January 8th, 2016

CES 2016- Day 2

CES-2016-Blog

Today, along with my two colleagues Alan Perry from CFAX 1070, and Jennifer Cairns the CEO of Egurus, we covered a lot more of the show and the show floor at the Las Vegas convention Center.

One very large and very busy area visited today was the flying robotic drones. There are drones that are considered toys starting at $29, and then there are drones that run into the many thousands of dollars that are used commercially. They have been around for a while now, but they’re starting to become very intelligent. These drones run longer, and are much smarter about how they fly thanks to Intel Realsense technology built into them. This makes them much safer around any people or operators.

We also saw something called the Daqri smart helmet. This device is worn like a regular helmet, but has a heads up display built into the visor and is connected to a central computer. The wearer of this device can actually see into specially designed display electrical panels that have problems, system pressures that are too high or too low, and the heads up display will warn them in real time if something is wrong. On some of these systems, the heads-up display will display instantly to the user the steps to take to remedy the situation if it is considered dangerous. Again this is all possible based on the Intel Edison processor that was unveiled last year. This device is shipping right now and the helmet cost is several thousands of dollars.

The common theme of so many of the products we’ve seen over the past few days, is that these companies are working hard to develop technology and products to make our lives easier and safer.

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Computer Department Manager – Yates St, Victoria



January 7th, 2016

CES 2016

CES-2016-Blog

So, another exciting day at CES 2016 here in Las Vegas. Today we ended up walking almost 18,000 steps or the equivalent of 16 km. That’s not unusual here. Everything is gigantic scale, and the distances between these things looks normal to the untrained eye. To give you an idea how big this event is, the total amount of display space is about 3 1/4 million square feet. Apparently that’s well over 50 football fields worth. And that distance is spread out over several hotels, two convention centers, and all over Las Vegas. Add 170,000 attendees, almost 6000 press members, and then 15,000 presenters and you get the picture. Don’t forget it takes a lot of talented people to also set up, takedown, and maintain a show like this so they are all here as well.

Some of the things we saw today that were notable? Well, we saw a new frontloading washing machine by Samsung that has a second door that will let you add clothing if you forget to put it in initially. That’s very useful. We saw a brand-new Samsung refrigerator that has cameras inside the fridge so wherever you are out shopping you can actually see the contents of the fridge, and know if there’s something you need to purchase before you come home.

This same fridge has a Black glass panel that turns totally translucent so you can see inside the fridge with just a quick knock on the glass. You can also order groceries right on the LCD panel on the refrigerator, have them delivered to you and have the refrigerator pay using your MasterCard Visa or debit card.

The drudgery of home chores is a thing of the past, truly, with some of these new devices.

I will have a lot more for you tomorrow!

Ron Fraser
London Drugs Computer Department Manager – Yates St, Victoria



August 11th, 2015

3D enthusiast John Biehler visits London Drugs in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary

John-headshot1024The arrival of 3D printing has created an opportunity for people to create items for everyday use. Looking beyond the novelty of 3D printing, noted expert and enthusiast John Biehler will be visiting three London Drugs locations for talks and demonstrations and everyone is welcome to attend.

During the 20 minute sessions, John will provide a hands-on look into the new Tiertime UP Mini 3D printer, showing how everyday items can be easily created and interesting new ideas brought to life, in three dimensional.

 

WHERE: London Drugs at 710 Granville St, Vancouver, BC

WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: London Drugs at 911 Yates Street, Victoria, BC

WHEN: Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: London Drugs at 130th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

L8900821_02

About John Biehler: An avid photographer and generally curious geek, John Biehler first discovered 3D printing in 2009 and built his first 3D printer shortly thereafter. Since then, he has been actively sharing his knowledge about the technology with thousands of people at various events, workshops and conferences, on television and radio, as well as online through his website. He cofounded a Vancouver-area group of 3D printer builders and enthusiasts. He has been listed among the top 10 3D Printing innovators & influencers in the 3D printing industry. His first book, “3D Printing with Autodesk” was published in 2014 by Pearson.



May 6th, 2015

Cameras, tripods and selfies on Tech Talk

London Drugs tech expert, David Levett, sat down on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss the latest cameras, camera accessories, and Mother’s Day gift ideas in celebration of Photo Month.Canon Rebel T6i

David started his discussion by mentioning the new camera upgrades to the Canon Rebel T6I. Since last year, a wireless system linked to a mobile device has been installed in the Canon Rebel T6I. By downloading an app, the camera can be placed on any tripod to take photos and zoom anywhere you like from the control of your cellphone.

The waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof Nikon S33 was next on the list of cameras to talk about. The camera comes with oversized buttons, which make it extremely user friendly. David matched the Nikon S33 with the GorillNikon Coolpixa Pod, which can wrap around objects with its durable and flexible legs. This tripod is ideal for latching onto objects that usually wouldn’t act as a great surface for tripods, such as the branches of a tree.

The Table Tripod is a very straightforward Tripod that is compatible with any camera of camcorder. David also mentioned the Travel Tripod, which is made out of a carbon fibre weave. The light, airy fixture makes travelling easy and hassle free.

Finally, David discussed the well-known Selfie Stick that has been making headlines lately. The Selfie Stick can be hooked up to a device on your cellphone that will allow you to zoom and take pictures with the click of a button, which is perfect for those much needed group photos.



April 8th, 2015

Fitness Gadgets to get the most out of your fitness

Have you ever needed that extra little bit of motivation, or a reminder to get active? London Drugs tech expert David Levett sat down with anchor Darrell Rumold on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss some of the newest products on the market for monitoring fitness.

For someone looking for something simple, yet effective for fitness tracking, FitBit might be the perfect choice. These activity trackers are a very user-friendly option and are best suited for entry-level to average fitness trackers who want something simple. David showed off the FitBit Charge HR model, capable of tracking essential fitness measures like steps taken, calories burned and active minutes. The charge also acts a watch and is able to sync wireless to any laptop or smartphone. FitBit can also monitor one’s sleep. David explained in the newscast how the FitBit would track sleep and then display on an iPad the amount and quality of sleep he had. Starting as low as $70, FitBit provides an affordable option for users who want effective fitness monitoring without complexities.

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March 13th, 2015

Security Cameras – which one is right for you?

Have you ever thought about finding out what animals get into your garbage at night? Or how about keeping tabs on the safety of your newborn baby? London Drugs Tech Expert, David Levett, sat down with Darrell Romuld on CTV Regina Morning Live to discuss a few devices suitable for home security. David mentioned the variety of security cameras that range from entry-level to more advanced devices. He even hooked into his security camera at home on his tablet to show the features some of the more innovative devices have. By viewing the live stream from a smartphone or tablet, an individual can actually control where the camera focuses with the swipe of a finger. David wrapped up by discussing the multiple ways an individual can use these devices such as monitoring the office, garage, or even nursery upstairs.



February 2nd, 2015

Internet and email safety (and security)

In this blog, let’s look more closely at internet and e-mail scams and security.

Internet
Knowledge is power – and never truer than when surfing the net. The most common risks are viruses, key-stroke recordings, miscellaneous malware and Trojan horses.

Viruses do the same thing to your computer as they do to us – they make it sick; they can even kill it. Key-stroke recording software is installed by hackers and allows them to record all of your keystrokes with particular attention to usernames and passwords – they love banking, credit card and email access the most. Malware is also malicious as it can take many forms: from tracking your internet use patterns to copying files to a remote computer to erasing key pieces of software. Trojan horses get uploaded and then sit in wait – silently for a triggering date or event and then allow the hackers to take control of your computer and use it for attacking other computers.

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