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The CamRanger device connects to select Canon and Nikon DLSR cameras via USB.

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The CamRanger device connects to select Canon and Nikon DLSR cameras via USB.

Switch your sockets to USB

IF two is good, four has to be better when it comes to accessible USB charging ports.

Leviton's device fits exactly to replace an existing AC wall electrical outlet, substituting the pair of standard plugs with the four USB ports.

Its design allows you to plug in your own charging cables for 4.2 amps of power, which is controlled by a microprocessor to accommodate up to four high-powered devices simultaneously.

This can include smartphones, tablets, gaming units and digital cameras, regardless of the manufacturer. The only requirement is they charge via USB.

The four USB ports are aligned in the outlet vertically to reduce stress on the charging cables, the company's website states.

Also mentioned on the site is all Leviton charging devices are UL-listed and meet all National Electrical Code requirements for tamper-resistant outlets.

When it comes to electrical work, take all precautions and make sure you know what you're doing, or contact a certified electrician.

Details: $39.99 available in grey, ivory, light almond and black; www.leviton.com

Connect DSLR directly to device

THE CamRanger -- in my mind the best third-party digital SLR camera accessory -- just got better with a recent free firmware update.

If you're not familiar with the CamRanger (US$299.99), it's a device that connects to select Canon and Nikon DLSR cameras via USB to create a Wi-Fi network from the camera to a smartphone, tablet or computer (Mac and PC) without needing an Internet connection.

This includes capturing and storing the images on your device away from the camera, as well as changing settings, including shutter speeds, ISO and f-stops.

Among the new features in the update, photographers can now share images with multiple devices and network bridging.

The photographer can share images or live view from camera with others on their personal smartphone, tablet or computer using the free CamRanger Share app, regardless of their location.

And users now have the option to bridge into a network to extend the Wi-Fi range or post images to the Internet immediately.

Details: camranger.com/firmware-upgrade

Thermal imaging for your iPhone

IF you ever thought about turning your iPhone 5 or 5s into a thermal imaging device, you are in luck with the newly announced Flir One, the first and only device of its kind, the company says.

The Flir One puts thermal imaging technology in your hands to extend the limits of human vision, allowing you to see in complete darkness, just as the military would with night vision.

The uses are endless. Two examples: homeowners can use it for security or to optimize energy efficiency in doors and windows.

The Flir One comes as a protective iPhone case that fits like a glove and has a lens on the back to detect and broadcast a live thermal image on the phone's LCD. It's not available yet but is expected later this year for US$349.

Details: www.flir.com

Twitter.com/greggellman

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 23, 2014 ??65521

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