Gadgets: Easy-to-use devices analyze, watch, and retouch
The pocket-sized (4.0-by-2.0-by-0.6-inches) Alcomate Revo is a great device for accurately reading an individual's blood-alcohol level.
Since I have no experience with using portable breathalyzers, I did some research and found that often pocket breathalyzers must be sent back to manufacturers for calibration to keep them accurate.
That's not the case with the Revo because it features a pre-calibrated sensor, which you can easily replace yourself.
To use it, breathe into a replaceable mouthpiece until a beeper stops sounding. The device analyzes and converts that information into a numerical reading of your blood-alcohol level.
It's recommended to change the sensor every 1,000 tests or at least once yearly. The set includes five mouthpieces; additional mouthpieces can be purchased in a 10-pack ($4) or a 100-pack ($40). A pouch and hard carrying case are available for purchase.
Constructed with ABS Molding, the Revo is powered by two AAA batteries and has an easy-to-read LCD.
According to the Alcomate site, the Revo is the single source supplier for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and is DOT approved for law enforcement accuracy.
I've tried an endless number of smart home products over the past few years, and the number one complaint I hear from people (which I agree with) is when they aren't easy to use.
Honeywell gets an A-Plus from me for their new indoor C1 Wi-Fi Security Camera; it's exactly as advertised: you can watch what's happening at home - anytime, anywhere. Versatile and easy to install.
Setup takes just a few minutes. Download the free Lyric app (iOS and Android), connect the camera's included power cord and follow the easy start-up guide in the app, which includes connecting the camera to your existing home Wi-Fi.
The user-friendly app is used for viewing the camera, but it does a whole lot more, including taking instant screen shots during livestream, which can be easily saved to your mobile device.
Two-way audio allows you to press the microphone tab on the app to speak out of the camera along with hearing sounds in the camera's area. Alerts can be set for sound and motion detection. Video recording has quality settings for HD 720p (default) auto or low.
Even though the C1 is easy to set up, I recommend reading about all the features and settings, to customize it to your needs. This way you won't get alerts every time a pet runs through a room unless you really want them.
The C1 can send an alert to you if a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm goes off. Other features include intelligent sound detection to recognize specific sounds, 135-degree wide-angle view and night vision.
The app works with just one C1 or multiple cameras. Images are stored in the cloud or on a removable microSD memory card.
Imagenomic's last version of Portraiture (version 3) is a Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture plugin, which makes skin retouching a snap.
I tested the Photoshop version and found it super easy to achieve professional results with just a few clicks.
The program is built with a powerful masking tool that enables you to selectively smooth only the skin tones of an image without affecting the rest of your image. It works like magic.
Portraiture's masking tool is unique with its built-in Auto-Mask feature to help you quickly discover most of the skin tone range of the image automatically as well as allowing you to fine-tune the results manually.
When I opened Portraiture, the filter defaulted to several preset options; Smoothing Normal, Smoothing Strong, Enhancing Glamour, etc. After choosing a preset, you can tweak the results using the sliders for changing the amount of smoothing, add or delete from the mask and even change the hue of the skin color being masked.
Once you are happy with the results, click OK, and the filter goes to work; in just a few seconds the skin is smoother, wrinkles and blemishes are erased, and photos looks professionally retouched.
©2017 Gregg Ellman
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