Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Smart Kitchen: Wi-Fi Connected Cook Tops

I've always imagined smart homes moving toward talking appliances. While you can't yet talk to these cooktops they do have some interesting features. Including inductions heating, Wi-Fi, flex zones, and Bluetooth.

First, they offer induction cooktops which have the advantage of not only heating food and water faster they don't get hot without a pan on them in case you turn on the wrong burner. If you are interested in an induction cooktop I would recommend checking out this article by Consumer Reports.
The interface is beautiful and looks very futuristic. It allows you to control it with the touchscreen or using removable knobs, which also makes cleaning easier. It even has a virtual flame feature so you can visually confirm what is heating. 

This Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled cooktop also allows you to monitor and control it from anywhere. While it doesn't seem like an earth-shattering feature it does allow you control things without being right next to it. Personally, I think it should be Alexia enabled and allow voice controls, but we will probably be there soon. Learn more about this Samsung model here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Essential Technology for Travel

Top 10 Essential Technology for Travel

1. Smartphone 
There is very little you can't do these days when you have a smartphone. Make sure to check that you will have service where you are going and that you won't be charged a fortune. I have T-Mobile and they include data and texting in an enormous number of destinations and calling is cheap too.
Smartphone is Essential for Travel

2. An International Power Adapter
This one gets a spot high up on my list just because of how important it is when traveling abroad. I recently took a trip and didn't realize how necessary it would be for my laptop. If you want to power most computers and phones you just need an adapter, but if you are planning to power other devices make sure to check the voltage otherwise you may have to buy a power converter as well. 

Power adapter that simply converts an outlet

3. A Back-Up Power Brick Battery
This can be invaluable if you will need to charge on the go. I find that I need it less than I used to now that many planes and buses have USB ports and power outlets. It's still great to have for the peace of mind it offers.
Back up power brick to charge phones and tablets

4. Compact Headphones with a Normal 3.5mm Jack
I find it very useful to have an extra pair of ordinary headphones. This isn't necessary for everyone, but since my phone doesn't have a headphone jack I don't often think about needing them. I carry a standard pair of Apple Earphones. These are nice for in-flight entertainment too.

Normal 3.5mm corded Apple Earphones

Monday, March 5, 2018

In-flight Technology

I recently had the opportunity to take a relatively long international flight after not having flown for a bit. My flight was with United Airlines, and it offered a number of features. While nothing overly new it was the first time I got to experience most of them.

One of the best experiences for me was the in-flight entertainment system. It offered an impressive number of recent movies along with on-demand shows. The touchscreen-based system worked very well on one of my flights, but the screen was not very sensitive on the other flight, which is ok for movies, but difficult if to want to play games on it. There were also a number of people with faulty systems on my flight. Unfortunately, the flight attendants were unable to fix it for them, but they offered them some money or frequent flyer miles for their inconvenience. It would still be a long boring flight without them if you were counting on them for your entertainment.

The flight was also equipped with WiFi. It was quite expensive, but a nice thing to offer. It very useful if you need to access your email or grab a file. I purchased a 1-hour pass for $5.99. It was limited though so you couldn't stream music or video and you couldn't access WiFi calling. This prevents my phone from even being able to send texts, although WhatsApp and iMessage still worked for messages. 

If you need to power up any of your devices the flight also had a standard US outlet as well as a USB port at every seat so you could power up all of your devices while you fly. This was nice because it allows you to land with your phone fully charged.

There is still a long way they could go, but I am very impressed with where the technology has gotten. The best features are still limited to longer flights, my connecting flights had almost no tech features. We are almost at the point where you can stay completely connected even while flying.

The Smart Kitchen: Wi-Fi Connected Cook Tops

I've always imagined smart homes moving toward talking appliances. While you can't yet talk to these cooktops they do have some i...

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