Tech columnist Jennifer Jolly shares summer gadgets for fun, safety

Tech columnist Jennifer Jolly shares hot summer gadgets for fun and safety



BACK OVER TO YOU, MIKE. ALL RIGHT, THANKS SO MUCH, DIRK. SO NEW THIS MORNING, SUMMERTIME SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT SUN FUN AND FINALLY GETTING A BREAK FROM ALL THE WORRIES OF OUR BUSY LIVES. BUT CRIME DOES NOT TAKE A VACATION THIS TIME OF YEAR. DEIRDRE FITZPATRICK JOINS US WITH SOME HELPFUL GADGETS. DO YOU KNOW WHO USED TO SAY THAT? OH, MCGRUFF, THE CRIME DOG. OH, WISE WORDS. THAT’S RIGHT. CRIME DOESN’T TAKE A VACATION. AND SO THAT’S WHY YOU REALLY NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT YOUR HOME SECURITY PLAN. IF YOU ARE TAKING A LITTLE BIT OF A SUMMER BREAK. AND TECH COLUMNIST JENNIFER JOLLY IS JOINING US TODAY WITH SOME OF THE LITTLE GADGETS THAT ARE OUT THERE OR JUST SIMPLE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO MAKE SURE YOUR STUFF IS SAFE WHILE YOU ARE AWAY? YEAH. YEAH, THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. CRIME GOES UP 10% ACCORDING TO FBI STATISTICS. EVERY JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST. WORST THING TO DO BROADCAST TO THE WORLD THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE OUT OF TOWN. DON’T POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAR SITTING THERE. DON’T LET THE MAIL STACK UP. BEST THING TO DO, TAKE SIMPLE PRECAUTIONS. YOU DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE TO RUN OUT AND BUY A NEW GADGET, BUT IF YOU DO, THEY’RE NOT AS EXPENSIVE AND THEY DO A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN THEY EVER HAVE BEFORE. THEY HAVE. I MEAN, SO NUMBER ONE, START WITH DO NOT TELL PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN. DON’T TELL THEM. SURE. VACATION PICTURES LATER. AND THEN LET’S START WITH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE OUT THERE. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF COMPANIES THAT ARE DOING THIS THESE DAYS. YEAH, THIS IS THE NEWEST RING. SMART DOORBELL, NO HARDWARE. IT’S THE RING BATTERY DOORBELL, I SHOULD SAY, BY THE CORRECT NAME. RING BATTERY, DOORBELL. THERE’S NO HARD WIRING IT ANYMORE. AS LONG AS YOU CAN CONNECT IT TO WI FI. IT’S UP, IT’S RUNNING. IT HAS A MUCH HIGHER AND TALLER FIELD OF VIEW. SO YOU CAN SEE PACKAGES EVEN WHEN THEY’RE DROPPED RIGHT AT THE BASE OF THAT CAMERA. THAT’S INCREDIBLE. TO YOUR YOUR PREVIOUS POINT, THOSE PACKAGES CAN BE A REAL CLUE THAT YOU’RE NOT HOME. SO IF YOU CAN SPOT IT ON SOME SORT OF A CAMERA. YEAH. AND PORCH PIRATES ARE ALL ABOUT STEALING WHATEVER THEY POSSIBLY CAN FROM YOUR FRONT PORCH. SO YOU WANT THAT ON APP. YOU CAN DO TWO WAY GET A NOTIFICATION. SOMEONE’S AT YOUR DOOR, TALK WITH THEM SO THEY THINK THAT YOU’RE INSIDE. YOU CAN LEAVE PRERECORDED MESSAGES AND YOU CAN ADD ON OTHER SECURITY DEVICES AS YOU GO ALONG THAT COSTS AROUND $180. GREAT PRICE. REALLY GREAT WAY TO START. OKAY, SO LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS. LIGHTING IS ALWAYS A KEY ONE AND SOMETIMES IT CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS JUST SCREWING IN A LIGHT BULB. THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY ASKED ME THE OTHER DAY, WHAT MAKES A LIGHT BULB SMART? WELL, THE FACT THAT YOU CAN RUN IT WITH AN APP ON YOUR PHONE FROM ACROSS THE WORLD. SO JUST TURNING THIS ON AND OFF, SET IT IN A FRONT LAMP OR FRONT LIGHT SOMEWHERE, TURN IT ON AND OFF AT VARIOUS TIMES OF THE DAY OR SET IT TO TURN ON AND OFF ITSELF VARIOUS TIMES OF THE DAY. THOSE STARTED AROUND $15, AND IT MAKES SOMEBODY THINK YOU’RE THERE. ALSO, JUST TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE TECH YOU ALREADY HAVE. SO THAT COULD BE SOMETHING LIKE A SMARTWATCH OR EVEN YOUR SMARTPHONE MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING ON THERE TO HELP YOU. THE GADGETS YOU ALREADY OWN CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE. YOU’VE GOT A PERSONAL PANIC BUTTON BUILT IN JUST BY HOLDING THE TWO SIDE BUTTONS. YOU CAN CALL 911. YOU CAN ALSO SET IT SO THAT MEDICAL FIRST RESPONDERS CAN SEE YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION IF YOU HAVE ANY PREEXISTING CONDITIONS, HEART CONDITIONS. THEY CAN ALSO GO IN THERE. THIS IS SO, SO IMPORTANT. GO IN THERE AND ADD YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACTS. MAKE IT REALLY EASY FOR SOMEBODY TO SAVE YOUR LIFE. GREAT. AND THEN LAST ONE REAL QUICK, 10S. IT’S A MODERN TAKE ON AN OLD CLASSIC. AND THAT IS THE EMERGENCY WEATHER RADIO, WHICH IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE IN THE SIERRA OVER THE WEEKEND AND YOU’VE GOT STORMS COMING IN, COULD BE REALLY IMPORTANT FOR WILDFIRES FOR STORMS, AND JUST TO BE ABLE TO GET SOME POWER AND INFORMATION WHEN YOU’RE IN AN EMERGENCY. AGAIN, NOT VERY EXPENSIVE. YOU HAND-CRANK IT. SO AND SOLAR POWERED. HOW COOL IS THAT GIVEN A LITTLE BIT OF A TEC

Tech columnist Jennifer Jolly shares hot summer gadgets for fun and safety

Gotta get away? Make sure you don’t let burglars in during your summer vacation. “The worst thing to do is broadcast to the world you’re taking a vacation — including posts on social media, letting your mail pile up, car sit in the driveway and other obvious signs that your house is basically a target,” said Jennifer Jolly, tech columnist for USA Today and creator of techish.com. Jolly said common sense is just the first step. Next, consider taking advantage of easy and often cheap technology to be an extra sight of eyes on your home. Ring has expanded its product line to include a battery-operated HD video camera. That makes for an easy, quick installation. And home security systems have come down greatly in price as well. Most have cheaper monthly fees than traditional alarm companies and can be set up quickly. And Jolly suggested taking advantage of tech you already own. Store vital medical information in your iPhone should emergency responders need it. And remember that smartwatches like the recent Apple Watch models allow you to call 911 with a simple button push. How to use Emergency SOS: On an iPhone 8 or later, press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then drag the slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and volume button without dragging the slider until after the countdown ends and you release, your iPhone will automatically call emergency services. · On Apple Watch: Press and hold your watch’s side button (the button below the Digital Crown) until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then drag the slider. Alternatively, continue to hold the side button until after the countdown to call emergency services automatically. To use Emergency SOS on an Apple Watch that doesn’t have cellular, your iPhone needs to be nearby.

Gotta get away? Make sure you don’t let burglars in during your summer vacation.

“The worst thing to do is broadcast to the world you’re taking a vacation — including posts on social media, letting your mail pile up, car sit in the driveway and other obvious signs that your house is basically a target,” said Jennifer Jolly, tech columnist for USA Today and creator of techish.com.

Jolly said common sense is just the first step. Next, consider taking advantage of easy and often cheap technology to be an extra sight of eyes on your home.

Ring has expanded its product line to include a battery-operated HD video camera. That makes for an easy, quick installation. And home security systems have come down greatly in price as well. Most have cheaper monthly fees than traditional alarm companies and can be set up quickly.

And Jolly suggested taking advantage of tech you already own. Store vital medical information in your iPhone should emergency responders need it. And remember that smartwatches like the recent Apple Watch models allow you to call 911 with a simple button push.

How to use Emergency SOS:

  • On an iPhone 8 or later, press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then drag the slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and volume button without dragging the slider until after the countdown ends and you release, your iPhone will automatically call emergency services. ·
  • On Apple Watch: Press and hold your watch’s side button (the button below the Digital Crown) until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then drag the slider. Alternatively, continue to hold the side button until after the countdown to call emergency services automatically.
  • To use Emergency SOS on an Apple Watch that doesn’t have cellular, your iPhone needs to be nearby.

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