For the London Free Press – December 10, 2012
The theme for this holiday season’s tech gadgetry is seamless connectivity and integration of wireless devices.
Apple has long advocated device integration, utilizing a uniform software and plug-and-play compatibility between their devices. Recently Apple attempted to maximize the seamless transition between devices through its iCloud online storage system. iCloud allows Apple devices to store data online and wirelessly synch it with other devices.
Microsoft has followed suit with its most recent operating system update, Windows 8, which was launched alongside a new tablet called Surface. According to Microsoft, Windows 8 is all about connecting people as well as devices. Microsoft went to great lengths to allow users to integrate their Windows devices, which include the Windows Phone 8, the Xbox 360, and of course any PC, laptop, or tablet running Windows software.
SkyDrive is Microsoft’s version of iCloud and is the key to sharing data and working between Windows devices. SkyDrive starts out with 7GB of free data. Windows users can also employ software like OneNote to work on one document regardless of the device they are using.
Other companies are also attempting to capitalize on the convenience of seamless and wireless electronic device integration. Some of the more notable new products include:
The Belkin WeMo — A baby monitor that relays high-quality sound to any Apple device, and can even provide parenting tips by tracking a baby’s sleeping and noise levels.
Philips Hue — These smart LED light bulbs connect wirelessly to any Apple or Android device and allow users to control and program lighting and timer settings, including expert recommendations to maximize relaxation or concentration. The bulbs also use up to 80 per cent less power than traditional bulbs.
The AR.Drone 2.0 — A quadrocopter drone remote-controlled by an iPhone or iPad featuring a number of sensors, including a high-definition front camera. With the AR.Drone 2.0, you can record video and take pictures while in-flight. It can also be used for flight-based obstacle course games.
If you are just looking to accessorize your gadgetry, or need a stocking stuffer for the tech savvy, drop into London’s Uber Cool Store and check out these products:
Laptop Lillo — An inflatable laptop rest lets air flow around your PC or Mac while keeping your legs cool and comfy, and avoiding “toasted leg syndrome.”
BigBigPixel Sleeves — Sized for iPad and Macbooks, these 8-bit retro-style sleeves make your device look like the classic “mail” envelope icon of the 90s.
“Undercover” Tyvek Sleeve — These padded sleeves camouflage your tablet or laptop by looking like a beaten up old mailing envelope. This is also a great way to conceal a special Christmas gift.
Mimobots — USB flash drives look like character from Star Wars, DC Comics or Star Trek. Each 8GB key comes pre-loaded with videos and media featuring the character.