Bixi: The first touch free remote: Review

The Bixi Box

So a while back on Kickstarter, I decided to back a hands free remote designed to use gestures to do things such as turn lights in and off, answer phone calls while driving and change music on your mobile as while as having input from IFTTT.

Yesterday I received my first Bixi as for some reason they’re sending out my second end one in the second end batch which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The Bixi and its packaging

My first thoughts on it was that the box was very nicely done but feels cheap, not really want I expected from a £55 device. The device was nicely presented in a soft foam backing with the outer ring on it and a spare ring which is a nice touch seeing it looks like it can easily be lost when your charging the device. Also it comes with a handy magnet for securing it to other surfaces.

The Bixi

So to the device it self, the build quality is disappointing to say at least. It feels cheap, when you first remove the outer ring to turn it on, you can’t help but to notice the sharp plastic around it. I wish it was dulled a bit. The power button it self is slightly resessed in to the body which makes it a pain to turn on and to turn the device off (more on that later).

The charging port it self is a mirco USB which is kinda nice to see as it’s the most common USB port these days, so your phone charger lead can be used (it doesn’t come with one).

Turning the device on

Turning the device on is easy, you just press the power button and it lights up on the display and you go into the Bixi app and click on ‘find your device’ which then connects via Bluetooth. Very easy and simple.

Using the Bixi

Using the Bixi is a bit of a pain I’ve found, it’s all gestured controlled, you left to play a previous track, swipe right to skip to the next track and so on. The same with lights, or making it act as a trigger for your go pro that is once you’ve connected them to the app which is very easy to do (just your username and password).

The app thro, is very simple and easy to use. As you can see, the device is in the middle showing its name (which you can rename and mine will shortly be renamed after a planet from firefly as all my devices are) as well as the battery level. You can tap the two ‘spaces’ on either side of the device to add task to it such as music or to your smart lights and so on.

Battery life wise, it takes around a couple of hours to get a full charge from empty which is quite good. I’m yet to test to see how long it lasts for and will update accordingly.

Tuning the device off

Good luck on this one, Bixi’s website says you press the power/reset button three times and the display will blink to day its turning off but the unit I have seems like it much rather stay turned on. I’m hoping that it’s a software issues which will be fixed in a update.

Overall

Overall, the Bixi does show promise, the whole idea of a hands free remote using just gestures is a good idea, one that takes some getting used to.

The benefits of having one is useful, like having one in the car is great, it’s just a wave over the device and it answers or declines a call, one on the bike handles to start your go pro recording as well (if you don’t have a go pro remote) to having one simply in the kitchen for when your listening to music and want to skip a track but then again… Alexa can do that (and a much more better job).

So really to sum up, I would save your money, it’s not the best device out there, it feels cheap, hard to get used to and at the moment quite buggy. Whether that is because it’s just come out and new updates will come out and fix these problems or like all new technology, it’s going to take a while to get used to.

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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at The Birmingham Hippodrome

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I’m never one to really enjoy the live theatre thanks to my anxiety and also that fact that I find the noise and lighting over helming.

When I entered the Hippodrome, the stage looked like something from a scene from Tronall; the black panels in the form of a tightly constructed box with grids (which later turned out to be screens used when Christopher writes on the floor) which was unveiled in the opening scene with a viciously murdered dog slap in the centre with a pitch fork sticking from it and actors scattered around the crime scene.

It was action packed from the very start, fifteen year-old Christopher John Francis Boone begins his journey at the scene of the crime with Mrs. Shears murdered dog, Wellington playing the role of the victim.

I really don’t want to give away the story because this really is definitely something you need to experience for yourself either by watching it performed or by reading the book (here’s a useful Amzon link for the book http://amzn.to/28UQ6bu)

But I will say a lot has been written about Haddon’s portrayal of Christopher, in that he has a form of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), Haddon had a number of jobs when he was younger including one where he worked with children with learning difficulties, so it’s quite easy to jump to conclusions about the playwright’s influences. Interviews with Haddon reveal that this is not as simple a conclusion as we are led to believe; Haddon said of his previous work: “Only in retrospect do I realize that some of the people I worked with had autism, although they had it much more seriously than Christopher does.”

Whatever your conclusion about Christopher’s behavioural issues, you certainly feel engulfed deep in the mind of this math-genius-come-detective, in part due to the precision of the actors who play him, combined with the clever use of the stage set to create and at times a chaotic and claustrophobic atmosphere.

This production is definitely one of the best I’ve seen (from plays I’ve managed to see before), and one I will love to go and see again. The use of such a small set to portray a story that is so complex (a play within a play) is flawless. For the designers among you, it’s use of props, lighting, graphics, choreography and hyper dose of electronic beats to allow us to perfectly delve into Christopher’s mind is a sensory pleasure. The designer, Bunny Christie perfectly achieved her goal of replicating Christopher’s description of himself as Sherlock Homes in the book and in particular that his mind was comparable to a laboratory. The set really was the lead character and the agile set design perfectly echoed the way our protagonist’s mind jumps around the timeline without detracting from the many layers of the story.

For those of you looking to be gripped by a story that perfectly blends tragedy and humour, whilst encasing you in an empathy and compassion, you won’t be disappointed.

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