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The Era of Smartphones – How The Last Decade Has Shaped Us

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Perhaps nothing can define the 2010’s more than the rise of smartphone technology. This might even mark the most significant progress in human history. Redefining our relationship with technology has become more personal, especially as we rely on these devices as more than just tools to complete our daily tasks. 

While the future can be hard to predict, let’s look at how technology has shaped this decade and figure out what’s next to come. 

The Age Of Start-Ups

Gone are the days of spice trades and lengthy voyage rides to manufacture and sell goods. 

The internet has brought a global market, where people can purchase, pay and connect from all across the globe. This technology had also encouraged a new business model, start-ups. While the likes of Steve Jobs and Jeff Benzos had developed their businesses in basements and cramped offices, the new global market has connected people at an international level. It has even allowed entrepreneurs with very limited resources to receive the funding they needed from people all across the globe,  something that would have been almost impossible in past decades. The answer? Thanks to the emerging tools and apps like Skype, Slack, Salesforce, and HubSpot, people can hold conference calls and even run data analyses for free. 

What’s even impressive is this decade has encouraged collaboration, where your tech support can be based in India, designers in Singapore, to head offices in Silicon Valley and clients reaching well- all across the globe. 

So even when you’re lounging on the beaches of Bali, or even sitting at the comfort of your own home, you can still pretty much carry your work anywhere- offering a new definition to workplace flexibility. 

A Growing Focus on Customer Experience 

With a more competitive global market, companies are spending many resources ensuring that their customers will have the top-notch experience. In fact, new industries have come out of it… even job positions like Chief Experience Officer (CXO). 

With the massive amount of customer information that these companies receive (and purchase), data analytics have also been important. Rather than storing massive amounts of information, companies are using it to track and analyze business strategies, even creating customized and targeted ads. 

What’s In Store For The Next Decade? 

Innovators and tech companies are betting their research and design in these key areas as the next disruptive tech: 

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

With Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, the device presents a new wave and concept for VR and AR tech, which goes beyond entertainment and might, in fact, revolutionize industries. This would save time and money for companies speed up the training process, and eventually change the way we view the workforce. 

AI Technology

From self-driving cars to voice tech, AI technology has changed the way we work and live. It had made menial tasks faster and more efficient. However, experts believe that this is just the beginning, and that the future will definitely bring in smarter and faster computers. 

Global Economy

With everything, just a tap away, hotel accommodations, transport, and shopping is now possible on a global scale- and this shared economy will continue to grow (hopefully with more sustainable solutions). 

5G Technology

As we become more reliant on our mobile phones, the rise of 5g technology will give small low powered devices more capacity, even building mobile-friendly cities to accommodate the number of smartphone users. 

With leaps and bounds of technological innovations,  this will be a decade that will surely be remembered, but we also can’t wait to see what the next one will bring. 

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Design

Five Ways On How To Transform Your House Into A Smart Home

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There are no specific requirements to make your smart home, well smart. Installing one or more different smart devices into your home would categorize your home as a smart home. You can make your home as smart as you want it to be. There are many different devices that can be installed to enhance your home living.

  1. Choose your smart home assistant

The first step to making your home into a smart home is choosing your assistant. The most popular voice-controlled assistants are the Google Home and Amazon Echo. These devices are similar but still have differences. The assistant will help you to use your other smart devices. Say “O.K Google, turn on the lights” or “Alexa, play music”.  

When selecting other devices for your smart home, make sure that those devices are compatible with your assistant. 

  1. Invest in Smart Lights

With smart lighting you can walk into your home and say “Alexa, I am home” and program which lights you would like to turn on once that is said. Some of the options can dim and have multi-colors. Smart lighting can also be controlled from a phone app which allows you to control your home lights even when you’re not at home. This is a great security feature if you’re away from home or on vacation but don’t want your home to appear empty. Some systems require a bridge to connect the device to Wi-Fi. The bridge allows you to control multiple devices all at once and when you are outside of your home. 

  1. Smart Plug

The smart plug is a great way to start turning your home into a smart home. These plugs can be found for as cheap as $15 a plug. You will be able to use an app to turn on/off what is plugged in or use voice activation from your assistant when you’re at home. For example, the app will allow you to turn off your bedroom light from miles away. You can control when your plugins are using energy or not to stay energy efficient. Schedules can be created to turn on/off certain devices at specific times. There are also smart plugs designed for the outdoor elements so you can conveniently control your patio or holiday lights with ease. 

  1. Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is a great way to be energy efficient by tracking your usage. This thermostat will allow you to improve your energy use by sensing patterns in the home to adjust the temperature based on movement at certain times of the day. You can see on your app the daily and monthly energy history and where you can cut back to save energy and money.

  1. Home Security

Smart cameras can be placed inside or outside of the home. These cameras connect to an app allowing you to watch what is happening inside or outside of your home wherever you are at. The app will notify you when motion is detected on the cameras. If you choose to install cameras, make sure that you are on a secure network to keep your private life confidential.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Flying Your Drone

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You’ve picked up a drone, congratulations! You have taken the first step into a fun new world. A limitless world with new perspectives and freedoms that come with being un-tethered by gravity, free to travel the skies any way that you choose. Drones can be fun to fly as a hobby, or perhaps you want to create inspiring aerial photography. While this can be a little intimidating at first, with a few simple steps you can take to the skies and master your aerial platform in a safe and controlled way. Today we’ll take a look at some of the important steps and elements that come with flying a drone.

How Well Do You Know Your Drone?

Before going airborne, take a few minutes to become familiar with your drone. Learn about the controls, settings, and discover key information about the battery performance. It’s also a good idea to do some research about air traffic and drone rules in your area.

Even if you have never flown a drone before, you can become a master in a short amount of time with some practice. Many drones offer beginner modes and simulators that allow you to get used to the controls and fly in a safe way, without putting your drone or anyone else in harm’s way. Many of the drones in the DJI lineup offer both a simulator that connects the controller to your phone or tablet and a beginner mode that restricts the drone altitude and speed. These two modes provide a great opportunity for novice pilots to build their confidence before embarking on a full-fledged flight.

Drone Controls

Many drones on the market use a standard controller layout, consisting of control sticks and buttons. While the appearance of some controllers can differ in shape and size, the fundamental controls are the same. For the sake of simplicity, today we’ll talk about the modes commonly found on consumer drones like the Mavic, Phantom, and Spark.

Pushing the left joystick up causes the drone to fly up while pushing the joystick down causes the drone to descend. Alternatively, pushing this joystick to the left and right rotates the drone to the left and right, respectively.

The right stick controls the drone’s heading or movement. Pushing the right joystick up, down, left, and right causes the drone to move forward, backward, left, and right, respectively.

You will most likely also have several buttons that allow you to control the camera. These controls can take photos, record video, tilt or pan the camera, as well as give you access to menus. It can help to learn what each button does before flying.

The drone control layout is quite intuitive and easy to operate. Just be sure to remember which side of the drone is the front, so that you can remember which way is forward and backward. For added safety, keep your drone in GPS mode while flying; so that it hovers and maintains its position if the input to the control sticks is ceased.

Pre-Flight Checklist

  • Check the physical condition of the drone. Look for signs of wear, or cracks in the propellers;
  • Check the rules and regulations for the area you plan to fly in;
  • Check that your batteries are charged and have adequate power for flight;
  • Check that your controller and drone are properly connected;
  • Pay attention to the weather conditions;
  • Check that the immediate area around your drone to determine if it’s clear to take off and land;
  • Check your camera settings. Being able to see what your drone sees makes for safer flight;
  • Be sure there’s a memory card in your drone if you plan to take pictures or video;
  • Announce to anyone close to the drone that you are about to take off;
  • Monitor the drone settings as you fly.

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Hardware

Six Vlogging Accessories To Up Your YouTube Game

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As smartphone camera technology is rapidly advancing, more and more people are using smartphones as their primary vlogging device. They’re convenient and they draw the least amount of attention. But since most smartphones weren’t made specifically for vlogging, there’s a lot of room to make them more suitable for that purpose. Here is a list of the nine best smartphone camera accessories for vloggers.

  1. Portable Charger

Vlogging uses a lot more power. If you’re planning to vlog all throughout your day with your phone, you need a portable way to charge it back up. RAVPower has a great lineup of portable chargers with multiple USB inputs that hold a total charge of more than 20,000 mAh. With that amount, you can fully charge your smartphone more than 6 times! I own one myself and it’s been great for me during my travels. A 22,000 mAh charger goes for about $42 USD.

  1. Tripod Mount

The days of propping up your camera with books and knick-knacks is over. Once you’re committed to your vlog channel, it’s time to invest in a budget-friendly travel tripod. Fan favorites like the Joby Gorillapod are highly versatile; you can use it as a tripod or a selfie stick, with a flexible base that mounts just about anywhere. Stash the Gorillapod on your backpack’s water-bottle compartment for upcoming adventures, and trust me, one trip with this small-but-mighty tripod will have you hooked.

  1. On-camera Microphone

Audio can make or break your vlog channel. With quality audio, interested viewers will stick around to learn more about you and your interests or opinions. Deliver poor, crackling, or muffled audio, though, and you better believe they have one foot (or both feet) out the door. That’s why an on-camera microphone is worth every penny. This mic will level-up your audio instantly, with a windjammer to help you retain quality in the great outdoors.

  1. Gimbal

I know what you’re thinking — DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals are rarely in the “budget friendly” category. True. But, you can still replicate the smooth-moving footage with a gimbal built just for smartphones. Smartphones capture impressive video footage these days, so if you’re just starting out, why not replicate those cinematic shots with the iPhone’s 4K footage, and integrate it with your DSLR footage in post

  1. Ring Light

Ever wonder how those pro vloggers obtain a soft, natural glow? In some cases it’s natural light, but more often than not it’s a ring light. Ring lights abound across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. These portable lighting kits will make your videos look more professional with the simple flip of a switch. Retailing for , this ring light promises a soft, near shadow-free glow with studio-quality results.

  1. Prime Lens

It may be a higher price tag, but investing in a high-quality prime lens will transform your vlog footage instantly. Prime-lens footage is stunningly sharp, with apertures that guarantee soft, bokeh backgrounds that put you, the vlogger, in crystal-clear focus. Investing in a wide lens is a great first step; this gives you versatility for walking vlogs, talking vlogs, and scenery shots, with impressive low-light capabilities thanks to the aperture.

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