Featured App: Read with Phonzy by MeowTek



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Read With PhonzyRead with Phonzy by MeowTek is a free universal app for iOS which features speech recognition to understand how well kids pronounced words using a character named Phonzy who provides prompts on the words.  The app requires that you opt in via email to use it and understand the terms and conditions.  It utilizes speech technology which recognizes and assesses the specific word that you are focusing on in the sentence.  It works best with children and does work well in a noisy environment like a busy home or a place where there is background noise.  As children pronounce words correctly, they can unlock the word which is then put into a gallery.  It also helps kids build confidence in reading (especially sight words) and improves skills of sentence building and thinking quickly.  We tested the app in a variety of environments including with a television on in the background, at a local park and in a classroom with other children.  Each time Phonzy was able to zero in and understand the words being spoken without picking up the ambient noise.

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One of the great things for me about the app was that I could help my son focus in on specific word types which he would learn and then as he got better with the pronunciation we were able to go back and re-listen to where he might have previously stumbled.  The app helps you correctly pronounce words and encourages children to read out loud – without a lot of corrections “in the moment” which then helps to build self confidence and sounding out skills.  MeowTek collects the audio recordings to improve the speech technology of the app and increase recognition, but no personal information about your child is collected.  Phonzy currently focuses on key words and important phrases, with the end goal of understanding the entire sentence.  The app is PRIVIO certified which means that MeoTek has COPPA compliant privacy practices to protect your child’s information and the verification via email is the method of ensuring that a parent understands that their child is using the app.

To use the app, Phonzy presents the user with a simple sentence similar to the one above with one specific word highlighted.  Your child reads and records the sentence and if the highlighted word is pronounced correctly, you get the object which is then placed in your gallery.  The words presented are appropriate for children from late kindergarten through mid-elementary school or approximately end of grade 3 according to the ones that I saw.  My son gained huge amounts of confidence when reading with Phonzy aloud because I wasn’t always trying to correct him and he didn’t feel “pressured” to perform on the spot.  My son liked that Phonzy would recognize his words most of the time and that he could easily re-record them as needed.

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Phonzy is currently working to understand additional speech and speech recognition technology.  Currently, Phonzy is programmed to understand the specific highlighted words, very occasionally he will misunderstand a user however, as my son used the app more we found that Phonzy was correct in 18/20 trials.  The data collected from the app is made anonymous and is used to build and improve on speech recognition technology, it is never shared with any third parties and neither are the actual recordings.  I also loved that I could save the sentences that my son was saying and share them with his speech therapist to show his progress over time.

Overall, this is a great free app that encourages children to increase the number of words that they can read and earn some fun gallery prizes doing so.  It was a great self confidence booster for my son who struggled at times reading out loud and now has built up some confidence as he works through using the app and practicing new words.  We also liked knowing that we were helping Meowtek improve their speech recognition technology and perhaps, learn from some of the challenges that my son was having.

 

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Requirements: Compatible with
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Also available on Google Play and Amazon

NOTE:  This post was sponsored by Meowtek but all opinions expressed are mine and are given honestly

#Giveaway Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band WiFi Router from NETGEAR ($400 Value)

X81To get the best home WiFi experience you need a high-performance router and the Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Router  from NETGEAR is a great, fast, Smart Tri-Band router.  We reviewed the Nighthawk X8 earlier this year and were very impressed with it’s speed and performance. Thanks to NETGEAR we can now give away a  new Nighthawk X8 to one lucky reader !

The Nighthawk X8 is a smart Tri-Band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands. The X8 uses Smart Connect which intelligently assigns each connected device to the fastest WiFi band possible, allowing the devices to connect at their maximum speed thus optimizing WiFi performance.  It has Quad Stream and Implicit & Explicit Beam-forming for both 2.4 & 5GHz bands. It has combined wireless speeds up to 5.3Gbps. It has a dual core 1.4GHz processor, 128 MB Flash and 512 MB RAM memory.

The X8  has 8 antennae- 4 internal and 4 external with industry first active antennae.

For wired connections the X8 has 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports including  two aggregate ports for faster file transfers.

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The X8 also allows Simple and Secure Home Data Storage via USB

Simply plug your USB hard drive into the X8 then you can access files on it from anywhere via the ReadyCLOUD mobile app or web portal. It’s like having your own Google Drive or Dropbox without fees or storage limits.

RRP $399.99 Available from Amazon, Beat Buy, Target and many other retailers.

Read our full review of the Nighthawk X8 here and if you would like to win one of your own enter below.
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Giveaway

If you would like to win a Nighthawk X8 Smart WiFi Router from NETGEAR 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 USA only and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize.  An internet connection is required to use this prize. 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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Review of Circuit Scribe Electronics Kits and Giveaway for a Maker Kit – #STEM

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25.  Ryan Martin (left) of Boston and Jonas Gillespie (8) of Ithaca, NY happily observe the successful completion of an electronic circuit to power a moter. Martin is one of the members of an Electroninks outreach team that provided instruction and encouragement to children exploring circuit design using "Circuit Scribe" conductive ink and electronic components at Boston's Museum of Science.  Lori K. Sanders/Cambridge, MA.

Circuit Scribe Kits provide a great introduction to electronics. They teach kids about the basics of electronics whilst having them build a series of projects, which makes learning fun! There is no need to learn to solder when creating the projects- you simply use the included conductive silver ink pen to draw the wires and make connections. I recently got the opportunity to test out the CircuitScribe Ultimate Kit and found that it was a great addition to our Homeschool curriculum.

Review

The Circuit Scribe kits consist of a variety of electronic components as a series of magnetic modules, a workbook, a steel sheet, a circuit stencil and a conductive silver ink pen.  The Ultimate Kit contains over 30 components, plus instructions for lots of projects.

 

The Modules are color coded:

Input e.g. switch =red

Output e.g. LED =yellow

Connection e.g. transistor =grey

Power e.g. battery =blue

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Workbook

The Workbook contains lots of projects and they are color-coded so that you know at a glance which projects are compatible with the Basic or Maker or Ultimate kits. All projects can be completed using the Ultimate kit, most can be done with the Maker kit but the Basic kit can do less.

The steel sheet is used to place between pages of the workbook and acts as a magnetic backdrop for the projects. It also acts as a glossary of symbols and abbreviations used for describing electronic circuits and components.

For each project the student learns the theory behind the project, sees a circuit diagram for the project, then draws in the indicated wires using the silver ink pen.  They are encouraged to use some artistic flare rather than just tracing along the lines. Once they have drawn the required wires they can place the  modules in the indicated spots and they will magnetically stick to the steel sheet through the paper connecting to the silver ink wires as they do so. It takes a little practice to draw the wires so that they will conduct electricity well- you need to make the lines nice and thick without any breaks, but even if you don’t get them perfect the first time you can just add more ink to reinforce any areas of weakness.

As they work through the projects students learn the characteristics of different types of electrical components, how to create and read circuit diagrams.  As the students learn about the components they are encouraged to be creative and design their own circuits. The Ultimate kit is even contains connectors that allow you to use it with Arduino and Raspberry Pi (not included), and has a sample Arduino project.

Summary

Not only do Circuit Scribe kits provide projects to do, but they also teach the basics of electronics. Students learn about electrical components such as resistors, potentiometers and switches, plus they learn to draw circuit diagrams as well as build projects. This is a great kit for homeschooling families as it has students learning about physics, electricity and electronics in a hands on way. It is also a fun introduction to electronics for ages 10- adult – I know I learned from using it! Highly recommended #STEM gift.

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Maker Kit Giveaway

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Thanks to Circuit Scribe One lucky reader of The iMums can win a Circuit Scribe kit of their own- we have a Maker Kit to give away (RRP $79.99)

The Maker Kit contains 17 electronic components and instructions for a variety of projects.

Maker Kit Contains:

11 Modules:

  • 9V Battery adapter with 9V battery
  • x2 Bi-LED
  • SPST Switch
  • NPN Transistor
  • 2-Pin Adapter with 5x resistors (100, 1k, 10k, 100k and 1M ohm), 2x capacitors (0.1uF, 1.0uF), and one photoresistor (10k ohms)
  • Potentiometer – 10k ohms
  • Blinker
  • Buzzer
  • RGB LED
  • Light Sensor

Additional Items:

  • Conductive Ink Pen
  • Circuit Stencil
  • Jumper Sticker Sheet
  • Workbook
  • Steel sheet

Available from CircuitScribe.comAmazon and other retailers for US$79.99,

 

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Maker kit from Circuit Scribe ($79.99 value), 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 USA ONLY and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. 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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Giveaway for VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite ($99.99)

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite
VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite.

To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion Suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac).

Compatible  Video Players: VCR (VHS, Betamax, S-VHS), camcorder (8mm, DV, mini DV, HDV, AVCHD), TV, DVD player, game console, TiVo, DVR and cable set-top box.

System requirements:

Mac

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher
  • Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
  • Processor: Intel® Core2 Duo processor or higher
  • Memory: 1GB of RAM
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 15GB recommended

PC

  • Operating System: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista
  • Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
  • Processor: Pentium M 2.26 GHz, Pentium Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz or higher, or AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3600+ or higher
  • Memory: 1GB of RAM
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 700MB for program installation and 10GB for DVD creation

The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently on sale for $89.99 on VIDBOX.Com.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. A valid shipping address is required and winners must respond to email notification within 48 hours.
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Giveaway of a RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

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One of the cool features about the new MacBook Pros is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices.
RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

 

The USB-C port delivers a 36W output and is able to fully charge a MacBook in 100 minutes. You can also charge any tablet, smartphone or other device via the RazorPlatinum’s standard USB-A port.  You can recharge the RazorPlatinum via the MacBook 29 watt adaptor in just 2 hours, or use the included USB-C to USB-A adapter to charge it via a standard USB port.

This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer PowerBank is the most powerful in the myCharge lineup and the only one that can recharge a laptop. It has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99. The Razor Platinum was one of our Holiday Gift Guide picks this year – featured in The iMums 17 Terrific Tech Gifts and to celebrate myCharge is giving one away to a lucky iMums reader.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a RazorPlatinum , 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 the prize will be shipped directly from myCharge. Please ensure you read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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The iMums Great Gift Guides and Giveaways 2016

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It is time to start shopping for Holiday Gifts, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday The iMums have some great gift ideas for everyone on your list. Thanks to some wonderful companies we also have the opportunity for our readers to enter to win some of these great gifts too! Starting today we will be launching a series of giveaways each featuring a product we love. In this post we have links to all our Holiday Gift Guides – just click on the picture to be taken to the guide. We will also list all our great gift giveaways – adding one each day as we launch them.

We have gift ideas to suit all ages- from Tots to Teen and kids to grandparents. The main focus of our gift guides is technology related gifts, and our kids gift ideas include a lot of fun, educational #stem and #steam inspired gifts. We have gifts for a wide range of budgets, including a selection of gifts under $30. We’d love to hear from you about the gifts YOU want to see under the tree this year. Happy Holiday to all from The iMums.
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Great Gift Giveaways

Day 1

MotionPen Kids Stylus with apps from Widevantage.

To enter read the MotionPen Kids Stylus Review and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 2

Square Panda Phonics Playset ($119 value) – US only

If you would like to win a Square Panda Phonics Playset read the Square Panda Phonics Playset Review and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 3

RazorPlatinum 13,400mAh Portable Powerbank from myCharge ($99.99 value) – US only

If you would like to win a RazorPlatinum please visit the RazorPlatinum Giveaway and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 4 

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite ($99.99)

If you would like to win a VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite, to convert your old video or camcorder tapes to digital files, please visit the VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite Giveaway and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 5

Bluebee Pals PRO ($64.99) – USA only

If you would like to win a Bluebee pals PRO of your choice please read our review of Hudson the Puppy by Bluebee Pals and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 6

Malia’s House from Build & Imagine ($59.99) – USA Only

Malia’s House is a magnetic building set meets doll house meets dress up dolls. If you would like to win a Malia’s House please read our review enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.
Day 7

Maker Kit from CircuitScribe ($79.99 value) – USA only.

To enter read The iMums CircuitScribe Review and Giveaway and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 8

3 Month Subscription to Know Yourself Adventure Series – USA only.

To enter read the Know Yourself Adventure Series Review and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.
Day 9

Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano Programming Game (RRP $99.99) – USA only.

If you would like to win a Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano, please read The iMums Review of the Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Day 10

NightHawk X8 Smart Tri-Band Router from NETGEAR (RRP $399.99) – USA only.

If you would like to win a NightHawk X8 Smart Tri-Band Router from NETGEAR, please read our Review and Giveaway and enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of that post.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales and Coupon Codes!!

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Some of our favorite Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Keep checking aback as we will be adding more deals regularly. Don’t forget to check out our Gift Guides too! We’ll also be launching great holiday gift giveaways daily starting Cyber Monday !!

ChargeTech

The world’s smallest portable power outlet .It’s on sale for $99 (60% off!) with coupon code: 583PPO758! (regularly $249!)

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Target
Target has great sales in all departments all week check out all the hot deals hereTarget

Amazon

Masses of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – deals run all week and Lighting deals change hourly.

Don’t miss massive saving on  Amazon Echo $179.99 $139.99, Amazon Echo Dot $49.99 $39.99, and Amazon Tap $129.99 $89.99 Amazon Fire Kids Tablet $99.99 $74.99 (includes case, 2 year replacement 1yr kids unlimited apps)

Smart Home

Ring is also offering a Thanksgiving weekend discount. Shoppers can use the code GIVERING at checkout to get $50 off their purchase at Ring.com now through 12/1. Ring devices call a user’s smartphone when they detect motion, enabling homeowners to see and speak with visitors remotely. Ring provides added convenience, but most importantly, its products can and have prevented package thefts home break-ins. It’s common for burglars to knock or ring the doorbell to make sure nobody’s home before breaking in; with Ring Video Doorbell, and Ring Video Doorbell Pro, homeowners can give potential intruders the impression they’re home, even when they’re not. And now, with Stick Up Cam, users can monitor and protect their entire home, not just their front yard.

Griffin Technology- Cases and Accessories

Save 30% site-wide for Cyber Monday

Pet Lovers

Petnet is offering $30 off its SmartFeeder with the code BLACKFRIDAY, redeemable at https://shop.petnet.io/ between Wednesday, 11/23 and Monday, 11/28. This automatic, connected pet feeder enables pet owners to create a customized feeding schedule for their pet, ensuring meals are always delivered on time – whether they’re home or not. The device is controlled via Petnet’s iOS app and precisely measures portions based on a pet’s age, weight and level of activity.

Petcube has launched the biggest deal of the year with its Black Friday sale for US and Canadian customers. The new Play and the original, bestselling Petcube Camera are both $50 off for a limited time and while supplies last. Petcube Play is on sale at $149 (regular price $199), and Petcube Camera is on sale for $99 (regular price $149). The Black Friday deals are available at Petcube.com, and participating retailers, including Best Buy and Petco. The sale ends on midnight PT on Cyber Monday.

 RCA Tablet

RCA PRO12 (see our Gift Guide) only $199 on BlackFriday at Home Shopping Network

Robots

Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop $80 off the new Wonder Bundle with code  WONDER80 at Wonderworkshop.com read our review.

Language Learning

Rosetta Stone best deal of the season $249 $149

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Fitness 

30% off all full price items at Amazfit Use promo code OURTREAT for 35% off all regular priced items. Offer valid 11/20 -12/5.

Purchase a Canon PowerShot G7 X 20.2-Megapixel Digital Camera Black for $495 + FREE Shipping!

Purchase a LG G6P-Series 65″-Class UHD 3D Smart OLED TV for $4149 + FREE Shipping!

Black Friday Sale! Save 30% Off Site-wide + Free Shipping at Case-Mate.com! Shop Cases, Watch Bands, Virtual Reality, Gilded Glass and more! Offer valid 11/24-11/26 only.

Shop all our Black Friday Deals!

FREE Exclusive Snowglobe with qualifying purchases!

Black Friday Special. $50 off $250 or More at ChiccoShop.com! No code required. Offer Ends 11/25/16.

Jord Wood Watches discount sale

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links.

17 Terrific Tech Gifts

With Black Friday coming up very soon, the rush begins to get our loved ones the perfect Xmas or Holiday gift. At The iMums we love seeing all the great new technology that is being created, and seeing how the connected home is evolving year upon year.  We have been busy creating all our Holiday Gift Guides to showcase some of our favorite products and help you choose the perfect gift for your loved ones. Here are 17 of our favorite Tech products for the adults on your gift list, be sure to also check out our kids gift guide, our gifts for health and wellness, our gifts for parents and our gifts under $30.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Orbi- Whole House Wi-Fi

rbk50_lifestyle_livingroom_00820_medresThe single most important thing to keep all our connected home, computing and entertainment technology working well is a strong internet signal. With all the connected devices a typical household has competing for bandwidth, it is important to have a great router to optimize your Wi-Fi signal. The Orbi Home Wi-Fi system is designed to meet high demands for Wi-Fi connectivity, and comes with a base unit and a satellite. It is a mesh Wi-Fi system with a difference- the world’s first Tri-Band Wi-Fi system that has one channel dedicated entirely to connecting the router base unit and the satellite. What this means in practical terms it is delivers fast internet speeds without dead spots over a 4,000 square foot area. It is also incredibly easy to set up. As you move around your home your devices automatically switch to whichever unit is giving you the best signal, and the dedicated channel makes sure the Wi-Fi from the satellite is as strong as from the router. The Orbi router and satellite create a single high speed network where your devices can move between bands and to different parts of the home without ever having to reconnect. I love how the Orbi has eliminated Wi-Fi dead spots from my home, even in hard to reach areas where the signal has to go through interior and exterior walls. Available from Amazon,  Best Buy and other retailers  RRP US$399

 

SingleCue Gen 2

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Until recently the idea you could control your home entertainment with the hand movement was the stuff of science fiction but with SingleCue it is a reality. The newly released 2nd generation Singlecue allows you to control your TV and a whole host of other devices including Media Streamers such as AppleTV, Roku and Hulu; Cable TV boxes, audio systems; soundbars, and even your Nest Thermostat or Phillips Hue lightbulbs.  A full list of compatible devices can be found here, it doesn’t yet work with game consoles or DVD players but the manufacturer is working on adding new devices (Nest was only added this month.) You can set up shortcuts for your favorite combinations such as turning on your TV & Apple TV together and automatically switching the TV to the right output for the AppleTV. You can also mute your TV instantly with a simple ssh gesture.  You don’t need to wear any special ring or have anything in your hand, it is all controlled via simple finger movements picked up from the SingleCue box. SingleCue is a really cool device for your living room and saves hours of hunting under the sofa cushions for lost remotes! Available from Amazon for US$149

 

Sengled Pulse Link

sengledWith TV screens getting bigger and bigger we often find ourselves sitting further from the screen for an optimal viewing experience but that can lead to a less than optimal audio experience. The Sengled Pulse link is a simple solution providing surround sound without the need to wire in new speakers. The Sengled Pulse link starter set combines 2 products- a pair of Sengled Pulse Bulbs and a Pulse Link. The Pulse is an innovative smart bulb which combines a dimmable LED light and a JBL Bluetooth Speaker. The Link is a box that connects to your TV, via included 3.5mm or RCA cables. and allows it to remotely connect with the Pulse bulbs. They work with the Pulse app allowing you to control your lights from the app, listen to your TV through the Pulse JBL speakers and play music via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet. A really simple, flexible way to bring surround sound to your living room and play audio from your TV or audio device to JBL speakers . Available from Amazon for US$179.99

 

Petcube Play

petcubeplay The newly released Petcube Play might just be the ideal gift for the pet lover on your list. This new version of the Petcube is more compact and has an upgraded 1080 HD camera with night vision, 2 way audio and 3x digital zoom. It also features a built-in laser pointer controlled via the Petcube app so you can play with your pets when you are away from home, keeping them active and entertained. Even when your schedule is busy you can still get them playing by using the autoplay mode. The camera can recotrd 24/7 and for an extra fee you can subscribe to Petcube care for 10 or 30 day storage of recording history. Available from  Petcube.comAmazon , Best Buy and major retailers RRP US$199 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $50 OFF! $149

 

Drop Connected Scale

drop1The Drop Connected Scale is the perfect gift for the home baker or chef. The smart scale connects to the Drop Recipes app on your iPad or iPhone. Drop Recipes is an interactive cookbook with hundreds of tested recipes for Cooking, Baking and Cocktails. The Drop Scale weighs your ingredients accurately and can scale a recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have on hand. If you are out of an ingredient I will suggest substitutions, and there is even a community section in the app where users can upload and share their own recipes. Available from Amazon, Target and other retailers from  RRP $99.99 Currently US$78.99 at Amazon

 

Arlo Pro by NETGEAR

animated-arloIf you know someone who wants to keep a secure eye on their home inside or out, but wants the freedom to quickly and easily install cameras with the minimum of fuss the new Arlo Pro system from NETGEAR is a great gift. Like the original Arlo the cameras are totally wireless and mount via magnetic ball and socket style joint- making them a snap to install and move. The new Pro cameras run on rechargeable batteries with a staggering 5 MONTH battery life in normal use! The cameras are weatherproof and  have 2 way audio, night vision, motion detection, 130° camera angle, a smart siren, local backup option plus 7 days free cloud storage. A great gift for use in or outside the home  – for home security, watching a babies room, checking on a pet or elderly relative when you are away from home or a myriad of other uses. Available from  Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers systems from US$249

 

JBL Pulse 2  Portable Speaker + Light Show

jblpulse2The JBL Pulse 2 is a great sounding. splash proof,  portable speaker  with colorful light effects that make it fun to take the music with you where ever you go. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours and you can use it as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly connect multiple speakers via the JBL connect app. The Pulse2 can be used to answer calls and connect to Siri or Google Now. I really enjoy its interactive light show, which is also controlled via the JBL Connect app.  There are 8 different light shows to choose from including fire, rain, fireflies, stars, fireworks, traffic, hourglass and canvas- where you draw the light pattern. You can interact with each of the shows, for instance increasing the size of the flames, or the intensity of the rain or adding shooting stars. Many of the light shows also have accompanying sound effects. If you switch off the music you can listen to the sound of a fire crackling or rain pouring down as the light show mirrors the sounds. You can also change the light color to match a color in your environment by scanning it with the light sensor.  The Pulse2 is a 84mm diameter x 195mm tall (approx 3″ x 7.7″)  and weighs 775gm (approx 1.7lb)  A great gift for the music lover, this speaker sounds great, has a good battery life and some really fun interactive light shows with accompanying sound effects. Available from  JBL.COM, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$199.99 (currently on sale for $119.95)

 

Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater

moon_airplane-closeupFor the movie lover or serious gamer the Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater is the ultimate gift. With the Royole Moon you can enjoy an immersive 3D cinema or gaming experience anywhere you wish. Two Full HD 1080p AMOLED displays at over 3000 ppi resolution simulate a giant 800” curved screen with stereoscopic 3D, and active noise cancelling headphones complete the experience. Moon’s screen is scalable, allowing full control over the screen size for a personalized viewing experience. It features a patented foldable design, ultra-soft headphone covers, and a premium breathable eye cover to ensure comfort even after long periods of continuous use. It also includes 32GB of internal storage and battery life of up to 5 hours of continuous video playback. Advanced optics allow most eyeglass wearers to enjoy Moon without their corrective lenses. Available www.royole.com and Amazon  MSRP  $799

 

01: The World’s First Dimensioning Instrument

instrumments_01_main_hero_rgb01 from InstruMMents is  billed as the world’s first dimensioning instrument. This makes it a great gift for anyone who wants to easily measure things- crafters, home handymen, and anyone who wants to design or create .01 rolls over straight, curved or contoured objects to intuitively capture, log, and share dimensions. Elegantly carved in aluminum, 01 is contained within a pen, pencil or stylus, and wirelessly connects to smartphones. Although it is currently being launched via Indiegogo it is already fully functioning and due to ship in time for the holidays.  Available from Instrumments.com or Indiegogo from US$159

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

dodo-case-ipadair2_grandeEvery tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it. A really personalized gift is to have a case custom created just for your loved one’s iPhone or iPad. Dodo Cases is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases, and offers a custom case making service. For the iPad cases you can choose from a range of solid or patterned fabrics or 4 colors of leather. You can choose a single or two-tone exterior. For the interior fabric you can choose from a variety of solid colors or patterns or  from a selection of city maps. The maps are a great way to personalize if you choose a city that has particular significance to the recipient. You can add final touches by picking the color of elastic and even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters. A truly one-of-a-kind gift! Available from DoDoCases.com custom iPhone cases start from $49.99 and custom iPad cases from $79.99.

 

SanDisk iXpand Flash storage for iPhone and iPad

ixpand1A problem most iPhone and iPad users suffer from is lack of storage space- unlike Android phones you can’t just slip in a micro-SD card to increase storage and it costs a lot to buy iOS devices with large amounts of internal storage. The iXpand Flash drive from SanDisk is a simple solution to this problem.  It is a very small, light flash drive that connects via the Lightning port of your iOS device.  It is very easy to transfer content from your iOS device to the drive to create space and you can then use its USB connector to transfer them to your computer. You can also set it up to automatically backup your camera roll whenever it s connected. If you are traveling and want to take a movie with you, you can load it on the drive from your computer and watch it directly on your device without ever downloading it ! It has a flexible connector that allows it to be used with most cases, and is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128 GB versions.  Available from Amazon and other retailers  from US$59.99

 

RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge

razorplatimunumOne of the cool features about the new MacBooks is that they can now to powered via a USB-C instead of needing a proprietary Mac charger. This opens up more possibilities for charging on the go. The new RazorPlatinum Powerbank from MyCharge has a built-in USB-C port and enough power to recharge a MacBook as well as USB-A port for your other devices. This 13400mAh Lithium Polymer battery has ultra fast charging and recharging. It measures 6.5 in x 4.8 in x 1.1 in and weighs in at under 1lb, making it very small and light for a battery of this capacity. Available from MyCharge.com and Best Buy for US$99.99

 

Amazon Echo

echoOne noticeable trend in the Connected Home market in 2016 is that more and more connected home devices are having Amazon Alexa integration . This means that if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can control them via your voice. The Amazon Echo is a pretty cool device all by itself but with the integration of other connected home devices its uses keep multiplying. The Echo has immersive 360º omni-directional audio with far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room even while music is playing. It plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice, and controls a whole host of connected home devices. Echo also answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. Available from Amazon  for US$179.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $139.99

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo DotIf you already have a speaker system in the room you are using your Echo in, you may prefer to get the more affordable Echo Dot, as it can connect to your existing speakers via a 3.5mm cable. Apart from the large speaker it has all the other features of its bigger brother the Amazon Echo. Like the Echo it has far-field voice recognition and can plays your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. It also controls a whole host of connected home devices, answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and lets you shop on Amazon using the Alexa Voice Service. It has a small built-in speaker and you can use Echo Dots in multiple rooms to provide Alexa enabled control throughout the home. The Echo Dot is Available from Amazon for US$49.99 BLACK FRIDAY SALE $39.99 and is also available in 3 packs at a $20 savings or six packs where you buy 5 and get one free.

 

SMARTvr Virtual Reality Viewer from Dodo Case

shopify_smartvr-hero_grandeWith the invention of Google Cardboard there is more and more Virtual Reality content becoming available in iTunes and Google Play stores. This is great as it means more people can access Virtual Reality content without needing to buy an expensive VR headset like the Oculus Rift.   SMARTvr is a great way to access the content made available by Google cardboard on your smartphone, but using a more stylish and durable viewer than the original Cardboard. If fits most iOS and Android smartphones and folds to a flat package about the size of an iPhone 5  when not in use. The case is made from cast aluminum and ballistic nylon with a microsuede lens cover & light blocking shield. It is Google Cardboard certified and really simple to use You just unfold it, scan the QR code to link, slip the phone into the clips on the back, fold down the light shield, and you are ready to enjoy your VR apps. It is a great VR viewer- compact, portable, durable, affordable and flexible to fit different size smartphones

Available from DodoCase.com for US$39.99

Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar from Belkin

 

belkin_lightningaudiochargerockstar_1 The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus no longer have an audio jack as they are designed to use Bluetooth headphones. However, not everyone likes Bluetooth headphones, so there are several new headphones on the market that use the iPhone’s Lightning connector as an innovative way around the problem. This does however create a new problem- if your battery starts to run low you can’t charge the phone and continue to use your Lightning headphones at the same time. Belkin has solved this problem with the Lightning Audio Charge Rockstar which doubles your Lightning ports – providing one for listening and one for charging. RRP $39.99  Available from Belkin.com, Apple and other retailers.

VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite

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Do you have a friend or relative who still has lots of home videos lying around on VHS tapes or on camcorder tapes? This could be the perfect gift for them. Tapes deteriorate over time and it becomes harder and harder to find ways to play them, so its important to get them transferred to digital formats or you may lose the content entirely. Instead of taking them in to be professionally copied (which can be cost prohibitive if you have a lot of tapes to transfer) you can convert them at home with VIDBOX Video Conversion Suite. To use VIDBOX you need a VCR or camcorder that can play your tapes, and a Mac or PC. The Video Conversion suite comes with a key to download the software or you can install it via the included CD-Rom. The VIDBOX little white box is the key to connecting your video output device to the computer. You wire it to your VCR/ camcorder via RCA to RCA cables (included) or RCA to S-Cable (not included) and connect it to your computer via the included USB cable. Once it is connected launch the VIDBOX software and follow the on screen instructions. The video will record as a digital file on your computer in real time as it plays on your VCR/ camcorder. Once the recording is finished you can preview it and save to iMovie or iTunes (on Mac). The Video conversion suite includes software for both Mac and PC or you can buy Mac or PC only versions for slightly less. Available from VIDBOX.COM or Amazon RRP Suite $99.99 or PC or Mac only $79.99. Suite currently $69.99 on Amazon


For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

9 Great Gifts To Make Parenting Easier

As Mums we are always looking for the latest tech to make our jobs easier.  The tech gear we highlight below are some of our top picks to help our kids stay healthy, safe and charged while on the go or at home using their devices for homework or leisure.

Thermo Bluetooth Thermometer from Withings

baby-thermo-FThermo from Withings is a temporal artery thermometer that is fast, accurate and easy to use and it’s companion app is a great way to track a child’s temperature, symptoms and response to medication during the course of an illness. Ask any parent of a sick child – the last thing they want to do when a sick child finally falls asleep is to wake them up, but if they are running a fever monitoring their temperature is vital, so finding a way to check their temperature without waking them is important.  A great addition to any family’s medical cabinet.   Read our full review.  Available from Withings.com, Apple Stores for $99.95

InBody Push Stadiometer

pushInBody Push – Handheld Stadiometer from InBody Push is a handheld stadiometer which measures height using ultrasound via the push of a button.  The stadiometer and companion app will register and manage the heights of up to 20 people and plots measurements on a CDC growth chart.  The device is shaped in a triangular shape and is easily held in one hand allowing you to measure your child – or anyone else in a simple easy to manage one hand format.  Read our review Available from Amazon for US$149

Kolibree Intelligent Bluetooth™ Toothbrush

C40U0469 (4) (1)At first glance Kolibree looks like any other good quality electric toothbrush, but it is much more than that- it actually gets your kids wanting to brush!!  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.  It has 2 fun apps that encourage kids to brush as well as they can- a pirate game and a Rabbids game.  Read our full review. Available from Kolibree.com and Amazon. Basic pack including Tooth brush, charging base, 2 heads and app is $149

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link Air Purifier

If you are concerned about air quality in a child’s room or want to keep it at just the right temperature the Dyson Pure Hot+ Cool Link is just what you are looking for. Dyson is famous for its innovative engineering and the Hot+ Cool Link combines it signature iconic style and functionality. It has 3 functions- it heats, it cools and it purifies. The heating and cooling unit, like the Dyson cool fan, is bladeless so you never need to worry about a child accidentally getting their fingers caught.  It is also designed to automatically switch off if tipped over. Air pollution can be worse inside our homes than out, and young children, the elderly and those with allergies can be most affected by it. The Hot+Cool Link intelligently purifies the air to remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. It measures the air pollution levels inside your home and you can set it to automatically switch on as pollution levels rise. You can control it and receive notifications via a Dyson app on your SmartPhone.  Available from Dyson.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $599

Road Rockstar 4 USB Port Car Charger

Troad-rockstarhe Road Rockstar from Belkin is definitely one of those products that make you think “why didn’t someone come up with this earlier!!” It is a great family friendly car charger that has not one or two, but four charging ports- two for the front seat and two for the back!. The charger plugs into a cigarette lighter socket in the front of the car and provides 2 USB ports for mum and dad in the front seats to charge their phones. A 6 foot long cable extends from here to a second charging device that is designed to fit in the pocket of a seat in the second row and provides enough power for the kids in the back seats to charge 2 iPads. Genius!! No more running out of power on long road trips! Available from Amazon RRP $39.99 currently $32.99 on Amazon

Starry Station – Touchscreen WiFi Router

 

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As a mom, I struggle with letting my older son have my iPad in his room unsupervised.  Thankfully, I recently discovered the Starry Station – and now I can control what content he can and can’t see as well as being able to turn off access to the internet with the touch of a button on the router or my iPhone.  Starry Station includes ScreenTime parental controls which let you block bad content (which you determine), filter certain sites (like YouTube) and apps as well as disable Wi-Fi access easily. I also like that you can set up routines which disable wi-fi at a specific time, give access to only certain apps/sites (perfect for homework!)  This makes my Friday night #devicefreedinner a snap, I simply touch a button and Friday night is now tech free night.  Setup for the Starry Station was a snap, it has great range in my home and I also like that I can monitor how well my wireless is working on the fly from my iPhone.  Another bonus – I can connect so many devices including multiple smartphones, tablets, Android devices, iPads, DVR, wireless printers, and even my Blu Ray Player without seeing any slowdown.   Available from Amazon for US$299.95

Weather + Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Sensor

img_0594-2Oregon Scientific’s Weather+ sensor allows you to track temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure either indoors or outdoors, both in real time and historically via your smartphone, when in Bluetooth range.  Do you have a room or rooms in your house that you need to monitor the temperature and humidity in, or need to keep in a specific temperature or humidity range? Maybe a wine cellar, a nursery or even a greenhouse ? You can keep an eye on it via a home weather station but you need to be in the room to check the readings and you don’t get to see how it changes over time. Oregon Scientific’s new Weather + Advanced Bluetooth temperature and humidity sensor provides a solution that allows you to monitor temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure via your smartphone.  Read our full review. Available from Oregon Scientific for $29.99

 

ADVANCED SensorSafeTM Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat

ADVANCED SensorSafe™ Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat (Largo)

As a mom of two, I can tell you that when I had my second I was amazed at all the changes made in a few short years to car seats. This is the perfect gift or a Mum or Mum to be, as car seats expire and the technology is constantly changing!  I’ve tried a variety of reminder systems to ensure I never forget my kids in the car – including a shoe in the backseat or putting my purse back there.  Evenflo recently launched this car seat which includes a SensorSafe system designed for infants from 4-35 lbs  which chimes to remind you that your child is buckled into their car seat in your car.  That means, no matter how busy you might be, your child is never left behind inadvertently in a hot or cold car even if you do change your routine.  The car is always a place where my kids fall asleep and this seat would give me peace of mind to know that they were safe — and that I would always remember they were in the car. Available from Amazon and WalMart  for US $149 – $211.10 depending on color.

ETY•Kids® Earphones 

 

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Helping to keep my kids hearing safe while they are using their devices has always been important to me.  These headphones from Etymotic allow you to control earphone sensitivity which means that it’s no longer a battle of the DVD player being turned up too loud!  The sounds heard via the  ETY•Kids earphones are designed not to exceed safe levels, and kids can listen safely for up to four hours daily.  The headphones block background noise, provide high quality sound which means kids can hear the sounds and parents can have a conversation in the front seat without having to compete with a device for long drives. Read our full review, my son’s are four years old and still working great!  Available from Amazon for US $30.

 For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

The iMums Xmas Stocking Stuffers – 12 Great Gifts Under $30

Great Gifts don’t have to cost a lot. It is the thought that counts, and the effort to get the right gift for the right person. The iMums have collected together some of our favorite inexpensive gifts under $30. We have gifts priced from $9.99 to $29.99 including a variety of tech accessories, some cool gadgets and some low tech ideas too. Happy shopping!

 For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.