New device extends wireless range 5,000 square feet from repeater
Wireless networking solutions provider Amped Wireless today announced the availability of its REC15A High Power Compact 802.11ac Wi-Fi Range Extender. The wall-plug unit extends the signal of any standard 802.11a/b/g/n or ac Wi-Fi router by repeating, amplifying, and redistributing the signal in an extended location, such as a far bedroom, backyard, or upstairs office.
Second-generation Kindle Paperwhite features reach first generation
Amazon has updated the software for the first generation of the Kindle Paperwhite, bringing it in line with features already available to the newer model. The free update, available both as a wireless download or a manual transfer over USB, introduces the Goodreads community rating and note sharing scheme to the e-reader, among other new additions to the device.
M2 Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system offers room-filling sound, wirelessly
Kinivo has announced the availability of its M2 wireless speaker system, available for purchase online. The Bluetooth-enabled 2.1 speaker system is intended for home or office use, and includes two compact speakers with an active subwoofer. Its design features a black finish with copper accents on its volume controls. Able to connect to one's home entertainment system or workspace equipment, the speaker system can stream audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as any device that can connected through its auxiliary input. The M2 2.1 speaker system is priced at $70.
Cash prize, Pebble Steel offered to highest-voted Pebble apps
Pebble has launched the Android version of its smart watch app store, just over one month after the iOS version first became available to use. The app's update to version 2.0 comes at the same time as the company launches a hackathon to create new apps for the crowd-funded device, with the developer of the highest-voted app receiving a grand prize of $5,000 in cash.
PonoPlayer to be available for pre-order via Kickstarter campaign beginning next week
Musician Neil Young has founded a high-fidelity digital music service, and with it an accompanying playback device soon to be available for pre-order. Entitled PonoMusic, the company encompasses both an online music store and a playback device (PonoPlayer), which is set to be available for pre-ordering through Kickstarter starting next week. The PonoPlayer offers the ability to play high-resolution digital music from both major labels and prominent independent labels, curated and archived for purchasing on PonoMusic.com. The aim is to deliver audio quality that is far superior to other audio file formats, such as the standard MP3.
Six-year FAA ban on drones declared not legally binding by judge
Commercial drones are legal in the United States, a judge on the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled. A fine against a drone operator by the Federal Aviation Administration will not stand, as it has been decided by Judge Patrick Geraghty that the FAA does not have any enforceable rule or regulation that applies to the usage of model aircraft.
Budget HP Android tablet ships without typical launch
Following the launch of its Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab phablets, HP has quietly shipped a budget Android tablet, to little fanfare. The HP 8 1401 Tablet offers a 7.85-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024x768, and while it is slightly larger than the average cheap tablet on the market, it still uses a relatively similar list of specifications as its cut-price rivals.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 to be available for $650 through Galaxy Perks
Samsung has announced that beginning March 9, the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 will be available for $650 at major retailers. The Tab Pro 12.2 will include 32GB of internal storage, as well as over $850 worth of app and subscription content as part of Samsung's Galaxy Perks promotion, including three months of access to Hulu Plus, SiriusXM, and Audible, $25 in Google Play store credit, and more. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 can be purchased with the Galaxy Perks promotion from Samsung.com, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Tiger Direct, PC Richard and Sons, Fry's and Newegg.
May solve smartwatch interface problems
Apple is working to expand Siri's third-party app integration with the iWatch in mind, a new report says. Siri already interacts with some third-party apps, like OpenTable or Wolfram Alpha, but in every case so far the companies have had to forge deals with Apple. The new scheme would allow third-party integration without an expressly signed agreement.
Compatible with Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, 2.5K other devices
Accessories maker Logitech has extended its line of Harmony remote controls to include a new "Harmony Smart Keyboard" that the company is aiming for the growing number of non-computer "smart devices" around the home -- particularly "living room" devices like Apple TVs, video game consoles, audio systems and digital video recorders, among others. Logitech says the keyboard is compatible with 225,000 home-entertainment devices covering 5,000 brands.
Loss of MHL, lower price point to help compete with Google Chromecast
Roku has updated its Streaming Stick, in what appears to be a move to compete against other streaming devices, and the Google Chromecast. The new Roku Streaming Stick is usable on a wider range of televisions than the previous model, thanks to a change away from Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), as well as pricing it at half the cost of the original.
D-Link announces 11AC portable router and charger
Announced today, D-Link is now shipping its 802.11ac router, entitled the Wi-Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (DIR-510L). Allowing users to quickly create a Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing Internet connection, the DIR-510L incorporates Wireless AC750 technology as to produce and maintain fast connection speeds.
Kickstarter funded device shipping a year after estimated date
The successfully-funded Instacube, tagged as "as living canvas" that pulls photos from a user's Instagram feed in the campaign, will finally start shipping units in April to backers -- more than a year after the estimated shipping date. The product, which pulled $621,000 from backers on Kickstarter, was funded in September 2012.
Whistle Activity Monitor now available at PetSmart, new apps updated
Dog monitor Whistle has announced its availability throughout the US through pet retailers PetSmart. A device that attaches to a dog's existing collar, Whistle collects data on activities throughout the day and night, then wirelessly sends the information to a connected smartphone. The retail announcement is also joined by an app update for iOS devices, including new graphing, and the ability to share data with friends. The company also unveiled its official app for Android. Whistle is priced at $130, and is available online as well as at PetSmart locations.
Product development follows earlier collaboration on tablets
A line of smartphones designed in part by actor Ashton Kutcher is being worked on by Lenovo, the company reveals. Building on top of an existing partnership between Kutcher and the company in the co-design, release, and promotion of Android tablets last October, the special-edition smartphone range will apparently be launching later this year.
Sony enters fitness tracker market with discrete wearable device
Sony initially unveiled its SmartBand wearable tracker at CES in January as the company's first foray into the fitness tracker market. Consisting of a rubberized band and a central and small Core sensor acting as the brain of the device, the tracker in theory performs all of the usual tracking functions of a fitness band, as well as handling other aspects of the wearer's life, such as music, when used with the accompanying Lifelog app. Electronista spent time at Sony's Mobile World Congress booth to try out the SmartBand.
Large 8-inch display, LTE in mid-range Huawei tablet
Huawei is using Mobile World Congress to demonstrate more than just smartphones, such as the Ascend G6 4G, by also announcing the launch of the MediaPad M1. The eight-inch tablet, which can be used to make phone calls like others in the MediaPad range, is a mid-ranged device that the company hopes will sell thanks to its LTE connectivity. Electronista spent some time with the tablet, and found it to be a little underwhelming.
Three states' officials contacted by Google-funded lobbyists
According to reports, Google is attempting to stop legislation that would mark Google Glass as a hazard to driving. Elected officials in Delaware, Illinois, and Missouri have allegedly been contacted, with the search engine giant claiming that it isn't necessary to restrict Google Glass use by drivers as the technology is still in its infancy, and not widely available to the public.
New form follows speculative renderings
After unveiling the Gear 2 on Sunday, Samsung made a surprise announcement--the Gear Fit--during Monday's Mobile World Congress event focusing on the Galaxy S5. The Fit departs from the squarish, chunky form of the first- and second-generation Gear watches, opting instead for a narrow display and focusing on fitness applications. Electronista donned the Fit to see if the sleek design equates to an improved experience.
Android flagship gets marginal enhancements
Following a steady stream of rumors, Samsung finally unveiled its new Android flagship at a Mobile World Congress event. The Galaxy S5 brings marginal improvements over its predecessor, adding a fingerprint sensor and a 16-megapixel camera, though it does not bring any revolutionary new features that were hinted at in early speculation. Electronista checked out the new phone to see if it still delivers.
BlackBerry QNX may be faster, more accessible than aging Windows software
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Ford Motor Company will migrate its next-generation in-car Sync away from Microsoft's Windows. In its place will be beleagured BlackBerry's QNX at the core of the car's in-dash system. QNX will be less expensive than Windows, and will reportedly boost the speed of the next iteration of Sync.
Interface presented on curved AMOLED display
Samsung has continued its Galaxy introductions with another watch, the Gear Fit, which will be sold alongside the Gear 2 and Neo. As its name suggests, the Fit focuses on fitness features and brings a more compact build than its larger cousins. Central to the new design is a 1.84-inch curved AMOLED display with 432x128 resolution.
New rugged device has wide range of radios, GPS, GLONASS
Panasonic today unveiled plans at Mobile World Congress to broaden its Toughpad range of rugged tablets with a new five-inch model. The new device is aimed for mobile workers who need a protected device that can handle voice and data in the field or in challenging environments, including the emergency services and public safety as well as logistics, factories and warehouses.
New device expected to be widely compatible, be powered by Android
A pair of sources have recently popped up claiming that electronics manufacturer LG and Google were teaming up to build out the search engine behemoth's second wearable computing device, in the form of its first smartwatch. The device is expected to be compatible with multiple smartphones, unlike Samsung's first effort in the space, and will be powered by at least an offshoot of Google's Android operating system.
Huawei announces TalkBand B1, unlikely to be released in US
Huawei has announced its upcoming wearable tech device, the TalkBand B1. Described as both a fitness band and Bluetooth headset combined, the band has a removable earpiece that accepts calls, and when used in the band tracks physical activities including sleep. Its 90mAh battery can last up to six days powering the flexible OLED display. The TalkBand B1 is not anticipating release in the US, though will be available in Chinese markets next month, and Japan, the Middle East, Russia and Western Europe in the second quarter of 2014.
Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear successors are incremental upgrade
Samsung has unveiled two smart watches as successors to the Galaxy Gear, confirming rumors from yesterday. Launched the day before Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are updated versions that retains the styling of the original but makes a number of improvements, including switching from running on Android to Tizen, and removing the Galaxy branding altogether.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
New smart watches will apparently not use the Galaxy branding
Rumors of Samsung offering multiple models of its smart watch in the future may in fact be true, based on leaked images. A low-resolution image of two follow-up devices to the Galaxy Gear was posted online, followed by a second, higher-resolution version, though it turns out the smart watches may not actually be part of the Galaxy device range at all.
Company offering full retail refund for those requesting return
As part of a continuing effort to deal with a small percentage of customers developing rashes from the product, FitBit has pulled the Fitbit Force wristband from sale to try and remedy the issue. Earlier this week, Fitbit CEO James Park claimed in a blog post that 1.7 percent of Force customers have complained of skin irritation or any rashes. "Independent test results" haven't found any problems with the battery or electrical systems, with the analysis showing that the most likely problem being allergic contact dermatitis.
LTE, 3G connectivity added to Nvidia-produced tablet
Nvidia has refreshed its Tegra Note 7 Android tablet, with new versions supporting the company's i500 LTE modem, and the availability being expanded to more areas of Europe, Brazil, and Ukraine in the coming months. The tablet, sold through regional partners rather than from Nvidia directly, will include two versions of LTE support for the US and Europe, with 3G connectivity still provided for variants in regions currently without LTE cellular networks.
Aria headphones feature 50mm full-range neodymium magnet drivers, wooden acoustic chamber
Luxury gaming instruments company Feenix has announced the upcoming availability of its headset, Aria. Intended for gamers who desire a high level of sound quality, Aria focuses on reproducing sounds as well as a studio monitor. The headphones possess 50mm full-range neodymium magnet drivers, and an acoustic chamber composed of Japanese pine wood. Its independent cardioid clip microphone allows for unidirectional voice recording, with its recording capability making Aria suitable for an every day headphone as well as a gaming headset. Aria's ear cushions are made of memory foam and protein leather for comfortable wearing. Currently available for pre-order online, the Aria headset is priced at $350.
Fenix 2 can automatically record laps, activity for sporting activities
Garmin is releasing an updated version of its ruggedized Fenix GPS watch, with a number of smart watch-style improvements. The Fenix 2 offers a similar set of features meant for outdoor enthusiasts as the original, except it adds more to its recording capabilities, and is now capable of displaying call and message notifications from a connected smartphone over Bluetooth.
HTC smart watch will be shown privately at Mobile World Congress
HTC will be showing part of a collection of smart watches behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. Bloomberg claims the company will use the trade show to demonstrate two prototype watches, one of which is apparently based on the Qualcomm Toq offering the same low-powered Mirasol display, Bluetooth connectivity, and music playback functionality.
Moscone Center in San Francisco set for annual conference
Google has revealed its annual Google I/O conference dates for 2014. The technology conference will be held on June 25 and 26, and will be held in Moscone Center in San Francisco. The reveal was made by Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai on Google+.
Display expected to use silver nanowire touchscreen tech
Apple may be using TPK as its touch panel supplier for the iWatch, according to rumors surfaced by the China Times. The watch is expected to use silver nanowire touchscreen technology developed by TPK in partnership with Nissha Printing. TPK is slated to start producing its first silver nanowire panels in April, but those for the iWatch aren't expected to enter mass production until much later, in the second half of the year.
Next Samsung smart watch said to use Tizen instead of Android
Samsung could launch multiple new models of the Galaxy Gear smart watch at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. A separate report also claims the electronics giant will also change the software running on the device, away from the version of Android used in the current version and onto the lesser-used Tizen mobile operating system.
GeForce GTX Titan Black graphics card offers 6GB of GDDR5 video RAM
Nvidia has released its sequel to last year's GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, the Titan Black. The Black edition offers faster performance while retaining quiet running and cool thermals, with the capacity to power 4K content and multiple monitor setups. Its high-speed, double-precision and 6GB frame buffer memory can facilitate 3D Surround and multiple monitor gaming performances. Priced at $1,000, the GeForce GTX Titan Black can be purchased from various retailers.
Guidance could help make Google Glass more socially acceptable
Google has provided advice to owners of its Glass headwear, by offering a list of Do's" and "Don'ts" for its usage. The guidance page on the Glass website reads as a list of suggestions for best usage of Google Glass itself, as well as use of the device in social situations, including one item specifically advising "Don't be creepy or rude (aka, a 'Glasshole')".
Entire line vulnerable, no fix currently available from Belkin
Security specialist IOActive announced today that it has uncovered multiple vulnerabilities in Belkin WeMo Home Automation devices that could affect over half a million users. The password leak allows miscreants to remotely control WeMo devices, perform malicious firmware updates, and access an internal home network.
PrioVR gaming suit Kickstarter raises well over its fundraising goal
Motion-based game controller suit PrioVR, has surpassed its funding goal with $75,000 with 40 days remaining in its campaign. Consisting of a suit that can be configured in three ways -- a half-body suit, or two full-body styles adding leg movement -- PrioVR translates body movement into gameplay. Early-bird pricing for the full body suit is sold out, however the upper-body version, PrioVR Lite, can still be pledged for starting at $250. Delivery is expected in June, with the campaign ending on March 31.
Newspaper also suggests iWatch might be able to predict heart attacks
Apple was at one point considering buying electric auto maker Tesla, a report from the San Francisco Chronicle suggests. The paper cites a source who says that in April of 2013, Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Apple's head of acquisitions -- Adrian Perica -- at the company's Cupertino headquarters. It's speculated that he might also have met with Apple CEO Tim Cook, a strong possibility given Musk's importance, especially if the two companies were exploring a buyout.
Claims of copied design said to have damaged Samsung corporate image
Samsung is suing British bagless vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson for claimed damage to the company's image. Stemming from a patent lawsuit from last year, one that was later dropped, Samsung is seeking 10 billion won ($9.43 million) in compensation over accusations that Samsung's "marketing activities were negatively affected" by Dyson's legal action.
Line focuses on bringing older analog sounds to the digital age
Roland has brought back a key piece of music history with their line of AIRA products. With four new products specifically pointed towards the evolving world of electronic music, the company brings back some classic analog sounds to the digital world and resurrects the TR-808 drum machine in the process.
Dash Bluetooth earbuds offer water-resistance, fitness tracking
Bragi's wireless "smart" headphone set, The Dash, has wildly surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $250,000, with 43 days still remaining in its fundraising campaign. The Dash wireless smart headphones are in-ear, and offer audio playback with the ability to store up to 1,000 songs in its embedded 4GB song player.
Cut in price of smart watch by AT&T, Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has received some cuts in price in the United States, with both Best Buy and AT&T discounting the smart watch. At the same time, more reports are claiming to confirm a successor to the wrist-based device will be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month, alongside the Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy Tab 4.
Update follows release of Chromecast SDK to developers in early February
Owners of the Google Chromecast may find more apps will work with their device in the near future, as the latest Google Play Services update for Android has rolled-out to Android devices, and the accompanying SDK has been issued to developers. Version 4.2 of Google Play Services adds a number of APIs for developers to use in their Android applications, including the Chromecast API the company released an SDK for earlier this month.
Rule change to help prevent pilot distraction by mobile devices
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has made two technology-related decisions this week, with both changes affecting pilots rather than passengers. At the same time as introducing new rules limiting the equipment brought into the cockpit, the FAA has given the green light to pilots replacing their bag of flight manuals and documents with the Microsoft Surface 2.
Remote fob, keypad, or physical key used to unlock door
As homes move forward into the future with smart refrigerators and app-controlled overhead lights, the demand for "smart" consumer products is starting to come in all shapes and sizes. While we haven't quite reached the future many people grew up with in Saturday morning cartoons, technology is teasing us, giving us some tantalizing devices along the way -- the SimpliciKey is one of these products. Bringing deadbolt automation, keyless entry and programmable guest codes, the SimpliciKey adds a level of technological refinement to everyday life. But does this new lock actually improve things, or is it just a bump in the road of advancing technology? Check out our review to find out.
Angry Birds' new release focuses on female characters
Rovio has announced its upcoming new game Angry Birds Stella, offering a female lead character. Rovio CEO Mikael Hed says Stella will feature "passionate characters who really stand for something, while adding plenty of action and and reality into the mix." As with previous Angry Birds games, Stella will likely have books, toys, and other merchandise associated with the title. It is anticipated to be released this fall.
Company continues building iWatch technology team
Apple has hired on former Ceracor CTO Marcelo Malini Lamego as part of a research and development team, according to a LinkedIn profile update discovered by NetworkWorld. Ceracor specializes in non-invasive medical monitoring technologies. Lamego himself is credited with over 70 patents and patent applications, including ones related to sensors and patient monitoring; he has also published over 30 peer-reviewed papers on topics like neural networks and adaptive systems. Apple may, however, be more interested in his work as the lead scientist on Masimo's "Rainbow," a non-invasive monitoring tool that can track several different blood and physiological parameters at once.