Best Wearable For Sleep?

What is the best wearable for sleep?  As a pilot, sleep is a critical element in my life.  The FAA has an entire program dedicated to safety and fatigue.  One of the funniest things is that the FAA and the NTSB recognize the that sleep isn’t “normal”.

When we started the search for the best wearable for sleep, we looked at the Jawbone Up, the Fit bit, the Samsung Gear and the Apple watch.  After Apple bought the company that found Beddit, we were hopeful that the Apple watch might actually be the all in one solution.

Besides the Beddit App, there is Pillow, Smart Alarm and at least a dozen other apps for the Apple Watch.  But do any of them make the Apple Watch the best wearable for sleep.   Quite frankly the answer is no.

The “experts” tell us the going to bed at the same time every night is important to good sleep. I don’t know who those experts are but our bodies are just a hair off of the standard sunrise sunset cycle.  Some people can be more than an hour off every day.

The military and the airlines use this to their advantage.  Knowing that a crew flying west can stay up an extra hour due to our circadian response to the sun, smart airlines run crews on long days going west and short days going east.

Sleep is also a very individual thing.  If you have a big presentation, you will find it very hard to go to bed at your “normal” time.  One company figured it out.  Jawbone.  I don’t have any idea why they failed, but I am very sad that none of my Jawbone Up wrist bands still work.  Not a one.

The Jawbone would let you go to sleep when you were ready, not some arbitrary time when the clock said do.  Better yet you could tell your Jawbone wearable what time you needed to be up.  The thing somehow knew your sleep cycles and woke you up from a light sleep 10-45 minutes before the time you told it.

This may not sound like much bit I can tell you that I had the best sleep ever once i learned to trust my Jawbone Up wearable band.  The Apple Watch doesn’t even come close.  It needs the phone to be nearby and in some cases the phone needs to be in or on the bed with you.  Ah, romance at its’ finest.

The beddit app even has another device you can put in bed with you.  What I don’t understand is why?  Jawbone had perfect technology that worked perfectly and suddenly no one can do it?

Wearables come down to a simple cost benefit.  For me and many of my pilot buddies, the jawbone was a game changer.  It had by far the best sleep management of any of the wearables we tested.

Fitbit has hinted they will have something similar, very soon.  Sadly they have been making that same promise for more than two years.  Apple with the beddit app is a big miss as far as I am concerned.

I hope that whoever gets the tech from Jawbone quickly creates an Apple Watch app.  I’ll pay $20 for that.

Until then, good luck getting any real sleep.

Low Budget Video Gear Failure – Our Canon 70D Won’t Turn On.

Shooting quality videos with low budget video gear is getting easier every day. When KuhlToys Started out all we had was a Canon handicam and a Rode microphone for the iPhone 4. That first episode has over 100,000 views so it can’t be that bad can it?

These days we have upped the game.  That little Canon Handicam is still in inventory but doesn’t come out much.  That said we are still shooting with pretty low budget video gear.

Most episodes are shot on a Canon SL2, and a Canon 70D.  We bought the SL2 as a backup and found that it has the better face tracking of the 80D so it moved up to the Camera 1 slot.

Canon 70D KuhlToys
Canon 70D – The Dead Soldier

Today while setting up to shoot B roll with the 70D about 400 miles from our studio, the 70D wouldn’t wake up.  It turns out that the 70D has a shirt history of failures when being used for video shooting.  Several forums say that the 70D overheats when shooting video and eventually a small capacitor on the main board pops and you are done.

Having a 70D freeze or quit while you are shooting is one thing.  This one finished the last shot and just wouldn’t fire up this morning.  Much like a dead battery.  That thought lead us to find a video showing this little tiny switch inside the battery door.  It didn’t help but it was worth a shot.

Thankfully our main studio is very close to a Canon center so we can save the $45 shipping fee and drop it off for repair.  Anyone want a deal on a “repaired” 70D body.  Knowing it isn’t good for long video shoots means it might have to go.  It has been a great camera too.

Stay tuned and we’ll tell you if there is something stupid we did when it comes back from Canon.


Behind The Scenes at KühlToys Studio 1

Have you wondered what it really takes to make videos that people watch?  Well if you watched the very first episode of KühlToys, there really wasn’t much to it and that video quickly hit 50,000 views on YouTube with no advertising money spent at all.

There are a lot of factors when it comes to making a great video, but none of them has to be expensive.  We use a lot of gear now, and there are days we go back to just a camera and a microphone.  Sadly we still haven’t heard a built in microphone or camera top microphone that we thought was good enough.  The sound always killed the video that way.

We made this video for clients of the Bourquin Group, our parent company to help them make their own videos if they want to.  Smaller businesses starting out just don’t have the budget to pay for a production company to create videos like we do, so we wanted to share how little is really required to get a good quality video online for your business.

Soon we will have a complete module in our business owners academy program, but for now, here is a peek behind the curtain.

For now here is all the gear you need to get started in your office or even your garage, the same way we did almost 10 years ago! Check out our first KuhlToys blog at

KühlToys Behind the Scenes I from Kühl Toys on Vimeo.



In The Search for Kühl Toys, Sometimes You Hit the Jackpot and Sometimes….

The Search for Kühl Toys is a long and dusty trail.  When the road is paved and clear, Kühl Toys just don’t exist.  At least most of the time.  We have stumbled upon the new Mercedes SLS being road tested and found a few things you might see next season.

But every once in a while you see what should be a Kühl Toy only to find that… Well, it isn’t.BMW who knows what spy shot copyright 2017 Kelly Bourquin

That happened to us yesterday.  While on the road in search of a new Kühl Toy we spotted the very distinctive kidney grill of a BMW with a camo cover over the BMW logo.  Look at this picture and you tell me how well they hid this turd.  From the way the car was parked and our vantage point, we couldn’t see what it was so we rushed over to check it out.  It was like a kid thinking he saw the ice cream man was around the corner only to find it was the dog catcher.

Sadly we found that BMW was testing what looked like a bad image of a Mercedes B-Class.  Why would BMW copy the ugliest Benz?  As an electric car the boxy B-Class isn’t a bad looking car, but it isn’t a good looking car and it clearly isn’t a Kühl Toy.  Sitting right next to a supercool Mini Countryman S, the new BMW is just downright odd.

Keep in mind that we think the BMW 3 series wagon or “estate” as the brits call them is one of the coolest grocery getters out there.  It holds ski’s, surfboards and your dog.  The thing we saw, not likely.
You tell us what you think, but this is a car we aren’t even going to accept for testing at Kühl Mini Cooper Rear View 2018 Spy Shot Kelly BourquinToys, even if it’s free.  Maybe we would let an intern use it to get us coffee, but not with the KühlToys logo on it that is for sure.  That mini countryman, we’d like to play with.  Drop it, tint it, surfboard rack it, and you might just have a cool toy er Kühl Toy.