Tag - CES
Welcome to the first MacNN Podcast of 2016! We hope we didn't break our New Year resolutions already by getting this out a day late, but you know Bowie died, right? Though it happened after our recording sessions, you have to take time to grieve, you know? The man was a living legend. Anyway, we're back and talking about the CES show in Las Vegas, where all the things you will and won't be buying people for Christmas next year debut. This year there were some themes: we assess them, and throw in some other news as well!
Three accessory manufacturers -- Kanex, Zagg, and Actionproof -- showed off some new charging docks for the Apple Watch at CES last week. Actionproof's new $40 "Bozon" figure holds the watch in place horizontally for nightstand mode or vertically if preferred, works with most bands, and includes some cord management in the unit. Kanex's unnamed stand does not have a price or release date yet, but includes its own magnetic induction charger.
Mobile broadband provider Karma is starting to reduce the speed of its Neverstop subscription service, after some users used the service for their home Internet connection. A small contingent of subscribers have allegedly used hundreds of gigabytes of data, some also apparently getting around Karma's restrictions on home video streaming devices, with the high usage forcing the company to look into placing more restrictions on the available speed.
Gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer's latest attempt at the wearables market is a watch, though the company claims it to be a "watch with smart functions" instead of a typical smartwatch. Following after the Nabu fitness tracker, the Razer Nabu Watch borrows many of the traits of its predecessor, combining it with a digital watch that includes a second screen, one that can display notifications from a smartphone connected over Bluetooth.
Olympus has introduced the Stylus Tough TG-870 to its ruggedized camera range, one built to withstand the elements and the knocks expected from outdoor activities. Stablemate of the TG-860, the TG-870 offers a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a 5x optical zoom, with the camera able to survive 50-foot dives into water, temperatures as low as -10C (14F), seven-foot drops, dust, and can resist crushing by up to 220 pounds of force.
Sony has introduced two new video cameras with 4K video recording capabilities at CES, with both aimed at the consumer market. The FDR-AX53 is an upgrade from last year's AX33 HandyCam, while the HDR-AS50 is an action camera that not only offers the high-resolution recording functionality, but also introduces a new redesigned body that makes it easier for owners to get started filming with the imaging device.
Samsung is going to be adding support for iOS devices to its Gear S2 smartwatch in the future, the South Korean electronics giant confirmed at CES. The smartwatch, launched last August, is currently only able to work with Android smartphones, both Samsung's own and those from other manufacturers, with VP Alanna Cotton advising on stage during a keynote that iOS support for the smartwatch will be arriving sometime later this year.
Kodak has created a follow-up to the PixPro SP360 action camera, one which could be attractive to those producing VR-friendly spherical videos. The PixPro SP360 4K is similar in construction to its predecessor, resembling a cube with a domed camera lens on the top for a 360-degree video, but aside from the higher resolution, it can also be combined with a second unit to create a complete spherical video, compatible with Facebook and YouTube's 360 video services.
Canon has launched a collection of new cameras at CES, with five more imaging devices entering the PowerShot range. A pair of super-zoom PowerShot SX cameras, the 20.3-megapixel SX540HS and the 20-megapixel SX420 IS, are joined by a trio of compact snappers in the PowerShot ELPH product line: the 20.2-megapixel PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, the 20-megapixel ELPH 190 IS, and the 20-megapixel ELPH 180.
Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries around the world, after the video streaming service went live in 130 new countries simultaneously during a presentation at CES. The launch now means Netflix is effectively available in almost all countries, though it is still exploring whether it can launch its service in China, and it cannot operate in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies in those territories.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl