If you wanna kick up your Halloween festivities, you may be able to do so with some of the smart home gadgets and consumer electronics that you already have in your posession. One example is using your Hue lights to simulate a thunderstorm or fire happening in your home, which I've been enjoying for the past few days. The ambiance can be enjoyed both from inside the house, as well as by people passing by (especially with a connected Bluetooth speaker chiming in with sound effects, pointed outside an open window!)
For more inspiration, Best Buy has compiled five videos that show how you can use different pieces of technology that you can use to put together you own scary holiday scenes. The one I liked most is the Haunted House Wicked Washroom, where you use Philips Hue lights, a Bluetooth speaker with ambient lighting, and Belkin WeMo smart plugs to allow you to turn on plugged in gadgets remotely. Head on over to Best Buy to check out all five video tutorials.
In this episode I give you a look at the Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set. The set includes two WeMo Smart light bulbs and the WeMo Link, which allows you to connect up to 50 WeMo Smart light bulbs and control them individually or as a group from a smartphone or tablet.
You can get the Belkin WeMo Starter Set now!
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It's 2014 and we're all familiar with iPad keyboard cases by now. They're designed to protect your iPad's screen while giving you the option of a physical keyboard when you need to do some heavy typing. For the iPad Air, these keyboards are more or less interchangeable. But for the iPad mini, because of its reduced size, keyboard markers have a hard decision to make as far as the keyboard layout goes.
The Belkin FastFit Keyboard Case for iPad mini (pictured in black) feels more like a traditional full-sized keyboard, with larger number keys compared to the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (pictured in white). Both have arrow keys and proper Command, Alt/Option, Function keys that let issue quick commands like changing the volume, pausing playback and activating Siri. Both keyboards have laptop-style keys that feel nice to type on, and both have standard magnets that attach to your iPad mini. We put these two keyboards head-to-head in this iPad mini keyboard review.
Belkin has finally announced the release of its Thunderbolt Express Dock. Originally set for release in July 2012, Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock has seen multiple delays, but is now available to order beginning today. To refresh your memory, the Dock allows you to connect multiple peripheral to it, and then connect one Thunderbolt cable from the Dock to your Mac, giving you access to all of the devices connected to the dock. Here a list of all the ports that the Thunderbolt Dock sports:
- 2 Thunderbolt ports (1 upstream, 1 downstream for daisy-chaining up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices)
- 3 USB 3.0 ports (Belkin added USB 3.0 ports back in June 2012)
- 1 FireWire 800 port
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1 3.5mm audio-out port
- 1 3.5mm audio-in port
In total, you get access to 8 different devices on your Mac by simple connecting on cable to a fully-stocked Thunderbolt Dock. Not bad at all. You can pick up the Thunderbolt Express Dock now for $299.99 by using the link below.
Read More | Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock
The Belkin Thunderstorm is the first full-range portable speaker system for the Apple iPad. After you get your iPad hooked up, you get cinematic sound (with some nice bass!) that's calibrated for games and movies. We chat with Belkin at CES 2013 about the Thunderstorm ad get all the details. The 30-pin model has just started shipping, with the Lightning model launching in the Spring.
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Belkin has announce its FastFit Bluetooth keyboard case for iPad mini. Measuring in at 7mm thick, the FastFit Bluetooth case provides about three months of battery life, equating to about 150 days of active use before its 200mAh battery needs to be charge. It attached to the iPad mini magnetically, and automatically wakes the tablet when opened. Belkin also touts the TruType keyboard layout, which is says has well-spaced keys for fast and accurate typing. No word on a ship date, but it'll be available from Belkin soon for $79.99.
Read More | Belkin
Keyboards get dirty, and they're annoying to clean. Logitech solves this with its Washable Keyboard, our next pick in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. You can say goodbye to crumbs and hand-salsa when you run the keyboard under the faucet with confidence. The sell for $40, but you can get it on Amazon for $29.35, saving you 27%.
Oh, and to complete your setup, pair it with a Belkin washable mouse!
Read More | Logitech Washable Keyboard
The next generation of Wi-Fi connectivity is 802.11ac, and routers are on sale now to provide the signal. The main problem? There are, literally, no laptops, tablets, or smartphones right now that sell with 802.11ac support built-in. Still, you have the opportunity to future-proof your wireless setup in anticipation for the arrival of the super-fast standard, and the Belkin AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router is one of the first available. We got one in for review, and we are in the process of putting it through its paces. In the meantime, while you wait for the AC1200 review, check out our Belkin AC1200 DB unboxing gallery, showing off the spaceship-like curves of the router. You can pick one up now on Amazon.
Read More | Belkin AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
The Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB charging is a gadget that we bring with us pretty much everywhere we go. In fact, we have three of them in different rooms at Gear Live, plus another couple that we keep in travel bags. It's become an essential gadget. Why? It's a surge protector with three grounded outlets, and also includes two USB charge ports as well. That means you can power up to five devices at once with this bad boy. They typically cost $19.99, but you can grab one today for $11.99 with free shipping, saving you 40%, with coupon code EXM65392. Definitely worth it if you've got a lot of gadgets, or if you spend time going from place to place.
Read More | LogicBuy
We've been testing the recently-released Western Digital My Net N900, a router released by the company most known for its hard drives. This isn't just any router though--it's supposed to make QoS setup quick and easy for the every man. With a few clicks, Western Digital says that you'll have an optimized home network that'll make sure the important data doesn't get hindered by background tasks that aren't as high on the totem pole of priority. Does the My Net N900 live up to that promise? Join us after the break for our full My Net N900 review to find out.