Tired of playing games using your smartphone's touch screen? Ready to take it to the next level? Then, you might want to take a look at this.
A Boulder, Colo.-based start-up called Orbotix has created a robotic ball, called Sphero, that you can control with your smartphone via Bluetooth. The idea is that the ball becomes the object in a game, and you use your smartphone to maneuver it through the various levels or command it to do certain actions.
For example, you can use it to solve a maze by rolling the Sphero around on the floor. … Read more
Prior to each year's Consumer Electronics Show, we like to write previews of what buzz-worthy products might appear at the show and what trends you might expect to hear about. We'll do that, we promise. But before we do, let's take a look back and see what we left behind.
Last year, as expected, the e-reader was front and center at CES, the hot new category if there ever was one. It had its own little pavilion on the show floor and we spent some time snapping photographs of all the new wares companies were proudly showcasing. … Read more
LG wants to prove that 3D eyewear can be comfortable as well as attractive. Toward that end, it's partnering Alain Mikli International from Paris to introduce a new line of premium goggles. The French design firm has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing glasses and runs a chain of boutiques worldwide in cities like New York and Milan. The chaebol has cited lackluster 3D eyewear as a key hurdle for consumers to adopt the 3D TV technology and hopes to raise the bar in design, fit, and user comfort through this collaboration. … Read more
A startup called Snapstick is introducing its spin on Internet TV today that it hopes will compete heavily with Apple TV, Google TV, and other set-top boxes.
If you believe the demo video, a person holding an iPhone can "flick" the content toward a TV screen, which will suddenly begins playing the same content.
But how? Snapstick doesn't miraculously siphon videos from the iPhone to the TV. At this early, private beta stage, it's a software platform that can help your TV display streaming Web content--like those jealously protected Hulu videos--on its screen. Although that iPhone--or … Read more
A handful of companies, including ThinkFlood, L5, and New Potato, offer hardware/app solutions to help you transform your iPhone or iPod Touch into an adaptable, touch-screen universal remote. It seems like a no-brainer, which is why I'm a little surprised I haven't seen them much in the wild.
With full-featured universal remotes hovering in the $200-$300 range, you'd think convergence would win out and the iPhone would gobble up this market the same way it took a bite out of MP3 players, portable gaming devices, e-readers, Internet radios, and so on.
Start-up company Peel believes it's hit on one part of the problem: People don't want to use adapters. Whether it's a plug that you stick in a headphone jack (that you'll inevitably lose), or a dock adapter (which doesn't fit with your case), the simple truth is that expensive adapters suck.
The Peel system uses no iPhone adapters. Instead, a free Peel iOS app communicates with a wireless transmitter plugged into your home's router. When you use the app to turn on your TV or home theater component, or select a show to watch, the selection is bounced to the wireless adapter and back to a little battery-powered pear-shaped IR blaster, which can be placed anywhere in your living room.… Read more
Sandy Gross was one of the founders of two major speaker companies, Polk Audio and Definitive Technology, and now with GoldenEar Technology he's going for one more. I recently spoke with him about his new venture, and he didn't seem the least bit concerned about entering a rather tough retail market. He is in fact off to a good start and already has 100 brick-and-mortar U.S. dealers, and he will have overseas distributors coming aboard in the near future.
As soon as I heard Gross' SuperCinema 3 I understood why he's so confident. It's a lifestyle-friendly satellite/subwoofer system that sounds remarkable.
It comes with four SuperSat 3 satellites ($249 each), one SuperSat 3C center channel speaker ($249), and a ForceField 3 subwoofer ($499). The gloss black speaker cabinets feel extremely well-built, which is because they're fabricated from injection-molded marble powder infused polymer, a big step up from the more typical plastic, medium-density fiberboard or metal cabinets. That said, the wedge-shape, textured black finished sub is made from MDF, but it also appears to be well-built. GoldenEar Technology speakers are only available in black.
At 12 inches by 4.75 inches, the SuperSat 3 isn't tiny, but it's a mere 2.7 inches deep. The gently curved cabinets are decked out with two 4.5-inch mid/bass drivers, and one high-velocity folded ribbon tweeter (similar in operating principle to a Heil tweeter). Ribbon tweeters are the hot ticket for lots of high-end speakers, including my two personal references, the Magnepan 3.6 and the Zu Essence, but ribbon tweeters are rarely seen on speakers in the SuperSat 3's price range. The tweeter really does play a big part in the speaker's extraordinary sound quality. The SuperSat 3C center speaker sports the same driver complement, but the 3C's drivers are oriented for horizontal speaker placement.
Both speaker models can be wall-mounted via keyhole slots on their backsides, or used with the included table stands. GoldenEar Technology will offer floor stands for the speakers sometime in 2011.
The ForceField 3 subwoofer features a proprietary 1,000-watt digital amp with digital frequency shaping electronics; a front-firing 8-inch active driver; and a special 9.6-by-11.4-inch quadratic planar infrasonic (passive) radiator on the bottom panel. Connectivity options include a direct RCA input as well as speaker-level inputs and outputs. GoldenEar Technology will have an optional wireless kit for the sub for $130 early next year. The sub measures a tidy 11.5 by 15.75 by 11 inches.… Read more
The next stop for GM's Electric Networked Vehicle(EN-V) concept is the upcoming 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in January. In addition to its next-generation infotainment system, the carmaker will be showing off the three electric two-seater concepts it debuted at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai last March.
The personal mobility vehicles are one-third the size of typical cars, offer a 25-mile electric range, and are built on Segway's self-balancing two-wheeled PUMA platform. But the EN-V is more than just an upgraded Segway: it's equipped with drive-by-wire technology, and its carbon-fiber body is outfitted with GPS, distancing-sensing, vehicle-to-vehicle … Read more
Today at San Francisco's annual Music Tech Summit, Gracenote Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ty Roberts hinted at a few announcements the company will make at CES 2011.
Speaking on a panel that tackled the subject of "connected devices," Ty mentioned that Gracenote (a division of Sony) is gearing up to unveil a service for delivering streaming mood-based music playlists to connected devices such as TVs, along with accompanying artist photos and album art.
Apart from the "mood-based" angle, the combination of streaming music and artist images sounds similar to Microsoft's Zune … Read more
Let's go back to early 2010: back then, connecting a laptop to a TV with a wired connection was still the best way to get Internet video content such as Hulu and Netflix without an additional set-top box. Despite having a slight delay in the video/audio signal, and requiring a $99 Push2TV box from Netgear plugged into an HDTV or non-HD television to receive the signal, the benefits seemed clear, and for those looking to make a laptop into a home entertainment solution, there was no better choice.
Times have changed, indeed, although Intel Wireless Display really hasn't. The debut of Apple's iPad, and its support of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services, has changed the equation a bit, even if the iPad doesn't support Flash. Video game consoles now have Netflix across the board, and even (on the PS3, at least) Hulu Plus and Vudu. TV sets are including an ever-increasing number of Internet apps for accessing digital content, and set-top boxes such as the Boxee Box, the next-gen Roku box, and Apple TV offer a variety of solutions.
When it comes to methods of getting Internet or computer-stored video content on your TV, your options come to this: … Read more
Before today, the TDK brand meant only one thing to me: mixtapes. Just the mention of it makes me nostalgic for peeling the cellophane off a 5-pack of cassettes, like a fresh pack of cigarettes.
It's been at least 15 years since I dubbed a tape, and honestly, TDK has been off my radar ever since. That is, until today, when they dropped by CNET to show off the coolest-looking portable speaker I have ever seen in my life.
When I saw TDK's latest Three-Speaker Boombox (seriously, that's their name for it), I think I may have squealed a little. Priced at $499, set for unveiling at CES, and due out in January, this sonic beauty hits on all cylinders--combining sound, features, and design in a way makes my audio nerd heart swoon.
Under the hood, you have three drivers: a 15-watt woofer at the center, flanked by two 10-watt stereo speakers with edge-driven tweeters at their center. Because the speakers aren't covered by a grille, TDK utilized woven carbon fiber speaker cones that can stand up to the elements. All together it's 35 watts RMS, which doesn't sound like much--but you feel every watt. Turned up just halfway, it's a house party.
Feature-wise, you're looking at iPhone/iPod support (via USB), AM/FM radio, USB stick (MP3, AAC, WMA), and a slew of aux input options, including RCA, minijack, and a 1/4-inch instrument input that can be blended with the other audio for instant karaoke/block party high jinks. The unique audio support for iPhone and iPod takes the digital signal from the dock connection and decodes it to analog using TDK's own integrated converters. The company also throws in an EQ with 5dB of cut and boost, represented on an OLED display on the front and controlled using the system's oversized aluminum knobs.… Read more