Category: Gadgets

Apps, Gadgets and Tech to Create, Collaborate and Elevate #IDIODC

If you haven’t checked out the #IDIODC podcast, Brent and Chris interview and dive into topics around learning and technology. Great way to keep up and connect with peers.

You can listen to my chat about technology and expanding your toolbox.

Check out the weekly episodes, every Wednesday and you can listen to the library at:

Great Mobile Headset with Audio Support – Plantronics M50

If you are looking for a headset with support for listening to audio while on the go, the M50 is a great device. One of the biggest challenges I had was locating one that had a high enough volume and the M50 was a perfect pair. It offers 11 hours of talk time and up to 384 hours standby, I keep one in my bag and charge it weekly. It also supports two separate devices, 2 phones, phone and computer or tablet so you can use it to support various configurations. Price is only $28. 

Learn more at Amazon:


Adding a AppleTV – Why you may want one, especially if you are thinking about a iPad #edhcat, #lrnchat


Using AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2nd and 3rd generation and Mountain Lion

Wow your audience in the conference room, classroom, or living room. AirPlay supports video mirroring. Which means you can wirelessly — and securely — stream whatever’s on your iPad 2, 3 or on you Mountain Lion Mac  to your HDTV via Apple TV. Everyone in the room sees exactly what’s on your display up there on the big screen.

Connecting a Mac for Mirroring or Extended Desktops
If you are using a newer Mac, purchased in the past 18 months, chances are you have what it takes (processor wise) to take advantage of mirroring via AppleTV as well. This is great, because its wireless and allows you instantly share whatever’s on your mac desktop. Whether you’re working with a team to design, working together on a presentation or just want to share something the family its easy to turn on or off and take advantage of this great feature. If you have a older Mac checkout AirParrot which will work with Lion or Snow Leopard and older macs.

You can also use your mac in extended display so you can move content and windows between your built-in screen and the big TV. Works great for wireframing, presentations and design. We replaced our conference room projector last year with a 46″ LED TV and added the Apple TV and couldn’t be happier. You can also get a direct cable connection from your laptop to the TV if you want to just take advantage of the extra screen and skip the extra peripheral.


The AppleTv is a small device that easily sits next to your TV and for $99, it will extend your capabilities. You can also locate it on sale, during the year for as low as $89 via third party resellers.
Bonus: If you have a Netflix account you can easily stream content or rentals or programs you have purchased via the iTunes.
Connections: Couldn’t be Easier
Just plug in the power cord and hdmi cable to your tv and your up and running. After it boots up, select a wireless router and your set.


Learn More:

Have you heard about Google Googles yet? Take a photo and google will search and present the results.


Currently available for Android 1.6+, this new Google Labs service allows you to take a photo and Google will provide additional information about the place, wine, logo, artwork, landmark or book. Just imagine walking thru a museum or while on vacation you want to learn more about a location, simply snap a photo and learn more about it. Hope to see an iPhone interface soon.


Learned about the Eye-Fi Pro X2 increases capacity and speed at #Macworld2010

While roaming around the expo area I had the chance to learn about the latest Eye-Fi product. This is an amazing product which replaces your current SD card in your digital camera and allows you to wirelessly transfers pictures to iPhoto or your photo management tool via your 802.11 network. I was impressed with the speed and ease. It also geo-tags your photos while traveling so you know where in the world they were taken and don’t have to add additional notes or manually do it. The new 8gb card is due to ship shortly for $149. 

The card can also transfer via a hotspot or your network to Facebook, Flicker or other web supported site. Learn more at


Treasures in your office: 10 years of hardware and software

We’re moving our office later this month and in preparation, we’ve been cleaning up over the past 2 months. Its amazing how much “stuff” you can acquire in 10 years in one location. I’ve recycled dozens of books, hardware products. It’s aso amazing how the field has changed in recent years going from the big packaging for software to the quick, easy downloads over the last 2 years.

 One of my favorite products, the ICE Board had 8 processors, cost over $7,000 and allowed you to accelerate After Effects and Infini-D, a easy to use 3D animation software. The board paid for itself in the first project, and allowed us to make the deadline but its amazing that for about $500 today, you have more processing power and a full computer.

  I recommend everyone, at least once a month, takes the opportunity and clean up so you don’t collect to many treasures.

An actual box, package for the Netscape Browser.

Apple’s New Media Program for developers, some great resources and examples.

An amazing CD-ROM for example and Director’s Lingo Code that could be re-used in projects.

Fujitsu SnapScan: Great Scanner for meetings, notes, documents and sharing information

If you are looking for a great way to get organized, check out the great sheet fed scanners from Fujitsu. I’ve had the SnapScan model for about 3+ years now and love it. It’s a great way to take notes that you have from a meeting, scan them and get a instant pdf, sketches for a wireframe or interface, or documents that you want to keep handy for a future use.

For the mac, they have the M series which works great with OS X and you can hit a button on the scanner and seconds later you have a PDF of your documents. You can easily e-mail or reprint later and the speed is amazing. 

Here’s an example of some notes that I took on a wireframe and then shared with my team, it speeds up the whole process.


Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M $425


ScanSnap S300M $240


iPhone 3Gs – More than meets the eye!

Being passionate about Apple, its hardware and software is easy because it makes your life easier and helps bring out the creativity within us. Having purchased the original iPhone and the 3g I was not in a super rush to get my hands on the 3GS. Upgrading to the 3.0 version of the OS is a must because it just improves on the OS and adds several great features.

 I had an opportunity last week to make the upgrade and I decide to try it out, all I can say is WOW! The new hardware is amazing, it makes the OS run smoothly and having multiple apps opening and closing is a breeze with the new hardware. If you don’t have an iPhone or if you have one and you use it extensively I would say its a must have upgrade to improve on productivity because of the power boost. The added hardware features are a plus, the built in video, voice commands and improved camera are a great improvement over the previous generation. If you have played any games on the iPhone, the extra hardware improves on load times, performance and improved graphics. If you have the opportunity to upgrade, I would recommend you take advantage of it.


E3: Microsoft Project Natal – Look’s Amazing. Controller free interaction, voice control, 3d imaging and sensing emotions.

Microsoft demonstrates a new piece of hardware, shipping in 2010 (no official shipping date), looks amazing and introduces several innovative technologies to consumers. For a small investment you get a controller-free interface to basically use your body for interacting and diving into game play. You also get 3D imaging and voice control and from the demonstration this will have a incredible impact on game play and interacting with your tv.

Believe it or Not:

Sony demonstrates the PS3 Motion Controller.


Flip MinoHD Camcorder – Great Portable Video Camera

I’ve owned a Flip Camera since Christmas, Santa delivered it into my stocking and I haven’t stopped being blown away by the gadget. This video camera is amazingly small, compact and easy to use. The best part for me is it doesn’t freak people out if you start using it at an event or with the family because its not large and doesn’t have that fright factor “you are recording video of me.” Recording can be started quickly by pushing the power button on the side and then clicking the record (red button) on the back and you can start in less than 3 seconds if the unit is off. The camera is so simple, my 3 year old was able to start using it right away.

The HD model runs about $200 and captures 1280 x 720, up to 60 minutes of content, on the built in 4gb memory chip. Sliding a lever on the side exposes the USB Arm and easily plugs into a Mac or PC to upload the content to your hard drive. Using a Mac, it couldn’t be easier, the content comes right into iPhoto and you can start editing with iMovie or with QuickTime Pro. The video is saved in H.264 codec so the quality is incredible. The USB arm also allows you to charge while plugged in and the built in monitor and speaker allows you to review clips, delete or view while recording.

They just introduced a new model, the Flip Ultra HD which includes 8gb of internal memory which means up to 120 min of content and its sells for $199. The 4gb Ultra is $149. The new model also has an optional HDMI output for plugging right into a HD monitor or TV.
If you are looking to add video to your web site or start a video blog this is the perfect camera to get started with and record great quality content. It can also be used to record possible locations of a video shoot, interviews or testimonials.
Learn more on Amazon: