LA GADGET EXPO: Product Reviews

Today I spent the morning at the LA GADGET EXPO in downtown Los Angeles.  I was expecting an exposition chocked full of entrepreneurs showing their newest creations and devices.  The reality was more an intimate gathering of students with cool ideas and small businesses showing their unique gadgets.

While smaller than expected, the LA GADGET EXPO  did offer a few very impressive companies that I felt was worth mentioning for consideration for the upcoming holiday season.

 

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ALLOCACOC –  POWER CUBE  @Allocacoc 

Let’s start with my FAVORITE of all the gadgets at this show.  FINALLY, someone has solved the problem of the power strip that is cumbersome.  Meet ALLOCACOC – an award winning idea that is a  multi- prong power cube!  Offers USB, international and US standard plugs. I LOVED IT! Simple and sleek.  The cubes can be singular or connect to stack! The enables people, like myself, who have a ton of technology in their office much needed versatility and helps to solve the  problem of “Is there another outlet?”

I can envision these at airports, restaurants and hotels! Not to mention when social media correspondents gather for events!

Price point is VERY reasonable at $12.95 for the basic cube.


 Muku Labs Camera Shutter  @MukuLabs  

IMG_0081Muku Labs made a very nice camera shutter that is used with iOS and Android devices.  A standard bluetooth mechanism, it is perfect for taking group or selfie photos without having to hold on to a phone.  Must say that the streamlined look, feel and ease of use is much preferred over others I have tried.

Retail: $39.99  Link to purchase



DOTT – SMART DOG TAG  @DottSmartDog

DOTT- Smart Dog Tag is an VERY intriguing device that is well worth a look. Imagine letting FIDO off leash at a dog park.  This multi-function dog tag has dual purposes. First it  helps signal the dog, through a small dog tag worn on your dog’s collar, to return back to you. Secondly,  the technology allows owners to locate a dog that has wandered off. As a bonus, the tag is paired with an app that offers ancillary services, such as community alerts to find a missing animal.

From their website is this excellent description:

DOTT provides with you digital tracking of latest technology. DOTT tag sets up a virtual leash, connects your pet to your mobile phone. If it wanders off, DOTT will let you know immediately. And, our social GPS network actively tells you the last seen location and help locate it continuously.

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I couldn’t help but think that this technology would also be good to interface with other community based apps such as BOP  or  ROVER.com.

Dog rescues and veterinary services should give DOTT some consideration.  Price point is a very easy $30 online


MY OPEN ROAD  @MyOpenRoad

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Two companies offered  eco friendly ideas. The first is My Open Road – an app for both IOS and Adroid that allows users to document how they are reducing their  carbon imprint on the world by  taking alternate forms of transportation – such as walking, riding a bike or carpooling. I love to see companies that are eco- friendly and even their t-shirts were made with eco-sustainable products.  They also had a coveted spot at the expo and were a joy to speak with!

Their motto:  Tiny Changes- Big Rewards is very clever.


URB-E – ELECTRIC BIKE that FOLDS UP!  @URBErides

URB-E is a very clever eco-friendly bike – motor scooter.  I can imagine this being a huge hit on college campuses, for urban dwellers and even those who want to explore large cities but not on foot.  Their price point was far more than others at this fair, starting at $1699.

URB- E gets my personal kudos for having the best online marketing, however!

They have a decent social media presence for a start-up but excelled over others with the most CLEVER holiday campaign!   Check out their video for the 21 days of URB- E Christmas (and if you enter their contest you may win one of their bikes!)

 


 

I should also mention a few other gadgets that caught my attention. Sound Brake was an interesting device to help alert headphone users of environmental noises, such as a doorbell ringing.  Here is my periscope interview  with the founder.  And, MOTI app is a healthy – lifestyle application for iOS and Android to help people register their level of exercise, healthy habits (such as water consumption), etc.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed speaking to these creative minds who invented fun and functional products.  However a word of wisdom to those who are vendors/ displayers at booths that are seeking investors, distributors or publicity – have a PR KIT FOR YOUR PRODUCT!  Only a handful of the gadgets had any information about their product. Some had postcards with their websites. Others had only business cards.  A PR kit for press, etc. with information, easy to find social media “411” and if possible a sample would be FABULOUS!

Do you have a gadget that you can recommend or created? Feel free to add your information in the comment section below!

 

Disclaimer:  No renumeration was received for any of these products.  These are reviews based on observation and interviews.

 

 

 

 

A Top 10 list that can save lives!

Computer generated image with text TOP 10

A TOP 10 list that can save lives! I hope that you decided to read past the title because you are a fan of David Letterman’s famous TOP 10 lists.  All kidding aside, I really am hoping that I piqued your interest because you are curious about the last part of the title – “save lives”

It is no secret that much of what as I do in media is examine topics related to communication, education, and safety.  I often have penned blogs spotlighting disaster preparedness and response, often citing personal experiences. In fact, earlier this week I re-posted an article giving general resources to help families in the event of a disaster.  I had written that article shortly after visiting many areas in Oklahoma – from cities to rural areas – that were devastated following a series of tornadoes in 2013.

Read My tour of Moore, Oklahoma

In addition, I have been involved with several specific media campaigns that focus on helping families and schools to be prepared for disasters, including earthquakes.  Currently, I am a member of a social media team that supports ShakeOut – the world’s largest earthquake drill.  ShakeOut is much more than a practice drill as it entails an  interactive educational component that is dedicated to increasing awareness about how to prepare for earthquakes. ShakeOut spotlights teaching how people should  DROP – COVER and HOLD ON when an earthquake happens. At first, this three-step protocol surprised me! I thought if an earthquake happened I should run to a doorway and stand.  I also recalled believing that it would be best to run outside away from buildings. (I am fairly certain I am not alone in assuming this was the correct procedure and am glad that I have been corrected in my thinking!)  But, thanks to  ShakeOut and their considerable due diligence of garnering information from rescue teams, there is much available information and instruction on the best practices for earthquake safety.

Why shouldn’t we run to door jams or outside during an earthquake? 

Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protocol to protect lives during earthquakes: 

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and 
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.

Read more about DROP – COVER and HOLD ON!, including what to do if you are not able to take cover, are in a wheelchair or other special circumstances. (For me, it was interesting to learn what to do if in a stadium during a sporting event!) 

Recommended Earthquake Actionsdropcoverholdon_re copy

Special Note: Mark your calendars for the 2015 ShakeOut drill: October 15th at 10:15 a.m. 

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I have spent considerable time perusing the ShakeOut site and I came across some great features that I thought would be of interest to families, homeschooler and educators.  Here is my list of the ShakeOut “Top 10”!

#10- REGISTER  your family, business, school, organization or individuals for the ShakeOut drill via this LINK.  When you are all finished with the very fast registration process let others know by clicking the social media platform share buttons.

Note: Fans of social media don’t miss the weekly Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety  chats by following on Twitter @ShakeOut

#9- Play BEAT THE QUAKE – a game that uses loads of action and interesting questions to spark the interest of any child or adults who are kids at heart.

Go to ShakeOut.org and find the Beat the Quake link on the right column

#8- What’s in your disaster kit?

Do you have a disaster preparedness kit?  Does it include all the essentials that are recommended by disaster preparedness specialists, such as the Red Cross and Earthquake Country Alliance.  

List of supplies for your earthquake disaster kit. 

Don’t forget to add the whistle!

#7. Let others know you are safe!

An app made available by the Red Cross allows you to communicate to loved ones that you are safe or in need of assistance during the “after” stage of an earthquake.  (Note: Similar apps also are available for other disasters such as Hurricane or Tornados)  Click here for information about the Red Cross App. (The image below also will take you to the Safe and Well Website.)

Red Cross

#6. Materials for Schools/ Educators  .  Teachers don’t miss this opportunity for a  “learning moment” contrasting the reality of actual earthquakes with the fiction presented in the 2015 Summer movie San Andreas. While entertaining, San Andreas was largely a fictionalized version of the “real deal”.  To highlight the salient facts, the Earthquake Country Alliance has made available this movie parody and supplemental materials that clearly explain the fact vs. fiction about earthquakes in a child – friendly and  entertaining manner! Both the image and this link will take you to the movie!

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#5. Materials to help businesses owners  prepare and learn what to do if an earthquake happens (including in the recovery phase). Note: Don’t miss the Seven Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business

#4. Key Earthquake Safety Tips for People with Disabilities and Other Access or Functional Needs (Regular readers of this blog will know that this is a subject near and dear to my heart)  Read these materials and much more here

Previous blog: Disaster Safety Tips for Families with Special Needs 

#3. In fact, there are so many other resources that I would need to make a Top 20 list! Note: the resources are downloadable and are visually very attractive for posting. Consider laminating if you work or live with young children.

Go to resource page

#2. Don’t speak English? No worries. The ShakeOut site is also in Spanish.

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#1: Share YOUR ShakeOut with a photo or story!

Here is link to upload your story or picture! How fun is this feature?!

But wait there is a bonus to the Top 10 list!

Want to follow some fun social media posts? Simply track the hashtags #ShakeOut and #DropCoverHoldOn. You never know which friends of Where Learning Meets Laughter will be posting!  Feel free to tag me in your post as @LouiseASL (Twitter) or @LouiseMasinSattler (Instagram).

AND…I just uploaded the FAMILY and SCHOOL DISASTER RESOURCE PAGE on this blog. Please add to the comment section any additional resources you feel would be helpful within our communities to keep all safe!

Dropping popcorn in striped classic package.

In closing, it is now time for popcorn as here is a great video clip to watch and share with others!