Rocketbook

I always try to support anyone who has a great idea, on places like Indigogo or Kickstarter, and this cloud based notebook looked like one of those. I ordered one of these back in May, and finally got it a couple of weeks ago. I have to say this one was very disappointing. Here is why.

  1. It took 7 months to get my order from these guys!!!
  2. When I got it, it did not work and I have had no success getting support.
  3. The short time that I have tried using it, proved that the only thing this thing provides, that I could not already do, with a good scanning app, is give a real “Notebook” experience. Some people will probably still like the “Idea” of something like this, but this company is obviously overwhelmed and not able to provide adequate support.
  4. In real use, I did not like the way you could still see what was written before on the page on the note before “Erasing” it in the Microwave. We also did our own test of using the heat sensitive pens, which are available all over, and were able to write our own notes on regular paper and “Erase” those pretty easily.
  5. One of the worst things that happened, is the ink which was previously “erased” has started to re-appear on the pages.

Rocketbook is a Cloud-Integrated Notebook that erases in the Microwave!

I signed up for one of these in May of 2015 and it estimated a delivery date of June 2015 and I have seen no product as of yet. I have tried to contact the company, and will keep you posted.


Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, using your smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The company’s website says that a new Samsung Galaxy S7 is going to be unveiled on Feb 21, 2016. They are not saying too much, and even the video ad is a teaser, but no doubt this is going to be an awesome phone! Keep you eyes on this one.

Trying to decide which phone to buy? Read this.

You may change your mind after seeing the new one anyway!

 

Which Phone Should You Buy?

The newest iPhone’s have just been released as of September 2015, and the newest Samsung device has been announced. I originally wrote this article in 2014, but I think the same philosophy applies today, and have re-published this to help people decide which phone is best for them.

I don’t know how or why everyone started acting like kindergarten children when it comes to the technology we use, and bragging about how their device, is so much better than your device, but no doubt, you have gotten into one of these discussions yourself, and may even be confused about which phone you should buy?

You also need to be careful about taking someone’s advice or “opinion” on what you should get because lets face it, opinions are like, You-Know-What… and everybody has one. The problem I have seen, is that their needs, or situation, might be different from yours, and these devices have become so “personal”, that you really need to take your own needs into account when deciding.

I normally would not even bother giving my opinion, because mine is not necessarily any better than anyone Else’s, but I get asked so many times, almost daily, about which one is better, So here goes.

While my preference is usually with the Apple devices, because I have other IOS and Mac products, I have asked a lot of people about their devices, and rarely have I had anyone say it was a bad experience, and the reality is, you will probably love any of the current offerings out there. The most common feedback from people who buy other devices, like Samsung are, that they can do things you cannot do with an IOS device. This can be technically true, but I have interviewed hundreds of users and rarely have I seen a useful example, for the average user, of when this is true. Most people I have interviewed, that like the ability to customize or “tweak” their devices , are usually more technically inclined too, and average users are usually more concerned with the whole user experience, and again, everyone I have interviewed, has provided feedback that they love their device, no matter which one they had.

I do a lot of support work about not only mobile devices, but also desktops, laptops and many other technologies, and one important thing not always discussed is the “entire” user experience. What I mean by this is, if you have other Apple products, an iPhone might be the best choice for you, where as, if you are entrenched in the Windows world, maybe a Windows phone would be a better choice? Without going into too much detail about this one, let me just say that feedback from users has been more positive from the Apple world, than with some of the others. Does that make any of the others bad, absolutely not! It really depends on your own needs. Very rarely do I talk to anyone who does not use either an iPhone or a Samsung, these are without question, the 2 most popular.

That being said, here is what I own. The iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB. I usually always find a reason I want the newest, which is the iPhone 6S, as of this posting. iPhone, iPad, iMac, IBROKE!

The new Samsung S7 has just been announced for Feb 21 in Barcelona.

The top things I like about my iPhone 6 Plus (Currently IOS 9.2.1).

  • I am interested in trying a bigger screen.
  • I love the fingerprint sensor in these.
  • I am curious about the acceptance of Apple Pay.
  • I enjoy the user experience across the board with Apple products.
  • I will benefit from the “Optical Image Stabilization” on the 6 Plus.
  • With the current choice of 1.3 Million apps, I have found I can carry out anything I could ever want to do, and creative ways of using these devices, are being discovered daily. At last count there were 1.7 Million android apps!

iPhones6-LG
Image courtesy of Cloud Castle (ver. 09/19/2014) http://cloudcastlegroup.com/design/iphone6

Interested in learning more about how to use your current IOS device? Or maybe not sure if you need one? For those of you that live near Minden or Gardnerville area, I will be giving a class at the community center. More classes and subjects will be offered in the future as well.

What Can I Do With An IOS Device – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Oculus Rift

I posted earlier about getting into VR or “Virtual Reality” with Google Cardboard or the Mattel Viewmaster here. I also played a demo version of Eve Valkyrie, and it was amazing! Check out the demo video.

If you want the best consumer level experience that now exists, and you are willing to spend the money, there are 2 top-notch choices by Oculus. One for the Samsung called Samsung Gear VR and the top of the line Oculus Rift.

Amazing app for green screen videos

I created this tutorial to help folks trying to create green screen videos. This is not designed to teach you everything about doing green screen, because I found an app that makes this whole process unbelievably simple and fun! There are many, and I will check them out, but I can’t imagine anything being better than this one. I briefly cover the process using Sony Vegas and then the VeeScope Live app. If you have ever created green screen videos, you already understand how much time and effort these can take. This app literally lets you create these on the fly in creative and exotic locations. You definitely have to try this one! I will probably do another walk-thru video of just the VeeScope Live app, if people express the need.

Life Logging Camera

Life Logging Camera

A tiny, automatic camera, and app, that gives you a searchable and shareable photographic memory.

It’s called the narrative, and they claim it’s the worlds most wearable camera.

I have used a dash-cam in my car for some time now, and I often wish I had the same abilities in a wearable camera and this one comes as close as any I have seen for accomplishing this. Police are starting to use wearable cameras to record situations, and I think all of us could use this, as well as have a camera that helps us not miss those special moments that can happen, and you did not have time to turn your camera on.

View-Master VR Viewer

VR or Virtual Reality viewers, are gaining popularity, mainly because of a product from Google called, “Google Cardboard”. In a nutshell, Google has made getting into “Virtual Reality” in a simple, fun, and affordable way.  They make apps that let anyone explore virtual reality, in a variety of creative and fun ways. There are a lot of companies who make Google Cardboard viewers, which are literally made of cardboard, that let you experience these adventures, without spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars it used to cost, just a short time ago. These cardboard viewers are available all over, and simply stated, they let you drop your smartphone in, and start playing with these virtual worlds! Most cost around $20 but savvy shoppers can find them for even less.

I personally came across a product called the View-Master® by Mattel, and what initially impressed me most about their “VR Viewer” is the quality of the viewer, when compared to the cardboard versions I had been looking at before. I was able to find it for around $20 also, so it was an easy decision to give this one a try. The good news is, this viewer is compatible with all of the VR apps, and Google Cardboard apps, that are available for your smartphone, and believe me, it’s addictive and very fun.

Interestingly, they were the original creators of the View-Master®, which if you had one as a kid, was a pretty cool technology for its time, that let you view 3D images, and it was pretty cool! Well, now it’s still 3D imaging, but a lot more immersive. They do make a product that still looks almost identical to the original round reels that were made for the original View-Master®. These new digital versions, while they look very similar to the old ones, are a whole new experience. They call them “experience packs” and they are very cool, but a little pricey, when compared to the many free Google Cardboard apps. At the time of my purchase, they were going from between $10 and $16 dollars, and I suppose these will be great experiences, and educational for kids especially. It’s very cool that the viewer can work with all the apps, and the uses will be amazing!

If you have heard of these “Virtual Worlds” and want to dive in, I highly recommend the View-Master® to get started, and if you want the higher end versions, check out products like the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR, which is powered by Oculus Rift.

Oura Ring

The Oura Ring is a wellness computer on your finger. It is designed to help your sleep better and perform more.

This is the first fitness tracking I have seen, that not only lives up to design standards usually only achieved by Apple, but is also very stylish. It’s a little pricey, but I have always believed you have to pay for quality.

Virtual Assistant For Website

I have been testing and using these “Virtual Assistants” on my websites for years, and frankly, I don’t know why people are not going crazy for them! Imagine being able to greet someone who visits your website, and you can explain anything you want, just like you were their.

Some of the original and current technologies for creating these can be expensive and difficult to create. Not anymore!

Videostir is a “Virtual Assistant” or “Web Presenter” production service that has made it super easy, and extremely affordable for anyone to create these quickly, and easily using your smartphone! They even have free version you can try on your website right now!

videostir-spokesmodel

A Safer Gun

The Safer Gun is designed primarily for home protection, that fires chemical bullets instead of regular bullets, so you can protect yourself and your family without being “lethal”. I have carried and owned guns for many years but I would prefer a non-lethal way of protection. I can’t imagine even being in a situation where deadly force was necessary, and I would feel much more comfortable incapacitating someone, and letting the authorities handle it from there. I have not had a chance to try this out for myself, but will do soon, so I can give feedback on its effectiveness and how well it works. I also am a proponent of the safety and emergency apps available for your smartphones, here is just one example.

 

Bionic Bird

I can’t wait to see what the other birds think of this bionic bird, and I have heard that birds of prey will even attack it! I used to have a manual version of this called a “Tim Bird” (Still available on Amazon) about 20 or 30 years ago, that was even fun then. How cool will it be to control it with your smartphone.

EHang 184 Human Drone

The same folks that make the Ghostdrone, have decided to kick it up a notch, and build an autonomous aerial vehicle for humans called, the EHang 184. The features that make this one stick out for me, over all the others out there, is its sheer simplicity and dedication to safety. If you have to ask “how much”… Well, you know :)

DJI Phantom 3

The DJI Phantom 3 is the latest drone from DJI, the makers of the DJI Osmo. There are a ton of drone choices out there, but I think this is one of the best. Another reason I like his one is I have seen it in many places for sale in the US. If you are just starting out, you may want to purchase a budget version, but if you want to make your own blockbuster movie, this will help you!

Witness Livestream Emergencies

Witness is an app that lets you broadcast your location, audio, and video, to your friends and loved ones with one touch. I had a chance to try this one, and it does not get any simpler than this one, and its free! Don’t wait until you have a real emergency, try this out and get your loved one on board too! I have posted previously about safety and emergency apps and hardware here.