Lots of Magic Inside this Email

from the desk of Rich on Tech

Hello and Happy Friday!

Hope you’re having a fantastic week and have an even better weekend planned!

This was an interesting week for me with a combination of serious jet lag and some long days of work. The good news is that one of them involved going to Universal Studios for the launch of the Harry Potter game, so I got to go on some super fun rides. Too bad I couldn’t bring the kids.

Let’s get to the stuff I think you should know about happening in the tech world!

Note: Trying something new in this email - videos that are easier to watch! Let me know what you think.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the new Pokemon Go

There’s a new mobile video game that might just be the next big thing and it’s based on the world of Harry Potter. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is from the same folks who created Pokemon Go, but will this game have the same appeal?

The unique part about it is that it takes place around you thanks to Augmented Reality. This means it uses your phone’s camera and GPS to overlay wizards, creatures and more in the real world. So you’re seeing your local park, but there’s a virtual creature right in the middle of the field.

You can download the game for iOS and Android right now - it’s free. Watch my segment below to see the launch party.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

I’m totally late to this game as I know this area of the theme park opened years ago, but I really enjoyed visiting it. It’s where they held the launch party for the new Harry Potter game. Makes sense.

I absolutely loved the little village they built, with the castles and the snow on the rooftops. And yes, as you can tell, I’m not a Potter-head, so I don’t know the lingo. But I can still appreciate the imaginary magical nature of this little land.

I got to go on two rides - the Forbidden Journey ride, which takes place in a giant castle. It was really intense. Think roller coaster style simulation ride in a totally dark castle where these giant creatures are just inches away from your face. I was impressed. The only thing I thought was strange was how blurry the video was. Almost as if it was standard definition in a High Def world.

The other ride I went on was a mini roller coaster called the Flight of the Hippogriff. This was a bit of a letdown as the ride is literally 30 seconds long or maybe a minute max. Seems like they ran out of space in the park to build an actual roller coaster, but the good news about this one is that it’s perfectly suitable for younger kids. Sort of like Thunder Mountain railroad ride at Disney.

And yes, I really liked the Butterbeer. The frozen one.

More Gadgets from CES Asia

I know I talked a lot about CES Asia in my last email but there’s more!

One thing we noticed about the gadgets on display at the show - they were very personalized. According to the interviews we did, young consumers in Asia like to show off their personality through their gadgets.

We also saw a bunch of cool robots and more. Watch my segment below to see them all!

You know that feeling when you find a product you love and you want to share your discovery with the world? That’s how I feel about undershirts I discovered from Pair of Thieves. I bought a two pack and then the next thing I knew, I threw away all of my old undershirts and replaced them with these. They are perfectly soft, fit great and have just a tiny bit of stretch. Here’s the tee I’m taking about and a link that will get you $10 off your first order of $40. (after you click the link, wait for the website to load with a special pop up box that will contain the code you enter at checkout) Go with the 3-pack combined with the discount for the maximum deal. [REFERRAL]

This Machine Prints a Temporary Tattoo on Skin in Seconds

Prinker is like an ink jet printer, but for temporary tattoos. At $550 (which includes ink for 1,000 tattoos) it’s not an impulse purchase, but I’m thinking this could make for a nice little side business. You could print tattoos on kids at birthday parties, in the parking lots at concerts and big events, just sayin.

Odds and Ends

Walmart now lets you upgrade your cell phone online, if you have AT&T. They also have discounts of up to $200 per device, with no rebates or redemption required.

You can now get your Apple products repaired at Best Buy. All of their stores are now authorized Apple service centers, which means the repairs are covered by Apple Care and backed by Apple. They do same day cracked iPhone screen repairs too.

Live in an apartment or condo and want a Ring cam? They now have one that replaces the peephole on your door called the Ring Door View Cam.

Listen to the Rich on Tech Podcast

If you’re not listening to my podcast, what are you waiting for? It’s a fast and fun way to hear about the tech things I think you should know about, plus I answer the questions you send me each week.

Here’s what Producer Meghan and I discussed this week:

Facebook takes on crypto with its own currency; Apple teams with Best Buy for official repairs; Walmart lets you upgrade your phone online; Ring's new peephole cam; Avoiding hack attacks; Instagram's new way to help you recover your hacked account; playing the new Harry Potter Pokemon Go style game. Listeners ask about Venmo privacy, Apple Watch vs Fitbit, Kids tracking app for Android and a good reverse phone number lookup website.

Listen to the podcast here or search for “rich on tech” in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app.

Tweet of the Week

Turns out the scam was that “Tim” wanted me to send him the codes off the back of 10 $100 Amazon gift cards. Not sure what I would get in return, but I passed.

That’s It!

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading. Be sure to hit that heart below on your way out if you enjoyed it!


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