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The Internet of Things
. It may have a vague and unusual name, but it’s the way of the future. Essentially, the Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday objects to a vast network using sensors surrounding us, and it does so wirelessly. The “everyday objects” include things from light switches to coffee makers to car door locks, and they can be controlled remotely by software on smartphones, laptops and other devices. I’ve just begun imagining being able to turn the light off without getting up, and I’m already excited — I can’t even begin to conceive what other incredible inventions will come out of this field in the next few years!

It’s clear that Southwestern Ontario has identified an area for major growth, because Catalyst137, a giant hub for IoT companies, is set to open in Kitchener in the summer of 2017. The people behind the plans for the IoT hub are Kurtis McBride, the CEO of Miovision, and Frank Voisin, from real estate investment firm Voisin Capital. McBride envisions that Catalyst137 will be “the Tannery for hardware”, so they have some pretty big shoes to fill (hello Google, Communitech, and others), but that shouldn’t be too difficult given their mission.

Similar to the Tannery, Catalyst137 will be moving into an old KW Region building instead of having a brand new one built for them. The hub will go into an old tire storage warehouse in Kitchener by the Iron Horse Trail — one with over 475,000 square ft. of space! The centre will provide a ton of useful services to companies it houses, such as consulting, funding, engineering, and access to equipment like 3D printers and laser cutters. Catalyst137 will rent out space to over 20 IoT-focused hardware companies, leasing office spaces ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 square feet — some even including their own loading bays. 


Don’t you worry, Catalyst137 won’t be all about business — McBride and Voisin also plan to incorporate a bunch of cool employee perks like a gym, café, pub, and even squash courts. Is this place beginning to sound less intimidating and more like a place you’d want to be, or is that just me?

Now that you know the basics of the Internet of Things, it’s almost time to learn about some mind-blowing examples of IoT gadgets that are currently on the market. We’ll check in with you in a couple weeks for a short refresher and to tell you about a ton of cool and affordable IoT tech options. In the meantime, make sure to check out our tips on how to stay safe on the Internet of Things!



Caitlin Feehan
, Blog Contributor

Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.

Game of Thrones: "Battle of the Bastards"

Posted by jlinnerth on June 20, 2016


Spoilers ahead! You know nothing Jon Snow

Ok, Sunday night’s episode made up for last week – holy cow, the action in this episode was amazing.

In Mereen we begin with the Mother of Dragons who wants to slaughter the slavers.  Tyrion, ever the diplomat, talks her into negotiating surrender.  The slavers offer some pretty bogus terms to which Daenerys replies that they were mistaken, it was her that was offering them a chance to surrender.  She then quickly hops on Drogon and cleans house with the aid of Rhaegal, Viscerion and her Dothraki horde.  Slavers and Sons of the Harpy be gone!  Later Dany meets with the Iron born brother sister duo, Theon and Yara, where they offer 100 ships if she helps them regain the Iron Islands and independence from the seven kingdoms.  These two tough ladies agree and make a pact – it was a pretty cool moment.


From there we travel north.  Jon and Sansa are staking their claim on Winterfell, they meet with Ramsay who offers them some bogus terms too, seems to be a theme. Jon offers one to one combat which Ramsay refuses – wimp.  Ramsay retorts by threatening Rickon, and proves to Jon and Sansa that he has him by tossing Shaggydog’s head at their feet. 

After the meeting, Jon and his team creates their battle plan but excludes Sansa.  She is critical of his plan and reminds her half-brother that she knows Ramsay better than all of his advisors.  Ramsay is evil, and she has lived through his torture, you know nothing Jon Snow, and you should have listened to her.

The morning of the Battle of the Bastards begins with Davos stumbling upon the pyre where Princess Shireen was sacrificed – finding the stag he gave her, he now knows she is dead. Let the mistrust of Melisandre begin again. 

The Battle of the Bastards was amazing, I think I need to watch it several times to really get all the complexities of the battle, but it was intense.  Ramsay really is evil and his warfare methods are proof.  Beginning with his game of making Rickon run for is life, only to take it away within his brother’s grasp and ending with suffocating trapped men in a circle of death was truly chilling.  


It appeared all was lost when Sansa and Littlefinger arrive with the Knights of the Vale, there is a beautiful moment where Sansa looks across at Ramsay to show him that he cannot control what she does.  The Bolton’s are stuck down and Ramsay runs to hide in the fortress of Winterfell, seemingly forgetting that Jon has a giant with him.  Wun Wun breaks open the gate but takes on serious injuries and succumbs finally when Ramsay shoots an arrow through his eye.  Wun Wun was possibly the last Giant to ever exist – RIP Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun.


Finally Ramsay asks for one to one combat and immediately starts shooting arrows at Jon.  The house of Marmot shield protects Jon from the arrows as he approaches Ramsay, and with cheers from my couch, Jon takes Ramsay down repeatedly beating him almost to death – really I’m not a fan of violence but this just worked for me.  He stops short when he sees Sansa, for the final blow should be hers.   


The Stark banners fly once again at Winterfell and Sansa visits Ramsay in his cell.  Like all Stark women, Sansa is strong and a force to be reckoned with, Ramsay tires to goad her but she has the upper hand.  With a brief but impactful speech to her abuser “Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear” and a smirk, Sansa lets Ramsay’s dogs have their cake and eat it too. A gruesome end to a gruesome character and a killer end to the episode.

Season finale next week, can’t wait!



Karen Chalmers, Marketing & Public Relations Manager

With 2 decades in the film, design, and marketing industries, I love all things creative – especially a beautiful, well-crafted font. I’m a classic triple threat, complete with talents in acting, singing, and sewing.


I’m going to set a scene for you. Imagine yourself sipping espresso at a quaint little café in Paris – let’s say you even have a nice view of the Eiffel Tour from your table. A waitress walks up to you and says something in French that you can’t understand. You reach into your pocket, pull out a tiny ear piece, place it into your ear, and suddenly…everything she says is in perfect English. You don’t have to take out your phone and type anything into a translator app, and you don’t have to spend a moment looking incompetent because you simply don’t get it. 


Instead, you have the power of real-time translation in your hands (or ears), making it unbelievably easy to communicate with people all over the world – even if you don’t technically speak the same language.

The ear piece I’m talking about is called the “Pilot” and was developed by Waverly Labs. And yes, it really does make the above situation possible, promising live translation while in the wearer’s ear. Check out the video below for a more in-depth view of the product. 

Incredible, right? For now, the Pilot can easily translate four languages – Spanish, French, Italian and English – but Waverly Labs will hopefully add many more to the device’s repertoire as the technology becomes more advanced.

You may be thinking “wait, wasn’t this already invented?”, but my guess is that you’re probably just remembering the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Babel Fish, after being placed in the wearer’s ear, was said to allow the wearer to “instantly understand anything said to [them] in any form of language”. Sounds suspiciously like Waverly Labs’ new device, doesn’t it?? And it only took us about 35 years to turn the idea into a reality – a little too long, if you ask me.


The only current problem with the Pilot is that it isn’t available for immediate purchase. On Waverly Labs’ website, you can pre-order the device, but be aware that you won’t actually receive it for about another year. If you really want one, you have to act quickly – it looks like there aren’t many units left, and you only have about a week to place your pre-order. The Pilot goes for $199 USD on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website similar to Kickstarter. Fun fact: Waverly Labs hit their funding goal within 15 minutes of posting their campaign! It seems like people are incredibly excited about this device, and it’s easy to see why.

If the idea of a real-time translator has inspired you to plan a trip overseas, don’t miss Execulink’s blog post about how to travel on a budget, complete with tons of money-saving tips and tricks!



Caitlin Feehan
, Blog Contributor

Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.

Game of Thrones: "No One"

Posted by kchalmers on June 13, 2016



Spoilers ahead! This episode brought to you by Lorem Ispum.

Please excuse the lame designer joke, but this week’s episode felt like a lot of filler and not a lot of substance.

We begin with Arya, our mighty dire wolf lady, nothing seems to take this girl down and I love it!  She ends up visiting her actress friend who nurses her back to health after the trainer girl blindsided her.  Arya gets healthy, our actress dies a brutal death and Arya goes head to head with a Terminator like trainer girl – seriously I think Faye Marsay must have studied Robert Patrick as T-1000 for this scene.  Arya used the very thing she was trained with, blindness, to defeat her foe and gave the girl with no name, no face.  Arya adds her face to the Hall of Faces and confronts Jaqen H'ghar who admits he sent the T-1000 to kill her.  Jaqen then tells Arya that she has finally become "No One" and has passed the test, however, Arya tells him that she is Arya Stark of Winterfell and that she is going home. OK, I have a huge issue with the actress part of this storyline. Arya could have ended the trainer girl last week in the same manner, the actress was not needed to move the story forward and I question the choice of bringing her back at this point.  She did her part by identifying to Arya the insanity of the Many-Faced God and made her realize she needed to go home, why fill half an episode with anything more?

We pick up with The Hound who is seeking revenge for his friend the Septon, and in typical Hound manner his revenge is swift and brutal - I must say his ability to take a man’s head off is really quite exceptional.  To complete his revenge mission he has a few more heads to take off, but it seems they’ve already been spoken for by the man who never dies, Beric Dondarrion.  Beric is in the midst of hanging the culprits for the same deed, but gives two of them to the Hound to finish off by hanging.  While hanging really isn’t The Hounds style, Clegane still manages to dirty it up by taking the boots off a man who wasn’t quite dead yet – classy Sandor, real classy.  Interestingly enough the head of the Brotherhood picks up where the Septon left off, reminding Clegane the Gods (or the Lord of Light in this case) aren’t done with him and that he should head North with them to do something good for mankind by battling “the cold winds rising in the North”. The Hound vs The Night King – now that would be epic.

To the Red Keep where Cersei and her goonies Qyburn and The Mountain meet up with her cousin Lancel and a band of Faith Militants who have been allowed into the Red Keep by Tommen.  Lancel commands Cersei to meet with the High Sparrow in the Sept of Baelor, but Cersi defies him and The Mountain steps up to defend his lady.  Lancel asks Cersei to order him aside or there would be violence, and in an awesome mic drop moment Cersei exclaims “I choose violence”.  The Faith Militant warrior who tried to attack The Mountain had no idea what was coming his way – a beheading in the most violent manner – way to take orders zombie.  Needless to say everyone else backed off.  Shortly after Cersei was dealt a blow from her own son, Tommen gave a royal order that her trial as well as that of Loras Tyrell will be held in the Sept of Baelor on the first day of the festival of The Mother.  Oh, and trial by combat will be forbidden in the Seven Kingdoms henceforth - sorry Mountain.  That gives Jaime a bit of time to make it back from Riverrun – but will the Kingslayer stand up against his son for his sister?

Speaking of Ser Jaime, the Lannister army is sitting at the walls of Riverrun where Jaime schemes away.  First he sends Brienne of Tarth to try and talk the Blackfish into marching north to help his niece regain Winterfell, at the cost of losing Riverrun.  After the Blackfish denies Brienne’s offer Jaime manages to re-seat Edmund Tully and facilitates the handover of the castle without any bloodshed, save one, The Blackfish.  This was the most disappointing end to a legend in the show, we didn’t even get to see his final battle, RIP Blackfish. 

Finally we head to Meereen where we once again head into the land of superfluous filler.  Seriously why does it matter that we see Tyrion engage in drinking games with Grey Worm and Missandei.  That being said learning that Tyrion wants to own a vineyard one day makes me want to enjoy a fine glass of The Imp’s Delight – get your t-shirt today!


After the drinking game, things finally pick up and we see the Slavers attempt to take back their property with a huge battalion of ships.  The city is in flames and the pyramid is getting hit pretty hard, or so we think, when the Mother of Dragons swoops in looking mighty peeved. 

Next week should prove to be amazing, especially if we get to see a Dragon/Dothraki/Unsullied vs Masters of Slavers Bay battle.  Whatever happens, please no more filler!



Karen Chalmers, Marketing & Public Relations Manager

With 2 decades in the film, design, and marketing industries, I love all things creative – especially a beautiful, well-crafted font. I’m a classic triple threat, complete with talents in acting, singing, and sewing.

Father’s Day Gadget Guide

Posted by jlinnerth on June 9, 2016


We thought we’d show our support for dad this year by getting the Father’s Day gift guide rolling a bit in advance. This way, you can actually set aside enough time to go shopping, or at least to give your online order ample time to arrive on your doorstep. You don’t want to show up to the party sad and gift-less, or your family might start referring to you as the problem child (again).

Have no fear – we’ve made it easy for you to impress dad this year with our fantastic list of gadgets he’s sure to love.

R.E.V. App-Enabled Battle Cars


This one is for the dad who is still young at heart. Now, he can play with toy cars, and still be on-trend! R.E.V. stands for Robotic Enhanced Vehicles, and they’re designed to battle other R.E.V.s using AI technology. You can control your car through a phone app, and then you have two options – either battle another person in the same room as you, or play against an AI character (not an actual human) who can control your other car remotely, sensing their surroundings using an indoor GPS system. SO. COOL. The set comes with two cars, and all you’d have to do is download the app. You can buy it for only $99 USD here. Your dad may not fully grasp how exactly this technology works, but he can sure have fun using it!

ZUS Car Locator and Charger

Dads forget where their cars are parked sometimes. That’s just a fact of life. But we can’t blame them – it’s hard to remember such a small detail when he has so many other things going on! Thankfully, the company ZUS has developed an app-controlled car locator to help out during these trying times. The app doesn’t even require a cell signal to give you updated and exact directions, which sounds like a miracle to me. It also doubles as a high-powered cell phone charger, which never hurts. You can buy it for $37 on Amazon.


Hövding Airbag “Helmet”

Is your dad an active cyclist? Is he also part of the generation that “doesn’t need to wear a bike helmet” because he used to bike to school uphill both ways in 10 inches of snow and didn’t get a scratch on him? If your old man thinks he’s too invincible (or stylish) for a typical bike helmet, the Hövding airbag helmet might be for him. When riding along normally, it stays tucked around the cyclist’s neck, while their head is exposed. But, when irregular movement is detected (like when the rider begins to fall or crashes into something), the airbag deploys and forms a helmet shape around the rider’s entire head. Watch it in action and see for yourself – it’s pretty incredible. But, you have to love your dad A LOT to give this to him on Father’s Day, because it is very expensive, coming in at around $430.


Revolar Wearable Safety Device

Your dad’s always been there to look after your safety – now you can do the same for him. The Revolar wearable safety device is a small gadget that connects to an app on your phone, where you can load up to five emergency contacts. If your dad ever feels unsafe, needs help, or is assaulted, all he has to do is press the button on the Revolar device and his GPS location will be sent to those contacts, as well as an alert informing them to get help. This way, he’s always connected and able to let you know exactly where he is if he’s ever in trouble. Even if he never needs to use it, the peace of mind it provides is more than worth it. You can buy it on Brookstone’s website for $99 USD.


BLOCKS Modular Smartwatch

Regular, dime-a-dozen smartwatches are soon to be a thing of the past. BLOCKS has come out with a new smartwatch that is entirely customizable – think wearable Lego blocks that can tell time and act as a GPS. When you preorder the watch, four “modules” are included, and you can buy the other modules separately. Your options are an extra battery module, heart rate module, gps module, Adventure module (which combines digital humidity, pressure and temperature sensors), flashlight module, and programmable button, which can be assigned to anything, whether on your watch, phone, or other device. And, of course, you get to choose your favourite watch colour as well. The only downside is that the watch is only in its preorder phase, so dad wouldn’t get his cool new tech until October. However, I think he’ll agree that it’s worth the wait. This smartwatch comes in at $330 USD.

Petzi Treat Cam

This is it. We have found the perfect gift for the over-involved doggy dad (or cat dad, they exist too). The Petzi Treat Cam records high-quality live video of your pet all day long, which you can stream directly to your phone or computer.  This includes an audio feed, and your voice can even be transmitted to your pet at home! This will either comfort them or confuse them to no end, but there’s only one way to find out. The best part about the Petzi, however, is that it dispenses treats at the press of a button from your smartphone! You don’t even have to be in the room to reward your dog or cat for being awesome anymore. Technology has taken us to incredible places. The Petzi Treat Cam is $169 USD on the Best Buy website.



Whether your dad is sporty, on-trend, or loves his dog as much as he loves you, you’re sure to find the perfect tech toy for him this Father’s Day.

Happy early Father’s Day from everyone here at Execulink!



Caitlin Feehan
, Blog Contributor

Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.