Google Home

Seems like Amazon Echo has a competition.

Since the release of Google Home, it has grown a lot as a not so portable of ‘Siri’. It acts as a personal assistant of some sort. You can tell it to do things just like Siri. It can do a wide variety of things it can do like respond to what you or others say. It is has a voice recognition so it can learn how to respond to individuals which you can add through the app that controls it which can be found on iOS and Android devices. The Google Home can also play music through its speakers using Bluetooth

With the home, you can basically talk to it and get it to do things you normally would with a phone or computer like remind you of events, play the news, set and snooze an alarm and so on. The way that that happens is that it gets information from your Google account so Apple fans are going to have to make a Google account to use it. The Google Home seems to have a personality of some sort as it contains Easter Eggs that Google added such as saying “I am your father” which is a Star Wars reference. In order to have several users on the same Google Home, each user has to be added through the main user and has to install their own Google Home app. The Google Home voice recognition system can be easily fooled if you sound alike to a person that is registered to it so that is why Google have not used it to do things that is very personal such as payments and unlocking things.

Google Home can be activated by a phrase or something that you say a lot to it or by tapping the top of it. To stop audio, alarms, timers, and responses from playing, just tap the top of the Google Home once. To change the volume of the audio playing, just swipe on the Google Home clockwise to increase the volume and anticlockwise to lower it. Long press to activate it and pressing the mute button will deactivate it.

I personally feel that the Google Home is going to come very handy when we are in a rush or are short in time as it can allow us to do things without even taking our phone out from our pockets especially when it is made available at $114.

Photo courtesy of: https://thenextweb.com/google/2016/05/18/google-home-official-amazon-echo-worried/#.tnw_qfozAw9o

Cree Connected LED Bulb

Cree connected LED Bulb

The Cree Connected LED Bulb is an 11.5 watt smart light bulb made by Cree. The Cree LED bulb is able to be controlled by phone via a control hub, allowing it to be remotely controlled. Using the controls, you can turn the bulb off and on or dim and brighten the bulb from your phone.

The Cree Connected bulb is the cheapest connected bulb in the market at $15, slightly more than a non-connected bulb. It is pretty bright, illuminating at 815 lumens, and with an efficiency of 76 lumens per watt, it is also a relatively efficient bulb.

The Cree Connected LED bulb is also good at dimming and brightening without a buzz or flicker.  It is easy to pair with a control hub like wink, Hue Bridge, SmartThings and Staples Connect. With the wink app, using the Cree Connected LED bulb is a breeze. Tap to turn the light on and off and slide to make it dimmer or brighter.  Automation is quite easy with wink’s robots feature. You can make the light turn off and on when certain conditions are met, an example of this would be turning off the lights automatically when you are not at home. There is also a shortcut feature, allowing you to turn on more than one bulb at the same time. The Cree has some shortcomings though. One such example is its plastic cover that might look unsightly to some people.

Overall the Cree Connected LED Bulb is efficient at lighting up the place and is easy to use even though some might not like its aesthetics degisn

Photo courtesy: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2015/02/22/use-your-smartphone-to-control-cree-connected-led-bulbs-sponsored/

Withings Activité Pop

The Withings Activité Pop looks like a typical wristwatch. However, there is actually a fitness tech hidden in it. By connecting it to any mobile devices, it works just like a smart fitness tracker, and an affordable one at that. It currently now only works with iPhones and has limited functions. This is still most probably as stylish and convenient a fitness tracker can get.

Besides the fitness tech in the watch, there is also an accelerometer for step – counting. The device is also waterproof and connecting it using a mobile device via Bluetooth is possible. It also has a battery which does not require charging and is replaceable within 8 months.

With a sharp, unique and great design, this watch has a lot to offer. It has a band made of silicon and a mineral glass – domed analog watchface. Available in blue, black and white, this is eye – catching watch has a steel body and its minute and hour hands are painted.

The device currently doesn’t support Android yet even though the app, Withing Health Mate, runs on Android. Once the application is opened, syncing will start immediately. Like any other pedometer, the step – counting function works the same way but users would be able to see their daily progress from a secondary dial on the watch which ranges from 0 to 100. A unit of that is equal to 1000 steps. The dial will also reset to zero at midnight.

Another function that the Withings Activité Pop has its sleep tracking. It works automatically and syncs data with a relatively well accuracy. It measures the level of sleep, which is classified under deep, awake and light. However, it does not measure heart rate and lacks some functions which more advanced sleep – trackers have.

This unique fitness tracker has a lot of potential and there definitely will be similar products on the market in the future. It has an amazing design and is able to work as a basic fitness tracker while looking stylish at the same time.

Photo Courtesy of : http://www.withings.com/us/withings-activite-pop.html