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Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Sennheiser LogoSennheiser have always been one of my preferred headphone brands and I previously reviewed the Momentum On-Ears for GNC. Consequently, I was very interested to hear that a second generation of Momentum headphones were on their way with both Bluetooth wireless and noise-cancellation features. Marlo chats to Scott Houston from Sennheiser about the Momentum Wireless.

The new Sennheiser Momentum Wireless takes the original Momentum and updates it for listening on the move. No tangled wires with Bluetooth wireless; environmental sound kept to a minimum with active noise cancellation; integrated microphone to take calls without removing the headphones, improved padding for extended listening and folding arms to pack the headphones away neatly. Overall, it looks like a tidy package.

Of course, this doesn’t come cheap with the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless costing US$499 or GB£379 from Sennheiser’s web store.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the TechPodcast Network.

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Wi-Fi Alliance Looks To The Future at CES

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

WiFi Alliance Logo

The 10 billionth Wi-Fi-certified device will be shipping around now. That’s impressive considering that Wi-Fi is still young, going back only 15 years. I remember 802.11b and my first Wi-Fi PCI card which had an antenna the size of a pack of playing cards. Those were the days. Anyway, Don Blaine, the Gadget Professor, gets a little more up-to-date with Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Expected this year is new feature called Wi-Fi Aware which gathers information from the surrounding environment and pushes it to the user (subject to preferences). For example, when in a supermarket, a message might pop up to show the shortest check-out queue or special offers. If combined with the Internet of Things, other clever things can happen such as a garage door sending a message indicating that it’s been open for two hours, or turning the water off if a leak is detected. Sounds like a great technology to make life easier and safer for everyone.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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GoldKey Makes Us All Feel Like a Secret Agent

Friday, February 20th, 2015

GoldKeyCommunicatorAt one point or another, everyone has fantasized about being James Bond, Dick Tracy or Maxwell Smart. GoldKey, a company known for security products, has added a new product to make you feel like one of your favorite secret agents.

The GoldKey Communicator is a smartwatch that is an independent phone. While there are other products that match that description, where the Communicator stands apart is in its security features. Offering secure email, text, data, voice and payment, the Communicator allows for completely safe communication with other GoldKey users.

To ensure you feel like Bond, you are assigned a 007 area code phone number that allows you to communicate with other 007 GoldKey voice customers for the secure communications. That ensures that everyone knows when you are or are not speaking over encrypted VoIP service.

In addition to the huge collection of security features comes the capabilities of full Android 4.4 KitKat. Rather than Android Wear, you get the full Android Marketplace. You also get a camera for 5MP stills or HD video. The GoldKey Communicator is available now for $299.95.

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

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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HearNotes are Wireless Earbuds at CES

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

HearNotes“Audiophile,” “wireless” and “earbuds” you often see together. There are a couple of reasons for this but the main one is that Bluetooth isn’t really very good for music streaming, even with modern codecs like AptX. HearNotes believes they have solved this problem. Patrick Donohue explains what HearNotes can offer to audiophiles.

HearNotes wirefree earbuds are special for three reasons. First the earbuds are genuinely wireless with no wires even between the earbuds. Second the earbuds charge wirelessly in a matching case – there’s no plugging in to charge up – giving about 4 hours of listening between charges. Finally the wireless transmission uses a high quality wireless audio technology called Kleer. And of course, HearNotes uses top notch audio components in its design.

A small transmitter plugs into the 3.5mm audio port to support the Kleer technology so the HearNotes can be used in most situations, with most devices. This is undoubtedly a benefit but the audio output from most DACs in portable equipment leaves a great deal to be desired.

The HearNotes will be available in Q1 for a fairly pricey $349 from retailers nationwide.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the TechPodcast Network.
Disclosure – HearNotes is currently an advertiser at Geek News Central.

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Boingo Builds SMART Wireless Networks at CES

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

boingo logoMany of us will be familiar with Boingo from their public wifi hotspots in airports and coffee houses, though the company provides many more radio-based services to an array of clients and venues. Marlo learns more about Boingo Wireless and their plans from Dr. Derek Peterson, the company’s CTO.

When building large-scale wireless networks, it’s not simply a case of putting up more and more antennas. Boingo considers each implementation as a “SMART” network, their acronym for Secure, Multiple devices and models, Analytics, Responsiveness and Tiered services. With these aspects in mind, the appropriate design, technologies and policies can be put into action.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch. Note that Marlo’s audio is missing for the first few questions.

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Unleash the AirDog (at CES)

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

AirDogWith the advances in drone technology, it’s easy to fly most drones these days. To fly a drone well and record video at the same time still takes a great deal of skill. It’s especially difficult if you are the pilot, cinematographer and star all at the same time. If this is your problem, then the AirDog is the solution. Todd cries, “Havoc” and lets slip the AirDogs of war.

The AirDog drone has two unique selling points. First, it folds up to fit into a backpack and second, it can follow its owner from the air, filming the action. The owner wears a wristband somewhat reminiscent of Jack Harkness which lets the drone track the owner’s position. Various parameters can be set to adjust how the AirDog positions itself relative to the owner, such as height and distance. Seriously cool.

The AirDog will be available later in the year for $1,500 but pre-orders are open for a little under $1,300. You’ll also need to get yourself a GoPro camera.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Perfect Your Swing With Babolat Play

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Babolat PlayTo improve at any skill or game, it’s often practice, practice, practice but today’s technology can help point out the areas to work on. Babolat‘s rackets are world famous and used by some of the top tennis professionals and for tennis fans, Babolat have developed a connected tennis racket based on their AeroPro Drive to help them hone their game. Eva shows Todd the new racket, Babolat Play.

The Babolat Play racket looks like an ordinary racket on the outside but with sensors integrated into the handle, players now have access to a pile of information – power level, impact position on the racket head, type and number of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve, overhead smash), top spin or back spin, all provided through a smartphone app for both Apple and Android. The racket can be taken on court for six hours between charges and over 150 hours of performance information can be recorded between downloads, which can be either via USB or Bluetooth.

The Babolat Play racket will be on sale in March for $349.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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