Gone are the days where you have to have a nice, expensive camera to take some awesome photos. These days, all you need is your iPhone. With the right iPhone accessory, you can apply filters, switch lenses, shoot 360-degree videos, and prop your iPhone up with an awesome tripod. You no longer have to accept bad cameras just because they’re a part of your phone. Here are six insanely innovative tools that will transform your iPhone photography:
SLR Mount – There are countless apps that allow you to take DSLR-esque pictures right from your iPhone, but it’s not really the same, is it? No matter how many apps you use, each picture seems to be lacking a little something. Well, now your iPhone photos don’t have to. This case-adapter combo allows you to “mount your Canon EOS or Nikon SLR lenses to your iPhone…giving your phone powerful depth of field and manual focus.” For $249, you can give your iPhone pictures the power and clarity they deserve without having to buy a whole new camera.
Rangefinder – Do you like the look of a classic camera, but you prefer using your iPhone to take pictures? The iPhone Rangefinder comes complete with “a shutter button, viewfinder, aperture numbers, two loops for a camera strap, and a tripod mount!” What’s unique about this product is that isn’t all just for looks—although, it has that, too—it’s also about utility. You can actually use the viewfinder and the shutter button, not to mention all the lenses you can use, so you can capture the perfect picture every time. If you’re looking for just the Rangefinder case, it will only cost you about $65. If you want the case and all the awesome magnetic lenses, you’re looking to spend just under $100.
Panorama Lens – For just $79, you’ll have the ability to shoot a panoramic, 360-degree video. While this is pretty exciting already, it gets even better. The captured video is completely interactive. This means “you can pan your finger over your phone’s screen to see all that was captured with the lens’ 360-degree eye.” It doesn’t get cooler than that.
Card Readers for iPads
CF and SD Card Readers – If you have a DSLR and want to view your images on your iPad without a mess or a fuss, a CF or SD card reader may do the trick. There are no cables involved, just the little card. This is perfect for both professionals and those who take pictures as a hobby. These card readers range in price from $15 to $30. It’s compatible with either the iPad 1 or 2 and it’s extremely easy to use.
Jelly Camera Phone Filters – Have you ever felt that your iPhone pictures need a little something extra, a little flair? The Jelly Camera phone filters lets you customize your photos’ effects. Each of these little phone filters attaches to a key ring and are completely reusable. Just snap your chosen filter on, and that’s it! You can choose between the kaleidoscope, starbursts, or wide angle filters, and the pack of three is only $15.
Lens Dial – The Lens Dial costs $249 and comes with three adjustable lenses. All you have to do is spin the dial to access the tree lenses—telephoto, wide angle, and fisheye. It also comes with two tripod mounts, so you can choose between portrait or landscape shots. “The Lens Dial: like a new pair of spectacles for your iPhone!”
These iPhone tools will erase everything you thought about the quality and ability of camera phones. Each of these tools can be used by the professional and the casual photo-taker alike, making for fantastically unique photos every time. Photo-taking tools are becoming increasingly affordable for the masses, and the six above are no exception. Who needs a professional-grade camera when you have your iPhone?
Google Glass didn’t succeed, but Apple’s AR glasses might
(TECH GADGETS) Apple Glass: Are AR glasses gimmicky, or can Apple improve where Google failed? The potential is enormous, but can Apple meet the expectations?
Apple may announce a new addition to the iFamily this year: Apple Glass, a set of AR glasses to complement existing Apple products. Even though we’ve seen this story before, here’s why Apple’s rumored eyewear might deserve your attention–if not your money.
This certainly isn’t the first time a technology company has taken their brand name and slotted the word “Glass” after it to create hype. In 2015, Google Glass was discontinued–quite publicly, in fact–due to a variety of issues, chief among which were privacy concerns, and an untenable price tag of around $1500. Lacking a clear market and suitable demand, the shades were put to rest, though it should be noted that a rebranded version is available now (for $999).
Apple is a company that has, in the past, showed a propensity for iteration rather than innovation; the Apple Watch, while a stylish and functional improvement on existing wearable technology, wasn’t even close to the first of its kin, and early versions of the iPad were scrutinized against similarly sized, lower-priced counterparts. This isn’t to say that Apple doesn’t do tech better–just that they are, often enough, pretty late to the party.
In the case of AR glasses, this is a habit that may suit Apple well.
Put bluntly, there isn’t a clearly established need for smart glasses, and while critics of the Apple Watch were quick to say the same thing about that implement, anyone who has worn one for a few hours can recognize (if not fully appreciate) the handiness–no pun intended. It seems fair to afford Apple some grace with this in mind, but the fact remains that the demand for a set of AR glasses simply isn’t there for now.
On the other hand (again, no pun intended), Apple is the master of creating demand and hype where previously there was naught but slumber. For this reason, it behooves us to keep an eye on Apple’s unveiled tech this year–if for no other reason than to know for sure how the company plans to address the sticky issue of AR wearables.
After all, there are numerous medical, exploratory, and generally functional applications for which one could feasibly use AR in a beneficial (not gimmicky) manner, and if Apple is able to expedite that process, far be it from us to criticize. Yet.
The Apple Watch isn’t just a way to ignore calls, it could save your life
(TECH GADGETS) A lot of people balked at the idea of an Apple Watch, and even though many of its features seem superfluous, it has actually saved lives.
Apple products are known for invasive yet convenient features–Face ID, Keychain, and AirDrop being some of the more notable ones–but the Apple Watch emergency dial feature might be the most useful one of them all.
If you’ve had the pleasure of setting up an Apple Watch from scratch, you know that the Healthcare app asks some invasive questions. This app, among other things, is responsible for curating a list of emergency contacts (something you can also populate via the Contacts app on your iPhone)–and this list might save your life if you take an unexpected tumble, at least if you have a Series 4 or 5 watch.
The way the feature works is relatively simple: If the watch senses that a user has rapidly or heavily fallen, it will initiate a haptic pulse along with a message asking the user to confirm that they are okay. Should the user fail to address this notification, the watch will call emergency services–and the user’s emergency contact list–with details including the user’s GPS coordinates.
The fall detection feature has reportedly worked for a few Apple Watch owners, one of whom passed out and didn’t wake up until emergency services arrived.
It is worth noting that the Apple Watch has another potentially life-saving feature: an ECG attached to the Heart Rate app. In theory, the Heart Rate app can detect abnormalities in one’s heartbeat and warn the user of an impending issue such as a stroke or a heart attack. Anyone who owns an Apple Watch knows that the Heart Rate app can be finicky, but Apple seems likely to continue tweaking this app as the watch ages.
While several owners have publicly attested to the effectiveness of these features, this shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of the Apple Watch’s ability to save a life. An Apple Watch is still, first and foremost, a novelty–one that won’t always perform the way it’s meant to.
Future iterations of the watch–starting with the Series 6–are expected to expand on these medical features by adding monitoring for blood oxygen levels as well as improvements on existing features.
Samsung shines a new light on indoor health with artificial sunlight
(TECH GADGETS) Samsung’s C-Lab venture creates windows that simulate natural sunlight, so now you can stay healthy while being stuck inside!
The light therapy market just leveled up. C-Lab Inside, an in-house idea incubation program to develop innovative ideas from Samsung employees, unveiled a window-shaped artificial sunlight device called the SunnyFive window. According the Samsung Newsroom, it enables the user to enjoy sunlight that changes by the hour by copying the full spectrum of the actual sunlight.
Light therapy lamps have been around for decades as a way for sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and some skin issues to get the benefits of sunlight all year long, without the risk of sunburn. In a time when many people are spending more time indoors than before as they shelter in place during the CoVID-19 pandemic, the audience for more accessible in-home sunlight may be greater than ever.
A device like the SunnyFive window promises a full spectrum of natural light that can simulate a real window through a changing light angle which adjusts throughout the day, including sunrises and sunsets. For SAD sufferers and others who can benefit from exposure to light, it can helps users synthesize vitamin D while indoors or in low-light places as they would in natural sunlight, according to the Samsung Newsroom.
And because it is 2020, of course there is an app with that. It is set for easy integration with Samsung’s SmartThings smart home system, so users can personalize their light by adjusting brightness and color temperature from their phone, and set a schedule to wake up with a simulated sunrise. It can be mounted on the wall like a picture frame, and is designed to look like a window with diffused light, instead of the light box design used by many current light therapy lamps on the market.
This seems like an interesting product with a lot of upsides, but there are still a number of question marks around the technology and safety of this device. If UVB lighting is what is being emitted, what type of health consequences might users be exposed to? Did SunnyFive integrate any health safeguards or mitigating elements to address UVB exposure? Though Samsung showcased the SunnyFive window at the 2020 CES, the product, pricing, and details have yet to be released.
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