Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus go on sale in New Zealand

 

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Kiwis were the first in the world to get their hands on the new iPhone range when the 6S and 6S Plus went on sale on Friday.

Shoppers at Spark and Vodafone were greeted by media and passing rugby fans on their way to watch the All Blacks vs Namibia game which was on at about the same time.

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OneNews report Matty MClean reported live from Spark. Meanwhile over at Vodafone, Aucklander Ryan Watkinson collected his new iPhone 6S as the clocked ticked 8 a.m., having been the first to pre-order the device.

This is only the second time since the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2008 that New Zealand has been in the first wave of countries for the iPhone release.  The devices are now available in Vodafone’s 30+ stores in New Zealand, as well as Spark, 2Degrees, selected electronics retailers and Apple’s online store.

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So, what can you expect from the new phones?

Despite having a similar look as last year’s range, a lot has changed.  The body is made of aerospace grade aluminium while the screen features new toughened glass.

Internally you also get a faster 64 bit desktop class A9 chip as well as faster wifi and LTE.

But what about the stuff you can see?

The 12 megapixel rear camera (up from 8MP in last years range) has better noise reduction for all scenes and it can now capture 4K video.

Another obvious feature which differentiates the S range from previous models is 3D touch.

3D Touch introduces an entirely new way to interact with iPhone and your content.   The phone  senses how deeply you press the display, and allows you to do all kinds of things more quickly and simply.

It gives you real-time feedback in the form of subtle taps from a Taptic Engine.

In addition to familiar Multi-Touch gestures like Tap, Swipe, and Pinch, 3D Touch introduces Peek and Pop, which let you preview all kinds of content and even act on it—without having to actually open it. For example, you can Peek at an email in your inbox with a light press. Then press a little deeper to Pop and see the full email.

 

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The big question is, are the changes to the phone enough to get you upgrade?  That will depend on your personal circumstances of course but Apple have certainly packed in the features this time around.

Their tag line, “the only thing that has changed is everything” may sound like hyperbole but it’s true that virtually every aspect of the devices have been tweaked and enhanced.

If you are an Apple fan and are still sitting on an iPhone 5S or below, then the improvements in hardware and software provide compelling reasons to upgrade.

Google

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge launching in New Zealand on 11th April

Samsung New Zealand today revealed the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones on TVNZ Breakfast, confirming they will launch in New Zealand just one day after Korea on the 11th of April 2015.

S6 TV

Click image to see Breakfast’s first look at the phones on TVNZ.co.nz

The new S6’s do away with a number of features seen in the S5; gone are the plastic backs, removable battery and USB 3.0 connection; instead the S6’s feature a premium glass and metal form factor, a non-removable battery and a standard micro usb connection.

The touchwiz interface has been pared down to speed up the Android Lollipop experience, though customers can choose to download and install a range of Samsung apps if they wish.

The Galaxy S6 Edge, pitched as the more premium of the two, features slightly curved edges which can be used to show some notifications when the phone is placed face down.

I only had the phones for 30 minutes but here are the features I’m interested in delving into when I get a more thorough hands on experience.

  • Microsoft apps pre-installed – Onedrive and Onenote for starters
  • Wireless charging built in – works with most standard wireless chargers.
  • Low light lenses on the rear (16mp) and front (5mp) cameras.

Samsung badly needs a hit phone; they suffered from disappointing sales of the S5 and have had to sit back as competitors like Apple and Xiaomi have stolen market share from them in the crucial Chinese market.

Prices for the New Zealand market are yet to be confirmed but expect to pay over $1049 (estimate) for each off contract.

The full Samsung Press Release follows…

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge define what’s next in mobility

 Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge – smart invents beautiful – the most advanced mobile devices in the market

 Auckland, New Zealand, March 2nd 2015 – Samsung Electronics New Zealand today announced its entirely redefined smartphones; the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, creating a new and absolutely unrivalled global standard in design, craftsmanship and performance.

As consumers seek ways to be more informed, entertained, connected and free to spend more time doing what matters most, Samsung delivers unparalleled beauty, speed, and performance in two extraordinary smartphones that totally change the game. Both the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge incorporate vastly enhanced processing power; a high quality super-fast loading camera to catch all the important moments; charging that’s 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5 for our ever busier lives and, what’s more, they come in an elegant glass and metal design; appealing to the most fashion forward.

“By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and our missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas,” says JK Shin, president and head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung. “With a reimagined design, robust partner network and truly innovative services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer two completely differentiated products that deliver the ultimate in smartphone options.”

 Stefan Lecchi, Head of Telecommunications for Samsung Electronics New Zealand, says, “We set out to create a smartphone that could do more, faster, so that our customers can give more time to the people and things that make a difference to their lives – whether that’s work, play or just simply staying in touch. We’ve absolutely delivered that – and what’s more, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge also have a stunning look and feel. Smart has totally invented beautiful, and we’re excited to see how Kiwis will respond.”

 

Standout features deliver what’s next in mobile

 Beauty Meets Purpose

Crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend beautiful design with meaningful innovation and powerful features. The glass body is available in an array of colourful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz, and Green Emerald*. This incredible design required unique glass molding technology and unmatched craftsmanship, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from any other mobile devices on the market. The premium aesthetics are complemented by a totally new interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality.

 Vivid Images with Fast, Bright Camera

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear smartphone cameras. The bright (F1.9) lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide superior image quality, even in low light. Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) provide advanced light sensitive and crisp camera solutions. Further, the camera app launches in 0.7 seconds and a new “Quick Launch” feature give users fast, direct access to the camera in any screen by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enable users to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality; however and wherever they want.

 Super Charging and Plug Free

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge also offer incredibly fast charging that’s 1.5 faster than the Galaxy S5, giving 2 hours of HD video play after only 10 minutes of charging. With first-of-its-kind fully embedded wireless charging technology,  the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. Compatible with both WPC and PMA standards, the devices work with any wireless pad available in the market (WPC and PMA certified).

 Ideal for the business use – Enhanced Secure Mobile Experience

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are built on the upgraded, end-to-end secure mobile platform Samsung KNOX, offering defence grade features for real-time protection from malicious attacks. These new devices are also ready out-of-the-box for business – enabling instant access to partner environments that offer increased productivity and flexibility.  The devices work seamlessly with the likes of Mobile Iron, Airwatch, and Microsoft Office 365. As business works increasingly in the Cloud, security is enhanced with a touch fingerprint scanner, super quick authentication and encrypted data saved in secure device storage.

Samsung Exclusive Technology for higher performance and lower power consumption

The thin (6.8 mm/7.0mm edge) and lightweight (132g /138g edge) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge integrates the most advanced Samsung exclusive technology available today. With the world’s first 14nm 64-bit mobile processor technology in combination with 64-bit Operating System, new LPDDR4 memory system and Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 flash memory, users can undertake multiple tasks at the same time whilst enjoying significantly lower power consumption.

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge users can share and enjoy a clearer brighter viewing experience anytime and anywhere thanks to the 5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED screen display which has an incredible pixel density of 577 pixels per inch (ppi). Outdoor visibility is effortless with display brightness reaching up to 600cd/m2 (candela per square metre).

Enabling simple and secure mobile payments in New Zealand

Today Samsung announces the launch of Samsung Pay; a new, easy-to-use mobile payment service.  Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning, and advanced tokenisation, Samsung Pay works with both NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and Barcode technology.  Samsung Pay is not expected to be available in 2015 in New Zealand.

However, New Zealanders will shortly be able to enjoy the convenience of mobile payments.  Samsung has a partnership with Semble – a ground breaking New Zealand industry collaboration, bringing together Paymark and mobile network operators (2degrees, Spark and Vodafone) with banking partners (ASB and BNZ) to offer an integrated mobile wallet experience to Kiwis. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge and more than 700,000 Samsung devices will be able to make smartphone payments using Semble.  This is set to launch early 2015.

Release dates

Galaxy Zero and Galaxy Zero edge will be available globally starting in April 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy Zero only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy Zero edge only).
Google

First Look at the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in New Zealand

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in New Zealand on Friday the 26th of September.  Here’s the “First Look” and discussion with Matty McLean and Alison Pugh on Breakfast on the morning of the launch (copyright TVNZ 2014).

iPhone 6 Clip

Click the image or this link to visit the TVNZ website to view.

Having spent 48 hours with both handsets I’ve been asked by a number of people which one I prefer.  Right now I’m enjoying the iPhone 6 more than the 6 Plus which is a surprise to me as I’m a fan of larger format phones.

The iPhone 6 just seems to be more manageable in the hand, and there aren’t enough special features built into the 6 Plus to warrant the larger size.  Sure it’s great for photo and video viewing, but is the portability trade-off worth it? I’m not sure.

Oh and yes, it’s still flat despite having been transported in my jeans pocket. I guess NZ is going to have to try harder to get on the #bendgate bandwagon.
Google

The scary, exciting, inevitable future of the mobile phone.

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When the mobile phone started to hit the big time in the late 80’s I was a wet-behind-the ears Irish lad trying to make his way in the massive metropolis of London.

It was a time of excess, just before the crash, when Thatcher’s great and prosperous nation had yet to hit the skids of recession and negative equity.

At that time there was no better status symbol to flash in the pubs of Soho than the large, brick-like mobile phone.  Through the mid 80’s the “mobile” was seen as the city traders essential business tool.  By the time I got there they were becoming the must have tool of every middle manager from Twickenham to Walthamstow.

I don’t believe anyone could have predicted then that the ostentatious Yuppie business tool, the partner in crime of the Filofax and the pager, would go on to find a place in the hearts, minds and pockets of the hoi polloi. But that is what happened.

Today western societies are awash with mobile phones.  There are more mobile phones in developed countries than there are people. In Africa, half a billion people own a mobile, four times more people than have ever had a bank account.

The adoption of the technology has been phenomenal.

Over the most recent decade the mobile phone has even, get this, started to evolve. While many of us where happy with dumb phones or feature phones, the next great wave brought us Smart phones.  An influential minority (hello again business users) wanted their phones to do more than send or receive calls or texts.  They developed a need to see e-mails on a handset rather than a laptop.  A Canadian company, Research in Motion successfully converted this desire into profit with the Blackberry, only to be followed by Apple.

The metamorphosis had commenced.  As the kids of business executives discovered, smartphones are also great for games.  And thanks to apps, miniature software applications that harness the technology within the phone, we now have hand held computers that can do virtually anything.

The evolved “smart” phone can now help you to tune a guitar, measure your heart rate, or guide you to your nearest bar/hospital/fascial alignment specialist (mine is in Ponsonby).  You can track delivery of parcels.  You can see how fast you’ve run.  You can even choose to receive live tweets from influential humans whether they are Kardashians in California or orbiting Astronauts.  Sometimes, if you feel like it, you can even make a call.

I tend not to.  It’s too expensive.  I prefer to see my smartphone as a connected device with multiple computational abilities that can enhance my life.  Data is my addiction.  The connection is the killer app.  We have melded our phones to the Internet or to give it the unfashionable descriptor, the information super highway.

Many years ago, Google, standing on the shoulders of Yahoo and AltaVista, condensed all of the world’s digital content into a personally prepared SERP (search engine results page).  There may actually be more than one SERP per search but no one is sure, as they never travel past the top three results.  Google has been described as an external brain and this all-knowing brain, this all-seeing eye, is now at your fingertips at any time of day thanks to the Smartphone.  More on this later.

In the meantime let us turn our attention to the current shape of the mobile phone.  It’s a block.  It’s smaller than the 80’s block it’s fair to say but it’s still a block that sits in your hand.  That is changing too.  We are about to enter the age of the wearable smartphone.  Pebble and Sony have already produced wristwatch devices that can read some information from your handset.  The rumour mill around Apple’s alleged upcoming smart watch is grinding so loudly, Samsung has had to come out and tell investors they too are developing a smart watch/phone. No one wants to miss the next boat.

Google has famously been preparing to launch internet-enabled glasses.  It’s Google Glass project is the latest development to toy with the public’s imagination and desire for innovation. “Why carry a phone when you can wear it?” seems to be the catch cry of the Twenty-Teens.

Wearable technology is merely a step down the road to a greater evolution; one that may scare and thrill people in equal measures.  Science fiction has painted a vision of the future where people and technology are intertwined.   There is even a real world movement dedicated to it. They call it transhumanism.

Whether we like it or not, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the external brain I talked about above becomes assimilated back into the physical human brain.    In it’s most basic form it is the fusing of human biological mechanisms with electronic technology.  I will call IE, integrated/embedded technology. Before long, the smartphone is going to get under our skin, literally.

Surprising as it may seem, people have been sticking digital technology under their skin for decades.  And there is already technology for planting sensors on your skin so your phone can read everything from your body temperature to your UV levels.

So where to next?

That’s the question I was asked on Seven Sharp on Thursday (and which I partly answered – you can see the show here).Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 4.25.33 PM

We started by talking about bone conduction phones.  This technology allows sound to be transmitted through connective tissue such as the bone at the base of the skull, or above your ear.  Various scientific and military test show that this is an effective way of sending sound to the ear canal while leaving the ears open for other information.  Can I get a yuck please?

In the next decade however, phones won’t just be connected to our skulls. There’s a high likelihood they will be inside them.  Bryan Singer has seen the future and made a web series about it. In H+ the first world has gone crazy for the latest gadget, an implant developed by an Irish bio-tech start-up that plants the equivalent of smartphone software in your brain. In a nod to today’s gadget mania the first episode shows millions of people worldwide rushing to be first in line to get the new implant.

It looks similar in some ways to the communication device that people wear in Aeon Flux, the much-maligned 2005 sci-fi movie starring Charlize Theron.  Here we see Aeon getting a call from the boss’s receptionist…

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Sticking with sci-fi, I have to say the lack of embedded technology in Minority Report was a major plot hole for me.  While even billboards were able to communicate with John Anderton, the police had to conduct room to room searches to find him when he went on the run.  Surely if he had a smartphone in his brain the cops could have used the “find my fugitive” function?

A weak attempt at humour that may be but it is actually the crux of the issue in relation to IE technology.  In the future when our phones, or computer connected devices are integrated and embedded, the powers that be will know where we are at all times. And they say only the paranoid survive online!

Embedded technology has always had a special allure for the gadget geek. Who wouldn’t want to live the like the bionic man, with expensive technology on the inside making you more efficient and daring on the outside.  Is it time to think about how far we go with this evolution?

The power of the internet, the equality of communication, the efficiency of technology.  It’s an alluring mix, but do we really want to be tied to our phones, figuratively and literally?

Gadgets that are (almost) too cool for school

Too cool for school

Are you finding it hard to get up and get motivated for the new school year? We know what it’s like, early mornings can be tough and the thought of long days with boring technology can really get a guy or girl down.  Well have no fear the Gadget Guy is here to help with a selection of fun, cool and even useful gadgets.

First up we have the Tocky, a novelty alarm clock that does more than just beep to wake you up in the morning.  You see, Tocky has a mechanism built into it that allows it to roll off of your book case and continue ringing out while it skids about on the floor.

Some chronic over-sleepers will call this genius, while others will call it pure evil.  Either way you’re going to have to jump out of bed to make this thing stop, and there, it has done its job.

Tocky has its own on-board sounds but you can also set it to play mp3’s or even playback your own voice recordings.

Tocky is available from the cool local website GiftBob.co.nz for $129.95 http://www.giftbob.co.nz/products/tocky

Next we have something a bit more serious for high school or university students – Dell’s latest touch screen wonder, the XPS 12.

The XPS 12 has a novel design which allows the screen to swivel within its frame so you can easily convert it from a laptop into a touch-screen tablet.  It runs Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 operating system which means you can make the most of that software’s dual desktop and touch friendly interface.

If you go one step further and purchase Microsoft’s Office suite, I think you’ll find this machine covers all of your studenty requirements, from intensive essay writing to a bit of casual browsing.

The XPS 12 is an interesting hybrid solution but please note it comes at the price of a laptop, not a tablet. The online price starts at $1,999.00.

You can configure the machine yourself before getting it shipped from Dell but even the base model is fairly nifty with a 12.5 inch full HD screen, Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory, a 128GB solid state hard drive and at least one USB 3.0 port, which is good because my next gadget is all about the USB 3.0.

Finally for back to school I’ve had a look at the small but perfectly formed Lexar P10 USB 3.0 JumpDrive.

USB drives are on most kids school stationery lists these days and while the tendency is to pick up a cheap solution, you should be aware of the difference between USB 2.0 and the newer USB 3.0.

Most people will be familiar with USB ports on computers but what they may not know is the technology has been upgraded to allow faster transfer of data on and off of a machine onto a USB device.

USB 3.0 allows file transfers up to 24 x faster than USB 2.0 so it’s definitely worth looking out for computers with USB 3.0 ports as well as flash drives with the new technology.

The new JumpDrive P10 promises a read speed of up to 270 MB/s and a write speed of 240 MB/s.  While that may sound overly techy, what it means in real life is that you can transfer 1000 photos in less than 60 seconds and a full-length HD movie in less than 40 seconds (I’m not sure why you would be doing that on a school-work flash drive but it’s not for me to say).

Luckily, even flash drives with USB 3.0 can be used with computers that have USB 2.0 ports.

If you’re not fussy you can buy a cheap 8 GB USB drive for $10.  This one has a premium price of around $60 partly made up for with great looks as well as advanced technology (a sleek metal alloy base with a high gloss mirror-finish and retractable USB connector).  You can find out more about it here.

Happy studying!

(Note: All prices correct at time of publishing. Products subject to availability.)

Super Sonic Gadgets (see what we did there?)

If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’ll know that the ultimate timelord gadget is a sonic screwdriver.

Well, today’s manufacturers haven’t quite perfected that piece of technology, but there are a few helpful sonic accessories on the market.

But today we looked at some super gadgets with sonic powers, from filling a room with sound to helping keep your teeth clean.

Logitech Ultimate Ears (UE) Brand

The Ultimate Ears brand is well known amongst professional musicians.  It began life in 1995 when one of Van Halen’s sound engineers invented a new in-ear monitor to help block stage noise for the band.  Fast-forward 17 years and Logitech is bringing the Ultimate Ears brand to the masses.

UE 9000 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones: Wireless listening no longer means sound-quality compromises. The UE9000 wireless headphones use the highest quality codecs and advanced digital signal processing to get the best out of a Bluetooth music connection.

The custom drivers produce a great sound and a remarkable level of power, punch and clarity.  An optional, detachable cable is included for when Bluetooth isn’t an option (i.e. on planes).

UE Boombox: A powerful portable music solution, the UE Boombox allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to stream clear sounding music from across the room or across the street. Bring it to a party and connect it with multiple phones so everyone can take turns playing music.

 

Product Website: http://ue.logitech.com/en-nz

Price: UE 9000 Headphones $599.90, UE Boombox $349.90

Availability: Leading electronics retailers such as Noel Leeming and JB HiFi

Philips Sonicare

Philips has introduced two new Sonicare products that push the boundaries of personal oral hygiene − the DiamondClean power toothbrush and a unique alternative to flossing, the AirFloss.

Powered by patented sonic technology, the DiamondClean is the most advanced power toothbrush in the Sonicare range, with a dynamic cleaning action that drives fluid between the teeth and along the gum for healthier gums and whiter teeth.

The toothbrush, which has won numerous design awards, features an advanced dual charging system. Users can either use a glass charging unit or a USB travel case that can plug into a laptop to charge on the go without the need for plugs and adaptors.

The innovative AirFloss makes flossing easier and more effective than using traditional string dental floss. It uses microburst technology that delivers a quick burst of air and water through an innovative nozzle guidance tip to clean between teeth, dislodging hard to remove food and forcing plaque and bacteria out.

The AirFloss is quick and efficient, taking only one minute and using only one teaspoon of water per session, and is proven to be easier to use than string floss.

Price: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean (HX9332) $389.95, Philips Sonicare AirFloss (HX8111) $199.95

Availability: From leading electronic stores nationwide.

Website: www.philips.co.nz/sonicare

Flying the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 around the Breakfast studio – Live On Air

There are worse places to be on the weekend than chatting on the sofa with the Saturday Breakfast presenters Nadine and Tamati.

This week I took a couple of tablets and a quadricopter on set.  What could possibly go wrong flying a $500 remote control aircraft around an enclosed television studio?

To see the review visit the TVNZ player here TVNZ Breakfast

The Drone starts flying just after 3:00 mins.

Leap Pad 2
The Leapfrog Leappad 2 is the number one most popular toy on the Toyworld Top10 Hot Toys List, so hot in fact the first shipment in late October sold out.  Designed for kids aged 3+, the LeapPad2 inspires children to create and explore digital content.
It features front-and-back cameras and video recorders, 4GB of memory, a faster processor and a library of 150+ game cartridges and downloadable apps (5 free apps included).
Your child’s imagination can be unlocked with eBooks, videos, music, creativity studios, games and more.

It’s important to point out that while apps and games can be downloaded from the internet and loaded onto the Leap Pad 2 from a computer, the device itself cannot go online.
Website

Price: $179.99 from ToyWorld stores.

Parrot AR Drone 2.0
Fly, hover and flip to your heart’s content: The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the latest version of the remote control Quadricopter that allows you to fly and record in HD.
Using the intuitive Smartphone and tablet controls with the onboard Hi Def video cam, you’ll get to view the earth from high above and directly share your experience online with the world.

The drone features:
•    An onboard HD 720 video cam.
•    A robust structure to make sure your most daring stunts don’t damage the hardware.
•    Automatic stabilisation features.
•    Wifi direct access to your apple or android tablet or phone. Your movements control the AR Drone 2.0

Recommended Retail Price: $499.99
Available from Playtech, 0508 PLAYTECH, or playtech.co.nz
Website

Meep Android Tablet
An innovative, interactive, Wi-Fi enabled, 7” tablet that features touch screen technology designed for kids age 6 and above, the MEEP! tablet features a durable design and an enhanced rubber silicon sleeve for added protection from bumps, scratches and falls!
When it comes to feeling secure about what your kids have access to, the Meep tablet offers unique Cloud based parental control, accessible from any PC, smartphone or tablet with a browser. COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and KidSafe Certified, the Meep tablet lets you rest assured knowing you can carefully select content, control the way your kids access the Internet, know what they’re doing with the tablet (log files), approve all their friend requests and downloads, and set designated playtime.

Recommended Retail Price: $269.00
Product website

Available from leading electronics retailers such as Noel Leeming.

All prices correct at time of publishing. Products subject to availability.

Let there be light – Latest LED lighting technology

Improvements in LED (short for light emitting diode) technology means it is rapidly becoming the coolest light source for a whole range of electronic gadgets.

It is cheap, efficient and low in energy use.

The products we looked at on the show this morning were:

BellsandWhistles.co.nz MonkeyLectric Spoke Lights


MonkeyLectric spoke lights are fast becoming a must-have bike accessory for urban cycle enthusiasts throughout the world. Designed and launched in USA in 2007, MonkeyLectric lights have added a new dimension to urban cycling through cutting edge digital art and style, whilst improving overall riding visibility and safety at the same time.

The Monkey light includes 20 themes with hundreds of colour combinations. The 10 LED light board hooks to 2 of your spokes using 3 point zip ties and attaches to a hub-mounted 3AA battery pack.

Price: Currently on sale for $66.30 per unit
Available from: Online bike store bellsandwhistles.co.nz
Website.

Philips LED myVision Bulbs


This is a new innovation – a range of LED bulbs designed to fit into standard bayonet or screw fit light sockets.

The new myVision LED bulbs consume 6W or 9.5W of power and emit light output similar to standard 40W or 60W incandescent bulbs, respectively. Designed to resemble a traditional frosted light bulb all Philips LEDs are mercury-free and produce high quality natural shades of white light.

Philips LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last 15-25 times longer.  With lighting making up around 12% of the average New Zealand home’s electricity bill, converting to energy efficient lighting is one simple and effective way to reduce overall energy consumption.

Price: $19.99
Availability: At Bunnings and Lighting Direct stores.
Website

LED Lenser X14 Torch

What is about blokes and torches? This is one of my must have guy-toys (and if that’s not a hint for Father’s Day I don’t know what is).The new LED Lenser X14 is seriously bright. We’re talking 450 lumens of brightness with an astounding 350 metre range. This brightness is achieved through the unique torch head that has two light sources, producing a pair of beams that converge into a super-concentrated light cone.

The torch features technical advancements such as the Advanced Focus System which means you can easily switch between a broad floodlight and sharply focused long distance beam.  It also features Smart Light Technology, which means you can customize the torch to your needs by choosing between two energy modes and three light programmes with up to eight light functions.

Price: $299.00
Distributor: Tight Lines, (06) 843 6388 or e-mail service@tightlines.co.nz
Available from: All good hunting and fishing shops
Website.

If you’d like more information on LED technology read on:

Home lighting: Whereas it was once used mainly in torches and recessed wall lighting, today we will also show an LED with traditional light mounting meaning LED’s can be used in place of traditional incandescent bulbs and energy saving lightbulbs.
Incandescent bulbs are cheap to buy but eat energy.

Torches: Powerful white-light-emitting diodes (LED)s increasingly replace incandescent bulbs in practical flashlights. LEDs can be significantly more efficient than incandescent lamps. An LED flashlight will have a longer battery life than a comparable incandescent flashlight. LEDs are also less fragile than glass lamps.

Key Advantages:
•    Five Times More Energy Efficient: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs.They can generate the same light as a traditional 40w or 60w bulb with only 8-12 watts of power.
•    Last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs: A traditional bulb lasts 1,000 hours, a CFL 15,000 and an LED 25,000 (all times approximate),
•    Cost Efficient because they last for 10-20 years: Normal bulbs only cost $2.00 but the blow within a year, a CFL costs $8 and lasts 5 years, an LED can last 20 years.
•    On/Off time: LEDs light up instantly unlike energy saving lightbulbs which can take 15-30 seconds to reach top brightness.
•    No Mercury: Some people are put off energy saving CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lamps because they contain small amounts of Mercury.
•    Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid-state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are fragile.
•    Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.

Beats Per Minute – Gadgets for Making Music (TVNZ) 24 June 2009

This week I got to play with three cool gadgets for making music.  The Kaossilator synth was by far the most fun.  Simply playing with it took me back to the 80’s and for a moment I had visions of being able to join Kraftwerk or the Human League on stage – freaky.

Click the image below to visit the TVNZ video page or follow after the jump to read the reviews.

music

Casio Key Lighting Keyboard (LK 220)

Learn to play the keyboard the easy way.  The Casio LK 220 has over 100 stored songs which you learn by playing along as the keys light up. As if that wasn’t enough, it has voice guidance to tell you which finger you are Continue reading