Facebook Launches Special Glasses to Play Video Games

Sometimes it seems as if we are already living in a weird Sci Fi reality. Facebook has planned to increase this mood with their special glasses designed to augment reality.

The AR glasses are being produced in partnership with Facebook and Rayban and they look like ordinary Raybans with an additional LED light button, plus a slick button on the side. Called Rayban Stories, they can be paired with either IOS or Android and you control them via your phone in the same way as any wearable tech such as the Apple watch.

The glasses come with a smart case that enables you to charge them and keep them protected when you are on the go.

The first generation glasses are already on sale. They cost $299 USD and are available in 20 style choices including Rayban classic frames such as Wayfarers, Aviators and more. They are available in stores and online in the US as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

So what can you do with the smart glasses?

According to Facebook, they enable you to take pictures from the unique perspective of your eyeline. You can also use them to listen to music and speak to people via the smart built in speakers. The technology accepts Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and more.

You can also make 30 second videos and share immediately online. In fact you can do most things via the glasses as you could do via a smart phone. Predominantly designed for social media, if you like posting your life online, it makes it fast, easy and hassle free.

You can’t see images through the glasses that are not really there. So you can’t transform your daily commute into a rainforest for example, but undoubtedly this will come.

In addition you can’t use the glasses to play video games and see all the action unfold in front of your eyes. Again we will probably get to this in the future but so far this function is not available.

Rayban Stories were launched on September 9th 2021 and surprisingly there has been very little fanfare. But if you are a fan of wearable technology and you like wearing cool sunglasses, these smart glasses will undoubtedly be top of many people’s Christmas list.

Only time will tell as to whether the smart glasses will really become as popular as smart phones. We think it is unlikely right now but with the move to put everything online and stay connected 100% of the day, it is highly possible that we will all be wearing these in the future.

Top Apps and Online Language Learning School

It is great to learn a language. Not only is this a fantastic skill that will help you communicate when you are travelling, it is good for your brain too. Neuroscientists say that learning a second language improves mental capabilities and memory and can even stave off dementia so is certainly something we should all be embracing. Luckily there are numerous online language tutors out there to help. So let’s take a look at some of them.

Pimsleur: this offers a traditional method of language learning in that it gives you the fundamentals of grammar. It also provides plenty of conversational practice and requires that you listen to audio clips and repeat them until they are right. According to language experts, Pimsleur is more rigorous than many of the competitors and with 50 languages on offer it is ideal for getting a baseline understanding. It costs $15 per month so offers good value for money.

Duolingo: This is a free app although there is a paid version. Duolingo gives you idiomatic expressions and introduces vocabulary , so it would be useful if you were planning a vacation and wanted to manage day to day requirements However it doesn’t provide any explanation of grammar so you will not get very far unless you combine it with other language learning methods.

Babbel: This is more challenging than Duolingo so expect a steep learning curve. That said if you stick at it, you will acquire a reasonable level of language. The first lesson is free and after that it costs $12.95 for a month or $8.95 per month if you sign up for three months.

Italki: This app offers one to one conversation online in 150 languages. You get to talk to people around the world and have access to your online language tutors where you can discuss a range of topics in your language of choice. Italki is inexpensive, ranging from $6 to $25 for an hour lesson.

Idlewild: This is a 7 week course that costs $295. Paying this will keep you focused on learning your language and this course does provide you with opportunities for deep learning. There are 7 classes a week via Zoom, taken by native language speakers and each class has a maximum of 10 students. The classes are aimed at a range of learners from basic to advanced and if you are serious about learning a language, Idlewild will deliver. Online language tutors with Idlewild deliver the experience of classroom learning into your home and will help you brush up or learn any of the major European languages.

Netflix: This is not a language learning app but with so many foreign language films and TV shows hosted on the site, it is a great way to enjoy the language and culture of your chosen country. Using Netflix in combination with a language app is a great way to become more fluent in language learning!

Supplements for Mental Focus

Many people take supplements to improve mental focus.  Stimulants such as caffeine can sharpen mental focus but can cause side effects such as jitteriness. Plant based ingredients such as Ginseng and Gingko are also popular and although they lack hard evidence, anecdotally many people believe they work.

However one of the best ways to improve mental focus is by diet. Ensuring you have plenty of green veg and natural protein in your diet such as obtained by oily fish, can help improve mental focus and general health. Your brain needs vitamins and proteins to work effectively and sadly because many people in the USA tend to eat a diet that misses out on these vital components, mental focus can suffer as a result.

A simple way of improving mental focus effectively is to ensure you keep your vitamin C levels topped up. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant present in natural fruit and vegetables that all humans require for health.

The problem is that the body cannot store vitamin C ; it has to be ingested on a daily basis in order for it to work. In addition, most of the vitamin C that we ingest, passes through the body and with the consumption of fruit and veg already low in the average American diet, it means that most people lack this vital vitamin. It is estimated that only 18% of the vitamin C we obtain by diet or supplements remains in the body.

Core Med Science is a US supplements company that has found a way to increase your vitamin C to optimum levels. Liposomal Vitamin C Softgels Gold Standard contain your full daily requirement of vitamin C and because the technology used in the softgels, bypasses the digestive system it means that all the vitamin C of the capsules is absorbed by the body.

Because Liposomal Vitamin C softgels have been developed using natural fats called phosphalids, all the vitamin C can enter the body without causing side effects.

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful vitamins you can take for health. It has a neuroprotective effect so can help mental focus and it also helps prevent against the signs of aging as well as increase your resistance to disease.

So if you care about your health and that of your family, choosing Liposomal Vitamin C Softgels is a safe and easy way to ensure that your resistance to disease and illness is high. And when it comes to mental focus, this is one ingredient that can only give you fantastic proven benefits without any risk of side effects.

Smart Gear that Enforces Workouts

These days we are all more fitness conscious than ever before. And with many people choosing to exercise and workout at home, it can even be a cheaper option than an expensive ongoing gym membership. So let’s take a look at some of the smart gear on the market to help you stay gym fit, even when you are staying at home.

Smart Mirror

A smart mirror is a large screen that you fit to your wall and you can use it to pair with an exercise class or trainer and follow the moves in the same way as attending a physical class. And because it is interactive, your trainer can see you and offer feedback on your performance.

Luluemon were the first company to come up with this technology and this company is hard to beat. The Smart Mirror looks like an ordinary home mirror when not in use so is suitable for placing anywhere in your home. The Luluemon mirror requires a monthly membership subscription and this gives you access to hundreds of live online classes in many different genres.

The Echelon Reflect 40 is a more compact alternative. Like Luluemon it gives you access to hundreds of online classes so whether you are weight training or interested in yoga or Pilates, you have a wide range of choice with this smart mirror.

Massage Gun

One issue that ruins motivation is tired aching muscles. A hand held massage gun will prevent this and will aid post workout recovery. There are numerous of these on the market and they are great for giving you an instant deep tissue muscle that will sooth aching muscles and pain. The Cryotex Massage Gun could be a good choice as it is popular with customers and comes with a comprehensive selection of different massage heads and speed options.

Peloton

Getting out and about on your bike can be enjoyable but the Peloton Training bike takes cycling to a new dimension. Peloton provides a range of cycle training and you can also take a virtual cycle ride across some of the best scenery in the world, helped along by your real-time online trainer. There are a range of membership options available; with the cheapest digital membership only $12.99 per month. That said Peloton is not cheap by any means but it does offer you good value for money and it will motivate you to fitness.

Smart treadmill

The smart treadmill comes with a screen so you can follow workouts or take a run across some wonderful real life scenery from your own home, including adjustable inclines and more. Nordic Track looks like a good choice. It is a gym quality treadmill for the home environment and is fully programmable via the smart HD touch screen.

What to Look for in a Podcast Camera

Podcasts have long been an audio medium but today an increasing number of podcasters are now live streaming their content in video too. This means that if you are already a podcaster or you fancy trying it out for yourself you will now have to add a podcast camera to your equipment.

So what do you need to look for in a podcast camera? We checked out some consumer guides and podcast experts to find out where to start.

Record Time: make sure your podcast camera has a long recording time. Many cameras automatically switch off after 30 minutes so ensure that this automatic cut off function can be disabled, otherwise it will destroy the flow of the podcast if it cuts out and you have to switch it back on again.

Battery life: This is equally important. You will need to set up the camera and equipment and you may run through a couple of times before you get it right. You need to know your battery life can keep your camera on, or you will face lengthy details for recharging.

Live Stream Capabilities: Can you carry out live streaming with your podcast camera? Podcasts are very immediate and enable your audience to interact and engage with you. To live stream a video you will need to stream to your laptop or smart phone via wifi or by using an HDMI cable. It is important that your podcast camera has the capabilities to use at least one of these functions. You might not be ready for live streaming yet, but it is something that you will probably want to do in the future.

High Resolution: Picture quality is important and even though it can be daunting to see your own face in high resolution, we have all become accustomed to viewing in high picture resolution. Make sure you choose a podcast camera that delivers the best viewing experience possible. The minimum should be 1080p and with the popularity of 4K, if your podcast camera can record in Ultra HD, so much the better.

There are some great podcast cameras on the market right now which will deliver these capabilities and your choice will come down to your budget and your own personal preferences. So it is very important to carry out research before you buy, or it could be an expensive mistake.

Other points to think about for video pod casting

Remember too that your other equipment is equally important so your podcast camera is only part of the kit you need for video pod casting.

As well as your audio equipment, you will now need to ensure you have the correct lighting and a good place to film the podcast.

Many audio podcasts are recorded in studios that absorb sound to prevent background sound interference. You can achieve this by hanging drapes, carpets, egg boxes or other soft materials that absorb sound.

Now you are switching to video podcasting, it is a good idea to make the recording space as dark as possible and to introduce lighting. That way you can control the light coming into the studio and focus on the participants, rather than other distractions. Black out curtains can be a great idea for the podcast studio because it enables you to fully control the light that you want your podcast camera to pick up.

How are Science and Technology Related?

Science and Technology?  You can’t have one without the other. Science is the study of all of the natural world and how it works. Technology helps us find ways to apply what we have learned and helps us increase discoveries via specialised tools.

In human biology, science and technology work together to create a greater understanding of the human body as well as improve how any necessary treatment is to be achieved. From the simple blood test to life saving cancer surgery, technology finds ways to measure the body’s vital responses and find solutions at all levels.

There is a lot we still don’t know about how the body works. And because the body is so complicated, no medical expert can fully understand every part of it and all its complexities. Your heart specialist for example is not the best authority for a fractured bone. An endocrinologist understands hormones yet may not offer the best advice for a neurological condition.

The problem is that for many health conditions, many parts of the body are interrelated and there is no holistic approach that considers the body as a whole rather than a separate range of compartmentalised symptoms.

One health aspect, on which all health experts agree, is the importance of vitamin C. Your body needs this essential vitamin on a daily basis in order to protect it from many medical conditions and maintain health, yet many people never even consider it.

You can only obtain vitamin C via diet and it is present in all fresh fruits and vegetables, yet owing to the modern day diet of processed food most of us lack this vital component in our daily diet. Your body cannot store or make vitamin C; it has to be ingested every day to provide protection.

Liposomal Vitamin C is a great example of science and technology working together. It comes from Core Med Science who have developed a way to deliver your daily requirements of vitamin C straight into your blood system.

There are numerous vitamin C tablets and supplements on the market but owing to their construction, most of the vitamin C is unabsorbed by the blood stream. And even if you up your fruit consumption and try to consume as much vitamin c as possible, only 18% will get into the blood stream and it often leads to digestive problems such as diarrhoea as a result.

Liposomal vitamin C offers something different. The scientists at Core Medical Science (CMS) have developed the technology to deliver the full RDA of vitamin C direct into the blood system by bypassing the digestive process.

Liposomal Vitamin C is in liquid form. The vitamin dose is protected by natural phospholipids which are microscopic spheres of fat and as this substance is already part of our cell membranes, it enables the body to fully absorb vitamin C without losing any of the serving size or causing digestive side effects.

Thanks to Liposomal Vitamin C you can now maintain your body’s Vitamin C levels in one daily dose.  So if you care about your health today and long term, taking this scientifically designed supplement is the best thing you can do for your own health and for your family.

Translucent Tech Gadgets Could Be a New Trend (Again)

Back in the 90s, there was a craze for see through plastic toys, gizmos, and tech. Fast forward 30 years and guess what!  The trend for translucent tech gadgets is looking to make a comeback. So, could translucent tech gadgets become a new trend again? For anyone that is old enough to remember, this trend was annoying first-time round, but in style and fashion everything makes a comeback eventually.

The Nothing company headed by designer Carl Pei (recently of One Plus) has promised to revolutionise modern tech design and for this he has looked to the past craze for translucent tech. The company is launching a new brand of wireless earbuds which are completely translucent and look likely to become popular with a whole new audience.

The translucent ear buds are completely transparent. They are not on the market yet and advertising is proving to be a problem. The issue is that the clear plastic earbuds are impossible to see in a picture so until they can be held in the hand it is anyone’s guess what they really look like.

In addition, Carl Pei has stated that creating translucent technology is extremely difficult. All the component parts including screws and batteries must be equally clear or the whole illusion will be spoiled. That said they seemed to have achieved this aim because as far as we can see from the few pictures available, the ear buds do seem to be completely transparent.

Carl Pei says that the Nothing company aims to eliminate branding such as logos from their tech products so that all that is left for the customer is raw technology. However, this doesn’t mean that the customer is in any doubt of the brand because if it is translucent and logo free, then only one company is doing this right now. This means the product itself is the brand logo!

Translucent tech already has a niche following with gamers looking for 90s retro appeal. And in recent years some tech companies have dabbled with translucent tech gadgets such as Xiaomi ‘s transparent TV. The big question is whether people who grew up in the 90s will have such fond memories of see-through tech that they will want to revisit it today?

At the end of the day, the longevity and lasting appeal of the Nothing translucent earbuds will depend upon their sound quality and comfort as well as the price. They will undoubtedly become fashionable with millenials but whether this craze lasts are anyone’s guess.

One major issue with the Nothing translucent ear buds in a see-through case is that they will be hard to find. Many of us already struggle with locating our earbuds because they are so small so often get forgotten in a bag or drawer. Imagine the problems with searching for your see-through ear buds when they are so hard to see that they are practically invisible.

Female Superpowers in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has long had a reputation for being a male dominated industry. However, things have changed in recent years and today women are making more of a mark in technology and business and as community leaders. About time too, we say. After all, if you want something done efficiently a busy woman will deliver, whereas a man …. well let’s just leave that thought there…

So, let’s check out some of the female superpowers in Silicon Valley. We can’t include them all but here is just a quick cross section of some of the women of influence, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Laura Lee Norris is an associate clinical professor at Santa Clara Law. She is also the founder of the Tech Edge JD Program which provides graduates with legal, business and technology education. Her Entrepreneurs Law Clinic has provided start ups with legal advice and she has helped countless new business flourish. Laura is one of the few women operating in Tech Law and works hard to bring STEM to women in Africa and the Middle East.

Renee DiResta is the Technical Research Manager at Stanford Internet Observatory and is all about understanding the role of tech platforms and how they spread misinformation and conspiracy theories. She has advised Congress, the State Dept and other academic and public bodies on how to manage disinformation spread over the internet platforms.

Tamar Serna is a corporate accountant who has been nominated a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley’s awards. She is the controller at Integral Development Corp, the developers of the FX Grid, described as a global multi sided trading facility. We are not sure what this means but it sounds incredibly important!

Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and CEO of Theranos. She became the youngest self-made billionaire when she was in her 30s and her company is all about helping people get the medical care they need.  Her company provides easy to use blood tests that customers can do themselves and then hand in to the pharmacy for only a few dollars. Once the blood test has been processed, the results show up on the customer’s phone. Simple!

Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube. She has Silicon Valley running through her veins and has been associated with many of the major tech companies, including Google in its early days and now YouTube. Influential and passionate about women’s rights, she is a female superpower to be reckoned with.

Susan Leary is the co founder of the Next-Door app. The app provides a way for people in neighbourhoods to communicate with each other and discuss local issues such as trade recommendations and even just pass the time of day. Previously holding high positions at both eBay and Microsoft, Susan Leary is passionate about the app which has already generated over $1 billion.

How to Reduce Hearing Loss Due to Overexposure to Loud Tech Gear

Hearing loss can occur over time if you are exposed to noise and loud sounds on a regular basis. So, playing loud video games, having your music set to a high level or watching TV with the volume set to high, can cause long term damage although we don’t always notice at the time.

Hearing loss is a gradual process and can be caused by everyday actions and our usual technology. You don’t have to play in a rock band or work a pneumatic drill to damage your hearing because it happens to all of us.

The problem is that sound is often louder than you may think. It is measured in decibels and a normal conversation is around 60 decibels whereas a motorbike is around 95 decibels. Garden tools such as leaf blowers are 80 – 85 decibels and the roar of a crowd at a sporting event is around 100 decibels.

Worryingly any sound over 70 decibels for a prolonged period can cause hearing loss and according to doctors, the effects of lower noise levels over a prolonged period is the same as exposure to louder noise levels over shorter periods. This means that it is extremely important to monitor your sound levels when listening to music, playing video games, or watching TV.

Anything over 120 decibels such as being close to a siren or firecracker can cause instant hearing damage and pain in the ears.  And with most personal listening devices set to around 110 decibels maximum this can cause hearing damage in less than 5 minutes!

You cannot reverse hearing loss, but you can prevent it from getting worse. Wearing ear plugs when around loud noises, turning down the volume and avoiding noisy events are all measures that will help. Getting a hearing test from your doctor will enable you to gauge the extent of your hearing loss.

If you suffer from earache, a supplement may help. Hylands Earache tablets, relieves ear pain fast and can soothe and calm delicate ear tissue. The tablets are dissolved under the tongue and contain natural homeopathic ingredients that can help relieve ear pain associated with noise.

Hylands is an established homeopathic brand that was developed in Los Angeles over a 100 years ago and today the company provides homeopathic supplements for many health challenges.

You can’t reverse lost hearing. Once the damage is done, it is permanent. However, you can take steps to reduce the loss and taking a supplement may help reduce ear pain and discomfort.

Best Tech Websites for Students

There are some great tech websites out there which are aimed at students and kids of all ages. So let’s take a look at some of the best tech websites for students. All our choices are fun to use, engaging and informative without the distraction of loads of clickbait articles to distract attention.

NASA Space Place

This website is a great place for kids to “explore Earth and Space” so is ideal for those who already have an interest in our planet and the great beyond as well those who are just getting started.

NASA Space Place is very well laid out and interactive. There are some great games as well as good quality information about the latest developments in science and tech. This site is extremely good for younger children with an interest in STEM subjects so it will help kids understand more about tech. If there is a downside, it is that it may need additional plug ins to run games and that older students may find it over simple.

Code

As suggested by the name, the Code website aims to get you coding as soon as possible and it is ideal for kids or for novices. That said it is suitable for all levels of abilities from 4 year olds to college aged students. The site offers some great ways for kids to build code and tutorials include, building worlds on Minecraft, programming droids and more.

Code is popular with consumers. 30% of US students have an account on Code and with the aim of the site to support learning and computer science, signing up to this website is a great idea for kids and for people who would like to learn coding but don’t know where to start.

Kinetic City

Kinetic City is a whole science program online that helps kids learn all about different science topics. The site includes plenty of science experiments, games and challenges. One great feature is Science Gym which combines physical education with activities such as jumping and dancing where you can measure heart and pulse rate. We also like Spark Club which is all about energy and sustainability such as wind and solar power.

Funology

Aimed at elementary school children, Funology is the science of fun but despite this, the site is educational and it is fun too. Funology offers some great experiments that can be carried out using household items and some of the games are absorbing and fun to play. The only downsides about Funology are that the site is full of distracting pop ups and that this one is definitely aimed at the younger age group.

To find the best tech websites online for adults, check out our recommendations on the Techular website. That way you won’t waste time wading through hundreds of sites in order to get the information you want.