4 Ways To Use Wireless Tech In Your Everyday Life
The world is increasingly going wireless and so should you. From streaming audio and video to wireless printing and data access, it’s all possible wirelessly and easily done. We show you how existing wireless technologies can replace the mess of wiring in your home or office.
Wireless Audio Audio streaming over Bluetooth is probably the easiest thing you can do wirelessly – even if your current equipment does not include Bluetooth. To stream music from a phone, tablet, laptop to an existing home music system, you only need a Bluetooth audio adapter. Logitech makes one with high-fidelity stereo output for Rs 1,995.
It connects to your music system using RCA or 3.5mm audio jack and can comfortably stream music from a distance of 20-30 feet. In your car, you can get a similar Bluetooth receiver that plugs into the Aux-in port of the car stereo (if available). These are available starting at Rs 1,400. As a bonus, it also has a built-in microphone, so you can also take calls on the car stereo and speakers without taking your phone out of your pocket. Wi-Fi streaming between a computer and a mobile device can be enabled using a free app called AirStream (by Nityaa Labs), available for Android and iOS.
This works if the computer and the mobile device are on the same Wi-Fi network. You need to download the app and the free server application from http: airstream.io (it works on MAC, Windows and Linux). The app automatically detects the server and you can then browse through and stream all the files stored on the computer’s hard drive. No sign up is required. When it comes to wireless home theatre, Violet 3D is the obvious choice.
The company offers elegant multi-speaker solutions with satellite speakers, a subwoofer and a transmitter. It can be connected to any audio source and each speaker is wireless too – needing only a power source to operate. It auto-adjusts for each type of room and speaker placement to provide optical sound in your seating position. Prices start at Rs 78,000 for a 5.1 surround system with subwoofer.
AirPlay is proprietary Apple technology that works with iOS devices and Macs. Apple offers it to various manufacturers for use in their products. If your existing media player, connected music system, AV receiver or amplifier supports AirPlay, you can wirelessly stream content from your Apple device.
Wireless Data Access
Seagate, Kingston & WD offer portable hard drives that generate their own Wi-Fi network (Rs 6,000 onwards). Connect your laptop to this Wi-Fi network to access data stored on the hard drive. For smartphones and tablets, you will need to install specific apps to be able to access and transfer data from the drive. The only catch is that the drive’s built in battery has a limited backup. Like printers, some Wi-Fi routers allow you to connect portable hard drives via a USB port. These drives can then be shared with anyone on the Wi-Fi network for data transfer.
For most users, the drive will automatically appear in their network. Others can access it using an IP address (available in the router settings) and then map it as a network drive for quick access later. Seagate and WD offer network devices that let you create a personal cloud. You can get them in various storage capacities as per your budget. Connect it to your Wi-Fi router and all your data can be accessed anywhere in the world over internet. All data on these network drives can also be accessed using a web browser or mobile apps.
The simplest way to get rid of wires while printing is to buy a printer with built-in wireless capability. Setting up a wireless printer is fairly simple across all manufacturers. You are required to connect the printer with your home Wi-Fi network – for this you will have to connect the printer once to a computer and run the setup wizard. After the Wi-Fi is connected, you can use any device on the same Wi-Fi network to print by installing it as a network printer.
Some wireless printers offer direct printing via PictBridge with compatible cameras. If you have a printer without Wi-Fi, it can be configured to work wirelessly. You will have to get a Wi-Fi router with print server feature. The printer then has to be connected to the USB port on the router instead of the computer. Once connected, the router will identify the printer and you will have to run router setup for wireless printer configuration. The printer will then appear as a network printer to any device connected on the same Wi-Fi network.
Most popular printer brands like HP, Epson, Canon and Samsung have their own print apps for handheld devices. These apps work with compatible printers from that brand only. If you are looking for a universal app for Android, one option is PrinterShare Premium (Rs 765). The app lets you print documents, and photos to a printer via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or over the internet.
If you can’t run HDMI cable, wireless HDMI is an easily available (but expensive) option. A wireless HDMI kit from Latentech (Rs 37,000) will wirelessly transmit 1080p video and sound over a distance of 20 feet. The kit consists of a transmitter that plugs into the source (set top box, media player etc) and an HDMI dongle that plugs into a TV or projector. If your laptop supports it, Intel WiDi can transmit 1080p video to a compatible WiDi adapter (such as Netgear’s PTV3000; Rs 7,000).
The adapter plugs into your TV or projector while no additional hardware is needed on the laptop. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to wirelessly stream YouTube, live TV and videos from your phone or computer to your TV, consider Teewe (http:www.teewe.in). This Rs 2k HDMI dongle works with a free companion app on your smartphone (iOS & Android) and free media server (MAC & Windows) to deliver content wirelessly using your existing Wi-Fi network. For iPad video addicts, AirVideo HD (Rs 199) solves the problem of limited storage on the iPad and allows for super-easy video streaming over your home Wi-Fi network.
You need the app on your iPad or iPhone plus the free Air Video server (MAC & Windows). In the media server, just add the folders with all your videos (one time only) and you’ll be able to browse through and play them on the iPad. The server also takes care of any video encoding on the fly so that you don’t have to wait.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android