it was my birthday on the weekend and I got the best gift ever. I dropped a couple of hints leading up to my birthday and so I was really hoping the hints would take fruit. When I opened my birthday and saw my Fitbit Tracker I was absolutely thrilled. There are quite a few Fitbit Trackers available and I was lucky enough to get the Fitbit Charge HR which I’m reviewing for this post. You can see a collection of all the Fitbits available on this page.
Fitbit Charge HR Review
You can see me wearing my Fitbit Charge HR in the image on the left. Normally you don’t see the digital display unless you give the Fitbit a tap or when you bring your wrist up and twist it. I found that to be pretty cool.
Fitbit Charge HR Features
The Fitbit can track so many activities. I reckon the Fitbit Charge HR’s best feature is that it can track so many aspects of my daily activities. This includes steps, distance, floors climbed, calories burned, total amount of minutes I’ve been active as well as telling the time! If I was to go for a run it would also display run time, pace and distance travelled.
I actually went for a walk/jog/run and my Fitbit app not only recorded distance, time and pace it also used the GPS feature of my iPhone to map out my complete exercise route.
My Fitbit Charge HR also monitors my sleep including stats such as hours slept, times awakened and my sleep quality. It’s even got a silent vibrating alarm so that I don’t have to worry about waking up the missus.
As far as I’m concerned though I reckon the Fitbit Charge HR’s most important feature is that it continually monitors my heart rate. It doesn’t matter if I’m asleep, just sitting in front of the TV or working out, the Fitbit tracker gives me continuous updates of my heart rate.
The Fitbit is the perfect gift for almost anybody who wants to get fit. It helps you to get motivated and to stay motivated. With the Fitbit app you can also compete with friends who also have the Fitbit tracker. I know I love mine and as you can see from other Fitbit Charge HR owners, they love theirs as well
I’ve never heard of the Amazon Echo until today. I’m actually dumbfounded that this is the case because the Amazon Echo seems absolutely astounding. It truly seems to be a technological marvel. This is a letter from the Founder and CEO!
Today, we are excited to announce that Amazon Echo is available to everyone.
We launched Echo as an invitation-only program in November to learn how customers would use and enjoy it most. The response has been overwhelming.
Echo was born from a simple idea: create a computer, controlled entirely by your voice. This idea required some incredible invention. It had to understand natural language requests, from many voices, from across a room, even when music is playing. It also needed to be informative, entertaining, and useful—while always getting smarter.
With seven microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo achieved this goal by enabling far-field voice recognition. And Alexa, our cloud-based voice service that powers Echo, provides information, music, news, weather, and more—and she is constantly learning new skills.
Since launch, we have added streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible, calendar access, live sports scores and schedules, traffic reports, Amazon.com re-ordering, control of connected devices such as lights and switches from WeMo and Philips Hue, and more. Many of these features are a result of feedback and suggestions from our customers—thank you.
I am excited by what the team has done in a short period of time with your help—and we’re just getting started. We hope you enjoy Amazon Echo
Founder & CEO
You have to admit it sounds bloody amazing! It would make the perfect gift for almost any occasion. I’m sure that most people would love the Amazon Echo for a gift. Especially those who are handicapped in some way. Reading some of the reviews a wife got one for her wheel chair bound husband. She loves that its given him back some of independence.
I’m sure it would also be great for the visually impaired as well! Here are just some of the things the Amazon Echo can do.
Echo is always ready, connected, and fast. Just say the wake word, “Alexa,” for:
NEW – Audible: Play audiobooks from Audible with Echo. Plus, Echo supports Whispersync for Voice to continue right where you left off.
NEW – Calendars: Check your upcoming schedule by asking what’s on your Google calendar.
NEW – Shopping: Restock on previously purchased items by re-ordering Prime-eligible products in your Amazon shopping history.
NEW – Connected home: Control compatible WeMo and Philips Hue devices with your voice.
NEW – Traffic: Hear commute time and the fastest route to your destination.
NEW – Sports: Ask for sports scores and schedules from the NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, and more.
NEW – Pandora: Listen to and discover music from Pandora’s library of over 1 million tracks.
Music: Listen to your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.
News, weather, and information: Hear up-to-the-minute weather and news from a variety of sources, including local radio stations, NPR, and ESPN from TuneIn.
Questions and answers: Get information from Wikipedia, definitions, answers to common questions, and more.
Alarms, timers, and lists: Stay on time and organized with voice-controlled alarms, timers, shopping lists, and to-do lists.
More coming soon: Echo automatically updates through the cloud with new services and features.
As usual I have incorporated the following information below straight from the Amazon site so you don’t have to leave this post. But believe me when I tell you it looks so much better if you check out the Amazon Echo at Amazon.
Rating: List Price:$179.99 Sale Price:$179.99 (as of 10/06/2015 05:14 UTC - Details)
Availability:Usually ships in 24 hours Eligible For Free Shipping
Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. Far-field voice recognition Always be heard Tucked under the light ring on Echo is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music. ...just ask Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where we leverage the Alexa Voice Service to recognize and respond to your request. Always getting smarter Ever-evolving Alexa—the brain behind Echo—is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo is always connected, updates are delivered automatically. ...and adding new skills We are always adding new capabilities to Echo. Recently, we've added streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible, Google Calendar access, live sports scores and schedules, traffic reports, Amazon.com re-ordering, control of connected devices with WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, Wink, and more. Advanced audio design 360° immersive sound Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound. ...for all of your music Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like Spotify and iTunes from your phone or tablet. Connected Home Don't lift a finger Use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or space heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger...or even raising your voice. ...to control your home Echo works with devices such as lights and switches from Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, and Wink. Starter kits are available for easy setup. Alexa App Echo doesn't stop working when you're away from home. With the free companion app on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more. Key Features Easy setup Connect to your home network with a simple setup, guided by the free companion app on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers. Just ask Echo is always ready, connected, and fast. Just say the wake word, "Alexa," for: NEW—Audible: Play audiobooks from Audible with Echo. Plus, Echo supports Whispersync for Voice to continue right where you left off. NEW—Calendars: Check your upcoming schedule by asking what's on your Google calendar. NEW—Shopping: Restock on previously purchased items by re-ordering Prime-eligible products in your Amazon shopping history. NEW—Connected home: Control compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, and Wink devices with your voice. NEW—Traffic: Hear commute time and the fastest route to your destination. NEW—Sports: Ask for sports scores and schedules from the NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, and more. NEW—Pandora: Listen to and discover music from Pandora's library of over 1 million tracks. Music: Listen to your Amazon Music Library, Prime Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. News, weather, and information: Hear up-to-the-minute weather and news from a variety of sources, including local radio stations, NPR, and ESPN from TuneIn. Questions and answers: Get information from Wikipedia, definitions, answers to common questions, and more. Alarms, timers, and lists: Stay on time and organized with voice-controlled alarms, timers, shopping lists, and to-do lists. More coming soon: Echo automatically updates through the cloud with new services and features.
Information, music, audiobooks, news, weather, traffic, sports, and more--instantly
Controlled by your voice for hands-free convenience
Far-field voice recognition hears you from across the room
Connected to the cloud so it's always getting smarter
360º omni-directional audio to fill the room with immersive sound
Compatible with select Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, and Wink connected devices to control lights and switches with your voice
Plays music from Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more
Sometimes it’s not the expense of the gift is not as important as the thought behind the gift. Sure we would all love to gift someone a brand new Apple Watch but for a lot of us the expense is way too great. But lets say that the person we’re wanting to buy a gift for already has an Apple Watch! If that’s the case, with a little thought the best gift could be one of the many Apple Watch Accessories that are available.
Cool Apple Watch Accessories
A great Apple Watch accessory is the Spigen® Apple Watch Charging Dock! I reckon this means that the Apple Watch chews up a lot more juice than your normal watch. But then again, the Apple Watch is not a normal watch is it?
The Spigen® Apple Watch stand has several interesting features including;
A convenient stand which holds the Apple Watch for a comfortable viewing angle
Charger and cable openings compatible with both versions of Apple Watch charger
Stable aluminum stand with TPU dock avoids scratching the watch
Compatible with Apple Watch (2015)
Because the Apple watch is so new there’s only 3 reviews for the Spigen® Apple Watch stand, and all three of the reviews are positive 5 star reviews.
Here is one of the Apple Watch reviews.
Fortunate to get a chance to check one of these out early, this is definitely the stand to beat. Unlike some of the other ugly Apple watch stands out there, the Spigen charge dock is everything you would expect to complement an already expensive investment: it has a clean industrial design which complements the watch, it is very stable, its materials look and feels sophisticated, and it serves to charge your nice watch and in a way that it is nicely presented and usable while it is being charged. My only minor thought; it would have been great if the stand was even a tiny bit heavier at the base to cut down on chances of accidentally knocking it over.
Another great accessory is the Spigen® Apple Watch Case! Heck, they have a great looking expensive watch, I’m sure they’re going to want to protect it right. They say this watch case fits like a glove.
These gifts would be great for birthdays as well as Fathers Day and Mothers Day.