If it's Tech it's Here!

Mobile

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.

Sponsored in part by: GoDaddy
Save 30% on new orders at GoDaddy.com by using Promo Code: GNC30
Get a $1.49 .com @ GoDaddy geek149.

AspectSolar Brings the Power, in Several Different Form Factors

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

When it comes to solar power, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. However, if you’re looking for a company that makes a broad range of products to fit your varying needs, then you may want to give AspectSolar a bit more attention.

AspectSolar had several interesting things to show off at the International CES. First, the company’s turnkey solution and entry to solar is the DuoFlex 2. It’s a 13-watt panel that is flexible and made with monocrystalline silicone. What that means is that if one panel breaks, the unit will keep working, only at less power. The unique design of the DuoFlex 2 is what makes it special. Several zippers and loops allow you to configure the device however you want. And for $179, you can pick up a DuoFlex 2 and a 10,000 MaH battery today.

The other product that has me excited is the Power Rack. Its batteries are not the standard lithium-polymer and instead use LiPO4, making the unit weigh almost 40% lighter than its competitors, under 60 pounds. The batteries, of which there are five, are all 300 watt-hours, pushing a total output of 1000 watts in order to replicate the most natural A/C output possible. You can also pair it with two slave units to be up to 4,500 watt-hours total. The Power Rack will launch later this year at $2,500.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Vysk Makes Your Smartphone a Secure Phone

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

As expected, one of the tech trends this year revolves around the topic of security. Be it computers, the Internet and of course, our personal cell phones. In line with that, Vysk, a smartphone security company, is on a mission to make sure that everyone can have access to privacy. A smartphone case paired with an app makes this all possible.

Vysk introduced three different levels at CES. The entry-level option gives users private text messaging, private photos and a shutter for their camera, all within the case. The next level gives consumers all of those features, along with 120 percent extra battery life, to give you that extra juice you need. The final selection, the QS1, stands to be the world’s most secure form of voice communication. Sliding a switch sends you into privacy mode so that someone cannot listen in on conversations, like in a private business meeting.

What’s really unique about Vysk’s encrypted photo gallery is its combination of three codes. The first code opens up one gallery, the second another, and then the third initiates a self-destruct process, destroying the contents of your photo gallery. A last resort indeed, but definitely a good option to keep in your back pocket.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

A Unique Smartphone Makes Snail Games a Group to Keep an Eye on

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

SnailGamesSnail Games first started in 2000 in China as a software developer that made several popular games. With the popularity of mobile, it made sense for the company to also get into the mobile space, becoming a telecom in China as well. Snail then bought a hardware manufacturer to round out the trifecta of logical endeavors to make a platform in which to have their games play on their own phones, all on their own network. Snail’s focus at International CES was to spread its reach into Europe and naturally, the United States.

Snail’s mobile device, the W3D, has four shoulder buttons, four face buttons, dual analog sticks – everything a normal gamer would expect to have on a controller. This takes mobile gaming to a new level, by building the controls into the phone and not requiring add-ons to play while on-the-go.

Moving into the home console, Snail Games also is launching an Android-powered gaming system. The company already has interest from a large number of developers and publishers to set the console up for success. With the console launching in China this year, Snail looks to bring its device to the US as soon as they can.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

Shortcut Labs Announces the Flic, a Programmable Button to Simplify Your Life

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

ShortcutLabsFlicLots of talk surrounded the Shortcut Labs booth at Eureka Park this year at CES. The company had taken to Indiegogo to launch a new product, Flic, that is set to make life easier with the literal touch of a button.

This Bluetooth-enabled, programmable button has three different ways to press it, and each of those can be programmed for a specific task using the Flic app. Whether you want to select a certain playlist on Spotify, navigate to a destination on your GPS app or create your own command, all of that can be done with Flic.

A 6-pack was going for $99 on Indiegogo during CES, and Shortcut Labs managed to blow past their goal reaching over $700,000 in funding, 801% of their goal. That’s a truly impressive feat for something so unique, and it’s simplicity is what wins over consumers.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

Wireless Charging From the Inside Out

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

NxpAs you probably already know, we are big fans of the Qi wireless power standard. One of the biggest Qi partners is NXP Semiconductors, a company that makes devices connectable.

The company demoed a set of custom Qi-powered devices, and talked about their involvement in the industry. The demo included custom chargers, built directly into a table. They pulsed when nothing was on them and went solid to indicate they were charging a device.

While the demoed charging plates are not for sale, they do show that a plate can be a lot more interesting than what Nokia and others have built. They can compliment, or even enhance, furnishings instead of being generic black plates that sit on top of a desk or table.

In addition, we got to see some retrofitted phones; devices that were not shipped with Qi support, but had it added aftermarket. Some can be done simply, with small adhesive plates that stick to the back, or under a battery cover or case, and plug into the USB port. Others had been opened up, and the insides altered to add native support to the device. This is a hobbyist’s dream come true.

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

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

NFC Helps Automate Your Cooking Routine

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

NxpWhen you think of NFC technology, you might not immediately think of usages for an oven. That is why NXP Semiconductors employs some smart people to think about new usages for their technology. In an oven, it turns out there are some great usages, both for consumers and repair.

As a consumer, the idea of being able to use a recipe app on your phone, like MSN Food & Drink, you could not only plan your meal, but program your oven. In fact, you could program various levels, and automate temperature variances all with the tap of a phone.

As for maintaining your appliance, think of the possibilities of an oven that could tell you what was wrong. With NFC, the chip receives power from the receiver, not from the device that programs it. That means, even if the oven’s power supply has failed, the NFC chip could still pass along its final readings. That could prevent a lot of guess work for technicians, and end up costing you a lot less.

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

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

A Near Field for Your Car Lock

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

NxpNXP Semiconductors might not be a brand you’re familiar with, but in a day of connectivity, they are a company you’ve likely interacted with. Formerly part of Philips, the company makes a lot of the connectivity technology that makes your gadgets work.

In a demo, the company showed us a Near Field Communication prototype that allows you to open your car with your phone. The phone communicates with the car via NFC, and can have various activities at various distances. In the demo, we saw the dome lights turn on as the phone approached the car, and the doors unlock closer.

The technology is not limited to vehicles, either. It could be used on a home door, or as part of a unified system, like Nexia Home Intelligence. You could even use it within the home to turn on lights as you enter a room. The technology is in the world today, and could make it into vehicles in the near future.

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

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

BLU Products Talks About Their Windows Phones Devices

Friday, February 20th, 2015

BluWindowsPhonesYezz wasn’t the only company showing off Windows Phones; Miami, Florida-based BLU Products also had a pair of Windows Phone handsets on display. These devices have been available through the Microsoft Store for a little while now, but we wanted to get a better idea of why BLU decided to join the Microsoft family, how they have been doing and what the future holds.

The two current handsets are the BLU Win Jr ($89) and the BLU Win HD ($179). In BLU tradition, the handsets are all done in wonderfully crazy colors, and available unlocked for better than reasonable prices. More importantly, the specs manage to keep pace with the better-known brands.

Apparently, this combination is enough to keep the phones on the move. The company says that the Microsoft Store has big demand for the handsets. In fact, while discussing the current handsets, we had the opportunity to discuss the company’s future in the Microsoft ecosystem. Luckily, we will see new handsets added to the lineup, likely to coincide with the release of Windows 10 for Phones.

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

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live

TazTag Creates a Physically Secure Android Device and Service

Friday, February 20th, 2015

TazTagSecurity was a big topic at this year’s CES. From watches to USB keys, there were all sorts of products trying to solve the problem of security, in physical and virtual world.

TazTag has a new smartphone designed to ensure secure communications between devices. The devices have a combination of hardware and software security, helping to guarantee the person you are trying to communicate with is the person on the other end.

Using biometric sensors, the phone requires a physical unlock before any of the secured applications can be accessed. Currently, the system supports secure chat, email, SMS and others. Also available is an encrypted voice service, available between compatible devices. The company also provides a secure, private application marketplace.

The hardware of the phone is also secured, preventing a thief from simply flashing the firmware and getting around its security. Without the right configuration, the hardware will be come useless.

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

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live