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Kinivo Music and Video Gadgets at CES

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Kinivo LogoKinivo have a range of consumer-oriented music products from headsets to speakers, including several with Bluetooth. Don chat’s with Henry Wong, Kinivo’s Director of Product Management to find out more.

All of Kinivo’s products are competitively priced – for example the ZX100 Mini Portable Speaker with rechargeable battery costs less than $20. The BTH360S Bluetooth Stereo Headphones which supports wireless music streaming and hands-free calling costs $69.99 so these are good value products. There’s also an interesting HDMI switcher, the HS420 which has four inputs and two outputs, at just under $65. Could be very handy for advanced gaming or home cinema setups.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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On3 PowerCliq Smart Battery Case

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

PowerCliq LogoCombo battery cases for the Apple iPhone are commonplace from no-name clones to well-known manufacturers whose brand is almost synonymous with the product. On the other hand, combined case, battery and Bluetooth headset packs with smart battery management are really quite rare. In fact, On3‘s PowerCliq is the only one I know of, so watch Don get a hands-on demo from Brad Yasar of On3.

The PowerCliq is a 2700 mAh battery case for the iPhone which has two additional features. The first is a Bluetooth 4.0 headset that slides into the back of the case for both storage and charging. The second is that the charging features of the external battery can be controlled by app on the iPhone. When plugged in, most battery packs simply charge until the smartphone is fully charged and then keep it topped up; there are some schools of thought that suggest this can be detrimental to the long-term performance of the battery.

On the PowerCliq, the app can be used to set a minimum battery level such that the recharging doesn’t kick in until the iPhone’s battery falls to that level and once fully charged, turns off. This larger discharge / charge cycle is supposed to improve the life of the battery.

The PowerCliq is fundraising on Kickstarter with early birds getting in at $88.  Update: since CES, the Kickstarter campaign has been cancelled. There’s a note on Instagram saying that this is to allow for new developments and the campaign will restart soon.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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Marshall Electronics Targets Pro Portable Audio

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Marshall Electronics LogoSmartphones, and in particular the iPhone, are beginning to replace the video camera for on-the-spot interviews especially when it’s a one person gig. While the video side of the recording is well covered by the iPhone, the audio isn’t, mainly because the camera has to be six feet away from the subject rather than the the six inches preferred by a microphone. Marshall Electronics have been thinking about this problem and Don gets a world exclusive on their newest product from Perry Golstein.

Marshall have been working on a set of portable accessories for the iPhone which connects pro gear for high quality audio recordings. Brand new is a battery-powered pocket-mixer with four audio inputs, headphone monitor and an analogue output. In addition, the mixer has a digital out over USB: connect the mixer to the iPhone via Apple’s camera connector and the audio can be recorded digitally. The mixer will be available later in the year with a target price of $249. Very neat.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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OmniMount Takes A Lifestyle View at CES

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

OmniMount LogoCES regulars OmniMount decided to approach the show a little differently this year, setting out their products in lifestyle vignettes, with visitors to seeing the products in real and relevant scenarios. Don chats with Bill Ennis, veteran of 31 shows, to hear about a few of OmniMounts latest products.

The first of OmniMount’s new products is the WorkSpace Wall Organiser, a stylish wall-mounted height-adjustable fold-away desk which conveniently creates a mini-office when folded down and hidden away when not needed. $399.95.

Also new and entered for a CES award is an in-wall TV mount that holds up to an 80″ screen almost flush with the wall surface. With the flush mount, the slim bezels of the stylish TVs are emphasised, enhancing the picture frame qualities of the TV. Snappily titled OE120IW, it’s $349.95.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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MEElectronics Brings Some Unique Capabilities to Bluetooth

Friday, February 20th, 2015

MeelectronicsMEElectronics may not be a brand you’ve heard of, but if you are a fan of Bluetooth, you might want to add them to your list of brands to watch. At CES this year, they showed off a collection of new devices, all with price points that make them incredibly attractive.

First is an over-the-head headphone, called the Air-Fi Touch. Other than the single power/command button, this Bluetooth headset is controlled entirely with touch gestures on one of the ears. It can run over a day on a single charge while still being incredibly light weight. They are available now for $99.99.

Next is the Bluetooth upgrade to the company’s Sport M6 earbuds, dubbed the X7. The headphones are sweatproof and also fit snugly in the ear, allowing for continuous sports use. They also have controls for volume and command on the cord, so you can keep your phone safe while working out. They will be available soon for $99.99.

In addition to headphones, the company also showed off a Bluetooth transmitter, which allows you to add Bluetooth capability to systems that do not have it. The thing that is really nice is that it can pair up to 2 separate headphones at once. It also has line in or fiber optic in, allows you to keep a digital signal from end-to-end. The device is expected to release end of second quarter.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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iSet Smartwatch Improves your Tennis Game at CES

Friday, February 13th, 2015

iSet LogoPeople who are playing a competitive sport need to know the score as the game goes on. Sometimes, in the middle of a match, it can be difficult to keep track of. The iSet smartwatch solves that problem. It keeps track of tennis match scores in real time. Use it to track your own or to check the win/loss ratio of your favorite tennis players.

Scott spoke with Lea Partouche about the iSet smartwatch. The watch connects via Bluetooth to a player’s smartphone. It requires an app that is free to download for either iOS or Android. You can connect one iSet smartwatch to one smartphone.

Two tennis players, who each are using an iSet smartwatch, can keep track of the score of the match in real time just by glancing at their smartwatch. One really nice thing about the iSet is that it can be used even if your tennis partner doesn’t have one. The smartwatch can still record the score into the app.

In addition to recording the score, the app will show your win/loss stats. It keeps track of who you played against and when the match took place. Or, you can put the name of a tennis player that you want to follow into the app, and it will show you that player’s statistics.

In addition to being a tennis tracker, the iSet smartwatch can do other things. It can show you the time. It can be used as a stopwatch or a timer. The iSet smartwatch is expected to be released in March of 2015 for a retail price of $129.00.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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No cords needed for this unique charger from 911Boost

Friday, February 13th, 2015

911BoostSo your smart phone shows 2% charge and you are hours way from finishing the day.  You start to search frantically for the cord you need to connect your device to your portable charger, computer, wall outlet or whatever other means you have to charge your device on the go.  Of course, the cord is missing and your phone is useless the rest of the day.

Jacques Emano, President of 911Boost, realized this issue and set out to develop a portable charger that didn’t need a cord.  The 911Boost is what they developed.

911Boost is about the size of a car remote with an attached keyring.  You smart phone connects directly to the device via the tabs that set around the outside of the charger.  Easy to carry and ready to boost 98% of the smart phones currently on the market including most Androids and iPhones.

Their motto is “Never be left with a dead phone again, always be in charge!”  More information can be found at http://911boost.com/

Interview by the “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the TechPodcast Network.

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Amp Brings the Theater Experience to Tablets at CES

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

OIO logoOIO has created a high tech speaker case for iPads and other tablets. It is called Amp. It folds up and becomes a case when not in use. The case is made from precision aluminum and comes with an adjustable built in stand. The speakers can be set to different angles.

Scott spoke with Gregg Davis from OIO who shared details about this innovative product. The tablet and speakers connect via Bluetooth 4.0. The speakers keep the separation of the 2 channels, left and right, like you would expect if you were watching a movie in a theater. They provide double the volume of devices like the Mini Jambox or Beats Pill.

A single charge enables the speakers to work for up to 7 hours. A tablet can snap in and out of the case with ease. The sound from the speakers can fill a room. Or, you can use your earbuds or headset instead.

OIO is currently taking preorders for Amp. It is expected to become available in April of 2015 for a street price of $199.00.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Flic Coverage Continues at CES

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Flic logoIf you’ve followed our CES 2015 coverage at all, you’ve probably seen a post or two about Flic, the Bluetooth-enabled programmable button. One Flic button can be configured to perform multiple tasks with a few clicks.

Brian was the latest correspondent to swing by the Shortcut Labs booth and speak with a representative of Flic. Using the Flic app, users can program a simple button to do things like move thru music playlists, send GPS coordinates and more. Flic is available thru an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. Pricing varies, depending on how many buttons you’d like to buy.

Interview by Nick of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Add a Full-Sized Keyboard to your Mobile with TREWGrip at CES

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

TREWGrip logoPeople tend to use their smartphones differently than they do their desktop or laptop computers. It’s easy to take notes or photos on a mobile device. However, if your project requires a lot of typing, you’ll probably want to utilize a larger keyboard. TREWGrip provides an efficient solution that combines the best aspects of mobile devices with the easier to use keyboards that come with computers.

Scott met up with Mark Parker from TREWGrip. The TREWGrip is a handheld keyboard, air mouse, and game controller. It can be used with smart TVs and desktop computers. They took a regular keyboard, split it, and rotated the keys so that people could hold the keyboard in their hands and type at the same time. It is still a QWERTY keyboard, so your muscle memory from typing will remain the same.

The back of the TREWGrip contains a built-in mobile dock. Put a docking plate onto your smartphone (or inside the back of its case) and the smartphone can now adhere to the TREWGrip and be paired via Bluetooth. In addition to a smartphone, you can dock a mini tablet that is up to 5 and a half inches wide.

Now, you can use the TREWGrip to type and take notes directly into the mobile device. There is a map of the keys on the back of the device for those who are not “touch typists.” Press a key, and that key lights up for you on the map. The TREWGrip also lets you move the mouse on your device by tilting the keyboard. TREWGrip will be shipping in March of 2015 for a target price of $249.00.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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