Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas

Next  in our list of The Top Ten gifts for Tech Heads this Christmas is something not necessarily associated with a Techie but things still need to get done around the house and men will always be men!

Does the Techie in your life think he can fix things just as well as programme on a computer but really can’t why not give him a present that will really help with the D.I.Y issues around the house?

# 7  The Power8 Workshop

This Gadget for a D.I.Yer is what apps are to the iphone; 1 completely compliments the other. This gadget will offer all the tools needed to perform simple DIY tasks around the house and some other tools to help jobs of a slightly more advanced level these tools he may not understand and won’t admit but the true Techie relishes in discovering new things and mastering them!

This Gadget has an amazing arsenal and a pretty amazing price tag to match with the following tools included:power8workshop72-450

  • 5-½” circular saw, a jigsaw,
  • Variable speed 3/8″ drill/driver,
  • Flashlight.
  • Assortment of drill bits,
  • Driver bits
  • Jigsaw blades
  • Soft tool bag

Some of these top brand items alone cost more than the entire toolbox but together but don’t be suspicious of the low price tag the toolbox was featured in Channel 4’s Gadget man and received high reviews from professionals in the construction industry.

These tools are perfect for D.I.Y and the box itself has many features, like a transformer this box morphs into a variety of useful positions, a table saw, scroll saw, or drill press the features of this gadget will without doubt help to do a better job than previously.


This is without doubt a must have for anybody to have in their shed and it will give the confidence to attack those d.i.Y jobs around the house, if you don’t have you T.V mounted to the wall yet expect them all to be; come mid-January.

Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas

The next chapter in our Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas is something of a musical delight for the ears. Listen for endless hours to your favorate music in style.

#8 Beats by Dr Dre.

Let’s face it if you haven’t seen headphones this year where have you been? Headphones are definitely highly trending at the moment and make a perfect gift for anybody, I can’t see anyone not being happy with this present it’s not just a gift for somebody but it’s also a sneaky gift for yourself. By a partner using these you give yourself the peace and quiet you deserve while the techie in your life is busy working away on their laptop headphones will allow you to sit and watch the T.V in peace, even if you have completely different tastes in music you won’t have to suffer any more!!


And yes they really do make the difference! It can’t be explained in written word but the listening experience really is like something you’ve never heard before, no more tinny sound! The newest headphones really give you the full force of base and treble that will amaze you and help understand the price tag on some of the headphones out there. The saying is never so true “you get what you pay for!”

The most popular and recognisable Brand of headphones out there are by far “Beats by Dre” if you don’t know Dr Dre is a Rapper turned Producer turned Entrepreneur with a career spanning over 30 years and has definitely done his homework as the revenue from the headphones has seen him reach this year’s Forbes richest list.


To go into the technical part of these headphones is not really what you want to hear because basically who really knows about “dual-mode noise-cancelling circuits” or “V-Moda Crossfade M-100”?  So we will talk about the user design features and accessories that come with the headphones themselves.

The design of the Headphones is sleek and very basic but look extremely good, the branding has become a fashion icon in its own right and people want to be seen wearing these as a street accessory, they are wireless and come with a USB charging kit.

Its features include Bass, Treble, and Mid-tones adjustment, they are lightweight and the ear pads are “super comfortable”, they have  a lithium battery has a life of up to 20 hours.

These are not the cheapest headphones out there but are the most popular and at a R.R.P price tag of €199 can be found at outlets such as Harvey Normans and P.C world, The Beats by Dre Headphones are a great Christmas Present for anyone. Other alternatives can be found out there, a lot from rap stars seem to be appearing.

Are these the Hard mans version of celebrity products flying onto the shelves this Christmas?  Beats-by-Dre-Studio-2013-side-angle

Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas

In our second blog of our Top 10 Gadgets for the Tech Head this xmas Granite Digital will review gadgets to hopefully give you some ideas for what to buy this Christmas for the techie in your life

#9 The Tom Tom Runner

The Tom Tom runner is a new GPS sports watch for runners or anyone who wants to get into fitness in the new year, After putting on a few Christmas pounds we all feel the need to change and set our new year’s resolutions to get into better shape and what better way the to start yourself off with jogging or running.

The Tom Tom GPS watch is ideal for the professional down to the amateur runner with its numerous features to train track and set goals for yourself and it is the features of the gadget that really sells itself.


Features include an accelerometer and sensors to work outdoors or on the treadmill, view distance, pace, average pace, stride length, personal music selection, calories burned, and lap times all in real time and it has Bluetooth to sync with addition accessories such as a heart rate monitor.

But it really comes into its own when these features are explored and set correctly the watch almost becomes your personal trainer supplying feedback throughout your run.

You can set yourself goals such as Distance over  Time or calories burned and the Tom Tom will notify you via beep or vibrate not just at the end of your run but during at certain intervals, and a handy final percentage notification to give you that final push to reach your goal.

It has a great lap monitor counting distance and time taken to complete each lap and a Zone feature that can track your pace warning you whether you are dropping off the pace or exerting yourself too early.

But probably its best feature is the Ghost Race. This allows you to compare yourself with a previous run tracking your progress or lack off! And you can choose to give the ghost a head start to set yourself a greater challenge.

The Tom Tom Runner also has a great user interaction feature with its Online website were a user can upload data via a “My Sports” web tool, which provides support and has export features to keep and build your own personal training plan.TomTom-Runner-

Many similar items have been known to have GPS problems but the Tom Tom Runner incorporates the same technology it uses for its satnavs, and moving will improve signal connection.

And finally let’s not forget the Tom Tom Runner is a watch1 and has all the usual watch functionalities including and alarm to get you up for those early morning runs!!

The Tom Tom Runner is available in Pink and Grey and at a R.R.P of €122.00 and is Number 9 of Granite Digitals Christmas Gift Ideas For the techie in your life.

watch the video here

Snapchat a new marketing tool?

As stats begin to show Snapchat is fast becoming the new facebook for younger users, Over 350 million images have been sent over Snapchat and it is growing fast! Today’s youth have realised the publicity issues that arise on facebook whether it be images permanently staying online, Parents, Employees, and friends of the family seeing their antics, They are now  beginning  migrating to Snapchat.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a new service that allows the user to capture an image and send to their friends and followers. So what makes this different from any other photo sharing platform? Snapchat has a time limit on every image up to 10 seconds making this app a fast and fun service to capture a moment. Receivers have an option to screenshot this image if they wanted to keep it, share it, or show it to somebody else making that image ever more a bit special while other images are discarded. There is also a story option in Snapchat which images can last for 24hours and can create a narrative of the day or a promotion.

This now offers a new platform in Digital marketing in Ireland and a Dublin Night Club has taken advantage of this opportunity by issuing Invites to a club night. The idea consisted of Snapchatting an invite to their targeted audience and asking people to screen shot the invite to produce on the door of the nightclub.


This fast promotion generated hundreds of numbers to be added to their Snapchat account and generated a high success rate. How can you market on Snapchat?  Buy building a following on Snapchat a user can create a marketing opportunity by Snapchatting a promotion, a lunch time special or a weekend Discount offer for Snapchatted screen shots.

Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Xmas

Are you stuck for ideas for finding that perfect Christmas present for the technology lover and gadget obsessed friend in your life? Well over the next 3 weeks Granite Digital will review the Top 10 Gadgets around, possibly giving you some ideas of what to get for the Techie person in your life.
We will release several blogs a week in the run up to Christmas.

No# 10 Skylight Panels
Not just for the Tech heads but for everyone working in the office and desperately trying to bring a bit of the outside into the office. In around our office we all have little reminders to break up the monotony of the office. We have special screen savers to take us away from the fact that we stare at a computer all day, screen savers featuring a sunny beach, cloudy mountain tops or gently breezing meadows. We surround our desk area with photos of our families and friends, little toys and nik-naks all to create our own environment within the office. Now you can go a step further! Lean back, look at your space.
Its small and you soon are back in the room once again, past your own screen saver. Now look up, what do you see? The dull fluorescent light, the plain square ceiling panels and that constant hum of the air-con, but wait! A new gadget called Skylight Panels will help change that, help to immerse you in a 3 dimensional world that transports you to that exotic Caribbean beach your screen saver always promises you and it can be found on Amazon for the average price of around €30. If you were interested and you can actually convince your boss to allow you to start changing panels in the ceiling, then we would recommend you seek a professional for help with the installation of this item. It will help to prevent your world from crashing down around you!

Work in Style

Work in Style

And the Skylight Panels are just some of the latest gadgets that could make your Christmas wishlist. Join us during the oncoming weeks where Granite Digital will be looking at a variety of items including a USB/WiFi Pen(a great productivity tool that uploads everything writen onto word documents) as well as the latest Smartphones and accessories. We will also take a look into some of the top selling Apps for Android and IOS.

Granite Digital has just launched a new, fully responsive website for IT Tallaght.

Granite Digital, one of Ireland’s leading website and online software development companies has just launched a new, fully responsive website for IT Tallaght, a first for any Higher Education Institution in Ireland. Using responsive design technology, this investment in a leading user-experience improvement for the website recognises the huge shift in website access platforms from traditional PCs & laptops to tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

What is responsive design?

It’s a method of designing and developing a website with a fluid layout so that images and other elements of the site adapt or ‘respond’ to the screen on which the website is being viewed.

What are the advantages?

One of the main advantages of this method is that a site built using responsive design offers an incredibly high quality user experience. Traditional websites, which are not optimised for mobile devices, often display content that is difficult to navigate or too small to read. We have all had the experience of squinting on our smartphone to try and read that tiny phone number or email address and scrolling endlessly up, down, left and right

With the huge increase in people browsing on mobile devices, the implementation of these new features will allow visitors to have a far better user experience with quicker and more intuitive access to content on the go.

The website is now clever enough to ”respond’ to the device and show website sections which are more relevant to the user.

John Hannigan commented; “Together with our web partners Granite Digital we have implemented a fully responsive version of our website optimised for mobile devices such as the iPad, iPhone and most other smartphone and tablet devices. We are delighted with the results and are very excited that we now serve our audience better. Our web analytics is already showing significant improvements in usage patterns from our increasing mobile and tablet audience.”

Robert Carpenter of Granite Digital commented; “From our first conversations with ITT Dublin it was agreed that we needed to implement significant change to serve a huge change in how users access and navigate the ITT Dublin website. It was essential that we prioritised their mobile audience and give users access to content on the go and quickly. There is so much talk and confusion for website owners about needing a mobile version of your website. We get calls every week from business owners saying they need an app to take care of the huge increase in iPhones and iPads. This is not true and bugs me a little at how easily people can get caught up in the hype around ‘mobile apps’ They invest in the wrong solution for their digital presence. You don’t need to develop a web version, a mobile version and a tablet version separately. This would be a huge admin headache as well as involve high running costs. You need your website to respond to your audience. With one website responding to the device there is no extra admin time for your Webmaster. All website updates are done once centrally within the CMS (Content Management System). This is essential for ITT Dublin and any serious website owner. This phase is now delivered and we look forward to implementing even more improvements in 2013 – watch this space! ”

ITT Dublin Web analytics are already showing significant improvements in usage patterns from their increasing mobile audience and the results are very exciting.

To the best of our knowledge, they are the first HEI to release a fully responsive design to their website and are already looking forward to exciting new improvements planned for 2013.

Granite Digital Chairman Speaks at Cork Marketing Breakfast

It was no great surprise when our own Chairman here at Granite Digital

Alf Smiddy, was invited to speak at the Cork Marketing Breakfast on Tuesday the 21st of February 2012. Aside from his work at Granite Digital, Alf has plenty of other impressive business experience and knowledge to his name.

Alf was the former Chairman and Managing Director of Beamish & Crawford Plc for many years as well as the director of a number of companies across a range of sectors including Financial Services, Technology, Research, Tourism & Hospitality, and Agriculture & Food. Alf is a Fellow of the Marketing Institute, and is also a Chartered Accountant with a Masters in Executive Leadership.

At the presentation, Alf discussed Marketing Management, Branding and the importance of leadership in Marketing. Thanks to his former Chairman position at Beamish and Crawford and other expertise relevant to the industry, Alf was able to speak at length about some of his experiences during the development and introduction of many beer brands. He also discussed the Leadership in the Marketing function as well as his stance on results and executive decisions from a marketing point of view.

Throughout his career Alf worked for and alongside Marketing Directors of Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, The Miller Brewing Company, the Fosters Brewing Group, et al, all of whom became part of the International Beer Business.

Joining forces with Digital Crew

Cork’s top IT companies join forces following International success

Leading Cork IT companies Digital Crew and Granite Consulting have joined forces following close collaboration and the international success of the project management software, TeamworkPM developed by the software development team at Digital Crew.

Digital Crew have signed a takeover agreement with Cork firm Granite Consulting who will take over the running of the web development side of the business following close collaboration between both companies over the last two years. Under the Agreement, Digital Crew will focus on its highly successful TeamworkPM business which has rapidly expanded over recent years while Granite Consulting will take over responsibility for all website development with the core website development team at Digital Crew joining the Granite Consulting business.

Continue reading

Irish Heritage Trust announces dynamic new partnership with Promethean

We were delighted to attend the launch of of an exciting new partnership between the Irish Heritage Trust and Promethean today at Fota House. This will add new interactive learning technologies to the now 1 year old Fota Learning Zone which has been a huge success for Fota House at the team at The Irish Heritage Trust.

We were delighted to be asked to attend by our friends Jennifer and Kevin at the Trust and celebrate the great work they have carried at out at this wonderful Irish Historic Attraction in our hometown of Cork.
The speeches by Minister Jimmy Deenihan and especially Lord Puttnam were enjoyable and very thought provoking.

Below is the official Press Release released for this event.

Lord David Puttnam, a champion of digital education in the UK & Ireland, will be keynote speaker at Fota House. Wednesday, 24th August at 10am

Fota House, Co. Cork, August 2011: The Irish Heritage Trust is mark the first anniversary of Fota Learning Zone with the announcement of a dynamic new partnership with Promethean, a global leader in interactive learning technology. The Irish Heritage Trust will celebrate the anniversary of Fota Learning Zone during Heritage Week 2011 (August 20th-27th), with the launch of three new learning modules which tie in with the curriculum. One of these, ‘Politics or Parlour Maids’, will encourage students to analyse and decide which historical source tells us more about life in a big house: social or political. Lord David Puttnam, a champion of digital education in the UK and Ireland, will be keynote speaker on the day and the new learning module will be officially launched by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Under the partnership, Promethean has worked with the Irish Heritage Trust to develop educational resources to increase the interactive elements of the new modules. Promethean has created tailor made classroom materials such as downloadable lesson plans, as well as access to online workshops through Promethean Planet, the world’s leading interactive teacher’s resource site with over one million members. The Fota Learning zone will benefit from having a partner site on Promethean Planet to hold these resources, allowing students and teachers to access learning materials after their visit in the classroom and at home, and enabling Fota Learning Zone to enhance its visibility to Promethean Planet’s online community.

Promethean has also donated ActivExpression Learner Response Systems, handheld devices which enable students to work remotely and answer questions while on the go. These will enable students to learn interactively throughout the different rooms of Fota House.

Fota Learning Zone is a free digital resource for teachers and students based on Fota House & Gardens in Cork ( Funded with the aid of a grant of €28,000 from The Heritage Council in 2010, it is multidisciplinary in approach and has been designed to appeal to teachers and students of Transition Year and Leaving Certificate History, History & Appreciation of Art and English.

Jennifer McCrea, Learning & Access Officer with the Irish Heritage Trust, explains its appeal: “Teachers and students can enhance classroom-based learning by collecting and analysing on-site evidence via self-directed learning and project work. It enables students to learn in context in an historic house and helps them to understand abstract concepts on the curriculum. For example, Leaving Certificate students of English require a good understanding of the concept of cultural context and social setting. One way of comprehending this is to experience the living conditions and social rituals of landlords and servants first hand at Fota House. The Irish Heritage Trust has pioneered this unique method of engaging teenagers with heritage in a way that is real, rich and relevant.”

Ian Curtis, Head of Northern Europe at Promethean, said: “We were delighted to be contacted by the Irish Heritage Trust and asked to support Fota Learning Zone. Promethean Planet has grown to over one million members including over 14,000 in Ireland and our ActivInspire software has allowed the Irish Heritage Trust to create more interactive content and reach a wider audience. Having collaboratively built three modules which tie in with the Irish curriculum, more people can learn about Fota House and its heritage through the learning zone”.

“The ActivExpression devices Promethean has donated will enrich and enhance learning for students who visit Fota House. It will enable them to learn as they are walking around and ensure each student is able to take part in interactive learning.”

For further press information, contact: Evelyn Byrne, Irish Heritage Trust,

Promethean Press enquiries: Katie Eborall, Grayling PR (UK),

Congratulations to Granite client Skeaghanore Duck

We are delighted to congratulate our clients, Eugene and Helena Hickey of Skeaghanore Duck, on being chosen to have their products chosen for inclusion in “The Royal Hamper”.

On her visit to the English Market in the centre of Cork City today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will be presented with a commemorative hamper. The hamper will be made up of iconic food produce collected from the market traders and will include West Cork Duck from our friends at Skeaghanore Duck near Ballydehob.

Conor spoke to Helena recently and she was deeply honoured that their Duck was chosen to be included in the hamper. The visit to Cork is a great opportunity to showcase the unique culture and products available in County Cork and at Granite we are delighted to offer our congratulations to Helena and Eugene.