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11 Innovative Ways to Use Tech to Find the Perfect Holiday Outfit

Anyone who’s been to a big holiday party knows that the right outfit can really elevate your holiday cheer. Use these tech tricks to ensure that you’ll look sharper than ever this holiday season.

1. Ask a Lot of New Friends

Crowd-sourcing outfit decisions can be a great way to alleviate the pressure of holiday dressing. Even if you’re shopping alone, the Pose app connects you with a community of fellow fashionistas. If you’re uncertain about an outfit, you can upload a picture to Pose and receive immediate feedback from other users. And if your closet is feeling tired, you can trade items with fellow Posers for an instant (and free) wardrobe update. One Poser’s trash could be another’s outfit treasure!

2. Brave the Elements

When the weather outside is frightful, DressCast has you covered by giving you advice on bundling up. The app displays outfit inspirations based on the weather—and fashion—forecast near you. DressCast offers multiple outfit suggestions each day, and its six-day forecast is a great packing resource for holiday travelers.

3. Find an Online Stylist

Services like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club take the guesswork out of outfit planning by sending you a variety of items hand-picked by a stylist. Each site (Trunk Club sends men’s clothing, and Stitch Fix, women’s) bases the boxes on your style preferences and event needs. Both services allow you to pay only for the clothes you want, and you can send the rest back.

4. Send Someone Else Shopping for You

Good news for New York City-area procrastinators: For a fee based on the total cost of your shopping, Suddenlee.com offers next-day delivery from several hundred NYC (primarily clothing) stores. They’ll even hit sample sales for you. If you have your eye on an outfit but can’t face the holiday crowds, let Suddenlee be your fashion gopher.

5. Get Dressed With an Algorithm

Since holiday parties only come around once a year, there’s no room for error. Stylit (currently in Beta) aims to get styling down to a science. Using their “algo-fashion styling machine,” Stylit will use your responses to their personal style questionnaire to find you outfits on the web. They’ll send you shoppable outfit ideas (each with a title like “Turn Heads” for a flirty dress-and-sweater combination or “Chilly Days” for a casual, cozy look) every Thursday. The more outfits you rate, the more accurately the algorithm will find you the perfect holiday look.

6. Make the Most of Your Current Wardrobe

Glitter and sequins are the hallmarks of holiday dresses, but it can be difficult to find festive attire that fits in with your existing wardrobe. The community of stylists on the Polyvore app gives you tips on how to incorporate new pieces with your current favorites. The app learns your preferences based on products you like and curates an online store just for you.

7. Spend a Magical Night With an Outfit

If you can’t stand the idea of shelling out for a dress you might only wear once, Rent the Runway is a great way to save money and closet space while still looking fabulous. RTR allows you to search their vast collection of designer clothing (helpfully organized by event and dress code), rent a piece for four or eight days, and send it back, no cleaning required. And in case your holiday social calendar is extra-packed, RTR has just rolled out an unlimited accessories option (currently in Beta) that allows you to queue handbags, jackets, and jewelry for instant sparkle.

8. Get Inspired

Sometimes, all you need to create a perfect holiday look is a little inspiration. Chicfeed collects photos from the most popular style blogs (including The Sartorialist, altamira, and Chictopia) for easy viewing on the app.

9. Assemble Outfits on Your Phone

If you already have the pieces to make all your holiday outfits, Stylebook allows you to create a pocket-sized version of your entire closet. You can upload pictures of every article of clothing you own and lay out potential outfits easily. For anyone who ever dreamed about a virtual closet, Stylebook is the app for you.

10. Enlist the Experts

If you have an idea of what you want to wear but need some specific guidance, PS Dept. makes it easy to call in the experts. The app gives you access to personal shoppers from dozens of retailers. Just tell them what you’re looking for (from “I need a cocktail dress for an office party” to “Do you have any warm coats for formal occasions?”), and their experts will get back to you quickly with options and advice. Like what they suggest? PS Dept. allows you to purchase pieces directly through the app.

11. Nab the Perfect Outfit in a Flash

You may already be familiar with Gilt Group, the site that offers major discounts on clothing, accessories, and home products via flash sales, but the Gilt app makes it even easier to mine the sales for perfect additions to your holiday outfit. The app gives you real-time reminders for deals, so you’ll never miss another bargain.

Once you’ve found the perfect outfit, Intel® RealSense™ technologies will ensure you always look good—be it in a perfectly focused photo thanks to snapshot or an immersive video chat via 3D camera. Learn more here: intel.com.

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9 Surprising Benefits of Having a More Intuitive Interface With Your Computer
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While the keyboard and mouse have been computer users’ loyal sidekicks for decades, technological innovations mean that interacting with your computer is becoming more like interacting with anyone else. Having a device that responds to your hand gestures and facial expressions—thanks to technology innovation coming soon from Intel—has amazingly wide-ranging benefits.

1. It’s Easier to Work in Three Dimensions

When it comes to digital building and sculpting, gesture controls allow users to plan three-dimensional projects using three-dimensional movements in space. Since these gestures are more intuitive than moving a mouse, it’s easier for your device to predict your intent, which leads to more accurate, natural interactions.

2. It’s Easier to Play in Three Dimensions, Too

Gesture controls will revolutionize the way games are played. Instead of pressing buttons representing movements, players will simply perform those movements themselves, creating a more fully immersive experience. Look around virtual obstacles or swat at a digitized pinball, all while having your actions reflected on-screen.

3. These Controls Will Burn Calories

These gaming developments will add a welcome physical component to otherwise stationary PC gaming experiences, which will give our sedentary lives a nice boost. And, with the technology built right in to your laptop, you’ll be able to take these energy-boosting side effects to work with you. Freed from your keyboard and mouse, you’ll be better able to transition to a standing desk, which has proven health benefits. Compared to sitting, standing burns more calories, improves posture, tones muscles, increases metabolism, and increases blood flow.

4. It Will Make Our Wrists Feel Healthier

Not using a mouse is good for your health in other ways, too. As more people spend most of their days sitting and clicking around, this repetitive motion and static wrist position can easily result in tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Being able to control your PC with your gestures will reduce this strain. Cooler still, you can even remove your hands from the equation entirely—the game Cloak and Badger uses the emotion-tracking capabilities of Intel® RealSense™ technology to allow gamers to control the action with nothing more than their facial expressions.

5. It Will Be Easy on the Eyes

One more health consideration: eye strain. While you could rig your computer setup so that you can use a mouse while still maintaining the proper distance from the screen, it will be much easier to lean back and take your gesture-controlling hands with you.

6. It Will Make Making a Mess More Fun

Because gesture controls don’t require users to touch their computers’ delicate hardware, this technology will be great to use during messy projects. Whether you’re painting based on a photo or cooking from a recipe, hand movements will allow you to interact with your computer without cleaning up first.

7. It Will Make Security Easier and More Secure

Facial recognition software allows for the implementation of new types of biometric passwords, which in turn relieve users from having to remember pass codes of constantly increasing complexity.

8. It Will Let Kids Get a Head Start on Learning

More intuitive interfaces are naturally easier to learn, which will make educational computer usage possible for kids at a much younger age and allow them to focus on the material rather than the delivery system. This benefit isn’t just for kids—it can also help anyone who hasn’t quite gotten the hang of using the standard mouse-and-keyboard interface.

9. It Will Give People Renewed Voices

Facial recognition technology can be so finely tuned that it will allow disabled and paralyzed users to continue to communicate using only expressions and minor facial movements. The intuitiveness of this control not only makes computing easier, but also allows for continued interpersonal interaction that might be otherwise cut off.

Intel® RealSense™ technology enables front-facing 3D cameras to simulate human eyes to add a whole new dimension to your computing experience. Learn more here.

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11 Innovative Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions
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If you want to make 2015 the year your resolutions finally stick, you won’t have to tackle them on your own. Whatever you’re trying to make happen in the New Year, you can get a leg up with some help from technology.

1. Stop Smoking for Good

Quitting smoking is one of the best resolutions anyone can make, but it’s also one of the most difficult to stick to. Enter the Livestrong MyQuit Coach, which helps you create a personal quitting plan whether you prefer to quit cold turkey or reduce your nicotine intake gradually. You can set goals, track your cravings, and even share your progress with your friends on social media for extra support.

2. Find the Right Volunteering Opportunity

The New Year is a great opportunity to make service a priority, and the GiveGab app makes it easier than ever. GiveGab allows you to connect with fellow volunteers and helps you to find opportunities in your area. Connecting with others can keep you motivated and accountable, both of which are key for sticking with your resolutions.

3. Eat Healthier at Home

Whether your resolution is weight loss or mindful eating, Blue Apron can give you the tools to create healthy meals at home. For $60 a week, they’ll send you three recipes (and all the ingredients you need to cook them) for two-person dinners, each containing 700 calories or fewer. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of a home-cooked meal without all the guesswork.

4. Get Serious About Losing Weight

For those whose resolution is serious weight loss, there’s Rise, an app that connects users with their own personal nutritionists. For $10 a week—far less than a traditional nutritionist—you’ll work with a diet coach to create a personalized plan. You can track your meals by sending pictures and descriptions to your coach, who will give you feedback and suggest adjustments as necessary.

5. Stop Wasting Time Online

The Internet is a beautiful thing, but as anyone who’s ever gone down a Wikipedia wormhole while attempting to get work done knows, it can be a major distraction as well. If you have resolved to waste fewer hours procrastinating on the Internet, there’s the Freedom app. For $10, Freedom will block the Internet on your computer for whatever length of time you select.

6. Spend More Quality Time With Friends

Sometimes the resolutions that sound the most pleasurable can be the most difficult to implement. Spending more time with friends and family often takes a backseat to the realities of overbooked schedules. While Doodle, a service that promises to “radically simplify the process of scheduling,” can’t grant you free time, it can seriously reduce the amount of time spent wrestling with calendars. So if you want to make dinner with friends a priority, Doodle uses participants’ reported availability to determine a day and time that works best for everyone.

7. Get Your Finances in Order

The New Year is a great time to get serious about your finances, particularly for those with significant debt. The Pay Off Debt app uses the Snowball Method—paying off smaller debts in full before proceeding to larger ones—and allows you to track past payments, calculate time left in your repayment, and set reminders. For extra motivation, the app will display your progress on a bar graph so you can watch your debt shrink.

8. Put Your Brain to Work

If you’ve resolved to read more, Scribd can make finding books much easier. For $8.99 a month, Scribd gives you unlimited access to its digital library of over 500,000 titles. You’ll never be at a loss for a book that interests you.

9. Organize Your Life

Getting organized is a frequently made (and broken) resolution. Evernote can help make the prospect less daunting. As a virtual workspace platform, Evernote allows you to take notes, clip online articles, and upload photos of physical papers. You can even search for terms in handwritten notes. At the very least, Evernote will help you rid your home of some paper clutter.

10. Live a Greener Life

Going green is a great resolution for your health as well as the environment, but it can be tough to know where to start. With GoodGuide, it’s easy to put your money where your resolution is. Scan the barcode of a product and GoodGuide will tell you its environmental, social, and health impacts.

11. Get in Shape

Being more active and getting healthier go hand-in-hand, and both are resolutions that Basis Peak can help you achieve. The watch-like device tracks your steps, activity, and sleep patterns, and it can even analyze your sweat. Knowledge is power!

This year, you’ll be able to spend more time focusing on your resolutions and less time focusing your camera. Intel® RealSense™ snapshot will let you refocus photos after the fact, proving that hindsight really is 20/20. Learn more here: intel.com.

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