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.
With security breaches and frequent phone hacking scandals occurring in this digital age, it’s essential to know how to protect yourself from these types of fraudulent schemes. FreedomPop’s CEO Stephen Stokols provides five fool-proof tips to keep your smartphone safe below.
1. Use VPN (virtual private network) app to encrypt data.
Utilizing this defends all communication including text messages and voice calls from third- parties such as hackers, spies and eavesdroppers.
2. Use an online security app (e.g. Norton) to protect against hackers, spyware and viruses.
Just like computers, phones are vulnerable to viruses and malware. It’s critical to use these types of apps to help ward of harmful security hazards.
3. Use a dedicated privacy phone for confidential calls.
Consider an encrypted phone for confidential calls, such as FreedomPop’s Privacy Phone ($189) that runs on a specially engineered Samsung Galaxy SII, featuring 128-bit encryption used by banks and government agencies. Nicknamed the “Snowden phone,” this smartphone blocks phone contacts, call history and voice and text communication from hackers and has a feature to block unsolicited incoming calls and text messages.
4. If you want to ensure location is not tracked, make sure GPS and location settings are off. By enabling this feature, people can reduce the trace of their digital footprint and use the Internet anonymously wherever they are.
5. Be careful what permission you agree to when accepting Terms & Conditions for an app. Many sites want access to contacts, location and other sensitive info that can lead to potentially damaging setbacks. Malicious and fake websites aim to steal confidential information including passwords and other significant data that can do more harm than good.
Now that you’ve got these fool-proof tips to keep your smartphone safe, you’ll never worry about hackers or stolen data from your smartphone again.
The good people at Chrysler brought hundreds of automotive journalists and social savvy bloggers into historic Louisville, Kentucky to discover the all new 2015 Chrysler 200. The 2015 Chrysler 200 debuted a beautiful exterior design featuring the new “face” of the Chrysler brand. While the interior offers the Uconnect Access system leveraging advanced embedded cellular technology with the largest, intuitive and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touchscreen in its class.
With their hands on the wheel, Chrysler 200 customers also can use Uconnect Access to tap the power of the cloud. When a compatible (check UconnectPhone.com for device compatibility) Bluetooth mobile phone with the Message Access Profile (MAP) is paired, Uconnect Access will:
• Announce receipt of incoming texts
• Identify the senders
• “Read” the messages aloud
To respond or compose any new text, drivers need to simply dictate a message of 140 characters or less. The Uconnect system will send the message to a “cloud-based voice-recognition server,” that converts spoken words to text and “reads” it back for accuracy before sending verbatim. And it can all be done handsfree, without having to memorize any pre-approved messages. Drivers unsure of their destination and looking for popular locations around them can use their voice to conduct a Yelp search and simply say what they are looking for.
In Louisville, I linked up with Ashley Underdale with Uconnect Marketing to talk about the system and demonstrate how easy Uconnect can pair the power of your smartphone with the Chrysler 200 for the ultimate driving experience. Check out “How To” plug into Uconnect below:
The survival of our species on planet earth is largely going to be determined by what happens in our cities. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in them. Today’s cities demand 21st century solutions to accommodate their growing populations in ways that not only maintain the quality of life, but also improve it. That’s where smart cities come in. Smart cities find ways to become more efficient, to deliver more services via mobile technology, to optimize existing infrastructure, and to leverage citizen participation to create better land-use decisions and to break down bureaucracy in order to stimulate a creative, entrepreneurial economy. In short, smart cities are innovative cities. Are you living in America’s smart cities?
More than half of people in the U.S. have smartphones. We use them like they are attached to our body. We talk, text, game and socialize. The trend is that consumers need more than that. We need smartphones to perform more personal and efficient tasks that relates to our everyday life – to keep us informed. The Internet, smartphones, and technology innovation plus social wants, have become an integral part of our lives and smart cities are taken notice.
Cities are starting to invest more in smart technology. Our physical surroundings are already captured by services like street cameras, Google Earth, and apps like Yelp. Smart Cities can make extensive use of the information and technologies they have to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Sensors and cloud apps connect transportation, healthcare, and street lights. How does this work? Cities are looking to placing sensors around cities to provide information about your physical environment to transmit information to your smartphones like the bus schedule at the street location where you are standing. Smart street lights that can detect movement, monitor and display temperature, collect data on traffic patterns, and sense gun shots detection to alert law enforcement. From GPS-enabled school buses sharing locations with a parent’s smartphone to sensors that monitor and report on building conditions, smart cities and their systems are becoming increasingly connected with their inhabitants with a promise of urban intelligence and resiliency like never before. This network of connections is known in the market today as the Internet of Things.
8. Portland, OR
5. New York
4. Washington D.C.
3. San Francisco (tied)
2. Boston (tied)
In 2009, the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) developed a smartphone app called Citizens Connect that allows residents to quickly report public works and service needs. Bostonians can inform officials of infrastructure and service problems (using the SeeClickFix App) such as potholes, streetlight failures, or graffiti via their phones, allowing the city to be far more responsive to its citizens’ needs and eliminating paperwork. As workers finish projects they record the date and time of completion, allowing residents to verify the city’s responsiveness to their requests. source
Do you live in a smart city? What smart tech services do they provide?
Check out more fun from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For the fourth year in a row, DivasandDorks.com will be on the ground running to show you only the biggest and brightest trends at CES 2014 – check out the video below highlighting the trends and gadgets you need to create a smart, connected home near you.
This year, we’ve partnered with OnStar and General Motors to bring the hottest trends in tech directly to a screen near you with daily “trendspotting” videos daily on Fastlane.GM.com and DivasandDorks.com. From apps that track your sleeping habits to light bulbs that serve as speakers and alarm clocks, there’s no shortage of ways to stay connected in the comfort of your own home.
Check out the full video featuring, Belkin WeMo technology, the Sleep Number X12 and MiPow below:
For more #ConnectedByOnStar CES 2014 coverage, visit: http://fastlane.gm.com/event/ces2014/
Whether it’s your home, kids, office area (cubicle included) or mischievous pets – keeping a watchful eye on what’s important to you with the Belkin NetCam HD could be your next best tech investment. Recently, I got the chance to check out the Belkin NetCam HD from Verizon Wireless and the unit could not have arrived at a better time. There have been a couple of random times where I’ve come home from a long day to find that my pet chihuahua (Phoebe) has escaped from her kennel and finding solace and sleep in my comfortable bed. (I’m not THAT pet parent to sleep with dogs, so you KNOW I wasn’t a happy camper finding pet hair in my bed.) But I couldn’t figure out for the life of me, how she’s escaped. Until now.
Using the Belkin NetCam HD, I mounted the over my bedroom door positioned at an angle where I can see both Phoebe and my bed. The view angle of the camera can be adjusted using the swivel style base. The bottom of the base has screw slots, so it is possible to mount the base on a flat surface and / or a wall. With the Belkin NetCam, you won’t need an ethernet cable or be required to dork around with settings on your router. All you will need is an iOS or Android device with WiFi capability and a WiFi router setup in the location where you plan to mount the netcam.
After mounting the camera, I downloaded the free app on my iPhone 5s (the app looks identical on an Android device too). Once I went through the easy steps to configure the camera with the app, I was well on my way to figuring out this doggy mystery. Since the camera itself alerts me via smartphone to any motion it detects (even using night vision), it was only a matter of time until I discovered Phoeobe’s escape artistry first hand.
You can keep a watchful eye on what’s important to you with a Belkin NetCam HD of your own from Verizon Wireless. Try your luck by entering to WIN inside the Diva Days Of Christmas giveaway or get yours for $129.99 directly from VerizonWireless.com.
The technology is in place and the rumors are true! The new IPhone 5S arriving in stores next month will have all the improved bells and whistles as expected from Apple but it will also have a little extra added security…as in fingerprint security. We have heard rumors that Apple would implement biometric security in their iOS devices because of its acquisition of AuthenTec last year, but this rumor really seems to be getting louder in the last few months.
According to BusinessInsider, analyst Brian White has said “we believe fingerprint identification technology will be part of the iPhone 5S and this is likely to be the major new feature used to market the iPhone 5S, similar to what Siri was to the iPhone 4S”
What could this technology mean for you? Improved security from mobile thieves unable to unlock your phone? Maybe a new payment delivery system which will accept mobile payments by simply using your fingertips. What do you think? Is too much technology always a good thing?
Best Buy Mobile Specialty Stores
Did you know that with Best Buy Mobile’s customer promise, you’re guaranteed to top quality phones with expert and unbiased customer assistance? Recently, with the upgrade announcements & rumors from major players like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile – I was curious to see how Best Buy Mobile stores would roll with the ever changing smartphone punches. So I recently stopped by one of the Best Buy Mobile specialty stores in Miami, to look into the possibility of upgrading my additional line smartphone. The staff there were knowledgeable and friendly & offered great advice for getting the biggest bang for my buck! See at Best Buy Mobile specialty stores, they don’t earn commission on what they phones, plans and features they sell – so you get an unbiased, expert opinion everytime!
So of course when I walked in inquiring about upgrading my phone, I received expert advice & even was offered a trade in offer that I couldn’t refuse. What’s great about this discovery? These deals happen everyday and I had no idea! Did you know that those old phones you keep in a drawer somewhere could be worth cash? Get a Best Buy Gift card when you trade it in at a participating Best Buy Mobile specialty store location – and if you have a newer working phone, you could get up to a $200 Best Buy gift card. Learn more and find a participating Best Buy Mobile specialty store: http://bestbuymobile.com/promotion/tradein/
Talk about a surprising experience! Now you can grab up those smartphones that have been sitting around your home & head to your local Best Buy Mobile specialty store near you. Best Buy Mobile specialty stores are found locally in malls or in your neighborhood shopping centers, and are focused on mobile devices and accessories. Shop for the latest smartphones and tablets from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, from all the top brands, along with stylish accessories to suit your lifestyle. The staff is highly trained, yet non-commissioned, so they can help determine the right phone for you, as well as compare plans across the carriers. They can set up and activate your new phone, transfer your contacts and data and set you up with the complimentary Walk Out Working™ program. To find a Best Buy Mobile specialty store, go to www.BestBuyMobile.com.