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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for February, 2013

New Gaggenau Kitchen Appliance Display

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Abt is proud to make all of the displays you see around the store in our in-house woodshop, by a staff of dedicated carpenters. Occasionally though, we like to have some fun and invite a guest builder to craft something for our showroom. If you’ve been in our Atrium lately, near the cookie area, you’ve probably seen the latest custom kitchen display, designed by Chester & Chester of Evanston, Illinois.

Abt joined with Chester & Chester to create the kitchen of any cook’s dream, featuring Gaggenau Appliances.

We teamed up with Chester & Chester to create the ultimate kitchen, a combination of modern luxury and supreme utility. Featuring a full array of Gaggenau appliances, the installation represents the pinnacle of kitchen technology. (more…)

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Jenn-Air® JX3™ Cooktops stand alone with Duct-Free Downdraft option

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Imagine an active kitchen in a modern, high-rise condo with a stunning view. Or consider an open, gourmet kitchen with an island cooktop at the heart of the living and entertaining area. In each case, the goal is to preserve open, clean sight lines, yet keep the home free from cooking vapors.

Traditional ventilation options, such as overhead hoods, may be undesirable obstructions in such luxurious settings — or they simply may not be feasible. But Jenn-Air, first in kitchen ventilation and technological innovation for more than 50 years, has introduced a sophisticated engineering solution to this challenge: the world’s only Duct-Free Downdraft cooktop.

JED4536WS in set

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PlayStation 4: What to Expect…

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

playstation 4 controller

Last night, Sony announced the release of their newest gaming console, the PlayStation 4.  The news has been 7 years in the making since the release of the PlayStation 3 back in 2006, and since then, rumors, mock-ups, ideas and opinions of the next console have been swirling around the internet ever since.  With great fanfare and a 2-hour unveiling, Sony goes over the meat of their newest console with great hype, but no image of the final product.  This only adds to the interest and general excitement for the impending PlayStation 4.  Here’s what we know, thus far:

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Google Glass Makes Its Official Debut

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Google gave the world a closer look at the Google Glass today, with a new video that chronicles the many potential uses for the cutting-edge device. It seems that with the release of every significantly new piece of technology, a wave of critics arrives asking “what’s the point of that?” The Google Glass glasses have received their share of skepticism, and this video helps illustrate their possible usefulness. From swinging on a trapeze to piloting a stunt plane, the Google Glass gives users access to common smartphone applications, in a hands-free device.

Since most of us aren’t multi-tasking circus performers, the average user is likely to utilize Google Glass in more mundane, though useful, ways, as the video shows. Getting directions while driving or bicycling, messaging a friend while holding a child, or any time when you’d need access to  the web but have your hands full.  The typical uses probably won’t be groundbreaking. It’s our guess that the first wave of users will be most interested in the social aspect, and we’ll see quite a few people documenting literally every moment of their lives through the Google Glass.

Of course, there is the potential for lots of misuse. When people don’t need to use their hands to operate their phone, they’re more likely to use their phone in situations where they shouldn’t be, like driving. In theory, sending a message via voice-control should be safer than trying to type while at the wheel. But with the Google Glass, one of your eyes is going to be focused on the translucent screen dangling directly in front of it. So while the smart specs may intend to streamline our lives, there’s also the possibility that they’ll only make us all more distracted. Still, we eagerly await the first real-world tests to see how well the glasses function.

If you’re interested in becoming an early adopter, Google has launched a program called “If I Had Glass,” looking for “bold, creative individuals” who are interested in being among the first users of the Glass. For a chance at  scoring one of the first pairs, you’ll need to apply via Google+ or Twitter with a response describing what you’d do if you had Glass. Entrants are encouraged to include photos and videos that illustrate their creativity and planned use of the Google Glass. Oh, and they’ll also have to pony up $1500 for the privilege of being a beta-tester, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise. The future is never cheap.

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How to Design a Smartphone App for Dumm…Laymen

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

design a phone app

Got a great idea for a new application?  Follow these steps to help develop a smartphone app of your very own.

If you own a smartphone you know that some of the most exciting things you can do on them is shop through the vast amounts of applications.  There are games, programs, features and so much more that enhance your mobile phone experience.  No longer is the cell phone used to just make calls.  It has turned into a full-fledged portable entertainment device.  If you have ever thought of a good idea for a new application, there is a way to make that idea, come to life.  It takes imagination, some computer know-how and a little determination to develop a smartphone app.  Below are steps that will guide you on how to design a smartphone app of your very own.

Step 1.  Sketch out an IDEA

phone application idea

One of the first steps is to have a great idea (obviously).  From there you want to workout your idea as thoroughly as possible.  Ask yourself questions to narrow down the value of this new application.  What features does the user want to see? How will people interact with the application? It’s important to point these out, because it will give you a better direction during the actual development process.  If you are creating a new game for smartphones, precise answers aren’t exactly necessary, but you will need to design something functional.  Realizethe limitations you have, as all smartphones are not the same size.  Precise sizes and limits will be found during the development stage.

Step 2.  Find, or Become a Developer

This is the difficult step.  It’s easy (more or less) to come up with a fun, interesting idea, with great sub-ideas and smartphone implications.  It’s another to finally put it all together.  Luckily, the big smartphone operating system developers, Apple and Android, offer developing software you can use to get your idea off the ground.

For Apple iOS users, there is the iPhone developing application, or for Android OS users, the Android developing application.  There you will find the tools you need to get going.  They will even have a forum that offer suggestions and solutions from other members to help you along the way.  If you are looking to go the easier route, but will cost more money, look into paying a developer.  There are many talented people out there looking to use their computer skills and having them develop it will eliminate a lot of potential frustration.  However, if you want to be involved every step of the ay, it’s best to learn developing and do it yourself for the ultimate creative control.

Another thing while developing, create some kind of buzz for your up and coming application.  Put occasional updates on social networks, maybe create a simple website foreshadowing what to expect.  Peak people’s interest before it’s even completed and that will make the final marketing stage a bit easier come launch time.

Step 3. Demo or “Beta Test” You App

beta testing you app

Test the application’s functionality. Basically, run through your application from the beginning to the end. Touch every corner, and click every possible clickable link.  Developers often refer to this step as a demo, or commonly, “beta testing.” The reason this is so very important, is that you will discover any design faults, or coding errors in your application.  If you find them, fix them, and do it again until you find no errors.

Step 4. Success! Market & Maintain

success

You’ve done it!  You created that app you’ve always wanted.  Once finished, decide what you want to charge.  Do some research by seeing what’s out there and gauge how much you should charge, or if you want to maybe find out how to get in-game adds to pay for itself.  The website, fuelyourapps.com has a great article called, 9 Must Read Sources on Pricing Your App, which is a rundown on some documents giving you direction when determining a price.

Once that’s done, market the heck out of it!  Get the word out on social networks, tell all your friends to spread the word, have a fun launch party.  Maybe give out the first hundred downloads for free, just be creative!

On top of that, make sure you consistently maintain the application.  Be aware of other player’s wants, likes and dislikes as well as any bugs you may have missed.  Keep it fresh, and entertaining and your new app should have a long, healthy shelf life.

Most importantly, have fun and Happy Apping!

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President’s Day Sale at Abt Electronics

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

presidents day sale

Enjoy great savings on appliances and electronics this President’s Day.  Whether you are looking for a washer, dryer, LED TV, or even a new pair of sunglasses for the upcoming summer. Shop our wide selection and save big.

Our sale will be operating at our retail location until tomorrow at 9 pm CST or online via Abt.com until 10.59 pm CST.

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Samsung Meets SodaStream

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Samsung-refridgerator

At CES 2013 this year, it was pretty interesting to see appliances enter the fray of the world’s biggest electronics show.  One of the leaders in technologically advanced appliances has been Samsung.  They recently  announced their new 36” four-door refrigerator will have the industry’s first-ever automatic sparkling water dispenser.

It will be powered by SodaStream, which will allow you to pour yourself cold, bubbly water any time of the day.  The filtered sparkling water will come through the dispenser on the fridge door that already delivers water and ice.  Just add your favorite SodaStream flavoring and make soda in moments.

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Sonos Playbar: A Soundbar From the Wireless Music Experts

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

The Sonos Playbar integrates Sonos Play technology into a home theater soundbar

sonos Playbar

The Sonos Playbar mounts neatly on the wall, above or below your flat panel TV. Or simply place it on the stand below.

About ten years ago, Sonos set out to transform the way people listen to music in the digital era by removing one of the obstacles to getting music to multiple locations around the house: the wires. With a Sonos system, you could store your digital music files in one location, and listen to them anywhere else in the home with a wireless internet signal. Sonos Play devices can stream music from your smartphone or Wi-Fi enable computer; the Sonos Connect extended streaming abilities to a standard stereo receiver. With the introduction of the Sonos Playbar, this functionality has been integrated into the soundbar form factor. The result is a multi-function unit whose slim body hides large, immersive sound.

 

 

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Pandora Jewelry and Fine Watches For Your Valentine

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Valentine’s Day is just two short days away, and if you still haven’t found the perfect gift for that special someone in your life, Abt can come to your rescue with a variety of beautiful gifts.

Fine watches at Abt Electronics

Most of our customers are familiar with the Abt Time Boutique, where we carry an extensive line of fine watches from brands like Citizen, Ball, Hamilton, and Rado. An elegant timepiece is a gift that anyone can appreciate. We have styles for both men and women, with a wide range of prices.

 

But many people are surprised to find that, within the Time Boutique, Abt also carries a large assortment of Genuine Pandora Jewelry. Recognized around the world, Pandora is best known for their large line of exclusive, hand-finished charms. Abt stocks hundreds of Pandora Charms, as well as bracelets and rings. Thanks to the variety of finishes and designs, you’ll be able to find just the right charm, whether it’s a simple heart, or a charm of your favorite person’s favorite animal.

pandora jewelry chicago

Abt Electronics carries a large assortment of Pandora Jewelry

If you’ve already got a great gift picked out, we invite you to stop by the Time Boutique at any time. We’re always refreshing our line of timepieces and Pandora Jewelry. Unfortunately, we are unable to sell jewelry online or over the phone, so those gift options will only be available to our local customers. And, like everything we do here at Abt, we are committed to becoming one of the premier locations for Pandora Jewelry in Chicago and the surrounding area.

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Jenn-Air Ventilation system brings iconic persona to your kitchen

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A luxury kitchen is more than the sum of its appliances. A focal point of the home, it makes a statement about you to your guests. Appliances serve more than merely the expected function, but personify and reveal your personality. This February when Jenn-Air unveils its Accolade™ Downdraft Ventilation System, it will command attention for both its iconic design and its extraordinary performance.

This 36-inch, super-premium downdraft ventilation system will generate a lot of noise in the media, but not in the upscale kitchens in which it will silently premiere. Exquisitely fashioned from glass and stainless steel, the Accolade™ Downdraft Ventilation System has a timeless design that is reminiscent of the graceful, soaring curves of the Gateway Arch.

JXD7836BS Accolade in set

 

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