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PepCom Holiday Spectacular 2018 – HighTechDad Awards for Tech and Gadgets at the Show

In Consumer Electronics, Event, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Tech News, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

With the holidays upon us, it’s fairly common for media to get invited to shows where vendors push their latest and greatest technology in hopes of receiving coverage which in turn gets that momentary attention of frazzled holiday shoppers. I recently attended the PepCom Holiday Spectacular 2018 show which was packed with all sorts of gadgets, services, and other tech goodies worthy of commentary. But I decided to approach this tech media show a bit differently. I wanted to give out some awards based on what I saw and experienced. (*Disclosure below.)

My process was pretty simple…and extremely selfish. There was tech I was interested in, and some that I wasn’t. There were companies that I know, and many that I didn’t. So, what I decided to do, as I searched for those tech diamonds in the rough at the PepCom show, was to walk the floor without talking to anyone, and then only stop at the ones that really grabbed me (not physically of course). And there were over 35 tech companies to choose from.

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The Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp is Perfect for My Daughters’ Room! Here’s Why!

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

It takes a lot for my daughters to be impressed by technology. There is a lot of tech that flows in (and out) of our home. Much of it they seem to just not care about. But the Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp seems to be one of the exceptions. So much so, that they actually requested that it be in their room so that they could use it. This kind of testimonial coming from two teenaged girls is one to pay attention to because it truly doesn’t happen very often. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad Xiaomi PHILIPS ZhiRui Smart Bedside Lamp - purple light

Having the proper lighting in your room can transform the area from a place where you just are physically there to a place that you are connected to and feel comfortable in. There is nothing worse than a poorly or over-lit room. It’s important to find that perfect lighting balance. And you have to remember that lighting scenes can change depending on a variety of factors, your mood, the time of day, and if you have people with your or not. This is why the Xiaomi bedside lamp is a great choice. You have the ability to not only manage the brightness, but also the color.

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11 Ways to Get a Better Sleep – Start with California Design Den Sheets

In General, Review, Sponsored by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

According to neuroscientists from Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute, 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is the optimal amount for cognitive performance. These are the findings of the world’s largest sleep study where over 40,000 participants from around the world were part of this online scientific investigation. So that’s great, right? We now have confirmation that you probably need to get more sleep than you are actually getting. And while I’m not a neuroscientist, nor do any of my recommendations in this article have any scientific backing, I’m pretty good at getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. It’s not always deep, nor restful, but I definitely don’t feel sleep deprived (too much). I thought that I would offer some tips on ways to get a better sleep, one of them starting with getting some new bedsheets, like from California Design Den. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad Sleep Tips & California Design Den Sheets - dogs sleeping

We spend much of our lives sleeping. If you take that 7-8 hour recommendation, that’s almost one-third of your life. That’s a lot of time just lying around…literally. So wouldn’t it make sense to devote some time to ensure that you are optimizing your sleep? For some people, this is easier said than done. I remember when I had young kids. Getting them to go to bed was always a chore. Getting them to stay in bed, sometimes even harder. And, as a young parent, your regular sleep patterns are often disrupted. Babies, toddlers, and little kids are often a huge disruptor to getting a better sleep. (But I’m NOT going to make a recommendation of NOT having kids…that’s just silly.)

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After 8 Days Using the Apple Watch Series 4, These are My Top 8 Observations

In Apple, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I have had the pleasure of using the Apple Watch for several years. It started with the original (the Generation 1) which I actually still use as my sleep tracker and alarm clock (while my other Apple Watch gathers strength in the charger for its day ahead). I did not test the Series 1 nor the Series 2 (Generation 2) but instead jumped to the Series 3 (WiFi and Cellular) last year when it came out. And now, I have my hands on the Apple Watch Series 4, or rather it’s on my wrist. I’ve only been using the Series 4 (with WiFi and Cellular) for a week now. And I have already notice eight things that I felt compelled to write about.

Overall, I feel the Apple Watch Series 4 is a beautiful design and technological step forward, some of which I will get into in this article. Before getting the Series 4, I reached out on Twitter to find out people’s thoughts about what was announced on the features and functionality, and whether or not they would upgrade or get a new one altogether. For me, the biggest question was the “next version” upgrade – from a Series 3 to Series 4 (or iPhone X to iPhone XS/XS Max).

My initial thoughts, prior to testing the Apple Watch Series 4, was that if you were moving from a Generation 1 or Series 1 or a Series 2, the upgrade was a no-brainer. The technology and design have dramatically improved. And you can’t even use WatchOS 5 on the Generation 1 which is a shame as there are some nice, new features in WatchOS 5.Read More


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How to Scare All of the Kids this Halloween – AtmosFX Scary Digital Special Effects

In Family, General, How To, Review, Technology, Video by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I have to admit, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I absolutely love putting up decorations and trying to scare the trick or treaters of all ages that are daring enough to come to our front door. Each year I try a different theme using whatever props or inspiration I find in my many boxes of decorations. Last year, it was all about scary clowns, and I have to admit, many little kids were a bit traumatized…sorry little ones (and your parents). This year, I’m reducing the number of physical decorations and instead relying on digital effects, all thanks to some incredible props and digital videos from AtmosFX. This article is a How-to of sorts, as I outline the process for easily setting up a scary environment. (*Disclosure below.)

HighTechDad AtmosFX Halloween Digital Decorations - wall

Also, this year I’m going to make sure that my wife buys candy that I really like because I’m going to guess (hope?) that kids will be just a bit too scared to make their way up to our house. More leftover candy for me, right? But seriously, Halloween can be great for all ages. I remember dressing my girls as ladybugs or princesses and parading around the neighborhood with them. Now they are teens and tend to fly the coop to other neighborhoods. What that means is that I can stick around my home and hand out candy to the kids who come by…and scare them in the process.

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