Category: featured

The Best Companion Apps for Pokémon Go

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Pokemon Go has taken over the world, rejuvenated a dying company (kinda?), massacred millions of phone batteries, and created lasting adventures. Before the craze is over, check out these apps to develop your skills and have the most fun. 

Poke Radar – (iOS)

Everyone wants to catch an elusive Pokémon – or at least a personal fave (I swear I’ll quit the game once I catch a Pikachu). Poke Radar helps you spot which species have spawned in certain areas. This can help you and you friends find the perfect location to visit and catch whatever your heart desires. As the whole app is crowd-sourced, you should add all your info to make the data even more complete! 

GoChat – (iOS, Android)

There are countless adorable stories of people meeting new friends and reconnecting with others through a passion for Pokémon Go. GoChat provides a much needed messaging platform for players and fans alike. It was created by an avid beta tester who simply wanted to create an even better experience for users. Download it to meet and keep in touch with new friends.

PokeMatch – (iOS, Android)

Single? Perhaps you’ll be interested in PokeMatch, a brand new dating app only for Pokémon Go trainers. You can filter through users by gender and team (I’m Valor in case you were wondering) and swipe through like any other dating app. If you find someone you’re interested in, you simply select a PokéStop to meet at. Let me know if you find the love of your life; I’m desperate for cute stories.

Though I’m not sure how long the mania will last, I am confident that this game has and will continue to shape mobile gaming in the future. Niantic Labs, the company behind Pokémon Go, developed another augmented reality game called Ingress; I would, arguably, call it the best mobile game I’ve ever seen. Accessible augmented reality is here, and I couldn’t be happier.

Most Innovative Tech for Athletes

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While being a good athlete requires immense hard work and dedication, these technologies enhance, assist, and guide athletes to achieve their goals.

Halo Neuroscience materializes in a headset, but instead of playing music, it contains pads in the headband that sends electrical pulses to the athlete’s brain. These pluses helps stimulate the athlete’s brain, boost their learning curve, and enhance their retention of muscle memory. It has been tried and tested on professional skiers and claims to be applicable to any and all sports. Notably, Halo Neuroscience was a competitor at TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield last month. 

The Linx IAS is a device that is capable of detecting the severity of an impact to the person it is connected to. While it can be utilized by anyone, one of its primary users are athletes who compete in heavy impact sports. This device weighs only as much as a nickel, provides a response from up to 300 feet away, and instantly syncs the response with the cloud accessible by and Android or iOS device. This device can greatly assist its users by determining their likelihood of a concussion.

The last device is specific to one sport: cycling. Connected Cycle is a GPS & GSM module that users install on the pedal of their bicycles. It provides the athlete with tracking information and alerts the owner of the bike if anyone touches or tampers with their bike. Additionally, Connect Cycle links to your Android or iOS smartphone and instantly provides you with feedback within the respective areas making the athlete’s cycling experience much more smooth.

Everyday Uses for Drones

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Once a scary, obscure device, drones are now becoming an everyday reality. Here are two ways that you might interact with drones in today or in the near future.

Delivery

Delivery drones are closer than you might think. Companies, such as Amazon, have released teaser videos to entice the public, but none have launched a mass-market, consumer delivery drone yet. However, many are getting close. Notably, Domino’s Pizza in Australia tested semi-autonomous drones, called “delivery experts,” which might become a full-time addition to the Domino’s team. Other than pizza and product delivery, drones will be able to distribute basic, necessary goods, such as medicine, to people around the world. For now, we’ll have to wait until delivery drones become more mainstream, but I am eager to see how fully integrated delivery drones will be in the future.

Photography

Perhaps the most common use for drones in everyday life is photography. If you’ve been at any large convention in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed drones flying around to capture images. The field of aerial photography has expanded widely due to these drones, and the field is becoming more accessible as these drones become more common. One of my favorite YouTubers, Casey Neistat, is an avid user of drones and frequently documents his trials and tribulations with them. As this is becoming such a prominent field, there are a vast array of photography drones to choose from. Personally, I recommend the Phantom 4; I had a chance to try it out earlier this year and got some incredible footage. Another drone that has piqued by interest is the Lily, which claims that you can throw it in the air and it will begin recording. It’s still on pre-order, but I will be checking it out once it’s available. 

Drones are being utilized in more ways than ever today, and people are always finding new ways to utilize them. One of my favorite humans, Simone Giertz, even released a video revealing how to cut your hair using a drone. Good luck. 

The Best Apps for Simplified Travel

Traveling can be a mess. Regardless of how well-traveled you are, there is almost always a hitch in your plan. With this being said, here are three apps to enhance and simplify your adventures.

Flighttrack 5

Flighttrack 5 provides you with information about each plane that flies through one of its 5000 affiliated airports. It determines accurate arrival and departure times, which allows you to stick to your schedule. Also, it’s exceptionally helpful for anyone who needs to pick someone else up from the airport; you’ll always be there at the perfect time! This service is available for $4.99 on iPhone and Android.

Foodspotting

How are you supposed to find the best food to try in a new country?Foodspotting helps you discover scrumptious food. It helps your palate explore an international menu, recommending specific dishes from local restaurants, rather than a generic, overall review. These reviews are submitted by users of the app who have sampled the dishes. However, Foodspotting does not allow highly negative reviews, so I would suggest selecting your food based on the quantity of positive reviews.

Worldmate

To top it all off, Worldmate assists you in planning every detail of your trip from departure times to meetings. Worldmate organizes all details you input chronologically and updates the event if anything changes. For example, if your flight is delayed or canceled, Worldmate will update you and allow you to reschedule accordingly. Worldmate has a premium function available for $9.99 per year, providing you with live updates received the second something in your plan changes.

The 2016 MSI: North America vs. Korea…Darshan vs. Faker

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Recently, Riot Games hosted a major eSports tournament, the Mid Season Interventional (MSI), for League of Legends. At MSI, each region is represented by a professional team. Notably, this is the first year North America made it to the final round of an international League of Legends tournament. Unfortunately, they played against, arguably, the greatest team in the existence of League of Legends, Korea. The NA team, CLG, performed exceptionally well, even beating the Korean team during the group stages thanks to Darshan (Olivia’s favorite player), who carried the team. Similarly, SKT’s gameplay solely depended on their star player, Faker. Regrettably, SKT ended up beating CLG 3-0.

One of the highlights of the finals was before the second game began. North America challenged Korea with the exact same conditions as the first game, which North America lost. Clearly, CLG wanted to convey the message that they believe they could have won the previous game. Korea called their bluff, also choosing the same team composition from the previous game, proving that they are the stronger team. Though I am disappointed, I am confident that CLG will come back stronger for their next tournament.

There’s one more thing I want to discuss about the MSI: the aftermath. Because of the loss, many fans were angered with Darshan, claiming that he underperformed throughout the finals. Many even called for him to be kicked off the team; however, even though he made several mistakes during the finals, CLG as a whole underperformed and would not have made it to the finals without Darshan. To improve, CLG should assess what they did wrong and determine how to prey on the opposing team’s weakness. Specifically, CLG needs to figure out how to play against Faker because he won’t disappear from the professional scene anytime soon.

Apps To Get You Through Rough Times

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Recently, things have been fairly rough for me. Everything is piling up, and merely existing throughout the day is a substantial challenge. In honor of this, I’ve crafted a list of my three favorite apps that have helped my through bad days. 

Vent

I discovered Vent a few months ago, and I regularly turn to it when I’m feeling desperately alone. Vent allows you to share how you’re feeling. After you select an emotion that characterizes your current state, you can describe what’s happening with as much detail as you wish. You can also connect with, “listen” to (follow), or chat privately with others. Easily the best aspect of this app is the positive community. The moderation is well done, and I can always turn to the Vent community when I need to get something off my chest.

Pacifica

If you are stressed or anxious, Pacific is the app for you. I stumbled upon Pacifica about a month ago, and I could not recommend it more. Pacifica assists users with stress, anxiety, and worry through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation, and wellness. Users get to select goals (mine: “Feel less stress or anxiety”), engage in chat groups with similar users, and follow a simple daily plan. While stress and anxiety are rampant this time of year, Pacifica is an app that vows to assist you gradually. Pacifica is not a quick fix but rather a longterm guide to an improved mental state.

Calm Harm

This app is, I hope, for only a few of you. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that self-harm is something I’ve struggled with for a few years now. While I am currently doing much better, I wish that I had discovered something like Calm Harm during my darkest times. Calm Harm provides activities in four different categories (Comfort, Distract, Express, and Release) to help you resist self-harm. It’s an emergency aid for when you need to clear your mind of the impulse. While the different activities do their job well, it’s important to remember that, of course, this app is not a cure: seek help.

Father.io: The Future of Gaming

Father.io is one of the coolest augmented reality games commercially available. Father.io is a first person shooter (FPS) available globally, and it’s all on your phone(!!). This FPS only requires an $18 dollar “interceptor” to be bought, allowing you to shoot at other players. It also functions as the hitbox your enemies will be aiming at. Additionally, the interceptor allows you to shoot accurately for up to fifty meters and picks up enemy fire with its six built in sensors. Believe it or not, the first interceptors will be shipping this summer.

There are currently two available game modes: deathmatch and capture the flag. Deathmatch queues you into a game with players located close to your immediate vicinity, essentially creating an AR battle anywhere from your bedroom to the local park. The second mode, capture the flag, is a team based game, which pits two forces against each other in attempt to capture the enemy’s “flag”. Within each game mode, every player may choose a class, altering your experience. These classes can affect how much ammo you have and what weapons you have access to. With weapons ranging from pistols to sniper rifles or even shotguns, the game’s diversity is vast. Additionally, other items such as grenades and claymores are available. Father.io has raised over $300,000 on Indiegogo, allowing for an immense amount of development constantly being added to the game. One of the current “reach goals” set by the company is to allow VR drone support, allowing players to perform airstrikes on unsuspecting players. Personally, I am highly anticipating the release of this product and cannot wait to try it out; the future of AR is bright.

– Austen

The Best Wireless Headphones

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Wireless headphones are quickly becoming the new norm (and might become a necessity if the iPhone 7 rumors are true), but which are the best? In terms of cost, performance, and portability, the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones are leading the field. 

Bose’s audio has always been held in high regard, and these headphones are further proof of that. Simply put, there is a lot going on to provide you with the most impeccable sound. The headphones work with Active EQ to get clear, clean highs and deep lows. The audio quality alone distinguishes these headphones as one of the best on the market, regardless of their wireless capabilities.

The SoundLink headphones boast several other impressive characteristics. Two microphones help with noise cancelling and improving the quality of phone calls. They come in at a mere .3 lbs and fold up small enough to fit in their 5x5x2.3 inch case, allowing easy storage and transport. You can expect up to 15 hours of battery life, but don’t worry if you forget to charge them – they even have a wired mode. Also notable, these headphones look clean and sleek; you can choose between white or black with blue accents on both. Of course, all of this comes at a cost ($249.95), but if you’ve got the cash, they’re worth it. 

Must-Have Tech For The Summer

Thank goodness summer is nearly here. With finals nearly finishing up, it’s time for a break. Here are a few of the must-have tech items for the summer.

The Polaroid Cube:

This nifty camera is ideal for capturing footage over the summer. The Polaroid Cube is capable of recording footage (up to 1440p) and has a magnet on the bottom, adding the option of mounting the camera on any metal surface. It’s even Wifi enabled! (Note from Olivia: It’s also quite adorable.) Unfortunately, it is not completely waterproof, but it is capable of functioning normally in a light drizzle or splash of water. Just don’t go swimming with it. If, however, you do fancy taking your camera for a swim, a waterproof cover is available for $25.

The Turtle Shell 2.0:

The Turtle Shell 2.0 is a rugged, compact speaker built specifically for durability. This speaker boasts to be dust proof, mostly drop proof, and water resistant. Also, the geometric design makes it easy to look at in addition to being a pleasure to listen to. Though the Turtle Shell 2.0 is available for as low as $73.99, it has a tendency for the bass to become distorted if used too intensely. So fair warning to all the fellow bass lovers out there, this might not be the speaker for you.

The EasyAcc Classic 10000mAh Power Bank:

We all hate those dreaded pop up notifications when our devices start running out of juice. Well, fear battery depletion no more, for this battery pack has you covered for up to five full charges. The EasyAcc Classic’s slim, lightweight design provides you with the optimal recharging experience. If you’re planning on spending your days indoors or outdoors, this battery pack is easy to transport and will surely save you from a dead phone!

– Austen

The 3 Most Promising Startups Of Disrupt NY

One of tech’s most important events happened this week: TechCrunch Disrupt New York. The 20 most innovative, groundbreaking, and promising startups presented at the Startup Battlefield. Here are my faves:

Spinn Coffee

I can’t survive without coffee, but Spinn Coffee has shown me that I’ve been experiencing coffee incorrectly my whole life. Spinn promises two key features: convenient and environmentally friendly coffee. Spinn can brew various types of drinks (french press, espresso, americano, etc), and it allows you to find local roasters through their app. Running out of coffee? Spinn will automatically order more from your favorite roasters. Remarkably, Spinn’s brewing process has no waste; this means no filters, no cups, no capsules. Of course, if you use it long enough, this would save you money, but more importantly, it is significantly better for the environment. You can currently pre-order Spinn (shipping in mid 2017) for $299.

Artveoli

Artveoli has perhaps the most sustainable invention of the Battlefield. This creation converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, making the planet a more breathable place. Using a microfluidic chip to encourage photosynthesis, Artveoli is making the world a healthier place, now and in the future.

Scoutible

The most intriguing idea in the Battlefield to me is Scoutible. Resumes are easily one of the most annoying things to create or read; they rarely provide you with what you want to know nor a person’s skills. Scoutible proposes a solution: play games to find jobs. Obviously, these games reveal much more about you than your gaming skills. It’s about your actions and your processes, which will reveal your strengths. Many top companies are finding talent on Scoutible, and you might just be hired from one 20 minute game!

Though I believe that these three startups show more promise, innovation, and expertise than any others at Disrupt NY, Beam won the Battlefield. However, I’m confident that all startups involved will have nothing but success in the future; these truly are the best of the best.