Upcoming North Vancouver District Library Workshops

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Christmas is a busy time of year and shopping for everyone in your family can be difficult. Tech products and gadgets are always high on someone’s list and Vancouver Gadgets has a lot of good suggestions for you this season.

Workshop DatesNDVPLregular

Thursday December 4th
Time: 7-8pm
Capilano Library
3045 Highland Blvd.
North Vancouver, BC

Some of the products we’ll be reviewing include the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus, Jabra Solemate and the Runtastic Orbit. We’ll take questions and give you some hot tips on last minute gift ideas.

GROW Conference brings innovation in technology and entrepreneurship to Whistler

Recon Jet

GROWIt’s well-known by now that BC is a tech hot bed and with its proximity to the West Coast of the US, things are only going to get better for Vancouverites and those involved in the tech scene elsewhere in the province.

Thus it’s no surprise that GROW, the conference that helps entrepreneurs build the next billion dollar company, started yesterday in Whistler and goes until Friday the 22nd.

Now in its fifth year GROW has shifted from Vancouver with the goal of making Whistler the most connected resort community in the world.

Yahoo, Misfit Wearables, Under Armour, Google Glass as well as Vancouver company’s such as Mojio and Recon Instruments will all be in attendance showcasing products and meeting with like-minded tech entrepreneurs.

Wearable tech and the Internet of Things are also forefront at GROW and should make for an interesting couple of days. With the Internet of Things, the goal is to make your home, your car, your appliances and possessions, and all the shops, restaurants, workplaces and schools you frequent digitally connected and more importantly digitally connected to you.

We’ll be meeting with some of Vancouver’s up and coming tech company’s and startups. Stay tuned for live coverage on our blog from the conference and on our Twitter Feed.

2015 CES to feature latest innovations in Sensor Technology

sports tech

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced this week that the Sensors Marketplace will showcase the latest innovations in gesture and motion technology at the 2015 International CES.sports tech

The Sensors Marketplace will showcase leading innovation in the motion technology field, including MEMS, the smallest motion-sensing devices. The area will highlight gesture and motion recognition technology, and applications in automotive, aerospace, medicine, robotics and more, that will show how sensors enhance the technology experience and the world around us. It will also give to the overall story of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem at the 2015 CES. The Sensors Marketplace will be located at CES Tech West within the Sands Expo, and sensor technology will also be highlighted across the 2015 CES show floor within various Marketplaces, including Fitness & Technology, Health & Wellness, Smart Home and Wearables.

“Sensors are playing an increasingly important role in consumer electronics, as shown by the growing number of products containing the technology – from smartphones and fitness trackers to clothing, toys and even cars,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “We’re excited to bring this experience to 2015 CES attendees, to showcase how integral  motion and gesture recognition technologies are as they give crucial real-time data and increased personalization that is improving the way we live, work and play.”

Sensor technology exhibits at the 2015 CES are expected to span 2,500 net square feet of space in the heart CES Tech West, which includes the Sands Expo (Sands), The Venetian, The Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn (Wynn/Encore). Major sensor and gesture recognition exhibitors include: Hillcrest Laboratories, InvenSense, Inc., MEMS Industry Group, SoftKinetic and Tobii Technology AB.
 
CES Tech West will also be home to other major destination areas including the newest innovations in lifestyle technologies, including sports, fitness and health tech, 3D printing, smart home, startups and other high-growth technologies.
 
The 2015 CES will feature more than 3,500 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies.

About CES

The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed. Follow CES online at www.CESweb.org.

2015 International CES will showcase sports tech innovations

Recon Jet

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently announced the launch of the Sports Tech Marketplace, a showcase of the latest in sports technology set to début at the 2015 International CES®. Owned and produced by CEA, the International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. The 2015 CES is scheduled to run January 6-9, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sports Tech Marketplace

Presented by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the Sports Tech Marketplace will highlight how technology is being incorporated into sports and how it is affecting the participant experience. The marketplace will feature the most recent products, services and trends in sports technology, placing a global spotlight on this fast-growing category. The Sports Tech Marketplace will be located within the Sands Expo at CES Tech West.

“Technology is being used more and more in sports, and the 2015 CES will be the ‘can’t miss’, best place to experience the wide range of these products and solutions,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “Sensors, wearables and mobile technologies are revolutionizing sports by providing real-time information that enables us to better meet our athletic goals. CES is at the forefront of this emerging class and we’re pleased to partner with SFIA to bring it to life.”

Recon Jet

“Technology has driven some of the greatest innovations in our industry,” said Tom Cove, president and CEO, SFIA. “We’re proud to partner with an organization like CEA to launch the Sports Tech Conference and Marketplace. We see technology revolutionizing the current sports landscape and we’re only at the tip of the iceberg. The combining of these two-storied associations to produce the conference and marketplace ensures that it will be of the highest quality. We hope Vegas and the tech industry is ready for the sports industry, because we’re ready for them.”

The Sports Tech Marketplace will be part of CES Tech West which includes the Sands Expo (Sands), The Venetian and Wynn/Encore exhibits. Tech West will also feature leading companies and the newest innovations in lifestyle technologies, including fitness and health tech, smart home, the Internet of Things, sensors, startups and other high-growth technologies changing the way we work, live and play.

The 2015 CES will feature more than 3,500 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies.

About CES

The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

About SFIA

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. More information can be found at www.sfia.org.

Hacked festival takes place in Vancouver August 11 – 14, 2014

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Vancouver, BC – Hacked: Festival announces the first round of programming for this inaugural event taking place August 11 – 14, 2014 at the historic Yaletown Roundhouse. Hacked is pleased to present a stellar line up of local, national and international talent in the world of technology and revolutionary thinking. It has organized a lineup comprised of award-winning talent, controversial characters, people with amazing new ideas and people that have already changed the world. It is a lineup not to be missed.

Hacked Festival programming for Tuesday August 12 and Wednesday August 13th will include:

  • Ryan Bethencourt, Sr. Director (Life Sciences) Prize creation at X Prize Foundation and Co-Founder at Berkeley Biolabs (San Francisco)
  • Renee Black, Executive Director at Peace Geeks (Vancouver)
  • Eric Hersman, Founder BRCK, Ushahidi Project (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Tim Pool, Hacker Journalist, VICE Magazine, Creator of Tagg.ly (New York)
  • Shaharris Beh, co-founder of HackerNest Tech Socials (Toronto & Kuala Lampur)
  • Amal Graafstra, founder Dangerous Things (Seattle)
  • Aaron Hilton, CTO at Conquer Mobile (Vancouver)
  • Kharis O’Connell, Experience Design Director at Global Mechanic, Founder Cyborg Camp (Vancouver)
  • Jay Giraud, Co-Founder and CEO, MOJIO (Vancouver)
  • Nik Badminton, Founder From Now Conference, Principal at DesignCultureMind (Vancouver)
  • David Vogt, Urban Opus (Vancouver)
  • Michael Bidu, Founder at Sanotron, Executive Producer at Interface 2014 (Vancouver)

“Hacked is the festival I always wanted but didn’t know we could have. It’s an ongoing honour to work with such talented inventors in putting together this celebration of human ingenuity.” says Yaniv Talmor, Festival Producer.

“Hacked Festival dares all participants to not settle for status quo. We curated programming that recognizes there is a global movement in motion to profoundly change the world, make it better, healthier, safer and more connected. This is as much about giving people information through raising literacy in science and technology as is about celebrating our greatest potentials as a species of creators. ” says producer/curator, Cameron Kuc. “We are creating programming that is focused on story-telling in short format. We recognized other conference formats were either to long or not catering to the entire audience by being either too general and not specific enough for experts or being too inclusive by offering talks only on the highest levels. We chose a short format for our presentations, most talks are just fifteen minutes, and we are delivering the most inclusive and high-level information through workshops, which in most cases attendees can participate in for the cost of General Admission which is $20/day CAD.” continues Cameron.

The second round of programming to be released by on July 8, 2014.

Tickets are on sale for Hacked: Festival via the Hacked: Festival website at hackedfestival.com

About Hacked Festival
Hacked is an experimental festival celebrating disruptive innovation, exploration and art taking place in Vancouver this summer. It will feature hacker led programming with talks, music, games, hands-on workshops, exhibits and market, popup hackspaces, parties, films and opportunities for artistic expression.

Contact:

To learn more about Hacked: Festival, please contact
Anne-Marie Enns, Festival Producer
Office: (604) 313-3831
anne-marie@hackedfestival.com

Social Media for Businesses Workshop June 24th at Lynn Valley Library in North Vancouver

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Vancouver Gadgets Founder Ben Abel

It’s 2014 and you still aren’t using social media for your business? Why use it? It’s pretty simple! Make money, connect with your customers and promote yourself.

The next workshop is at the Lynn Valley Library today. The workshop runs from 7:00 to 8:30pm. It is free but registration is required. To register or more information call 604-984-0286, ext. 8144.

Ben Abel founder of Vancouver Gadgets discusses tips and tricks on how to use social media to take that next step in your business.

Social Media for Businesses Workshop

Ben will look at platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as the role that websites and social media marketing play in developing successful social media and online strategies. This should help you gain you new customers and new business as well as help you connect with your current ones.

Check out vancouvergadgets.ca for other technology tips.

WWDC kicks off with some major announcements from Apple

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wwdcApple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) kicked off today in San Francisco. Highlights include Apple’s Mac operating system getting a new design while new features in the software for iPhones and iPads include one for keeping tabs on your health.

Apple executive Craig Federighi pointed out that data from various fitness-related devices now live in silos, so you can’t get a comprehensive picture of your health. That will change, he says, with HealthKit coming to the new mobile software, iOS 8. Apple is also working with the Mayo Clinic to make sure your weight, calorie intake and other health metrics are within healthy ranges.

Apple is also making it easier for various devices to work together. You can share songs, movies and books you purchase with your entire family. Macs and mobile gadgets will share more features, and you can share and sync files between the two more easily.

Changes to the Mac operating system, OS X

  • The next Mac operating system will be named Yosemite, after the national park.
  • Yosemite will have a translucent design. The notification centre will use that design, for instance, to give you an advance look at your calendar, weather and other information.
  • You’ll be able to search for content on the computer and on the internet at once, similar to a feature that came with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 system.
  • Apple is expanding its iCloud storage service so that you can store and sync files of any type, not just the ones designed specifically for iCloud. It’s similar to how services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive let you work with the same files on multiple devices more easily.
  • A Mail Drop feature will make it easier to send large files. Instead of pushing the entire file by email and overloading mail servers, the Mac will create a link that the recipient can click for the full file.
  • The Mac’s Safari web browser will have more privacy controls and ways to share links more easily.
  • The free Mac update will be out this fall. A version is available for developers Monday. This summer, Apple will also make a test version available to selected customers who aren’t developers.

Changes for iPhones, iPads

  • Like the new Mac OS, the iOS 8 system will have a universal search tool to cover both files on your device and content on the internet. It will also get the iCloud Drive service.
  • A “quick type” feature promises predictive typing suggestions. For example, if you start typing, “Do you want to go to,” the phone will suggest “dinner” or “movie” as the next word. Currently, the suggestions are limited to spelling corrections.
  • A “do not disturb” feature will make it easier to stop notifications on a conversation with just a swipe, while a “tap to talk” feature records and sends audio messages to a recipient so you don’t have to type.
  • IOS 8 will have a built-in health-management tool to help people track their vital signs, diet and sleeping habits. Apple’s chief rival, Samsung Electronics Co., incorporated fitness-related features in its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5.
  • Apple announced new technology for controlling garage doors, thermostats and other home systems, although the company didn’t say how all the pieces will be linked together through what it calls HomeKit.
  • The new software will likely come with new devices for the holiday season, with free updates available for recent models.
  • Apple will also let app developers sell bundles at discounted prices.
  • The fingerprint security system on the iPhone 5s will be accessible to apps written by outside parties. Previously, it was limited to Apple functions, such as unlocking the phone and verifying iTunes purchases.

Working together

  • Although the Mac and iOS systems are separate, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the two have been engineered to work seamlessly together.
  • Apple’s AirDrop feature, which has let you share files with other devices of the same type, will now let iPhones and Macs share directly with each other.
  • A new “handoff” feature will let you switch devices more easily, so you can start writing an email on a phone and finish on a Mac. And when a call comes in on your iPhone, you can get caller ID information on your Mac.
  • The iMessage chat service will now let you communicate with devices that aren’t running iOS, such as those running the rival Android system from Google.

Original article

CanSecWest hacking conference lands in Vancouver

CanSecWest

CanSecWest is in Vancouver this week at the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel and is a gathering of security tech professionals. CanSecWestPeople can come from anywhere in Canada and across the globe to learn and share information and experiences on applied digital security.

Security professionals who attend CanSecWest work in government, the private sector or as independent contractors. They often find flaws in apps they or others develop and come to CanSecWest to look at ways to protect them from being hacked.

While I am not a developer I found both the subject and premise of the conference interesting. One would think that this is a conference that teaches people how to hack. A little digging reveals something else entirely.

“CanSecWest is really about anything says Saurabh Harit, Director of Security Research and Senior Security Consultant for Security Compass. It’s not just mobile security. Being curious about how something works and try to make it work in an undesired way can be both fun and interesting. Hacking doesn’t have to be bad all the time either.”

Android/iOS Hacking and Securing Workshop

Harit’s workshop, Android/iOS Hacking and Securing, helps students discover mobile hacking techniques for Android and iOS. It also helps them understand mobile app security including what hackers look for in mobile apps. Hacking apps themselves will equip them with the skills required to protect their own apps from attacks.

“At Security Compass, we care about iOS and Android security. There are many things offered to protect your applications from security risks. Those include application permission, physical security and encryption” notes Harit.

Android and iOS both support encryption but the model used by iOS is more robust.

“Android encryption happens at the software level says Harit and does not encrypt your devices SD Card. We don’t recommend saving information on SD Card as a result.  iOS does so at the hardware level right on the chip. This makes it faster to encrypt and protect.”

Harit was the only workshop leader I spoke to so I urge you to check out the CanSecWest website and its Dojo section. The wide range of topics on security is very interesting. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for next year’s conference!

Meet us for a Coffee

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Having just wrapped up a successful Small Media for Businesses Workshop we are branching out again to meetusforcoffeelargeoffer number of communications services to small business owners.

Meet us for a coffee and chat about your social media marketing needs, marketing/branding ideas or writing and blogging services at no cost to you.

We will also be delivering more workshops in North Vancouver in the spring. If you want something specifically tailored for your business get in touch via our email address at info@vancouvergadgets.ca or head over to our Contact page.

Vancouver Gadgets visits the Experience Headphones flagship store

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Experience Headphones recently opened in Vancouver and I visited the store on Dec 7th, 2013 and liked what I found. While I play and listen to a lot of music I’m no audiophile or expert on headphones. I simple use and buy cheap headphones, partly because my cat destroys whatever pair he gets his paws on and because I just haven’t put enough thought into what a great pair of headphones should sound like.

Experience Headphones hopes to set a new standard in Vancouver with their flagship store so that Vancouverites will  adopt the trend of good sound that also makes a great accessory. Experience Headphones has over 100 different styles of on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear headphones from premium lines, such as Marshall, URBANEARS, and WESC. They are also hoping to target the female market which offers a lot of potential because it’s untapped. Women want headphones that go with their clothing and their style and give great sound as well. Womens headphone lines include Molami and Frends.

Experience Headphones
Eric Morin COO and Dean Horsfield CEO of Experience Headphones

I wasn’t aware that headphones are split into several different categories including the premium market. Headphones at $100 dollars and above make up that market. The premium market is also fast becoming the place to  be as a I found out from Dean Horsfield CEO of Experience Headphones and Eric Morin COO.

“When Dr. Dre’s Beats brand of headphones came out in 2009, that really got the ball rolling for the premium market says Horsfield. The market went from one to three billion in just four years. We’ve got a handle on some great brands that should really help distinguish us in Vancouver, B.C. and beyond.”

Headphones are also categorized as being on-ear, in-ear, and over-ear which sounds obvious but is important to understand when buying the best pair that suit you. This article on Mashable provides some great info on what to look for. Horsfield says that on ear give the best dollar value and offer great sound as well.

Marshall Headphones

My first interest was in the Marshall brand of headphones, so aptly branded by Marshall amplification, the company that has made guitar amplifiers for over 50 years. Marshall has a couple of unique products to offer including the Major, Minor and Monitor headphones. I used a black pair of Marshall Major and was very impressed by the sound quality. They retail at $129.99 at Experience. Check out a video of the Marshall Monitor headphones below.

LSTN

I also tried the LSTN headphones which are unique in themselves because of the reclaimed wood used to manufacture them. They come from California. No pair will ever look exactly the same because of the way they are manufactured. The LSTN Troubadors are made from beechwood and retail at $159.99.

I plan to explore the premium headphone market more in the coming months because it’s a class I’m growing more and more interested in. Next up on the list is the Headphone Bar at Cambie and Broadway.

Vancouver Gadgets on The Bill Good Show

CKNW 980 Bill Good Show
CKNW 980 Bill Good Show
CKNW 980 Bill Good Show

UPDATE: Listen to the CKNW broadcast here.

Ben Abel of Vancouver Gadgets will be on The Bill Good Show on CKNW 980. Please tune in to hear Ben talk about a number of great gadgets we’ve reviewed over the course of 2013.

Tech and Gadgets will include the iPad Mini 2/iPad Air, Apple TV and iPhone 5s/5C from Apple, Samsung’s  Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S4, Blackberry’s Z30, Q5, Q10, and z10 as well as products such as Roam Mobility’s SIM Card, the Ballistic iPhone Case, Belkin iPad Case, Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, Sonos Play Bar, Net Talk Duo Wifi, Dell XPS 10, and the Jabra Solemate.

You can also listen to the Black Friday podcast that we did that we did last Thursday for information on these products as well. It is called Week Fifteen 131128.