Category Archives: News

Best Father’s Day Tech Gifts on WABC TV


 

Tech gifts to buy for Father's Day

 

Last week I showed off some of my favorite Father’s Day Techie gift ideas on WABC. I adore Michelle Charlesworth, have worked with her for years and her energy and personality always make these segments so fun. You can watch the full video here: yes, I flew the drone!

 

For more info on the products, see below.

Microsoft Surface 3

The Surface 3 is a tablet that does double duty as a portable laptop when combined with the (extra) Surface 3 Type Cover. It’s thin and light and gets about 10 hours of battery life. It runs all Windows programs, has USB ports, a headphone jack and micro USB ports. Detach the keyboard and you’ve got a 10.8-inch high res tablet for kicking back and watching videos or reading the news.
Price starts at $499
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/products/surface-3

LG G4 Smartphone

This new flagship phone from LG has even iPhone lovers taking a second look. LG’s G4 phone, is a sleek 5.5-inch phone with a quad HD display running on Android 5.1. The phone has a removable battery and an impressive camera.
Its defining feature is a smart-looking hand-stitched leather back cover, available in a variety of colors. Whichever carrier Dad uses, there’s a deal through Father’s Day for an extra battery and storage.
T-Mobile is offering five times more memory and if Dad is a world traveler, make sure to check out T-Mo’s Simple Global Feature which includes unlimited data and texting to the US.
http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/g4/battery?cmpid=lgg4promo.comURL
https://lgg4t-mobilepromo.smsrebates.com/LGG4Promo/Default.aspx


Sengled Pulse Bulbs
The Sengled Pulse Bluetooth bulb is a simple way to get great-sounding music in any room of the house. It’s an LED light bulb with integrated JBL Bluetooth speakers. They’re super easy to install, just replace the bulb in any standard E26 socket and connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Use the Pulse app to control the music and dim the light. The Pulse Solo is $59.99 or pick up a master and satellite set of two dimmable bulbs for $169.
http://www.sengled.com/product/pulse-solo

MyCharge HubPlus

Never run out of battery again. The myCharge HubPlus portable charger has built-in Lightning and Micro USB cables for charging devices on the go. Dad can charge up his tablet and phone at the same time – there’s plenty of power. And when it comes time to charge up the charger, a built-in wall prong makes it quick and easy to power up the 6,000 mAh battery for the next trip. It’s small, fits easily into a bag or backpack and is a life-saver for staying connected on the go.
$99
http://shop.mycharge.com/products/hubplus-1

Knomo Bude Backpack

Dads don’t always carry briefcases anymore because their stuff is smaller and more mobile. Laptop-toting dads will appreciate the look and comfort of Knomo Bag’s Bude Backpack, made of a lightweight canvas that’s both dirt and water resistant – perfect for the city. There’s a padded compartment inside that protects up to a 15-inch laptop and a tablet, and lots of compartments for keeping cables and gear organized.
$169
http://www.knomobags.com/usa/bude-backpack-black.html

Parrot Bebop Drone

What’s more fun that flying a drone around the neighborhood or on the beach? Flying a drone that that has a built-in camera that captures 1080p video and can shoot 14mp stills. The Parrot Bebop Drone is made of impact-resistant foam, and is lightweight enough for you to take anywhere. No worries about the learning curve; the propellers stop automatically on impact and if the drone gets too far away from you, a GPS function lets you call the drone back home.
$499
http://www.parrot.com/products/bebop-drone/

Andrea Smith Women in CE Award

Women in CE 2015 Legacy Awards


Those of you who know me know I began my career as a newswriter and producer at ABC News in the early 80’s and started covering the world of technology sometime in 1994. At that time there very few women in tech, not journalists and certainly not the decision-makers at the tech companies I was interviewing.

Back then, mentoring and “leaning in” was not a trend. There were no women to turn to to ask advice, to help with connections or to propel you forward. This was a journey I made myself, digging in each and every day and trying to prove to people I could do the job.

There were times I was the only woman on a panel of tech journalists, and certainly the only one in the ladies room at tech conferences. That’s why the Women in CE organization is so important to me.

Founded by the amazing Carol Campbell; it lets me give back. There’s not always time for talking with people and sharing my experiences in journalism and what led me on my career path but the Women in CE conference every June spearheaded by Carol is the one event I always make time for.

Women in CE is focused on empowering women, building networks and supporting career opportunities across the breadth of the consumer electronics industry. There are tools and resources for members to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and empower each other.

I have been on panels about mentoring, conducted social media makeovers for women looking to get ahead, and chatted with women who had simple questions or needed a sounding board. My favorite piece of advice that I’ve shared over the years came from my husband, not another women who was helping in my career. He taught me to “proceed until apprehended.” In other words, stop asking for permission to do something and just do it. It’s the best piece of advice I ever got and he reminds me of that mantra to this day.

This year I was both honored and privileged to receive a Women in CE Legacy Award at an event at CES 2015. To be recognized by my peers – a group of women – is an accomplishment I am deeply proud of.

As I said at the event, I’m happy to wait in line for the ladies room at CES. It’s simply another way of sharing the space with a group of smart, talented, professional women.
Eternal thanks to Carol Campbell for all she does for so many people.

Below is a video overview of the event in Las Vegas.

Best Holiday Tech Gifts for Children: WABC TV VIDEO


Still trying to figure out what your child would like as a gift for the holidays? I took my best ideas to WABC TV to show David Novarro the latest in STEM toys for girls and the best tech gifts for children on your list during the holidays. Watch the video here and read about all the items below.

Leap TV $149
Leap TV is a made-for-kids video gaming system that provides hours of fun, while ensuring the kids get up and off the couch to play.
It has motion sense technology and a Kinect-like camera to put the kids in the game so they’ll be jumping, hopping and laughing their way through the levels. Three ways to use the controller; body motion, pointer play and classic control.
There are over 100 education games that automatically adjust to your child’s age and ability. Also games like LeapFrog sports and Kart Racing.
http://www.leapfrog.com/en-us/products/leaptv

Kindle Fire HD6 Kids edition $149
The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition is a real tablet with a quad core processor, front and rear cameras and an HD display. It comes in 6-inch and 7-inch sizes and includes a colorful, kid-proof case to protect against accidental drops and impact.
Parents will love that it comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited; a library of 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games-at no additional cost.
Parental controls let you set limits on content and screen time for each child. It can be taken out of kids’ mode and used as a regular tablet with a password. And because we all know accidents happen, Amazon offers a two-year warranty; “If they break it, we’ll replace it. No questions asked.”
http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Edition-Display-Wi-Fi-Kid-Proof/dp/B00LOR524M

Sphero Ollie $99
Ollie is a super-fun racing robot you control you control with an iOS app. It pairs instantly to any Bluetooth LE-enabled device. It will run one hour on a single battery charge, and it’s tough; built to withstand drops and falls. Its polycarbonate shell protects it from high speed collisions.
http://www.gosphero.com/ollie/

Roominate $29.99
Roominate is a toy that helps young girls build just about anything they can imagine. It’s a hands-on toy developed by female engineers designed to get girls interested in engineering and technology. They can build walls and floors – this set is for a studio, perfect for a NYC apt.
Using the modular building pieces they can create beds, tables, lamps and they can even wire up a motor to make items like elevators and fans.
There are a wide range of kits that can be used together.
http://www.roominatetoy.com/

Selfie case with built-in remote shutter $40
We all know kids love to take selfies but who has arms long enough to get everyone in the picture? The Selfie iPhone case has a built-in shutter for your phone’s camera so you never lose it. Just slide it out when you need it, connect via Bluetooth and snap away.
Works with iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S5.
http://www.iluv.com/product_list.asp?page=2&icd=AI5SELF&pcd=I2475

7 Top Tech Gifts for the Holidays


There’s still time to shop for the holidays. If you’re looking for some great last-minute tech gifts, look no further than these seven gadgets I showed on WABC TV this week:
You can see the full video here.

iPhone 6 $199 w/contract
The best phone of the year – touch ID for security.
4.7-inch brilliant Retina HD display, a great camera and easy-to-use features like time lapse videos.
iOS 8 which brings Apple Pay, the company’s convenient platform for mobile payments.
https://www.apple.com/iphone-6/

Amazon Kindle Voyage $199
This is the best e-reader I’ve used. Light and thin, comfortable to hold, crystal-clear image quality.
There are no distractions like on a tablet; no email, no facebook, no interruptions.
Sharp, clear text – easy to read on the 6-inch e-ink display.
New features:
Take notes on passages or quotes to share with book group
At-a-glance lets you see how long until end of chapter
Share books and content across household
Built-in adaptive front light
http://www.amazon.com/High-Resolution-Display-Adaptive-PagePress-Sensors/dp/B00IOY8XWQ

Microsoft Xbox One $349
If you’ve been waiting to get Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console, now’s the time. There’s great deals on bundles and special edition consoles. I’m showing the Assasin’s Creed bundle which is selling for $349. You get 2 games, wireless controller, chat headset and a 500 GB hard driv. There’s also access to your TV and music all in one place so you use your voice to control the action. Switch between apps, answer a Skype call, record gameplay, watch Netflix.
500 GB hard drive
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one?xr=shellnav#adrenalinejunkie

Plantronics BackBeat Pro $249
Wireless noise canceling Bluetooth headset that’s so comfortable to wear
Smart sensors know when it’s on your head. When you take it off to answer a call or talk to someone, it automatically pauses the music. Put the cans back on and the music starts
Can connect to 3 devices at once so switch between music and calls, one-button for ANC.
Controls are built into ear cup; tap to pause, play, accept call.
Bluetooth 4.0 so range extends to over 300 feet.
http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/backbeat-pro

Tory Burch Fitbit $195
This is one wearable that definitely does not look like an activity tracker. Fitbit teamed up with designer Tory Burch to create a wearable women actually will want to wear.
Stainless steel bracelet and pendant come in rose gold and silver in addition to gold.
Use it to track steps, distance and calories burned.
http://www.fitbit.com/toryburch#1
http://www.toryburch.com/tory-burch-fitbit/

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard $80
With the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard, it doesn’t matter if you’re on your tablet or your smartphone, the Universal Mobile Keyboard was designed to work with iPad, iPhone, Android devices and Windows tablets. Pair the keyboard with up to three devices with different operating systems and easily switch between them with a simple flick of the OS (operating system) switch.
The rechargeable battery provides up to 6 months of usage on a single charge.
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/universal-mobile-keyboard/P2Z-00001

Cobra JumPack Charger $129
Don’t leave home without this small device that’s powerful enough to jump start a car’s dead battery – a few times over. The JumPack has safety features like a strobe light in case of emergency, and a 7,500 mAh battery with 2.1 Amp USB output so you can power up a dead cell phone with a USB cable.
https://www.cobra.com/products/portable-power/cobra-jumpack

Top Tech Picks From the IFA Electronics Show in Berlin


While the rest of the tech world is focused on the Apple news out of Cupertino, the IFA Tech show is well underway in Berlin, Germany. I spent the last week in Berlin walking the massive halls of the show and meeting with companies to get a hands-on look at the latest innovations.

IFA is a lot like the huge International CES that takes place in January in Las Vegas, except IFA features more European companies and is open to the public who can roam the expansive halls and get their own hands-on demos of the latest tech coming out for the holidays and beyond.

From connected kitchens and robotic vacuums to smart coffee makers, washers and dryers and convertible laptop/tablets, it was all about mobility and connectivity at IFA 14. There was so much to see and talk about but for now, here are the top five items that I’m waiting impatiently to get my hands on, as first published in the Huffington Post. 

Back To School: Must-Have Gadgets For Students


It seems like the northeast is the last area to head back to school. While some kids have already been hitting the books for a week or more, the NYC area is hitting the stores for last-minute supplies. Here’s my round-up of back to school tech gadgets for high school kids for WABC-TV: 

Or you can see all the products I talked about below.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 

  • The tablet that can replace your laptop – great for students who work with Microsoft Office programs

 

  • Portable and designed for productivity, multi-tasking

 

  • kickstand turns from tablet to laptop with keyboard cover

 

  • Starting at $799 for Core i3 processor

Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

  • Split keyboard layout that keeps wrists and forearms in a relaxed position, and a cushioned palm rest to provide wrist support.

 

  • Works with laptop or desktop, using the USB receiver.

 

  • It’s all in the angles. Reverse tilt design positions the keyboard at the correct angle to give you a straight, neutral wrist position. Additionally, the shape of the mouse is designed for maximum wrist comfort.

 

  • $129.95

 

 

  • no need for separate charger cables if you have this backpack with its own built-in battery

 

  • keeps you charged wherever you are

 

  • $199

 

Tylt Syncable-Duo Charge and Sync Cable

  • 2-in-1 cable solution with both microUSB and Lightning connectors

 

  • avail in different lengths and colors $24.99 Tangle-free flat design

 

  • charges AND syncs data to mobile devices

TABLETS
Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Android

  • It has a brilliant Super AMOLED display, better than iPad’s Retina display, making this the perfect tablet for watching Netflix videos or browsing images.

 

  • SideSync 3.0 lets you seamlessly connect your Galaxy S5 phone to your tablet so you can transfer data, cut and paste text and even send and receive voice calls directly from the tablet.

 

  • The Wi-Fi only 8.4-inch tablet starts at $399.99 and the 10.5-inch starts at $499.99.

Toshiba Encore 2 8″ tablet – Windows

  • thin and light, 5MP camera, microSD card

 

  • 1288 X 800 resolution

 

  • comes with one year one year subscription to Office 365

 

  • Starting at just $199.99

 

  • give consumers the optimal experience

iPad KEYBOARD CASE Custom Quest iPad keyboard case w/ retractable strap

  • holds your iPad safely and stylishly

 

  • a suede interior to nestle your tablet

 

  • flip-out rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard

 

  • When you want to travel light, toting only your iPad, a retractable handle pulls out from the edge of the case, letting you sling it on your shoulder in style.

 

  • $ 70 QVC

Jawbone Mini Jambox

  • the one speaker you need, great sound quality, doubles as a speaker phone

 

  • connect via Bluetooth or cable

 

  • turns your room into a party or movie theater

 

  • $169

PHONES
Nokia Lumia Phone Windows

  • This 1020 has an amazing 41 MP camera, image stabilization, LED flash, Qualcomm dual core

T-Mobile iPhone 5C

  • Affordable phones for kids just starting out with a smartphone

 

  • T-Mobile Family Plan: unlimited everything for only $100

 

  • Four smartphone lines with unlimited talk, text, and data until 2016

 

  • Simple Global plan connects you in over 100 countries with no international data roaming fees. Texts are included.

 

Gadgets for Taking Better Smartphone Pictures


What’s the best camera to use? The one you always have with you, of course. For most of us, that’s the one on our mobile phone. Although smartphone cameras are improving in quality, they don’t always let you do thinks like zoom in very close or get a wide angle shot. Mobile photography gadgets like the ones I showed on CNBC can help you capture great pictures you’ll want to share and preserve. See the whole segment here.