Items tagged with Gadgets

We’ve covered the Google Chromecast in some detail, including our full review, and we’ve found that using the device is incredibly easy, including with the Chromecast app for Android. Google has now expanded app availablity by introducing an official Chromecast app for iOS, as well. Like the Android version, Chromecast on iOS is free, and it lets you “cast” video from YouTube and Netflix as well as movies and music from Google Play to your TV or other display. You can quickly set up your Chromecast device with the app, which includes connecting to your wireless network and... Read more...
Some people are just gluttons for punishment. A pair of self-professed online distraction addicts, Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff, have created a tool called “Pavlov Poke” that will zap them if they spend too much time on Facebook and not enough time working on their dissertations. The Pavlov Poke works by using a UI Inspector (the duo used their Mac’s UI Inspector), a bit of code to produce an onscreen alert when a site is visited too frequently, a USB-connected Arduino to send the shock circuit, and electrodes connected to metal strips on a keyboard rest. Admittedly, the Pavlov... Read more...
The trade-in industry is exploding, spearheaded by annual renewals of hot products (iPhone, Galaxy S, etc.) that folks just aren't interested in waiting for. So, in order to get the hottest, latest, and greatest right away, many have turned to trading in older gadgets in order to cut into the price of a new one. This isn't a new concept in the video game industry; GameStop and other retailers have accepted trades on older games for years, and even re-sell those older games to those who are looking for a cheaper fix. But now, Walmart is looking to boost interest in its electronics department. After... Read more...
Microsoft has a new keyboard and mouse combo out called the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop, and they don’t look like your average devices. Instead of a flat keyboard, the device is split into two sections, giving users a domed and angled typing surface. The idea is that the user’s wrists and forearms will be more relaxed and resist pronation; the curvature of the keyboard is designed to follow the curve of your fingertips for a more “natural feel” when typing. The mouse has the same concept in mind, and the circular device had the right and left buttons slid just a bit to the... Read more...
Wearable computing is increasingly becoming something that makes sense for average users, and here’s another reason to take the plunge: the NFC ring. Simply put, the ring is equipped with two NFC transmitters or “inlays”--one for public use and a secure one for private use--and it allows to wearer to perform actions such as unlocking a phone or sharing WiFi information. NFC ring maker John McLear also suggests use cases such as unlocking the door of your house, sharing links to websites or photos, and sharing contact information (bringing heightened importance to the handshake),... Read more...
A pair of enterprising fellows are raising cash for a device called Poppy that purports to turn your iPhone into a 3D camera, which is the prototypical sort of Kickstarter project: interesting, quirky, and just a bit outside the lines of what the average consumer might want to buy. You can slot in an Apple iPhone 5, 4S, or 4, or a 5th-generation iPod touch, and anything you view will be in 3D. If that sounds like a grown-up version of the legendary Viewmaster toy, that’s because it is. Poppy’s creators are actually attempting to recreate that effect, only with a smartphone camera. The... Read more...
The team behind the exciting Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is hard at work and demoed a prototype 1080p HD version of its flagship product at E3 this week. “Raising the resolution for the consumer Rift has always been one of the highest priorities,” wrote the team in a blog post. They say that the higher-res version will double the number of visible pixels and generally enhance the immersion factor of the image. The image’s brightness, contrast, and color will also enjoy a notable improvement. Although this prototype may not be what we see in the final, consumer-ready version... Read more...
No, it’s not challenging devices like the Razer Edge, NVIDIA Project SHIELD, or even the intriguing Wikipad, but MOGA is angling for the mobile gaming hardware market with its mobile game controllers. The company announced the second generation of its controllers with the MOGA Power series, which succeed the MOGA Pocket and MOGA Pro controllers. The latest pair feature dual analog joysticks, D-pad, four control buttons, right and left bumpers, and more, and the controller will actually charge the connected mobile device while users are playing, which delivers much longer gametime. The Pivot... Read more...
TiVo has won more than its share of patent disputes pertaining to its DVR technology over the last few years, winning settlements from AT&T ($215 million), Dish Network and EchoStar ($500 million total), and Verizon ($250.4 million). The latest companies to lose against TiVo are Cisco and Google-owned Motorola Mobility. (Motorola made lots of set-top boxes for the likes of Time Warner Cable.) According to BusinessWeek, Cisco and Google (which inherited Motorola’s legal troubles when it bought the company) will have to fork over a combined total of $490 million to TiVo, with Cisco being... Read more...
There’s yet another entry in the smartwatch market, and this one’s from Poland, the effort of Reardon Technology. The company is launching an indiegogo campaign in an attempt to raise some funds to kick its Boddie smartwatch project into high gear. The device will feature a 1.44-inch display and an aluminum enclosure. Inside, there’s a pair of MSP430 microcontrollers, 2 x 16KB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0/BLE, a microUSB port, and a 7-day battery. It also has a dedicated OS and an impressive array of extras including an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, and two thermometers.... Read more...
There’s just something about smartwatches and Kickstarter, isn’t there? The latest smartwatch to whip up crowdsourced funds fast is the Agent Smartwatch, which is designed for fashion as well as function. The device is compatible with Android 2.3 and up, the iPhone 4S and newer, and Windows Phone 8 devices. Inside, it has a dual-processor design (a 120MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor and a secondary AVR co-processor), a 1.28-inch display, Qi wireless charging capabilities, and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE. It’s also waterproof and has a vibration motor, 3D accelerometer, and an ambient light... Read more...
For whatever reason, the smartwatch “craze” has been more of a low-level buzz than one might expect, but plenty of companies are getting in the game nevertheless. Google is no exception, and after a hearty helping of rumors to that end, Google has filed a patent application that indicates that the company might have one of its own in development. (The patent title is pretty clear: "Smart-watch with user interface features.”) This Google smartwatch makes no clear mention of Bluetooth-type connectivity, which has been something of a hallmark for these devices, although it does detail... Read more...
Leap Motion is hustling; after securing a bundling deal with ASUS and announcing the availability of its standalone gesture controller later this spring, the company announced that its technology will be embedded into select HP computers. This summer, HP will offer the same sort of bundling deal that ASUS offers, where the Leap Motion controller will ship with certain PCs; however, at some point in the relatively near future, HP will embed Leap Motion technology into HP devices, which is significant. Which devices will get the Leap Motion treatment and when remains to be seen. As part of the bundling... Read more...
GameStick, a small computer-on-a-stick with a companion controller that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and plays Android games, has done the Kickstarter thing as well as could be expected, and now the company has shipped developer units. The GameStick team says that over 600 developers have jumped on board the GameStick bandwagon, including indie and major studios, although one batch of devices has been held up in customs. However, Kickstarter backers won’t be seeing their GameSticks until the middle of June due to some manufacturing changes (which seem to be de rigeur with these Kickstarter... Read more...
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