Neat and New Technology in 2014 . February 2014 . Vol. 20 No. 2

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

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Neat and New Technology in 2014

By Howard Berenbon

You’re in for some surprises in the coming year of computers and technology. Start with smart technology and you’ll find some neat new and affordable devices as seen at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Pebble Steel Smart Watch

Pebble is out with a new set of Pebble Steel smart watches that are astatically pleasing with several smart functions—they just look like a normal fashion watches with an affordable price starting at $149 (from $137.99 at Amazon).  What can they do?  Well, it’s a Bluetooth device that has lots of apps, its main function allows texts and notifications displayed from your Bluetooth enabled cell phone. Other apps include remote functions, games, fitness tools, utilities, changeable watch faces and more. Click for information on Pebble Steel Smart Watch.

Google Glass Update

Google Glass is still by far the coolest smart hardware around, introduced in 2013, but has some new software updates this year.  Imagine having Internet access 24/7 and viewable though your prescription eyeglasses (or clear lenses if you’re 20/20), new for 2014 costing $250 with their Titanium frame.   They offer several new stylish frames and added a sunglass option for only $150 (plus the cost of the Google Glass).  You’ll have access to everything Internet wherever you go, including driving—though I don’t know if it would be safe to drive because it could be distracting.  You’ll be connected even when you’re in the bathroom—no need to bring in that magazine.  You might not want to take it into the shower or swim with it because I doubt it’s water resistant (though I heard someone used it in the shower, and it survived).  You can see what’s trending on, send and receive your e-mails via Gmail (has voice recognition), and soon you’ll be able interact with your friends and acquaintances through and Twitter (apps are now available) and other social networks all via the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection to your cell phone or home Wi-Fi network.  You’ll hear the audio with their innovative bone-conduction speaker on the earpiece behind your right ear—no need for an ear bud.  You can’t do everything you can do on a Mac, PC or tablet, but a lot of important stuff like texting, viewing maps and taking photos and videos (built-in camera is 5 mp, 720p HD) while you’re mobile. This could be quite valuable tool if you out and you witness an event that needs to be recorded like a disaster in the making, or maybe a UFO landing—you’ll get the picture for sure.  Now you can be totally immersed in the Internet, if you can afford the $1,500 price tag! If you’re interested in Google Glass, availability is limited. To sign up, visit

Sony Smartband

Sony introduced a wearable fitness wristband called Smartband  that interfaces with their Android devices using the Lifelog app.  It allows you to record data related to fitness activities as well information on songs you were listening to at specific times, and offers bookmarking capabilities. It’s not available yet and pricing isn’t set. Look for it in the spring of 2014.

LG Lifeband Touch
This is another device used to record fitness data and connects to your smartphone (Android or Apple) via Bluetooth similar to Sony’s Smartband.  It will be compatible with many popular fitness apps like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. It features a display that allows you to toggle through fitness details like calories burned, amount of steps taken during your workout and includes a set of headphones that works as a heart monitor.  It will be available in the spring, but pricing isn’t available.

A Few More Mentionables

Smart Home from Samsung

This new device from Samsung let you control your home appliances via the Internet with one app on a variety of smart devices including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and smart TVs (Samsung of course).  Smart Home will be available in the first half of 2014. You can control your lightening, furnace and air conditioning, refrigerator,  washing machine,  Smart TVs, digital cameras and more.

Intel’s Smart Devices

They include a smartwatch with Web browsing, smart earbuds for calorie tracking with heart rate and pulse tracking measurements and their Wireless Charging Bowl—drop your devices in this bowl and they get charged, smart earbuds, smart headset and smart wireless charging bowl.

June Bracelet

June is a bracelet from Netatmo that senses sunlight exposure and sends a reports to your smartphone with advice on how to protect your skin from UV radiation. This is a unique health related product, but I’m not so sure it’s that necessary.

The Wellness Watch

This smartwatch from Wellograph is a running activity tracker with a heart rate monitor.  Connects to your smartphone via its Bluetooth with the Wellograph app.

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