Gadget Guide

Published Online: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Roku Streaming Stick

Manufactured by: Roku, Inc
Roku’s Streaming Stick plugs into a television’s HDMI port, enabling users to stream Internet-based television and movies, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO Go, and Amazon Instant. Streaming Sticks transmit HDMI video and audio while streaming media over traditional wireless connections. The device charges through a USB power cable and wall adapter, and the package includes a remote with channel shortcut buttons. iOS and Android apps make it possible to use a mobile device in place of the remote control.
Price: $49. Some channels available may require an additional subscription fee.
For more information: http://www.roku.com/






Samsung Galaxy S5
Manufactured by: Samsung, Inc
Samsung’s latest offering from its Galaxy line of smartphones features an advanced camera, fast network connectivity, fitness tools, and is dust and water resistant. It includes a 16-megapixel camera with a user interface that allows users to edit and share photos easily. It supports LTE Category 4 standards and WiFi, with the capability to bond WiFi and LTE simultaneously for faster downloads. Its onboard personal fitness tracker allows users to monitor their behavior with tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a built-in heart rate monitor. It uses Google’s Android operating system.
Price: Price may vary based on carrier and plan.
For more information: http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys5/




Bee+
Manufactured by: Vigilant Inc
Vigilant Inc introduces Bee+, a smart insulin injection-tracking cap that uses Bluetooth technology to record insulin injections. The cap attaches to most commercially available insulin pens and wirelessly transmits data to a logbook on an accompanying mobile app. The mobile app works on both Apple and Android smartphones. Data within the app stored in the logbook can be accessed for personal records, as well as shared with health care providers, caregivers, and family members.
Price: $88
For more information: http://www.vigilant.ch/en/




HTC One (M8)
Manufactured by: HTC
HTC’s much-anticipated update to its HTC One flagship phone features an HD display, a Smart Sensor Hub, and Motion Launch controls that allow users to interact with the phone without unlocking the screen. It runs Android KitKat and includes an upgrade to HTC’s new Sense 6 software platform, although users who prefer the stock Android experience will be able to purchase that from Google Play. Its camera is outfitted with HTC’s UltraPixel module and a dual flash, and is capable of recording 1080p HD video.
Price: Price may vary based on carrier and plan.
For more information: http://www.htc.com/us/

Where is Wearable Tech?
Although wearable tech is taking the gadget world by storm, widespread adoption of the devices has yet to occur. The awareness of wearable tech is clearly there: a Nielsen report from March 20, 2014, revealed that 70% of consumers know about the devices, and nearly half of those surveyed intend to purchase the devices in the future. Most current wearable tech owners are between 18 and 34 years of age and tend to favor fitness bands, smartwatches, and mHealth devices, the report revealed.

Wearable products also made their mark at 2 of the technology industry’s premier trade events: the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress. Both events included wearable offerings from several manufacturers with varying degrees of practicality for the devices, coverage from the events noted.

Despite the interest, cost is a major factor for most wearable wannabes. Of participants in Nielsen’s survey, 72% wished the technology were less expensive.

Aesthetics presents another hurdle for the devices, according to Nielsen. Sixty-two percent of users would prefer wearables that weren’t watches or wristbands, and 53% would prefer wearable tech that looked more like jewelry. Meanwhile, Forbes’ NetAppVoice blog notes that wardrobe accessories have seen a decline in popularity among men in recent years. Available designs, while appealing to a male market, may miss the female market—even though women could be more likely to buy the items, as women’s fashion tends to embrace the use of accessories, the blog notes.

Scott Stein, a senior editor at CNET and a technology writer, argues that wearable tech’s adoption depends on releases from Google and Apple. Both companies are expected to release wearable tech items in the near future, with Google’s penchant for producing desirable products supported by its background in software and services helping drive appeal, and Apple capitalizing on the everyday utility and clean design features the brand is revered for, Stein writes in a February 26, 2014 post.

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