Accessories, News/Rumors

Сapture your memories with Instagram and Fotobit frames

Are you a digital photography enthusiast who love using Instagram to capture your memories? Well, there’s nothing better than the nostalgic feeling you get when reliving a memory through a photo. Fotobit is an amazing creation! It is a modular photo framing system that allows you to easily install multiple frames simply by mounting a base frame to then create custom configurations.

Fotobit frames are equipped with an durable clip system and can be used in limitless possibilities and combinations. It is you, who use imagination to create unique patterns, breathe life into your room and share your beautiful masterpieces with friends and family.

“Traditional photo frames made the task too daunting, so that’s when I came up with Fotobit, which I hope inspires people to get photos out of their phone and onto their walls,”-says Alan Yeung, Fotobit co-founder.4

Lightweight photo frames hold 4” x 4” prints protected by a clear acrylic window. You can start your exposition with a single photo frame mounted to the wall and then attach to it more ones, to get small or large-scale photo compositions. It is easy to arrange and rearrange your frames, grouping your images by event or themes.5

Fotobit itself is a 4.25 x 4.25-inch frame designed for wall-mounting your Instagrams. The frames consist of several components: the front, the back, a matt and a clear acrylic window.6

Fotobit was designed and developed with the award winning product design team at CRISP^YHKG in Orange County, California. Their frames have been tested for durability and each clip can withstand a weight load of over 30 pounds.

It’s also $40 for a three pack, which includes nails, frame clips, bubble level, optional white matting, optional double stick foam Pads.

According to the developers, they have already reached the stage where they can make Fotobit a retail product for everyone to enjoy. And if they meet their initial goal of $16,000, final retail products can be shipped as early as late May/early June 2014.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple releases cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c

According to a number of reports, Apple has officially released an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c and relaunched a 16 GB version of the previously-discontinued fourth-generation iPad. The 8 GB model is currently available in Apple’s European Online Stores and priced at £429 unlocked-a difference of £40 between it and the 16 GB model.  The new version is also offered in all of the existing color options.

The 16 GB iPad 4 is sold in Apple’s U.S. Online Store for $399, and a cellular version can be purchased for $130 more at $529.
The relaunch of the 16 GB iPad 4 is a new step to help support the phone’s lagging sales. Meanwhile, Apple’s European stores still currently show the iPhone 4S being sold alongside the new 8 GB iPhone 5c.

The iPhone 5c debuted last September due to high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s and its sales were lower than the company expected. In total, Apple sold 51 million devices during the holiday quarter, a new record for the company but below market expectations of 55 million.iphone5c8gb_ipad4-800x356

With the cheaper iPhone 5c version, Apple believes to stimulate customers’ interest.  Earlier this week, the company also promoted the iPhone 5c, advertising a new set of playful dot-centric for the device on a well-known blogging platform Tumblr as well as the front page of Yahoo.com. 

It was originally believed that the new 8GB 5c would replace the iPhone 4s, but the 4s, which was removed in favor of the iPad Air last October, is still available on Apple’s website and at various carriers.

Both devices are available to order from Apple’s Online Store or through the company’s retail locations.

 

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple launches new animated iPhone 5c ads beyond Tumblr

After Apple has been experiencing some troubles selling the iPhone 5c, the company appears to be experimenting with a new advertising campaign to push the device.

Apple on Thursday launched a digital advertisement campaign on high-profile websites like Yahoo and The New York Times.  The Yahoo homepage offers an ad block on the right side hand of the page where eight various iPhone 5c ads with the tagline “Find your colors” are placed.

Each ad brings a short animation, presenting a few original Tumblr ads. There’s a spot dubbed “Catwalk,” which shows a series of lens flashes, “Baaaa,” which mimics a herd of sheep, and “99 Luftballoons,” which features floating red dots with music from the well-known song.

Each clip offers a number of dots arranged in different ways that eventually come into line as the same dots on the back of the iPhone 5c case, which then zoom out to present the full iPhone 5c. In all, the company has about 17 various animated iPhone 5c ads that are being shown on the web.

iphone-5c-ad

The iPhone 5c has been actively advertised after its release. Web ads have previously been used by the company. For example, Apple has recently shown its Your Verse ads on a number of websites.

Apple seems no to be planing to stop its promotional campaign and is expected to expand the animated advertisements to other websites as well in an effort to further market the iPhone 5c to a wide range of consumers.

During the company’s Q1 2014 earnings call, Apple said, that the results were lower than expected sales of the iPhone 5c. The reason is high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Moov-personal trainer from former Apple engineer

There is no need to describe the hype around “smart” watch-form gadgets. The range of such devices can be divided into smart watches and fitness trackers. The abilities of most of them are not too different from each other, although there are sometimes pretty interesting ideas. Moov, created by a former Apple engineer is one of them.

Unlike many other devices that read parameters such as heart rate, steps, calories and so on, Moov is described as a personal trainer. The accessory not only tracks your activities, it also gives you personalized tips to improve your workout performance. The Moov is provided with nine-axis sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. These sensors collect necessary data, analyzes the quality of the exercises and in real time gives tips to improve your training. For example, while running, the device can provide real-time audio advice in a form of recommendations. It can ask you to change step length or reduce the speed.

The device uses 3d motion reconstruction technology to analyze and distinguish between a bunch of activities, including running, biking, swimming, weight lifting and more. All the tips and programs are created by certified coaches and based on biomechanics and sport science research.

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Designed in a form of a waterproof disk, Moov can track the position and movement of the human body during exercises. All you have to do is put it on the wrist, shoulder, ankle. The device will support five activities – running, weight lifting, boxing, swimming and biking – with more to come in the future.

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The data collected by the tracker, are then sent to your iPhone or iPad and processed by a special app, which corrects certain aspects of your training. Moov connects your device via Bluetooth 4.0. The rechargeable battery provides up to 7 days of work.

Everyone can pre-order Moov for $59.95. Moov is currently available in black or white.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Fin thumb ring converts your palm into a numeric keypad

Smartphones, smartwatches and even smart glasses continue to enrich the line of smart accessories. Smart rings are certainly less common but still pretty intriguing ideas. One of them is Fin, a thumb ring designed to turn your whole palm into a gesture interface. Fin wraps around your thumb and converts your palm into a numeric keypad.

The main goal of the device is to enable hand gesture control of smart devices, aims to not only provide better connectivity, but to alter the way you interact with your favorite gadgets.

How doest Fin work?  Fin is a Bluetooth enabled product that you can connect to three different digital devices, including Smartphones, Smart TVs, Automobiles, and Home automation devices providing multiple device compatibility. Fin has built-in sensors that allow it to track its movement in relation to your palm.  Gestures are then imported into commands for different devices that are transmitted via Bluetooth 4.0.20140110101734-Fin-Indiegogo-spec

Additionally, the ring is equipped with an LED indicator, and runs on a lithium-ion battery that requires a single charge for a whole month. It can then be recharged via a Micro-USB port. Among other advantages of the accessory is its waterproof feature with a rating of IP67. The developer also claims the ring is dust proof.

The device is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows phones.

Key features:

  • Fin should come with Water-proof: IP67.
  • Size/Fit: Flexible.
  • Battery: Li Po custom battery with micro-USB charging dock.
  • Sensors: Fin can track accurate movement of your thumb on the palm also detect each part of your finger where you are touching.
  • Communication: Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 4.0
  • Compatibility: Windows, MAC, iOS, Android, Windows Phones.

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With just a swipe motion, the ring allows you to control your smart TV, change the channels, control sounds, navigate your maps, receive calls and read messages, change music, and other car utilities. You can easily share your data with a tap of your finger.

The ring will come in white, orange, black, blue and green, with shipping estimated for September.

Fin is still in prototype phase, and a crowd-funding campaign has been launched via Indiegogo. To gain a ring for yourself you’ll have to pledge $130.

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple releases ‘Made for iPhone’ specifications for iBeacons

In a push for wider iBeacon adoption, Apple has on Tuesday released the iBeacon specifications for members of the “Made for iPhone” program, Apple’s program for hardware partners.

iBeacons are known as Bluetooth low-energy transmitters that use Apple’s iBeacon API to send micro-location information to nearby apps and devices. This accessory is compatible with Apple’s iPhones and iPads, as well as other devices that use Bluetooth LE.  iBeacon is particularly interesting for retailers.

Apple is now implementing tighter control over who can use the ‘iBeacon’ branding. That means, that the company is now requiring manufacturers meet certain specifications before using ‘iBeacon’ on their products. According to Apple’s “Made for iPhone” program, manufacturers will have to ask for permission to use the iBeacon name on products. Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any requirements that would limit the functionality of beacon products already on the market. The requirements are comparable to those for Bluetooth accessory makers under the MFi program. Using the term iBeacon requires manufacturers to meet specific criteria, which are only available after a non-disclosure agreement has been signed. ibeacon-131206

This new specification provides Apple more control over the iBeacon trademark, meaning no longer usage of the iBeacon brand without consent from Apple.

With introduction of iBeacon micro-location technology, users received a new great way to interact with their environment.

After a number of tests, Apple released the technology in December at its U.S. retail stores. Most recently, Major League Baseball announced successful iBeacon installations at stadiums that will send notifications that include info related to the game and stadium through the MLB At the Ballpark app. MLB also announced its plans to apply iBeacon tech in over 20 parks before the 2014 season’s stateside opener in March.

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Resound Linx-the world’s first made for iPhone hearing aid

GN ReSound, a Danish hearing aid manufacturer, launched a new hearing aid, which connects directly to iPhones and other iOS devices. The accessory is designed to allow hearing impaired to talk on the phone or listen to music, without the need for an additional remote control.

There are more than 500 million people worldwide, who suffer from some degree of hearing loss and they are not only those at advanced age, but much younger as well. A hearing aid can help them regain their hearing so they can live the life they’re used to.

The LiNX can be used to talk on the phone and listen to music, with a custom app. Once launched, the app allows to adjust volume levels, change device settings and switch between preset environments for the hearing aid, allowing the accessory to optimize to the user’s environment. Hearing aids feature a number of modes, allowing to automatically change sound profiles based on the location of the user, changing for work, home, or a favorite restaurant. Additionally, the app includes a “Find My Hearing Aid” function to help wearers find their device if it’s lost.

resoundapp

The developers use a unique 2.4GHz protocol used by the LiNX and designed specifically for communication between iPhones and hearing aids.

The hearing aid itself can also function as a high-quality headset, providing users with the ability to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device.ReSound-LiNX-image-001

“We saw an opportunity to create the world’s best hearing aid by combining the capability of GN ReSound’s life-changing technologies with the compatibility and global prevalence of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch,” said GN ReSound CEO Lars Viksmoen. “We are committed to improving people’s lives through use of innovative technology and look forward to more people correcting their hearing with this new technology – a triumph in accessibility for the hearing impaired.”

Previously, hearing aid wearers had to carry a wireless device to make changes to settings on a tiny hearing aid. But the new accessory allows to make those changes directly on the iPhone.

The price of the device is unclear.

Accessories, News/Rumors

MAD CATZ announced a wireless game controller for iOS 7

Gaming peripheral company Mad Catz has announced its C.T.R.L.i iOS 7 gaming controller at Mobile World Congress 2014. The company, which is best known for its range of console and PC gaming accessories, presented its first controller to feature native support for iOS 7.

The C.T.R.L.i can connect to any iOS 7 device through Bluetooth instead of using a Lightning port, and includes a spring-loaded mount that can be used with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c. The accessory itself is based on Mad Catz’s popular MLG Pro Circuit Controller for the Xbox 360, and features standard console-style controls such as a two thumb sticks, a d-pad, media buttons and triggers on the shoulder.

You will be impressed with how stable the controller remains while playing. To protect iPhone from damages, the controller is equipped with a special clip, fixed with a tiny screw. A device with a bigger display is also available to place in the controller, meaning, that the company is ready to the next generation of iPhone with a larger display.madcatz_ctrli_1-800x502

Additionally, the C.T.R.L.i’s Bluetooth capabilities also provide connectivity for up to four controllers.

C.T.R.L.i is not the first iOS 7 gaming controller, both Logitech and MOGA were first introduced to public, but priced pretty high and of poor build quality. So, the controller from Mad Catz, known for its good quality, will be able to make a good competition to the existing models.

According to the maker, the Bluetooth-enabled gamepad will go on sale in early spring. It’ll be available in black, white, blue, red, orange and priced at $80.

iPhone, News/Rumors

First look at next-gen iPhone?

A set of images has been posted yesterday by an anonymous Twitter user, depicting what could be a prototype of the next-generation iPhone. The photos are believed to have been shared by someone in China, who claimed the images show the “iPhone 6″.

They show the front and back of what appears to be a larger handset designed by the Cupertino company, but  there is still no solid evidence that they are real. Early prototypes of the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c showed a blank rear shell while the iPhone 6 shell in the picture clearly shows FCC text that is generally added to the phone at a later date. The metal shell of the prototype, which is a unibody construction, closely resembles both the industrial design of the current iPod touch and iPad Air.

According to some measurements based on the leaked photos, the new iPhone in the images is 4.7 inches diagonally and 2.3 inches wide, the same width as the existing iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 is rumored to be available in multiple sizes, one model at approximately 4.7 inches and a second between 5.5 and 5.7 inches.3

Some earlier reports said, that the iPhone 6 may be thinner and lighter than the current iPhone 5s, thanks to advancements in LED backlighting technology. The posted images also show the thinner device with a curved-edge design. The next-generation device is also expected to come in with a sapphire glass display, and will be provided with the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system first introduced with the iPhone 5s. 2

By the way, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of iPhone design. Back in Oct. 2013, Ciccarese Design revealed renderings that looks almost identical to the latest leaked images.

Even if these images are fake, they give a good look at concepts of what the next iPhone could look like.

 

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple likely to use Sony front-facing camera sensors for future iPhone

According to some sources, Apple is preparing to release two new versions of the iPhone in September. Prototypes of the so-called “iPhone 6″ are reportedly being tested by the company. The display of the future device is believed to feature integrated fingerprint sensing capabilities, technology that the tech giant has already described in patent filings. It is unclear if the new technology means the refuse from the Touch ID-infused home button, or the end of the home button all together.

In addition, the iPhone 6 could sport a new Sony-supplied front-facing camera. The news came from Japanese business site called Nikkei, which thinks that Apple and Sony are in negotiations that would double Sony’s shipments to the Cupertino company in 2015.

“The Japanese firm already supplies nearly all of the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors for the current iPhone models’ rear-mounted main cameras. Apple is likely looking to switch to Sony sensors for the secondary camera on the screen side, used for taking self-portraits.”

iphone

Sony recently bought a new manufacturing plant,which is believed to help step up production in order to meet Apple’s request for more sensors. The Japanese electronics giant will invest 35 billion yen in the facility, which will boost its monthly production capacity by 25 percent.

Sony has already provided the iPhone maker with sensors for the device’s rear camera, while OmniVision has supplied the sensors for the front camera.

Sony, a camera manufacturer itself designs large, light-absorbing sensors into small cameras. Apple has also focused its attempts on enhanced sensors and low-light picture taking capabilities along with its competitors, like Nokia, aim to focus only on higher megapixels.

It is likely that with Sony supplying sensors, the front-facing camera in a future Apple device could see some important improvements. As for the iPhone 6, it is still unclear what camera enhancements the company may implement.