Wear devices (not that this is at all fatal to its success as a product).
If you really care about value, the Sony SmartWatch 3 with its Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC are right here for $100 less than the Watch Urbane (if not less than that if you get it on sale). Read More
Some number of months ago (I forget how many), I decided I needed to lose some weight. Using MyFitnessPal to monitor my food intake/calories and Runtastic's suite of apps to track my cycling activities, I was able to knock off something like 45 pounds. I've since gained back about 10 of those pounds for various reasons, but I'm finally getting back on top of things so I can get back to where I want to be.
A big part of weight loss is having a good, accurate scale. While there are plenty of options out there, one with Bluetooth connectivity can simplify your weight loss journey since it can essentially automate weight tracking. Read More
Not too long ago, I took a look at the Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth dongle. It was a solid product that delivered on its goal of allowing people to connect over Bluetooth in cars that don't have the functionality built-in. But at $49.99, it's a little on the pricey side. For that cost, you can get a Kinivo BTC455 that not only delivers the same capability, it supports two devices at once, hands-free calls, and controlling music playback. Frankly, it's more bang for buck.
That said, after trying out the Kinivo BTC455, I occasionally longed for the Griffin iTrip AUX. Let me tell you why. Read More
Sol Republic has quickly carved out a place in the consumer audio market since their founding in 2011, so it was just a matter of time before they would offer a set of Bluetooth in-ear headphones. Shadow is their initial take on the category and I’ve been testing it out for the better part of two weeks. My overall take is that Shadow is exactly what I expected from Sol Republic: good looking, well built, solid albeit consumer-oriented audio, and fairly priced.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here’s a breakdown of what’s ahead.
A "cool" personal audio brand is a surprisingly rare thing, and if you've paid much attention to the market for premium brand headphones lately, Marshall's been a real up-and-comer. The Marshall brand is actually licensed by a Swedish company called Zound Industries, with Marshall granting the right to use the iconic trademark and style of its amplifiers and other products on personal audio gear. It doesn't hurt that the products are good - Zound has made some surprisingly great Bluetooth speakers and headphones, and the original Major on-ear was probably the brand's biggest success yet.
The Major II is a small(-ish) update to that headphone, with a few new tricks in terms of construction and style, though mostly a promise of superior power and low-end response that the original were, albeit only slightly, criticized for lacking. Read More
I've used the two large quadricopters Parrot has released to date - the AR.Drone and AR.Drone 2.0 - but ever since I saw the Bebop at CES earlier this year, I knew I had to give it a try. The Bebop attacks two of the biggest issues of its predecessors head on; namely, size and video quality.
Parrot has stepped up to a full 1080p-ready video sensor (it also takes 14MP stills) with an f2.2 wide-angle fisheye lens on the Bebop, and also reduced the size of the drone itself dramatically. The Bebop in outdoor trim (no hull guards) has about one fourth of the footprint of the old AR.Drones in their full bumpers. Read More
Newer cars let you connect your phone over Bluetooth, empowering you to stream music and make calls. The capability is found in most base models nowadays, but drivers of older cars typically have to install an aftermarket radio to get in on the fun. The Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth is a cheaper way to get some of the benefits of Bluetooth without having to fork over as much money.
But at $49.99, the iTrip AUX Bluetooth remains a bit pricey itself. It works as advertised, but in this case, I don't know if that is enough. Here, let me tell you why. Read More