The digital craze has affected virtually every aspect of life, but perhaps nowhere is it more useful than in the home. From keeping your property secure to saving water and energy, digital upgrades can give your house a modern edge that adds convenience, cuts costs and improves resale value.
Within the home, the kitchen showcases the digital trend more than any other room. Smart appliances simplify tasks for homeowners while adding sleek design to spaces. Homeowners can now control stoves via smartphone and microwaves have the ability to sense when food is warmed just right. Can’t remember if you’re out of milk? A smart refrigerator will tell you via text if you need to make a stop on the way home.
Even seemingly basic aspects of the kitchen are getting futuristic makeovers. No place is this more evident than with faucets. Evolving tremendously over the last decade, faucets today embrace a blend of style and function with high-tech features that impress guests and potential buyers while making your life easier on a daily basis.
In fact, if you’re looking for a manageable first step to transform your current kitchen into a high-tech powerhouse, the faucet is the perfect starting point. Here are some things to consider as you shop for a digital faucet:
1. Does the faucet help keep the kitchen healthier (or more hygienic)?
More than just access to water, look for digital faucets with features to help keep the kitchen more hygienic. For example, Did-U-Wave digital faucets from Danze Inc. have a 3-inch infrared sensor for motion-activated functionality – perfect when your hands are full or dirty. Just imagine not having to touch the faucet to wash your hands after handling raw meat or dirty dishes. Eliminating touch means eliminating the spread of germs.
2. Does the faucet help save water?
A sensor makes it easy to access water, but what if you forget to turn it off? Especially important for the busy home cook or household with kids, a faucet that shuts off automatically if movement is not sensed is an important feature. While some digital faucets stay on two or more minutes, 60 seconds is the time to fill an average pot, so watch for a faucet that runs more than is necessary. That way you won’t waste water when you or someone else is in a hurry or simply forgets, which not only helps the environment but also helps save money on utilities.
3. Do the high tech features make life easier?
A good digital faucet will help make kitchen activity easier so you can maximize your time and minimize stress. Unique features of digital faucets include LED task lighting at the tip of the spray head that provides spot lighting for easy sight no matter what you’re doing, and SnapBack Technology that ensures the head will comfortably snap into place after every use for a tidy kitchen with less effort.
4. Is the faucet stylish?
Much like jewelry accentuates an outfit, a faucet is a key focal point of the kitchen. Look for a stylish faucet with advanced features that marries fashion and function. Gooseneck designs in chrome or stainless steel are classic options that match a variety of kitchen aesthetics, so you can have timeless style alongside helpful benefits.
High-tech kitchens are here to stay in American homes. This growing trend adds value while making the heart of the home more useful. Are you looking to upgrade your home soon? Check out plenty of digital faucets available from BestBuy.com, HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com today.
As you bid farewell to the holidays and say hello to a prosperous new year, it’s all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don’t overlook how to declutter your home. In fact, sometimes it’s the first place to start – from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.
“As we move in to the New Year, it’s about embracing function but also creating a space that’s a strong reflection of the people who live there,” says Nate Berkus, renowned decorator, designer and artistic advisor to LG Studio. “Forget fleeting trends – 2015 is all about integrating thoughtful elements that have a lasting impact,” adds Berkus, who offers these tips:
How To Declutter Your Home
The first thing, and maybe the most important, is to clean the house. Don’t underestimate how important that is, and what a difference it will make! Next, clean up the clutter. Getting rid of all the clutter, which has probably been piling up all year, will allow a room to really shine again. It’s all about editing – throw out what no longer works to make room for things that are necessary to live well.
Streamline your tech with a 2-in-1 laptop.
Toshiba – Satellite Radius 11.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop ($379)
Easily browse media and Web content with this Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1302 laptop, which features an 11.6″ high-definition 10-point multitouch display with TruBrite technology that simplifies navigation and offers crisp images.
Scan away your clutter.
Hp – Scanjet Flatbed Scanner ($219)
Scan multiple photos, slides, film and negatives and get superior color accuracy with 6-color, 96-bit scanning – exclusive to HP. Capture every detail with 4800 x 9600-dpi hardware resolution1. Get infrared-based dust and scratch removal too. The HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner is designed for families and photo enthusiasts with large numbers of photos, slides, negatives or medium/large format transparencies which they want to convert into professional-quality, color-accurate digital files.
Store it all in the cloud.
WD – My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage External Hard Drive ($169)
This 3TB WD My Cloud external network-attached storage device’s Gigabit Ethernet interface allows connection to your existing network, so you can easily store and access files with compatible PC, Mac, mobile phones and tablets from anywhere in your home.
Shed those paper files.
Fellowes – Powershred M-7C 7-Sheet Crosscut Shredder ($59)
Protect your information with this Fellowes Powershred M-7C crosscut shredder that accepts credit cards and up to 7 sheets of paper with or without staples to cut your documents into small pieces and help keep your information private.
Simplify your controls with one smart remote.
Logitech – Harmony Ultimate Home Remote ($349)
Designed for use with home entertainment and home automation devices, this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home 915-000237 remote integrates a full-color touch screen, motion sensing and vibration feedback for a seamless, intuitive Harmony control experience.
Now that you have a few options to get you started on streamlining your 2015, in what other ways are you planning to get organized and get ready for a prosperous new year? Share your organizational tips below.
Welcome to my bedroom, where the “magic” happens. I’m talking late night rendezvous with Roku, and where sensual evenings are set by 90s slow jams and soft lighting from my MiPow PlayBulb. Sexy huh? In a world filled with connected devices, it was only a matter of time before technology invades our most private and serene spaces, our bedrooms. Nowadays, it’s all about the connected home and I’m now using tech to help me save money, improve activity and enjoy life!
Looking for ways to create your very own connected home experience? I’ve been able to integrate my favorite tech accessories into my bedroom without geeking it out and now I have a few suggestions on how you too can use them to stay connected in your bedroom or connected home below.
Charge Up Your Bedside Mannor with Contort Power 2 :
The Contort Power 2 USB HUB and AC Outlet is one of my favorite space saving accessories in my bedroom. It’s a great way to keep my devices charging and close by with it’s 2 usb hub outlets. The unique design transforms a standard electrical outlet from two power source outlets into three. (Plus its my favorite grab and go accessory anytime I’m headed out to a coffee shop or on the go and need an extra outlet of power.)
The Quirky Contort Power 2 can be found for $24 at HomeDepot.com.
Set the mood with sight and sound using the MiPow Playbulb:
When I first learned about the MiPow PlayBulb at CES in January, I never knew just how much I’d love and need this dual-purpose home accessory. The Playbulb is a fresh new Bluetooth Smart LED speaker light allowing you to combine you light with music and control both from your mobile device. The familiar light bulb shaped design and technology delivers a combination of stylish looks and good function in one. It’s wireless and cord-free, you simply screw it into any lamp-socket and operate it just like a normal light. You can play music from your iOS, Android or most other Bluetooth-enabled devices and is an ideal accessory for student dorms, apartments or any small spaces in need of light and sound.
The MiPow Playbulb can be found for $79 at MiPow.com.
Movies, Cable Tv and entertainment for days with Roku 2:
Last month, I was gifted with a Roku 2 and I really didn’t give it much thought about using it. I already binged on Orange is the New Black earlier this summer, and since that’s my only reason for using Netflix, streaming entertainment wasn’t too high on my priority list. That is until, a Time Warner Cable outrage threatened my reality tv consumption for a week. Luckily, not only does my Roku 2 offer 1000+ of entertainment channels and movies including Hulu Plus, Netflix and more – but it also streams live tv shows include in my Time Warner Cable service.
Get an upgraded TV experience with a Roku 2 available for $69 at RadioShack.com.
Control Your Home With Belkin WeMo
Who doesn’t love the power to control your home automation with the press of your smartphone button? That’s exactly what Belkin WeMo gives you – the power of a connected home, one gadget at a time. The WeMo Insight Switch sends notifications to your smart device showing how much energy your electronics are using. You also have the ability to turn your electronics on and off and monitor their behavior, all you’ll need is a Wi-Fi or 3/4G connection. I use my WeMo to control my air conditioning unit and pre-cool my home on hot summer days, I also use it to control those energy sucking gadgets that consume energy even when they aren’t in use. I save money and stay connected with home automation no matter where I am.
Get started on your journey to home automation with the WeMo Insight Switch available for $49 at Belkin.com.
Stay Connected With Your TV Using The Samsung Galaxy S5
I hate it when I lose my cable TV remote control! It happens more times that I care to count, but instead of wallowing in my failure, I simply grab my Samsung Galaxy S5 smart remote app and reconnect with my shows instantly. The Samsung TV Remote App lets you consolidate your remote devices and navigate the possibilities of your home entertainment system right from your Galaxy S smartphone or Galaxy Tab. Now everything you need to maximise your entertainment experience can be controlled all in one place, making the hassle and confusion of multiple remotes a thing of the past. (It’s been a few days since I’ve seen my original cable remote control, and I ain’t worried bout nothin! LOL) The app is free and available in Galaxy Apps store.
What tech would you invited to create your connected home? Share your favorite gadget finds and home automation wish list below.
Traveling on the go can be cumbersome if you’re not prepared. Travel interrupts our naturally scheduled programming and is an easy scapegoat for not maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as being out of touch with our friends, families and jobs. Don’t let a change of scenery spoil your New Year’s resolutions – gear up for 2014 with these 10 apps and gadgets to help make your travel experiences exciting and productive.
1) Tile your passport
Tile, one of Kickstarter’s hottest projects of the year, is a matchbook-sized, thin, white plastic square. This self-adhesive device, equipped with GPS, allows any item to be tracked using the owners smartphone app and Tile’s low-Bluetooth technology. Can’t find your passport? If prepared and equipped with a Tile affixed to the passport’s back or case, the owner can located the passport on a map and remotely send the device a signal to emit a sound, hopefully putting an end to the search-and-rescue. This simple device is the “find my iPhone,” for all physical items. Tile, which does not require battery changes or charging, can be pre-ordered for summer 2014 delivery. Tile for travel could keep your passport and checked-luggage always in your pocket. ($19.95 for one Tile, $59.85 for four Tiles, thetileapp.com)
2) Rove hands-free, with your automated travel diary
This free app is an automated timeline, which tracks users’ movements through GPS, estimates the method of travel, and inserts pictures, maps and locations into a timeline. The result is a beautiful visual travel journal– no inputs required. Next time relatives ask to hear all about the trip? Just “Share” from the app and Rove will email a link to the trip’s timeline- allowing the traveler to enjoy the moment and not spend time recording it. Want to keep Rove personal? The app is 100% private unless users choose to share. (Free in the iTunes store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
3) Viber App + (friend with) Viber App = Free Calls
The Viber app allows users to make free phone calls, video calls or send text messages, over 4G or WiFi, anywhere in the world, free of charge (as long as both users are connecting through the Viber application). The app is available on all mobile devices and with 200 million active global users, has become one of the largest disruptors in the online global communication space. (Free; runs on: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
4) Caught with a dying phone? Bring extra juice
There are many options on the market to pack power for on-the-go charging. Dark Reservoir’s sleekly designed device is on the higher end of the price rage, but the pocket-sized device will provide up to five charges for an iPhone, 1.5 charges for an iPad mini and will charge anything with a micro-USB charger ($129, mydarkenergy.com). Innergie has a wide range of prices and products for back-up batteries, including laptops. (Prices start at $54.99,myinnergie.com/store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
What are some of your favorite gadgets and apps that simplify your travel? Feel free to share your favorites below.
How would you like a battery pack that not only doubles your battery life but also doubles your phone storage? Mophie announced the Mophie Space Pack at CES last week, promising the new battery pack would not only double your battery life but also your iPhone 5 or 5S’ storage capacity.
The Space Pack boasts the same 1,700mAh battery as the Air, (its’ predicessor) both devices feel about the same.
The space pack, however comes in both 16GB and 32GB varieties, which will more than double your storage for photos, music, and movies. Mophie even goes a step further with an intuitive storage management system – its own Space app to handle keeping up with your saved items. The TASK app is really intuitive: it’s immediately accessible to anyone who has used iOS 7. Music and movies can be played from within the app, and you can keep all your documents in one place on your phone — even ones the iPhone can’t read. You can’t autosync from outside the app, but it will pull in all your photos and files if you give it the correct prompt. And if you connect the device to your computer, it reads like any other hard drive.
The Mophie Space Pack is available for preorder on Mophie’s site for $149.95 for 16GB and $179.95 for 32GB. It’ll hit retail on March 14th.
iPhone 5s slow motion
Looking for your iPhone 5s sneek peek? You don’t have to look any further than via Burberry on your favorite social media feed. London Fashion Week is in full swing and London fashion powerhouse Burberry took to their Instagram feed to highlight the iPhone 5s camera capabilities to thousands of it’s fashion house fans.
If you’ve ever been curious about the new iPhone 5S slow-motion mode, just check out Burberry’s Instagram feed. Apple lent the British fashion house the device to capture its pastel-colored Spring/Summer 2014 collection show as part of a cross-promotional partnership. The full show of the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear S/S14 show appeared on Burberry’s YouTube page on Tuesday. Apple announced the collaboration last week, noting that behind-the-scenes footage, product details, and preparation footage would accompany shots of the London runway show. The 15-second video received more than 20,000 Instagram likes in one day. Take a peek at the new iPhone 5S slow-motion feature video below.
“This collaboration celebrates our relationship and shared foundation in design and craftsmanship. We have a mutual passion for creating beautiful products and unlocking emotive experiences through technology, which has made it intensely exciting to explore the capabilities of iPhone 5s,” said Burberry CEP Christopher Bailey. “We’re inspired by what this could mean for the future as we continue to explore the merging of physical and digital experiences.” With fashion & technology companies teaming up everyday, this trend is bound to grow bigger and better each year. Who are you looking forward to seeing collaborate next?
Now more than ever, there are lifestyle enhancing gadgets to help anyone take control of their diet & exercise. Thanks to the good folks at Verizon Wireless, I got the chance to discover one of the most popular lifestyle gadgets on the market to date, the Jawbone UP™. UP™ is a system that takes a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. The wristband tracks your movement, sleep habits and so much more. The app displays your lifestyle data, allowing you add things like meals, mood and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.
I should probably disclose that I have been absolutely obsessed with my Jawbone UP™ for several months now, (after all, it made it into D&D’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide so it has to be big, right?) Ever since I discovered that not only does it monitor your daily steps like a pedometer and monitors your sleep patterns, but it can also be utilized to take your diet, gym visits & more into account to help you discover improvements to live your best life.
The Jawbone UP™ uses Motion X technology which when paired with the accompanying app for your iOS or Android device gives you a completely new outlook on maintaining an active & healthy lifestyle. Track your weight, map your bike rides, access extensive food libraries and more, and that data will be seamlessly integrated into your UP feed, lifeline and trends. You can also view detailed UP sleep, movement, food and mood data within selected apps to make those experiences even better.
You can easily integrate this motion monitoring wristband into your everyday life. UP™ was designed to fit seamlessly in people’s lives. Real life. It’s a thoughtful combination of engineering and design, custom-made for how we live. UP is both flexible and strong. Sometimes UP needs to slide smoothly under sleeves or bend to accommodate an active lifestyle. Other times it has to be strong enough to stand up to a snowball fight without a problem (or more likely, a few thousand showers). Day and night, UP is right there with you.
Lithium-ion polymer battery
Up to 10 days of use between charges
USB charging cable—fully charges in 80 minutes
Sensor & Interface
Precision motion sensor
Single push-button interface
Vibrating motor for notifications
iOS 5.1 or greater
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later
See full list of compatible devices
Materials & Care
Medical-Grade, Hypoallergenic TPU rubber
In the box
Quick start guide
USB charging cable
If you’re wondering how the Jawbone UP™ can help you, I can attest that since using the Jawbone UP™ for review, I’ve noticed an increased effort to get adequate sleep (experts suggest at least 8 hours of sleep each night) and efforts to achieve above average physical activity (its suggested that users walk an average of 10,000 steps a day — I have of a goal of 15,000 steps or 7 miles daily.) Of course this wristband won’t instantly make you into a superhero but it definitely serves as a reminder to make better lifestyle choices regarding sleep, exercise and eating each and every day.
How would you like to win your very own Jawbone UP™ and start your journey to living your best life? Visit DivasandDorks.com on Monday to learn some helpful tips & tricks for using your Jawbone UP™ a chance to win a Jawbone UP™ of your own.
Disclosure: Please note that I often tweet using #VZWBuzz – VZWBuzz tweets include a 24/7 conversation and a Friday mobile lifestyle Twitter chat with an emphasis on providing information and education about devices, apps and tools useful to consumers. While the hash tag is sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the opinions I express tagged #VZWBuzz are my own.
beat seasonal allergies
beat seasonal allergies
There’s nothing worse than the inconvenient flush of seasonal allergies. The itchy eyes, dripping nose and internal chaos that comes with Spring is just something that many of us could just do without. As a new allergy sufferer, it took me a long time to understand that never-ending nose leaks was in fact agitated allergies and not symptoms of catching a cold. More than 35 million American suffer from pollen allergies, according to the FDA . Every year, the United States spends $21 billion on health costs related to allergies.
So what can you do if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from pollen allergies every year?
Invest in these top-rated tech products to battle allergens, germs, odors and humidity in your home.
TIP: Are you suffering from allergies, but don’t know what’s causing your allergic reaction? Get tested to find out what exactly you’re allergic to.
beat seasonal allergies
beat seasonal allergies
Keep up to a 100 sq. ft. room smelling fresh for up to 3 months with this Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04532GM room odor eliminator that features 3 carbon filters that easily trap and neutralize odors.
TIP: Now that you have an idea of what’s causing your symptoms, consult your physician about possible treatments such as allergy shots and medication.
beat seasonal allergies—————————————————————————————————————————————
Purifies up to 193 sq. ft. of air per hour; removes airborne allergens, odors and smoke particles from the air; digital controls; UV-C technology; True HEPA, Pet Pure and activated carbon filters.
TIP: If you spend a lot of time outdoors, wash your hair and clothes regularly to get rid of pollen build up and residue.
2. Sharp – HEPA Air Purifier – White ($199.99)
Take a deep breath with this Sharp FP-A60U air purifier that features carbon and HEPA filters to remove particles, such as pollen, mold, dust and household odors. Plasmacluster technology helps clean and refresh the air in rooms up to 300 sq. ft.
TIP: If you have pets, groom them regularly because they can bring pollen indoors.
TIP: If pollen continues to bring havoc to your body, limit your time outdoors and stay indoors as much as possible during pollen season to minimize your exposure.
Looking for more reasons to take advantage of what tech has to offer? Best Buy wants to give you a 20% off Family & Friends coupon towards your next air purification purchase!
Disclaimer: As a Best Buy Brand Ambassador, DivasandDorks.com has been compensated in the form of a BestBuy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free, however all opinions are our own.
Spring Cleaning With Electronics
It’s officially the first day of Spring (even though the weather feels like it’s the first day of winter – Brrrrrr.) expect to see more ‘Spring cleaning’ ads and opportunities bombard your life like never before. If you’re like me, you probably have an oasis of electronics that you’ve been hoarding since 1983 – and it’s time to let go. How else do you expect to keep up with the latest technologies, if you can’t let go of the nostalgic gadgets of the past? There’s no better time to include electronics on your spring cleaning agenda than now. With so many options to clear some space, make some money or do good for the planet, there’s no reason not to try these spring cleaning tips below…
It’s clear that your new 60″ HDTV or laptop is not on the chopping block (yet) – so there’s no need to consider getting rid of it. But when was the last time you cleaned up your electronics? Consider this:
Be clean: Keep your computer hardware germ-free. The best ways to clean the accumulated dust, grime, and gunk from your keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Don’t clean your HDTV with Windex. The chemicals found in commercial cleaning solutions could damage your flat-panel’s screen. Instead, opt for a microfiber cloth dampened with water.
4 tips to speed up your PC. As we said in the fall, regular maintenance will keep your computer humming at a fast clip. Here are four simple steps for getting it back into shape after a gluttonous winter. This would also be a good time to back up your digital data.
Take inventory of all unused electronics in your home, and separate them into two piles. Everything that’s two years old and older, place in pile A and all of your newer (unwanted / unused electronics) place in pile B.
Research: Now that you’re ready to sell some of your electronics, you need to know how to price those items and make some money. Take your newer items (Pile B items) and research the retail prices online and on sites like Craigslist and eBay.
List: Based on your preference, you can then list those items on Craigslist, eBay or other sites like Gazelle.com or for a quick fix EcoATM examines your device and offers a price based on its condition. If you decide to sell it, you’ll drop in you device and receive cash right away. You can search for the nearest EcoATM on the company’s website.
You might not do much with the hundred or so dollars you get for that used laptop, but a local school or library could benefit greatly from having more working computers. There are many options for donating your old devices, from local charities to larger established programs.
Goodwill and Dell teamed up for the Reconnect program, which accepts donated computers at select Goodwill locations. The official site has a full list of items it will accept and locations near you. The Salvation Army also accepts used computers and electronics. If you’re donating a cell phone, the Verizon’s Hopeline program and the 911 Cell Phone Bank are just some of the many charitable projects that can do good with your old handset.
Now for Pile A. If your device is too old or damaged to sell, don’t just chuck it into the trash can, recycle it. Many electronics manufacturers also have mail-in and drop-off recycling programs for their old devices, including Apple, Samsung and Sony. Wireless carriers will take old flip phones at no cost. Sometimes, recycling older electronics can become costly with processing fees, but I’ve found Best Buy’s Recycling Program to be the best and easiest of them all. Head to the nearest Best Buy and they will take electronics off your hands for free.
Now that you have a few tips to get you started, how do you plan to tackle your spring cleaning projects? If you plan on donating, recycling or selling your electronics in the process, let us know your experience below.
Spring Cleaning With Electronics
Spring Cleaning With Electronics
Spring Cleaning With Electronics