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.

Sleep Better With A Sleep Peanut is a company that has been producing various “peanut” devices for different functions, including such things as home temperature monitoring, medication reminders, and anti-theft devices. Their latest peanut, unveiled at CES 2017, is a peanut designed for better sleep. Peanut and App

The device attaches to the top of the mattress and pairs with a readily available smartphone via Bluetooth. The peanut sends data to the smartphone via a downloadable app and records sleep history along with duration and regularity. By analyzing the data collected, patterns might be discovered that could lead to better sleep habits, promoting a healthier lifestyle.

But it has an immediate practical application too. The sleep peanut also functions as a smart alarm clock, using the collected data to slowly wake the user while they are in a light sleep cycle. The device can also wake a user without disturbing their partner.

So, you would like to have better sleep without resorting to taking a pill? Maybe you should consider a peanut instead.




Dream On

Using anti-depressants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or alcoholic beverages is thought to potentially suppress dreams, whereas melatonin may have the ability to encourage them


Alexa Does Vacuuming With Samsung’s Powerbot VR7000

Samsung has announced its new robotic vacuum cleaner, the Powerbot VR700, and this model now integrates with Amazon’s Alexa. Now you can just say, “Alexa, clean the house” and it will get right to it. Well, at least with this combination it will at least do the vacuuming.


The VR7000 should be able to fit into more of your nooks and crannies, since it is about 28 percent slimmer than the previous model. The household robot sports room contour mapping and such things as adjustable suction levels and a handy smartphone interface.  The device incorporates a “FullView Sensor 2.0”, which should mean a cleaner floor and better operation.  The robot also has better obstacle prevention, avoiding objects as small as a quarter inch.



Details on exactly how it interfaces to Amazon’s voice controlled interface is sketchy at the moment, but one should probably expect at least the basic controls being available. As the platform becomes more matured we should probably expect to see more devices that support our verbally abused server interfaces, but tying it now to the robotic vacuum cleaner is a great first step in that important domestic service paradigm.

Now, Alexa, go clean my house. And play some music while you are it.




First Vacuum Cleaner

The motorized vacuum cleaner was invented by Hubert Cecil Booth of England in 1901. Nicknamed the “Puffing Billy”, Booth’s first petrol-powered, horse-drawn vacuum cleaner relied upon air drawn by a piston pump through a cloth filter.


The Ockel Sirius B Windows 10 Pocket Computer

Today’s computers continue to morph into physical manifestations that change the end user’s expectations of what a personal computer should be, and it’s usually for the better. One form factor that is becoming popular is the pocketable computer unit, which connects to external display and input peripherals but lets you carry the important parts with you. The Ockel Sirius B is this type of computer, and it has the hardware that could make it a valid computing alternative for any number of users.

Ockel Sirius B

Contained within the rather diminutive housing of the Ockel Sirius B is a Quad-core Intel X5-Z8300 processor and 4GB of ram, allowing you to multitask with more applications to get the job done. Capable of running Windows 10, you would also find that larger applications will breathe easier here than competing models of this form factor that offer only 2GB of memory and a weaker processor.

Despite its smartphone size, the Ockel Sirius B is not lacking on interface ports. You will find a USB 2.0 port along with a USB 3.0 port for interfacing to your favorite hardware, and display duty is handled by a standard HDMI port.  There is a Micro SD card slot for convenience, and, unlike many smartphones of today, there is an audio jack along with a microphone input.


You will also find wireless support built in to the unit.  You have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, enabling you to wirelessly network and connect to a wide variety of devices.

This type of computer is great for people who routinely travel between home and work, or other locations where the support hardware would be readily available for your use. To be practical, you will need a HDMI compatible display and an input device, such as a bluetooth keyboard, to make it work. Of course, one could use a pocket projector for the display to make it more convenient, but you are still going to need a 5v power source.

Another potential use for computers such as the Ockel Sirius B would be in hardware applications where an interface computer is required to make the product work.  Again, a display and input  is going to be required to make it work, but there are niche applications where this could work amazingly well.

Ockel Sirius B

But I believe the biggest target is for the person that wants to take their computing with them, not so much for convenience of use on the way but rather for the security and peace of mind that they have it. In the past I have seen people carry a Mac Mini in a briefcase for just this purpose, so this would be the perfect use case.

Whatever your needs are, if you want to take all of the important bits of your computing with you in a pocket when you go, an Ockel Sirius B pocket computer might be a solution for your needs.




The Rush for Windows 10

Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 in July 2015 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system’s bundled software (such as the Edge web browser), as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.


Kinjii Wearable Emergency Floatation Bracelet

If you or people you care about are around water a lot, this is  device that you might find valuable. The Kinjii Wearable is a bracelet that deploys into a floatation device, potentially saving a life. The device costs $90, which makes it an affordable option for the safety it could provide. More info can be found on the Kinjii website.