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The AeroLife Newtrition Challenge

Posted in Computers by Joe Colburn on the January 29th, 2014

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of AeroLife™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a fan of technology and innovation, I love seeing products that break out of the norm and do things different.  I think about these things when I watch science fiction movies set far into the future and the lead character gets his whole dinner in a pill while running off to save the day.  While I enjoy food far too much to advocate that, vitamins and energy boosts are prime candidates to be made more convenient.

Dr. David Edwards, a Harvard professor and founder of ArtScience Labs in Paris, France, agrees with me.  From his design and science work came AeroLife, powder energy, sleep, and immunity products that you draw into your mouth and swallow.  Sounds pretty sci-fi, right?  Of course, I just had to try it for myself and see what our future holds so they sent me a box of samples.

AeroLife

In the box was a combination of Energy, Sleep, and Immunity products as well as their travel pack which has one of each.

AeroLife Sleep was the first one I opted to try out.  I rarely have any problem falling asleep quickly, so it's hard to discern a difference there, but I did feel refreshed in the morning as expected and didn't quite feel the urge for my morning coffee just yet.  AeroLife Sleep delivers results by way of Melatonin, 5HTP and Magnesium citrate, packaged with a vanilla flavor.

Next up was Energy.  Of the Watermelon, Raspberry, and Mint flavors in the box, I tried Mint first.  The Mint flavor was not what I expected.  It didn't taste much like mint, and left a bit of an aftertaste.  Feeling optimistic, I tried Watermelon the next morning with better results.  The flavor was tasty for an energy powder, so I just won't be buying any Energy AeroLife in the Mint flavor.  So far, Watermelon is the favorite.  The science behind the Energy powder provides the equivelant of a large cup of coffee.  More specifically, 100mg of Caffeine as well as 2mg and 6mcg respectively of Vitamins B6 and B12 and 20mg of Niacin (B3).  Comparable to some of the energy drinks I've tried, it gave me a decent boost of energy.  Looking at AeroLife.com, the most expensive option to purchase AeroLife Energy puts it at about $2.50 per cartridge with 3-5 draws each, so it should be a lot cheaper than most energy drinks, too.

At the time of this writing, I've just tried AeroLife Immunity and haven't noticed any specific difference in how I feel over my normal regimen of gummy multi-vitamins, but I can tell you how it sizes up on paper.  My normal vitamins conatin a near-alphabet of vitamins.  For comparison, the ones included in AeroLife Immunity are Vitamin C (twice as much as my vitamin) and Vitamin D (75% as much as my vitamin).  My regular vitamin also contains 200% Daily Value of Vitamins B6 and B12, missing from the AeroLife product.  This is made up for by adding Selenium and Zinc 50% and 25% of their respective Daily Values.  All of these are good for metabolism, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

Using AeroLife products, the results were good, but the real story is the delivery.  You draw the particles into your mouth and then swallow them rather than taking a pill or gulping down an energy drink.

Because of its unique means of delivery, AeroLife is tiny and super portable.  I would love to have a handful of these in my backpack on a week-long hike or even keep a coulple in my desk drawer for quick use.  They've even got a refillable system in the works that should save waste and probably money soon.

Start your free trial now if you want to give it a shot yourself.  One thing the directions do not show is that the delivery system design allows for a little of the powder to spill out of the mouth end of the cartridge, so when your trial arrives, just keep that end up a little.

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The Magical FlutterBye Fairy Reviewed

Posted in reviews,Toys by Joe Colburn on the December 17th, 2013

At one of the local shopping malls last week, I saw some incredible – and very large – fairy displays the mall had commissioned for the holidays. I imagined this was because the holidays are a magical time and fairies are pretty magical in their own right. Last night, I spent some time with a fairy of my own, FlutterBye.

FlutterBye Fairy

What Is FlutterBye?

My first thought when I saw this toy was, “Another remote control toy… Cool!” But There’s no remote control here, at least not how you’re thinking. The fairy flies in the same way a helicopter or quad-copter might, with a kind of propeller except that she is the propeller. For the most part, she will fly on her own and without guidance she will eventually crash down. The control comes from your use of sensors on underneath FlutterBye that can tell how close your hand is. She will attempt to hover inches above your hand, but will wander off horizontally. Check out the review video below for a demo and a better idea of how she works.

The Magic

When I get toys in the mail to review, I joke with friends about how horrible it is that I have to go play with all these toys. In this case, I wasn’t dreading it, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d enjoy FlutterBye. After some initial doubt (see below), I found myself having a lot of fun with it and forgetting I was reviewing it.

I also found the battery life to be pretty amazing. With a remote controlled helicopter, I often get about six to eight minutes of flying time on a charge. Here, I was well into about 15 minutes with no sign of slowing. And while I’m comparing her to a helicopter, she turned out to be tougher as well. Crashing her a lot of times before getting the flying down, I left no sign of damage anywhere on her. She’s one tough fairy.

Some Cautions

Something that wasn’t immediately apparent to me was the risk of long hair and propellers. Though I hadn’t thought of it, it’s worth mentioning although the use of a pony tail and and not headbanging to FlutterBye are probably sufficient precautions. Having that fast propeller hit your hand is another story, though, so you’ll want to heed the advice in the user guide and grab FlutterBye close to the ankles when recovering her mid-flight.

Control eluded me at first, but it wasn’t like with R/C aerials that require practice. This was more about learning. Once I learned how to control her height and became more comfortable with when to grab her feet to regain control, all was well.

Final Thoughts

Retailing for about $28, she’s priced well to fit under nearly any tree this Christmas and well worth the cost, which is probably why it made the Amazon Hot Holiday List, among other things. While the box indicates FlutterBye is a toy suited for children aged five and up, I would think this would be a great toy for girls seven to twelve or so.

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Performing Stunts With The Helix X4 Stunt Quadcopter

Posted in reviews,Toys,video by Joe Colburn on the December 15th, 2013

RC Helicopters are cool, but I’ve always thought quad-copters are even cooler. The use of four rotors makes them fast, stable, and easier to manipulate mid-air. Still, I never got around to buying one. Then the Air Hogs Helix X4 Stunt showed up in the mail. As one of Wal-Mart’s Top 20 Chosen by Kids, I was excited to dive right in.

Air Hogs Elite Helix X4

Usability and Control

With 4 ducted fans and gyro stabilization, the Helix X4 was really easy to get (and keep) in the air, even for a first-timer like myself. I’ve had a few RC helicopters and this was a lot more fun. While a helicopter requires constant attention in the air, the X4 was a little more self-sustaining and as a result, I crashed it far fewer times. The controls are easy to use and understand though not immediately intuitive. By this, I mean that you should always read the manual first. The thing that caught me off guard was how it isn’t ready to fly until it’s really ready. The X4 indicates via its lights when it is stable for launch and then you can get to the fun. The benefit is that it will always have a clean lift-off.

Features and Stunts

Other than the launch procedure, the lights on the front of this quad-copter will also flash orange if the battery is getting low and red when it’s time to land and re-charge. This is a step up from other quad-copters that just drop out of the sky when the batteries are done. Below is a list of other features of the Helix X4:

  • 2.4GHz radio control
  • Gyro stabilization
  • 4-ducted fans
  • 4-channel control
  • Incredibly crash-resistant materials
  • Superior durability
  • Charges from remote or using USB cable (included)
  • Did I mention stunts

Durability and Design

Let’s talk about the durability for a second. I’m super extra nervous-guy careful about my electronics, especially the ones that fly. The problem is, once it’s in the air, there’s not a lot you can do when it crashes. I’ve crashed my share of flying gadgets and much of my X4 flight time was in a cramped office, so I crashed this one even more. The difference this time is that the fans are protected by ducts as an extension of the quad-copter’s body.

The design, to me, is secondary, but also wasn’t lacking. There’s really not a lot of room to make one quad-copter look substantially better than others in it’s class, but the right colors and a little aerodynamics make all the difference.

The controller had a good weight to it and felt right in my hands. It also had features I liked such as the smooth stick control and right-hand placement of the stunt button and control as well as the handle, which was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the few fake controls that are built onto the controller but don’t do anything seemed out of place and the batteries didn’t seem to stay put very securely – although neither impeded performance in any way.

Helix X4 Stunt Video

With anything as fun as this, I try to include a little video with the review, so here you go!

Conclusions

With the suggested price of $79.99, the Helix X4 Stunt is might be a little more spendy than some of the lesser quad-copters, but it has the features to back it up. If you have limited skills and want to wow friends with some stunts, wrap your hands around one of these and you’ll be set.

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