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Sunday, February 20, 2011

9 Things you can do with Wi-Fi


Wi-Fi can be used for a lot more than just connecting to your computer or phone to the internet. The technology can come handy for a variety of other tasks.

Here are nine little-known uses of Wi-Fi.

Make DTH signal go the distance
Monsoon Multimedia's Vulkano is a device that connects to (and controls) your existing DTH set top box (STB).
It has to be set up so that the STB outputs to the Vulkano, while the Vulkano is connected via HDMI to the TV.

You can watch TV normally, but Vulkano also lets you stream your existing TV, which you've already paid for, to any internet-connected PC, Android phone or iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch.
Whether you're within your Wi-Fi connected home, or anywhere in the world, you can connect to the Vulkano box, switch on the STB and watch or record live TV.

If you have a recorder like TataSky+, the Vulkano box can also be used to schedule a recording on it.
At $280, this is a cool new way to make your TV channels go the distance.

Control DSLR over Wi-Fi with your iPhone
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, an app called DSLR Camera Remote by OnOne Software ($19.99 for the pro version, $1.99 for the lite) can work as a remote viewfiner and shutter release for one of the compatible Nikon or Canon DSLRs.

Connect the DSLR to a PC using USB, download and install the client software and then the app on the iPhone/iPod.
As long as both the iPhone and the PC are on the same wireless network, you'll be able to see what the DSLR sees, even in another room.

Apart from actually taking the photograph, you can also control the exposure and various other settings remotely.

Turn webcams into surveillance cameras
An app called iCam ($4.99) for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can be used to remotely monitor your home when you are away.

You need to install the free iCamSource software (available for Windows & MAC) on each laptop or PC that you want to use, and then configure it to the iCam software in a simple , two-step process.

You can configure up to 12 different webcams with each iPhone, and view the feeds from four of them simultaneously. Like a high-end surveillance system, iCam also offers push notifications.

The app continuously monitors the camera feeds for movement. If movement is detected, a message will pop up informing you of the same.

Share Net connection using Wi-Fi
Free program called Connectify turns your Windows 7 machine into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Download Connectify from connectify.me and set it up by giving your Wi-Fi network a name and password, just as you would with a regular Wi-Fi router.

So whether your laptop is connected via Ethernet or to a USB broadband modem, you can share internet with other nearby laptops or devices like Wi-Fi enabled phones, iPods and tablets.

Similar functionality can be found on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC HD2; both have built in software that lets you share your GPRS connection with other Wi-Fi devices in the vicinity.

Transfer photos from digicam to PC
Imagine a memory card for your digital camera that never ran out of space. That's what the Eye-Fi wireless SD can do for you.
The card packs in regular flash memory and a Wi-Fi adapter into a standard SD card that can fit many digital cameras.

When you first get it, you need to configure the card to your Wi-Fi network by connecting it to a PC.
You can also configure it with Flickr, Picasa, Evernote, YouTube, Snapfish, Photobucket and many more.
When you get within range of your configured Wi-Fi network, photos and videos stored on the card will automatically get transferred to your computer or connected site.

The 4GB Eye-Fi SD card is available for 3,800 (including customs & delivery) from eBay India's Global Easy Buy program.
Note: Although Eye-Fi is supported by over 1000 camera models, before buying, do check the compatibility list on the company website.

Send photos to digital photo frame
The iGala Wi-Fi photo frame looks just any other 8-inch photo frame. But it's actually pretty advanced.
Based on Linux, the touchscreen can be used to configure it to your Wi-Fi network.
Sign in to your Flickr account on it to instantly have it display photos from your stream.

You could also use it just like any other photo frame, by displaying images from the 1GB built in memory or external SD/USB devices.
Available from Thinkgeek.com for $240 (They ship to India; customs and shipping charges extra).

Make your own portable Wi-Fi hotspot
You may not always have an available Wi-Fi connection to get your fix. However , with the help of a handy new device, you can create your own Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you go.

The Tata Photon+ Wi-Fi is a small, battery-powered device that connects to Tata Photon's broadband network (just like the USB device) and instantly creates a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be used by up to five devices at a time.

It also has a single Ethernet port to connect to a desktop or laptop without Wi-Fi .
Buy the device for 6,499 and choose from a number of different plans starting at 500 per month.

Modern warfare with the Parrot AR.Drone
Designed solely for the Apple iOS platform, the AR.Drone is a toy quadricopter that you can control via Wi-Fi from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
The Drone broadcasts its own Wi-Fi network and connects to your iPhone/iPod once you download the free app.

Each pairing between an AR.Drone and iOS device is unique, so you can even have multiple Drones in the same area.
Meanwhile, two cameras built into the drone relay a live video feed directly to your iPhone/iPod so that you can send it along on reconnaissance missions (just don’t stray too far away).

Multiple AR.Drones can take on each other in a dogfight or a race around obstacles if that takes your fancy.
For indoor use, the supplied hull shield needs to be out on that surrounds the rotors and protects them from any impact against the wall or other Drones.

The hull can be removed for outdoor use.
The Parrot AR Drone is available from international reseller shopyourworld.com for 21,000 (including customs and all shipping charges)

Monitor entire house with Rovio
Rovio is a toy, but a pretty advanced one at that. The battery-powered, camera-toting and Wi-Fi enabled Rovio will wait patiently at home for your command. Connect to it from a remote location, and you'll see what Rovio sees.

You can also move Rovio around and use it to communicate with other people thanks to the built in speaker and mic.
Teach Rovio your home's layout by setting waypoints and Rovio can navigate to those preset locations all by itself.

And Once Rovio's battery is depleted, it can automatically back itself into the charging dock at home.
Available from Thinkgeek.com for $199 (They ship to India; customs and shipping charges extra).

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