win a Verve 2
What is the Verve 2? We asked ourselves the same question when we first heard of it. It turns out that it is quite unlike anything we have ever seen before. The Verve 2 is a sensor system that can be used to interact with a computer in a whole new way. We have one Verve 2 system to give away to our readers. Read on to learn more about this unique technology toy, and find out how you can win.
Razer fitness tracker priced at $100, release 11 months after unveiling
Razer is finally going to release its fitness tracker, just in time for the holiday sales. Originally launched at CES in January followed by delays caused by hypoallergenic testing and a beta test with developers, the Razer Nabu is being made available to purchase from the Razer website and retailers from December 2nd in North America, with Razer pricing the fitness band at $100.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for Black Friday 2014
Welcome to Friday Deals, on today, Black Friday. If you don't fancy wandering through the post-apocalyptic retail landscape caused by ravenous shoppers arguing over cheap televisions, we're listing the best online deals here for you, the discerning (and wise to stay away from the battle) MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, and considering the sales today, may change rapidly, so check before purchasing. Check back to this post later, as we aim to add more deals as and when we find them, and also look at yesterday's deals post as many of the deals included there may still be active now.
Initial Puls smartwatch release said to be smaller than planned
The release of a smartwatch created by musician Will.i.am will apparently take place next month, but with a smaller release than originally thought, a report claims. A second generation of the Puls smartwatch with a few slight alterations is also touted for release, but it is believed to be heading to market early next year in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Regulatory symbols on devices can be removed, shown in software instead
The backs of smartphones will become slightly better looking, after a bill concerning the labeling of electronic devices has been signed into law by President Obama. The E-Label Act, created by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), will allow manufacturers to leave off a large amount of the logos and other regulatory iconography from the device itself.
Amazon Kindle tablets and e-readers from $49
Black Friday deals are on now at Amazon. No need to wait outside in the cold, or battle the hoards of deal-hungry shoppers to get these great prices. To kick things off today they are offering discounts on their line of Kindle tablets and e-readers. The all-new Kindle with touch has been reduced by $30 and can be had for only $49 with special offers that display on the lock screen or $69 without the special offers.
Report claims GoPro drones could cost between $500 and $1,000
GoPro may be supplementing its action camera range with a line of low-cost drones for consumers and business use, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Report sources claim the camera company is developing the multi-rotor flying machines and is planning to ship them for between $500 and $1,000, in order to let sports enthusiasts take advantage of drone photography.
Rumored Sony e-paper watch to focus on style, not competing with smartwatches
Sony may be working on a smartwatch using e-paper for release next year, according to a report. Said to be part of a "venture-style approach" to product creation by Bloomberg, the electronics company is apparently making the device in preparation for a release sometime next year, though it may not offer the same level of functionality as Sony's existing smartwatch offerings.
Top pick Apple Watch is curious choice, but shows public anticipation
Time magazine has picked out its top 10 Gadgets list (among other Top 10s such as Video Games and Toys) for holiday season shoppers, and unsurprisingly Apple devices or accessories dominate the selection, taking four out of the 10 slots -- the most of any single company. In a list that seems determined to rank some promising but nascent technology higher than one would expect, the rankings are puzzling for the surprising amount of "vaporware" on it -- including its top choice, the coming-next-year Apple Watch.
Small 2-inch cubed CuBoxTV controllable by smartphone, keyboard and mouse
SolidRun has added another device to its CuBox range, one aimed for use as a streaming media set-top box. The CuBoxTV, measuring a compact 2-inches on each side and weighing 9.9 ounces, works as an XBMC streaming device straight out of the box with the use of a smartphone app, keyboard and mouse, infrared or CEC TV remote controls, and other interface devices.
Samsung NX1 with 28.2-megapixel sensor available to pre-order.
Samsung is finally releasing the NX1 mirrorless camera in the United States, one which is capable of recording 4K-resolution content. Launched in September, the NX1 has a 28.2-megapixel BSI APS-C sensor, with the updated NX AF System III's autofocus capabilities offering 205 phase-detection points and 209 contrast AF points, and a focusing speed of 0.055 of a second.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 24, 2014
Welcome to the second installment of Monday Deals, which we will be running throughout the holiday shopping period. While it is just four more days until shoppers become uncivilized and argue over who gets to buy the last of a heavily-discounted product, we are listing various deals you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, can take advantage of now. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later reading, so check before purchasing. Also, check back on this post in the coming days, as more deals will be added as time goes on.
Unofficial replica faces being blocked from download sites
A number of major watch brands have been sending cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals claimed to be offering smartwatch copies of trademarked or copyrighted name-brand watch faces without permission, a report says. Some smartwatches -- particularly ones based on Android Wear -- offer the ability to load custom face designs. A few people have been creating ones based on existing watches, however, triggering copyright and trademark complaints.
Google Nexus 9 is the first high-end 64-bit Android on ARM device
The new Google Nexus 9 is acting as the single replacement for the Google Nexus 7 and the Google Nexus 10, which Google is marketing as being a "just right" compromise between the two sizes. It is also the first tablet from Google to feature a 4:3 aspect ratio (instead of 16:9), which is the ratio favored by Apple for its iPad range. Among other "firsts," it is the first Android tablet to launch with Android 5.0 "Lollipop," while it is also the first Android tablet to feature a 64-bit ARM-based processor. So how is it shaping up ahead of our full review?
Calls, texts, appointments will appear on Basis Peak display
The Basis Peak, a fitness tracker launched in September, will soon gain some extra smartwatch-style functionality. The tracker from the Intel-owned company will be able to show notifications from a connected smartphone on its monochrome display, while another change will let the wearable device pass heart rate data to other fitness-related mobile apps.
Starbucks adds Powermat wireless charging to 200 San Francisco stores
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Improved image stabilization, autofocus speed touted in Sony A7 II
An updated version of the Sony Alpha 7 has been launched in Japan. The A7 II is a 24.3-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera and the first of its kind to have a five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, one which is said to reduce shake by up to 4.5 CIPA-standard stops, and is capable of automatically combining it with the in-lens stabilization of an E-mount lens with OSS.
Fire TV Stick described as most successful Amazon device launch ever
The Fire TV Stick, Amazon's second media streamer after the Fire TV, has started shipping. Pre-orders of the competitor to the Google Chromecast are the first to go, dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis, though new customers will have a considerable wait for their order, as new stock will not be available until January 15th, 2015.
New projector easy to install, features 2200 lumens of color brightness
Epson today announced the PowerLite Home Cinema 5025UB, the newest addition to its high-performance line of 3LCD 2D/3D Full HD 1080p home theater projectors. The new projector delivers to home entertainment enthusiasts 2,200 lumens of color brightness and 2,200 lumens of white brightness, up to a 600,000:1 contrast ratio, and advanced image processing technology for a big screen experience.
Which fashion-forward recipient will you gift with a smart watch?
Wearable devices have become an important part of the technology industry this year, with almost every manufacturer producing a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other form of technology designed to be worn, not carried. If you feel the need to buy a present for someone you know who wants a wearable item, here is Electronista and MacNN's first gift guide of the season, covering the newest expansion of mobile technology.
Multitasking Jolla Tablet achieves funding goal within hours
Jolla, a Finnish startup formed by ex-Nokia employees, has moved from creating a smartphone into tablets. The company is aiming to produce the Jolla Tablet, a device running its Sailfish OS, though in a process similar to the ill-fated Ubuntu Edge smartphone, Jolla is trying to cover the cost of production via crowdfunding efforts, with seemingly more success.
Smartwatch app offers retailers code to accept PayPal payment
PayPal is filling out its roster of apps for mobile payments by smartwatch, with the launch of its first Pebble app. Available to download from the Pebble App Store, the PayPal app allows the wearer to make payments in stores directly from the watch, without needing to bring out their payment card or having to interact with the smartphone PayPal app.
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC-enabled speakers offer 360-degree sound coverage, compact size
Accessory maker Rapoo announced the US release of two of its wireless speakers today, bringing the revamped style of the A500 and A300 models to a new audience. Both of the Bluetooth 4.0 speakers feature NFC pairing, a dual-mode that enables an auxiliary connection, and 360-degree sound coverage. Each speaker has its own construction features, as the A500 contains speakers made from bio-fiber materials, while the A300 has an aluminum alloy exterior.
8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Google Nexus 6 pre-orders begin in United Kingdom
The Google Nexus 6 will be going on sale soon in the United Kingdom, with a number of retailers offering pre-orders for the device. Carphone Warehouse is selling the smartphone SIM-free for £499 and £549 ($780 and $860) for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively with delivery expected on December 1st. Amazon UK is stocking the 32GB model at the same price, but with a later release date of December 15th. Google Play does list the Nexus 6 for the UK, with identical pricing for both versions, but it is not allowing for pre-orders, nor states when it will be available.
Android-based Nokia N1 tablet has 7.9-inch display, Z Launcher
Nokia's first hardware release since its break-up with Microsoft is an Android tablet, though rather than producing the device itself, Nokia is applying its branding and design skills with a third-party manufacturer. The N1 possesses a 7.9-inch 4:3 aspect ratio IPS display with a high 2048x1536 resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and using the same fully-laminated zero air-gap process as its smartphones, packed into a 6.9mm-thick aluminum unibody casing highly reminiscent of the iPad mini.
LG G Watch R delivers breakthrough high-quality circular P-OLED display
We have previously taken a look at the LG G Watch, LG's launch device that helped to usher in Google's wearable platform, Android Wear. LG has introduced the next model in its Android Wear range, the LG G Watch R, which is a much more interesting and thoughtfully-designed smartwatch. Where the rectangular G Watch is quite nondescript in appearance, the G Watch R incorporates much more design flair and much more interesting technology.
Ecobee3 gains shelf space alongside Honeywell smart thermostat
Starting on Monday, Apple Stores are now carrying at least one rival to Google-owned Nest's self-titled smart Learning Thermostat. The Ecobee3 offers an advantage over the Nest in terms of multi-room support, utilizing sensors that can be bought separately to bring more intelligent energy management to the full home rather than relying on a single point of reference. Like Nest and Honeywell's rival entry, the smart device can be managed through a smartphone app from anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The Ecobee3 sells for the same price as the Nest, $250.
Analyst firm believes Apple will sell 20 million units in first full year
The Apple Watch is not yet out, and is expected to entirely miss the holiday buying season this year -- and may not even hit the alleged internal goal of coming out before Valentine's Day -- but is still expected to sell some 20 million units in its first year, according to analyst Amit Darayanani of RBC Capital Markets. The firm raised its target price on AAPL from its current $115 a share -- a goal likely to be accomplished before the year's end -- to $120. Darayanani predicts the average selling price of the Apple Watch range will be about $520.
Shenzhen conference gathered HomeKit, iOS accessory manufacturers
On the heels of reports that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that feature Apple's HomeKit API already embedded in them are now arriving to accessory makers, Apple announced during its "Made For i" (MFi) developer conference in China that manufacturers can now submit product plans for HomeKit-based products to the iPhone maker for approval, making it possible that the first group of such devices could arrive before the end of the holiday buying season. Apple's MFi certification would be the last step for devices before hitting the market.
Origin PC sells Millennium, Genesis cases to celebrate its five-year anniversary
Custom computer builder Origin PC is celebrating its five-year anniversary, kicking it off with a special sale to commemorate the occasion. Origin PC announced that it's giving consumers the chance to buy the custom computer cases used for its Millennium and Genesis desktops for a limited time. Both cases feature Origin PC's industrial design and variable mounting, which allows the system parts to be configured in four different ways that include standard, 90-degree and inverted mounting options.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 14, 2014
Slowly, like a creeping predator intent on a meal, Black Friday approaches -- but it is not this day! This Friday, like every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later date, so check before you buy. Be sure to check over the weekend, as it is likely more deals will be added to the list.
Depth-sensing Project Tango listed as unavailable to purchase
Google's Project Tango has appeared on the Google Play Store, strongly suggesting the search company is making it available to purchase shortly. The development kit is shown with a complete specifications list and a collection of promotional images, including one which displays the multi-sensor back cover for depth sensing and motion tracking.
Cellular equipment on small planes allegedly used to track criminal locations via smartphone broadc
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has allegedly created fake cell towers to monitor the position of cellphones for surveillance purposes. A report claims the bogus towers, called "dirtboxes," were placed by the US Marshals Service (USMS) on planes, in order to trick smartphones owned by criminals into broadcasting their location, allowing authorities to track their movements.
Move makes DirecTV the first video provider with 4k
This weekend, satellite television provider DirecTV will become the first multi-channel video provider to offer 4K Ultra HD programming direct to customers. At launch, the company will begin offering 19 movies and documentaries from both Paramount Pictures and Havoc, with more titles to be announced soon. Customers will need an Internet-connected Genie HD DVR model HR34 and above, and a Samsung UHD TV that is DirecTV 4K ready. Pricing for 4K movies will range from $4 to $16, and will be on a per-movie basis.
Walmart attempts to retain holiday sales by price matching Amazon
Walmart stores will soon offer price matching against Amazon product listings, in time for the holiday shopping period. Managers at the retailers stores have been informed of the policy change, formalizing a practice already being conducted at half the stores according to Reuters, with the ultimate aim of encouraging customers to continue visiting its stores rather than shopping online.
Calls on Congress to make general 'data brokering' more transparent
Android Lollipop update dated for Nvidia Shield Tablet among other updates
Nvidia is finally going to offer its Grid cloud-based gaming service to customers later this month. Nvidia Grid will allow gamers to stream a selection of PC games from its servers over the Internet, similar to PlayStation Now and OnLive, though the GPU producer will only allow owners of the Shield Tablet access initially, before a wider launch of the service to other devices.
Assembly work likely remains distant
Apple chip suppliers are almost ready to begin production of components for the Apple Watch, industry sources claim. The sources add that based on the first batch of orders, Apple could be planning to churn out 30 to 40 million watches. Even if parts production begins shortly however, it may still be a few months before final assembly begins; Apple is only due to ship the product early next year, possibly by Valentine's Day.
Samsung Professional Audio required for Android version of iRig
IK Multimedia has made a version of its iOS-based iRig HD for Android Devices, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 being the first compatible device. The iRig HD-A digital guitar interface is also accompanied by an Android version of the AmpliTube app, the guitar processing app, which will also only work with Samsung mobile devices.
LG bringing Android Lollipop to G3 smartphone in Poland this week
LG is claiming it will be the first major manufacturer to roll out Android Lollipop to its flagship device. The company is aiming to ship the Android 5.0 upgrade for the LG G3 in Poland this week, with "other key markets" to follow in the "near future." A rollout schedule for other LG smartphones and tablets will be announced by the device producer at a later date.
Home mechanics and pros alike may benefit from this app-driven code scanner
There's no doubt about it, having the check engine light pop on just might top the list of "most dreaded events" that car owners face. The warning doesn't have to herald disaster to home mechanics with the help of OBD 2 scanner tools. One such device, the Lemur BlueDriver, is designed to provide peace of mind and guidance to anyone who might have come down with a case of the check-engine-light-blues. We've had some check engine lights ourselves -- check our review to see how the Lemur BlueDriver did.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 7, 2014
Once more unto the breach! Every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later date, so check before you buy. Be sure to check over the weekend, as it is likely more deals will be added to the list.
Android Wear smartwatch from Asus uses rectangular display, offers fitness functions
Asus is bringing its attempt at an Android Wear smartwatch to the United States this weekend, a report claims. Initially revealed at a pre-IFA event in September, the Asus ZenWatch will ship in the US on November 9th, with Best Buy being the first to sell the smartwatch before a wider general release via Google Play at some point afterward.
Chromecast-style HDMI streamer from Walmart may ship soon
Walmart is preparing to launch a streaming HDMI dongle, similar to the Google Chromecast, Amazon's Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Streaming Stick, according to an FCC filing. The Vudu Spark is similar in shape and size to its competition, connecting directly to the HDMI port on a television, though it is unclear if it will have the same level of utility as other devices.
Likely connected to lack of HealthKit support and/or Apple Watch
Apple has pulled all Fitbit products from its online store, shoppers note. The change was made without explanation, although last month sources indicated it might happen. Inventory of Fitbit devices at the store began to run low during the past week.
LG G Watch R available to purchase on Google Play for $299
LG's G Watch R is now available to purchase from Google Play, just as the smartwatch is about to appear in stores in the United States. The Android Wear smartwatch, complete with a 1.3-inch round P-OLED display and a heart rate monitor, finally joins the original G Watch on the Google online store, though it is priced at a rather expensive $299.
Nexus 6 goes on sale via Motorola, sells out within hours
Motorola is now selling the Nexus 6 directly in the United States, via its own online store, giving potential customers an alternative route to Google Play to acquire the smartphone. At the same time, the company is introducing its recently-leaked metal strap options for the Moto 360 through the store, as well as a champagne gold colored version of the Android Wear smartwatch.
Echo speaker answers questions, plays music on command via voice recognition
Amazon has quietly launched a network-connected speaker with voice recognition. The Echo is a tall cylindrical speaker unit which can be used for music playback, but it also includes a seven-microphone array at the top for listening to voice commands, allowing users to give the device instructions to play music, ask questions, and set appointments.
NASA, Department of Defense among first to access Lytro developer kit
Lytro, the producers of the light-field cameras of the same name and the Illum, is giving interested parties access to its technology. The company is releasing the Lytro Platform and its first Lytro Development Kit for enterprise users to try using the technology in other ways, with the first customers including NASA and the US Department of Defense.