Technology

All posts tagged Technology

VARTA – Outdoor sports comfort lantern

Published January 4, 2018 by Bizzimummy

If you have not heard of VARTA yet, then in brief, they sell gadgets such as chargers, portable power banks, torches, lights and batteries. The sort of stuff that comes in very handy when travelling, or camping or even for sports.

I have one of their outdoor lanterns. Theres a few reasons why I’m posting about this in January as opposed to pre Christmas. Firstly this is the time when many people like myself have to venture into their deep dark murky lofts to put the Christmas decorations back. Also many people start keeping fit at this time of year in time for Summer, the daylight is still minimal and so something like this may just be useful.

Of course it’s not just for Winter months but any time of the year. It’s not just for the outdoors either, it comes in handy inside too.

It comes apart for battery insertion into three pieces that all screw together. It needs 3 D type batteries which are the big chunky ones.

It has a few different lighting modes which are all accessible via the press of the main button.

The amber light is extremely bright, and I mean in your face bright! Even on the dimmer function it still remains nice and bright making it perfect for the dark outdoors.

Two quick taps of the switch turns the light to the white LED which is less brighter and more suitable as a night light.

The lamp when loaded with batteries does pack a little weight but this reflects the whole quality of the overall product. It’s certainly a tough little thing, shockproof, waterproof and pretty much breakproof being tested from a 2M drop (not by myself). Therefore it’s pretty much guaranteed to last through any terrain and any weather.

It has double carry handles at the top and can be carried around just like the traditional lanterns. Underneath is an extra hook for hanging it up.

I can’t help but love this gadget.

Prices range from £30 upwards from various sellers and more information about this lantern and other VARTA products can be found on their website.

Last minute gifts for kids – Haynes

Published December 23, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If your dad or grandad drove a car when you were younger, then it’s highly likely he had some sort of car manual from a company called Haynes. This symbol may just get those bells ringing!

Yes Haynes are the producers of many car guides and manuals and I certainly recall both my father and grandfather having these books back in the early 1980s.

Of course times have moved on and companies become more developed. Haynes are still selling their ever so popular hand books but they now have something else too. They have special engine kits designed for teens and big boys (& the girls too of course)

There’s a few of them to choose from with each one costing anything from £20 upwards. They are all based on real engines from various vehicles, something I know absolutely nothing about, but the sort of stuff my teenage son loves doing.

Ryan has this jet engine which is modelled around an actual jet engine. Being a science kit does mean it comes with lots and lots of parts that need putting together a certain way to build this.

If built correctly the engine will move. It had motorised parts and realistic jet engine sounds. This particular Haynes kit is on the higher price range being just under the £40 price tag.

It is classed as a STEM science product which can be read about here. It does contain lots of parts, over 50 and is suitable for anyone over the age of 10 years. It’s not the easiest thing to put together and as we only got this a day ago, we just haven’t had the time to get it all put together just yet. We are getting there slowly.

Utopia 360 

Published November 28, 2017 by Bizzimummy

The Utopia 360 from My Retrak is a virtual reality headset which works with most mobile phones,
The box contains everything we needed to get up and running. To use this device, all that’s required is a smart phone.
 


The 3 parts all slot together to make a useable VR headset. The main part, being the goggles has a slot for the helmet part and the earphones slot in at the back. There is a small remote too which required batteries.


 There are many similar items already out there which give similar virtual reality experiences. They all come with varying price tags, sometimes going into the hundreds for a better one. The Utopia 360 sells between £70-£85, so how does it compare to others out there?
 


I’ve had a try of both a PS4VR and the Occulus rift, but those are in a completely different league to this. If you’re wanting something similar then you need to pay a lot more for the same experience they give you. I’ve also tried a few similar type virtual reality sets in which a phone is required and this one certainly seems the best so far. 


 The goggles open up to reveal a chamber where the phone goes. It’s important to place the device in the correct place, aligned right in the middle otherwise the image will look distorted or I’ll see double. The phone stays in place well oncd aligned and the headset has a good adjustment strap for those with larger heads. A dial on the goggle part  adjusts the focus and zoom.


In order to watch or play anything in VR, I had to download apps. My retrak have a page full of suitable apps, many of them free. These apps can be a bit hit or miss. Some of them just won’t load, some crash half way and some are okay. Again this is never going to be as powerful as the PS4 even tho the headset does look slightly similar.


There’s a good few rollercoaster type apps and I also got an app where I was floating in space but could go to various zones and access hundreds more apps and games which was quite cool. I did this evil doctor type ride which was like a ghost train rollercoaster. I sat on my sofa and by the time it was over I was in a very strange contorted position. 
The  sound is okay. It’s always a good idea to turn off any background noise when using any type of VR headset to make it more real.

Some of the apps feel real whilst some don’t seem to be VR at all so it really is hit and miss when trying to find a good one.

The headset once adjusted feels comfortable enough on. I can’t work the remote out tho. It connects to the phone via Bluetooth and has various play buttons but it’s quite hard to use with goggles on and it doesn’t work with every app. 


It’s  not bad for a mid range headset. It certainly beats the standard cardboard type models and a few cheaper sets. I think it’s a good one for teens and big boys and those considering a more expensive model in the future. 


 VR headsets are not suitable for young children under 12 or those with epilepsy. It’s important to limit time spent using one of these headsets and to take regular breaks.

My tile slim

Published November 15, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I’m often panicking last minute having misplaced my keys or worse still my purse just before going out. I also put my phone down in random places too but can usually locate it by ringing on the house phone, that is, so long as it’s not on silent.

There are a fair few “locate it” gadgets available and I was recently sent one of these to try out.

This is the Tile slim from Tile Inc. It costs £30 and works via Bluetooth and an app. The tile itself is really small and slim, meaning it easily fits into even the smallest of purses.

The app is free and very fast to download. It’s compatible with most devices, be it iOS or Android.

Bluetooth needs to be enabled but the device is connected by a simple button push which then plays a tune.

This device can be kept anywhere be it purse, keys, toys. The device can be located by the app and it even gives a precise street location. To find a lost phone, it works the opposite way. The button on the device gets pressed and the phone will ring. The tile app will always show the last place and time that the tile device was located.

As the tile is incredibly slim and small, it did make me wonder where the battery was and how it would need changing. Well there in the small print of the instructions it informs me that tile has a non replaceable battery that should last at least a year and then I have the option to buy a new discounted device.

The Tile Slim is not the only device sold by Tile inc. They have other designs that do similar jobs, including the new Pro series featuring a tile sport and style designs.

Now there’s no need to lose your phone Xmas morning under the mountain of wrapping paper.

New Bluetooth speakers 

Published January 9, 2017 by Bizzimummy

These are the speakers which after testing out, I gave to my 12 year old for Christmas.He loves his technology and music and absolutely loves these.

The company is August international and their products can be purchased via amazon and include other speakers and headphones. These particular speakers are the MS515.

Both speakers come included. The set is portable and works via a Bluetooth connection. The majority of smart phones and tablets will be compatible with these and most iPhones certainly are. They can also connect to televisions with Bluetooth giving the tv a surround sound effect. 


The speakers connect together via a short wire and charge via USB. Apart from the connecting wire they are pretty much wireless and very portable due to the small size. The clear big sound makes up for the small size. The audio is clear and similar to what you would expect from a larger stereo.

The Bluetooth connection seems good enough, we tested them with the iPhone upstairs and speakers down and they still worked fine without interruptions tho I am unsure on the exact range.
These speakers seem great for teens and especially if space is limited. Ryan has a box room and so fitting a large stereo in would be difficult. These simply connect to his iPhone and he can play his music anytime anywhere. 

These can be bought from Amazon for £47.45.

On the Movies

Published April 8, 2015 by Bizzimummy


“On the Movies” is a great new range of kids back packs designed to keep both kids and parents happy on the move!   

The adorable animal backpacks contain a high brightness 7in touch screen Tablet PC, allowing you to play movies/games, go online on the move!  

 

There is a monkey, tiger, ladybird and cat backpack to choose from and the tablets also come with a choice of colour too.  

We have been sent over one if these fantastic backpacks to try out. Ryan already has a tablet and many other gadgets so this one is for my girls to share. We chose the tiger backpack and a pink tablet.  

The backpack is fairly big in size and especially so on little Izebella. The front of the bag contains a transparent window pocket for the tablet to sit in and the tablet can even be played inside the bag. There is another zippable pocket above this which seems perfect for storing the charger when traveling. The bag had adjustable straps and a big storage pocket for trips and days away. 

The tablet is android and is quite a good one too. It’s fairly fast and very responsive. They come with a coloured bumper protective case which will hopefully protect it from bumps and drops.  

 

As well as playing movies, kids can take photos with the integrated camera, and play them on their bag. On the movies tablets come with a high resolution 1024 x800 screen, and 8GB storage allowing you to download photos, games. Apps, Music and Movies.. Additionally, up to 32GB Micro SD is supported, allowing you to add more storage as required.  

 

The tablet was pretty much already set up for us from the box and came with many preinstalled kids apps ready to use. These include many toddler games, stories and music. There is of course also the “Google play store” where more apps and games can be downloaded and there is an Internet browser plus other standard android apps.  

 

Parental Guidance Apps are also available to lock off the internet if this is required. 

USB, and HDMI ports allow connection to other computers or TV to download films or more apps.

I set up the tablet with my email account and left it to charge, I then placed it back in the backpack and left it overnight for Izebella in the morning (Jordanna was elsewhere). I think she thought Santa has been again when she saw it in the morning, her little face was a picture.  

Izebella was one happy little lady with her new tiger bag and tablet. She loves all the preinstalled games and apps as they all seem to be the correct level for her age and also seem to be very educational (numbers, letters, colours, shapes, animals, matching)  For Jordanna I simply downloaded a few more which are more suited for her.  

   

The tablet does come with brief instructions but it works the same way as any other android tablet which the majority of people are used to. It seems to be a good quality tablet but like any other android software it does have its odd moments of slow loading and slight screen freeze, but I have found this is minimal and certainly does not effect my girls usage of it.

The Tablet’s battery is intended to give up to 4 hours of play for movies or games, before re-charging is necessary. So far we find we get about 2/3 hours of usage but I do believe this improves with frequent charges. 

Both Izebella and Jordanna are loving having this. They are really good at sharing with eachother, probably because they share a room. They take turns in playing games and using it.  

The backpacks cost £89.95 which includes the bag, tablet, charger and cables to attach to a pc/laptop. They can be purchased directly from On the Movies.

And I will leave you with a little video I made of Izebella on the morning she got her new On the Movies backpack.

 


  


Retouch Blush

Published November 10, 2014 by Bizzimummy

This is probably a familiar situation!

you go on a night out with friends and leave your phone data switched on. Whilst out you send a few messages, emails, check a few things online or Facebook all of which helps to drain your battery. Your friends leave before you and fairly late on you pull out your phone to call a taxi. Your phone battery has died! What will you do now?

I have certainly found myself in that situation more than once, and it is not nice searching for a phone box that works and then trying to find change, or worse still begging some stranger to call a cab for you.
Well those situations can be a thing of the past thanks to a handy and rather feminine little gadget called Retouch.

IMG_9794.JPG

Retouch power products are essentially phone and tablet chargers. They come in two different products. Kissable in the shape of a lipstick and Blush which is what I chose and is in the shape of a compact blusher. Both of the products come in two colour choices, black or white.

Retouch blush could from the outside be mistaken for an actual compact blusher.

IMG_9796.JPG
It fits in the hand and even has the words Blush compact on it’s case although the word powder is changed to power.
There is even a very useful mirror inside the Blush and what girl doesn’t need a mirror on a night out.

IMG_9797.JPG

It comes with a small USB lead which is the lead used to charge it up prior to going out. It charges up via a laptop, PC or wall charger and a full charge takes around 4-6 hours. When charging blue LEDs on the unit will flash.

IMG_9798.JPG
Once charged it is small enough to pop in a handbag and off you go. The included USB May or may not fit your device so obviously you would need to check before taking it out. I have an iPhone 5S and it does not fit mine so instead I have to take the lightening charge cable with me but this fits snuggly inside the unit. The output socket on Blush is a standard USB port designed to accept any kind of mobile charging cable.

Its 4200 mAh, A-grade lithium polymer battery with 2100mA charging speed means you can recharge over 2 to 3 smartphones from a single full battery, an iPhone 5/ 5S nearly two times off a single charge or even recharge iPads, other tablets and USB devices at fast speeds..

You can see the battery lightening charge indicator on my phone here when connected to Blush.

IMG_9800.JPG

IMG_9799-0.JPG

The pink blush button is a power button which can be pressed to see if any power remains on the unit.

I found Blush charged up my phone fairly quickly. It’s a great little handy gadget which is a must for ladies who rely heavily on their mobile phones or tablets being constantly on. I am one of those ladies.
I like the style of Blush. The way it is modelled into a compact blusher or even the kissable lipstick design is very clever. It is something that can be taken with me wherever I go and means that I do not need to worry about my phone battery dying. Just as long as I remember to keep the unit charged up that is.

IMG_9795.JPG

Retouch blush retails at £39.99. I can see it being a popular stocking filler for teenage girls from their worried parents as well as a top buy for gadget loving ladies.

For more information and how to buy visit Retouch Power

IMG_9904.PNG

August MS425B Bluetooth Speaker

Published April 14, 2014 by Bizzimummy

I have a confession to make. I absolutely love my gadgets. Why “they” call them “Boys toys” I’ll never know. I love the latest technology and always eager to see what’s coming next.
I love my music, especially dance and anything from the 80s/90s era. I think it’s amazing how in this day and age we are able to easily access and download any song we want at the touch of a button. Our childhood memories instantly revived with that special song.
Back in my young day when I was very little. We had records. Yes those pieces of round vinyl that you put on a record player, and put the needle on. They seem to be worth quite a bit these days. I guess they are antiques in a way. I remember they could break or scratch very easily plus the record player needle often broke.
Then when I got to age 6/7 cassette tapes were the “In thing”. I would sit there religiously every Sunday for 3 hours solid. No I wasn’t at church. I was sat listening to the Top 40 waiting for my favourite songs to hit the record button so I could play my cassette tape over and over. The cassettes too came with flaws. The tape often tangled and snapped in the machine, destroying those prized chart hits forever.
Then came CDs. We were told they were scratch proof but this wasn’t the case. One scratch meant the songs would jump like a stuttering fool. CDs could also be fairly expensive and CD recorders didn’t seem so popular.
I still have the odd few CDs but they never get played. I have a cupboard full of DVDs but can’t remember the last time I got one out. I wouldn’t miss them if they were gone.
I hate clutter and hate trailing wires. They look so messy.

I have over 200 songs on my iPhone. Only thing is, whilst the quality is great it just isn’t quite loud enough on it’s own. I’m past the stage of big bulky stereos, docking stations get expensive, headphones are great but only once Kids are in bed. (I have to hear them after all).
So I have tried a few inexpensive speakers in the past and all of them ended up binned within a few weeks. They either broke, didn’t work or the sound was rubbish and crackly.
Until now that is of course!!

20140412-193100.jpg

Here we have the August MS425B Portable Bluetooth Speaker. On first glance it looks way too small to deliver good sound. It measures just 60x60x57mm and weighs 187g, fitting neatly in the palm of your hand.

20140412-193428.jpgHowever do not be fooled by it’s small sleek size.
The speaker is compatible with almost any Bluetooth device, including mobile phones, tablets, MP3 players and laptops. Setting up is very very easy. On the bottom of the speaker is an On/Off switch.

20140412-193634.jpg
To use you simply switch on and it makes a sound to let you know it’s working. Then on your device, go to your Bluetooth settings and search for the speaker, pair and connect and all ready to go. Once paired the speaker will beep.

20140412-193836.jpg

After connecting my iPhone to the speaker. I went to my music library, selected a song and hit play. I swear I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was not expecting much sound from something so small. This was loud and the volume was not anywhere near full. I had to turn it down a little. Not only does it pack some volume but it’s also crystal clear sound. The bass is grear too. No distortion or crackles and no loss of sound. The speaker has a range of up to 10M. I have taken the speaker upstairs whilst leaving the iPhone downstairs and I still get perfect sound.
The music can be controlled either from your main music device or from the speaker itself using the control panel. The speaker even has a function which allows me to answer calls directly from the speaker rather than phone.
The speaker will let you know when it needs charging by beeping. It charges via an included USB cable. There is also an audio jack to connect non Bluetooth devices.
To see this little beauty in action. I recorded a very short video. It was hard to do, considering I normally use my iPhone for videos. The volume on my iPhone on this video was less than half way. To see the video go to YOUTUBE

I love this little speaker. It’s just what I have been wanting for a long time. A device that will play all my songs, something that delivers great sound without taking up huge amounts of space, something that does not have ugly wires and something I can place where ever I like without the loss of sound. Of course the most important factor is that it does not cost the Earth.
This certainly does not come with a hefty price tag. For just a remarkable special price of £18.25 this can be yours, and even less until Easter Monday. Read on!

SPECIAL READER OFFER
The amazing August-MS425B speaker is available for the low price of £18.25 on AMAZON at the time of writing this post. However I have been given a special code to share with all my blog readers. If you purchase a speaker and enter this code at checkout. You will get a further 25% off up until Easter Monday. This works out around £4.56 off. Plus the speaker is also eligible for free delivery too. This is an amazing deal. If you have any birthdays coming up then this will make a great inexpensive gift. All you need is a Bluetooth device which covers the majority of gadgets these days anyway.

To finish off I will leave a few important specifications which I copied from the page on Amazon.
Specifications
– Speaker: 4 Ohm, 3 Watt
– Frequency Range: 90Hz-20KHz
– Sensitivity: 80dB±2dB
– SNR: ≥85dB
– Distortion: ≤0.3%
– Power Input: DC 5V 300mA
– Battery: Internal Li-ion 3.7V 600mAh
– Charging Time: 3 Hours
– Battery Life at Maximum Volume: 5 Hours
– Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 2.0
– Range: Up to 10m (Class II)
– Dimensions: 60x60x57mm
– Weight: 187g

20140412-200346.jpg

20140412-200359.jpg

20140415-201433.jpg

Eye Will Not Cry

"Eye Fly High"

Six degrees of harmony

Tales about a family of 6 with teens, a tween & a toddler

BeejuBoxes.Com

Subscription Box Reviews, Active Directory, Spoilers, New Box Releases, Coupons and Lots of Nonsense.

The Spirited Puddle Jumper

Modern, Family Lifestyle

Carmen Fox, Author

Welcome to the Fox's den. Musings by Carmen Fox.

Lil' Nibblet's Nook

A childhood Experience.

Aussie Criminals and Crooks

Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law

Lake Michigan-Upon-Thames

A Gale of two cities . . .

Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983

Mummy Shambles

Losing it, One Marble At A Time

Just Say Know: The Truth About Drugs

Drug expert Mary Microgram answers your burning questions.

Netmums Blog

For real parents everywhere

Rainbeaubelle

A lifestyle blog by Julia Bryson

Threads

Life, Leisure, Luxury

whitakerssalmanack

Just another WordPress.com site

Eye Will Not Cry

"Eye Fly High"

Six degrees of harmony

Tales about a family of 6 with teens, a tween & a toddler

BeejuBoxes.Com

Subscription Box Reviews, Active Directory, Spoilers, New Box Releases, Coupons and Lots of Nonsense.

The Spirited Puddle Jumper

Modern, Family Lifestyle

Carmen Fox, Author

Welcome to the Fox's den. Musings by Carmen Fox.

Lil' Nibblet's Nook

A childhood Experience.

Aussie Criminals and Crooks

Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law

Lake Michigan-Upon-Thames

A Gale of two cities . . .

Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983

Mummy Shambles

Losing it, One Marble At A Time

Just Say Know: The Truth About Drugs

Drug expert Mary Microgram answers your burning questions.

Netmums Blog

For real parents everywhere

Rainbeaubelle

A lifestyle blog by Julia Bryson

Threads

Life, Leisure, Luxury

whitakerssalmanack

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: