Aluratek Blog

  • The Road to Ten - Part 1

    10 Year Anniversary logo Aluratek's 10 Year Anniversary logo.

    This year marks Aluratek's 10 Year anniversary! More specifically the month of March marks the start. I have been with the company from the very beginning - the companies first and longest tenured employee. I felt it necessary to reflect on the past ten years with a series of blog posts.

    I have been in the fortunate position to see this company grow from very humble beginnings as I started my time with Aluratek in a rented office through several other offices and buildings to our current most at home office. I wish I had some pics from that first office and all of us jammed in there. The office was no bigger than 100 square feet. I worked alone for the first six months (ok by me!) until our second employee arrived. My fondest memory of that office was the smell of strawberries that filled the room because a huge strawberry field was directly behind the office building. It was a nice time. Those quiet first months really helped me to build the Aluratek brand.

    The one thing that has stayed with me every single day at Aluratek is my prized Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner mug. I've actually had this mug since college - at least I started using it then. Not sure how old it is or where it came from. I took it from my father's cupboard and never put it back.

    My favorite mug My favorite mug. Been with me every step of the way.

    I remember being excited about the opportunity to be involved in a start-up. I was ready to move on to something bigger in my career. From a design perspective, I was excited about designed the logo and branding a new tech company - and that's something I realized later on that never stops. It's a constant growing thing. I'm always looking to improve and adapt and as we grew in employee numbers and sales accounts, the work grew and grew and it became clear I had to take on more challenges as my role evolved. The professional growth has been unmeasurable and I am thankful for that. Here are some snapshots from my sketchbook back in '05 when I started working on the Aluratek logo.

    Aluratek logo type compsLogotype comps experimenting with cyan and magenta.

    logomark-roughAttempting to add some type styling to the logotype.

    logo mark sketchesLogomark sketches.

    First Aluratek logo First Aluratek logo (with awesome reflection)

    Also had the opportunity to design our first website. First one for me as well, working with our developer at the time we came up with something that worked, but wow, the art of web design has really evolved in the past 10 years. Our first site was only informational and had no ability to purchase directly from the site. The site debuted sometime in 2006 and was up until 2009 when we made a big leap forward with our first CMS eCommerce solution. Here are some sketches and (shocking) web layouts I made back then.

    web sketchesWireframing sketches for the home page.

    web sketches and navigationNavigation planning and icon sketches.

    2006 website - home2006 home page

    2006 website - products2006 product categories page.

    2006 website - product category landing page2006 internet radio product landing page.

    2006 website - jukebox product page2006 product page of our very successful Jukebox USB Internet Radio.

    Our first big public exposure came at the hands of the TV show Deal Or No Deal. Remember that show? It was hosted by Howie Mandel where contestants choose numbered suitcases full of varying amounts of cash. Our 10 inch Digital Photo Frame was featured as a gift on the Christmas show. We were invited down to Warner Brothers' studios to attend the taping of the show and get a behind the scenes tour. It was very cool to be on set and see how the production of the show worked. Here are some pics of that day.

    Deal Or No DealBehind the scenes at the Deal Or No Deal show taping.

    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 2 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!

  • The Oscars And The Internet

    What a night! The 88th Academy Awards was an interesting one, for sure. The biggest A-List movie stars were all there hoping for a chance to win an award for their hard work. Lady Gaga gave a powerful performance and Chris Rock hosted the award show despite all the Oscars drama happening. However, a few unexpected wins and several awkward jokes later - the moment EVERYONE and their moms were waiting for was about to happen. As Julianna Moore read off the nominees for Best Actor, we all know the entire world was watching hoping and praying that our beloved Leonardo Dicaprio would win his first Oscar. And he did. I'm not surprised as he is one of the most talented actors of our time that has delivered some of the best performances to the big screen. Imagine if he didn't...the internet would've gone crazy. Probably a riot? Leo has been nominated for an Academy Award countless times but was never given a chance to go up on that glorious stage and give his acceptance speech.

    Social media and the internet EXPLODED. Not only did he win an Oscar but he won the most tweeted moment in Oscar history, beating Ellen DeGeneres's Oscar selfie couple years back. About 255,000 tweets a minute and after Leo's Oscar win? About 440,000 PER MINUTE. Whoo! The Oscars was really about Leonardo Dicaprio thanks to the internet and its awesome trending memes.

    BEFORE HIS FIRST OSCARS AWARD:

    Before1

    The Internet Really Wants Leonardo DiCaprio To Win An Oscar

    The Internet Really Wants Leonardo DiCaprio To Win An Oscar

    leonardo oscar comic

    leonardo oscar

    leonardo dicaprio oscar memes

    leonardo dicaprio oscar memes

    leonardo dicaprio oscar memes

    leonardo dicaprio oscar memes

    leonardo oscar bad luck

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AFTER LEONARDO DICAPRIO'S FIRST OSCARS WIN: (the internet moves fast)

    The Internet Really Wants Leonardo DiCaprio To Win An Oscar

    After3

    After1

    Congrats Leo! Well-deserved.

    Have any funny Leo memes? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • 10 For $10 Anniversary Specials

    10_For_10

    This year marks Aluratek's 10th anniversary. To honor our anniversary and to share our excitement with you, we are offering 10 items for $10! You can find products such as our LED Candles, Bluetooth Speaker Tablet, Portable Battery Charger and more!

    Thank you for your loyal patronage over the years!

    Our 10 for $10 deal will extend through the whole year!

    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!

  • 7 Tech-Savvy U.S. Presidents

    Happy Tuesday, everyone! We hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Aluratek was closed yesterday for President's Day so that was a nice treat!

    So in honor of President's Day, here is a list of 7 U.S. presidents who were all pretty tech-savvy:

    1. Abraham Lincoln

    The telegraph was the first way to deliver messages across the country in a flash and Abraham Lincoln modernized the way the government communicated when he forced its members to use the telegraph. By 1865, the telegraph would be one of the main reasons that the North won the Civil War!

    2. Rutherford B. Hayes

    President Hayes installed a phone in the White House. Guess what the phone number was? 1. Yep, just 1.

    3. Harry Truman

    This one is tough to call, but we're going to go with Harry Truman. FDR made remarks at the World's Fair in New York in 1939 that were broadcast on TVs on the fairgrounds. But the first over-the-air TV broadcast by a President was by Truman in 1947. What took so long? Even when Truman made his broadcast, there were only about 44,000 TVs in America.<br /><br /><br />
(Image: National Archives)</p><br /><br />
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    The first over-the-air television broadcast by a President was by Truman in 1947.

    4. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Eisenhower began a satellite program four years before Sputnik - Explorer I successfully launched in 1958.

    5. Richard Nixon

    The first personal computer in the White House was the Xerox Alto while Richard Nixon was president.

    6. George W. Bush

    George W. Bush was the first president to officially use email in the White House. Bill Clinton could've taken the title, but he didn't use email for security reasons.

    7. Barrack Obama

    President Obama fought to keep his smartphone. He also is the first president to use a smartphone, take a selfie and send the first text message. Seriously?

    Do you have any fun tech-savvy facts about our U.S. presidents? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Most Iconic Super Bowl Halftime Shows

    Unless you've been living under a rock, you were probably propped up in front of your big screen TV yesterday with a plate of wings in one hand and a foam finger in the other as you watched the Denver Broncos take down the North Carolina Panthers. What. A. Game. Congrats to the future Hall Of Famer Quarterback, Peyton Manning, for winning his second championship and a big congrats to his team as well. Well deserved.

    Being a girl, it's usually expected that my Super Bowl is the halftime show but I assure you that it's the least of my concern because I am a HUGE football fan (Go Niners!). However, this year I was actually looking forward to the halftime show since one of my all-time bands was performing! COLDPLAY YAAAAAS!! :) But what was really awesome was how they were celebrating previous halftime shows from the past. To see Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, etc and how far our Super Bowl Halftime shows have come made me a...little...emotional?? Thousands of fans in the stadium get to experience all the amazing sound quality, lights, fireworks, stunts, and just the ecstatic atmosphere of being in the presence of talented artists...and then there's millions more viewing it on their TV! Biggest stage in the world? Indeed.

    So today, I want to do a list of 5 halftime show performances (in no particular order) that will always be iconic - Ready?!

    1. U2 -  Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)

    Months after one of the most tragic event that happened in U.S. history - U2 stepped out on to the stage and tapped into the serenity of the soul with their music. As Bono sang "Where The Streets Have No Name", names of the fallen victims of 9/11 scrolled down on the big screen behind them and it touched the hearts of every American, U2 fan or not.

    2. Bruno Mars - Super Bowl XLVIII (2014)

    Despite a very boring game with the Seahawks leading the Broncos with a score of 22-0 at the HALF...the Bruno Mars show sure woke everyone back up! Wow. What a performance! Who knew he had moves?! Well - I didn't. I instantly became a Bruno Mars fan after the show. They even brought in the Red Hot Chili Peppers to rock out with the entire stadium! Fantastic.

    3. Paul McCartney - Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)

    How can you go wrong with a Beatles legend? You can't. McCartney rocked out with "Get Back" and "Live and Let Die" before bringing the entire stadium to sing along to the famous "Hey Jude." Classic.

     

    4. Beyonce - Super Bowl XLVII (2013)

    Beyonce's halftime performance was the second-most watched Super Bowl halftime show in history (at the time) and I am not surprised at all. Super diva Beyonce sang her past and current hits that includes "Single ladies" and "Crazy In Love". Her former Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams also joined the stage with a fiery performance. Beyonce sure knows how to entertain.

    1. Michael Jackson - Super Bowl XXVII (1993)

    Let's be honest...watching this legendary singer moonwalk through smoke and lights while delivering his best hits on the biggest stage in the world is a once in a lifetime experience. Just see for yourself -

    6. Coldplay - Super Bowl XXXXX (2016)

    And yes, this one is a little biased but I'm still putting them on this list! Haha! Loved how they combined their "Oldplay" songs like "Clocks" and "Fix You" and mixed it in with their newer jams such as "Adventures Of A Lifetime", "Paradise" and their classic "Viva La Vida." Of course Beyonce and Bruno Mars made another appearance and made a great addition to the set. Yay!

    (yes it looks like a potato recorded this performance - I'll make sure to post up a better quality once it comes out!)

    What is your favorite Super Bowl Halftime Show? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • A Match Made For TV Heaven!

    tv heaven

    Valentine's Day if fast approaching and time is running out to find that perfect gift for your valentine. If you have already found a gift, you are to be saluted! Way to plan ahead, you should be commended. But, if you are like the most of us you have yet to find a gift mostly because you have no idea what to buy. How many times can you get away with flowers and candy and that obligatory card? Looking for something unique? Well, Aluratek has the perfect gift - we like to say it's a match made for TV heaven. Our new Bluetooth Wireless TV Streaming Kit combines a Bluetooth Universal Audio Transmitter and a pair of high quality Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones to create the ultimate home entertainment experience.

    Celebrate Valentine's Day with this perfect pair for a special introductory price! This promotion only extends through February 10th!

    Does this look like a match made in TV heaven? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Home Automation With Just A Touch

    homeautoswitch-outlet

    Home Automation is quickly becoming all the rage. With the technology available to us, why not? How great would it be to be able to turn on a lamp, space heater or fan with the touch of a button? Well, now you can. Today, Aluratek is pleased to present the arrival of our Wireless Home Automation Switch Kit in our growing Indoor / Outdoor product category. This switch gives you remote control of your home appliances and electronic devices with the touch of a button.

    The RF wireless switch simply plugs directly into any AC outlet in your home. Use the included remote control to with device plugged into the switch anytime, from any room in your home. The remote has a range up to 65 feet (20 meters). Each switch features a status indicator LED and an ON / OFF button on the front of the unit so you can easily control the switch when the remote is not within reach.

    Check out this great video that shows you how it works:

    Plug the Wireless Home Automation Switch into any AC outlet in your living room, kitchen, home office or bedroom to remotely turn on and off any home appliance or electronic device that is plugged into the. Works perfect for lamps, fans, space heaters, stereos, coffee makers and even holiday lights. If you can plug it, you can control it!

    homeautoswitch-applications Easily automate lamps, fans, coffee makers and more!

     

    Control your home appliances and electronic devices from the easy to use remote control. Turn each of the three switches On or Off or turn all the switches on or off all at once with the touch of a button. The remote has a range up to 65 feet (20 meters).

    The Wireless Home Automation Switch Kit is completely customizable, flexible and designed to work with all three switches at once so you can have full control up to three devices as you need in any room in your house.

    How would you use your Home Automation Switch? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Tech Ideas For Valentine's Day

    Can you smell it? Love is in the air! Valentine's Day aka LOVE DAY is in a couple of weeks. Are you ready to celebrate this day with your special one?

    Let's be honest. We've all had times when Valentine's Day made us a little coo-coo. How could it not? We live in a culture where everything is commercialized and that can also include Thanksgiving and Christmas! Valentine's Day is a day that is consumed with ads for cards, jewelry and romantic dinners that you need to make reservations for at least 2 weeks to a month in advance!

    Many think Valentine's Day is terrible because we should show our appreciation towards that special person everyday instead of just on one day. I used to think that way as well, but the more I'm "adulting" the less I'm able to think about my husband. Not that I don't think about him, but life gets so busy that you forget about the one person that is helping you persevere and pushing you through life.

    Instead of doing the common Valentine's Day things (unless that's what you 2 enjoy doing), why not participate in activities that define you as a couple?! And if you're following our blog and our social media apps, you must somewhat be into tech, right?

    So, Here's a list of fun techy/geeky things you can your loved one can do for Valentine's day -

    1. I love spontaneity. I love the unexpected and so does my husband. Why not be spontaneous with your special one and sing a duet at a karaoke bar? Might I recommend "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin? LOL

    2. Go on a photo scavenger hunt! Each of you writes down a random clue, rhyme, or atbstract fact about 3 locations (preferably a location with a nice memory), then exchange clues and have the other person take photos based on the clues received!

    3. Do you Instagram? What about your partner? Of course you do! Whether you or your special person is an avid Instagrammer with thousand of millions of followers, or just an everyday user - whether they're candid, posed, filled with smoochies or landscape shot they are all great photos with lots of memories that you can look back on and can't help but smile. Why not collect some of your partner's best photos off of their Instagram account and print out a photo book as a gift? Chatbooks offers this service for only $8! You can even print your own book at home or create a fun scrapbook.

    4. Create funny GIFs of your favorite memories together!

    *GEEK ALERT!!!!*

    5. Bake Lembas bread and have a Lord Of The Rings marathon at home. Okay - this sounds amazing.

    Subscribe to our enewsletter to receive future Valentine's Day deals!

    Any other ideas for a fun teched out Valentine's Day? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • I Have A Dream

    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

    Today we reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr and how his movement brought a powerful vision on racial equality and peace.

    On August 28, 1963, history was made. Martin Luther King delivered one of the most memorable speeches that is still instantly recognizable even four decades later. "I Have A Dream" speech was given at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC with a number of 250,000 supporters present as they heard his dream.

    Newscasters were preparing for riots and fights however what was so amazing is that the outcome of his speech ended in peace especially with the number of attendees. The entire 17 minute speech was televised live and captured raw emotions of Dr King's speech and it's effect on all who were there to witness history being made. It's quite amazing how so many people were there in person to listen to his speech but even quite mind blowing that MILLIONS more were watching it on live television. This speech reached out to millions of people and even on small television, people felt the impact this speech would have on society- even those who supported segregation.

    If you would like to watch the famous "I Have A Dream" speech just watch the video below -

    What does Dr King's speech mean to you? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • National Clean Off Your Desk Day

    It's a new year - we spend these early moments of the year trying our best to start things fresh to push ourselves to be the best we can be. Whether it's exercising more often, eating cleaner, studying harder, quitting certain habits - we all have to start somewhere.

    Today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day! I think I stress out a little more than I need to when it comes to keeping things tidy and organized. Just take a look at my work desk:

    IMG_6080

    ...and this is my desk when it's SEMI-ORGANIZED...ya- it's terrible!

    So definitely a resolution of mine is to clear my work desk so I don't have to stress out searching for important papers! If you guys are struggling aside with me - we have a few products that may be the solution to all your problems :

    Mini Surge Dual USB Charging Station

    AUCS06F_angle

    Our Mini Surge Dual USB Charging Station is really actually perfect if you need to charge multiple devices at once. It gives you 6 ports which I think is more then enough! This will keep all your cables in one place instead of cluttered around your desk or your room.

    10 inch Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor and 4GB Built-in Memory

    ADMSF310F_front angle

    If you have a clutter of photo frames sitting around your desk of your family, friends, your dog - combine all those photos and MORE into only ONE frame with our Digital Photo Frames! Simply transfer 4GB worth of photos into our frames and make some room on your desk. I chose our 10 Inch Digital Photo Frame because it's not too big or too small - it's a perfect size for a work desk - oh and it's also MOTION SENSORED. Whaaaat?

    USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station 

    AUDS0302F_front angle

    The Docking Station is is designed for your extra connectivity needs and to increase user productivity in your home of office. It's a simple, space-saving way to turn one USB port into six USB connections making your laptop the ultimate desktop workstation by giving you access to all of your USB peripherals, dual video ports and an Ethernet network connection.

    WiFi Internet Radio with LCD Touchscreen Display

    AIRMM03F_front

    This is one of our newest products that's just been released and I have to say that it's pretty awesome. Our WiFi Internet Radio is a hybrid of many things as it contains features such as an alarm clock, calendar, memo pad, social media apps, and the main feature which is the internet radio where you can stream music from Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more! You can even download podcast episodes - Greg and I spent all last week listening to This American Life's Serial with Sarah Koenig! Because this WiFi Internet Radio has so much in it, it's allowing you to eliminate unnecessary things on your desk such as a organizer/planner, an actual desk clock, speakers, radios, etc. Just prop it on your desk and enjoy!

    Celebrate today and clean your desk!

    Which one of these would help your desk clutter? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

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