Aluratek Blog

  • Comic Con 2016!

    Are you a pop-culture geek? You know, the type who lives for comic books, action figures, the next Walking Dead trailer? If so, then it probably isn't news to you that Comic Con 2016 is now over! Another year came and gone so quickly, but so many memorable events have occurred at this convention that people will always remember! I didn't get to go but thanks to the internet, I was able to update myself!

    Here are some of the best things that happened at Comic-Con 2016, San Diego!

    Do you know this guy?

    Yup. It's Kareem Abdul Jabbar! He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer and a six-time NBA champion. Oh, he's also now a writer. He debuted his first comic book, Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalyspe Handbook. So the hall of fame superstar was at Comic Con signing autographs and getting interviewed!

    Wonder Woman Trailer!

    First superhero movie genre to be led by a woman? That's pretty awesome. Here's the trailer to the new "Wonder Woman" movie if you haven't seen it already!

    Spider-Man Sneak Peek!

    Surprise 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Footage

    Fans of Spider-Man were gifted with a sneak peek into the introduction of the film! Tom Holland and other cast members were also present to talk about the film!

    Walking Dead

    Oh my goodness. My favorite TV show! If you haven't seen the most recent season....please...please go watch it. It's absolutely insane! But anyway... :)

    Not only are the Walking Dead family super close in the TV series, but even off-camera the cast members are just as close. From Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Steven Yeun to Norman Reedus playing practical jokes as always, this panel of different actors and actresses is what makes a really great show. They introduced the new trailer and talked about the series!

    Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 

    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper...do I need to keep naming names?! I mean what more do you need! The fact that Guardians Of Galaxy is having a sequel is totally worthy of jumping up and down screaming like a little girl! They showcased a clip and exclusive trailer only for the eyes of those who have attended Comic Con this year. Sorry - nothing has been released on the internet yet :(

    Have you ever been to Comic Con? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • Just For Kids!

    Here at Aluratek we are known for products that cater to adults with our Digital Photo Frames, Bluetooth Accessories, USB/video/audio accessories, emergency tools, etc... - which is why we are excited to announce our newest product that is solely for KIDS!

    So allow me introduce you to Aluratek's Volume Limited Wired Foam Headphones For Children!

    AKH01FB - AKH01FP_family

    What differentiates our kids headphones to regular headphones is the EVA foam up of a single piece of EVA foam and is BPA free to provide safety for the little one's ears! The foam is lightweight and very durable making the headphones flexible and nearly indestructible all while providing comfort to your child.

    AKH01FB_lifestyle_boy

    Kids will love our headphones not only cause the colors are bright and fun, but also because the sound quality is clear and rich allowing them to listen to their jams and videos without any static or disruption. The sound levels never exceed 85 decibels so you don't have to worry about damaging their young ears!

    AKH01FB - AKH01FP_lifestyle_siblings

    Your kids can listen to their favorite music and play their favorite games at home or in the car. The lightweight and durability of the headphones makes it easy for them to store away in their backpacks for school or traveling!

    Click here for more information about our Volume Limiting Wired Headphones For Children.

  • Simplicity Day

    Do you need simplicity in your life? Look no further! Aluratek has exactly what you need to keep everything in your life organized and stress-free! ....Oh gosh, how bad was that pitch?! I sound like one of those people on infomercials! Haha.

    But seriously. Today is Simplicity Day and we actually DO have products that is perfect for this day. Here's what we have -

    1. iStream Universal Bluetooth Audio Receiver

    AIS01F_with stereo dockOur iStream is one our best selling products! Customers love how it's so simple to listen to their favorite music, radio stations, podcasts just by connecting their Bluetooth devices to the iStream and VOILA! Instant streaming!

    2. PowerLight Multipurpose Rechargeable Flashlight with Built-In USB Rapid Charger

    SpringBreak1jpg

    This is one of my favorite products that we carry! Our PowerLight Multipurpose Flashlight is the definition of convenience and keeping your life simple. Why? The flashlight is durable, waterproof, fireproof and extremely portable making for the perfect device for the house, car, toolbox, camping, hiking, rafting or any outdoor adventure. Watch our spotlight video highlighting all the COOLEST features that this flashlight has to offer.

    3. Digital Photo Frames

    ADMPF410T_lifestyle

    Any one of our Digital Photo Frames is perfect to declutter and organize all the photos in your photo book or even your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Our photo frames are great because you can grab all your images and put them all into a frame. It's SUPER simple to use and will make your life easier AND bring some life to your living space! We have frames that can accommodate all your needs - video/audio compatible, motion sensored AND WiFi compatibility!

    4. 12000 mAh Portable Battery Charger with LED Flashlight

    APB14F_front angle

    Ever been stranded outside your home with low battery on your mobile devices? I mean...let's be honest...I'm pretty sure panic has definitely set in because low batteries is probably one of the worst things that could happen today right?! You are literally minutes away from losing all connection and touch with the world and that's definitely something to panic about!! Luckily, we have a portable battery charger that would literally save you in your dire situation. It's awesome because you don't need an outlet to charge your phone. This portable battery charge is a great solution to quickly charge your devices anywhere at anytime!

    5. Magnetic Dash Mount

    AUCH02F_lifestyle_smartphoneAUCH02F_lifestyle_smartphone mount

    I think I've gone through at least 5 car phone mounts to just end up with a broken one. What a waste of money. Our new Magnetic Dash Mount is different because it doesn't need a suction cup to be held down. No more wobbly mount. Our Magnetic Dash Mount is completely compact and sturdy. It uses a powerful magnet to securely hold your smartphones and other mobile devices in place. It also allows a full 360-degree rotation giving you a variety of different viewing angles.

    The Magnetic Dash Mount is coming soon! So stay tuned folks!

    Which one of our 5 products do you see using to simplify your life? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • 3 New Digital Photo Frames For You!

    If you didn't know already, Digital Photo Frames is kind of our thing. We have a huge variety of all different frames from small ones where you can place in your living room to large frames that can be used for digital signage at your store! We have em' all.

    We want to introduce you to 3 more that have been added to our Digital Photo Frame family! These are exclusive digital photo frames and can be only purchased from Best Buy.

    1. 10 inch WiFi Digital Photo Frame with Touchscreen IPS LCD Display and 8GB Built-in Memory

    AWDMPF110F_front

    The WiFi Digital Photo Frame is a great way to instantly share your photos by connecting to any WiFi network! Using your social media account from Facebook, Twitter or our photo cloud app, any image you post with your smartphone or tablet will transfer directly to the frame without any difficulty!


    For more information, go to our product page.

    To purchase a WiFi Digital Photo Frame click here.

    2. 10 inch Slim Digital Photo Frame with 4GB Built-in Memory

    ASDMPF09_front

    Aluratek's 10" Slim Digital Photo Frame will allow you to set-up photo slideshows set to background music. Slideshows can be configured to play photos in various display and transition modes. It can also play videos and music through the frame's speakers.

    For more information, go to our product page.

    To purchase a 10" Slim Digital Photo Frame, click here.

    3. 8 inch Slim Digital Photo Frame with Auto Slideshow Feature

    ASDPF08F_front

    The 8 inch Slim Digital Photo Frame is perfect to set down in any room to make you and your guests feel at home! Slideshows can be configured to play photos in various display and transition modes. Your photos will be resized to fit the LCD screen so you won't have to worry about dimensions!

    For more information, go to our product page.

    To purchase a 8" Slim Digital Photo Frame, click here.

    Which one of our 3 frames do you like best? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • Independence From Wires

    July4th_Graphic2

    Declare your independence from wires with our collection of handpicked Bluetooth products. Jam to your favorite songs this summer whether you're at the beach, a BBQ, or at home spending time with friends and family! Save up to 75% on our Bluetooth products this Independence week!

    Hurry! This promotion extends through July 10, 2016.

  • Red, White And Bluetooth Giveaway

    RedWhiteBluetooth_MainGraphic

    In the summer spirit of the 4th of July, Aluratek would like to invite you to participate in our Red, White And Bluetooth Giveaway. Beginning June 28th through July 1st, you can enter our raffle to win a grand prize where you can gain your independence from wires!

    Check out our Twitter feed to see our tweets on this promotion. Simply RETWEET any promotional tweet that contains the #RWBluetooth hashtag and FOLLOW @Aluratek to be entered into the grand prize raffle. The grand prize raffle will be held on the afternoon of July 1st where the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

    PLUS, each day we will also feature a new game you can participate in. Winners of each game will be able to choose between one of our five Bluetooth products: BUMP Bluetooth Portable Mini Speaker, Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Tablet Stand, iStream Universal Bluetooth Audio Receiver, Bluetooth Universal Audio Transmitter, or the 30-pin Bluetooth Audio Receiver.

    Again, don't forget to RETWEET these daily games for an additional chance to win the #RWBluetooth grand prize. The more you RETWEET - the better your chance you have to win!

    Good Luck and Happy Independence Day!

    -Aluratek

  • The Power Of NBA Social Media

    Who watched last night's epic battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors?! What a game, right?

    CAVSWARRIORS

     

    Thousands of fans, non-Cleveland/Golden State fans, and even non-sports fans tuned in to watch Game 7. Whether you were at home watching on your big-screen TV or at a sports bar with your friends it's pretty hard to not catch the game. Even 5 years ago, we didn't have easy access to sports like we do today. 10 years ago, social media platforms were just making its debut (Remember MySpace?) but today social media has literally taken over the world. With the help of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, sport apps, etc - we are automatically updated with every play, home run, touchdown, highlight.

    However, sometimes social media can be used for good and the bad...

    Let's start with the bad - social media isn't just a tool to update us on game highlights, but it can also inform us of what is going on outside of the sports world. A recent story that went viral was a bitter tweet that Golden State Warrior's Stephen Curry's wife, Ayesha Curry, sent out before quickly deleting it soon after. The Warriors lost a game, and there were of course a lot of emotions running through and we all say things without thinking when we are highly emotional, and that's what happened when Ayesha Curry tweeted that the games were rigged.

    Twitter made out to make her look whiny and into a sore loser. After Cleveland's victory last night, Ayesha Curry tweeted out a positive and encouraging tweet celebrating the Warriors' hard work and amazing season they had, but still many Twitter users were mocking her and even claiming that her tweet ruined the great regular season the Warriors had :(

    Let's move on to the good! One of the biggest highlights of sports in 2016 was Kobe Bryant's final game.

    Celebrating his 20 year career, not only did Bryant play an excellent game where he scored 60 incredible points, but 1.13 billion impressions all over social media were posted through popular brands, teams, celebrities, and fans that wanted to honor Kobe. The hashtag #MambaDay generated globally. Even if you didn't watch the game, even if you have absolutely no interest in basketball, even if you have no idea who Kobe Bryant is (what?) - on April 13, social media platforms made sure he was the most important human being on earth.

    Last night, social media reaction focused mainly on LeBron James carrying the team with an incredible comeback to win the title. Celebrities including Dwayne Wade, Rihanna, Kobe Bryant, Mark Cuban and even President Barack Obama himself congratulated LeBron and Co. for their achievements and the end of their title drought. Twitter went crazy throughout the entire game and tweeting about every single significant earth-shattering block, shot, foul that happened. How can you not know what's going on?! 

    Ultimately I think social media has allowed us to feel like we are a part of the team. I follow every Dodgers and 49ers account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I just love being updated about the latest news and I especially enjoy the behind-the-scenes moments they bring to us fans!

    I just want to conclude saying that social media has become a powerful tool to connect, inform, find, engage with, and develop a close bond and community with sports fans.

    - Aluratek out.

    Did you watch Game 7 last night or were you updated through social media? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • Drive-In.

    On this day in 1933, automobiles park their vehicles at Park-In Theaters, the first drive-in movie theater in Camden, New Jersey.

     

    Also known as "Drive-In", it was widely popular as the mastermind, Richard Hollingshead, came up with the idea when he noticed his mother struggled to sit up comfortably in a conventional movie theater seat.

    Hollingshead tested in his home's driveway with several projectors as well as experimenting with different sound techniques. He placed a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, hung a screen to some tree branches, and mounted a radio behind the screen for audio. He even tested how to keep the rain away and planned out arrangements for the number of cars that can be placed to have a good view of the screen.

    On May 1933, he received a patent and opened Park-In Theatre in June! Everything happened so fast. His idea caught on so quick that it eventually created a problem for Hollingshead as his patent was overturned in 1949. Drive-In theaters began appearing all over the country - in the thousands! One of the largest Drive-In was in Copiague, New York that was able to fit 2,500 vehicles on a 28-acre lot and also featured a playground for children as well as a full service restaurant.

    Technology has improved since Hollingshead's original idea such as sound quality. Hollingshead had three RCA Victor speakers mounted near the screen but later technology made it possible for each vehicle to play the audio through a FM radio.

    Drive-Ins have definitely become a thing of the past, but it's so iconic in American culture including American films - Danny and Sandra going on a date at a Drive-In in the classic Broadway show and film, Grease.

    However, with the real estate increasing for all that land and the growth of walk-in theaters and also the rise of video rentals unfortunately became the demise of Drive-Ins. Only several hundred Drive-Ins exist in the United States today and who knows how long they will last with our current, convenient technology that is making it easier for viewers to watch movies at home (Netflix, Hulu..etc). But still, Drive-In theaters really is a cool idea and I bet it was a lot of fun on a Friday night with friends and family. I have never been to one, but I would love to go before it's too late!

    Have you ever watched a movie at a Drive-In Theater? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • Memorial Day Jams

    In addition to honoring all the brave soldiers who have served our great U.S. nation, Memorial Day is a day where we love to barbecue out in the backyard, soak up the sun at the beach, and have relaxing picnics at the park with family and friends! Music is always a great addition to these parties so I have come up with a playlist containing some patriotic songs and today's biggest hits that everyone can enjoy on May 30th! Yeah, America!

    MemorialPlaylist

    Enjoy this playlist with our Bluetooth Portable Speakers or stream your music directly from your mobile devices to your speakers with our Bluetooth Audio Receiver!

    Do you have a playlist for Memorial Day? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to share with us, or leave a comment below!

  • The Road to Ten - Part 2

    I am happy to bring you The Road to Ten - Part 2. In writing the Part 1 post I forgot a few items I thought would be cool to include. This was my first take on the Aluratek business cards. Here are two different designs from 2006 / 2007 trying to use spot varnishes and corner radius which proved to be not worth the trouble.

    Aluratek business card layouts Aluratek business card layouts.

    The first product we launched was a Bluetooth Headset and a Bluetooth Adapter. This seems like yesterday when these products arrived on my desk and the clamshell di-lines appeared in my inbox. Here is a photo of my product silkscreen illustration for the headset that I found taped in my sketchbook.

    Bluetooth Headset (ABD202F) product silkscreenBluetooth Headset (ABD202F) product silkscreen.

    Here are some clamshell layouts for the headset and adapter. At first I was using the "A" logomark as a design feature. The "dial" as I call it being used for callouts. Initially I really liked this approach but the coming different clam sizes, product cavity placement and the addition of French for our Canadian customers made this design unworkable and inconsistent.

    First clamshell insert layoutsFirst clamshell insert layouts.

    Every product package includes a quick start guide or manual. Here is a look at how I used to illustrate products for the qsg's.

    First version quick start guidesFirst version quick start guides.

    KVM quick start guideKVM quick start guide.

    I redesigned the clamshell packaging hoping to improve consistency. The clam insert on the right was an early design. I was really trying to make this "dial" work with the logo inside this time. The halftone pattern was used just to fill space (which really isn't a good reason). I can tell the version on the left was updated with different halftone and refinements to the dial. We used this design for a while on clams, blisters and boxes. But like the first design, this design was also fazed out because I couldn't find consistency across the board. It worked on some packages but not for all. I was limiting my "real estate" by having this dial and stripe take up a third of the space. Some boxes and clams were too small for this design so scale was also an issue.

    Second version clamshell insert layoutsSecond version clamshell insert layouts.

    Before I scraped this design I made other improvements to the dial and stripe. You can see version 3 on the left and version 4 on the right. I really had fun working on this mark. We used this through 2008 and into 2009.

    Logo treatment for packagingLogo treatment for packaging.

    Had to throw these in there - illustrations I used to create in this style. These were for a product that was never launched, the Game W.A.V.E. (wireless audio / video entertainer). Ha, that guy in the second illustration, sitting on the couch closest to the TV is me!

    Game W.A.V.E. package illustrations

    Game W.A.V.E. package illustrationsGame W.A.V.E. package illustrations.

    In 2007 we moved to our own offices down the street from our leased office. This was a big step for us and a great feeling to have our own facilities. It was a good size for us at the time. Reception area with a conference room and one large room where everyone worked. The building we moved into was a mess at first. The floors were linoleum so winter mornings were sooo cold (even in SoCal). We eventually got carpet so that helped.

    I found the farthest corner I could to get away from all the ringing phones and conversations but really there was no escape. I found a pair of headphones worked well to drown out the noise. I remember how cool it was that the office had motion sensor lights. Here are some pics from those early days. Top left: John assembling hard drives. Top right: Dave and Andrew doing the same. We all must have assembled hundreds of these during this time. Bottom left: First coffee maker resting on our trash can coffee table - very important. Bottom right: Our first server propped up on a roll of paper towels, nice!

    12A Mauchly building12A Mauchly building.

    We have a front door! I had a vinyl logo produced and installed on the window. Now we are going places!!!

    Front door signageFront door signage.

    The warehouse space was on the small size. We quickly realized we needed more space. For a while we had to store our pallets in the middle of our workspace, bathroom hallway, conference room, kitchen and lobby. We even stored product in row after row in the parking lot. It was another milestone when we had the warehouse racks installed and purchased our first forklift.

    Front door signageBoxes, boxes, boxes!

    During our time at Mauchly, we all chipped in where we could. We all wore several hats. We spent hours and hours in the warehouse unloading containers and labeling product for shipping. I spent uncountable hours in there hand making signage for retail displays with tape, staples, cardboard and spray mount. Top left: Here's Andrew among a pile of Cinecam boxes. Top right: Our National Sales Director, John Messenger, visiting us from our Ohio office. Bottom left and middle: Andrew assembling our Libre eReader point of purchase displays. Bottom right: New gondola shelving on castors showcasing digital frames, hard drives, and internet radios. This is the first time we had enough skus that I can show package identity across multiple product families. I remember this gondola system because of how heavy and cumbersome it was to transport. We dragged this thing to CES in 2008 and displayed our product in a hotel suite. We finally made it to the show floor in 2010 although we would drag it back for the 2011 show.

    Work, work, work!Work, work, work!

    In late 2007 I produced our first official product guide: 08' Aluratek: Digital Technology Made Fun." Simple accordion fold design focusing on our two largest product categories at the time - digital photo frame and storage. Up to this point I was only creating quarterly line cards. It turned out to be nice printed piece. I followed up with yearly product guides up to 2011 which would be our last physical guide. We still produce them but in digital form only. That's the trend. Thanks internet! Good for the company, not so good for print shops and designers. A funny sidenote - you may notice that the studio shots of our products have a reflection. This is easily achieved by photographing the products on glass and cleaning up the image in Photoshop. I can still remember shooting our first half dozen skus on a hand held mirror!

    Aluratek booth at The Source show, Toronto, CanadaAluratek booth at The Source show, Toronto, Canada.

    One perk for me early on was the opportunity to travel with the sales guys and help out at vendor shows. My first "sales" trip was in August, 2008 when John took me to The Source show in Toronto. I wrote in my sketchbook "spoke more words in three days at the show than three weeks in the office." A bit out of my comfort zone and challenging talking about the products to potential customers. It's one thing to know and understand the technology and another to explain it. One afternoon after the show we drove to Niagara to see the falls. To be there in person to witness it was unbelievable.

    Aluratek booth at The Source show, Toronto, CanadaAluratek booth at The Source show, Toronto, Canada.

    Who are these young fellas?Who are these young fellas?.

    In celebration of our 10 year anniversary we are offering 10 items for $10! These deals will stick around for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon.

    Have you been a long time customer of Aluratek's for the past 10 years? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

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