January 12th, 2018

News From CES 2018, Thursday, January 11th

We started a bit earlier on our trek to CES today, and beat many thousands of people that come to the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Alan, Diane and myself did our best to cover more of this massive venue again today.

We found a few unique items today at the show we though would be interesting!

The “Rocking Bed”. This bed uses a special frame and it makes a side to side motion while you fall asleep! For anyone that misses the ocean feeling, or anyone that just wants a way to fall asleep that has been proven effective, this is for you. Captain’s hat optional…

A solid state smartphone or device battery.
There is a potential problem with todays batteries in our devices. If they are bent or damaged, they can explode and or catch fire.
This manufacturer (Prologium) makes a battery for other product manufacturers that is bendable, and can be cut, drilled through or otherwise damaged and not only does it not catch fire or explode…it actually will keep right on working. We saw it with our own eyes. I think you will see many devices go this way in the near future.

Last, but definitely not least, Intel put on a very special show using 250 of it’s famous “Shooting Star Mini Drones” in the sky tonight at 8 PM over The Bellagio Hotel and in combination with the famous fountains there. It was about 5 incredible minutes and an LED lighting ballet in the sky, with musical accompaniment of the song “Stargazing” . The area was packed, and the crowd was cheering wildly at the finale. As we slowly made out way out of the area, I heard someone say “you know…i think these will replace fireworks one day..” I think they were right.
Check out this link to judge for yourself



January 12th, 2018

New Year, Healthier You: Wearable Tech to Improve Your Health

You’re ringing in the New Year with some new resolutions, but a lot of us get lost before we’ve even hit the ground running. Where do you start?
London Drugs Pharmacist, Agusha McGrath, stopped by Breakfast Television Calgary, with the 411 on how those popular gadgets some of us got under the tree can actually help reach your goals for 2018.

Catch the full segment here or read some highlights below.

If you plan on setting health goals for 2018, one of the best paths to success is to speak with a trained professional. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers in Canada. They can help you create a personalized plan to become a healthier you.

Wearable technology makes working towards, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle easy and fun. Set goals with your pharmacist and ask about what wearable device or monitoring technology is best for you. With the newest advancements, catching a health issue before it’s a major problem, or just being the best version of you, is easier than ever before.

Whether you’re looking for gadget to compliment an already established routine, or you’re just starting out on your journey and need a little assistance, London Drugs has the most popular health tech companions on the market.

Fitbit

Fitbits are some of the most popular devices for fitness tracking. Count your steps, measure calories burnt per workout, monitor your heart rate, and track how well you sleep. These can range from simple step counters to full featured smart watches, all of which are extremely user friendly. Join the Fitbit community and challenge each other, or just keep track of your personal goals.

Garmin vivofit3

Need to be reminded to get up and move? The Garmin vivofit will send your automated encouragement, and can monitor different activities, like walking, running, biking swimming, or using elliptical with Move IQ.

 

 

 

Oxywatch Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

A pocket friendly device for monitoring your blood oxygen levels on the go, while maintaining impressive accuracy. Store your data, set alarms, or replay results.

 

 

 

 

 

Abbott Precision Neo Meter

Accuracy meets affordability. Make 2018 your healthiest year yet by testing your blood glucose levels anywhere, anytime. No coding required, an easy high-contrast display, with a light user friendly design.



January 10th, 2018

CES 2018 – Day Two

Day Two with Ron Fraser – Ford Surprises Everyone

So, you may ask…how does a simple car company affect my life, and what has it got to do with cutting-edge technology, and more specifically, the CES?

As it turns out, plenty.

Today was our first full day at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Alan, Diane and myself set our plan for the day, we were up at 5:30 am and out the door to attend a keynote address at the Palazzo hotel. One of the major events of the week certainly, when the CEO of The Ford Motor Company (Mr. Jim Hackett) gives a presentation on behalf of one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable companies on the planet.

The room was packed, there were around 4,000 people in the Palazzo Ballroom without a doubt. None of this was a surprise. What was a surprise, was that there were no flashy cars, no new product announcements, and no new technologies presented which seems to be a presentation standard amongst car companies today. What we did see and hear for the next hour was the very relaxed, and sincere head of one of the largest corporations in the World talk philosophically about what really would have to happen to our cities to be part of the New Connected World, specifically with autonomous vehicles. And while Ford wants to be an important part in that (it is good business) you really got the feeling that Mr. Hackett really wanted to get this right, for the benefit of everyone involved. He presented several of his expert employees who spoke just as passionately about how cities would have to be integrated with EVERYTHING that moves in the core, and everyone,  regardless of their particular mode of transportation. They showed city concept films that had autonomous cars, delivery vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians all sharing the same intelligently modified space.

Ford knows that the life of their 115 year old company is not guaranteed, and those disruptive technologies need to be embraced by all the stakeholders involved. A car that can monitor it’s driver, and summon help in an emergency, with no human intervention is coming very soon. The same system will change traffic control, and autonomous vehicles will clear a path for emergency responders.   He knows, and believes very passionately, that this integration into the urban landscape is critical for it’s success. He also knows there will be some trade offs of privacy to allow this type of system to operate and that the more we talk about these ethical questions today, the better chance we have of getting it right, and sooner than later.

It was fascinating, exciting and a bit disquieting all at the same time. That accurately describes the World of technology we see all around us today, and knowledge and asking these questions really seems to be the best way forward to make this system be the best system for all of us.

Mr. Henry Ford changed the World 115 years ago with the first mass production automobile, and what is happening today sure feels as if the car is once again poised to change the World in a very significant way.

Thanks for listening, I’ll return tomorrow with many of the great things we saw today at the CES show here in Las Vegas!

Ron



January 10th, 2018

CES 2018 – Day One

Day One with Ron Fraser

It’s after 11 pm here in Las Vegas and today was a very busy first day! As a Co-host of TechTalk on CFAX radio here in Victoria, I am attending the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas as a reporter. I always have my London Drugs hat on too though, as we always find great products that hopefully we can put into our stores to help our customers get the things that help make their lives easier, better, and of course, more fun!

Today though, was all about the press conferences to get a sneak peek at the amazing new technology that is coming soon to all of us.

LG Electronics was first, and they are talking about all of the products, and I mean ALL 100% of them being connected and communicating at all times. That is certainly a theme that was repeated a few times today. Everything wants to talk to everything else, to help make your electronics work for you better. Robots are again being used to great effect to help check you in at the airport, and then to carry your bags and even take payment from you. We were reminded that there is still some fine-tuning to be done, not every robot wanted to talk as it turned out!

Samsung was next…..Showing off a new ultra-high resolution TV using “microLED” technology, and the TV was called “The Wall””.They are huge. The one we saw measured 149 inches! No end in sight for size growth.

Toyota, and Hyundai were very excited about their new car offerings. One thing is certain, Google and Alexa voice assistants are very firmly embedded with the car manufacturers now, and even more in the future as they may end up becoming the hub in your home to perform so many functions.

The evening ended with a mind blowing presentation by Intel that was, as always, both amazing and nearly impossible to describe adequately. Suffice to say they are very involved in music, sports, entertainment, business applications, and connectivity between everything you can imagine…..and a few…you really cannot! Let’s just say, the cartoon “The Jetsons” and the flying cars they had…..are here, now in a form 🙂

Much more tomorrow!



December 30th, 2017

7 Ice Cold Photos That Will Warm You Up

As cool temperatures set in across the country, Canadians are getting re-acquainted with that slick and slippery old friend: ice. Sure, ice can be treacherous for walking or driving, but it can also be stunningly beautiful. Here’s a collection of ice-inspired photos from around the country, and a reminder that we’re lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

1. The Obligatory Pond Hockey Photo

Skating Rink Skates

Photo by @lara.melnik

Strapping on the skates and spending the afternoon with friends on the pond is a quintessentially Canadian pastime.

2. The Ice is Coming for Us

This impressive shot of ice forming around a rock is a gentle reminder that the cold winter is well on it’s way (especially for our friends in Alberta).

3. Heli-Skiing Sights

Ode to Ice London Drugs Beautiful Canada

Photo by @cmh_heli

Adventurers who take skiing to extreme heights are bound to find something spectacular to look at on the way. The glacier in the background of this gorgeous photo is a reminder of our tiny place in this great wide world.

4. A Stunning Frozen Waterfall

Photo by @kwasy.morley

Alberta and British Columbia are filled with hidden gems like this frozen waterfall. Winter explorers are bound to find something interesting like this.

 

5. A Glacial Pace

Photo by @dcranephoto

This incredible photo of Bear Glacier in British Columbia is yet another example of the beauty hidden within our country’s borders.

6. Climbing Up Ice

Ode to Ice Beautiful Canada - London Drugs

Photo by @timbanfield

Only for the experienced climber, ice climbing is an extreme sport that is truly beautiful to photograph. Just imagine climbing up a frozen waterfall! There are many spots to get your ice fix in Alberta, like Kananaskis Country.

7. The Only Ice Hotel

Yes, you heard right! Check in to the only ice hotel in North America, Hôtel de Glace, based in Quebec. Discover ice-filled hotel rooms, ice sculptures, and even a wedding chapel.

8. Bubble Season

Abraham Lake Bubbles Beautiful Canada London Drugs

Photo by @ananya.ray

Find the frozen bubbles at Abraham Lake in Alberta that make for a beautiful photo, and an even better story. Do you know how these bubbles are formed?



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.



December 11th, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers

We’re well into December, which means holiday shopping season is in full swing. Still have some shopping to do? We can help!

Throughout the holiday season, we’re sharing gift guides aimed at different groups of people, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. So far we’ve covered what to get for the Home Cook, Kids (and Parents), Techie, and DIYer on your list.

This week, we have a gift guide for music lovers. Whether they’re a music fanatic or a musician themselves, we have some ideas for what to put under their Christmas tree.

Here’s our guide to pitch-perfect gifts for music aficionados.

music lovers - feature

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