Category Archives: Tech

The Tap Makes Me Want To Dance

Late night/early morning blog posts may just be the best way to describe Brentandnaomi.com. This post was meant to be a Tech Tuesday but due to a scheduling conflict this will be going out after midnight making it actually Wednesday. So Santa blessed me and my family with a few new tech products for the holiday season and one of those is the Amazon Tap. This gift was looked at in wonder and amazement when it finally got unwrapped and then almost immediately with profound confusion when the family realized they had no idea how it worked.

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But What Does It Do?

First off the Amazon Tap is summed up best as a smart bluetooth speaker, that can do basic tasks such as streaming music from a site or from another device via bluetooth and advanced tasks such work with home automation devices. The Amazon Tap is a smaller device with the height being about the same as an Iphone 7 plus

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Same Height As An Iphone 7 Plus

and no bigger in total dimensions than a standard drink cup. This makes the device sleek and easier to travel around with.

Second, the Tap is a lot of things and that makes it useful to a large amount of people and thus an amazing tech invention and a device that receieved many different votes for top tech gift of 2016. When I say a lot of things that is exactly what is meant we have a bluetooth speak, 3.5 mm jack compatible, built in rechargable battery with an included charging craddle,

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Charging Cradle

 

9 hour battery life, Alexa smart assistant, wifi compatible, and capable of learning new activies through the Alexa app for IOS and Android.

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Now the first few features  that were mentioned were nothing new but truly had not been combined together with a smart assistant such as Alexa. With this particular Amazon Alexa product the tap requires the user to physically tap the microphone button on the device to get Alexa activated and ready for use.

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The Amazon Tap must physcially be tapped to awaken Alexa

Once the button is pressed Alexa is ready for a command such as “Alexa play Childish Gambino”, “Alexa play my cooking playlist”, “Alexa play ‘hit jams’ on Pandora, “Alexa whats the weather like?”, “Alexa whats my news briefing”, and many other request or commands. The Alexa even allows users to add more personalized request and commands that take this device to the next level such as “Alexa ask Uber to request a ride” “Alexa ask Dominio’s for my last order”, “Alexa order more paper towels”. These request would reqire additional accounts to continue these more complex operations but really make for a great experience once fully set up.

I had a hard decision to make when we got the device because the Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot were also available and have similar feature sets. The Echo is the biggest Alexa device and features an always on set up that allows you to just say Alexa and the device becomes active and waits on your command. The main reason that we did not go with this device is because it had to always be plugged in and for a family of 5 that idea just did not seem to make sense.

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Amazon Echo

The Amazon Dot  is the smallest Amazon Alexa device that also feautures always on technology but speaker did not sound good enough to fill a house and wasnt a truly portable device either.

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Amazon Dot

Now truthfully I have not set most of the Tap’s features up but will definitely follow up with a 90 day review with more in depth features of the device. The overall device works great so far and with this nice night stand I got for the bedroom makes for a nice additon for the bedroom.Let me know your thoughts!

Brent

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Amazon Tap can be purchased on amazon.com here and the nightstand can be purchased on amazon.com here
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4DX is Amazing!

Movies are a staple of date nights for Brent and Naomi, we each have a love for action, comedy, thrillers and a little horror. So while in LA we had no choice other than to see a 4DX movie at Regal theatres LA Live. Some information that may be important

Who is 4DX?

Korean company CJ 4DPLEX introduced 4D technology in 2009.

What is 4DX? (Straight from cj4dx.com)



Advancing the movie theater experience from watching the movie to almost living it, 4DX is the ultimate in state of the art technology delivering a fully immersive cinematic experience. Inside every dedicated 4DX auditorium, motion chairs and environmental effects such as wind, bubbles, and scent work in perfect synchronicity with the action on screen.

With only the best technologies, 4DX motion chairs are equipped with three base movements of heave (move up and down), roll (move left and right) and pitch (tilt backward and forward) which can create an endless expanse of possible combinations to mimic such actions as flying and driving. The skilled team of 4DX editors, “i-Studio”, are experts in maximizing the feeling of immersion within every movie without overstepping comfort bounds.

Movies are now no longer bound by their visual and aural limits. 4DX is the next step in the movie-going evolution taking audiences on a journey into the full feature film. Free yourself from the confines of the flat screen and live the experience with 4DX.

What is it like?

We saw two movies in 4DX while in LA. I do not like to give any spoiler or spoiler free reviews but just like to give my opinion on the tech and special effects used.

4d effects used were motion controlled seats, scent (grass and nature smells), wind, rain, lightning and all were synced very well to the on screen action and didn’t seem gimmicky. The 4dx experience for Blair Witch was so good that it turned this movie into something I wont soon forget.

4d effects used motion controlled seats, vibration of seats, and smoke. There was not as many effects in the movie compared to Blair Witch but yet still made for a good overall experience that enhancing an already fun movie!



Brent and Naomi had a great time and can’t wait to experience our next 4DX movie at one of the New York locations soon.

 

Brent

Apple, Some Rose Gold, And A Smile

So in a failed effort last week I could not obtain an iPhone 7+ from the AT&T because well none came. I was with a convoy of people who camped overnight and had the wonderful good morning gift of not only some colors being unavailable but the 7+ model not being in stock at all. So I left disappointed but not defeated knowing that during my California trip coming up the following week I might have a chance to find the phone I was looking for. Well that following week is here and I have found the iPhone that I wanted while staying in Glendale, CA.

we still had to wait almost 2 hours just to check out

Behold the beauty

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Thanks California for coming through for us east coast folks!

 

 

AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY!

Well ladies and gentlemen today is September 11th 2016 and is the 15th anniversary of the terrorists attacks on the United States. The lives lost and all those affected are in my prayers and thoughts  always but especially today! Let us never forget.

 

So the saying is an apple a day keeps the doctor away and since that saying clearly describes the relationship between Apple products and good health ill take that advice and hopefully live a long and healthy life!

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This week on friday the 16th at 8am the iphone 7, 7 plus, and Apple watch series 2 go on sale. Each of the new products has top 3 things to know about them and will have full reviews once I can pick mine up on friday morning.

iphone 7 4.7 inch screen  iphone 7 plus 5.5 inch screen

1. water resistannt

2. 256gb model available

3. 7 plus model has 2 cameras on back a wide-angle and telephoto camera lense and a upgraded front facing camera.

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Apple watch series 2

1. built in gps

2. powerful new dual core processor

3. more durable with greater water resistance (50M)

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Apple air pods

1. w1 chip for improved wireless and battery life

2. store and charge pods case

3. auto connection to any of your Apple devices straight out of the box

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Like I said this week will be big for apple fanatics, tech enthusicas, and lovers of innovation. I cannot wait to get my hands on these products and really see the difference!

Until Friday Brent is Signing off

 

Creative Tech Week Part 2

 

Foo Skou

Foo Skou

Foo Skou

The What and Who

Danish-born Louise Foo and Martha Skou are both musicians and visual artists who share a fascination with the study of sound vibrations. Using digital technology and analog techniques, they are currently exploring the potential of visual interfaces as a means for the audience to interact intuitively with sound. Their work Format No.1 consists of a black and white mural that creates a visual score, which visitors play using a custom iPhone app http://www.telfair.org/format/ .

During Creative Tech week in Brooklyn, Naomi and I, stumbled upon what looked like some sort of unique wall art. We took a couple of pictures near it and almost passed it by.

As I got closer to the wall, I realized that the circles and shapes are actually hanging from the wall and have instructions posted next to them. So as I walked up, Louise Foo, asked me do I want to hear the sounds? I am at Tech week so of course I wanted to see, touch, and hear all that was available.  I was handed an iphone and headphones and told to run the phone with over the various pieces and listen to the sounds it made. As I started doing this the sounds began to come alive with different types and ranges depending on the size and shape of the piece hanging from the wall. This was amazing seeing how this all came together in a sort of symphony of random sounds. It just shows how many various uses there are when digital technology and music have come together.

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What is the Purpose?

Both Foo and Skou are not only trained visual artists but also self-taught musicians. Part of the motivation for their explorations comes from a wish to approach music making from a visual perspective, in order to make experiences with sound intuitive, even to non-musicians http://fooskou.tumblr.com/ . This truly is a different take on music and how we experence it by giving the user the ability to make sounds and hear sounds in a more personal way than strictly just listening to it being played for you. This was summed up well by including and making the experience more intuitive even for non-musicians because the non-musician usually gets no ability to hear music on their own terms. The ability to allow a user to take the control of their environment and use it as a potential muscial tool has endless possibilites in the life of people worldwide. Cheers to doing something different, creative, amazing and cutting edge!

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Brent

Creative Tech Week Part 1

Good day people of the blog and social media world, this is Brent with a special tech post from a recent New York trip to go see Creative Tech Week. Now first of all what is Creative Tech week and what is its purpose?

 

Now that we have that information let me tell you that to a guy like me I was in heaven. All the technology, influence, and knowledge in one place was a mind blowing experience. I not only the ability to discuss new products and ideas with artists and designers but the chance to try on some of the best and newest VR tech. During my visit there was some applications of VR that really stood out to me Bella Gaia, Splash Pool, and Foo/skou.

Part 1 of 3: BELLA GAIA

What is Bella Gaia?

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As defined by othersBELLA GAIA is an unprecedented audiovisual experience that combines NASA satellite imagery of Earth, time lapse nature photography, and cultural heritage footage with stirring live performances of music and dance from around the world (www.bellagaia.com/about).

As defined by me– Bella GAIA is beautiful sight, sound and places in one culturally inclusive performance. I haven’t been moved like this in many years Continue reading Creative Tech Week Part 1

Just A Little Update

Good Day people, as some of our followers who have read our blog know I drive a 2011 Chevy Tahoe and have had some radio issues in the past. The original radio eventually died about 6 months ago and forced me to invest in a new system, the Pioneer App radio 4 or the SPH-DA 120.  This system has been great but had a couple of bugs that would occasionally happen Continue reading Just A Little Update

Hardcore Henry + D BOX =EPIC!

This weeks tech post comes via a late Thursday night/early Friday morning date night with the wife. I had been scoping out a new movie named Hardcore Henry that was released yesterday. I had high hopes for this film for a variety of reasons:

1. I love action movies

2. I love new and groundbreaking films

3. I love a new experience and truly got that with d-box seats!

First of without any type of spoilers
this movie is about a badly injured man who is reconstructed into a half robot/half man and spends the majority of the movie trying to find his kidnapped wife. The plot is pretty vague but leaves  a lot of room for the action and twists and turns to happen throughout. I love the use of cinematography (the art of making motion pictures) and amazing true first person film work. This film really is a testament to creativity and ingenuity in that it is the first film that made me feel like I was truly part of the production.

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Second part is how groundbreaking this type of film is with regards to the first person camera view. This could have been captured in a variety of ways but Continue reading Hardcore Henry + D BOX =EPIC!

Reality is What You Make It!

Hey its Brent with another Tech Tuesday post! I want to switch up my tech Tuesday post with a new series of posts once a month that will focus on products or technologies that are poised to explode this year. These include wearable tech, 3D printing, VR tech, and others. So check back throughout the year and take a tech ride with me (I know its corny but I couldn’t help myself). Continue reading Reality is What You Make It!