Friday, June 21, 2019

Note to Dog Parents: 5 of the Best Tech Products for Dogs

There’s no bond stronger than the one between a dog and its owner. Your pooch deserves only the best of the best. With all the new technology on the scene, there’s no end to the ways you can spoil your pup. Here are five of the best tech products for dogs to make both of your lives easier.

iFetch


Keep your pup playing for hours, even when you’re not home or simply don’t have the energy. iFetch is an automatic ball launcher that will change your dog’s life. Its intuitive design means both your dog’s mind and body will get a workout. Once your pooch gets the hang of it, they can entertain themselves for hours.

PetChatz


Nothing is more painful than having to say goodbye to your dog for the day. Rather than driving yourself crazy with worry, check in on them whenever you want with PetChatz. Touted as state-of-the-art digital daycare, it features two-way visual and audio, meaning both you and your pup can see each other. Best of all, to show them you really care, you can dispense a treat at the tap of a button.

Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain


Avoid bacteria in your dog’s drinking water and prevent it from tasting stale with the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain. Its unique, flowing design aerates the water with oxygen, making it taste better and stay cleaner. This encourages your dog to drink more, meaning you won’t have to worry about them becoming dehydrated. Your pet deserves only the best of the best, and this tech product for dogs guarantees they get just that.

PupPod


Your dog’s mind needs to be challenged in order to develop. Keep your furry friend on the cutting edge with PupPod, a smart toy whose puzzles become harder as your dog gets smarter. No longer will your dog turn to chewing up the couch out of boredom: when they solve PupPod’s various puzzles, they will be rewarded with treats, leading to a sharper mind and hours of entertainment.

Whistle


No matter where your dog runs off to, you can always keep an eye on them with Whistle. This GPS device and activity tracker will make sure your pooch never strays too far from home. For dogs that need to up their exercise levels, this product is also great for monitoring activity and making sure your dog is moving enough. With Whistle, you can always be sure your pup is safe.

Getting from Point A to Point B: A Rundown on How GPS Works


GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, has become an everyday necessity for people around the globe. While we pull up GPS apps on our phones with ease, few people know how GPS works. Find out the science behind your next road trip here.

What is GPS?

GPS is all about getting from point A to point B, but there is so much more to it than just a route to follow. GPS might seem like something that just lives in your car or your phone, but it’s actually a satellite-based navigation system. These satellites work together to send a location to a GPS receiver, and from there, it can send you directions to other locations.

The Origins and Development of GPS

Originally developed for military purposes, and still managed by the U.S. Air Force, GPS is now accessible for anyone. At its inception, GPS only had 24 satellites orbiting. This number has increased to 32, which has aided in increasing location accuracy. Since its creation in 1973, GPS has undergone many changes to become the highly functional system that it is today.

Trilateration and What it Does

In terms of how GPS works to find your location, you have trilateration to thank for that. Trilateration is the process of determining your location according to the intersection of spheres. These “spheres” are generated by a satellite, with the satellite at the center. The GPS first calculates its distance from one satellite, and then does the same for two other GPS satellites. Once those are found, it determines the intersection between the three spheres, giving users their location.

The Many Uses of GPS

Once a location is determined, there’s a whole host of things GPS can do. With that position, GPS devices can determine sunrise and sunset times, the honed-on location’s speed, and a user’s distance to their destination. From timing to location purposes, there’s no end to all the ways in which GPS is used. Pulling up a route in your car’s GPS may seem like a simple enough task, but the science behind it is truly astounding. You have those satellites above your head to thank for your smooth journey.


Monday, June 17, 2019

5 Very Real Dangers of Self-Driving Cars

Many companies around the world are pursuing new technology that will result in self-driving cars. Business executives believe they’ll be the future of travel and a safer mode of transportation. The goal is that one day people will be able to get in the car and read a book or take a nap while the car drives them to their desired location. This may be the case in 50 years, but right now, these companies cannot avoid the dangers of self- driving cars.

No Oversight


Since this new technology is in its infancy, there are no regulations governing development. Information about this new industry is limited, making it difficult to set safety standards. As of now, it is the wild west—dozens of companies want to be the first to design, develop, market, and sell self-driving cars with little to no oversight from the government or industry experts.

No Accountability


Companies are putting a lot of faith into their engineering and programming teams, as they will hold them accountable for every eventuality that could occur on the road. There is an infinite amount of problems that could happen when driving from point A to B in an autonomous vehicle. What happens when the car hits something or someone? The last thing these companies want is to become flooded with lawsuits.

More Accidents


At some point, self-driving and traditional cars will likely share the roads, which could possibly lead to more accidents. There’s an ebb and flow to roadways—people that drive them every day understand this and can account for it when making decisions. The concern is if this new technology will be able to do the same.

Hackers Taking Control


Any computer, device, or car connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking. In spite of all the firewalls and protections companies put in place, a hacker could gain control of self-driving cars. Once in control, the car and passengers will be at the mercy of the hacker. Additionally, private data that the car stores will also be accessible and exploitable.

Radiation Exposure


These cars will have all sorts of electronics on board; we can expect to see Wi-Fi, GPS, remote controls, Bluetooth, radio, and screens to keep passengers entertained. However, all these gadgets could expose people to higher levels of electromagnetic radiation. Continued exposure to electronic radiation can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, migraines, and an increased risk of getting cancer.

Friday, June 7, 2019

5G vs. 4G: How 5G Will Improve the Formula

4G debuted in the late 2000s, and it was an immediate technological game-changer. At the time, some people found it difficult to imagine that anything could surpass this sort of monumental achievement. However, as time progresses, so do our expectations. It’s for this reason that we’re seeing a new frontier in the technological world as 5G creeps into view.

What Makes 5G Different?


In a word, everything. At the moment, 4G is a bit tied up in terms of how much bandwidth our modern devices require. 5G provides a clean slate, as its bandwidth isn’t as cluttered as that of the 4G network. This will allow us to move selected data at a much more efficient rate.

4G peaks at a speed of 1GB per second, averaging at 10MB in terms of everyday speed. 5G, however, peaks at an average speed of 20GB per second, or 100MB with everyday speeds—meaning it’s 20 times faster than its predecessor. It’s estimated that, if it performs as expected, 5G will be able to download a 3D movie in a mere six seconds.

5G is projected to drastically improve our Internet experience. We’ll see improved Internet reliability, and the cleaner bandwidth will allow us to connect more devices to our routers without affecting their efficiency.

Will I Pay More?


Phone plans themselves may not increase in price, but our wallets may still take a hit in other respects. For one, the cost of devices could jump by $200 to $300. Also, the increased speed and quality of our Internet connections could cause greater data consumption. Higher data usage means higher costs.

However, for technology enthusiasts, this is a welcome exchange. As the production of movies and other digital media continues to grow, we need the ability to support this growth. There may certainly be an adjustment period for Internet carriers and devices, but we can expect to see an improved online experience over the next couple years.

Sink or Float? The Google Glass Takes a Second Voyage

In 2013, Google released the Google Glass, a computer in the form of eyeglasses. Sporting a $1,500 price tag, it was a highly anticipated release—a taste of the future, before merely a concept used in sci-fi films. Unfortunately, while innovative, the product did not perform as expected. In 2015, Google withdrew the glasses and placed them back on the drawing board.

Now, four years after the first iteration of this product fizzled from our memories, Google revived the Glass in a new and improved form. They’ve named this version the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, and we hope to see a higher level of success.

What’s New with Edition 2?


The revitalized edition of the Glass sports a lower price tag than its predecessor, rounding out at $999. According to Google’s website, “As our customers have adopted Glass, we’ve received valuable feedback that directly informed the improvements in Glass Enterprise Edition 2.”

The product is not available for sale to general consumers, as it has been designed and marketed toward corporate buyers. The glass is equipped with a miniscule 8MP camera that boasts a 640x360-pixel display, as well as a small prism above the right eye, and three microphones. It also features a longer battery life in conjunction with a shorter charging time. A full list of specs is available on Google’s website.

Along with technological feats, the Glass also sports classic practicalities. Users utilizing the Glass for manufacturing types of work will find the glasses water and dust resistant.

Has Google Found the Right Formula?


The future of the Enterprise Edition 2 has a positive outlook, but we have to wonder how this newest version will fare. It certainly seems like it should earn itself a spot in the world of useful tech, but we thought the same for the first version—we know how that ended.

Google has taken their time improving the product and narrowed down its audience to those in business, so we may see a more positive reception this time around. It may be too early to determine victory this early in the game, but Google seems to have made welcome changes to the Glass. If this venture proves successful, the world of wearable technology may be edging towards a new future.

Friday, May 31, 2019

How Does Virtual Reality Work? A Simple Rundown

Virtual reality is a hot topic nowadays, with new uses for it cropping up daily. From gaming to education, virtual reality’s potential applications are almost limitless. But how does virtual reality work? To truly grasp this, you need to know everything that goes into these complex systems.

What is virtual reality?


Virtual reality allows users to immerse themselves in an alternate reality in a virtual world. This world can take on a plethora of forms. Sci-fi games, for example, tout impressive landscapes filled with neon lights and super-powered androids. Medical simulations, on the other hand, feature realistic renderings of a medical environment. Each form may look different, but the main components are immersive screens and settings that take you into another world.

How does it look so real?


There’s a reason that watching something on TV and seeing something in VR are two totally different experiences. Virtual reality tricks your brain into believing you’re in the world being projected before your eyes. The key to this is the use of a stereoscopic display. In a nutshell, this means that the same image is projected to each of your eyes at two slightly different angles, subtly and effectively simulating depth. When this is paired with clever programming and expert graphics, you get an experience that might as well be real.

Using the senses


Sight is, of course, necessary when it comes to effective VR, but it’s not the only sense at play. Immersive audio is essential to how virtual reality works. Spatial audio—or 3D audio—emulates sounds coming from different angles. If a monster crept up behind you in a VR game, for example, you’d hear the sound of its movement coming from behind. This amplifies your heightened senses, bringing you even further into the virtual world.

Movement within the system


Simply gawking at an impressively rendered, lifelike environment isn’t enough—you’ve got to be able to interact with it, too. This movement is achieved through a hand-held controller, which interacts with infrared sensors to give players the ability to interact with the virtual world. This allows the user to move freely about the room they’re in, making the virtual experience a truly lifelike one.

The future of virtual reality


Virtual reality has come so far, but there are still many innovations and changes on the horizon. As the technology continues to develop, it will become far more accessible. How virtual reality works is through the melding of many expert technologies. Combing impeccable visuals with surround sound audio and clever tracking creates an experience that cannot be replicated. As virtual reality technology advances, these experiences will only get better.

Upgrade Your Nursery with the Best Tech Products for Parents

As a parent, you want to provide the very best for your little ones. Take your parenting into the 21st century with these awesome tech products for parents. Just short of a robot babysitter, these products provide the very best in childcare and will make you the savviest parent on the block.

Video baby monitors


Gone are the days of monitoring your baby’s cries with a glorified walkie talkie. Recent developments in technology have made it much easier to stay on top of what your kids are up to. Video baby monitors allow you to watch your baby in real time. They can be synced to your smart phone or tablet so that you can view your baby wherever you are. Some video baby monitors can even record sound and video or emit soothing white noise.

Smart cribs


Smart phones and tablets are great, but they can only do so much for a fussy baby. Enter smart cribs. These cribs use state-of-the-art technology to lull your little one back to sleep so that you can get some much-needed shut-eye as well. Smart cribs like the SNOO Smart Sleeper can sense when a baby is getting restless, using a combination of white noise and rocking motions to soothe them back to sleep. This crib also provides parents with a sleep log for their child and has multiple settings for every stage of growth, from preemies to weaning babies.

Security systems


When your child outgrows a baby monitor, you can continue to keep them safe by installing a high-tech security system in your home. Security cameras can help you keep your eyes on your rambunctious toddler and make sure they don’t stir up too much trouble. You can also place a camera in your child’s bedroom to make sure they’re actually sleeping during nap time. Install systems near exits to alert you whenever a door opens and help stop your toddler’s great escape in its tracks. Many security systems are supported by mobile apps, making your security measures even more airtight.

Health monitors


Health monitors are the perfect tech product for parents who are constantly checking in with their pediatricians. Products like the Braun No-Touch + Forehead Thermometer can take temperatures up to two inches from the forehead, allowing you to check your child’s health without waking them from their slumber. Other health monitors, like the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor, function more like a Fitbit for babies. This device wraps around your baby’s foot and accurately tracks their heart rate and oxygen levels. The mobile app will alert your phone if anything is wrong.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Will There Be Flying Cars in The Future? Signs Point to Yes

Flying cars have been staples in science fiction for decades, believed to be the ultimate stamp of the future. From The Jetsons to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, there’s been no shortage of fascination with the concept. When it comes to the question of will there be flying cars in the future, many companies answer with a resounding yes.

The flying cars from fiction are quite a departure from what they’ll actually look like. Many imagine them as cars that can simply fly, but current iterations are more nuanced. From the AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL, which resembles a sports car crossed with a helicopter, to Dubai’s police hoverbike, which mimics a motorcycle, the landscape of flying cars is varied. There may not be a singular flying car “look,” but a few different types and styles may hit the scene.

Technically, we have the technology to craft these vehicles now. The United States already has a long history of aircraft innovation with airplanes, drones, and helicopters. There are, however, major concerns with flying cars, mostly related to space and safety.

Users will need ample take-off space, as well as large, designated zones on which to land. In crowded, urban spaces, vertical takeoff is a must to avoid crashes. Without the proper amount of space, takeoff and landing simply isn’t possible. The space requirement would make flying vehicles less than ideal for those without a lot of land, or without access to adequate space.

While space is important, safety is the biggest concern you see raised regarding this mode of transportation. For traditional cars, if something goes wrong you can simply pull over, but this isn’t an option for flying cars. The concern is for the safety of the driver and the bystanders on the ground in the event a mechanical failure occurs. These concerns must be addressed before flying car manufacturers can hope to bring these vehicles into the mainstream.

All in all, the question of if there will there be flying cars in the future is more a question of when. A slew of vehicles are already in development, and Uber hopes to offer flying rideshare services by the mid-2020s. Though these goals are lofty, with the current research and technology, it certainly isn’t out of the question. You may not see a flying car parked in every driveway, but within the next couple years, you may hear them buzzing over your head.