STM announces Dux rugged cases for iPad, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
STM Bags has announced the release of its new Dux case for iPad, along with versions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Described as offering "rugged" protection from drops and general wear and tear, the Dux case consists of a rubberized bracket and polycarbonate exterior. Its clear back allows for customizing the appearance of the device, or letting the back of the iPhone or iPad remain visible. The Dux for iPad (priced at $50) features sizes designed for iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 2 through 4, iPad mini, as well as mini 2 and 3, and is available in blue, red, and black. Dux for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (priced at $30) are available in black and red.
New mic comes with connectors for nearly every digital application
Music hardware and software developer IK Multimedia today announced the iRig Mic Studio, its ultra-portable large-diaphragm digital condenser microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Android. The iRig Mic Studio packs a one-inch diameter condenser capsule into an ultra-compact enclosure that can be used to make professional recordings anywhere.
Contextual note-taking app integrates audio, video, and images with manual notes
Back in October, we took a look at AudioNote, a document creation tool from Luminant Software designed to synchronize notes and audio. An additional contribution to the note-taking category that Luminant offers is Note Studio, which builds upon Audionote's strengths by adding video, web, PDF, and subject-organization capabilities. Most people have at least some grievances attached to the task of note-taking, and this software aims to simplify the ordeal by integrating source material (audio, video, etc.) within the note making process, and the final result. Priced at $20 -- four times the present cost of Audionote -- is Note Studio worth shelling out more for the extra features?
Range increased in Seek XR thermal camera to 2,000 feet
Seek Thermal has introduced an updated version of its existing thermal camera for smartphones. The Seek XR keeps the majority of the functions of the original camera, launched last year, but has been given a new lens system that allows for the camera to see objects from twice as far away, as well as being able to focus on objects as close as 8 inches from the lens.
Catalyst announces new waterproof case for iPhone 6
Waterproof accessories brand, Catalyst, has announced the release of its new iPhone 6 case. Measuring at 11.4mm thick, each case is waterproof up to a depth of five meters (16.4 feet), and is designed to meet or exceed Military Standard 810G for drops and shocks up to 6.6 feet. Both the touchscreen and Touch ID of the iPhone can be utilized while using the new Catalyst case, and its hard-coated optical lens allows for underwater camera usage.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for January 16, 2015
[Updated with more great deals!] The second full week of 2015 is almost over, and so it's time for the Friday Deals post, where we find great offers on hardware, gadgets, and software for you, the ever-discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, the prices are correct at the time of writing, but the offer may change at a later time, so check before purchasing. Also, remember to come back over the weekend, as we will be adding more deals for you to enjoy.
Entered into 'definitive agreements to provide additional near-term liquidity'
Venerable tech retailer RadioShack released its fiscal Q3 numbers to the US Securities and Exchange Commission this month. The report includes information about what RadioShack describes as a "prolonged downturn in our business" and predictions about its liquidity if efforts to restructure its debt don't go through by February 2, the last day of Q4 for RadioShack's current fiscal year.
Portable MIDI keyboard with a twist
Thanks to software like GarageBand, creating personalized music has never been easier. The included bank of loops provides a great starting ground for putting together ideas -- however, this can only take a budding musician so far. In order to get the full potential out of any software with a large library of sound samples, some form of external input device is necessary. While options in this field vary greatly, the best place to start is usually with a basic MIDI keyboard. Keith McMillen Instruments' latest product, the K-Board, is a budget-friendly option that looks to introduce a number of features not generally found on keyboards. Is the device simple enough for anyone to use? We have spent the last couple of weeks banging away on the supposedly "unbreakable" keyboard to find out.
Ladies' wearable electronic fashion accessory light on functionality
This week, Viawear has launched pre-orders for a gold or rhodium-plated edition of the new Tyia "smart bracelet." The bracelet serves as a fitness tracker, with an RGB LED notification light embedded behind quartz and mother-of-pearl accent. As with fitness bands, the Tyia is marketing as letting users put away smartphones without missing an important call, text, or social-media notification -- and offers some basic fitness tracking compatible with Apple's HealthKit.
Visual trickery designed to catch attention, increase interest in iPads
A good magic trick, even in the 21st century, will still get people to stop and watch and try to figure out how it is done. Over the weekend, Apple retail stores around the US debuted a new window display showcasing the company's iPad line and Smart Cover accessory on a thin tabletop that features a line of the products, with the Smart Cover opening and closing itself to demonstrate the magnetic latch feature that wakes or sleeps the machine automatically.
Apple aims for wide adoption of platform-exclusive tech
New information has been revealed on the specifications Apple has in mind for its planned licensing of the female Lightning port for third-party accessories. Manufacturers have reportedly been briefed on details and objectives, which include spreading Lightning to as many different accessories as possible in place of micro-USB. Possibilities include not just things like docks and headphones, but battery cases, gamepads, and Bluetooth speakers.
Satechi announces its Premium Aluminum Monitor Stand product at CES
Accessories producer Satechi has announced the upcoming release of its new Premium Aluminum Monitor Stand product. Introduced this week at CES, the stand is designed to compliment the Mac Pro, iMac and Macbook's aesthetic, raising monitors to prevent eye and neck strain. Aside from providing height, the stand also features four USB 3.0 ports for connecting applicable devices, offering transfer rates of up to 5GB per second. Its aluminum alloy composition supports a range of devices weighing up to 200 pounds. Priced at $70, Satechi's new monitor stand will be available by the end of the month.
Gamevice aims to improve mobile gaming on the iPad
When Apple first announced it would be bringing game controller support to iOS 8, the news was met with much excitement. However, months started to pass and no one seemed to really be interested in creating a quality controller. Wikipad is hoping to change that with Gamevice, designed specifically for the iPad Air and iPad mini. We got a chance to get an early look at the upcoming iPad controller at a private suite during CES and went away with a very positive opinion.
HTC adds YouTube streaming to RE Camera for Android today, iOS later this quarter
HTC has added the ability to stream from its Re Camera to YouTube. An app update for the camera will enable the live streaming to the video service while it is paired to a smartphone, with users able to sign into their YouTube account from within the app to create public and private live streams. While Android users can download the update from today via Google Play, iOS users will have to wait until later this quarter to be able to stream from the action camera.
Lightning-to-USB offers reversible connectors at either end; standard not yet approved
While long-time accessory maker Griffin Technology had a few items to show off at this year's Consumer Electronics show, one of the most popular with onlookers there was one of its smallest -- a new Lightning-to-USB cable that featured a redesigned Type A plug that could be inserted in either orientation, just like Apple's Lightning connectors. The company says the new cable will be marketed as officially Made for iPhone (MFi) devices, but the new USB connector has not yet been certified as authorized.
Cogito watch will connect to Android, iOS devices while using a standard watch battery
Electronista quickly stopped by the Cogito booth at this year's Consumer Electronics Show to check out a smartwatch range that promises to deliver simple Bluetooth notifications while using only a standard button watch battery. The battery should last for months, Cogito promises, and when it does run out, users can simply throw it out and replace it rather than recharge it.
Sound profiles are automatically adjusted for each ear
AKG is attempting to revolutionize headphone technology with its new N90Q. The company has developed an active signal-processing system, known as TruNote, that automatically calibrates the frequency response to suit the listener's own ears. Electronista listened to the new headphones at CES to see if the technology is a gimmick, or the next big thing.
Virtual Reality immersion from Samsung
When it comes to augmented reality, there is no doubt that one of the biggest players in the field is Oculus. Its Rift headset was a huge Kickstarter success, pushing the VR headset market forward. Thankfully, Oculus hasn't tried to lock down its technology, and instead has teamed up with other companies in an attempt to push their vision forward. One of these partnerships led to the creation of the Samsung Gear VR, an augmented reality headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4. While the Gear VR has been available since early December, it has remained nearly impossible to actually find one for sale. Electronista navigated our way through Samsung's crowded booth at CES, and got a chance to sit down with the Gear VR.
Offers keyboard, extra battery life
Accessory maker Kensington has announced a new case for the iPad Air 2, the KeyFolio Thin X3 Plus. While including a Bluetooth keyboard, its most notable feature may actually be a built-in 4500mAh battery. Through USB, this lets users fully charge an iPhone two or three times, or an iPad up to 50 percent of a full charge. A free iOS app tracks how much battery power is left.
Tech requires no built-in batteries
Philips has announced a new set of Lightning headphones, the Fidelio NC1Ls. As with the company's previous Lightning hardware, the NC1Ls include their own 24-bit digital-to-analog converter. New to the product, though, is active noise cancellation -- based on inverting the input from four integrated microphones. Unlike most noise-cancelling headphones, the NC1Ls run on the power of the device they're connected to, eliminating the need for built-in or replaceable batteries (but also introducing additional battery drain on mobile devices).
McDonalds adds Qi wireless charging hotspots to 50 restaurants
McDonalds is bringing wireless charging to some of its restaurants in the United Kingdom. Working with Aircharge, a total of 600 Qi charging hotspots will be fitted in 50 stores, mostly in London, with the hotspots themselves said to be water-resistant units capable of surviving the occasional soft drink spillage. The expansion follows an initial test, and reports that customers waited for up to 30 minutes to use the chargers at one restaurant.
Consumer and commercial-grade technologies demonstrated at CES 2015
Yesterday at CES, ViewSonic released its newest line-up of products. On hand for demonstrations at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas are new 4K displays, "price-competitive" digital projectors, Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) solutions, and commercial-grade digital signage displays. Included in the announcements was a new 3,200-lumen projector; 27- and 28-inch 4K monitors; a curved 34-inch LED and 27-inch gaming monitor, and some large-format signage displays.
Ford revamps its oft-derided interface
Ford recently introduced Sync 3, an entirely new infotainment system that serves as a successor to the oft-derided MyFord Touch platform. Electronista stopped by the company's CES booth to try out the revamped interface in person, ahead of its official launch on new models later this year.
May suggest work underway for second-gen Apple Watches
Apple has hired three more executives, apparently with the aim of aiding Apple Watch development. One of these is Jacob Jordan, formerly the director of Louis Vuitton's ready-to-wear collection for men. Jordan quietly joined Apple in October, and is now said to be the company's director of Product Merchandising for the Special Projects team, which has been working on the Watch for years. Apple has picked up a number of people from the fashion industry in the run-up to the Watch's launch -- most notably, former Burberry CEO Dame Angela Ahrendts, who has taken over as Apple's latest retail head.
Retro cans add modern refinements
Sennheiser has upgraded its Momentum family of over- and on-ear headphones, adding modern features to the retro-style cans. Electronista had a chance to listen to both new wireless models at CES, putting their new noise-canceling capabilities to the test. We were generally impressed by the second-generation Momentum headphones, which are expected to command a slight premium over their wired counterparts, but read on for our specific thoughts on the latest changes.
Maker cautions that real experience will vary based on carrier and location
A company called Antenna79 has launched the Reach79, a case claimed to boost cellular signals for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The key is an embedded gold-plated antenna layer, allegedly CETECOM-tested to improve signal strength by an average of 1.6 times, peaking at twice normal levels. Antenna79 suggests this can result not only in better coverage, but faster downloads and improved battery life, since a phone doesn't have to struggle as much to find a connection.
Release date sometime this year
Otterbox-owned LifeProof has announced the fre Power, a battery case for the iPhone 6. The product supplies 2600mAh of power, said to double an iPhone's regular life. More significantly, however, the case safeguards against water, drops, and dust/snow, partly through its shell but also via a built-in screen protector. The case is said to be waterproof at depths of 2m (6.6 feet )for up to an hour, and LifeProof also claims that the case meets milspec standards for shock and impact, protecting against drops up to 6.6 feet. In addition, the ports can be sealed to prevent particles from getting in.
Stop the screen-stick with the Shortee Stylus
When a person thinks of a stylus, largely they all think of the same thing: a lightweight, short, stubby plastic tube with a rubberized tip. There generally isn't much difference between a $3 stylus and a $30 stylus for the most part, and their faults are many. They're too lightweight, they're not comfortable to hold, and their rubber tip sticks easily to the screen of tablets and smartphones. There is one contender, though, a stylus that we feel actually breaks the mold: Shortee, by Expert Shield.
Original manufacturing, design partner claims Beats mislead on contract severance
Electronics company Monster, known for its high-priced HDMI cables and car audio gear, has filed suit against now-Apple-owned Beats and its founders, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, as well as former Beats partner HTC, claiming that Beats and HTC misled the company when it bought back enough shares of itself through the HTC investment to sever its contract for headphone partnership with Monster. The lawsuit does not directly involve Apple, but does revolve around the possibility that Beats knew when it left Monster that it was going to be acquired.
Upgraded thermal imaging for mobile devices
FLIR has introduced a new thermal-imaging accessory for mobile devices, as reported earlier. The new FLIR One attaches via Apple's Lightning port or to an Android device's Micro USB port, rather than integrating the thermal camera into a custom iPhone 5 case. Electronista checked out the upgraded model at CES to see how it stacks up against its predecessor.
Five new cases providing extra power for iPhone 6
Otterbox and Incipio today announced new cases for the iPhone 6 with built-in batteries to boost up time. The new offerings, which join today's announcement of the Mophie's Juice Pack series are the Otterbox Resurgence and the four-model Incipio offGrid series.
Portable external storage and protective case models for adventurers
Storage accessory maker G-Technology has expanded its line of external storage devices today at CES with three new ruggedized drives and a new protective case. The new hard drives are outfitted with shock-proof cases to survive drops onto hard surfaces or into water. Prices range from $80–$230, depending on model and storage capacity, and offers options for either USB 3 or Thunderbolt connectivity. In addition, the company is selling its latest protective case separately, so that users can "ruggedize" existing G-Tech drives.
Sakar, Kodak preview new photo accessories at CES
Sakar International and Eastman Kodak today announced a variety of new mobile and DSLR photography accessories at CES in Las Vegas. The partnership has produced a new Smartphone Cradle, all-in-one HDMI Smartphone Cable, and Selfie Tripod with Remote Shutter Release, aimed at those who use their smartphone for the majority of their photo taking.
New version brings updated app, enhanced thermal core to product
Thermal imaging company FLIR Systems has announced the next generation of the FLIR One, now a small and lightweight thermal imaging attachment that is compatible with either iOS or Android devices, today at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. Once connected, the FLIR One transforms mobile devices into thermal imagers.
P90 first Lenovo smartphone to use Intel Atom processor
Lenovo has launched two smartphones at CES, devices which were previously rumored to make an appearance. The Lenovo P90 is the company's first to use a 64-bit Intel Atom processor and Intel XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced modem, while the Vibe line is joined by the X2 Pro, complete with an accessory said to help improve lighting for self portraits.
Tech requires AT&T Mobile Share plan
AT&T has announced the Modio, a case that adds LTE support to otherwise Wi-Fi-only iPad models. Initially, the only version will be available for the iPad mini (all generations), but an edition for the iPad Air and Air 2 is promised down the road. AT&T has yet to set prices or launch dates for either option, however.
Promises up to 12 extra hours of web use
Charging specialist Mophie has launched anticipated Juice Pack battery cases for Apple's latest iPhone models. For the iPhone 6, buyers have access to the Juice Pack Air or the Juice Pack Plus. Both come in black, white, or gold colors. The Air is a $100, 2750mAh model that doubles battery life; the Plus costs $120, and boosts longevity by 120 percent, while also adding an "impact isolation system" that protects against more severe hits.
Patriot releases new USB flash drives, Ignite SATA III SSD
Patriot has announced the launch of a variety of products, including the second generation of its Supersonic Magnum and Rage USB flash drives, as well as the Ignite SATA III SSD. The Supersonic Magnum 2 and Supersonic Rage 2 both include USB 3.0 connectivity. The Magnum 2 will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities, with read and write speeds reaching 400MB per second and 300MB per second respectively.
Netflix, Haier, Insignia on board as partners; releases across the year
Entertainment streaming platform provider Roku made a number of announcements today at CES regarding Roku televisions and expanded HD content streaming. Roku will be partnering with television manufacturers Haier and Insignia to produce new HDTV models of Roku televisions, while NetFlix works on delivering 4K compatible content through Roku's platforms, and a previous Roku TV maker will focus on debuting a Roku 4K Ultra HD TV for the new year.
Takes different approach to others by keeping watch part analog
The new Activite Pop watch and activity tracker from medical device equipment maker Withings is being demonstrated at CES this week, but it's also available starting today in the US through an online exclusive with Best Buy. The device doesn't quite fit the usual definition of "smartwatch" due to the fact that the watch portion of the device is a conventional analog watch, paired with a digital fitness and activity tracker. The unit is designed to rarely need to be taken off, and is water-resistant up to a depth of 30 meters (99 feet).
Wall-plugged controller allows non-smart devices to be controlled through apps
Internet of Things (IoT) developer iDevices has debuted Switch, the company's first Apple HomeKit-enabled device at CES in Las Vegas. The device is a hubless home automation solution which plugs into a power outlet and gives the user control of anything plugged into it using an iOS app -- extending "smart home" capabilities to non-smart devices.
Panasonic offers four new models, one with Bluetooth and NFC
Four new models of headphones from Panasonic made their debut today at CES. The offerings included a foldable on-ear model, Bluetooth headphones with near-field communication (NFC), and two premium in-ear models. The Panasonic Foldz are designed to allow the ear cups to swivel around into a compact formation for storage and portability. The RP-BTD5 Bluetooth headphones include NFC connectivity that allows the user to connect them to a device by simply touching it to one of the ear cups.
Shaq, Nick Cannon help get word out about Monster's latest gear
At its pre-CES conference on Monday morning, AV accessory manufacturer Monster revealed a number of new products and collaborations. The focus was on diversity, as presentations from representatives at partners Adidas and Qualcomm were made, along with a few celebrity appearances in the form of Nick Cannon and Shaquille O'Neal. New offerings included iSport and Adidas Performance headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, and new cables for AV enthusiasts.
Nexturn and NextOne expand company's range beyond gadgets and generic tablets
Tablet and accessory maker E Fun will be showing off several new products at CES this year. Among these will be Nexturn, a range of home automation products in kits or a-la-carte, and NextOne, a wrist-worn fitness tracker. The Nexturn line represents the company's entry into the home automation line with a variety of app-controlled products and systems. The Nextone is also meant to be the first of a new range of fitness trackers for the company.
Water Sensor will track household utilities use
Belkin has announced several new sensors for its WeMo home automation line, including the Door and Window Sensor, the Keychain Sensor, and the Alarm Sensor, the last of which triggers if an existing security system goes off. Another addition is a new Room Motion Sensor, which can track heat signatures up to 30 feet away within a 90-degree arc. The unit should ignore pets, and (through the WeMo app) not only let people set alerts or links with other devices, but check the last detected movement in a given room.
Connected bindings shows 'boarders lean angles, more
Just in time for the snow season, Japanese company Cerevo has introduced the XON Snow-1, a set of connected snowboard bindings that records data and lets users analyze their run, much like a data analyzer for race car drivers. Each binding has a pair of load sensors to measure lean angle, and a flex sensor to gauge weight distribution, along with LED lights that appear to serve no other function apart from just looking cool.
Parrot's latest has CarPlay integration, OBDII, more
France-based Parrot's latest unveiling at this year's Consumer Electronics Show was the RNB6 double-DIN automotive head unit. The new RNB6 supports both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The seven-inch capacitive touchscreen unit also offers many other features to prospective buyers, such as an included dashcam, navigation, and Bluetooth 4.0.
Griffin adds Bluetooth connectivity to Twenty digital audio amplifier
Griffin is using CES to launch a large number of accessories for mobile devices, as well as something for audiophiles. The collection includes four items in its charging-related accessory range and two iTrip devices, along with an upgraded version of its Twenty digital audio amplifier, adding Bluetooth connectivity and a refined physical design.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for January 2, 2015
[Updated with more deals on Saturday] Welcome to Friday Deals, the first installment of 2015 (alternately known as the "Santa didn't get me everything I wanted" edition) of the money-saving post where we find great offers on hardware, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Just like last year, the offers are correct at the time of writing, but may change, so check before purchasing. Also, come back to this post later, as we will be adding more deals to it throughout the weekend.
Power360-Dock, Power360 six, Power360 eight added to lineup
California manufacturer of electronic and electrical protection products Panamax unveiled the three new models of their Power360 series today. The models include six or eight outlets and USB charging ports. The new Power360-Dock is a wall-mounted power station, while the Power360 Six and Power360 Eight offer six outlets and eight outlets, respectively, all protected from surges and brownouts. All three units feature status indicators for protection, voltage regulation and a third LED that indicates building wiring health.