GOOD GADGETS! WHAT’S NEXT?

A variety of fun and helpful gadgets are becoming ever-increasingly available at your cell phone store. These gadgets can make your home safe and comfortable, help keep you healthy, and make your parties the best on the block, believe it or not. They use Bluetooth© and wireless
technologies, so they’re convenient to operate anywhere you have an internet connection. Many are controlled by your phone with the download of an app. Here are just a few of the cool wireless gadgets now available. You might want to pick one up for Christmas for that techie person in your life.

FOR YOUR HOME – MAKE YOUR HOUSE A “SMART HOME” WITH WIRELESS GADGETS.

“With these gadgets, you can control your home’s lighting, heating and cooling, and security,” says Tyler Nordberg, Solutions Specialist at Verizon in Duluth.

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Norberg tells of some of his favorite gadgets available at Verizon, including the Philips Hue© smart lightbulbs. With these lightbulbs and an app on your phone, you can turn lights on and off wherever you are to make it look like someone is home, or you can magically turn the lights on as you arrive. You can also set a gentle wake-up light to help you rise and shine in the morning. An alarm-ringing security light can alert you when someone is in your yard or enters your home. And, on a fun note, Philips Hue can create a light show connected to the music you play from your smart phone to create an instant party.

The Canary© security camera helps you keep an eye on your home, wherever you are. Use it inside your house to learn what really goes on when you’re away. It can send an alert to your smart phone to tell you about activity and movement. From your phone, you can set off a siren alarm in the house to scare off potential intruders. The Canary also has night vision capability. Use it in the nursery to keep an eye on your baby wherever you are in the house. To get the biggest fun factor out of this feature, you can watch your dog who isn’t supposed to get on the furniture slumber on the sofa while you are at work.

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The Nest© Learning Thermostat learns from your daily temperature routines to create an automatic temperature comfort level. Turn your home’s temperature down when you’re away, and on your way home, use your phone to turn up the heat for your return.

FOR YOUR HEALTH AND ACTIVITY

Travis Allen, Retail Sales Consultant at AT&T in Duluth, tells of exciting new gadgets including the Gear s2© Active Watch by Samsung It tracks your steps and heart rate, and keeps you informed of the weather, so you know how to dress for your outdoor activities. The watch has a built-in speaker on the side, so you can sync it with your cell phone and make calls or send texts from the watch. Choose from a variety of strap colors and materials, as well as customized faces.

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“The Gear S2 watch is a connected device and what makes it so cool is the fact that you can leave your phone at home and have all your calls come through your watch,” Allen explains. “This feature is called conditional call forwarding and is perfect for the outdoors person who doesn’t want to have a bulky phone in their pocket on their hikes, bike rides, and any other activity.”

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The Fitbit Blaze© watch also tracks steps, heartrate, and your sleep (so you can see how many times you move and wake up throughout the night). It can be programmed to remind you to move throughout the day, and it can give you Smartphone notifications. Watch FitStar© workouts on the color screen, or listen to music with this device. Connect it to the GPS on your phone, and map your routes.

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

Wireless speakers can be placed almost anywhere and give high-quality sound for your listening pleasure—wherever you are Allen’s favorite speaker is the UE Megaboom portable wireless speaker. Float it in the swimming pool for a fabulous party, or place it in the bathroom and sing along as you shower. It’s nine inches high and weighs less than two pounds, but don’t let its size fool you—it’s big in sound! 3-D sound emanates from the front, back, sides, and top. With a 12-hour battery life, the sound plays on. Pair this speaker up with an iPhone, Android, or
Microsoft phone.

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If you’re on the go, the Beats Solo2© wireless headphone syncs with your device and provides studio-quality sound and flexible custom-fit comfort. Pair it with your phone and pick up phone calls. If you’re active with sports, the LG TONE Active© Bluetooth© Premium
Wireless Stereo Headset might be your pick. Water (i.e. sweat)-resistant, it fits snugly and comfortably around your neck, and retractable earbuds pull out. Answer and make phone calls with this gadget, in addition to enjoying its advanced audio distribution sound.

Written by Alison Stucke for Duluth.com the Magazine.

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