In the medical world, the ears can provide an abundance of information. Temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation are just a few example biometrics that can be obtained from the ears.
In the always-connected digital era, we’ve seen the ears utilized for listening to music or as a means to talk on our smartphones. Originally our headsets were large and cumbersome, but over time they shrank down to something no larger than a standard earbud, making use of the vibrations in our jaw bones to transmit our speech.
Discrete, already socially accepted, and commonplace, earbuds and headphones are fixing to take the next step in their natural evolution in our smart-device world, especially when considering the wealth of data our auditory anatomy can provide. So where are we going?
More so than smartphones and tablets, wearables must truly walk the line between being fashionable as well as functional. Unless you’re both very patient and doing well for yourself financially, the process of finding that perfect wearable that compliments your personal style and gives you the information you want, can end up being a torturous lesson in frustration.
So Lumoid decided that they’d help you out by sending you a box of five wearables of your choosing and let you play with them for a week. If you like one or more of the devices, you can purchase them after you send the box back (so you’ll have a fresh unit and not one of the trial devices). If you didn’t like any of the five, you pay the relatively small amount of $20 USD. From there, you can try a different five or quit your quest altogether.
We’ve seen so many “smart gadgets” as part of the Internet of things movement, but most of them have worked as dedicated ecosystems and haven’t been compatible with one another.
But Logitech thinks it has an answer, and it’s in the form of an API.
The Harmony API creates a vision where a consumer is watching a movie on his or her Samsung flatscreen via Apple TV and the Philips Huelights in the living room dim to the appropriate level.
Logitech says the programming tool will give developers access to over 270,000 smart devices, allowing the kind of expansive control we haven’t gotten from other smart home solutions.
We’ll have to wait a bit before products become fully integrated and the API is fully developed, but this is a promising start.
OnePlus has just teased the arrival of a new basket weave pattern back cover for the OnePlus One smartphone. These covers which are also known as StyleSwap covers were made available in a Bamboo pattern initially, only to be stopped before hitting global markets citing lack of manufacturing prowess.
Hong Kong-based XinGear has ramped up a Kickstarter campaign for the follow-up to its I Am Cardboard VR headset, the aptly-named XG Virtual Reality Headset. In case the name doesn’t give it away, the VR Headset is similar to many of the smartphone-based VR sets that are coming to market in the near future.
Last week tech companies were having a big time at CES 2015 showing off new technology, some of which involves automobiles. This week the North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit, where automobile manufacturers show off their new vehicles, parts and services, some of which involves technology. The cross over between our cars and our mobile devices should be no surprise given the popularity of both in this country. At the NAIAS, Verizon has announced their latest foray into the world of the automobile industry, Verizon Vehicle.
Google Cardboard is one of the lesser-known offerings in Google’s vast portfolio of services, but as virtual reality continues making inroads into the mainstream zeitgeist, Cardboard has a good chance at becoming a mainstay.
For the uninitiated, Cardboard is an austere approach at virtual reality, using various cardboard goggle apparatuses, an Android phone, and the Cardboard software. Now, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute has launched a virtual reality fashion concept store on the Cardboard platform.
Best Buy has just kicked off another great Chromecast promotion. This time they’ve knocked $5.01 off the usual $35 price tag and if you order an HDMI Streaming dongle, collect it and set it up before the end of January, you’ll be eligible to receive a $20 Play Credit voucher, together with Chromecast’s current on board offers of a complimentary subscription to Hulu Plus for 2 months and 90 days of Google Play Music All Access. Clump it all together, and you could effectively get $66 worth of free subscription/download content and a Chromecast for just $29.99.
A patent recently published on the USPTO’s website filed by Google in 2011 shows the idea that Google may have had for Google Glass. One of the diagrams, shown below, shows Google’s idea for the shape of the glasses, the positioning of the camera, and the location of the processor and projector of the glasses.
Everyone should own at least one external battery pack. They allow charging from anywhere even when a wall outlet is not accessible. Sure, external battery packs can be expensive. However, the long-term value is tremendous. Today, a Motorola external battery pack with 3000mAh that normally costs $50 is available for $8.99. Furthermore, the two-pack is available for $14.99 with free shipping. The latter would cost $100 and now it is obtainable for much less.
[Motorola Power Pack 3000 – eBay] [Motorola Power Pack 3000 (two-pack) – eBay]
Divoom, the company behind various audio products built around functionality, has a speaker product that brings together style and durability. The Voombox-Party is a weather-resistant speaker that has a built-in subwoofer, dual radiators, and five drivers. Although it is not gigantic, the speaker is able to fill a room with deep sound. The Voombox-Party pairs with devices via the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Devices just have to be tapped with the speaker and it automatically connects. Then, the entire experience is wireless. The device features more than eight hours of battery life and charges with micro-USB.
The Voombox-Party will cost $119 when it is available online at the end of January. Color options are black and silver.
Hit the break for the press release. Click here for our full CES 2015 coverage.
If you’re an owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, or its Edge variant, you may have noticed that when you hover your S Pen stylus slightly above the screen, a pointer appears (similar to a PC’s mouse cursor). Cursors aren’t generally known to illicit much excitement from people, but Samsung is hoping to bring a smile to your face by announcing Penvatars.
Penvatars is the name Samsung is giving to its upcoming app for S Pen wielders and it will allow you to customize those pointers. Most likely the only devices that will support this app will be users of the Note 4 (or the Note Edge), with added support for older devices possibly later on.
A project on Kickstarter by eZelleron Inc. is trying to raise funds for production of a mobile electronics energy charger that uses gas instead of electricity to recharge itself. The kraftwerk power generator will enable users to be freed from the power grid by relying on fuel cell technology that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. The device can be refilled using standard camping gas or lighter gas, both of which should be readily available almost anywhere in the world. The kraftwerk also has the advantage of being refilled in mere seconds – 3 according to the project’s description – and will support the equivalent of 11 iPhone charges.
Toshiba announced an SDHC memory card today that comes with a built-in NFC chip. Starting in February, consumers will be able to purchase said memory card in 8, 16 and 32GB capacities. Toshiba used CES to show off these new cards. The cards use NFC to exchange data with just a touch. With help from the Memory Card Preview app, the memory cards give you a heads up as to the amount of storage the card has available plus up to 16 thumbnails of photos stored on the card. This way, you don’t have to pop the card into your computer in order to figure out whats on it.
Other than that it’s a pretty standard SD card with all the functionality that encompasses said card. As far as pricing is concerned, it’s unknown but we’ll update you when we know more. We have the presser after the break and be sure to check out our full coverage of CES.
For those who may have received or purchased an HTC RE Camera over the holidays, your new GoPro-esque camera is about to get even more functionality. Starting tomorrow (Jan. 9) an update for the RE app will hit the Play Store allowing users to live stream video from the RE to YouTube. Those of you with iOS will have to wait a bit longer as an update won’t hit the App Store until later in the first quarter. The live stream option will give users the ability to share moments such as piano recitals or plays with family and friends that can’t be at these events in person.
All you have to do is invite people to watch your broadcast via SMS or through social media. Should they not be able to watch the live stream, the video will be there after the end of broadcast so they can watch it at their earlier convenience. So those of you with a RE Camera should be on the look out for an update for the RE app starting tomorrow. We have the full presser for you after the break.