Thursday, January 22, 2015

Going (and Getting) Green with EcoATM

I have a gadget drawer. That drawer filled with old cell phones and gadgets that have been upgraded. But up until now I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them. So, there they sit.

CES (the Consumer Electonics Show) is all about the latest and greatest gadget. At this year's CES I didn't expect to learn about what to do with all of my old stuff.

The EcoATM is the solution to that dilemma of what to do with all those old gadgets in the drawer. I was going to add a picture of my drawer with this post but then I found this video from EcoAtm that made me smile. Their video features a drawer that looks just like my drawer.



I know that recycling my old phones is the right thing to do but in the past I have always sort of worried about whether or not I had actually cleared everything off my old phone or was I sending off my phone with personal information on it. So, instead I would just throw the old phone in the drawer.

Meeting the team from EcoATM was fantastic because they were able to answer all of my questions and concerns about the process.

One concern was about thugs stealing phones and trying to get money back through the EcoATM thereby encouraging more stealing. Of course, EcoATM has already thought about that scenario and as they put it at CES "EcoATM is the last place a thief wants to bring a stolen device." They have all kinds of safe guards that include built in cameras that create a video of the person making the transaction. They also connect with police records of stolen property and several other safe guards that make trying to unload stolen gadgets at the EcoATM a problem for the thief.

Here are some of the statistics about our old cell phones:

  • For every 1million cellphone recycled (stats from EPA):
  • 35,000 pounds of copper recovered
  • 772 pounds of silver recovered
  • 75 pounds of gold recovered
  • Enough energy to run 185 U.S. households for a year
  • 3 million cellphones were recycled in California alone in 2012
  • Only 17% of cellphones are recycled every year

HOW TO FIND AN ECOATM

There is a simple site locator on the EcoATM website. CLICK HERE to find the EcoATM closest to you.


This is just an example of the locations in Washington and Oregon

I was surprised to find that there were so many outlets. I hadn't really heard of it before CES. But I found out they are already in more than 1,500 kiosks across the country, ecoATM is located in the malls and retailers. EcoATM is from the same company that has brought us Coinstar and RedBox. So you know that if the experience of returning a phone is as simple as renting a movie (and returning it to ANY redbox anywhere) then this process will be EASY. I have been an avid Redbox user since 2009 and now, knowing this, feel even more confident with the consumer experience of EcoATM.

With a drawful of old phones I am looking forward to cleaning out my office and putting a little more cash in my pocket.




**** This post is part of a series of posts from CES where I attended as a guest ofTechlicious. All opinions and experiences are my own. The Techlicious Cocktail Party at CES was sponsored by Ion + Radarworks, (@Radarworksan integrated marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.  From creative, brand building to social, PR and influence marketing and experiential events and promotions, Ion + Radarworks is adept at creating smart integrated campaigns that help clients tell their story with impact across every consumer touch point.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tiffin Steadicam Curve: Cooler, Cheaper, and Cleaner than the Alternative

With four active kids I have files and files of blurry digital pictures of them. I have tried cameras with stabilizing functions but sometimes you are just in motion.  Earlier this month I had the opportunity to meet the team from Tiffin at CES and learn about their newest rendition of the steadicam the Steadicam Curve.

WHY THE TIFFIN STEADICAM IS COOLER, CHEAPER AND CLEANER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE

COOLER

This is my crew pre-steadicam



They love hitting the slopes but they also love taking video of their days in the Terrain Park. I have stopped worrying about the crazy jumps years ago but I still worry about them sliding down the hill holding their camera in their hands trying to get a great video, watching the camera instead of watching where they are going (they are very safe boarders but I still worry).

With the Tiffin Steadicam Curve they can get that really cool video while paying more attention to where they are going than to taking the video. As a mom I don't have to worry about the kids cruising down the slopes and taking video as they go. They can keep their eye on the slopes and not the shot - they know they are going to get a great shot.

CHEAPER

In a side by side comparison the Tiffin Steadicam is much cheaper than the alternative.

Tiffin Steadicam Curve                        Should Surgery

$99.95                                                       $11,978

As you can see the Tiffin Steadicam Curve wins every time. Even if you have a rocking health insurance plan the deductible alone will set you back over $2500 for the shoulder surgery. (Unfortunately, I know this first hand. Wish we had known about the steadicam years ago).

CLEANER

When I came back from CES and was telling my kids about the steadicam they just cooly replied "Yeah, sounds like it would be alot cleaner than the alternative". I asked them what the alternative was and they showed me this video:



Actually, the steadicam by Tiffin is cleaner, quieter, and safer than trying to strap your camera on the head of a chicken.

Thanks to Techlicious for introducing me to the Tiffin team. The only thing is... I wish I had found out about this years ago. I think this may be my newest favorite baby shower gift. I'll include a note: Trust me - you'll need this.



**** This post is part of a series of posts from CES where I attended as a guest of Techlicious. All opinions and experiences are my own. The Techlicious Cocktail Party at CES was sponsored by Ion + Radarworks, (@Radarworksan integrated marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.  From creative, brand building to social, PR and influence marketing and experiential events and promotions, Ion + Radarworks is adept at creating smart integrated campaigns that help clients tell their story with impact across every consumer touch point.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lenovo Yoga in harmony with your life on the road and at home

The idea of Yoga is to bring your mind, body, and spirit together in alignment combining your abilities with your best purpose and ultimately attain a greater enlightenment. 

When you practice Yoga you work to attain harmony with nature. This is the idea behind the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 Tablet and one of the reasons I am so in love with it.

When I was at CES (the Consumer Electronic Show) I had the chance to spend time with the team from Lenovo and learn about their line of Yoga and Flex laptops.  They were explaining that the idea behind the Yoga was for the designers to think first about all the things you would love your tablet to do making it work in harmony with your life - instead of making your life work in harmony with your technology. On top of that it had to work in harmony with your budget. 

The Yoga Pro 2 achieved that!

(make sure to check out how you can win one of these amazing tablets at the bottom of this post)

Technology that works the way you want it to

This tablet is seriously cool and works with you the way you want it to work.  One of the greatest features is the back kickstand that folds flat when you want to just hold the tablet but then you can flip the kickstand open and use your tablet handsfree to read recipes or watch your favorite netflix movie while you are in the kitchen. Or lay it down the other way with the kickstand open and it will sit there on your desk at an angle that makes for easier reading so you can keep your body in alignment and not strain your neck to read text that is flat on your desk.

But the coolest way you can use the kickstand is by folding it all the way flat and use the hole in the center of the kickstand to hang your tablet on any hook and continue to use your tablet from any place where you might need more counter space or where you have no counter space at all.

This means to me that my technology will bend to my design instead of me bending to work with the way my technology does.  I love this!

A laptop battery that goes longer than you do

Lenovo has also paid serious attention to the battery life of these little tablets and incorporated a battery that has an Epic Lifespan. On some models the battery life runs up to 18 hours which means you can go all day without plugging in. This is a fantastic feature for people on the go who may not be able to find a plug in when they need it most. 

I am thinking ahead to a wrestling tournament that is coming up where the wrestling parents and other supporters will be sitting on highschool bleachers from 9am into the evening. (These wrestling tournaments are wild). This is the same scenario for any parent who is supporting their kid at any district tournament. There are rarely plug ins found anywhere on the bleachers. This Yoga 2 Pro is perfect for them.

During CES I had the chance to talk with a couple of the designers about the battery. This is important to me because we have two laptops at home that get hot and then the fan has to work overtime to cool it down and THEN the laptop gets loud. This is massively annoying and ultimately I end up just turning the laptop off altogether keeping me from getting done whatever it is I was working on. With this Lenovo battery technology there is no issue with heat and so you won't have that issue of a loud device that needs to be shutdown. All other features are cool but the battery is really the key thing for me.

Built in Projector 


Another seriously cool feature that works with my life, instead of my life having to adapt to the technology, is a built in projector.

This is an amazing feature for family travelers and for business travelers.

When I travel with my family we bring an HDMI cable and when we get into our hotel room we hook our laptop up to the television with our cable to be able to watch our netflix movies or view the pictures from the day on the television.  This can require some configuration and we have found a couple of hotel televisions that blocked this kind of access. I would love to be able to turn the lights out in the room and project my tablet up on to the wall of the hotel room and watch Frozen or some other movie that is saved on my VUDU account without having to mess with cables or having to figure out the configuration at each different vacation location.  

You could take a sheet outside and have a movie night in your backyard. How fun would that be? 

For business travelers you wouldn't have to worry about what technology was available when you reach your meeting destination. You also wouldn't need to lug around a bulky projector of your own.

A Yoga for your lifestyle and budget

One of the greatest thing about the Lenovo Yoga? It works with your budget. They have devices that start as low as $229. This base model has all the basic options that any home use could need. Working with the idea that Lenovo wants the technology for you, there is a wide range of configurations within the Yoga brand taking you all the way up to a convertible thinkpad, with all the bells and whistles, for just over $1000. 

One of the things I have always hated about buying a new gadget is that feeling of not knowing exactly what I want when I walk into a big box store and then being confused by the teen age sales person who can make me feel like a dinosaur. Lenovo as this dialed in too. I visited their website Lenovo.com and they have a very easy chat box where you can chat online with one of their customer service agents and make sure you have all the features that you need ensuring you get the exact device that works for your life and your budget (without making you feel like a tech idiot).

There is a Yoga 3 which compares to the Macbook pro - it is a lightweight dynamo that makes business travel amazing.

Twitter Party

Join the Travelingmom and Techlicious Twitter party to learn more about how we use our tech on the road and enter to win a great prize. 

Join us Thursday, January 22, for a special #TMOM Twitter party when we team up with our partners at Techlicious to chat about great travel tech, the joy and stress of working from the road and the cool tools that can help.
What: Twitter Party — Working on the Road
When: Jan. 22, 9-10 pm ET (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; 6-7 pm PT)
How: Follow the hashtags: #TMOM #LenovoTNT

Click HERE to Win!!!  Win a Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro!

Read more about the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and the twitter party at:



FULL DISCLOSURE:  I was a guest at CES of Techlicious and was invited to lunch with the team from Lenovo previewing some of the latest technology - one laptop that was displayed was one of only three in existence and we were encouraged to not drop it.  (Yeah - I didn't even touch it but it was pretty. I took a picture of my friend Amy holding this featherweight powerhouse instead). While lunch was fantastic it was not required to write about any particular product or even any of the products at all and all of my opinions and enthusiasm for the technology is my own. I was not given any product to test in exchange for this post. I just seriously love the idea that a company thought about my lifestyle first and then designed a product around that.