Gadget Review: motrr Galileo – Robotic motion control mount

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The Galileo by motrr is a motorized mount for iPhones and GoPros that can be programmed to follow specific paths or controlled by most Bluetooth devices.

Pros:
Very easy to setup and use
Pan & tilt 360 degrees on vertical and horizontal axes
Multiple speeds for varied looks
Solid build

Cons:
Proprietary mount inserts
High cost for cell phone accessory
Must purchase additional apps ($1.99 – 9.99) to realize full potential
Slight hum during device’s movement

3.5 out of five stars – The Galileo is the absolute best at what it does…Great for those who use their iPhone to make movies or video chat as well creating time lapse videos with the GoPro…it is up to you if there is enough value in this product at the present price.

$149.95 – motrr.com for additional information and to purchase
$29.95 each for additional iPhone 6 or GoPro mounts
$0 – $9.99 Additional features unlocked through purchased apps
Best use requires two devices

Micro USB on the side so you can charge the device while in use

Micro USB on the side so you can charge the device while in use

The motrr Galileo is a fantastic device for those who enjoy being more creative with their smartphone than just the typical selfie or snapshot.  With several apps to enhance the product, there is a use for pretty much anyone out there.

Twist the base to see the battery status

Twist the base to see the battery status

Right out of the box, the Galileo feels and looks like a high quality product.  Although no buttons to press, the Galileo activates with a simple twist of the base and links up via bluetooth to a phone with the app already open.  Easily the easiest Bluetooth connecting I’ve seen and right up there with NFC syncs. Pull up the Joystick or D-Pad options within the motrr app and you will be ready to go right away.  The time from out of the box to operating was less than 60 seconds!

The Galileo can move as quickly as an entire revolution in only 15 seconds and as slow as 25 minutes to cover the same distance.  This variance is great for the times you need a sweeping shot of a vehicle driving by or when you want hundreds of photos to building an extended timelapse video.  Most other mounts travel in only one direction at a constant speed while the Galileo can not only move left and right but also up and down as well!  The sound of the motor can be faintly heard on some videos and if your camera tilts too far down, the Galileo’s base becomes visible.

The apps suite for the Galileo offers a wide range of features including face tracking, movement during video chats, timelapse photos with your phone and even repurposing an old iPhone into a home security camera.  Most of the apps are suitable but the Galileo is much more effective when you control it with one device with another placed in the mount.  Some of the apps, specifically the face tracking for photos, worked well with only one phone but frustration can dramatically increase if you attempt to use the Galileo continuously with only one device.

Rubberized mounts to connect phone to Galileo

Rubberized mounts to connect phone to Galileo

(L to R): Mounts for iPhone 4s, GoPro, iPhone 5

(L to R): Mounts for iPhone 4s, GoPro, iPhone 5

Standard threading for tripod attachment

Standard threading for tripod attachment

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This device was lent to me by SproutUp on behalf of motrr for my review. All content and opinions are my own without any influence by motrr.  Please contact me with any questions you may have about this device. 

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Tweets Go Farther When Lifted By A Sharknado

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I’m happy if a handful of my Twitter follows read my tweets, even more so if some responds or retweets my comments.  It is even more amazing when someone outside of my social network sees my tweets.  Thanks to the pop culture phenomenon know as the Sharknado film series, the water cooler has moved from the morning after an airing to an interactive live experience on social media. It’s amazing to see the traction some tweets have received.

Sharknado 2:

Over 2,200 retweets from nearly every time zone on the planet and some even three months later! Not only that, but the tweet was picked up by some media outlets as well:

ET Online
People
NY Daily News

And look at some of the analytics as well:
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There’s no way I could capture lightning, um, a shark in a bottle again, right?

Sharknado 3:

Not as many impressions but still picked up in the media:
Mashable

With Sharknado 4 already schedule to air in the summer of 2016, I have plenty of time to prepare my shark-tastic tweets.

BONUS:

Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Movie:

This tweet was picked up by:
Hollywood Life

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Recon Jet Review – Video

The Recon Instruments Jet is a pair of smart glasses aimed at the active lifestyle with specific focus on running and cycling.

Pros:
Comfortable
Great battery life
Easy to swap out battery and lens
Engage software – amazing for tracking activities

Cons:
High price
Limited 3rd party apps

4.5 out of 5 stars – Great for those who want to keep track of their biking and/or running activities

$699.00 – reconinstruments.com for additional information and to purchase

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My Two Weeks with LyveHome

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These days, it seems as though the last feature described by companies about their smartphones is the phone part.  The main feature discussed? The camera. Megapixels, zoom, editing features, burst shots, etc., etc., etc.. So now that you have a good camera that is always with you, what happens to all of the photos you take? Do they mostly live on your device with a few shared through social media?  The new issue isn’t how you are taking photos, it’s how you are using your photos.

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The LyveHome seeks to resolve this issue.  The easiest way to describe the LyveHome is it is the result of a torrid love affair between an external hard drive and a digital photo frame. The device features a 5” screen with 2 TB of storage and is slightly bigger than a can of soda.  It fits well with the other technology on my desk without overpowering the space.  Setup is simple: plug in LyveHome, connect to WiFi and you are ready to go. You can plug in a a SD card or USB device directly into the LyveHome to transfer photos and videos.  It doesn’t want your Excel spreadsheets or your word documents. No, this is strictly a memory box, not a file cabinet for work items.

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The real magic of LyveHome is not the physical device but the software itself.  You can install the app on your phone (iOS and Android for now, no word on Windows Phone yet), tablet (same OS as above) or computer (Mac and Windows).  Once installed, photos and videos can automatically be backed up from the devices to the LyveHome.  My initial backup of roughly 2,200 photos and 50 videos from my Galaxy S5 to the LyveHome took about 45 minutes through my home WiFi. There is an ethernet port which could speed up the process.  Now when I take a photo with my phone, it is automagically backed up on the LyveHome. (You can change the settings to do this immediately through cell data or to wait for your phone to connect to WiFi.) And it isn’t only a thumbnail of the photo, it’s the full sized file.  

Yes, it really is that easy to set up.

 

The genius of the LyveHome software is that you ALWAYS have all of your photos with you. Looking for pictures from Little Timmy’s birthday party? Check.  Want to share photos from your recent vacation? Check. No matter if it is on your tablet, laptop or phone, you can access your photos on the go.  All of the photos are compressed on your device so they take up a fraction of the space.  When you want to share it through any of the devices options, the full file is available. 

Pros:

  • Always have all of your photos with you
  • Easy set up, simple controls
  • Compatible with most devices

Cons:

  • Can only sort photos by date taken (Update could add theme and event tags)
  • Windows Phone OS not compatible
  • It would be nice to share albums or groups of photos instead of opening up full account to friends

 

Overall, $299 is fair price for a sturdy, easy to use device that consolidates your photos and provides easy access on the go especially when you consider what it would cost in monthly fees to host 2 TB in the cloud.  Future software updates should only add value to the LyveHome. Grade: A- (Could change with upgrades) Must buy for the mobile photographer, social media picture sharer.

 

Check out My Live site for more information and to purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jaguars Jump Off A Building (And Add More Value)

Sports franchises today are constantly looking for new revenue streams while adding to the connection between three of the key stakeholders: the team, the sponsors and the fans. The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the right path with the following video:

The hybrid bungee/zipline action highlights non-player assets such as the mascot, cheerleaders and the stadium. Also thrown into the mix is some very prominent product placement for team partner, Panasonic, in the way of cameras and wireless speakers without being a complete Panasonic commercial.

Not only does this video standout due to its action and unique content, it presents a potential product for fans: stadium ziplining. How many fans do you think would pay $100-150 to zipline over their favorite team’s field? Following the skydiving pricing model, teams could charge another $50 for video and photos of the experience. Plus, this draws people to the stadium on non-gamedays which could increase traffic to the team store and locker room tours as well as a potential season ticket sales opportunity.

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Sports stink (and why that’s good)

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To promote the new season of their reality TV show, Honey Boo Boo, TLC inserted a “Watch ‘n Sniff” card into this week’s US Weekly magazine.  I suppose that during the episode, prompts will appear on screen to let viewers know which circle to smell to coincide with actions in the show.  This unique promotion’s goal is to increase awareness of the season premiere and worked very well seeing as how I had never heard of the Boo Boo show until this card caught my attention.  So my question is: why not use this same stunt for sports?

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Think about it: the “Sniff ‘n’ Score” card arrives with the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine or Sports Illustrated.  You then use the card while watching the MLB Game of the Week on FOX.  As the camera pans around the stands and down to field level, you scratch and sniff the first circle and it smells like freshly cut grass.  And of course, since this is the sports world, this portion of the card is brought to you by Scotts, the official lawn care product of MLB.  The next circle smells like rosin as the pitcher prepares to start the game.  When the camera zooms in on the dugout and we see a player drinking Gatorade, the third circle on our card smells like the refreshment.  We could even be unique with the smells and have the last one smell like P&G’s Gillette shaving cream which we sniff as the MVP of the game is getting a face full of shaving cream from their teammates. 

This isn’t limited to baseball; other sports could take advantage of this concept.  The NFL could have Tide sponsor the postgame locker room talk and the circle in this case smells like sweaty socks.  NASCAR’s card would smell like burning rubber and oil.  Beach volleyball could have smells of the ocean and suntan lotion. 

What other sports smells would you want to include on your “Sniff ‘n’ Score”?

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Hollywood brings the Captain to DC

 

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Although most of the DC scenes that we will see next summer on the big screen will actually be filmed in Cleveland, there are a few scenes that will really be filmed in the District.  Today, filming was taking place on the National Mall, just a few blocks west of the U.S. Capitol Building. 

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Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/The Falcon) prepares for the scene

Even though the most of the Mall was closed to pedestrians, film staffers let folks get as close as 150 to the edge of the set which means I could see but not hear the filming.

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Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) takes a deep breathe

The scene was Sam and Steve walking/jogging on the Mall and without any dialogue or context, I couldn’t figure out how this furthered the story in anyway.  Also, if this scene makes the movie, it will probably be less than 30 seconds.

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Notice the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on Steve’s sleeve

Filming continues tomorrow and I hope to capture some more photos of the day.

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