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Canon Robotic Camera System Lets You Operate Multiple Canon Cameras Remotely
Most photographers use one camera at a time to capture their subjects, whether it be landscapes, wildlife, or everyday objects. There are many situations, though, where you will want to capture the same scene from multiple angles, such as when you’re shooting at sports events, concerts, and fashion shows. Sure, you can hire extra people to operate the other cameras, but a tool like the Canon Robotic Camera System CR-S700R might make for a more cost-effective solution.
Designed to enable the remote operation of multiple cameras and lenses, the device lets you capture the same scenes from different angles all by your lonesome. Just set up the cameras at the angles that you like with the system’s hardware in tow and you can control them all directly from a laptop.
The Canon Robotic Camera System CR-S700R consists of a pan head that you mount on a central axis, allowing it to zoom, pan, tilt, and roll the camera while taking up a minimum amount of space, as well as the IP camera controller CR-G100, which wirelessly connects all the pan heads to the companion PC app. According to the outfit, the pan head can perform its movements with minimal shifting of weight and balance, allowing it to be very stable while moving at a satisfyingly brisk pace that you’re unlikely to miss a shot. These qualities, along with its turning radius of 260mm, make it very useful for following high-speed subjects, so you can use it to keep pace with cars in the speedway, runners in the oval, or all the basketball players running up and down the court.
Do note, the system only supports still photography, so you won’t be able to use it to record video footage. Given how many professionals take photographs rather than video during live events, though, we imagine a good load of folks will find this plenty useful. According to the outfit, they decided to limit it to stills to keep the electronic components to a minimum, allowing them to achieve a compact and lightweight design, making the system a whole lot more portable.
The Canon Robotic Camera System CR-S700R’s companion app allows you to see a live view of every camera connected to the system, so you can monitor what’s in the frame for each one the entire time. We’re not sure what resolution the live view feed is streaming at, but we imagine they’re decent enough that you can easily make out what’s happening in each one.
•Happy Hacking Keyboard 3 Brings The Tactile Feedback Of Mechanical Keyboards Without The Loud Noise
Mechanical keyboards are great, with their satisfying tactile feedback allowing you to type at a much faster pace. Problem is, they’re noisy as heck, making them potentially annoying in an open-layout office where you can hear multiple keyboards clicking loudly non-stop. The Happy Hacking Keyboard 3, frequently abbreviated as HHKB 3, offers a quieter alternative.
Designed to deliver tactile feedback without the clicking noise (or fidget spinner compatibility), the keyboard allows you to type with the same immediate physical response that’s equally satisfying, giving you the cue you need to move on to the next key you’re typing. Is it mechanical? Well, not really (although there are occasional arguments about it online), but if the main reason you use a mechanical keyboard is that satisfying feedback, you can definitely enjoy that here.
As the name implies, the HHKB 3 is the third-generation of the Japanese-made keyboard, which swaps out the traditional switch mechanisms under the keycaps in favor of Topre electrostatic capacitive switches. Billed as a hybrid between mechanical spring switches, rubber dome switches, and capacitive sensors, this switch registers keypresses electrically via capacitor pads, while a rubber dome on top of coiled spring provides the tactile pushback that lets you know a keypress has properly registered without making those loud clicking sounds.
It retains the same 60-key layout as its predecessors, making it more compact than most keyboards in the market. Not only does it eliminate the number pad, it eliminates a lot of dedicated keys you find in other compact keyboards, such as direction keys, PgUp/PgDn, backspace, and more. They remain available as alternate keys, though, so you’ll still get to use them in conjunction with a modifier key, although it will take some getting used to (based on user-feedback, though, learning curve is pretty short). The layout, by the way, is designed to reduce hand and arm fatigue for coders and programmers, although we’re not sure exactly how it accomplishes that. Oh yeah, the keyboard is available in both printed and blank variants, so you can add your own markings for the latter.
The HHKB 3 comes in several flavors. There’s the Pro Hybrid, which adds support for AA batteries and a Bluetooth chip, allowing you to use it as a wireless keyboard, all while still supporting tethered connection via mini-USB cable (yes, apparently, they still use that over in Japan). The Pro Hybrid Type-S, on the other hand, adds silencing dampers to further muffle the already-quiet “thock” sound that keystrokes make, all while inheriting the Bluetooth support. Of course, they also sell the classic version, which is just the keyboard and a mini-USB cable.
Construction is PBT plastic for the keycaps and ABS for the keyboard body, so it’s quite the lightweight peripheral that you won’t mind bringing along with your laptop. It has fold out legs, which allow the keyboard to be propped up at three different angles, as well as a dip switch in the back that allow you to switch from one layout to another. Oh yeah, you can customize the layout using a companion software, where you can remap each key to your exact preferences. It’s compatible with PCs and Macs.
The Happy Hacking Keyboard 3 is available now, priced starting at $190.
• August Wi-Fi Smart Lock Is The Most Convenient Way To Automate Your Front Door
We’re already big fans of the August Smart Lock, with its ability to simply mount on your existing deadbolt and immediately turn it into a connected fixture. It’s very convenient. You know what’s not convenient? Having to use a separate device to get it connected to the internet. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock changes that.
Equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi radio, the device can hop onto your home network without the need for a Wi-Fi bridge, eliminating another device you need to plug in and find space for somewhere in your home. That makes setting it up a more straightforward affair, allowing you to quickly get your smart lock set up by simply mounting this over a deadbolt.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock takes on a similar but more compact form factor as its predecessor, coming in at 45 percent smaller, making it look very understated while it sits on the inside of your front door. Seriously, this new model looks just slightly bigger than a standard door knob (it measures 72mm in diameter), so it doesn’t look totally out of place the way the older version did. It provides all the same benefits that its predecessor does, whether it be automatically locking your deadbolt after a specified amount of time, automatically unlocking when it detects you within the vicinity (geofencing), or letting you use your keys if you want to open your door in the traditional fashion. That’s right, it lets you retain traditional use of your deadbolt, as only the interior section gets mounted over with the hardware.
The big change here, of course, is the built-in Wi-Fi, allowing it to get on your home network without another hardware to purchase and set-up. That means, you get access to your lock via the smartphone app anywhere you are, so you can open the door if you’re not yet home when your mom suddenly showed up or when your neighbor finally comes over to return the drill he borrowed last year.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock also allows you to create and send access keys to anyone you want to give temporary access to the lock, so you can give a way for the cleaning lady, the plumber, or your cousin who’s visiting over the weekend to get into the house without having to call you every time. All the keys can be disabled at any time, too, so they can only be used as long as you deem them necessary. It also comes with a built-in sensor that can tell you at any time whether the door is locked or not, so you can check in easily using the app, instead of having someone physically check it. Plus, it sends notifications anytime the lock is engaged or disengaged, so you know exactly when people are coming and going.
To ensure security, it uses Bluetooth encryption and Transport-Layer Security on the app, making it highly-unlikely that anyone can hack your door to unlock it. Other features include voice assistant support (Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa) and compatibility with nearly any single-cylinder deadbolt. It powers using two CR123 batteries.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock will be available later in the year. No pricing has been announced.
• Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Makes A Winning Case For Folding-Screen Computers
Foldable displays have never really tickled our fancy. Those we’ve seen in the past simply felt more like gimmicks than viable products you would actually use. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, however, has us rethinking our stance, as this thing looks as well-designed as you can get.
Billed as “the world’s first foldable PC,” it’s a full-fledged Windows computer in a tablet form factor that just happens to have a foldable display, allowing you to cut the size in half when collapsing for easy portability. More importantly, though, it feels like a device that you’d actually want to use in place of a regular laptop, essentially making a winning case for foldable display panels.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is, basically, a tablet with a 13.3-inch flexible plastic OLED touchscreen panel, sporting a 2048 x 1536 resolution. It can be used as a single 4:3 display when perched on the accompanying stand, which can hold it in both landscape and portrait orientation, while the user interacts using touch gestures and the accompanying slim Bluetooth keyboard. That keyboard, by the way, is designed to fit in the gap created when the whole thing is folded, so you don’t need an extra case in order to carry the peripheral.
Alternatively, the whole thing can be slightly folded in the middle, where it turns into two separate displays, with the top panel standing at an angle and the bottom screen sitting flat on the desk surface. In this mode, you can have your word processor open at the top screen and the bottom screen serving as a virtual keyboard, as well as have an image displayed on the top screen while having an illustration app you’re sketching on open at the bottom. You can also use it in portrait orientation when folded, allowing you to have a tablet that opens like a book, so you can have your word processor on the left side and your research notes on the right. Basically, it allows for new ways of working on the road that a standard laptop setup wouldn’t have afforded you in the past.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold runs Windows 10 Pro, instead of the 10X that Microsoft is making (and hasn’t finished yet) for folding-screen and dual-screen devices. That means, Lenovo had to make their own software solution for the dual-screen setup, so we’re not sure how solid the experience is going to be, since the outfit isn’t exactly known for their stellar software. Suffice to say, you’ll probably want to wait for the reviews before shelling out your cash for this thing.
Not much information is available beyond the screen specs, although the folding PC also comes with a rated battery life of 11 hours, Dolby Audio integration (no word on speakers, though), Active Pen stylus, optional 5G connectivity, and a light weight of just 2.2 pounds. Aside from the stylus, keyboard, and stand as accessories, Lenovo is also offering an easel-like stand that perches it a few inches above the desk surface, making the whole thing feel like a small all-in-one PC.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold comes out mid-2020, priced at $2499.
• Samsung Odyssey G9 Puts 240Hz In A 49-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Monitor
When putting together a desktop setup, one of the things we always splurge on is the monitor. Investing in a new model will usually keep you set for, at least, five years, potentially more if you don’t mind having the most cutting edge tech at all times. Rarely, however, can you buy a monitor that’s so advanced, your current computer isn’t likely to be able to take advantage of everything it can do. For now, though, you’ve got a chance to do just that with the Samsung Odyssey G9.
A curved ultra-wide monitor, the gaming display boasts a 240Hz refresh rate, allowing you to see a whopping 240 different frames each second you’re playing. That means, you should be able to catch every minute adjustment that happens onscreen, provided, of course, you have the hardware to actually run a modern AAA game at 240 fps. Which, let’s be honest, you probably won’t, unless you turn down the textures and other graphical elements in a severe manner.
The Samsung Odyssey G9 is a massive 49-inch curved gaming monitor that delivers an insanely wide 5120 x 1440 resolution (that’s a 32:9 aspect ratio, by the way, which many games surprisingly support), allowing you to simulate two screens standing side-by-side using just a single QLED panel. Aside from stepping up the refresh rate to 240Hz, it also boasts a single millisecond of response time, so all the action should happen even more instantaneously. Not that you can actually recognize the difference, of course, but still impressive all the same. With that said, many people who have upgraded from 144Hz to 240Hz actually say the change isn’t that dramatic, as in, the increased refresh rate doesn’t feel that significant compared to the upgrade from 60Hz to 144Hz.
The curve on this thing isn’t slight, by the way, as it literally wraps around in a very dramatic way. As in, if you want to feel like you’re surrounded by whatever virtual world you’re playing on, this thing will definitely deliver that experience.
The Samsung Odyssey G9 has built-in ambient lighting in the back (which they call Infinity Core Lighting), right at the connection between the monitor and its stand arm. We’re guessing it’s supposed to reflect light at the wall behind the display, essentially expanding the visuals to feel like it extends well beyond the borders of your screen. If it doesn’t, though, then it just seems like a weird idea to put light in a place that you wouldn’t check out otherwise.
Do you need this monitor in your life? Probably not. We’re not really sold on the upside of 240Hz over 144Hz, for one, and we haven’t been the biggest fans of 32:9 aspect ratio, since they make games feel a bit fish-eyed. Perhaps, you feel differently, though, and this might just be the monitor upgrade you’ve been waiting for.
The Samsung Odyssey G9 will come out later this year, along with the smaller 16:9 Odyssey G7. No pricing has been announced, but expect it to retail north of $1,000.
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Canon Robotic Camera System Lets You Operate Multiple Canon Cameras Remotely , Happy Hacking Keyboard 3 Brings The Tactile Feedback Of Mechanical Keyboards Without The Loud Noise , August Wi-Fi Smart Lock Is The Most Convenient Way To Automate Your Front Door , Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Makes A Winning Case For Folding-Screen Computers , Samsung Odyssey G9 Puts 240Hz In A 49-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Monitor