If you’re an iPhone user, do you ever fire up Siri? What about Google Now on Android devices? I mention before that I started using Siri much more on my Apple watch; but, did you know Amazon offers a similar product?
Amazon Echo has been out for a little over 1 year now and is the online retailer’s answer to Apple and Google. Echo has over 30,000 reviews on Amazon and is listed as a #1 best seller in Home Audio speakers. While the device is surely convenient and has many features, the most promising feature is the device’s promise to control your “smart home” by turning on the lights. You can also imagine, pre-heating the oven, turning on on an alarm, etc via it’s mobile app, Alexa, (iOS, Android, Amazon), described as follows:
Echo doesn’t stop working when you’re away from home. With the free companion app on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more.
The future is near my friends (think The Jetsons, Iron Man, Back to The Future and The Kingsman). Watch one of Amazon’s wi-fi enabled device in action below or get more information here.
It can be hard finding the perfect gift for your loved ones year, after year, after year…. One way to accomplish this is to get gifts associated with “themes” you know they like. For example, if you know someone who is a techie and you want to give them a “Wife of the Year Award“, stay in the tech category and find a way to turn everyday, mundane tasks into something fun! Take a stroll through Best Buy or even do a few internet searches – one of Bri’s Commandments – to get ideas.
Everybody brushes their teeth (I hope…) SO why not give your wife, best friend, lover and supporter, that you undoubtedly love so much the gift of tech in the form of a mart toothbrush! Introducing Oral B Smart Series Toothbrush with Wireless Technology. And guess what? There’s even a FREE app for that! (iOS, Android) This smart toothbrush will not only show you stats about how often and how long you brush but it will also give you feedback on and detect “trouble areas” AND help to ensure you spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing your teeth evenly. (SIDE NOTE: I recently tweeted about a tip I read from a MyFitnessPal user that said she does 50 leg lifts on each side every time she brushes her teeth as a way to get in a little morning fitness.) The app can also communicate the NEWS and WEATHER while you brush (serves as a distraction to pass the time) and it will also tell you when you’re BRUSHING TOO HARD.
If you think this is silly, consider this: The CDC published dental trends and concludes the following from 2013:
- 83% of children ages 2-17 visited the dentist in the past year
- 61% of adults ages 18-64 visited the dentist in the past year
- 66% of adults ages 65 and over visited the dentist in the past year
Shocked? I am! If a smart toothbrush can help make brushing cool again I’m all for it! Oral B also has a Disney Timer app to distract kids while they brush in a fun an entertaining way (unless of course your kid is a genius that already cares about the news… side eye). You can purchase the smart toothbrush at Amazon for $174.99 (currently $20 off). For a sneak peek of what the toothbrush and app can do, watch the video below and also check out the gallery. #HappySmartBrushing
Science-fiction movies have a strange way of predicting the future. In case you don’t believe me, let me just name a few recent science fiction movies that will hopefully jog your memory:
- Movie: Minority Report (2002)
Technology: Gesture-based user interface
- Movie: Total Recall (1990)
Technology: Driverless car
- Movie: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Technology: Wearable tech
- Movie: Short Circuit (1986)
Technology: Military robot
- Movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Technology: Mobile phone
Just a few days ago I linked a popular movie, Enemy of the State, to the national security debate, pitting the tech community vs. governments everywhere. Click HERE if you missed that. Today I’m linking “Kingsman: The Secret Service” to the free WiFi service being installed as we speak in New York City.
If you haven’t seen The Kingsman, it’s about a spy organization recruiting an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. With a little help from IMDB and AceOfGeeks:
The global threat is the release a of new sim card that gives free wifi and calls to everyone around the globe. The sim cards are weapons, a neural augmentation device that triggers hyper aggression in people when broadcasting on a specific frequency controlled by Valentine. The controller of the sim cards can basically use it it out wipe out (i.e. kill) people who are not “on their side”.
So what’s the link to New York City? Just this week, workers began installing the first LinkNYC access points in New York. The hubs are designed as an update to the standard phone booth, using upgraded infrastructure to provide gigabit Wi-Fi access points. The full network will install more than 7,500 public hubs throughout the city, each replacing a pre-existing phone booth. (New York is finally installing its promised public gigabit Wi-Fi, The Verge)
Whether the service is free or paid, you better believe there will be some sort of “agreement” you must sign/acknowledge if you use this service, sort of like the ones required by Apple for your iTunes account – the ones that no one reads…. While this may not be a way to WIPE out a certain class or generation of people, like in The Kingsman, you can bet your last dollar the NSA (or some other like-minded government agency) will be
spying paying very close attention and tracking everything you do whenever you are on this network. #youdecide
You can watch the official trailer for The Kingsman on YouTube. It’s actually a pretty good movie!