Best Buy Canada’s Life & Tech Festival returning to Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square

 

Best Buy Life & Tech

Best Buy Canada announced Thursday that their Life & Tech Festival is returning to Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square for the third year.

The interactive festival showcases smart home and connected health devices, along with the latest in wearable tech, connected toys and drones, and gaming and virtual reality systems.

Best Buy says over 60 exhibitors from around the globe will be demonstrating products at the 2017 fest.

The event runs daily from September 12 to 14 between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. It’s free for the public to check out.

Are you interested in Best Buy Canada’s Life & Tech Festival? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Google Home finally coming to Canada

Google Home

Google Home is coming to Canada “this summer.”

During the Google I/O developer conference Wednesday it was announced that Google Home will be coming to Canada “this summer.”

Similar to the popular Amazon Echo (which is still not available in Canada), Google Home is a voice assistant that can answer questions, play music, control connected devices (like Hue bulbs), plus a few other things.

Along with Canada, Google Home will also be released in Australia, Japan, France and Germany.

No exact date was given as to when Google Home will be available in Canada or the other announced countries.

Are you excited to finally be able to get a Google Home in Canada? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Is the Belkin WeMo-enabled ‘smart’ Crock-Pot worth it?

Belkin WeMo-enabled "smart" Crock-Pot

Belkin’s WeMo-enabled “smart” Crock-Pot is a great slow cooker. But are the connected features worth it?

Ever since I installed the Nest Learning Thermostat and saw the benefits of it in regards to making my home more comfortable, I have gone on a bit of a mission to make my house as “smart” as I can. This has amounted to me incorporating many connected devices over the last few years and has, for the most part, changed the way my family and I live.

But not all connected devices are needed or even make sense. While I love my Kevo smart lock, Nest thermostat and WeMo light switches and power adapters (and was recently blown away by the new Sonos PLAY:5 music system), items like the iKettle, Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew coffee maker and the Baidu Kuaisou “smart chopsticks” confuse me.

RELATED: A look at Belkin’s WeMo Switch (and who should be using it)

Take the coffee maker – besides being able to turn it on via an app on your phone you still need to clean it and put the ground coffee and water in the machine before you can brew a pot. Having it connected only replaces the need to set a timer, which every coffee maker can do. Not really that smart in my opinion.

This brings me to Belkin’s WeMo-enabled Crock-Pot I was sent to test a few weeks ago. In theory it’s a great concept, but the features it currently has don’t quite make it a must-have device.

First and foremost, the WeMo-enabled Crock-Pot is a great slow cooker. With three temperature settings and a 6-quart dish it can cook all your favourite slow cooker recipes to perfection. Not much of a surprise really since it is an official Crock-Pot appliance.

Connecting it to WiFi gives you the option to adjust the temperature remotely via the WeMo app, turn the unit off and be alerted when your meal is ready. What it can’t do is keep your food chilled so that you can add all your ingredients and turn it on at a later time and it also can’t stir your food.

WeMo Crock-Pot app

The WeMo app lets you adjust the cooking temperature of the Crock-Pot and will alert you when your meal is ready.

If all you want is a functional slow cooker with the ability to adjust the cooking temperature from another room and be alerted when your food is ready, then the Belkin WeMo-enabled Crock-Pot is for you. If you’re looking for something truly “smart” and groundbreaking, wait until an appliance with the features I mentioned comes along.

Belkin’s WeMo-enabled “smart” Crock-Pot retails for around $159.99 Canadian. Visit crock-pot.ca for more information.

Share your thoughts on connected devices (and your slow cooker recipes) in the comments below.