December 14th, 2017

7 Tech Gadgets to Reduce Holiday Stress

With Christmas right around the corner… there’s no time to stress! The holiday season inspires joy, excitement, and family comfort. What’s not to love about spending quality time with the most important people in your life, sipping warm drinks by the fireplace and decorating your home?

Family relaxing over Christmas - London Drugs blog

Unfortunately, we can easily find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed with office parties, gift exchanges, family reunions and our kids’ school events. No matter how many commitments are booked into your calendar, there never seems to be quite enough time to get anything done – let alone finish Christmas shopping!

Thankfully, we have the tech to help make everyone’s life just a little easier – including your own!

Get into the festive spirit this winter and check out the following 7 tech gadgets that are bound to eliminate some of your holiday stress, while also making great gifts for friends, coworkers and family!

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat - London Drugs

A thermostat may seem like a strange gift to pick up for the holidays, but trust us, the Nest Learning Thermostat is well worth it. Particularly useful during the chilly Canadian winters, this remote-controlled tech gadget can be used right from your smartphone, tablet or laptop through WiFi connectivity. With energy-saving options, safety alerts, and automatic adjustments from your personal energy history, just think – no more coming home to a frigid home, and no more waking up in the middle of the night to adjust the heat!

iQ Keychain Power Bank

iQ Keychain Bank - London Drugs

A fantastic option for stocking stuffers, the IQ Keychain Power Bank is a necessity for busy, on-the-go people who use their portable technology on a day-to-day basis. The keychain feature makes this power bank easily accessible and always within reach when in need. For those days where you forget to charge your phone, or your laptop runs out of battery, simply plug into the IQ Keychain without the stress of finding an available power outlet in public.

TouCan Hands Free Can Opener

 

TouCan Hands Free Can Opener - London Drugs

Opening cans with faulty (and often painful!) can openers can be the bane of your existence, especially when in a hurry and with a hungry family to feed. Another great stocking stuffer option (perhaps for the cook in your life, or for anyone with joint pain) the TouCan Hands Free Can Opener makes opening cans of all shapes and sizes completely effortless. With just a push of the button, anyone can seamlessly prepare their meals, without the mess and frustration.

Belkin Wireless Charging Pad

Belkin Charging Pad - London Drugs

If you’ve been thinking about picking up a charging pad, now is the time! More than ever, we’re glued to our phones and tablets for personal as well as work use throughout the day, making it easy to run out of battery life. The hassle of finding (let alone de-tangling!) the large amount of mismatched chargers you need could give anyone a headache. Thankfully, the Belkin Wireless Charging Pad provides a quick solution to this everyday stress. After a long day at work, place your smartphone, tablet or powerbank (no need to remove any cases!) within the charging ring, and enjoy the luxury of cordless freedom.

Global Data SIM Card

 

Visiting family or friends over the holidays, and travelling outside of your designated carrier zone? Know anyone who travels frequently overseas, and could benefit from some extra coverage? Look no further! Pick up the AOW Global Data SIM Card for yourself or as a gift and enjoy 4G LTE access to over 90 countries across the globe. Choose from hourly plans, by day, or by storage, and pre-schedule before you leave. The Global Data SIM Card is compatible with any unlocked smartphone, and will not only save you the effort of finding secure WiFi, but allows you to stay connected with loved ones via apps without daunting roaming fees.

London Drugs Rechargeable Wine Opener

London Drugs Rechargable Wine Opener

If you don’t need one of these in your kitchen cupboard, guaranteed you know someone who does! Just like opening a can, grappling with a tricky cork can result in nicked fingers, compromised wine and most likely a bad mood. Avoid the fuss and save your energy with the London Drugs Rechargeable Wine Opener. This sleek electric opener can be easily recharged when needed, and makes a great gift for any wine connoisseur.

Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

Ring Wi-Fi Doorbell - London Drugs

Ordered your Christmas gifts online and anxious for them to be delivered to your door? More often than not, you won’t be home mid-day to receive your parcels. With the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, there’s no need to rush home to see if your packages have arrived! With wide angled HD video and instant alerts straight to your phone, this futuristic doorbell can also act as a security monitor, alerting you of what’s going on outside without having to be at home! Great for families with children, the doorbell also offers a safe way for kids to see who’s at the door without having to answer it.



January 10th, 2017

CES 2017, Day Two

It’s day two of press conferences here at Ces2017. It’s been a heckuva day with Samsung, LG, Intel, Toyota and other presenters. The three of us can only fit so much in a day and cover so much but I think we did well.

So… amazingly beautiful huge televisions, appliances that talk to you and recognize you, and extremely good virtual reality goggles, and automated cars really fueled the day.

I think one of the partnerships that really opened my eyes today was that between Nvidia and Audi. Who would’ve thought all those years ago when Nvidia was formed in 1994 that they would be making the computers that will run the autonomous cars of the future? But video cards have to perform thousands or hundreds of thousands of functions in a very short period of time so they are experts at handling large amounts of data and responding very quickly when needed. In a way, it’s a natural combination of skill sets and manufacturing expertise.

I was privileged to be in a group of only 260 reporters that got to sit in on an Intel virtual reality demonstration that had never been done before. We went flying in squirrel flying suits, then sat on the side court at a live basketball game and watched it in virtual reality, totally feeling like we were right there, and then we were in a video game called “Arizona sunshine” in a very scary and precarious predicament.

We also had a unique demonstration that had never been attempted before on this scale.  All 260 of us could just stand or sit and watch a river flow by us, see animals and farmers in the distance and be able to look all around you like you were transported there magically. This was all real film not created artificial reality. It was like being in the middle of it in real life, not like watching a film, it was almost indescribable. The amount of data required? It takes 3 TB per frame of film to create this illusion. At 60 frames per second that means 180 TB of data per minute are required to create this illusion of being in the middle of a real film.

To top it all off we had another demonstration wearing our VR goggles that had us flying over a 250 acre solar power farm in India in real time…. it was actually happening as we were seeing it and we acted as inspectors for the solar panels. The applications for business are obvious and huge cost savings can be realized.  Very dangerous situations like search and rescue can absolutely benefit from this technology.

Tomorrow we will be taking a closer look at some of the autonomous vehicles.

Talk to you soon!

 

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Yates Street
Computer Manager
Victoria, BC

 

CFAX Tech Talk airs each Saturday on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.



January 5th, 2017

CES 2017, Day One

As a computer manager at London Drugs I’ve always been fortunate to get a glimpse of new technology coming out. But there is no other experience for looking into the future of tech than the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as you’ve most likely heard it referenced to.

Through my guest hosting on Victoria’s CFAX 1070 radio Tech Talk program I’ve been able to attend CES and report back what new tech gadgets and gear are coming to market. I’ve gotten to see some amazing products and many amazing innovations in technology, as well as products that have thankfully never come to fruition.

I want to start by giving you an idea of the scope of the show, the largest of its kind in the world, held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • There is 3,250,000 ft.² of dedicated display place for the show.
  • The show routinely attracts about 175,000 attendees.
  • There are almost 17,000 presidents, CEOs, and business owners here for the show including a team from London Drugs.
  • There are 6,000 members of the media here covering the show, that’s 1,000 more than covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio this past summer.
  • The show runs for four days, January 5th through the 8th.

For me, the two days before, January 3rd and 4th, are spent with CFAX radio interviewing vendors and looking at some of the innovations and previews we are invited to see ahead of the show for everyone else.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some very exciting and unique products from CES. Some may even change your life for the better in some way.

Talk to you soon!

 

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Yates Street
Computer Manager
Victoria, BC

 

CFAX Tech Talk airs each Saturday on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.



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