Archives For Gadgets

Philips Keeps Hue Going

Joel Ward —  September 29, 2015 — 22 Comments

I have been a fan of the Philips Hue wireless bulb system for a while now, including how to extend it using other brands of ZigBee bulbs and home automation hubs. So much so that I even did a presentation at my company’s Ideas Festival about how devices like Hue have enabled my son to break out of his shell and interact with his environment.

Philips Hue Go and Hue Disco

Over the summer, the Philips Hue Go portable lamp was added to the Hue lineup. I have to be honest: I didn’t even notice it at first. Which is odd because I love this stuff. A few weeks ago I had some Amazon gift card money burning a hole in my pocket so I was browsing for something interesting to buy when I came across the Hue Go lamp. It seemed totally frivolous so I had to order one! Continue Reading…

All the new goodies!

Dave Zatz —  September 28, 2015 — 5 Comments

‘Tis the season…

By way the FCC, I have a sneaking suspicion that Amazon is set to unveil a new Fire tablet. And, unlike prior models, this mystery device (SG98EG, 2ADU6-8274) lists microSD support. Whether or not the storage expansion slot can only be accessed during engineering testing and if this is really an Amazon product remain to be seen. But please enjoy this bit of gibberish (aka Jib Wresh LLC) while we await unveiling of the “Tablet PC” … and hopefully another Fire TV or two.


(Reuters) – Nvidia Corp said it was recalling some of its Shield 8-inch tablets in the United States as the battery in these devices can overheat, posing a fire hazard. The chipmaker has received four reports of batteries overheating due to thermal runaway, including reports of damage to flooring.

The Android-based tablet, which has a price tag of $300-$400, is targeted at gaming enthusiasts and comes equipped with batteries that are made to last longer. Nvidia, better known for its graphics chips, said it would replace Shield tablets with battery types that test Y01 it sold in the United States since the product’s launch in July 2014. Nvidia has asked owners to use the tablet only to initiate a replacement process on the company’s website and to back up data. Continue Reading…


So the big news is that Amazon Echo is now available for all to purchase, with a July 14th ETA. And, instead of going mass market at $200 as originally presented, it arrives at an even more palatable $180 (having dropped the physical remote). Considering a decent Bluetooth speaker could run that much or more, the voice-controlled, multi-function Echo is really a fantabulous deal when you consider all it offers.

When originally introduced as an Amazon Prime exclusive in limited numbers for $99, I picked up two. Back then, it didn’t do a whole lot — it was largely a silo-ed experience that I mainly used as a voice-controlled alarm clock and iHeartRadio terminal. But the product team has been iterating at a furious pace, bringing native Pandora, Hue control (!), and Audible integration… with promises of more to come and a developer SDK.

Continue Reading…

Nest Updates Some Stuff

Dave Zatz —  June 18, 2015

Nest gathered the press yesterday to introduce a refreshed Nest Protect, Dropcam Nestcam, and mobile app. While it’s clear the Google subsidiary is starting to pull an ecosystem together as they refine their offerings, the pace isn’t exactly breathtaking and I’m not motivated to further open my wallet. In fact, given ecobee’s incoming support for Apple HomeKit and remote sensors, I might finally make good on promises to unload my Nest thermostat. You?


More thoughts on the announcements, in reverse chronological order… because Twitter: Continue Reading…

Beyond its premium construction and physical page turn nubs, the Kindle Voyage’s prime selling point has been its higher resolution display. Well, today, the dynamics have shifted … as Amazon has just introduced an “All-New” Kindle Paperwhite that features a 300ppi e-Ink screen, while retaining its $119 price point — $80 cheaper than Voyage. Along with the new Paperwhite, Amazon is also taking this opportunity to more formally introduce their new font and layout engine.


As for me, I got my pre-order in. Once I’m done checking out the upgraded Paperwhite when it releases June 30th, I’ll pass it on to Mom. All that’s really left for the Kindle line is waterproofing… and, until then, I’ll be sticking with Ziploc.

Philips has been slowly updating their lineup of wireless Hue LED lighting the past few months. Last week, Philips announed HomeKit compatibility for the Hue system stating that all existing lights would be compatible. Now whether that means a new bridge is required (my strong guess would be yes!) or a software only update to the existing bridge, you will be able to voice control your Hue lights this fall.


And, now today, Hue announced new “beta” features for their Tap product that makes the device much more useful. Previously, you have 4 buttons to use for your Tap. You would assign these four buttons to existing scenes of your Hue system, and usually you’d want to have one of the buttons be an “all off” option. With Hue Labs, you now have two more options you can select for a button: a toggle and a dimmer.

Let’s start with the toggle feature first. Continue Reading…