Panasonic Link2Cell & Saving Calls! (A Giveaway Too)

Panasoniclink2cell
I know I am not alone with the modern issues of cell phones and home phones. I mean, first off I have too many separate phones to track! Secondly, I don’t get good cell reception everywhere in my house.

This was a huge issue when my dad was sick and when he died. I was getting calls from my step mom on my cell and in order to have a conversation I would have to go outside or kick all my kids out of the living room because that was the only way I could get a signal! But that is no longer my issue at home because technology (and Panasonic) has a solution.

I recently got a Link2Cell KX-TG7742S telephone from Panasonic to review and I love it! At first look it just seems like a standard home phone set up with a base and handsets but it is more than that. You can link your cell phone to it by Bluetooth and it enables all your cell phone calls to go through it. You don’t even have to have a home line to use it.

Set up was extremely easy! First you place the base near the magic spot in your house where you get the best cell reception and therefore where your cell it. You can tie it to up to 2 cells. You punch in a code to pair it to the 1st and then the 2nd while you also pair it from the cellphone side too. That was it. You can even charge your phone off the base if you are out of outlets.

I love that in between rings it will audibly tell you who is calling based on caller id. While I don’t have caller id on my home phone, I do on my cell! I love it because I don’t have to go get the handset to see who is calling. If I am just going to let it ring through to my voice mail I just leave it alone.

You can pick up this phone from Panasonic and see all their options. My set came with a base and 2 handsets. You can also win a Link2Cell phone system here!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: Panasonic gave me a review unit but all thoughts are my own. The prize is from Panasonic and they are responsible for all fulfillment.)

Looking at the Belkin WeMo

WemoI recently received a Belkin WeMo to review from Verizon and these are my thoughts! This is super easy to use! Just plug it in, install and go!

I also love that home automation is now plug and play so we can bring it into any home. To read more about some great home automation tools make sure to check out Technology and the House!

Technology and the House: Home Automation

Technologyandthehouse

Technology. Cell phones. Apps. So many people view these as things that are only for work or for play but not for real life. Well, that is so 1980’s (cheesy, I know but I couldn’t resist;). But seriously, technology is so much more than information management and game playing. There are so many companies that are taking technology into home management. And I don’t just mean todo lists or how they manufacture your keys. I mean actually being able to manage household appliances and devices with your technology on smart phones and tablets.

There are so many companies that are going into home automation (and I hope to write more about it in the future) but today I wanted to look at 4 different devices that are currently on the market (and would make great gifts;).

Wemo

1. Belkin has out the Belkin WeMo Switch. This can be plugged into any outlet and all you do is plug in a variety of things! It is a great option for an outlet in an inconvenient place or for something that you want to turn on remotely. You can control the switch with a free app on Android or Apple phones and tablets! I can’t be the only one who wishes a fan or light could be turned on before I get home or walk down the stairs?

 

 

nestthermostat

Next up is Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577! This is a thermostat that replaces your existing thermostat and it learns your patterns and temperature preferences. Once you install it the Nest system it takes less than 2 weeks to learn your patterns. Then if you then change it occasionally that won’t change the programming.

There are also features like the Leaf feature that tells you when you are saving energy.  And if you are changing your schedule or are travelling and forgot to set your thermostat you can do it from an app!

Very convenient and very high tech. But at $250, it is tech you can afford!

belkinlightsensor

Light switches are a given for a tech upgrade! Belkin WeMo Light Switch is an easily doable upgrade! Just switch out you existing light switch (they promise it is easy) and you are ready to go! This works with all forms/bulb types because there is no wattage issues that can exist with certain switches (especially ones with dimmers).  You can manage it with the same Belkin app so if you want to turn the lights on while you are driving home you can. But you can also program it. You can also set it to react to sunset/sunrise!

 

 

nestfire

Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide is about to be released! It is both a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. It can be powered by either batteries or hard wired. One of the things I absolutely love is the fact it has a “heads up” feature. Every year I do the 2 hour turkey and frantically way underneath my smoke alarm as to prevent it from going off;). With this alarm it will start with a gentle noise and you can disable it then.

It can also be controlled by the Belkin App. You can add Emergency contacts so if the alarms go off it can contact someone (like your cell phone). If you have a Nest thermostat and a gas furnace if the alarm goes off it can turn off your furnace too.

Ahh, so it has finally happened. We are on our way to “The House of Future”! Other than maids and food replicators, what are you most excited about?

(Disclosure: This post was done for Verizon but all thoughts and opinions are mine!)

My #1 Life Management Tool

Picture from Cozi

Picture from Cozi

I know, that is a big claim but I Cozi is awesome!!! For years I ran a hybrid of list pads, day planners, list files in Google Drive and Google calendars but they just weren’t working the way I needed for my family. My first inclination was to try and get the husband to build an online tool but nobody has time for that;). So I had to figure out if I could find tool to balance all my needs and I am quite needy.

What I needed:
1) Calendar
2) Lists
3) Separate Calendars for my work stuff & everyone else
4) Accessibility for me! I wanted to get the information without having to remember to carry it.
5) Ability to share it with the husband

Cozi LogoHow Cozi met those needs:

1) Share ability! Every member of the family can log in with their own email and a communal password.
2) Accessibility! You can access it in your browser, cell phones and tablets! There are apps for iOs and Android. For other platforms there is a mobile site that runs fast and easy.
3) Calendars galore! You can create as many calendars as you could possibly desire. Then you can view one or many at a time. I have them for the husband, myself, the kids and my blogs.
4) Shopping lists. You can create separate lists for every store or type of store or any way you want to organize things. Then you just tick things off. That simple. They are all in a pull down. I keep my fireworks list and packing list here too!
5) Todo lists! Just like shopping lists and calendars, you can create as many different todo lists as you could possibly want. You know how you make a todo list and you hope to get to is soon but there is an absolute day it has to be done by? Put that date on it and that item will also go into your calendar but as soon as you complete it (check it off) it will leave the calendar! So all those little things you don’t put on your calendar because it would clutter it (but you really need it there) this is the answer!!

The extras that Cozi gives me:

1) Meal planning tools! You can lay in your meal plan, store your recipes and generate shopping lists!
2) Message Center! There is a communal message center where you can post just like a bulletin board. That is great for the general reminders you might need to pass along.
3) Journaling! You can note all those milestones and successes either for the memory book or to share. You can do monthly email newsletters (to keep grandparents up to date) or set it up to share straight to Facebook.

This is all the free features. There is also a Cozi Gold that takes out the ads and allows you to track Birthdays too.

Is there any wonder as to why I and so many others love this app? And no, I haven’t been compensated at all to write this post!

A Look at 2013 CES

whirlpoolfireplace
CES (Consumer Electronic Show) was last week in Las Vegas. It is the time when all the companies that deal with technology on a consumer level come out for a huge game of show and tell. Some are things that are here, coming and hope to be coming;). I decided to take just a minute to look at a few of the cool things I have heard about (from home;).

The home show is a huge part of CES! Everyone brings out there concept models to get everyone excited!!! Why all the concept stuff and not just what is coming out new? Because it not only energizes people but it gets developers excited to work with them!

Whirlpool had their fireplace table along with a whole booth of awesomeness including Art Gallery Hoods and a house controlled by smart phone! The Smart Grid aspect (being able to manage your appliances power use is actually supposed to be coming out this spring.

Samsung brought out their smart home set up too that including their T9000 refrigerator with the lcd screen built in. I have already heard talk from someone at Evernote about how they are working the app for it. These devices are nothing now without apps!

Then there is the gadgets! There are toys like remote controlled toys & Lego stuff. There is also lot accessories. Sony showed everyone their new speakers including the bluetooth mobile speaker. IHome showed a ton of their new systems too. Then there are all the other “smart” accessories like the HapiFork that tells you to slow down when you eat and monitors your eating.

And then there are the machines! We already heard about the monitors. There are also the new phones and computers. Even there Microsoft wasn’t a big presence the new Windows 8 machines were a big thing and some of them are actually available now;). Lenovo showed their new machines like the Ideapad Yoga and Asus showed the ginormous 23 inch tablet!!!

There is so much more that happened at CES but these are just a few of the awesome highlights I have seen!!! Maybe next year I will muster another trip to CES and check it all out for myself!

Internet of Things Consortium

The most interesting bit of news that I have heard from CES is about a new consortium that has been formed. It is the Internet of Things Consortium!

According to their website:

The Internet of Things Consortium is a non-profit organization with the mission of facilitating cooperation between hardware, software, and service providers.

There are a variety of charter members that are very interesting like Logitech and PolyControl. One of my favorite KickStarter projects, Ooya, is also on board!!!!  There isn’t a lot of information out there yet but I can’t wait to hear! There was a meeting at CES talking about it but since I am not there I missed out;).

A Glimpse at CES Day1

viewsonic32

Picture from Cnet

I am not at CES this year but I, like every other geek in the world, am watching the announcements with bated breath! So here are some of the things I have found interesting!

The 32 inch View Sonic tablet looks very fun and cool! It is Windows 8 with 10 point multi touch. (Cnet)

Kingston has a 1Tb USB 3.0 flash drive….Is there really anything I can say to make that cooler? (DailyTech)

BuQu Tech announced a magnetizing iPhone 5 charger. I hope they release some for Android too! (i4U News)

There are a few awesome tools for the connected home like the Philips Hue system and the Wemo lighting control system. (Techlicious)

 

Tomorrow I will share what coolness I see;)!