DriveHD Dash Camera Dual View System from Cobra Review

I think it is going to be very clear that all cars will be complete with a camera as a standard feature. It just makes a lot of sense if you think about it, because why wouldn’t you take advantage of this technology? For those that don’t have the camera now, you might be interested in the DriveHD Dash Camera with Dual View System from Cobra.

Yes, this is dual views, as there is one camera for the front (1080p) and one for the rear (720p). Both of these are on a loop for recording continuously, and there is a G-Sensor for detecting impacts and there is even a parking mode for recording when motion is detected.

Speaking of detection, this product has lane departure and forward collision warnings to let the driver know if you are drifting out of your lane and even if there is an object coming.

So is it easy to install? Well, there is an adhesive windshield mount and the front camera goes, and the back one can mount as easily. It includes a 16 GB SD made for the footage, and the product comes with some video editing software as well. It might not be Movavi, but hey.

If you want to purchase the DriveHD (Dash 2216D), you can purchase from the Cobra website for about $209.95.

EZVIZ Mini Plus Home Security Camera Review

We reviewed a room security camera by D-Link earlier last month, but now we have a different camera to review. This one is the EZVIZ Mini Plus, a high definition little camera that is pretty mighty in function.

Available in black, pink, or white, the camera shoots in 1080p- which is a step up from the 720p DLink camera we reviewed. It also has a 135 degree viewing angle- compared to the 120 degrees of D-Link. It also has some nice night vision as well.

If you want to mount this to a wall instead of using it in the base, there is a metal plate with screws you can put in your wall. The device is magnetic, and can attach to a fridge or any other metal thing you want to put it on. However, the pictures they show of the camera on the EZVIZ site do not show that the camera is NOT battery operated. You do have to plug it in. The power cord is a little over 9 ft long, so it is a decent length to plug in. The dimensions of the actual camera in its swivel base is 3.35 in. tall and 2.17 in. wide.

The initial setup is pretty straight forward. Download the app (iOS and Android supported)- which can work with multiple cameras, and the app is user friendly. You need a Wi-fi connection to hook the camera up to (both 2.4 and 5 GHz is supported). Once you register on your app, you’ll set up your device by scanning the QR code on the back. It will then ask to hook up to your Wi-fi connection. Once you are connected, you are ready to view from your device.

You’ll need to insert an SD card so you can record footage taken once the motion sensor is set off. You can also store video on the Cloud, or pay for a separate service from EZVIZ.

There is two way audio, so you can hear your baby stir, or talk to your dog when you are away. Another nice feature is being able to connect to a smart device like Google Home or Amazon Echo. You’re able to turn the camera on and off using these devices, but at this moment, it doesn’t do much else.

The mini plus is listed at $79.99 on the EZVIZ website, but I’m seeing it for $54.99 on Amazon.com. At any rate, this camera is definitely the best we’ve reviewed in this price range.

And our usual disclaimer- EZVIZ sent us this camera to review for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. No other compensation was given.

Save Your Memories With the Kwilt Shoebox

You have so many pictures and videos on your cell phone that you’ve run out of space for them all? What can you do about it? The Kwilt Shoebox may be the perfect solution to your photo storage problems.

photo credit- Kwilt

Kwilt is a great alternative to paying for the Cloud, or running out of room on Dropbox. Instead of a monthly subscription that is required for the Cloud, you can buy the Kwilt Shoebox for $59 on Amazon.com. It retails for $69 if you buy it off the Kwilt website.

Opening the box, you will find your Kwilt Shoebox, a power cord, a USB adapter and an HDMI adapter. It’s pretty easy to setup for the first time. You will need to download the app made for iOS or Android. You will connect to the Kwilt wifi before trying to transfer your pictures, but once connected, you’ll be able to transfer your photos whether you are at home, or away.

Now, the Kwilt doesn’t have unlimited storage on the actual shoebox. You’ll eventually transfer photos to a USB drive or your hard drive or whatever, but it is a really affordable way to be able to keep your originals photos in high res size. You can also save your photos to your hard drive from anywhere with the app.

The HDMI adapter also allows for easy viewing on your television, which is a great feature!

Here’s the video to show how easy it is to set up:

As a family who loves to take pictures on our phones, we would recommend this product for others who love to do the same.

Disclaimer- Kwilt sent us this product for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

The Mini HD Wi-Fi Camera from D-Link for Home Security Needs

Today we’re going to talk about home security. It seems to be a big essential these days. How else would this recent viral video of a package thief, who received instant karma, have been caught?

The DCS-8000LH from D-Link is a good solution to home security needs. I should say right away that these mini cameras are NOT meant for outdoor monitoring- more like something you can monitor what is going on in a certain room, although if you had the right set-up near a window, you might be able to get footage during the day to make sure no one is stealing your packages.

The cameras shoot in 720p HD with a 120 degree wide angle lens, so you can see a good portion of your room. Sound and motion sensors will send push notifications to your phone to let you know of any activity going on. You can record from your phone- even at night, as there is night vision on the cameras.

They are pretty small (3.74 inches tall), and could fit in your hand, but not small enough to be a spy camera or anything. You do have to plug it in. It comes with a microUSB DS power adapter. The cord isn’t terribly long, so you’ll have to hope for a nearby outlet in a convenient place, or use an extension cord.

You’ll need to download the mydlink app, and some users have experienced problems setting up the Bluetooth connection with their wi-fi. Make sure you have a 802.11 n/g wireless router, and don’t give up if you have initial issues getting it connected. D-Link has customer service to help get you going.

This camera is not as good as the Ring devices, maybe, but those are also much more expensive. You can get a single camera for $59.99 on the D-Link site, or places like Wal-Mart and Amazon.com, or you can get a 2 pack for $119.99.

D-Link provided us with a single camera in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Netatmo, Part 1: The Presence

netatmo-presenceIt’s hard to believe that we are living in a time where anyone can have their own personal security system, and products like the Netatmo Presence make it very affordable. The Netatmo Presence is not only affordable, but it is quite easy to install. Just think of it as another outdoor light.

Yes, all that white space on the Presence is made to be a floodlight, and it is a smart one. You can program it to switch on when it detects either a person, car, or animal, or maybe just all three from up to 65 feet/20 meters. By the way, the application allows for clicking the light on from a smartphone or tablet.

While we are discussing the application, it keeps track of the animals, cars, or people that will be passing by. Since this is a security camera, you can record the footage on the included SD card. You can also store the videos automatically on a personal DropBox cloud or a personal FTP server. If you want to see what happened during the day, there is a timelapse feature, and the videos are full HD quality with a pinch-to-zoom for details.

I am told that the Netatmo Presence has some “bank level” security, but I am not certain how good it truly is. Anyway, this is quite a product, and would make an excellent gift for anyone who wants a bit more security for the holiday season. The Presence can be purchased on the Netatmo site for $299.99.

Hands-on with the Lifeprint


The Lifeprint is a device that I have written about before. I first saw it when I was at CES last January, and I thought it was hands-down the coolest thing that was at the show.

Instead of doing my normal shtick of showing a still shot of the device itself, I felt it was just much better to show this promo video from Lifeprint instead. What began as a crowdfunded project has become a way to make the printed photo relevant again.

In case you are one of the rare ones who would rather read text than watch a video, here is what the Lifeprint can do. It uses the power of augmented reality in order to turn an ordinary photo into a video.

Lifeprint has made a comparison to Harry Potter, and if you remember seeing the moving picture headlines from any one of those movies, the comparison is pretty honest. Of course, Harry and his wizard friends didn’t need a smartphone or tablet to make this magic work.

It is pretty simple to make this work, as the Lifeprint App (for Apple and will soon be available on Android) collects all photos and videos from the camera, and this includes anything on Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, GoPro, and Twitter. For those with Apple Live Photos, this is also an option.

Once you have chosen your video, you can essentially create your “cover”. This is the one still image that will serve as your photo for your augmented reality video. If you want to, you can even touch up the photo using the editing tools and such.

From there, you can print your photo on the Lifeprint printer, and then view it through Lifeprint’s viewer. Your still shot will be still no longer, and your memory from that photo will spring to life.

Now, here is the interesting part: you can print your cover photo from other Lifeprint printers around the world, provided they are on your network. This I didn’t get a chance to try out, as I don’t know anyone who has one of these yet. I have hunch that will change as Lifeprint has the potential to be next thing in social networking.

I also think that it is interesting that Lifeprint realized in advance that people will use Lifeprint for turning possibly non-X-rated photos into X-rated videos. It says on their site that their printer is straight up sexy, but that is not what they mean. Let’s hope that this doesn’t become an issue, as people already talk about sexting so much that spell-checker isn’t even red-underlining “sexting”.

The Lifeprint printer can be purchased for $129.95 on the Lifeprint site, and it requires some special photo paper to work (with a 110 pack costing $49.95). While I’m talking about the other accessories, I should bring up the other specs. The printer is quite small at 5 x 3 x 1 inches, and can print 10-15 photos (2 x 3 inches) per charge. It takes 1 hour for a full charge, and has a 30 second printing time.

Our Review of the D-Link DCS-2530L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera

d-link-dcs-2530lOkay, it’s been a while since I reviewed a D-Link product, and one of the last one was the Full HD Ultra-Wide View Wi-Fi Camera. This particular DCS-2530L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Cmaera is a smaller version of that, and we had a chance to check it out for ourselves.

Just to let you know, you will be hearing some form of 180 in this review. First of all, it has a 180 degree field of view, which allows a 50 percent more view with a very wide angle lens. Oh, it also has a 1080p HD quality video which gives a lot of great clear video. So, there is a 180 listed twice, because 1080p is kind of like 180.

As you might have guessed, it is made for security, as it has night vision for 16 feet with built-in IR LEDs. It has sound and motion detection for some push alert notification when loud noises or movement is detected. You can put the recorded footage on microSD/SDXC slot.

Do you want to view this on Wi-Fi? That can hapen, and there is a remote viewing on the smartphone or tablet. It’s nice, and it has a mydlink Lite app.

Now, I just checked out the original Full HD Ultra-Wide View Wi-Fi Camera, and that model had most of the same features. The cool thing is that is cheaper at $159.99. You can get it at Best Buy and the D-Link site.

HookUpz 2.0 from Carson (IS-200)

hookupz-2-0_19-600x600So, I’ll be reviewing a lot of iPhone 7 accessories and pretty much everything else for the holiday season, and this particular product is from Carson (or Carson Optical, in case the company has re-branded or something). This is the HookUpz 2.0, which is clearly a sequel, and I tried to use the best picture that I could to show you what it could do.

Simply put, it connects a smartphone to something optic like binoculars, monocular, spotting scopes, telescopes, microscopes, borescopes, slit lamps, night vision and more. How does it do that?

Well, you put the iPhone 7 or other compatible smartphone (it can do many) or even phablets in this cradle, and then you connect it to the optic thing. The HookUpz 2.0 is made to handle anything with a an outer eyepiece diameter of 25-58 mm.

It looks a little awkward, but you can make recordings that are boosted by your optics on your smartphone or phablet. I am sure that this is a thing, because who wouldn’t want to some more magnification on their smartphone?

You should be able to get the HookUpz 2.0 on the Carson site, for an MSRP of $89.

Our Review of Tiffen’s Steadicam Smoothee

Smoothee-Site-2Well, we had a chance to try out something that most smartphone users need, or at least those who use their smartphone for videos. That is the Steadicam Smoothee from Tiffen.

You can see it in the image here of what it looks like, and let’s just say when I was putting it on my smartphone, my wife came in while I was doing it. Yeah, it looks a little weird, because yes, this thing looks a little weird.

However, it works, what can you say? I’ll talk about what it was like getting it out of the box. First of all, you have put your phone in this brace thing that you put on top, and that is what holds your smartphone there so you can take videos.

Just to let you know, I have to admit that there was an issue with my phone. The clamp things that hold it in was hitting the power button, but I was able to work around it. That was the first issue.

The second issue was that you will need to get this calibrated. For that, you might need to use a weight that it comes with, plus adjust the weight on the front that has the Steadicam logo on it. When I first used it, the thing kept tilting on me. Then it is required to adjust the red horizontal and vertical knobs until it is really balanced out.

Before I get to the small problems that I had with it, I wanted to talk about what it is like to shoot without a Steadicam Smoothee. This is the video that I took while I was taking my dog for a short stroll.

Okay, you can see how shaky it is, so I then put on the Steadicam Smoothee and took my dog for another walk. It’s like one of those bad action films that over-compensates its lack of good fight scenes by just shaking the heck out of the camera.

Now, I want you to notice how that there is no shaking, even though there is some veering from side to side. This is because the way the Smoothee is set up has a handle that balances on it, and unless it is perfectly balanced, it has a difficult time staying in a certain place.

I don’t want anyone to think that this is a negative review of the Steadicam Smoothee from Tiffen. In fact, I highly recommend it. Like I said on the second video above, it will take a little bit of practice before it is second-nature, which is how everything works, really. In fact, there are some videos that I found about it here, which sound like they are narrated by Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation.

Anyway, if you want this, you can buy it here for $149.95.

Lifeprint is the Coolest Tech that I have seen so far this year

Lifeprint PrinterI realize that it is difficult to say that anything is big deal, and I really should have reported on this when I saw it at CES 2016. Yes, I did say that the future is “mesh”, as if to substitute the last word from “meh”, but honestly, the Lifeprint is very good.

I can’t remember what after-party that I saw this at CES, but some man just came up to me with a photo and then made it into a video. How did he do this? He held up a mobile device, and through the screen, I could see a video. I posted a video of it below so you can see what it is about in case you can’t visualize it.

Needless to say, this was one of those times at CES where my eyes bug out because I am impressed by some new technology. The Lifeprint is able to print Apple Live Photos, vines, and GIFs, and then animate them with Augmented Reality (AR).

I believe that this comes with a printer so you can print out a still shot from a video, and then use the augmented reality function to make it move. The guy at the booth said that “it’s like Harry Potter”, and I have to admit that we really should have the tech to make the newspapers of Harry Potter come to life, perhaps using tablet technology.

This though, it turns a photograph, which is a great memory in and of itself, into a greater memory. This is one of those Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, so I don’t really have a price as yet. This could be a product that everyone could have around the house, especially if you want to keep a photo album or scrapbook.