Use Your Phone As A Remote With Klikr

These days practically everyone that has something with a remote also has a smart phone or other device. But isn’t it a shame that you can’t just use the phone to control it without hunting down the remote? Well, with Klikr’s help that is a real possibility.

Image by Klikr

The Klikr Universal Remote Control is a small device that you attach to the device you want to control, which then allows control via a downloadable app. The smart app allows for several unique improvements over the remote, such as voice control and automatically muting the device when you have a call coming in on the controlling phone.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, since the app will allow you to control multiple devices at the same time. This means that it will replace all of your remotes, not just the one. Of course you will need a Klikr module for each device you want to control, but at $19.99 for each unit it is still much cheaper than a typical third party smart remote.

Now let’s just hope that your smart phone or tablet doesn’t get lost in the cushions as well.

Scan And Go Shopping Bypasses The Checkout Line

Shopping – the mere word brings up images of drudgery and frustration (unless it’s a book store or a gadget store, of course!) But the worse part of it all is definitely the checkout line, where one must queue up and wait for a small eternity as price checks are issued for random objects. But Walmart is trying to help the experience by adding technology to the shopping cart, making it much quicker and easier to do the required chore.

Called Scan and Go, the system merges regular shopping with the self-check kiosks (which often still requires a queue to operate, much to shopper’s chagrin). The clever carts are equipped with a combination touch screen and bar code scanner, and the shopper can scan things as they pick them up in the store. When they are finished, the lucky shopper pays and leaves , completely bypassing the bleak and desperate faces waiting in the checkout line.

The system is currently in testing at Houston, Texas, but I hope it rolls out nationwide soon. In the meanwhile, I will keep refining my “best shopping time” charts and tables in order to best cope with the crowds. This is no small feat, since you have to take into account any required resources for the shopping task. Seriously, have you even tried getting customer service at 3 a.m.? It’s not pretty.

50’s Futuristic Air Conditioned Lawn Mower

Back in Oct. 14, 1957, they demonstrated the future of lawn mowing equipment with a beautiful bubbled model that sported its own air conditioning. The lucky driver is enclosed in comfort in a clear five foot sphere, and the device even had its own electrical generator powering the important life necessities, such a radio telephone and a chilled drink dispenser.

And if you tired of mowing the lawn in comfort, you could also use it for other gardening purposes as well as a completely radical golf cart. Just think – with the complete enclosure there would be no stray balls to worry about.

I just have one question – why don’t we have this today?

RokBlok Portable Record Player Drives Around The Record

Most people know how a classic vinyl record player works – you place the record on a turntable, which turns the record around at the proper speed. Then a needle is placed on the turning record, which travels the vibrations encoded in the record groove and transforms those into sounds. But the record playing device known as RokBlok does it differently – it drives around the record while the record itself stays still. The end result is the same – music (or whatever audio is recorded on the vinyl disc).

RokBlok

The RokBlok is basically a block of wood and bamboo that is designed to chase the record groove under its own power. RokBlok has its own speakers built in, but it can also send the music over Bluetooth to your other devices. While having a block of wood spinning around on your favorite vinyl disc would seem like a great way to damage them, the maker Pink Donut assures us this is not the case.

RokBlok has been engineered to prevent damage to your records when in use. We do this by carefully balancing and distributing the weight of the player (3.2 oz) across its scratch-proof rubber wheels and not the needle. This makes it so the needle does not take the brunt of the weight out on your record’s grooves.

RokBlok

RokBlok can play both full size records and 45s, and it can provide music (and entertainment) for up to 4 hours – I would suspect that LPs, running at 33 rpm, would probably have the longer run time.  Recharge only takes a couple hours before you are back up making music and spinning around the vinyl disc.

 

 

RokBlok is on Kickstarter, and it has already surpassed its $50,000 goal. The campaign closes on January 24th, so if you want to get on the RokBlok circling bandwagon at a cheaper price than its retail launch you may want to check it out. In the meanwhile, just watch it go, chasing that groove and making music.

Casio WSD-F20 Rugged Android Wear Smartwatch

In the past I have worn triple sensor Casio watches with a host of features, and I really liked them. In my opinion, these were probably the first real smart watches that had a practical application. Of course, today a Smartwatch has a slightly different connotation, and it is great to see that Casio is bringing the lineup into the future. Now they have announced the latest in their lineup, the WSD-F20 PRO TREK Smart watch.

Casio WSD-F20

GPS Tracking and Mapping

The WSD-F20 is an update from the previous WSD-F10, adding GPS tracking with mapping. What you will still find is the big styling with a large multi-function timepiece and the ever present rubber feeling wrist strap. It even looks durable, all built in an enclosure that is waterproof down to 50 meters. You can even be confident in its durability when you are charging it, since the exposed magnetic port shares the same water resistant design.

The WSD-F20 fully utilizes Android Wear 2.0 with custom Casio extensions to make sure things work as expected. There you will find on the 320 by 300 pixel display custom screens for tide information, barometer, altitude and compass data, arranged in a conveniently accessible manner.

Casio WSD-F20

Smart Use Of Android Wear

But you will still find the typical Android Wear 2.0 accessories, such as Google Assistant, Google Music, and third party apps. And to make the watch easier on the battery than a typical Android Wear watch, the WSD-F20 cleverly arranges a low power lcd screen positioned directly behind the high resolution unit. To activate this secondary screen simply cover the watch with your hand for a moment – this could prove to be a valuable option if you are out in the woods for an extended period of time.

Shipping In April

The exact retail price for the Casio WSD-F20 is still unknown at this time, but it is slated to become available starting April 21, 2017.  Casio has developed its durable sensor laden watch line into  a serious competitor to other smart devices on the market, mostly by leveraging existing expertise with the best that Android Wear has to offer. This is one smart watch that really is a smart design.