Gadgets


Reviews
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 15th, 2014

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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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Impressions
Focalpoint
Keyboard + Eye-Tracking = FUN

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 11th, 2014

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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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Reviews
NetTALK Duo WiFi

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 24th, 2014

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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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Reviews
Belkin NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 22nd, 2014

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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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Reviews
Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 18th, 2014

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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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Reviews
SteelSeries Stratus
iOS Game Controller

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 26th, 2014

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I think touch-based tablets and smartphones are pretty cool. Over the years, like most technology, they become increasingly powerful and useful. Gaming on these devices have changed considerably in a relatively short time; long gone are the days where Paper Toss was the bee’s knees. Of course, some things have not changed. For the most part, playing these games involved your hand being between your eyes and the screen. This isn’t an issue when one is playing a game like Angry Birds; however, playing things that are more action-oriented can be problematic. Enter the SteelSeries Stratus, a wireless controller for your iOS device that may be the solution to this issue.

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Reviews
Gunnar Optiks
Intercept Color

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 22nd, 2014

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Eye fatigue sucks. When we play videogames (or watch television or read) for too long, we put a tremendous amount of strain on our eyes. This is one of the problems with being a human – and it’s one of the big reasons why there are warnings that accompany videogames telling us to take breaks at regular intervals. Gunnar, makers of various gaming eyewear, are aware of some of the things that plague a gamer’s eyes, and we have reviewed some of their products before. In fact, I still use my pair of Desmos whenever I’m hunkering down for a longer gaming session. Gunnar’s latest line of eyewear, the Intercept Color, is an attempt to inject a bit of style into the equation, making it a bit easier for people to accept a niche product that seems to have actual benefits to the well-being of your eyeballs.

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