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I’ve seen dozens of virtual reality glasses and goggles, from the upscale Vive and Occulus to the Google Cardboard. Yes, those are impressive (the Cardboard is just okay) but perhaps the best of the bunches of under $99 VR headsets is one that’s both VR and AR (augmented reality).
One day something you want is half-price, the next day it’s full-price. You literally have to check Amazon every day to never miss a bargain, but this app called “Amazon Alert” will do that shopping for you.
Let’s say you want one of the popular Bamboo Pillows. You can order it now of course, but if you’re willing to wait for a sale, the Amazon Alert app will notify you of a price drop.
It works several ways. With the free version you shop Amazon within the app. You’ll need to enter the product name to search for it. I’d recommend doing the window shopping on the Amazon website.
The paid version…which is $4 for a year, will import your wishlist you have saved on Amazon.com. You can also use Amazon’s share button on an item to have it sent to the app.
Once you have the item saved in the Amazon Alert app, you name your price and if the item goes on sale for that price, you’ll get a notification by e-mail so you don’t miss it.
Obviously, this app isn’t good for items you want right away. But if you can wait until it goes on sale, Amazon Alert will save you more than the 4 dollars it costs.
Are you addicted to your smartphone?
I must have asked that question 30 times in recent weeks and the most common answer I got in return was “My husband (or spouse) will say yes, but I don’t think I do.”
Is that something an addict says or what?
Lights, gadgets, camera, action:
Do you have someone on your wish list this year who has an interest in filmmaking or YouTube videos? Today’s smartphone cameras are so good at taking photos and video some Hollywood directors are shooting feature films with iPhones. Famed director Steven Soderbergh, who’s biggest hits are “Logan Lucky”, “Oceans Eleven” and “Erin Brockovich” is reportedly releasing a new thriller to the big screen in the spring of 2018 that was shot entirely on an iPhone 7. If that isn’t proof that smartphone cameras are ready for the big screen I don’t know what is.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you can just run out and start recording video that looks like a big production; you need gadgets and several camera gadgets are a big step forward toward making smartphone videos look like something out of a big picture studio.
A stabilizer removes any shakiness the camera would capture when you’re shooting by hand. There are dozens of stabilizers on the market such as the DJI Phone Camera Gimbal OSMO MOBILE, Black which gives the filmmaker steadiness and control of the smartphone camera.
A different perspective gives video shot with an iPhone or smartphone camera a much more Hollywood look. Wide angle lens adapters are a must-have to create the big-picture look.
The OlloClip lens kits are built for specific smartphones and devices and you’ll need to make sure you get the correct one for your phone. The OlloClip is the go-to for professional smartphone videographers as they provide both wide-angle lenses along with fish-eye, macro and telephoto.
olloclip – ACTIVE LENS SET for iPhone 8/8 Plus & iPhone 7/7 Plus – TELEPHOTO & ULTRA-WIDE Premium Glass Lenses
The Sandmarc wide-angle lens comes with snap-on case. I’m using the SANDMARC Wide Lens Edition for iPhone X – Wide angle lens, case and clip-on kit for iPhone – 2X Wider Capture with my new iPhone X and found it captures a higher quality image.
See it on their website https://www.genze.com/
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When the invitation came in my inbox a few weeks ago, I didn’t understand what it was all about. An interactive and immersive dining experience involving projectors and 3D mapping technology. I Googled it, and watched YouTube videos and when it came time for the show to begin, my mind still couldn’t understand what I was about to see.
Dinner Time Stories: In the Footsteps of Marco Polo is dinner theater like you’ve never seen before. Seriously. Never because it hasn’t been in the United States before. I was among a lucky few who got to see it first.
“What this is is a fully immersive 6-course dinner experience that takes the audience on a journey from France to Arabia to India to the Himalayas to China and back to France, all through 3D projection mapping,” David Fischette of Go West Creative, the producers of the show in the United States. He also tried to explain what it was going to be like in the moments leading up to the first course.
But when the show began, I still didn’t know what to expect.
There was what appeared to be a menu book on the table before us. We were told to open the book to the center page but there was nothing on it. Both pages, all pages were blank but seconds later words began appearing in my book as if it was printed there.
The page turned and a figure appeared. A tiny man with a French accent who introduced himself as Le Petit Chef. “You have a funny look on your face” he said pointing at me. I’m sure I did.
So did everyone in the room of about 35 diners seated at two very long tables. Each person had the same menu book in front of them with Le Petit Chef. It was amazing to see.
“Each diner, each person has their own setting,” explained Fischette. “Completely 3D projection mapped and animated from the perspective of, it looks like the chef is right there on the table making the food for them.”
The chef moved around the table, flipped more pages in the book and picked up a spoon (a virtual spoon) on my plate. I didn’t need special glasses to see him.
With each course, Le Petit Chef told a story “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo”. As he took us through each part of the story a wait staff brought the meal one course at a time. One course, a delicious serving of couscous, muscles, and tabbouleh came in a small leather suitcase. Another came in a box with a secret door. The palate cleansing sorbet was brought in a dish and I was instructed to pour from a teapot of water which created steam. Through the projection, it appeared that the steam from everyone’s dish left their plate and carried over to the table.
Kendall Gilfillan was like everyone else. She’d never seen anything like this.
“I think it made you interact with the people sitting across from you but each new journey was a different flavor,” she said. “Sailing through the seas and going through these storms on a little piece of paper. I loved it. I’d describe it as a completely immersive experience that really gets you involved.”
This Dinner Time Story has played in restaurants in Dubai, London, Cairo and Stockholm but opened for the first time at The Standard, a premium restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. Fischette told me it is their home and plan to take Dinner Time Stories: In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, featuring Le Petit Chef” to other fine restaurants around the country.
Other stories will follow this one. Fischette said the shows will be similar to theater productions in that different stories will be presented for a limited time before another show takes it place.
This show runs on certain days of the week through March 17th at The Standard in Nashville. For ticket information go to www.dinnertimestoriesusa.com
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