Canadian company Neurio, based in Vancouver, BC, has just announced an innovative, easy-to-use and money-saving smart home technology, that can, in minutes, make any ordinary home “smart.” Neurio is an intelligent, open platform that with just a single sensor brings smart home capabilities to the entire home, with future versions providing intelligence for all existing appliances. As the brain of the home, Neurio connects both older appliances and newer smart devices to allow users to easily track, monitor and better understand how their home is operating, such as letting the user know when their kids come home, or if they forgot to turn something off before leaving for the day. Neurio makes it simple, affordable and practical to bring smart home technology, and its benefits, to the masses. Successfully funded via a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, Neurio is now shipping to backers and is currently available for pre-order at www.neur.io. The Neurio Sensor costs $249 and users have the potential to save money quickly by recognizing energy use patterns and habits. The Neurio platform, which features a single sensor attached to a home’s circuit box, allows for home intelligence and monitoring right out of the box. For complete details and a video, check out our sister site www.canadahifi.com.
There’s certainly no shortage of audio equipment out there for you to choose from these days. However, unless you’re savvy when setting your system up, you’ll struggle to achieve the sound quality you’re after. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help you get the very most from your speakers.
Today, home security is much more than mortise locks and basic burglar alarms. There are now a plethora of hi-tech products available to help you fend off intruders. Here are some innovative security solutions that are likely to prove popular in 2015.
If you’re like most of us, you eat out more than you should. Is it because you can’t cook? No. It’s mostly just a general laziness. Who has time to stand over the stove stirring pasta for ten minutes when there is an Xbox to be played or blog posts to write? Stirio is a nifty invention that takes the busy work out of cooking. Its smart blade adjusts to any size pot, excluding the giant soup pots restaurants use. The rechargeable motor holds enough charge to stir continuously for an hour and this new model of Stirio is extremely quiet. Now if only there was a robot that did the rest of the cooking too. $62 unikia.com
Your man cave might be the only place in your home that you can truly put your own stamp on. With this in mind, there’s no point in settling for half measures when you’re kitting the space out. Whether your haven of relaxation and fun is a converted garage, attic, basement or simply a lounge, the following accessories will help ensure it looks and feels the part.
It may seem a little strange to drink iced coffee when there’s snow on the ground, but fun fact; drinking a cold beverage actually helps you adapt to the frigid air. Coil is a new Kickstarter product that will turn your piping hot coffee ice cold in under five minutes. The great thing about Coil is it doesn’t ruin your coffee by watering it down with ice. Instead the coffee travels through copper coil which is surrounded by ice, insulated by the ceramic shell. A nifty little device to be sure and a solid alternative to shelling out a couple bucks a day at the local coffee shop (coffee maker not included). $199. kickstarter.com
Like the idea of gazing up at the stars with that special someone, but didn’t care enough to learn which stars go where? In your defense, there are a lot of stars out there. The NexStar Evolution Telescope gets rid of the guess work by automatically adjusting to the correct constellation when you select it on the app. At just ten inches in length, it may seem too small to have your lady seeing stars, but trust us ten inches is more than a lot of us have to work with…when it comes to telescopes. It has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that powers the computerized GoTo Mount and it can also charge your smart device. Make sure that one of you is really into astronomy (or at the very least astrology) because you’ll be dropping $1,600. celestron.com
Ever wanted telekinetic powers like Jean Grey? Well, science happened and now this is an achievable dream. Muse is a brain sensing headband developed by InteraXon that translates your thoughts into actions. The device reads five different bands of brainwaves and sends this information to your tablet, smartphone, etc. and can be used in many ways. Early development showed how the user can manipulate objects in a virtual world (games), but Muse can theoretically be programmed to control any machine o_O. As terrifying as it is to imagine someone hooking Muse up to four of those Festo Bionic Arms and going Dr. Octopus on all of our asses; this is an extremely important step for those with mobility issues, especially quadriplegics. There is also a spiritual benefit for using Muse. Using the Zen program, Muse will help you with concentration while meditating. The best part is InteraXon has also built a mind controlled beer tap. What can we say? They know what we want. $299. choosemuse.com
It’s kind of scary how little we know about the foods we put in our bodies; especially with prepared meals. We just have to trust that there’s no rat urine even though the FCC uses the term “acceptable amount of rat excrement”. Seems like it should be more of a pass fail kind of thing, but that’s why this is a genius invention. Tellspec beams light on your food then measure the reflected light to determine the chemical make-up of what you’re about to ingest. In three seconds, the device will then send the results to your phone or computer. The app not only tells you what chemicals are in the food, it also gives in depth descriptions of each chemical and can track your diet and by inputting how you feel, can identify food sensitivities. Price is still TBD, but based on TellSpec’s Indiegogo campaign, the scanner will sell at around $300. tellspec.com
While it’s still tough to say what determines sentience, we’re pretty sure J.A.E.S.A. from AInova Robotics is as close as anyone’s gotten so far. After all, can you really prove that you’re sentient and not just a meat computer? J.A.E.S.A. can hold a conversation on seemingly any topic, but more importantly it (she?) can think independently with emotions and memories that will allow it to actually come up with solutions to abstract problems. She can turn any e-book into an audio book and will also do characters in different voices, which is a nice touch. Compatible with iOS, Android and PC, J.A.E.S.A. can manage apps through voice commands and control everything in your home with the addition of Ainova’s “Smart House”. The AI is still in the beta stages with a December release planned, and if we read the FAQ right; J.A.E.S.A. will only cost $2. ainovajaesa.com
If there’s one good thing that came from Soviet Russia, it’s this little gadget (and a competition between nations that spurred man to land on the moon). This nifty piece of espionage gear was first used by the KGB to hide microfilm and top secret messages during the cold war. Having enlarged the size to a ¾ inch bolt you can now stash your cash, a micro SD card or of course drugs and none will be the wiser. The threads are reversed so if you tried to use it as a normal bolt, the top would just come off, so it’s more of a, “hide it among all your normal bolts and screws” kind of thing. The seal is airtight and weather proof, but not water proof. It’ll keep dust and moisture from destroying your stash; just don’t drop it in the pool. $24. spyville.com
Well, you have your grill picked out, but it just isn’t a summer cookout without tunes playing in the background. No not you, guy who brought his acoustic guitar; we need a good sound system to play our Willenium CD. I don’t care if you can play every song on the album. When picking out speakers for the outdoors it’s important to keep in mind that sound travels differently in open spaces than it does indoors. You’ll want to up the bass and coordinate your speaker location carefully. Depending on how you want to set up your speakers, you may want something wireless and easily moveable or fixed speakers that you’ll need to lay wire for the best possible sound quality. There’s a great article by our friends at CANADA HiFi that we definitely recommend taking a look at before making a purchase. Especially, if you aren’t sure how to go about installing them. Below however, you will find Guydster’s recommendations on a few different outdoor speakers that we think should be on your short list, if you’re looking for good quality sound.
Do you find making it rain on them hoes to be a tedious and time consuming endeavor? Do you dream of a day where you can efficiently dole out dollar bills like a baller, while also keeping a hand free for your drink or dat ass (provided the strip club allows contact). The Cash Cannon fires stacks of dollar bills at the pull of the trigger. It may be the perfect bachelor party present, just make sure you don’t become the guy that’s always whipping your cannon out in the strip club. There are some other uses listed on the website, such as: shooting playing cards, shooting flyers or any other money like object. Don’t know if it can shoot rocks, but maybe fine gravel if anything. $60. thecashcannon.com
The Aëdle VK-1 Valkyrie may just be the sexiest pair of headphones out there, offering elegance and style like no other. Sculpted out of a virgin aluminum ingot using CNC machinery handsewn with genuine lambskin leather, the VK-1 is engineered and handmade in France. But its gorgeous looks are only a part of the appeal. The VK-1 offers state of the art audio engineering with custom developed Aëdle titanium-neodymium high-performance transducers at its core. The VK-1 will play your music with enviable liquidity and realism, while their luxuriously soft earcups will pamper your ears. We invite you to read a full review of the VK-1 over at the CANADA HiFi magazine. $499. www.aedle.net
Are you a guy that likes to golf on vacation, but hates having to lug your clunky golf bag through a crowded airport and then having to trust airport employees not to “lose” your s#!t? The DV8 Golf Set is an ingenious solution to all of the transportation issues that arise from those big clunky golf bags. By having just one shaft and interchanging the club heads, DV8 manages to fit a full set of clubs into a bag the size of a backpack. The club heads can be swapped out in three seconds but don’t worry, they won’t be flying off into the water hazard. The bag also has an iPad holder allowing you to watch tutorials on the course, or take a closer look at your own swing. The Kickstarter campaign has several different packages available, but we recommend getting the DV8 Bag with six clubs for $440. Included is a driver, a hybrid 5, 7 iron, 9 iron, sand wedge and putter. Or you can get the “Full Monty Package” that comes with fourteen clubs for $1,070. kickstarter.com
There’s nothing like an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. Although you don’t really want it “ice cold” because then your beer would be frozen, until now. Kirin Ichiban’s Beer Slushie Maker is pretty self explanatory; you pour beer in and it comes out like a soft serve, frozen froth. The beer slush keeps your beer at the perfect temperature. We of course have surmised that this product can assist you in discretely drinking in public. As the frozen foam comes out white you can add food coloring or snow cone syrup and no one will be the wiser (except for my boss after he reads this blog post). The device runs on four C batteries, so it’s portable; you just have to buy a lot of C batteries. Not a bad price at $69 dollars, but shipping from Japan will be an additional $47. japantrendshop.com
We know there are practical uses for the Ding Dong Breaching Tool, but we can’t help picturing it used against a horde of zombies (and also that guy who cut me off this morning). The Breaching Tool from Gerber Gear is designed to break through doors and anything else. It is half sledge hammer, half pry bar…half pig battering ram. Just over two feet long, Ding Dong weighs just twelve pounds and comes with a mount plate which you can attach to MOLLE Gear. This thing is so awesome; you actually need credentials to purchase it. So you may want to consider enlisting (Yvan Eht Nioj). $TBA. gerbergear.com
There’s no better way to celebrate the World Cup than to actually get better at Football (Soccer). Yes practice makes perfect, but practice with a high tech ball that can tell you exactly where and how to kick, will help you reach perfect more quickly. The miCoach Smart Ball works with an iOS app that gauges how hard you kicked, how accurate you are, the ball’s trajectory and how far it travels. You can also watch tutorials on the app that will teach you advanced techniques like bending it in the style of Beckham or knuckle balls. A charging dock is included and while you may be worried all that fancy tech will weigh the ball down, this Adidas ball still weighs and feels the same as a regulation size five ball. Unfortunately for Android owners, this is an Apple exclusive. Maybe Nike can make a ball for the rest of us to play with. $299. store.apple.com
With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) only a week away, we thought we’d share some love for an old childhood friend. Most of the gamers out there probably made the choice between Xbox ONE and PS4 last fall, while no one really paid much attention (or money) to the WiiU. Well, you may want to consider picking one up this month as, thanks to the Mario Kart 8 bundle, the price is right. First off Mario Kart 8 came out last week and it is as fun as its seven predecessors, which is extremely. This time around you can play as the Koopalings from Super Mario 3 and there are some anti-gravity/ hang-gliding mechanics thrown into the fold. As for the WiiU itself, Nintendo finally made the jump to 1080p; and it looks great. Maybe not be on par with the PS4, but considering the cartoonish nature of most Nintendo titles; it’s good enough. The WiiU’s controller gimmick is now a portable gamepad that you can use to play without the use of a TV. Plus all those old Wii remotes are still compatible. The bundle includes the 32Gb WiiU console, a gamepad controller, a Wiimote controller, Mario Kart and a steering wheel peripheral. And for the month of June if you purchase the game, you get a choice of four free downloadable games. Not bad Nintendo, not bad. $330. nintendo.com
With energy prices on a constant incline, it’s always good to find ways to cut back on your usage. For instance, that mini fridge in the garage you keep your beer in is just chugging juice. eCool is an electricity free cooler that uses the Earth to keep your beer cold. There is some labor involved as you will have to dig a four foot hole to install the thing, which also means don’t buy this if you live in an apartment. You may not get the Rocky Mountains appearing on your can, but you’d be surprised how cold the Earth can get. Think of a day at the beach and burying your feet in the sand. The deeper you burrow the cooler the sand feels; now imagine how cold it is four feet down. The device is compatible with regular cans and cycles them down and around via hand crank. The walls are insulated to trap the cold, but not let your beer freeze; so no need to move you stash inside for the winter. Plus, with it being good for the environment gives you free rein to condescend your friends for not being as environmentally conscious (after a couple brews of course). $349. ecool.dk