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Category Archives for "Technology"

Jan 22

ADT Integrates Automation Technology with Amazon Alexa

By Disha | tech , Technology

ADT Home Security, one of the leading providers of home security and automation solutions in North America, has been gradually integrating with other products over the course of several years. 2015 saw ADT partner with Samsung’s SmartThings, as well as smart thermostat provider Nest.

These partnerships indicate the security company’s embracement of smart home devices, and later this month, ADT Pulse customers will soon be able to integrate their system with Amazon Alexa products.

This new partnership was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the midst of other new features for Alexa-powered devices such as Echo.

Pulse, the home automation ecosystem created by ADT, has seen a wealth of new features come into play, and with voice assistance in the mix, will certainly add a new degree to its portfolio. With Alexa integrated, Pulse customers will be able to arm and disarm their security system through simple voice commands.

Some commands, as indicated in a press release from ADT, include “Alexa: Tell ADT to disarm my security alarm, using PIN 1234,” and “Alexa: Tell ADT to lock the front door.”

The new ADT commands for Alexa add to the already more than 5,000 skills that the voice assistance program is already capable of performing.

Mentioning the PIN is an essential component of keeping the Alexa integration secure. A person’s home security system cannot be either armed or disarmed without the user saying the pin. This will ensure that only people who are familiar with the security system will be able to have any control over any of the commands.

Alexa will also be able to control other commands other than arming or disarming the system. Users will also be able to perform voice commands over other ADT Pulse functions, such as controlling the lights, locking doors, and powering on/off appliances.

The move benefits both users of ADT Pulse and Alexa products. With more than six million customers depending on ADT, those who already have an Alexa product in the home may be encouraged to make an upgrade to Pulse. Those who already have ADT Pulse may want the opportunity to make the transition to a voice-powered smart home and invest in Alexa.

According to the ADT press release, ADT customers can also expect Pulse 8.0 later this spring, which will come with a “revamped design” and a “more intuitive experience” with home automation. More specific details of Pulse 8.0 have yet to be released.

Jan 16

New Skin Tasting Wearables that could Detect Diabetes

By Osman | Technology

 

Patients with diabetes have to constantly monitor their sugar levels on a regular basis, by pricking the finger with the blood sugar meter, in the morning before breakfast, and certain cases before and after every meal. Irrespective of how you manage your diabetes, with regular exercise, or controlled diet, this regular blood sugar monitoring helps you figure out how your program is working. But this pricking and injecting can be a tedious job, often messed up, and not as smooth as doctor would do it.

In the past few years, a group of researchers led by Dae-Hyeong Kim from the Institute for Basic Science in Seoul, South Korea, have been working on more convenient ways to monitor diabetes. They have finally come up with a wearable patch that monitors the blood sugar levels and even comes up with medication every time the levels rise.

The technology uses an extremely strong and flexible carbon material, called graphene that is often used in wearable devices. Certain properties of graphene make it difficult to detect changes in sugar levels, but upon adding gold particles or surrounding a gold mesh to the graphene, this wearable can be made to work. Sensors in the patch pick up the sweat from the patient’s skin, detect the temperature changes according to the sweat’s pH, signaling any rise in the sugar levels. When a high level is detected, the heaters in the patch dissolve a layer of the coating, exposing micro needles that release a drug called metofomin, which is responsible for regulating the sugar levels and bringing them back to normal. The metofomin micro needles don’t cause any pain, just a slight tingle. If you are curious about your reading, they can be wirelessly transmitted to mobile phones.

Scientists and doctors across the globe believe that this combination can be effective, by consistently regulating the sugar level throughout the day. But there still are some unanswered questions as to whether this patch would be effective during vigorous exercises and whether this patch would be able to monitor for a full 24 hours.

Another significant improvement in the field of health.

Jan 09

Recommended Filters for Landscape Photography

By Osman | Technology

For a landscape photographer, filters to photography are like what adjectives are to writing. The right type of filter when added, even to the dullest of the images, has a large and real effect on your image. As you learn more about photography, you familiarize with the concept of editing and adding artificial filters and manipulations required to make image look fresh and natural. You may have the most expensive lenses, but the selection of the proper filter is actually far more important than any choice of lens or camera. There are mainly only 3 filters that professional landscape photographers recommend – polarisers, graduated NDs, and warming filters.

  • POLARISING FILTERS
    If you are to take your landscape photography to a professional stage, a polarizing filter is a must-have tool for landscape photography. Polarising filters increase saturation giving richer, adding a more vibrant color to the photograph. This type of filter is responsible for the deeper skies, with the clouds that really standout in the pictures. It’ll boost the natural colours and reduce reflections and glares from water and foliage.
  • GRADUATED NEUTRAL DENSITY (ND) FILTERS
    While light is the most important element in your photograph, sometimes excess light can ruin the picture’s delicate sensibilities. A neutral density filter doesn’t affect the colours in your picture; its only purpose is to reduce the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor. These filters are used to balance the exposures levels when you have a front that is much darker than the sky, a very common happening while taking landscape shots during the early and late “golden hours” around sunrise and sunset.
  • WARMING FILTERS
    Whenever you shoot in shade, at dusk, or under overcast skies (usually during the monsoon), the camera film will record tones with a slightly bluish taint.These images with are called “low key”. A warming filter gives your scene a slight orange tint, helping to reduce the cold, blue cast and breathe some life back into your image, adding a subtl tone to the dark picture.

Filters can vastly improve an image, and in some cases save images that might otherwise be too flat, with too much contrast, too blue, or too warm for your taste. Use a combination of the above filters, and come up with new techniques to make your images look ravishing. Let’s capture the beautiful pieces of nature as they are!

Dec 12

Best Photo Editor Apps for Androids

By Osman | Phone , Technology

These free apps will help you add the right effects to your clicks, and you’ll surely have an increased number of Instagram followers!

  • Bonfire Photo Editor Pro
    This increasingly popular app has many of the basic filters, with some unique ones, like Fancy, that turns the picture into a watercolor portrait.
  • VSCO Cam
    It is social media themed camera app, something like Instagram. But unlike Instagram, this application doesn’t drag the unnecessary fuss about the likes and comments; it simply allows photography lovers to upload their pictures, to share and to inspire. With a large base of photo-altering choices, VSCO Cam promises some great photographic moments.
  • Little Photo
    This app remains Google Play’s highest rated app till date, with a wide range of filters and effects, that aren’t typically seen in a free app. The users have the advantage of stacking multiple filters to a single photo, or reducing the effect of the filters.
  • Snapseed
    Google’s Snapseed provides such abundant choices of effects and filters, with great vintage grainy effects of 60s. This camera application is capable of brining almost any picture to life.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Express
    No one doubts an eye when it comes to Adobe softwares and applications. Lightroom allows you to add slew one-touch adjustments, while Express is for basic filters and effects, with an auto-fix option. You can get precise control over color, contrast and tone.
  • AirBrush
    AirBrush is for the selfies lovers. Quick fixes on the blemishes, skin toning, teeth whitening, reshaping tools, and plenty other tools will make you look your best.
  • PhotoDirector
    This newer app is for the ones who like to manipulate the photo technicalities. This app allows you manually change settings- with RGB color channels, HSL sliders, white balance and more in-depth editing options. PhotoDirector is for those who want more than just repetitive filters.
  • Photo Editor Pro
    Again, a very popular app with about 50 million downloads, PhotoDirector allows you a good mix of the filters and the regular manual editor options. You can find funny stickers and add short captions to turn them into memes.
  • Pixlr
    Also known as Pixlr Express, this is a very popular app a great variety of features and tools. It has a little something of everything, overlays, cosmetic editing options, and the regular editing options.
  • Cymera
    Even though you can use this app to edit any kind of photograph, Cymera specializes with portraits. With seven different kinds of lenses and four different recording modes, Cymera instantly improves clicks with realistic makeup effects.

 

With great camera features these days, the above photo-editing apps may provide some extra help to improve the quality of photographs.

Nov 11

How to Achieve the Best from Your LCR Meter

By Osman | Technology

 

Practitioner engineers know that they shouldn’t measure inductance, capacitance, and resistance using different devices. There is one instrument which can measure them at the same time; it is called LCR meter. Now times have changed and with new tools, professionals can obtain even more precise results than ever. Do you know how to get the most from your measurement device without spending hours on playing with him? Then, there are some hints from experienced users which anyone can use from this day on.

Special Hints and Techniques of Using an LCR meter

Before people start using their first measurement device, they should take into account these estimation techniques:

  1. Use your test frequency as close to the operational frequency as possible. This way an effect of any stray changes of frequency will not impact your results;
  2. Your amplitude should be adjusted the same way: if someone uses an amplitude which differs, this variation might make his results imprecise;
  3. Adjust a lead length: your lead length may affect your results if its frequencies are around 1 MHz so you should be very attentive to it;
  4. After any measurement, you should discharge your capacitors because some of them may have a residual charge which can make your results higher than necessary.

If you have already bought one of the powerful LCR meters on Toolboom, you should know what to do before making your first measurement. If that is the case, the first thing you should do before making any estimations is to discover a direct current of a measured component. Then you should consider which level of precision do you need. Also consider frequencies of your components (typically, the smaller is your device, the higher is required level of frequency) because you will get imprecise results by making improper adjustments. After all, adjust your coil to both positive and negative terminals and start using your device.

Does the Form Matter?

One of the most frequent questions most beginner engineers ask is whether it is enough to use a handheld device or we need to spend money buying large benchtop instruments. Powered by a battery and being portable, handheld devices become more useful. Engineers who use more compact devices can bring them in any place without even having a car. However, when it comes to benchtop they have the highest level of capacity and make measurements with higher precision. Some ask a question: do we need to sacrifice precision in order to make our device easier to handle?

Professionals cannot tell you the exact solution because it all depends on your needs. If you appear not a professional engineer, then you will not need such a high level of precision and a handheld tool powered by the battery will seem enough. If you need to measure something really complicated, even an LCR meter will not be enough. You will anyway need a car to keep that entire staff so transporting additional  tools will not cause a trouble.

Anyway, you have a lot of online stores where you can buy these tools cheaper, try and check toolboom.com for that.

Nov 02

Tips for Drawing Good Wiring Diagrams

By Osman | education , Technology

Wiring diagrams are simple visual presentations of complex physical maps representing an electrical system. Simply put, wiring diagrams show how electrical wires in a system are connected and where the power outlets and light fixtures are.

These diagrams are helpful, and even essential, when building something like a home security system or an electronic gadget. Knowing how to draw a wiring diagram the right way is therefore important if you are undertaking one of these tasks. If you are a DIYer, or new in some way to electrical design, here are several useful tips for drawing a wiring diagram:

Learn the Symbols

Wiring diagrams are visual representations. Unlike with schematics and pictorial representations, these diagrams use very abstract shapes to signify various components. They are like maps in that way. For example, a map might use a cluster of triangles to signify a mountain range. Likewise, a wiring diagram will use a single line to represent a wire. There are many symbols representing antenna, batteries, fuses inductors and so on. It’s important to know what each symbol represents. So, print out a symbols guide and familiarize yourself with each.

Use Software

Nowadays, you can easily use wire harness design software to draw a wiring diagram. Software can make it easy for you to plan out where the outlets, switches, and fixtures should be. Knowing so is important for connecting the grid. Having software can also make it easy to draw symbols and understand them. If you are a newbie, wiring software can make the process simple, fast, and convenient. You can use such software to generate diagrams, and if necessary complex schematics, in 2D or 3D.

Refer to a Circuits and Logic Template

Templates can help you understand how to create a diagram for wires and circuitry. You will be able to get a general ideal for the system you need by referring to a template. These templates might be available with the CAD electrical software you use. Some are also available online for free.

Overall, aim for clarity in your diagram. Even if your diagram is technically correct, if it’s messy and obfuscated, it can be harder to understand, even for you when referring to it later.

health gadgets
Sep 13

5 Health Gadgets to Make You Rock n Roll!

By Christopher Benitez | Phone , Technology

With a due increase in the amounts of adulteration in the air we intake, the foods we consume and the water we gulp, there has been a degradation in the health conditions of human beings. As it is said “health is wealth”, maintaining a good health should be our prime motive. In today’s era of technological advancements, electronic gadgets have popped out to a larger extent. They are, in fact, a boon to our society. From being luxuries to necessities, their transformation is truly mesmerizing. Not only in making our calculations easy, affording us virtual social lives and helping in communicating with faraway families, but electronics also helps us in managing our body fitness and gesture. Several gadgets have been invented to adapt a healthier lifestyle in this world of mental activities. Some of them are given below.

health gadgets

Best Health Gadgets

1. Gymwatch

Looking just like a normal time telling watch, gym watches have gathered immense hike in their demands and uses. With its exceptional longevity, gym watches not only feels the burning of your calories but also makes you avoid incorrect exercises. It also offers you tips on improvement for up to 900 distinct workouts. It also tells you about the solid rep and a half-hearted effort by tracking your movement data. It can also be paired with a smart phone app and guide you toward achieving your fitness goals through audio feedbacks.

2. miCoach Pacer

The first step towards maintaining fitness is running. Age, occupation and gender wise, there can be a variety in running goals for each one of us. miCoach Pacer offers you an interactive training program that works with your mp3 player to give you feedback as your run. This device measures your speed, acceleration and also the distance covered. Accordingly, it asks you to give yourself a push or ease up. Hence by keeping active about your targets, this gadget is the first friend of your healthy lifestyle.

3. Garmin approach S1

This is a watch-like gadget used by wearing it on your wrist. This gadget is designed to train the golfers. If you are a crazy and passionate golf player, you might need this instead of a golf coach to be the best. S1 is a powerful GPS tool with preloaded golf courses. This located your spot on the golf course you are in and calculates how far you’ve trekked around and also the flight of your ball.

4. Helbe GoBe

Unlike other bands, GoBe is not just an activity tracker, but it also measures calorie intake. It has advanced sensors which detect the amount of glucose in your cells through your skin, taking a true account of your calories. It is also a health rate monitor and an accelerometer. It also works when you sleep keeping a note of your stress and hydration levels.

5. Finis Swimsense

Swimming is the ultimate exercise to keep you healthy and free from diseases. It channelises our blood flow and keeps us energetic. However being a tougher coordination exercise, most of us fail to perform perfect swimming strokes. Finis is a modern day gadget which fits in our wrists. It not only identifies the type of stroke you are doing but also notifies your about the distance per stroke and the amount of calories you’ve burned in your last stroke. Depending on your swimming history, you can set goals in it, create custom workouts and monitor your progress.

These were some of the useful technologies which can help you to lead a healthy life. Be your own mentor with the help of these gadgets, analyze your results and work harder in improving them. Remember, practice makes a man perfect.

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