Friday, August 29, 2014

What you need to know about Google Map Shoes

If you're anything like me, you have a horrible sense of direction. Walking around a new city can be a nightmare if you don't have a GPS of some sort. I strongly depend on Google Maps on my phone to get me everywhere, and I mean, everywhere. The only problem: starring down at your phone while walking isn't exactly safe either. That's why a company called Ducere Technologies created Lechel Smart Shoes and Insoles to sync with your Google Maps! Here's what you need to know about this new, incredible technology.

1. Uses Bluetooth

Put your route into your phone and sync your Smart Shoes to an app that will pull your route from Google Maps. Once synced, your shoes will automatically know the route you are headed. 

2. Vibrates when you need to Turn

When the route shows you need to turn right, your right foot will vibrate. And, when you need to turn left, your left foot will vibrate. This takes away the need to look at your phone, therefore you can actually pay attention to your surroundings! :) 

3. Removable Bluetooth Soles

Each shoe will include a removable sole and the company will also sell the soles separately for those that will want to have the same technology with other shoes they own. 

4. Uses a Rechargeable Battery

There is a slot in the back of the Removable sole where you can insert a rechargeable battery. There's an added bonus: They are going to sell charger as an accessory for it that  has been named the "World's First Interactive Charger." It will give you audio feedback letting you know its charging level when you snap your fingers! (umm...whaaat?)  This will plug right into the wall and have a slot perfect for the battery!

5. Proximity Alerts

These shoes can send alerts directly to your phone when cool landmarks are nearby. This would be great for tourists walking around a new area! Not only can your shoes tell you about landmarks, they will immediately alert you if you leave your phone somewhere. I have to say, this is a huge selling point! Those whom rely on their phone definitely don't want to get lost without it. 

I found there is still a lot the company is developing and hope to have included in these Lechel Smart Shoes. A couple articles suggest that the company also hopes to take step further and have the shoes used as a wearable fitness monitor. This would track steps as well as calories burned. I think this would be a great addition because people are always looking for easy, fun ways to burn calories and keep track.

There is not a defined release date at this time since they are still working on a few details, but people are already signing up for pre-order notifications! You can do so here. :) I know I will be keeping my eyes and ears opened to see of the release date! Check out their video below!

So, would you buy Lechel Smart Shoes?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Top 10 Must-Have Apps You Probably Don't Have Yet

How many apps would you say are currently on your phone? Now, how many of those apps do you actually use on a regular basis? I can't tell you how many times I end up deleting apps because they just take up space and I never use them. It's time to save your space for awesome apps you won't want to live without! Here are the Top 10 Must-have Apps you probably don't have yet:

4. Shazam

6. iTranslate Voice   

8. Uber 

Do you have a favorite website that you would like quick access to?
Save it to your home screen!
Here's how:

 First, go to website you would like to save in Safari on your iPhone.

With all of these extremely useful apps you can be sure to get the best use out of your smartphone. The amount of money and time I have saved with having all of these apps are immeasurable. See what these apps might do for you!

What are some of your favorite apps? Share below! We'd love to hear about them!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Top 5 Things You Need for Back to School - Then and Now

Have you been able to wrap your head around going back to school? I always thought the best thing about going back to school was shopping for new supplies – you know, like the fresh smell of a newly sharpened pencil or the pristine look of a brand new notebook…. but times have changed in this electronic age and we’ve taken to downloading a lot of our school supplies.  So I thought it would be fun to look at the Top 5 things you need for back to school to help this year breeze by but with a twist! 

Here’s my Then and Now take on Back to School shopping:

1. Spiral notebooks vs. Apps on your iPad

Remember buying different colored notebooks to keep each subject in school organized to a particular color?

Well now apps like Noteshelf make it super easy to keep all of your notes organized in one place! Create new journals for each subject and keep a few extra ones for hobbies.

2. Researching then vs. researching now

Don't get me wrong, libraries are great, but libraries are not always accessible. Also, if you're anything like me, too many books can become a little overwhelming! 

With search engines such as Google, any information you may need is right at your fingertips. I remember the first time I was taught to use Google in class--I think I heard the hallelujah chorus.

3. Walkman vs. iPod or iPhone

I recently came across my old Walkman while cleaning out my room and quickly realized how far we have come since then. 
I mean, would you want to walk to class with that thing on the left? 

Music to study with was a must for me. iPods and iPhones are so much easier for student's on-the-go lifestyle and not to mention much more attractive. 

4. Floppy disk vs. iCloud

I remember using floppy disks in computer class growing up. It was always important to label these or else they would be easy to misplace. And if you lost it, well, you were out of luck.

With iCloud, students can save all of their work in one place...and access it from anywhere! Students can easily sync multiple devices and they don't have to worry about losing anything.

5. Books then vs. books now

Did your books for school look similar to the one on the left? There was never enough space to jot notes and the highlighting just looked messy..

Now students can easily download books to their iPads or tablets and have them all on the same device! Highlight and take notes without the mess...simply brilliant!

It's easy to see looking back how much technology has changed and really improved the everyday student life. What comparisons do you have from growing up in school?

Write your comments below!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Top 5 Favorite iPhone Hacks

Top 5 Favorite iPhone Hacks

Do you ever wonder what other cool uses there are for your iPhone? I know I’m always looking for some little tips and tricks to navigating my smartphone. Here are some fun things I have recently come across.

  1. Your iPhone can double as a Level
    If you ever wonder if your picture is hanging straight but don’t have time to find a level somewhere in your garage, then this will definitely come in handy! All you have to do is open your compass app that comes on the iPhone, slide the screen to the left and your level will appear! Now you have a handy level no matter where you go!

  2. Use the volume button to take a photo
    Instead of having to use the circular button that appears in the camera app, there is another easy way to take a quick shot. Simply aim the camera towards your target and click down on either of the volume buttons to snap your photo fast!

  3. Hold down the photo button to take a “Burst” of frames
    If the subject you are trying to capture is moving really fast or you simply don’t want to miss out on a great shot, then this is extremely helpful! If you hold down the photo button (either the volume button or the white circle) the camera will take 10 frames per second. Just keep holding the button down until you are done shooting!

  4. Shake your phone to delete text
    Ever start typing something and then decide you don’t want to send it? Sometimes using the backspace button can take too long when you’re in a rush. Simply shake your phone and a message will pop-up asking if you wa nt to delete the text, then click undo. All of your recently typed text will disappear and you can start typing again from scratch.

  5. Seeing what time my text sent
    I love this one! It’s great for seeing how long ago I sent my text or looking back to see when my friend sent me something. All you have to do is slide left when you are looking at a conversation. Then all the time stamps of each text will appear.

  6. Hopefully some of these quick iPhone Hacks will come in handy! They have definitely helped me make better use of my iPhone and made my life just a little bit easier.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Would you let your iPhone control your Home?

Who remembers this movie? 

For those of you that don't know, a 13-year-old boy wins a prize of a computerized home aka "The House of the Future." Mind you, this was 1999.

Things start out great for the family having extra help around the house. But things quickly turn for the worse as the house gets a little too controlling and ends up going on lock-down. (Kind of like when you enter the wrong passcode too many times on your iPhone.)

Fortunately the creator was able to reboot the house and, like all Disney stories, they lived happily ever after...

I think this movie had quite the impact on many people, because who wouldn't want a "Smart House?" Of course, I mean, without the the whole scary lock-down thing.

I think we can all agree it would be nice to have an extra hand around the house. A Smart Home may just be the trick! According to a recent story from NBCNews, Smart Homes may not be as far into the future as we thought.
"Apple is reportedly about to enter the world of “smart home” technology in a big way. According to the Financial Times, Apple is positioning the iPhone as a remote control for home automation, allowing you to turn on the lights, adjust the heat and control appliances with the device."
This could definitely change the way people will use their smart phones and it could bring on a whole new meaning to smartphone.

What would you use your Smart Home for?

Be sure to get the latest and check out the full story here.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

10 Ways to Celebrate May the 4th - Star Wars Day!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Sunday, May 4, 2014 is Star Wars Day, celebrated by fans around the world.  There are an infinite number of ways to celebrate!  From cupcakes to crafts, and Twitter to trivia, here are some of my favorite suggestions.

1. Movie Bloopers

Find these bloopers during your Star Wars movie marathon, courtesy of (in words) and (with pictures!)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Bloopers on IMDB    |    Bloopers on Movie Mistakes

2. Star Wars character eggs

If you have lots of eggs left over from Easter, or just love coloring eggs so much you want to do it more than once a year.... you can decorate eggs to look like Star Wars characters!

3. Make your own lightsabers

Use empty paper towel rolls and print out these PDFs to make your own lightsaber!
Full instructions here:

4. Make a Death Star pinata

How do you make a Death Star pinata?  A balloon, newspaper, flour, water, and some decoration - I'd probably make a simplified version for fun, but if you're having a fancy party, find the complete directions here: has some of the best activity suggestions! (of course)

5. E-cards

Remind your friends to come celebrate Star Wars Day with you with e-cards like these from

6. Funny Star Wars Twitter accounts

If you enjoy some laughs as you scroll through your Twitter feed, parody accounts are great fun!  Here are some Star Wars-themed suggestions:


7. Star Wars-themed snacks

No celebration is complete without food!  Don't just buy a bag of chips, make your snacks as entertaining as the movies!

Check out CNET's article - Delectable "Star Wars" snacks you can make right now, including these adorable Princess Leia cupcakes from!

Also, here is a sampling of recipes from  Click here, scroll down, and click "cooking" to find more.

8. Special episodes of TV shows

Watch Star Wars-themed episodes of other shows.  In The Big Bang Theory episode this week, they celebrated May the Fourth!

Watch the full episode here!

And a preview here:

9. Quizzes and Trivia

Become a Jedi Master by playing Star Wars categories on QuizUp.  In case you haven't played QuizUp yet, it's an addictive new quiz app, where you can challenge friends or anyone around the world to fast-paced quizzes in nearly any topic you can imagine!

Take this BuzzFeed quiz: Which classic Star Wars character are you?

10. What is your Star Wars name?

Back when episodes I-III were released, I remember finding out what my "Star Wars name" was.  Well, here are the instructions for you to figure out yours, too!  Then of course, you should refer to yourself by your Star Wars name on May 4.

First Name
First 3 letters of your last name
First 2 letters of your first name

Last Name
First 2 letters of your mother's maiden name
First 3 letters of the city in which you were born

How will you celebrate Star Wars Day?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hidden Secrets of Google and YouTube

Do you like finding hidden treasure?  Yes.  Who doesn't?  Well, this post is like a scavenger hunt!  The tricks listed here will make your Google visits a lot more fun.  Software engineers have hidden fun features and games, known as "Easter Eggs" to make life more amusing.  Some Easter Eggs are only active for a short time, to celebrate April Fool's Day, Christmas, etc., so here are some active ones as of April 2014.

In honor of Easter, check out these Google and YouTube Easter Eggs.  Have fun, and enjoy!

~~~ Google Easter Eggs ~~~

Do a barrel roll

How do I find it?
  • Search: "do a barrel roll" or "z or r twice"

Here's a classic hidden feature that you may have seen before.  Based on the Super Nintendo video game Star Fox 64, if you Google this phrase, your screen will rotate 360 degrees.  In the game, the command for a barrel roll is pressing z or r twice, so you can also Google "z or r twice" to get the same spin! (That one wasn't working every time, though.)

Bacon number [celeb name]

How do I find it?
  • Search: Bacon number [celeb name]  (ex: Bacon number Jim Parsons, Bacon number Tina Fey)

Who says Google doesn't know everything?  Based on the popular game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", Google can even tell you how many degrees of separation are between Kevin Bacon and other celebrities.  Search "Bacon number (your celebrity of choice)".  In case you were wondering, Kevin Bacon's number is 0.

Google in 1998

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Google in 1998"

Remember how Google used to look?  This format appeared in September 2013 in honor of Google's 15th birthday.  There was also a pinata game you could play and still can!  As for what day Google's birthday is, well, even they're not sure.... The Google Doodles page says they've celebrated on September 7, 8, 26, and most recently the 27.

Tilt or askew

How do I find it?
  • Search: "tilt" or "askew"

Another classic, searching for "tilt" or "askew" does just that to your search results.  Maybe while your co-worker has stepped out to use the bathroom, you could tilt their Google page and see if they notice.  Either that, or search "Google gravity" and click on the first link (  The search bar is still fully functional, and your results just fall to the bottom of the page!  It's fun.


What is the loneliest number?

How do I find it?
  • Search: "what is the loneliest number"

In case you've lived under a rock and have never heard "One is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night.... Google calculator will help you learn pop culture.

The answer to life the universe and everything

How do I find it?
  • Search: "the answer to life the universe and everything"

More fun with Google calculator - If you're feeling introspective and reflecting on life, type this into Google, and of course, you'll get the answer from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  42.


How do I find it?
  • Search: "festivus"

This holiday is celebrated in an episode of Seinfeld.  A traditional Festivus decoration is a Festivus pole, an unadorned aluminum pole.  Google's search results show "A festivus miracle!" and the pole along the left side of your results.

sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

How do I find it?
  • Search: "sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5"

Yes, THAT is what I would like you to search.  It's probably best to copy and paste this one.  This gives you results in the form of a Google graph.  I'm torn as to whether I want to show you a picture or just have you be surprised.... Ok sure, I'll post the picture here.

~~~ YouTube Easter Eggs ~~~

Do the Harlem shake

How do I find it?
  • Search "do the Harlem shake"
  • Wait a few seconds for the shaking to begin

Disclaimer: Don't worry, you don't have to watch any Harlem shake videos for this hidden feature.  Just search "do the Harlem shake" on YouTube, and wait a few seconds.  First, the YouTube logo on the left will start shaking, and then after a few more seconds, your whole page will join.

Beam me up, Scotty

How do I find it?
  • Search: "beam me up, Scotty"

Here you go, Star Trek fans!  YouTube search "beam me up, Scotty", and your results will beam right to you, traveling in a haze of blue down your screen.  If you've never seen Star Trek and just want to see the pretty blue lines, that works, too.  Click on one of the video results while you're there to see the famous quote's source.

Doge meme

How do I find it?
  • Search "doge meme"

Comic Sans.  The words strike fear into some people's hearts. (#firstworldproblems)  Others love the friendly font.  Well anyway, search "doge meme" on YouTube to have your whole page turn to Comic Sans!  While it can be quite a polarizing subject, I personally do not have the strong feelings toward the font that the Google search results for "Comic Sans" do.  However, it probably doesn't belong everywhere.  For example, it doesn't scream "the intimidating man in this car has a gun and can throw you in jail".  Here's a picture of a real police car.  I am not lying.  I have seen these in person.

~~~ Games! ~~~

Atari Breakout

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Atari Breakout"
  • Click an image OR just wait a few seconds for the game to begin
  • Play using keyboard arrows OR mouse 
These games are some of the most fun Easter Eggs I found.  Search Google Images for "Atari Breakout".  Select a picture, and you get to play this fun game!  Yes.... you are absolutely focused in that endless, boring meeting.  After all, you're staring at your computer with a concentrated look on your face.... You must be working hard.

Google Pacman

How do I find it?
  • Search: "Google Pacman"
  • Click the first result "30th Anniversary of PAC-MAN - Google"
  • Click "Insert Coin" to start game
  • Play using keyboard arrows

Probably as fun as Atari Breakout, you can also play Pac-Man on Google.  A Google doodle from May 21, 2010 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the PAC-MAN game.  A very enjoyable Easter Egg!

BONUS: If you hit "Insert Coin" a second time, Ms. Pacman appears, and it's a 2-player game!  Pacman is controlled by the arrow keys, and Ms. Pacman is controlled by the WASD keys.


How do I find it?
  • Play any video
  • Press Down arrow OR Right + Up arrows together (*You may have to skip to later in the video, or try it when the video is buffering.  Other arrow keys work sometimes, too.)
  • Play game using keyboard arrows

Another one of the world's favorite pastimes, Snake!  You will no longer hate buffering videos, because now you can play Snake while you're waiting.  Sometimes it takes a few tries and a few different arrow combinations to make the game appear.  Try fast forwarding to later in the video if it's not working.  You can keep playing while your video is playing, too.

Missile Command

How do I find it?
  • Play any video
  • Type "1980"
  • When the game appears, click to start
  • Click at the missiles to play

Play this 1980 arcade game by Atari while watching any YouTube video, from "State of the Union 2014 Address" to "cute otter squeaks when put in water".

Also of note, Google's language settings include things like Klingon, Elmer Fudd, and Pirate.

Have you seen Google Mars? shows you the surface of Mars.  Click on spacecraft, craters, and other options at the top to see images and learn about our incredible exploration of the red planet.

How did you do on that scavenger hunt?  Go share these fun Easter Eggs with your friends, family, co-workers, people on the street, etc.  If you know of other cool hidden features, feel free to share them!