Become more tech savvy (and increase your security!) by connecting your basic home features to your WiFi, smartphone, tablet or wearable tech.
London Drugs Tech Expert Kyle Toms talks to CTV Morning Live Saskatoon all about the connected home including sensors, cameras, lighting and video streaming. Watch the full feature here.
Control the ambiance of your home with the Elgato Avea Smart LED Bulb and Elgato Avea Flare to add dynamic mood lighting and custom colours to any atmosphere. London Drugs also carries the Nest line of products with intelligent learning-style thermostats to give you a 100% real-time view of your temperature while providing energy efficiency.
Cameras are a smart surveillance accessory for any connected home, allowing you to see who is at the door or keep an eye on pets while away. The Enhanced Wireless Camera from D-Link and the Netgear Arlo Camera both have a built-in infrared LED and night vision so you can see what’s happening even in the dark.
Streaming video is no longer just for the young folk. An increasing number of consumers are moving away from cable and choosing online streaming services instead. Roku Premiere , as one example, offers 4k HD resolution for watching content and plugs straight into your HDMI port.
For streaming content you’ll need a strong WiFi signal. Read: How to Power Up the WiFi in Your Home for all the information you need!
Still curious? Visit your local London Drugs and ask an LD Expert for advice on the right tech to use in your connected home.
It’s the last weekend of November and before long you’ll have holiday parties to attend and travel plans to make. So why not get your shopping done early?
Starting with last week’s Top Gifts for Busy Women, we’re posting weekly gift guides for different groups, including everything from stocking stuffers to show stoppers.
This week, it’s our gift guide for techies. Whether he or she works or studies in IT or is just keen to test out all the latest in tech, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s our guide to help you buy a cutting-edge gift for the techie on your list.
Sadly, much of the tech we dreamed of as kids remains unavailable. Despite coming close last summer, we’re still waiting for hoverboards like the one Marty McFly rode, and let’s not get started on lunar hotels. Sheesh.
But it’s not all bad – 2016 finally brought us virtual reality, or VR, headsets. Still, it’s important to know that not all VR is the same.
On the top end are the most potent VR sets, like Playstation VR, which require powerful nearby tech, in its case a Playstation 4 and PS4 camera, to run truly stunning experiences. They’re great for those really ready to invest in VR, or who’ve been ready for decades.
For others, there are awesome, amazingly affordable VR headsets that utilize your smartphone to play the thousands of downloadable VR games from your preferred app store. And speaking of childhood memories, there’s Mattel’s updated VR View-Master, offering fun for kids aged 7 to 99.
Until recently, about the smartest home tech devices were robot vacuum. Those are still great (and even mop now), but today there are many home tech devices available.
Nest is a pioneer in connected homes. By pairing with your smartphone and adapting to your needs, their original smart thermostat made thermostats cool in 2011, which had been hard to imagine before. Now they also offer a smart smoke detector and a security camera.
But smart homes go beyond even that. There are also smart outlets available to reveal exactly how much energy each appliance uses and when. Not to mention internet-connected smart doorbells, air quality sensors, and multi-cam security systems.
There are even smart light bulbs now. No, really.
These days, virtually all techies use “streaming media.” It means playing audio or video content without downloading it. Instead, their device simply receives a ‘stream’ of data.
This innovation allows access to massive digital libraries, like those on Netflix and Spotify. It also allows more flexibility at home about where to play your content, as you can also stream from one device to another.
For streaming any saved media, there are media hubs. For streaming to your existing stereo equipment, there are Bluetooth audio receivers. Meanwhile, wireless in-home audio systems can stream sound to every room, and portable wireless speakers stream music anywhere.
If there’s one thing no techie can resist, it’s the allure of a shiny new gadget. Believe us, we’ve tried.
A great option for scatterbrained techies is the Tile tracking system that virtually eliminates the worry of ever losing one of their wonderful toys. Oh, and don’t forget cords and adapters. Techies love those. Just ask what they need, but be prepared for a list.
We’ll be back next week with a top gift guide for foodies. See you then!
The iPhone may be the most common smartphone in Canada, but that doesn’t mean we all know how to use our iPhones. Behind the simplicity of iOS lies incredible complexity, so we’ve decoded some of the best tips. Here are 6 changes you should consider making with your iPhone habits.
Many know about Fitbit and other wearable fitness trackers, which connect to the internet to monitor many aspects of health. But fewer know about the range of similar devices designed to monitor your home.
He showed off many such gadgets available at London Drugs, including:
Eve Outdoor Weather Sensor by Elegato: Eve Weather is built to live outside, and with IPX3 water resistance, even a little rain won’t hurt. Keep track of the weather at your actual home, and easily access your personal data right on your iPhone and iPad.
Note: Elegato also makes an indoor sensor.
mydlink WiFi Water Sensor by D-Link: It alerts you when water is detected, letting you know of a leak before it becomes a disaster. Use your mobile device to monitor what’s happening at home, even when you’re on the go with push notifications to your iOS or Android device.Leaks don’t always happen near an available outlet. That’s why D-Link has designed their 1 metre extension cable to be extended even further using any Standard RJ-11 phone cable.
Eve Energy Switch & Power Meter by Elegato: Live smarter by knowing more about the place you care about most. With Eve Energy, switch your devices on or off with a simple tap, and instantly see how much energy your devices are using.
Note: Elegato devices currently do not support Android.
WiFi Video Doorbell by Ring: With Ring, you’re always home. That’s because, with wide angled HD video, smart motion detection, and cloud recording, it’s like you’re home even when you’re not. It even allows you to monitor your property from hundreds of miles away!
At LD, we know even the most useful gadgets have to fit within a budget in most Canadian homes. Not to worry. David also assured viewers that these devices will not break the bank, “They are entry-level priced, but not entry level in terms of what you get.”
With another glorious — if famously short — Canadian summer just around the bend, now is a great time to either get into or upgrade your wearable fitness technology.
Whether you’re a serious athlete, working on getting back in shape, or anyone in between, there’s a wearable that’s perfect for you. These devices have been around a while, but there are currently more options than ever, including those with GPS and heart rate tracking capabilities. Most are also web connected, allowing you to view your results online. Today, there are also stylish daywear options with even more unconventional wearables coming soon.
Unsure where to start? Read on for advice direct from our trusted LD Experts.
An effective way to begin meeting your daily activity goals is with a standard step-counter, also called a pedometer. These deceivingly simple tools provide valuable feedback about your fitness regimen, whether that’s a 2k morning run or parking a few blocks from work.
A good recommended first goal, straight from Canada’s own Heart and Stroke Foundation, is 10,000 steps per day.
Wanna take it to the next level? The subtle and affordable Fitbit Flex is the true standard-bearer for all fitness wearables. It counts your steps, but also distance travelled, calories burned, and sleep quality. You’ll need to wear it always to get the best results, but millions of current users agree it’s worth it.
Better still, this device, as well as others like it, links wirelessly to a web application that lets you chart your progress. Pharmacist (and LD Expert) Sam Ma says the social element, which allows friends and family to team-up and unlock ‘Badges’ together, makes it an excellent option. It’s kinda like being in Scouts all over again.
Of course, there are more capable wearables for those who want to take fitness tracking to still higher levels. Some track your heart rate throughout the day, which you can then review online in the evening. Others, including options from the navigation experts at Garmin, track your location using GPS. This is especially useful for those who enjoy outdoor runs or bike rides. There are a wide number of advanced wearables available to provide a tracking edge for everything from swimming and skiing to mountain climbing.
A fitness wearable that many overlook are sport-optimized earphones, which could include bluetooth connectivity, built in FM tuners, and even fitness tracking functions. Chris Gibson, a technology buyer and LD Expert, notes he’s also excited by the fitness-encouraging potential of GoPro cameras. Many use these devices to capture amazing footage of extreme sports, like mountain biking and waterskiing.
These days, wearable fitness tracker owners increasingly demand better style and ground-breaking approaches. That includes a subtle daywear fitness watch from Timex, which tracks steps, and the Fitbit Blaze, a premium all-in-one fitness wearable and smartwatch with a sleek, modern look.
Gibson says the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is fitness tracking clothing, such as biometric exercise shirts.
Whether you’re eager to adopt all the newest advances in wearable fitness technology or you’re looking to begin a digital journey toward a better you, the tech-savvy staff at London Drugs are keen to help. Find an LD Expert at a store near you.
Chris Gibson is a self-declared gadget geek with a love of all technology, from phones to drones. As an Electronics Buyer for London Drugs, he travels the world looking for new tech to bring to LD customers, and loves to see new and creative uses for gadgets in everyday life. Outside of work, he is a husband and father to two girls that constantly challenge him to use tech to keep one step ahead of them. Twitter: @cav_ok
Sam Ma is an avid photography enthusiast who enjoys playing sports, collecting wristwatches, and singing. He also loves to eat ramen noodles and just about anything soupy. Sam is a Patient Care Pharmacist who, in addition to dispensing and counselling on medications, is responsible for running annual health clinics such as the Osteoporosis Screening clinic. He is always more than willing to help you with your questions and health care needs.
With the popularity in tv streaming services comes a variety of products that can contribute to the movie night of your dreams. Not sure what you need? Read this article. Then get some candy and snacks, cozy up in a throw blanket, and hit play.
If you’re a basic binge-watcher, an HDMI cord is the simplest way to project your shows onto your TV. They connect your laptop to your TV, so you can have a larger picture and better sound. If you have a Macbook, you’ll need a converter in order to connect the HDMI cord to your computer. Logiix and Certified Data both offer HDMI cables and a variety of adapters, and Apple has a new three-in-one adapter. Ask in-store if you aren’t sure which cords you need for your TV and computer.
However, if you’re more of an intermediate binge-watcher, then you might be ready for a most sophisticated device. The following devices enable you to watch web-based video on your television. There are no monthly fees associated with these products – however, services like Netflix do charge a monthly fee.
Well it’s Saturday, and the last day of the consumer electronics show here in Las Vegas. It’s been a crazy week with record attendance.
Today we made our way to the Sands convention center, and Eureka Park. This huge space showcases brand-new inventions, some things that have already come to market and are looking for financial backing, and everyone else that wants to be a part of the show but doesn’t know exactly where they fit in.
We saw LaserLite helmets that supposedly help you regrow hair, and many other medically based devices that were mind-boggling. Some look feasible, and others are very far-fetched.
For the first time I saw a 3D hologramatic projection device. It looked quite amazing, with the projection floating in air right in front of you and moving at the same time. I got to try the Occulus 3D virtual reality goggles, and that was an incredible and unique experience. When you wear these you can move your head anywhere at 360° all around up-and-down and it looks like you’re looking at a real world, that of course is totally computer-generated. Add three-dimensional multidirectional sound to this world, and it’s mind blowing. What I found most significant about this is that I had never experienced something like this before, and how quickly my mind, my eyes and my ears adapted to this experience. I felt truly immersed in a world that was computer-generated.
It was fantastic to have the opportunity to see all of these things first-hand, and I can’t wait to go again next year to see what developments are taking place by that time!
London Drugs Computer Department Manager – Yates St., Victoria