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BOx Smart Bottle Opener
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Unboxing Bottle Opener X (BOx)

As a fan of kickstarter projects and beers I came accross the BOx (Bottle Opener X). This is, as told by the developers, the world’s first smart bottle opener.

BOx Smart Bottle Opener

BOx – World’s First Smart Bottle Opener

As a tech guy this sounds interesting so I decided to back this project.

Finally!

15 november 2016, the day I received my BOx! The item was send in an enveloppe, when the mail man (or woman) dropped it off it was a little damaged during the travel from Swiss to The Netherlands. After opening i did receive a great looking box that included the opener. Some things i noticed directly:

  • Box with the opener looks really good
  • While opening I did hear some noise from the box, so i got a bit affraid, was it damaged already?! Nope it was not, it was the torque that comes with it to open the BOx itself so you can replace the AAA battery *pfew*
  • The bottle opener itself looks really good and seems like it is from good quality
  • The LED (red) light, what also is a button, feels a bit cheap so i’m wondering how many bottles i can open, but we will see (after 1 day i’m at 5 bottles)
  • Opening bottles is really easy with the opener! It works like a charm!

The Setup with the App on iOS

After unpacking you will have to setup the opener so it can send data to your mobile phone (Android and iOS). First download the app for you mobile phone. After that just follow the setup instructions provided by the app. In case of iOS, first connect your WiFi to the Box SSID and then start the App. There seems to be an issue that you can not go to the wifi settings from within the app. After connection you can open up your bottle!

Some things that need to be fixed

I noticed some issues with the app / openers connection, so these tips might come in handy!

  • The app doesnt refresh your amount of bottles very well, close the app completely and restart the app, it will now show the proper amount of bottles opened.
  • Don’t hold the small button for over 7 – 8 seconds, while i was talking with some friends and trying to open a bottle it didn’t get counted. This was because i did hold the opener and button down for over 7 or 8 seconds. This puts the Opener in Discover mode and you can reconnect with wifi to the SSID of the opener itself.
    If this happens the led will turn red for 7 minutes! So wait while opening a new bottle or take the battery out and put it back, your wifi settings will be saved

Now lets wait for the first major update of the app and the new firmware to fix both things above. At least i was told by BOx both issues will be fixed in the new upcoming release.

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IFTTT vs Stringify

As i have equipped my home with some Hue lights, a NetAtmo and a few Raspberry Pi’s I came accross IFTTT like a year ago. This made it really easy to connect stuff and do things based on some IF statement. Like IF it starts to rain change my Hue light bulb to blue.

With this Recipe above i immediatly outline a huge issue that is missing from IFTTT, I’m still not able to choose multiple lights and as I have a lamp with 3 Spot Hue lights in it, it would be cool to update all 3 the lights and not just 1 or with multiple Recipes for all lights. Also you can only have 1 IF statement and not IF i’m at home and IF the time is like 12.00pm then do this. I’m missing these things as this would make my house really smarter, and in the end this is all we want!

Here it is, the solution… Stringify!
Well as Stringify is more flexibel with IF statements this is a great improvement! I now can have a Recipe or Flow as it is called in Stringify, that checks for multiple triggers. For example: IF my NetAtmo Noise is below 40 and it is like 23:45PM then turn off my living room lights (as i’m prob at sleep and missed the light button). With IFTTT we could only check for Time OR NetAtmo, resulting in lights turning off while there were some friends over for a beer. As it then is noisy (TV / talking / other sounds) i just put the trigger 4db above the measurement of my NetAtmo in the night for the last week so i’m sure the lights go off when no one is in the living room and the sound of my dishwasher in the kitchen is not that loud so the lights will keep on.

With this said, you can combine a lot of triggers, also it is possible to trigger an action for all the lights. Like if the CO2 level in my living room gets above 2250ppm turn all the living room lights RED instead of just 1 light.

Stringify or IFTTT
Both Stringify and IFTTT could work, but i think IFTTT is more adopted then Stringify. More services and smart devices work with IFTTT at this moment. Some things i found out:

  • IFTTT has more support from devices / services etc.
  • IFTTT has more recipes already “pre-cooked”
  • Stringify can do a lot more with the triggers, you can make more complex Flows (or recipes if we are talking IFTTT language)
  • Stringify has better HUE support (havent tested other devices just yet
  • Stringify has a nice way of creating flows, drag / drop and select triggers
  • Stringify is at this moment only working on iOS devices (app is not yet ready for Android at this moment)

It really depends on what you want to create, in my case I was able to addopt all my IFTTT Recipes to Stringify Flows and even could do more with Stringify because it can handle more triggers. But the support for other devices on Stringify is limited, I think this will come soon.

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Disable Telephone number link on iPhone/Android

This evening I was updating a website for a customer and noticed on my iPad and iPhone that Tel: +31 (0)123 456 789 numbers got a different color instead of the color i submitted in the CSS code.

As i didnt do any CSS on the element i started searching and found out you can prevent this by adding a metatag:

<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">

This should prevent mobile browsers to mark telephone numbers as blue / hyperlinks.

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The Blackphone arrived!

On june 30th SGP started shipping the Blackphone to its customers. Due to some appointments out of the office i had to wait till monday 7-7-2014 before i could unpack the Blackphone.

Now after 1 day working with the phone i can give some more information about it.

blackphone

The Hardware
When i first unpacked the telephone and did hold it in my hands i thought hmm it feels very light! I was changing from the iPhone 5 to the Blackphone. After inserting the battery and simcard it gain some weight but still it is pretty light weight compared to my iPhone. It is just a bit larger then the iPhone (4.7″ screen), but it will still fit in my pocket.

Turning on the phone
After adding the battery and SIM card you first have to charge the phone what takes some time. When powering it on, you first get the Setup wizard that will guide you through the setup process.

Photo-2014-07-07-13-16-13_5855As i couldnt wait and my battery wasnt charged for at least 80%, i couldnt encrypt my device. After waiting a few hours the phone was fully encrypted. This results that if you reboot your device you first have to enter your Decryption password and wait a few seconds till the device is decrypted and ready for use.

This is step 1 for Securing the phone!

Now it is time to start working with the phone. As this is the 2nd day i’m using it i’m not able to give some more information.

Pro’s

  • Fully Encrypted phone
  • 4.7″ screen
  • Some great security tools to prevent apps from getting access  to private data or accessing / sending text messages
  • Wifi gets turned off to save battery in unknown locations (based on Cell Towers)
  • VPN application with 1gb traffic a month, encrypt all your internet traffic for secure browsing based on your location (United States / Europe)

Con’s

  • First impression when opening the back cover was, “Hope i didn’t break it!!”
  • Booting with Encryption takes some extra time
  • No AppStore, so no other application by default

Having questions about the Blackphone? Feel free to e-mail me @ email@bram.co.nl