News: Clarity Speaker becomes First Standalone Device to Offer Access to Both Amazon and Google Voice Assistants

Clarityimage001The only Alexa-Enabled device with a built in touchscreen extends early bird pricing

New York, March 31, 2017 – The Clarity Speaker, the first standalone device to provide access to both Alexa and Google voice services, has announced the extension of its presale campaign to April 30, 2017, following an overwhelming response. Clarity, which is also the first and only Alexa-enabled product to boast a fully-featured touchscreen, has also announced that it will offer access to both Google Now and Google Assistant when it ships in June, well ahead of the rumored Amazon Echo touchscreen.

From blasting out favorite Spotify playlists to watching blockbuster movies, the android-powered touchscreen speaker offers great entertainment capabilities and acts as the hub for smart home automation while offering the power and skills of both Alexa and Google voice assistants. Clarity fuses the convenience and functionality of a conventional tablet with the dynamic possibilities of a smart voice-activated, connected speaker. During the extended presale period, Clarity can be purchased for $149 ahead of its shipping price of $199.

Awesome Audio

Clarity is a powerful, super lightweight, super portable Bluetooth and WiFi connected speaker, ideal for listening to music, podcasts or audio books. Content can be played from connected personal devices, internet radio stations or streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.

Its two 5-watt speakers and spacious sound chambers deliver exceptional sound performance, and at just 2lbs with a six hour playback battery life, Clarity can be enjoyed anywhere.

Two Voices Are Better Than one

Clarity is the first device to allow people to use both the Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants. A range of service and skills can be accessed through simple voice commands, such as “Alexa read the news”, “Alexa play Adele”, “Hey Google show me the route to the office” and “OK Google set my alarm for 7 a.m.” Because Clarity also has a built in touchscreen, it can display as well as play results found by these services.

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Hub of the Connected Home

With Clarity, users can control and manage every aspect of the connected home. Using voice commands to control Alexa or Google, or leveraging the 7-inch touchscreen, users can control a range of devices including Nest, TP-Link, Samsung SmartThings, Insteon, Ecobee, Wemo and Hue Personal Wireless Lighting.

There’s an App for That

Clarity’s 7-inch touchscreen and built in camera allows it act as an android powered tablet providing access to apps and services you would find on any traditional device. From watching Netflix movies to video chatting and Skyping with family and friends, users can access and enjoy any of their favorite apps from the Google Play store.

Tech Specs and Availability

Clarity will ship in June 2017, priced $199. An early bird price of $149 is available through to April 30, 2017, on Indiegogo. Its full features include:

  • Compact lightweight design – Dimensions 326 x 110 x 160mm | weight 2lbs
  • 7-inch multi-touch screen with 1280×800 resolution
  • Advanced near and far field capabilities
  • Alexa, Google Assistant and Google Now enabled
  • Powered by quad-core CPU
  • Two 5-watt speakers
  • Two megapixel camera
  • 16G internal memory with expandable storage via Micro SD cards available
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1600 mAh Li-Poly battery providing six hours of audio and 2.5 hours of video playback
  • WiFi (2.4G and 5G Dual-Band) and Bluetooth (4.0) connectivity

 

Clarity is designed and manufactured by Pan Sea Co., Ltd., a company with a proven track record specializing in intelligent electro-acoustic products such as SoundPad. Its team has more than 20 years of experience in consumer electronics and acoustic technology and has spent three years developing Clarity.

“The response and demand for Clarity has been fantastic, beating all of our expectations,” said Dake Liu, CEO of Pan Sea Co. “We are proud to have developed an intuitive device with a number of industry firsts and are extending our presale campaign after popular demand to give even more people the chance to secure the Clarity Speaker at a discounted price.”

For further information visit www.clarityspeaker.com

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review



Square Panda Phonics Playset

What we love…

ability to use a multisensory approach to learning letters which includes apps and physical letters placed on the playset to form words; included parental dashboard to track your kids progress

What we’d love to see…

ability to customize words in all apps, a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground website

Summary

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset provides a multisensory tactile learning experience which combines content on your iPad with letters and visuals within the app. It includes 14 levels of phonics play as well as an integrated dashboard to track progress.

Setup is quick and easy.  First, you set up an account on Square Panda with your email and other information.  That gives you access to the parental dashboard.  After that you can unpack the Phonics Playset, install the 4 included AA batteries, download the apps and be using them within 10 or less minutes.  I spent some time in the Square Panda Playground website because I wanted to check out the features there.  There are so many great things!  You can add your own custom words including your child’s name – and for me when I last had my son use the playset I included words from his spelling list that week!  When you enter custom words they are put into your child’s games and you can even upload a picture to go with them!  Words must be between 1-8 characters, so more complex spelling words won’t work here, however, it’s a great way to practice.  The Square Panda Playground also lets you choose words for specific types of situations like bathroom and body anatomy as well as even excluding a specific letter if you misplaced it from the playset.  You can also block specific types of words if you wish which gives you a great level of customization.

iPad Screenshot 1

The playset includes 45 smart letters.  Vowels are yellow and consonants are yellow to make for easier differentiation between the letter types.  These all stored inside the playset case when not in use.  You can have up to three players per playset, and the content dynamically changes depending on which user is selected so with my 2 year old we are simply working on even identifying letters while with my 8 year old he is working on spelling words and earning badges.  The Square Panda Playset includes access to two apps, and one of the two apps Square Panda Lagoon allows you to use the custom words that you have created.   Square Panda Bowling (above) has you bowl with your finger to knock down the pins and spell out words.  It combines a multi-sensory approach where you do an activity, get a letter with your finger on your iPad and then properly place it in the try to spell the word.  Kids are taught to spell words correctly from left to right which is the way that The National Reading Panel recommends as well as the way that reading is taught in school.

iPad Screenshot 4

First of all – this is not the plastic letters that I grew up with!  Many of us may remember growing up and having the magnetized letters that we used to spell things on our refrigerator.  I loved that the app required letters to be correct before allowing you to move on.  Letters are placed individually in a white box at the bottom of the playset.  The must be positioned correctly and placed on the playset in the correct order.  The photo above is from Square Panda Lagoon and includes a photo as well as the word below to reinforce learning.

It isn’t often as a mom that I find a toy that both my 2 year old and 8 year old can use.  One of my favorite things about the Square Panda Playset is the level of customization that is included especially with the Square Panda Lagoon.  I can see it is a great way to practice “trick words” or words my son might be having challenges with at school and having a great way to keep track of what he is learning in terms of letters.  With my 2 year old, we can work on understanding letters and teaching him that my iPad is a learning device.  I also liked that we could store the letters inside the playset which meant that they were not misplaced the next time we went to use it.  I use a Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini because even though it’s “mom’s iPad” my kids use it a lot and I loved that we could leave on the protective case even when it was in use with the Square Panda Playset, this isn’t always the case with other products on the market.  I really liked the Square Panda Playground where I could keep track of what my kids were doing with the apps – I knew what my 2 year old was doing because we were playing together but with my older son I usually help him learn how to use something and then let him try and figure it out on his own.  I liked seeing the badges of the items he accomplished as well as the ability to add in the custom words for his spelling list that week!

In terms of enhancements, I wish that both of the apps included the ability to use custom words, my son enjoyed rolling the bowling ball in Square Panda Bowling more than the Square Panda Lagoon game – I’m not sure why he preferred it more other than he enjoys bowling, so having the two app options was great.  Square Panda is planning to add more apps Letter Lab.  I hope that they include the ability to use custom words in this app.  I’d also like to see a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground – I don’t often get time to sit down at my computer so I was trying to look at it on my iPad and it wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked.

Play with letters and words today...

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset retails for $119 USD and includes a standard one year parts and labor if the letters malfunction or the product itself malfunctions.  It can be purchased from Square Panda for $119 USD.

alison

This is not your mom’s letter playset.  This is a fun and interactive toy which can be used by younger and older children and can customize and provide data about what your child is learning.  It is a true demonstration of what the iPad can do versus other tablets on the market.

Apps


Square Panda Lagoon Square Panda Lagoon by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

A goofy chameleon with a love for dancing introduces children to letter sounds and phonics in a fun, exploratory way where any combination of letters (both nonsense words and real words) create a learning.




Square Panda Bowling Square Panda Bowling by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

STRIKE! Letters meet their match in a bowling alley on a faraway island! With every roll of the coconut ball, your child learns the relationships between letters, sounds, and words. Compatible with the.



Square Panda Farming Square Panda Farming by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

Help Old MilkDonald plant, grow, and harvest fruits and vegetables in Square Panda Farming!

When placing Square Panda smart letters in the Square Panda Playset, children learn the alphabet, explore.



Square Panda Space Cows Square Panda Space Cows by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

It's a bird, it's a plane it's... alien UFOs beaming up cows! Compatible with the Square Panda Phonics Playset, children place smart letters in the tray to learn the alphabet, explore letter sounds, and.



Square Panda Fishing Square Panda Fishing by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

What's the best catch in the icy arctic lake? Learning about letters! In Square Panda Fishing, children reel in their fishing line for a chance to catch letter fish! With each fish that they catch, they.

Video demonstration

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Square Panda Phonics playset , please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to to those with a valid US mailing address, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Review of the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings-WirelessBPM-Main-iOS-EN

What we love…

Very quick and easy to use, immediate feedback on whether or not your reading is in the optimal range, automatically tracks measurements over time, reminders, easy to share results with your doctor

Summary

If you or a loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great way to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

February is American Heart Health month, which spotlights the major health problems that heart disease causes, and encourages Americans to focus on improving their cardiovascular health. The CDC estimates approximately 70 million Americans  (29%) suffer from hypertension and a similar number have pre-hypertension (blood pressure that is above normal but not yet in the high blood pressure range.) For those suffering from hypertension and pre-hypertension, or at risk for it, regular blood pressure monitoring is important. Getting into the doctors office for frequent blood pressure checks often isn’t practical, so home blood pressure monitoring can be a better alternative. This month we tested out the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor , which is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home.

Withings-WirelessBPM-livingroom

I’m lucky enough that I don’t currently have any blood pressure issues, but I do have a family member who is in the pre-hypertensive range and needs to  monitor his blood pressure regularly. We have had a blood pressure monitor at home for several years because of this, but it spends most of the time gathering dust as he finds it cumbersome to use and as a result he rarely uses it. During American Heart Health Month we have been both measuring our BP regularly using the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor.

Previous BP Monitor on Left with separate cuff, tubing, monitor and charger vs Withing Wireless BP Monitor on Right

Our previous BP Monitor on Left with separate cuff, tubing, monitor and charger vs Withing Wireless BP Monitor on Right

 

In Use

I found the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor incredibly easy to set up and use. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app on your iOS or Android Smartphone or tablet.Within the Health Mate App you can create multiple user accounts, so that you can view all your family’s data in one place. You can also log in to your Health Mate account from multiple devices.

The BP monitor charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless.  The battery life is good, after taking approximately 30 readings my battery still has lots of life left.

To use it: just switch the monitor on by tapping a button, and it will ask to connect to your phone/ tablet via Bluetooth. Once you have connected it the first time it will connect automatically in future, if you have Bluetooth switched on.

Once the BP monitor connects via Bluetooth all the instructions appear on the screen step by step:

1. Rest 5 min, then wrap the arm band around your left arm with the metal tube against your inner arm, about 2cm above your elbow.

2. Stay still during the measurement, sit up straight in a chair, feet flat on the floor, don’t cross your legs.

3. Arm relaxed and resting at heart level e.g. on a table.

4. Press “Start” in the app. (Before doing this you can also switch profiles if you need to.)

Once you press start, the cuff automatically inflates and slowly deflates as it makes the measurement.

Once the measurement is complete the app displays your Systolic BP, Diastolic BP and heart rate. A color coded dot appears next to the BP reading to let you know at a glance if the readings are normal or not. You can set the monitor to take multiple readings automatically and you can also set a reminder so you get a daily notification to remind you to take your blood pressure at your preferred time.

From the Withings Healthmate app you can see your daily activity from all your Withings devices in one place- if you have a Withings Activite Pop your sleep and activity data will appear alongside your BP and Heart rate from the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. By tapping on the BP reading you can view a graph of your BP and heart rate readings over time. You can also view this data in table form.

If you are under medical care it is also important to be able to easily share your results with your doctor, this is very easy to do. When looking at your BP and Heart Rate data you can choose to share your data via email and can even set up for your readings to be emailed automatically once a day, week or month.

Obviously if you see abnormal readings it is a good idea to consult with your doctor. If want extra help interpreting your results Withings also offers Hy-Result an advanced advisory service as an in-app purchase for $4.99.

I was very impressed with how easy it is to take your Blood Pressure using the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. Applying the cuff is very simple and the whole system is built in to the cuff and its attached metal tube, there are no tubes, wires or additional accessories. You literally just switch on the monitor, put the cuff around your arm and follow the on screen instructions to make sure you are in a good position for measuring, and press start. It couldn’t be easier! It is so much simpler than the home Blood Pressure Monitor we used previously, that this one actually gets used instead of sitting gathering dust!

I love that you can set reminders to do your measurement, that you immediately know whether or not your reading is in the optimal range and that it automatically tracks your measurements over time. The ability to easily share results with your doctor is also a great feature. With the ability to add multiple family members within your Withings Health Mate account it also means you can use it to make sure family members are taking care of their heart health too. Whether it is checking on a parent who lives elsewhere, or a spouse when you are away from home, you can check that they are remembering to measure their BP and that it staying in their normal range, which is great for peace of mind.

If you or a loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great way to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless.

The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is available from Withings.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $129.95


NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Review and Giveaway for the Kolibree Intelligent Bluetooth™ Toothbrush



C40U0469 (4) (1)

What we love…

Coaching using motion sensors and app, game to encourage kids to brush, feedback after brushing, ease of switching profiles and brush heads. Easy for multiple family members to use 1 handle/ base with personal heads, ability to access data from multiple devices. Makes kids want to brush and do so more effectively.

What we’d love to see…

A rack for holding multiple brush heads, different color brushes in basic pack (colors are available in add-on packs) , more games

Summary

A great tool for all the family to improve their dental hygiene. It encourages kids (and adults) to brush regularly, coaches them on how to brush more effectively and provides feedback on how they are doing. Highly recommended!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Like many parents I struggle to get my children to do a good job of taking care of their teeth. They are old enough that they will no longer let me brush their teeth, but young enough that they really don’t understand how important good dental hygiene is. I first saw the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush at the Consumer Electronics Show and was intrigued to find out if it would actually make our toothbrushing battles any less frequent. I recently  tested it out with my 8 year-old twins and was pleasantly surprised that not only does it make them want to brush their teeth it also has them wanting to do a better job and their teeth are noticeably cleaner as a result.

At first glance Kolibree looks like any other good quality electric toothbrush. It is a sonic toothbrush, its charging base plugs into an electric outlet and the toothbrush charges when sitting on the base. It comes with 2 removable brush heads and additional heads are available to purchase. However, unlike a regular electric toothbrush Kolibree uses 3D motion sensors to monitor how you are brushing and give you feedback.

To use the toothbrush you first need to download the free iOS or Android app. With the app you create an account for the family and profiles for each member who will be using it.

C40U0425 (6) (1)

In Use

It took me about 5 minutes to set up the app with profiles for all the members of my family. Once it is set up it is very easy to switch profiles, you just tap on the picture of the user and it lets you choose which family member is using it. When you are brushing there are 2 brushing programs to choose from- Go Pirate and Coach. Before each session the app will remind you to connect to the toothbrush via Bluetooth if you are not already connected.

It is very easy to switch toothbrush heads, making it easy to use with multiple family members. The 2 brush heads that come with the Kolibree are identical, so we added colored tape to be able to identify whose brush was whose (we tried Sharpie but that rubbed off). I did notice that the replacement brush heads come with a variety of different colored bristles so this won’t be an issue in future, but it would be nice to see 2 different colors come with the brush.

My kids had used manual and battery operated rotating tooth brushes before, but not a sonic toothbrush. I was unsure how they would react to this, especially as my son (with ASD) has sensory issues, so I had them feel the vibrations on their hand before using it the first time, the vibrations didn’t bother them at all. The brush handle is as long as a standard adult electric toothbrush but it is very light- weighing only 2.5oz, so my children found it easy to use.

Coach

iPhone Screenshot 5This app shows your mouth divided into 6 sections and as a 2 minute timer runs it takes you through brushing each section of your mouth- brushing inner, outer and biting surfaces for each of the 6 areas. It shows you which direction your brush strokes should be in, and encourages you to spent equal time on each section. This app is great to use with kids the first time they use the Kolibree, and for adults and older kids in the long term. It not only makes you brush for a full 2 minutes but teaches you how to effectively clean all tooth surfaces during that time. As an adult I find this app really useful and interestingly my 8 year-old daughter likes to use this instead of the Go Pirate app.

Go Pirate

iPhone Screenshot 1This game is designed to encourage children to brush. They can pick a costume for their pirate and head off in search of gold. Each time they brush an icon at the bottom of the screen shows them which part of their mouth to brush, and a pirate also gives them verbal directions. If they follow the directions they will collect gold coins. Each time they brush they move to a new place on a treasure map, and there are treasure chests to find along the way. My son loves this app and collecting the gold coins. He is very competitive both at beating his sister and his own personal best score.

Checkup

iPhone Screenshot 3

After you complete a brushing session you can go to the “Check Up” section of the app and see how you did. Each of your teeth is shown in outline and the paler the tooth the better job you did of brushing that area, yellow areas show where you need to do a better job. In between brushing sessions you can also see your accumulated brushing data in the Check Up, so you can tell which areas you need to work on more. My kids love being able to see how they did after each session- I think it is their favorite part of the whole Kolibree experience.

The app also has lots of customization options including changing the users handedness, adjusting brushing time, music and transition sounds. For me a very important feature is that you can easily switch between multiple family members within the app and you can have the family’s account on multiple devices. We usually use the app on my phone but in case I am not home at brushing time we also have it on my husbands phone and a family iPad. The data seamlessly synchs between devices so whatever device we use has their brushing history, and when I’m away from home I can look at my phone and see what time they brushed and how well.

iPhone Screenshot 2Over time each family member accumulates points, moves up levels and earns badges according to both how well and how frequently they brush. You can look back at their brushing history for the last week and see what points and awards they have earned over their brushing lifetime. They are also given a “Kolibree Index Score” based on how well and frequently they brush. These can all act as long term incentives to keep brushing and gives parents a way to monitor progress if they wish to give children rewards for hitting certain milestones.

Overall, although at first glance Kolibree looks much like any other quality electric toothbrush it has many features that make it stand out from the crowd. Its motion sensing technology and app give realtime coaching during brushing and feedback afterwards. The brush is designed to be used by both adults and children and is a great way to get all of the family working on improving their dental hygiene. In the time my family have been using it we have had noticeably less battles over teeth brushing, my kids are brushing more frequently, for longer and are consciously trying to do a better job when they brush. My 8 year old son said “mum this is a great way to get me to brush” and I think that sums it up pretty well! I will be ordering more brush heads so the rest of the family and use it too.

The Kolibree Smart Toothbrush is available from Kolibree.com and Amazon the basic pack including Tooth brush, charging base, 2 heads and app is $149, other combo packs are available. Replacement brushes are $19 for a 3 pack.

iTunes link

Kolibree Kolibree by Kolibree

Price: $FREE

Finally, a new smart tooth brushing tool!

Kolibree is a useful app that helps you take care of your teeth on a daily basis, and will improve your oral hygiene.

Kolibree offers an innovative.

Kolibree: FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Kolibree Smart Toothbrush ( value) $149, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.A. and Europe, and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. By entering this competition you agree that Kolibree may contact with news, competitions & special offers. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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