Color Cables

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 22nd, 2014


In the land of charging cables, utility is king. While the cords that come with most devices get the job done, they’re usually quite short, or even delicate. I never thought this was true until I ended up ruining a few cords completely by accident – and when I say “accident”, I mean “incident” (as in “I totally didn’t expect this minor thing to completely decimate this cord”). There was an Indiegogo for a product called Color Cables that we tweeted about last month. The creators of that product were kind enough to send us a few to check out – and they are pretty sweet.

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Belkin WeMo Light Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 20th, 2014


Last October, we reviewed a neat piece of tech from Belkin called the WeMo Light Switch. This cool device replaces one of your existing light switches (this is a physical replacement, and the light switch you are replacing must meet certain technical requirements), granting you a huge amount of control over the attached light fixture (seriously, check out the review – it’s cool). Well, Belkin has updated the free WeMo app (iOS/Android) to allow you to assign functionality to a long press (more than 2 seconds). There is also a new mode called “away”, which is a simulated occupancy play. Basically, you can have the light switch activate and deactivate at random intervals, so that there is no regular pattern when you are away from your home.

It’s cool to see that Belkin is delivering new functionality to some of their existing lineup, and integrating more with IFTTT (If This Then That). I’m hoping that some of these make their way to the other WeMo devices to increase the level of awesomeness.

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 15th, 2014


I think Belkin’s WeMo line is pretty spiffy; great functionality and cool form. Take the WeMo Switch, the pass-through power feed with the capability to do intelligent things. If there was a disadvantage to this device, it would be its size. While it is not huge, it does occupy some wall real estate (although, it is designed not to interfere with the second electrical socket on a standard wall plate). Now what if I were to tell you that Belkin has another, similar product? Sure, the WeMo Insight Switch costs a bit more money (it’s about $10 more expensive than the Switch), but it brings usage monitoring functionality as well as a smaller form factor to the table. Belkin sent us one to try out, and definitely meets the same level of awesomeness as the Switch. In fact, I think that it surpasses it!

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Keyboard + Eye-Tracking = FUN

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 11th, 2014

Click this pic to watch a demo of Focalpoint.

When I was younger, the eye-tracking offered in the targeting system of the Apache attack helicopter fascinated me to no end. Even now, it’s not hard to imagine that eye-tracking is a possible next step in the evolution of interfacing with computers and other consumer technology. Gazepoint, a start-up from out West, has created a relatively affordable solution for those looking to develop applications that utilize this interface (and those who wish to study eye-tracking) – it’s called the GP3. Some students from the University of British Columbia have been working in collaboration with Gazepoint on a 2D puzzle-platformer that combines traditional keyboard controls with eye-tracking. It’s called Focalpoint, and it is a step in an exciting new direction.

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NetTALK Duo WiFi

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 24th, 2014


While I have the means to communicate over the internet (Facetime, Skype) using my local network, I like having a land line. There are many people that feel the same way, keeping a normal land-line connection1. However, there are many folks who would love to cut the cord, or have a second line handy for various reasons (home-based business, teenagers living in the house, etc.), without having to pay a lot of money. NetTALK presented us with a solution recently, setting us up to try out their Duo Wi-Fi VoIP System, an affordable and easy-to-set-up Voice-over-IP solution. With very few issues and many advantages, the NetTALK Duo is a surprisingly compelling alternative (or supplement) to your existing land line, especially given the fairly low cost and surprisingly good quality.

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Belkin NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 22nd, 2014


Regardless of the presence of an alarm system in your home, having a set of eyes on duty grants a little bit more peace of mind. Whether you use it for keeping tabs on the various entry ways to your home, or perhaps as a video monitor for your baby’s room, Belkin’s NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision is an easy and reliable way to leverage the power of your local network and the internet in order to increase the security level of your home. Belkin sent us one to try out; while not without a few flaws, it is a pretty impressive device.

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Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 18th, 2014


Towards the end of last year, we reviewed some of the products from Belkin’s WeMo line. These neat gadgets allow you to control electrically-powered devices in your home (remotely, by schedule, and by local events). The WeMo Switch acts as a pass-through electrical outlet, granting you remote access to allow/disallow electricity to whatever is plugged into it; while the WeMo Light Switch follows the same concept – except that it controls the light fixture that is hard-wired to it. The Belkin WeMo Switch + Remote takes the functionality of the WeMo Switch, and adds a mechanism that actively monitor the environment for movement, increasing the flexibility of an already neat product. Belkin sent us one to review, so we put it through its paces.

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