iFrogz has added several new sets of headphones to their wireless audio family, including a few in-ear and around-ear options to cater to pretty much anyone. You’ll get some in varying price points and styles, too.
Optoma is a company known for quality audio and video products, and their latest foray into the market is the NuForce Be Free8 headphones. It’s a mouthful to say, but these headphones aim to be completely wireless and compete with the likes of Samsung’s IconX and Apple’s AirPods.
As Google continues their push into hardware, one area that needs attention is accessories for all of the new items. To help the market for items like chargers, cases, extra batteries, and other items, source indicate a new “Made for Google” certification program is in the works. Although no details regarding the program have surfaced yet, sources think the new program will give partners the opportunity to use a Google certification logo on their products to help them ride Google’s coattails.
Samsung announced today a new option for consumers interested in a “life safety” solution for the home that combines security components, the ability to create a home automation system, and monitoring backed by and provided by ADT. The new Samsung SmartThings ADT system is described as the “safest, easiest, and most flexible DIY security and home solution available for families today.” The new option includes a Home Security Starter Kit and a Home Safety Expansion Pack and will be available through Best Buy, Samsung and SmartThings.
The home automation and virtual assistant market continues to heat up after Amazon announced several new devices this week. To try to keep up, word is out that Google has a project in the works to release a competitor to the Amazon Echo Show. The Echo Show differs from other devices in that it includes a screen to display images and a camera for video-calling purposes. Google’s project to produce a similar piece of hardware is code-named Manhattan and sources indicate there is considerable pressure on the team to release it to market before the end of 2017.
With an internal name of Google Home “Max”, an upgraded, more premium Google Home is currently in development. Although new features and a final design are still unknown, stereo speakers will be a major addition. Sources also claim that the design and materials will be premium.
BayStreet Research, which tracks shipments of phones across the US, estimates that Essential has only sold 5,000 phones since its US retail debut in the last few weeks. That’s a tiny fraction of what larger companies like Samsung and Apple achieve, selling tens of millions of phones per quarter.
Bose launched a successor to their well received noise cancelling QuietComfort 35 (QC35) headphones yesterday with Google Assistant integration, dubbed the QC35 II. They work via Bluetooth with both Android (Marshmallow and above) and iOS, and feature a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left ear cup. Voice activated commands can now play music, messages, news and of course place calls, although overall functionality might not be quite as comprehensive as Google Home.
The topic of whether a smartphone should have a microSD card slot or not is one that can draw some strong responses from consumers. Some are content to make do with large on-board storage provided by a device maker in favor of a more sealed, possibly more compact design. Others welcome the ability to stuff in ever larger amounts of memory to hold larger and more files and rely less on network connectivity. The latter camp may welcome the news that Western Digital is once again pushing the boundaries in the market with the announcement that they are now making available a 400GB microSD card.
In a move being replicated throughout the technology sector, Sony joins the list of manufacturers offering a “smart speaker” device. Unlike some companies who offer catchy names like Bixby or Echo/Alexa, Sony keeps things basic just going for a typical device model number of LF-S50G. Part of that may be due to Sony’s decision to deploy the Google Assistant technology on their device rather than trying to develop their own system.
After what seems like an eternity in the tech gadget world, Google’s Nest business has finally come out with a new thermostat device to join their Nest Learning Thermostat. The new Nest Thermostat E is designed to appeal to a wider audience thanks to two key changes. First, the new device is much cheaper priced at only $169 versus the original’s $249 price putting it within reach of more buyers. Second, the design is much more plain instead of the original units tech-heavy design.
At their pre-IFA 2017 press event in Berlin today, along with updates to a variety of other products, Samsung announced updates to their Gear IconX wireless ear buds. Ergonomically, Samsung says the redesigned units are lighter weight and will stay secured in a user’s ears better. More importantly, Samsung has added some software technology and made battery improvements.