Gadgets: From Under-the-Radar to Under the Tree

On November 30, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Does it appear like there are only two major gadgets to give this holiday season: either a smartphone or a tablet? We’re bombarded everyday with a new contender, be it the Samsung Galaxy II smartphone or Kindle Fire tablet. But, of course, there are thousands of other tech gadgets that will make that geeky friend on your list happy for a fraction of the cost. Without diving into every tech website out there, here are just a few to get your mind going in a different direction, be it for a more eco-conscious or just a more economical tech-geek gift.

Gadgets make great gifts – whether they’re practical or not

From the 40-in-1 Swiss Army Knife to the 6-in-1 key-chain, chances are the receiver will find a use for it some day. Gadgets are especially good for that tech geek friend or relative in your life. So, regardless if it’s the Starship Enterprise pizza cutter or crocheted headphones, chances are your gift will be a hit.

Gadgets for the hard-to-shop-for individual

So what makes a good gadget gift? It really depends on how tech-savvy the recipient is, and just how much you’d like to spend. If you have a little more money and the individual is environmentally conscious, you may opt for a “green” choice. Eco-friendly products abound and are especially sought after this year. From hand-powered paper shredders to solar-powered tiki torches, many options exist for that inner tree-hugger in all of us.

Tablet or smartphone owners

For those who already own a smartphone and tablet, there are some terrific accessories to brighten their day, from iPhone “wallet cases” to iPad docking stations. As most tablets and smartphones don’t have separate keyboards, here are two accessory ideas, one for the iPad, one for the iPhone. These gadgets will have an immediate effect on the user’s experience!

The best part about gadgets and the reason they’re continuously sought after is that they’re always at hand. Gadgets, simply put, make our lives easier. Although you may not believe that there are other gift items out there other than phones or tablets, hopefully we’ve expanded your view to incorporate some that are under the radar!


The Changing Face of Business

On November 14, 2011, in Uncategorized, by cdeal

The face of business is evolving, it wasn’t long ago that the most effective way to get your name out was to use an ad agency, get a billboard, or simply go door to door introducing your company to prospective clients. Now with the plethora of options available to consumers and the ease at which they can obtain services or items business have had to change their approach to selling. When there were less options, and local stores had cornered the market in their industry, selling was just that, selling. People needed something they came to your store because you sold it. With all the options open to people now businesses must develop creative ways to be appealing, reach a wider market, and give consumers reasons to choose them as the company they want to work with. Below are a few ways companies can achieve this.

Becoming Mobile

Mobile devices are hardly rare now-a-days, people carry them to make their lives easier by staying connected to their business and personal life when they are on the go. Because of this many small-business owners want to create mobile sites. These sites retain the branding that the company wants but allows for faster, easier navigation on a mobile device. Developing a mobile site makes your company more accessible to consumers.

Social Sites

These are an interesting phenomena, originally they were intended as sites primarily for personal socializing. But when Facebook came out, their clean utilitarian site enticed businesses owners. Those individuals realized they could reach a wide audience by developing a social face for their business. Now nearly every business has a Facebook page. Social sites give companies a platform to share interesting and fun content that is relevant to their industry with consumers. Creating this on-line community is a passive way to create sales. You may have heard about Google , they have recently unveiled their business pages. Read this walk-though to learn how to set up a Google business page. Social sites are a nonintrusive way to connect to a large audience that I predicted the relationship between businesses and social sites a long and fruitful one.

On-line Education

You have likely noticed the rising number of businesses that have blogs, these allow companies to give educational information without trying to obviously sell the individual something. Offering educational content is a great way to show for potential customers how knowledgeable your company is and develop trust. Webinars and blogs are two great ways to do this. In this way companies can stand out from their competition by showing their extensive knowledge and this can result in sales indirectly.

While the on-line business community keeps growing we can still visit local shop where the owner works behind the counter but more then likely that business has some kind of on-line presence. Business are not just street facing anymore but Web facing as well. Being conscious of the changing face of business and open to it will make you a more educated business owner and/or consumer.  Here is another article about why creating an on-line presence is good business practice.


At the recent PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, held between October27-29th, numerous exhibitors gathered to show off their latest and greatest accomplishments in technology.  From new developments in cameras, lenses, printers, clothing, gear, gizmos and gadgets, the Expo had it all.  But if you consider yourself more of a novice or weekend “photog,” you may have felt a little out of place. The expo is mostly geared toward the professional shutterbug.  Some of the newest innovations, however, were ideal for both the pro and novice alike, although not necessarily that affordable.  Here are just 3 of the awesome innovations found at the PhotoPlus Expo.  For a deeper detailing, provides a more thorough look.

Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 3D Binoculars

The new Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 3D Binoculars are out of this world with their amazing photographic and video potential. Of the two the DEV-5 is more advanced, but only the DEV-3 was on display. Each of them have incredible multifunctional capabilities and can be used as 3D binoculars, a 7MP camera or a 1080i video recorder. The DEV-5’s optical zoom capacity is an astounding 20X! One of the hurdles, however, is the high price tag of $2,000. The DEV-3 model has 10X zoom and costs $1400.  But for people who are searching for a top quality multimedia digital camera, these binoculars are worth considering!

Gorillapod Micro 250 and 350

Joby is a brand known best for its bendy camera tripods.  But one of the coolest gadgets at their booth was a tripod that we’re not used to.  Called the Gorillapod Micro, these mini-tripods are stiff, similar to small sticks, which can fold up nicely beneath you camera without adding much weight or bulk at all.  On top of that, they are available in different sizes.  You’ll always be able to catch that perfect sunset self-portrait because you’ll never be without your tripod again.

Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen Display

The Wacom Cintiq 24HD Pen Display has a unique 24-inch display. The display is ideal for making sharp edits for those in 3D design, animation, game development, and industrial design. The price of $2600 doesn’t seem to be a detractor as they are in sought after and incredibly difficult to acquire.

The recent PhotoPlus Exposition was aimed primarily to professional photographers, artists and designers.  As a novice or hobbyist, however, it’s always good to keep up with cutting-edge technologies. Here we could only list a few of the hundreds of impressive items like state-of-the-art jackets, lighting, camera bags and gear. Make sure to check out other articles about the Expo, as well as reviews on many of the other products on display.


The Connectivity of Devices

On November 4, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

The world is becoming more connected. When we say this, we don’t just mean as individuals. Our devices are starting to be more connected to each other as well. This makes our lives easier by adding seamlessness to our day that wasn’t present before. Now you can work on a document on the job, send it to your smartphone and use a voice transcription app to continue doing work in your vehicle. This is just one example; this video is Microsoft’s vision of what connectivity is likely to make our future look like. What types of devices, apps, or combination of the two will help produce a future like this? Here are a couple I have found, tell us of any you can think of.



iControl is a home energy management and security product that Comcast unveiled recently. With this product, people can monitor their homes in real time through video, control the thermostat, and turn the lights on and off giving the “lived in” illusion when away. The iControl software plus hardware and apps along with Comcast broadband make it possible for people to have full control over their homes miles away.

Air Sharing

This app for the iPad enables you to use your iPad or iPhone as an external hard drive for your computer. Having the ability to easily access and transfer your documents allows for more mobility in your workday.


Wirelessly stream music, videos, and photos to Apple TV using Apple’s AirPlay. This enables you to flow easily from your walk, where you were listening to a podcast or audio book, to your home without interrupting your entertainment.

As more gadgets, apps, and software work harmoniously together, I see our day-to-day lives becoming easier and more fluid. Connectivity means that all elements of our lives are more connected. Hopefully this will mean that our tech can stay one step ahead of us and if result in less waiting, I am ready for it… how about you?


2011: Where are all the Hover Boards and Flying Cars?

On November 2, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

In 1985’s Back to the Future, we travel through time with Marty McFly in a nuclear-powered DeLorean. Marty is able to do what man has wanted to do since the beginning of time: control his destiny. In the first movie, Marty goes back to the past to save his parent’s marriage, and consequently his existence. In the lesser first sequel, Marty travels into the future to alter the paths of his children. While these films are obviously fanciful, they do present an intriguing question. In the year 2011, would we consider ourselves to be closer to the technology found in Hill Valley in 1955, or the second film’s futuristic vision?

First, we should ask ourselves where we thought we would be by 2011. Of course we’d have flying cars and hover boards by now, wouldn’t we? Yet here we are, still driving fossil-fuel burning cars, riding scooters and bicycles, all the while wearing fairly normal clothes. Basically, if you took a step back and checked out the way we conduct our lives, much of the technology we use today existed 70 years ago. The television was invented. Cars already had modern features like air conditioning and radios. Movies were shown in color. The Wizard of Oz, made in 1939 has special effects that rival many independent moviemakers today.

Many movies in the past, however, have prophesied some of the advances we use today.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was caught carrying a gun through a full-body x-ray machine trying to board a plane in Total Recall.  Airports are now employing very similar tech. In Minority Report, Tom Cruise deftly moves from image to image, mirroring the type of touch screen technology, 3D monitors and holograms that will exist – if they don’t already – in the very near future.  In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Pan Am flies the common man to outer space.  Virgin Atlantic is making that possible today for that same traveler, though they need to shell out $200,000 for a seat.

Today we can communicate with Jetson-like videophones, talk to the other side found on earth on your pc for hours – for free. We have such science-fiction movie staples as cloning, genetic engineering, laser surgery and more. Yet are we closer to 1950’s tech or the science fiction dreams of the 2050s? In the mental picture so many of us had about the 21st century, we’re no closer to flying our car to work as Dorothy was to finding her way back to Kansas when she first landed in Oz.

Ultimately, there are advances seen around us everywhere to remind us that the future is occurring now: Video billboards, the internet tracking our every move for our advertising dollars, 3D television, movies that cost $13 for some reason. But here is where the more things change the more they stay the same: Chevrolet is still making convertibles, Universal is still making movies, and you can still watch Back to the Future any time you want — though I’d skip that 2nd one and go directly to the third.