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Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

Shift from Qwertyfree Helps Visually Impaired at CES

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

For the visually impaired, typing on a smartphone or tablet keyboard can be tricky as the small keys can be hard to pick out. The team at Qwertyfree are developing a replacement keyboard with just five keys to help those with poor vision. Todd finds out more from Craig.

The idea behind the new keyboard is that in English eight letters are used over 60% of the time so why not focus on those and make those letters the easiest to use. Called Shift (as in shifting gears on a manual transmission), the app has a four areas; up, right, down, left, with a selection of letters in each – it’s a little like the directional pad on a remote. The user swipes once to get a primary letter and then swipes again to get a secondary one, with the keyboard reading out the selected letter. So just swipe left for E, or right for N.

The new Shift keyboard should be available by the end of the quarter, though it may be Android only. No news on price.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Olloclip Pivot Grips Smartphones at CES

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Olloclip is well-known for its clip-on lens system for the Apple iPhone, though new at CES is the Olloclip Pivot, a grip for smartphones, cameras and GoPros. Todd finds out more from Patrick.

The Olloclip Pivot grip is a bit different from an ordinary handheld smartphone holder as it incorporates an articulating hub which provides 225° of rotation so that the camera can be positioned conveniently to capture the best shot, whether skating, boarding or simply at the beach. The Pivot is water resistant so can be taken swimming or snorkelling.

The Pivot holds smartphones between 4″ and 5.5″ wide, and also takes a GoPro. There’s an integrated cold shoe mount too for lightweight accessories like a light or microphone.  Priced at US$49.99, the Pivot is available now. I want one!

In addition to the Pivot, Olloclip have a new set of lenses for the iPhone 7, including wide angle, fish eye and macro. The core lens set is US$100.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Ztylus has a Truly Multifunctional Smartphone Case

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Ztylus Innovations logoIf you have a smartphone, then you need a smartphone case. There are some cases that have more than one function. The problem is that when it is time to buy a new smartphone, your old case will probably not fit it. You have to start all over, and that can be expensive. Ztylus Innovation has solved this problem with its truly multifunctional smartphone case.

Nakia spoke with Tim Hsu, who is an Inventor / Product Developer at Ztylus Innovation, at CES 2016. The company has created a new category in the smartphone case industry with their multifunctional smartphone case. It was a CES 2016 Innovation Award Honoree.

The Ztylus Innovation Multifunctional Smartphone Case is a platform. The back of the case was designed to enable a person to add attachments. Take out the removable disk, and you can add an attachment to the multifunctional case. When it is time for you to buy a new smartphone, you will need to buy a new Multifunctional Smartphone Case. All of the attachments can be used with your new case (and you will not have to buy them all over again).

One attachment has an arm that folds out and that can help prevent you from dropping your smartphone. The arm can also prop up your smartphone in either landscape or portrait mode.

Take out that attachment and you can replace it with a different one. Tim Hsu demonstrated the versatility of their camera lens attachment, which has multiple lenses inside it. Flip out the lens you want to use when you are ready to take a photo. Each of the flip out lenses improves the lens that already exists on your smartphone.

The Ztylus Innovation Multifunctional Smartphone Cases are available on their website now. Prices range from $29.95 to $44.95. Visit the website to check out their available attachments.

Nakia Mann is a video host who specializes in covering live events for Plughitz Live.

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Keezel Personal WiFi with VPN Security

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

KeezelVPNs are great for keeping snooping countries, Orwellian agencies and thieving criminals at bay, but they’re not always straightforward to setup and when you have a laptop, mobile phone and tablet it’s a pain to maintain the VPN on each of them. Keezel has a solution in the shape of a personal wifi hotspot which has VPN software baked into the firmware. Daniel finds out more from Aike Müller, Co-Founder and CEO.

The way the Keezel works is that when out-and-about in coffee shops and other public wifi areas, you connect all your personal devices to the Keezel wirelessly. The Keezel connects to the public wifi network, establishes a VPN connection to a secure server and then all your communications travel securely across the network. Neat.

The standard price is US$99 for the Keezel and then $5 per month for the VPN service. The Keezel is currently on Indigogo’s InDemand having been originally 540% funded back in August 2015. There are some special perks available with devices are expected to ship in March 2016.

Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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UniKey Powers ERA Touchkey into UK

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Unikey logo

With a string of successful smart lock products such as the Kwikset Kevo, UniKey are expanding out of the US and into other worldwide markets, but it’s not simply a case of taking a US product and selling it abroad as each country has its own size and security requirements . Don discusses the problem with Dirk from UniKey and looks at the first smartlock product from UniKey for the UK’s residential market.

The ERA Touchkey has been developed in partnership with ERA, a long established British manufacturer, to bring a smart nightlatch to the UK. The lock is really simply to use….touch the lock, the lock talks to your smartphone (which can stay in your pocket or bag), checks your credentials and opens the door if authorised. It’s clever enough to tell if the smartphone is on the inside or outside of the door, to stop the door being unlocked to intruders because your phone is nearby inside the house.

The ERA Touchkey will be available in the first half of 2016, but no details on price.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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mJoose Case Boosts Smartphone Signal Strength

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

mJoose LogoThe mJoose is a 3-in-1 phone case for the Apple iPhone 6 series and Samsung Galaxy S6 that protects the phone, extends the battery life and boosts the phone signal. Is this too good to be true? Don Baine assesses the mJoose with John Casalaspi, VP Sales.

Originally an Indiegogo campaign that was 546% funded, the mJoose is a sled-type case in matt black or bone white that surrounds and protects the phone. Embedded within the case is a 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery and an active signal booster. Unlike passive boosters, the mJoose has built-in circuitry to receive the phone signal, amplify the signal and pass it on the the smartphone. The active boost will add about two bars to the signal strength and could make the difference between making a call and not. It works across all carrier frequencies from 2G to 4G for all carriers, whether GSM or CDMA.

The mJoose will be available in the next month or so for the iPhone 6 series – it’s in the last stages of Apple accreditation. The version for the Galaxy S6 and Edge phones will arrive a little later. Pricing will be around US$149.99 retail depending on model.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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SureCall Boosts Phone Signal in the Home

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Surecall Logo

SureCall’s EZ 4G is a user-installable mobile phone signal booster for homes and offices that unlike most other products does not require an outdoor antenna. The EZ 4G consists of large receiver antenna which is placed in a window or other surface where there is at least some signal. A second smaller transmitter connected via coax cable then rebroadcasts the signals within the room. Don Baine chats with Frankie Smith to get some more details.

The EZ 4G works with all carriers and technology from 2G to 4G to deliver improved indoor mobile phone signal coverage for all phones or SIM-equipped devices within range of the transmitter and works with both incoming and outgoing calls. If there’s any kind of signal in the area, the EZ 4G will boost it.

The EZ 4G system will be on sale in January for US$399 MSRP from good online retailers and big box retail stores. SureCall has a full range of signal boosting systems for homes, offices and vehicles.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Waterproof, Drop-Proof, Extended Battery Life? Oh My!

Friday, February 19th, 2016

lifeproof-freLife Proof is starting off strong this year with their FRE POWER battery case made for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. This case provides a waterproof and drop-proof design with a new extended built-in battery pack. The case is waterproof under 6.6 feet submerged and can last up to an hour. It is also drop proof for up to 6.6 feet.

The new extended battery feature offers a quick and simple design. To charge your phone, simply flip it over and press a button for double the battery capacity. This is the first time ever for Life Proof to be selling a battery extending case for plus sized phones.

Life Proof is also selling their new active-wear called LifeActiv. LifeActiv is made for all phones as long as you apply the quick mount adapter on the back of your case. This adapter works with Life Proof’s arm band, bike mount and suction cup car mount and allows easy access to your phone or device at all times. Just snap on your device to attach and to remove it, turn your device 90 degrees.

LifeActiv products are available now. The retail value for the accessories range between $40 and $50. You could also find the new regular sized phone case for $129.99. The Plus sized version is expected to come out at the end of the quarter for $149.99.

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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

iOttie is Taking Wireless Charging to the Next Level and Winning Awards in 2016

Friday, February 19th, 2016

iOttie-IONEach year, we love to see the new advancements with wireless Qi technology, and this year did not disappoint. Our resident college student, Daniele, was on the hunt for new cell phone accessories and enjoyed speaking with Andrew from iOtte.

Of particular interest was their iON phone case which brings wireless charging capabilities to the iPhone 6 and 6s. Its sturdy design includes easy access to the headphone jack and data port while allowing wireless charging on any Qi enabled surface. Another new product is their innovative charging desk pad that simultaneously charges a power bank that can be taken along with you on the go, to charge any of your devices.

One of our favorite products this year is a new car mount that offers one touch lock and release technology for easy and convenient wireless charging in the car. This combines their already popular window mount with the ease of wireless charging.

Prices begin at $49.95 for the iON phone case and $69.95 for the Easy One Touch Qi Standard Car Mount Charger. Look for the new deck pad to be available in Spring 2016.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
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

Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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