Gadget Roundup – Top Tech for Kiwi Springtime

In this month’s gadget roundup we’ve got a jumping drone, a premium hairdryer and a smartphone with a gnarly zoom lens, proving once again that the world of tech is constantly evolving.   To find out about these products and many more, read on…

 

Drone On

 Kids of all ages went gaga over the Parrot AR Drone but the relatively high price kept the enthusiasm in check. That’s not a problem for the new, Parrot Rolling Spider drone which clocks in at an affordable $149. This ultra-compact drone, controlled by a tablet or smartphone, flies indoors and outdoors with surprising speed and stability. Acrobatic tricks are available from the free app and you can even steam video from its integrated mini camera. It’s guaranteed to generate hours of fun as is its stablemate the Parrot Jumping Drone (pictured).

http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139234/CATID=1130/Parrot%20MiniDrones.html

ParrotJumpingSumo-B1 RS_RED_FrontView_Wheels_Sticker

Heart Beat

Gadgets that measure body movement are all the rage but this is one takes biometric measurement a step further. The TomTom Runner Cardio GPS sport watch, $399, has a built-in Heart Rate Monitor which accurately measures changes in blood flow in the wrist by shining light through the skin. As heart rate monitoring is the most accurate way to understand how the body is responding to exercise, runners can easily use the heart rate settings in this TomTom watch to improve their performance.

http://www.tomtom.com/sports

CARDIO_REDBLACK1L_HZ

Portable Sound

The Haka strikes fear into opposition teams but you don’t have to wait for the next big test to hear the All Blacks rousing challenge. This special, limited edition All Blacks UE Boom portable Bluetooth speaker, $299.90, sports the silver fern design and plays part of the Haka when you turn it on. Like the All Blacks the UE Boom is known for its power and ability to perform under all manner of extreme conditions.

http://www.ultimateears.com/en-nz/

Kora_FOB_ALL-BLACKS_R2_w_72_dpi

Zoom In

Most smartphone cameras are fine when you want to take a selfie, but they’re not so good for long distance photos. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, $799, solves this problem by packing a 10 X optical zoom lens into the rear of a flagship Galaxy smartphone. That means that you’ll always have a zoom camera with a 20.7 megapixel sensor at hand, allowing you to capture the moment whether it’s right in front of you or many metres away.

www.samsung.com/nz

samsung_galaxy_k_zoom_charcoal_black_10

Good Hair Day

When is a hairdryer not just a hairdryer? When it’s made by British brand ghd, makers of the iconic hair straightening irons, of course. The ghd aura, $300, promises to give salon quality results at home by virtue of its patented Laminair technology. This aligns hair in a single direction leaving it ultra-smooth and shiny. Meanwhile the Cool-Wall feature creates a ring of cool air around the hot air, so the user can get closer to the scalp for volume and increased root lift.

http://www.ghdhair.com/

 aura_stood CMYK HR

Laser Like Focus

LG may have launched the G3, $1049, their new global smartphone with the mantra “simple is the new smart” but this sleek phone is packed with sophisticated technology that puts it well ahead of the competition. The 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display has four times the resolution of current HD smartphone screens while the 13MP camera has a revolutionary Laser Auto Focus system that shoots stunningly sharp images in a fraction of the time required by conventional phone cameras. Simply stunning.

www.lg.com/nz

 LG_G3_2

 Be Safe, Be Seen

Exercise is important at most times of the year, but if you’re running or cycling in the dark, it’s just as important to be seen. The Halo Belt 2.0, $55, is a reflective, fully adjustable belt that also emits a solid or flashing light. While it’s designed to be worn buckled around the waist, it is also commonly worn over the shoulder or even clipped around a backpack. The belt recharges quickly through a USB connection and is available in red, blue and green.

www.bellsandwhistles.co.nz

Vincent Pilot Ng Halo Belt 2.0 Blue

Game On

Serious gaming requires serious power, and the Asus G750, $3,599, is one of the most powerful gaming laptops currently on the market. The eye-catching design draws inspiration from stealth fighters, while the keyboard layout is ergonomically designed to give gamers greater comfort during long playing sessions. With specs that include a 17.3 inch screen and Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card yet, this 4.8kg powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.

www.asus.co.nz

G750JH_Left_S_Open

Light Sleeper

Frequent business travellers know how off-putting jet lag can be. Re-Timer glasses, $395, promise to knock jet lag for six using the power of light therapy. All you have to do is wear Re-Timer glasses for 30-50 minutes a day for four days before you leave on a long-haul flight. The gentle exposure to the green light will gradually and naturally shift your sleeping pattern, so you can arrive feeling on the ball for that important business meeting.

www.nzrsi.health.nz

Retimer clear cut

Behave Yourselfie

The Fujifilm Instax Share, $246, is a wireless device that allows you to instantly print the special moments you’ve captured on your phone. The Instax share app lets you customise your image before sending it wirelessly to the printer. If you want a reminder of the date, time and even the temperature when each pic was taken, no worries; one of the templates allows you to add this to the image prior to processing. It’s one way of making sure each shot is a one of a kind.

http://www.fujifilm.co.nz

Fujifilm Instax SHARE

Streaming Sounds

 It’s a first world problem but a lot of homes have older speakers that can’t stream audio from modern wireless devices like tablets and smartphones. That’s where the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter, $69.90, comes in. This small adapter connects to a speaker or hi-fi system through an RCA or 3.5mm input, instantly adding Bluetooth functionality. You then simply pair your phone to start sending big beats or classical compositions over the air. Problem solved.

www.logitech.com/en-nz

 Custom_format_BT_Adapter_BTY

Top Tablets

If you’re in the market for a new top-end tablet, you’re going to love the look of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S. The premium Android Tab S comes in two sizes, a 10.5-inch, starting at $749, and 8.4-inch version, $599. They are the first tablets to feature high-resolution Super Amoled screens and as a result images are brighter and more colourful than similarly priced tablets. Parents will love the “Kids Mode” feature which gives little ones a safe place to play and prevents them from deleting any of Mum or Dad’s apps.

www.samsung.com/NZ

[Image] Galaxy Tab S 10.5-inch_5

 

Content created by John Buckley, orginally published in KiaOra Magazine, published by Bauer Media, 2014.

Google

All Blacks Rugby Experience Gets a Boost from Telecom

This time last year I was not a happy chappy.  If you follow this link to my blog post you’ll see I had a good old moan about the smartphone experience at Eden Park during the Bledisloe Cup match betwen New Zealand and Australia. It was disheartening, but let’s face it, 12 months is a long time in tech and when I head back to Eden Park for the same fixture tomorrow night, I’m expecting a completely different experience.

Telecom is set to unveil a groundbreaking technology experience which will greatly enhance the game for a lucky group of customers.

I’ll give you a rundown of how it works.

The Telecom Treats technology is Smartphone based. It uses a mobile web app which has been developed specially to deliver a unique Telecom customer experience at three All Blacks games (in Auckland 25th August; Wellington 8th September and 15th September, Dunedin).

Approximately 700 Telecom customers are being invited to celebrate their birthdays by attending these games with a friend or partner.

First up, the customers receive a notification of the event on their Smartphones. This invites them to download the mobile web app which is hooked up to the backend server system.

The app contains a ticket in barcode form which allows them to enter the stadium by scanning their handsets.  In Wellington and Dunedin, an iPhone based ticket scanning system will be used.

Scanning the ticket kicks off another part of the process. Before arriving, they can place an order for food and drink through their app.  When they scan their tickets at the gate, a signal is sent to the kitchen initiating their order and the food is then delivered hot to their seat. This sounds great doesn’t it? Like Gold Class for Rugby games.

Next up, there is a free wifi network around the guest’s seats. The app can now be used to stream a live audio encoding of the game courtesy of an arrangement with Radio Sport. Using their headphones they will be able to hear the commentators and the referee.

Finally, the app gives them to ability to view live match data feeds from Sportal, check in to Facebook and vote for their player of the day.

The mobile web app and supporting in-game technology was developed by Telecom and Satellite Media.  They hope the experience created might one day be the norm at major NZ sporting and entertainment events.

Here’s hoping it all goes right on the night – I’m certainly looking forward to trying it (and will report back with pics and notes). Oh, and go the AB’s!