Accessories, News/Rumors

Om/One-first levitating Bluetooth speaker

Audio developer OM Audio has introduced its new product:the world’s first levitating speaker.  If you really want an impressive-looking Bluetooth speaker, you will enjoy the Om/One, a gravity-defying gadget.

The new device available for $179 includes a base and a round speaker that levitates above it. Thanks to magnetic levitation, the speaker floats about an inch off its base, allowing to achieve the spinning, levitating effect, all while the user is listening to the audio. The OM/ONE relies on its 75mm audio driver to provide its owner with clear, balanced mids, highs and lows.

Users has the ability to connect their phones or devices via bluetooth 4.0 to stream wireless music, and for pairing two OM/ONEs together for stereo sound.

The Bluetooth speaker can connect to most devices including smartphones, notebooks and tablets via Bluetooth 4.0, which are located at the distance of 33 feet.

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The round speaker can be used with or without its magnetic base, which needs an AC adapter, and features an integrated battery with up to 15 hours of non-stop play. It is also equipped with a microphone, meaning you can use the OM/One as a speakerphone.

The spherical speaker is 6.3 inches x diameter x 1.6 inches height, while a magnetic base is 2.1 pounds, 1.6 x 1.2 inches.

Om/One is offered in three colors: black, white or “disco ball”. The developers say it will be shipped in December. 

Accessories, iPhone, News/Rumors

Make your videos look professional with StayblCam!

Everyone knows how it’s difficult to make a video avoiding shaking in the picture. StayblCam is ready to help you to solve this problem!

The StayblCam is a little less than a foot long and a touch under two inches in diameter. Its weight is about a pound, so StabylCam can be easily put it in your bag as well as take it to the trip.

There’s a slot for a smartphone in the packaging of the item. But StaybylCam can be also used along with GoPro.

The user should insert iPhone into the slot and then regulate the length of the sections for it to be balanced.

If you wish, you can use the StayblCam upside-down.

The surface of the mobile adapter will be ameliorated with a new rubber compound providing StayblCam with stronger prehension of the iPhone.

The hole for wriststrap is also included. So you wouldn’t worry that you drop it.

The StayblCam will be presented in a different colours.

In the future the support of tripod, an iPad mount and a clip-on iPhone holder for use as a wifi viewfinder for a GoPro/Garmin Virb camcorder will be also added.

The StaybylCam offers better movement when keeping the phone in your hand.

The price is $75, and people who are fond of shooting are sure to like this accessory. You can buy the item on the StayblCam website.

Accessories, News/Rumors

AIRTYPE: invisible keyboard to change the way you type

Airtype, a start-up based in Austin, Texas developed a prototype for a truly revolutionary keyboard, that is invisible. While we used to have keyboards either as physical device or touch screen interface, AirType is a “keyboardless keyboard,” that will change the way you type, especially when it comes to your tablet.

AirType is a set of cuffs you wear on your hands that become an invisible keyboard.  The sensors will track your finger movements and translate them into words on the screen. It’s no different than typing on a keyboard. The device connects your smartphone via Bluetooth.

According to the developers, the keyboard can adapt to your own specific typing style. They say “there’s no need to learn AirType, It will learn you,” similar to Siri, which can learn your accent. The product also has dynamic text prediction and corrections similar to your iPhone. It prevents you from making mistakes and promotes faster typing.

wearable-band-for-your-keyboard

The item usage will be difficult for those who are either not fluent with typing or forgetful enough to remember the letter placements on keyboard.

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Airtype is small and simply clips on your tablet for easy transportation, so you can bring them everyhere. The device is still in development, but you can sign up for their mailing list and learn more here.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Logitech debuts Protection+ case for iPhone 5 and 5s

Earlier this year, Logitech announced its new Case+ accessory for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, which contained a metal case and multiple magnetic attachments. Today, the company finally revealed its newest line of smartphone cases, including the Protection+ for iPhone 5 and 5s, product aimed to mount an iPhone to a car’s air vents for easy viewing.

The protection+ case is compatible with the iPhone 5 and 5S and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and features a slim design with a protective outer shell and internal impact-resistant materials. Its body is made of a hard polycarbonate shell while its corners hold impact resistant polymers. They are specially-designed to absorb shocks without breaking and dissipate the energy of the impact across the surface of the product. According to the manufacture, the protection+ exceeds the U.S. military’s drop-test standard for “rugged” devices, which tops out at 1.8 meters (just under 6 feet) off the ground.

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Logitech also introduced its +trip and +drive car accessories, which help users to mount a device and case to an air vent (+trip) or windshield/dashboard (+drive).

logitech_trip

Logitech’s director of smartphone accessories, Ariel Fischer noted in a statement: “We designed the Logitech protection+ to give you peace of mind disguised in a great looking protective case that absorbs the daily shocks your phone experiences.”

The Protection+ case will go on sale next month for $34.99, and will be available in colors of Winter White, Gunmetal Black, Scarlett Plum, and Pacific Blue. The +Trip and +Drive accessories will also launch next month and sell for $29.99 and $49.99, respectively. The products are already available for pre-order on Logitech’s official website.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts 5.5-inch iPhone 6 delay

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has previously given accurate Apple product information, has issued a note on Sunday, saying that while Apple’s 4.7-inch “iPhone 6″ is still believed to debut this fall, the larger 5.5-inch model could see a serious delay in the release.

According to the analyst, the company is already suffering from production bottlenecks on the 4.7-inch model related to the new technology for the product’s in-cell touch panel, and color irregularity on the redesigned “iPhone 6″ metal casing. The 5.5-inch model will also face these issues.

“These problems will likely be even more complicated with a larger size,” Kuo said. “In addition, from a technical perspective, we don’t expect sapphire cover, used for the first time on the 5.5-inch model, will easily pass the drop test near term. We are conservative about 5.5-inch iPhone launching by end-2014. Even if the product is launched in 2014, it is likely to take place after mid-4Q14, which is later than the September-October of consensus, with shipments being lower than consensus of 15- 20mn units.”

iPhone6

In addition to the aforementioned problems, the device’s sapphire display may not be firm enough in drop tests to go to market yet. Kuo also predicts that when the larger model finally ships, fewer than 15-20 million units will be available.

The analyst believes that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not go on sales by the end of 2014, or may debut after October in very limited quantities. In addition to delay, he says, that the prices of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will drop alongside the launch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

According to the early rumors, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 was facing production issues related to the device’s display and battery life. However, later reports noted that both models would enter production and launch at the same time.

Apple is believed to announce and launch the iPhone 6 in September. The device is expected to include a thinner profile and a faster A8 processor.

Accessories, News/Rumors

MySelfie-selfie remote control from Kingmax

KINGMAX, well-known for manufacturing flash cards, has launched a new accessory for people who like selfies. The new device, dubbed MySelfie is a kind of remote taking control of your smartphone camera.

MySelfie measures 60 x 26.4 x 7 mm and weighs just 11 grams. It is equipped with two buttons: power one and camera shutter button.

The new device uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your iPhone that is as far as 10 meters at most. Once connected the only thing you have to do is press the button on MySelfie. The device doesn’t require additional software.

MySelfie is powered by a regular CR2032 lithium-ion battery. According to the manufacturer, the device will work without charging during a year, if you take up to 10 selfies per day.

MySelfie will be available in several color options: white, black and yellow.

MySelfie-2

The new device is completely compatible with smartphones that run iOS and Android. The official release date and the price of the product are still unknown.

MySelfie is believed to give a free hand in taking selfies.

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

HealthKit supports some Bluetooth products natively

Apple’s HealthKit is said to promise an all-in-one location for health and fitness-related iOS accessories and their companion information.  In addition to this ability, the platform can reportedly also support some medical Bluetooth accessories natively, making it possible to skip developing apps for iOS and focus on their hardware. That means, that HealthKit can automatically connect to and control the device itself. The products that will be built-in and supported natively by HealthKit include heart rate and blood pressure monitors, glucose sensors, and health thermometers.

Bluetooth medical products can be detected by HealthKit and all the data will be collected and synced by the new Health app without the user having to do anything in a third-party app, providing with an easy way to find health information in a single place. Additionally, device makers won’t have to spend resources and time making an app rather than focus on their hardware.

Apple is using official standard specs for Bluetooth LE devices from Bluetooth.org, allowing iOS 8 to automatically establish a connection with the devices without the developers thinking about anything related to software.

ios8healthapp

Previously these manufacturers were required to spend time and money creating companion apps for their devices that handle the pairing and collection of data. It will also be helpful to app developers, who allow users to connect to products from third-party companies.

iPhone maker is also prompting and giving manufacturers the ability to create other types of accessories that don’t fall under the natively supported devices above, but those will need an iOS app to implement the HealthKit API.

 

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Smart lighter “Quitbit” helps you quit smoking

There are already plenty of devices that track your steps, weight and calories, but the latest gadget is tasked to track how often you spark up. Quitbit is a smart lighter created to help rein in smoking addiction by monitoring how often you light up.

The five-member founding team, standing behind this project, launched it through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and has already raised $36 000.

“The first idea was a package for cigarettes and each time you removed a cigarette it would track it, but we quickly iterated because we realized the lighter would be the easiest way,” Quitbit founder said. “It’s the way with the least friction for someone who wants to reduce their smoking, because it doesn’t require a new device. We just replace your lighter with our lighter, and then you get all the benefits of being more mindful of your smoking habits.”

According to developers, it takes about 1.5 seconds to light a cigarette and every time the device is used, it records the number of cigarettes smoker has had and how long it’s been since they last lit up. This information can be viewed on a special display and aims to motivate smokers to give away the habit through the monitoring of incremental change.

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A companion smartphone app available in the AppStore allows to do even more. With its help, users can have data tracked over longer periods of time. It also offers to set goals, share successes with an online community and even track how much money smokers have saved from cutting back. The lighter collects smoking data and sends it to the companion Android or iOS smartphone app via built-in Bluetooth 4.0.

Quitbit lights cigarettes using a heating element, similar to car lighters, and the electronics count each cigarette that is lit. The company claims each charge should be enough for around a week of use.  The device itself measures 67 x 43 x 10 mm and weighs 72 g.

The product is seeking $50,000 in funding pledges. The company hopes to begin selling the device next year for about $149.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple reportedly incorporating NFC technology into iPhone 6

Apple is reportedly planning to incorporate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in its next-generation iPhone handsets, according to a report from BrightWire citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the rumors, the company has also struck a deal with China UnionPay to integrate the banking services into Passbook and elsewhere.

BrightWire explains:

“Apple is likely to incorporate a Near Field Communication (NFC) payment function in the next generation iPhone and has reached an agreement with China UnionPay on a mobile payment service, according to a source close to the matter.”

Additionally, the both companies will also cooperate to develop a new mobile payment solution that can be used for purchases in Apple Stores.

According to the company’s head of marketing Phil Schiller, NFC was “not the solution to any current problem.” But a reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated early this year that iPhone maker would integrate NFC chips into its new devices alongside a set of other features.

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In addition to NFC integration, Apple is reportedly searching for plans to find a mobile payment solution, with Touch ID as a foundation for payment service. The company is also rumored to offer a combination of existing Touch ID fingerprint scanner and NFC technology for the home button. The matter is Apple has recently registered a new patent describing such a system.

Apple is believed to unveil bigger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone devices to the market later this year. Both should feature a thinner profile, a faster A8 processor, and an improved camera in the form of image stabilization.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Mobile phone newcomer FreedomPop to sell first Apple devices

FreedomPop, an upstart mobile carrier, announced it will start offering the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 on its free wireless plan giving 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MBs of data per month.

FreedomPop was previously known as the carrier offering free and cheap data plans on Sprint’s network and its plan was only available to select Android devices after launching last year with an outdated HTC device. Additionally, the company is launching a new iOS app that provides iPhone users with free voice, text, and voice mail on any carrier.

“With the launch of its new iOS app, FreedomPop allows any iPhone user stuck in an existing contract to save hundreds of dollars per year by downgrading their voice plans and leveraging FreedomPop’s free voice and text service directly from their existing phone.”

The app is currently available only for US users and provides with a free phone number.

FreedomPop-l

“This is going to be a big step for us,” said FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols.

Of course, the most significant part of the announcement is that FreedomPop will be selling the iPhone 5 directly to customers for just $349 on one of its free no-contract plans. It won’t be available for the iPhone 4, but it will support the smartphone for those who wish to bring their own Sprint-compatible iPhone and supports routing your old number over to the service.

FreedomPop reported it has signed up hundreds of thousands of new customers since adding mobile phone service last October.

In addition to the iPhone, FreedomPop also aims to add the LTE-capable Galaxy SIII and Galaxy S4, for under $200 and for under $300, respectively.