Archive for October, 2016

SOL Republic reveals Amps Air headphones

SOL Republic is a name that many of us are well versed with, as they have come up with their fair share of fantastic performing headphones in the past. The kind of pedigree that the brand name carries with is certainly not lost on the latest arrival — the SOL Republic Amps Air headphones. What would make this pair of $179.99 headphones worth checking out? It is certainly not priced to target the impulse purchase market, that is for sure, and it would be a proper investment for those who would like to enjoy their music or movies while they are on the move.

For starters, the Amps Air headphones would be sweat-resistant, making them ideal for use while you are busy pounding the pavement as part of your exercise regime in the battle against the bulge. Apart from that, they are also wireless — and this provides you with the kind of freedom that you could only previously dream of, as long as it jives with your music playback device over Bluetooth.

The Amps Air wireless headphones might be small and extremely light, but do not for a second think that battery life is compromised due to the form factor. Capable of allowing up to three hours of playback on a full charge, this is definitely impressive for a pair of wireless headphones. Not only that, to keep up with the trends in the industry at this point in time, the Amps Air headphones will be accompanied by a sleek, portable charging case that will be able to recharge the Amps Air more than 15 times thanks to its integrated 2200mAh battery, while the inclusion of a USB port would turn this into a portable power bank.

Being contoured to fit the ear and wrapped in a silicone sleeve, it sports futuristically designed tapered grooves which provide a lethal look at comfortable yet secure fit. You can choose from Rose Gold, Black, Teal, and Blue shades from the likes of Best Buy, Amazon, and solrepublic.com.

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Retro Fighters showcase new NES Retro Controller

The gamepad is one of the staples of console gaming, and it can never be separated from the console itself even if we are living in the age of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). Basically, even when the Nintendo Wii broke onto the scene with their Wiimote, there was still space for a Wii Controller for obvious reasons — you simply cannot waggle your way through Zelda or Mario. Well, Retro Fighters have come up with their next generation NES retro controller, updating a gamepad from a console that many of us grew up with in our very first exposure to home consoles.

This is the very first product from Retro Fighters, calling the next generation designed NES controller as the Jab Gamepad. Do not scoff at it even though it might look as though it hails from the 1990s, as the Jab Gamepad happens to be the very first NES compatible controller that has been redesigned from ground up, sporting next generation features and attributes in order to keep up with the times.

The entire look has been updated to make sure it is still relevant in the current century, although some might beg to differ. At least it is ergonomically shaped, which should deliver a potent user experience without losing any grip as you play. The D-pad looks comfortable enough to play with that it places less stress on the thumbs, and the ergonomic layout of the B & A buttons would be well appreciated by gamers who love marathon sessions.

Not only that, there are B & A shoulder and trigger buttons which lets you use it in conjunction with analog sticks or the D-pad, paving the way for many other button combinations. Heck, even a turbo function has been thrown into the mix, allowing you to gain a wee bit of boost as and when required.

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Turtle Beach introduces Stream Mic for gamers

If you are a gamer, you would know that going solo is just so 1980s and 1990s. In fact, before the Internet became the norm for the masses, multiplayer gaming was relegated to the “hot seat” concept or perhaps a split screen on the TV — although LAN connectivity did make multiplayer gaming a whole lot more interactive and fun. Having said that, multiplayer gaming has evolved to such a level where you will need to communicate with your team members in a match or raid in order to achieve maximum effectiveness, and typing out commands is just not good enough. Voice commands are the way to go, and Turtle Beach has stepped up with the all new Stream Mic.

The latest Stream Mic from Turtle Beach will certainly keep gamers happy — and content creators, too. This is touted to be the first-of-its-kind professional-quality desktop microphone which has been specially developed for gamers who would like to livestream from their consoles. Livestreaming has now gained quite a huge presence in the entertainment world, where content creators do a whole lot of active livestreaming — ranging from competitive matches to video walkthroughs and tutorials on Twitch, MLG.tv and YouTube.

It will even come with adaptive mic patterns with TruSpeak technology, where it delivers high definition voice pick-up from both tabletop and boom mounted positions in order to provide exceptional clarity. This happens regardless of whether the mic is stand-mounted beneath, or if it is placed on a surface near the user.

The Stream Mic allows both gamer and content creator groups to livestream with professional quality audio straight from their Xbox One, not to forget the PS4 Pro and PS4, PC and Mac platforms too, courtesy of the universal plug-and-play compatibility. The asking price stands at $99.95 a pop, and is already available today.

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SteelSeries Arctis headset range turns gaming audio stereotypes on its head

When we mention the name SteelSeries, most of the time, we would figure out that it will have something to do with gaming accessories, and they have come up with some pretty gaming mice in the past. This time around, things are not so different either, as the SteelSeries Arctis headset range has been revamped as part of an effort to transform gaming audio stereotypes.

The new range of revolutionary headsets are touted to deliver flagship-level comfort, microphone and sound — and these will be standard features across the whole range, now how about that? The trio of gaming headsets will shatter preconceived notions of what a gaming headset should sound, feel and look like. The Arctis lineup will come with design-forward thinking and timeless style as opposed to having it resemble that of a bulky toy.

There is an integrated microphone which is able to deliver exceptionally clear and natural-sounding voice communication, and to sweeten the deal, all headsets in the Arctis family will boast of SteelSeries’ award-winning speakers, which can also be found in their headsets that cost $300. The powerful, low-distortion speakers merged with 7.1 surround sound ensure total immersion as you game.

Not only that, you can get your in-game commands across in a clear manner thanks to the ClearCast microphone used within each Arctis headset. It will make use of a new ski goggle suspension headband and ear cushions, accompanied by exclusive athletics-inspired AirWeave fabric.

The patented headband design is capable of distributing weight across the top of the head evenly, and this helps to prevent pressure points even after prolonged use for a far more comfortable gaming experience. The three Artis headsets would be the Arctis 3, Arctis 5 and lag-free, wireless Arctis 7, where they will retail for $79.99, $99.99 and $149.99, respectively. Any takers for these new devices that hail from SteelSeries?

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The Sphero Force Band controls BB-8 with the wave of your hand

When you watched Star Wars for the first time, how badly did you wish you could use the Force? While it is more complicated than simple telekinesis, that part is the one we all hone in on. For kids, that is amplified by a thousand, and they will pretend they have it and wave their arms around like mad regardless of whether or not they actually affect anything in the tangible world.

If you are a kind and giving parent who has gotten your child a Sphero BB-8, or are just young at heart and bought one for yourself, your interest might be peaked by this Force Band. It’s a wearable bracelet will let you control BB-8 through Force gestures like push, pull, and drive. Of course, this wouldn’t be worth spending $79 on if it was reliant on having BB-8, so there are plenty of cool things you can do without having the little droid around.

This toy has two modes, which includes Droid Control and Force Awareness. One obviously needs the Sphero droid, while the other will let you practice channeling the Force to wield a Lightsaber, battle with a blaster (both of which require more toys that are separate costs), or record and view virtual holographic messages in your environment. It’s in the same vein as Pokemon Go in that you would need to have it on and active to find these messages, but you’re not necessarily capturing any cool Star Wars creatures.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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Polar M200 GPS running watch looks way too cool

When it comes to wearable sports and fitness technology, there is one particular name that has etched itself into the back of our minds: Polar. Polar has come up with its fair share of GPS training watches in the past, and here we are with another potential winner — the Polar M200 GPS running watch.

The Polar M200 GPS running watch is a device that is waterproof, making sure you would not have a single excuse not to suit up and head for your daily run even when it starts to pour on the outside. Equipped with Polar’s proprietary wrist-based heart rate technology, the Polar M200 will come with 24/7 activity and sleep tracking as well as stylish interchangeable color wristbands. Those who are interested can pick it up for $149 a pop or €149 across the pond, making it a highly affordable device when it comes to providing reliable training metrics as well as live, personalized training guidance.

It does not matter which particular level your running is at — the Polar M200 will still be able to offer key metrics such as pace and distance thanks to its integrated GPS capability. Not only that, it will also boast of Polar’s optical heart rate measurement, which is a unique algorithm that has been specially developed and optimized by Polar that can meet their industry-leading heart rate standards. When the Polar M200 GPS is fully juiced up, you get up to half a dozen hours of training time with GPS and optical heart rate.

Not only that, it will also be able to track your daily activity such as steps, burned calories, sleep time and sleep quality. A built in vibration function will inform users of incoming calls, messages, calendar alerts and social media notifications, while sending you reminders if you remain inactive for too long a period of time. Arriving with a choice of small/medium and medium/large changeable wristbands for the perfect fit, you can pick from red and black colors while other changeable wristband colors will be sold separately.

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LyfieEye delivers spherical 360 capture for smartphones

lyfieeyeeCapture Technologies recently announced a Kickstarter campaign for its LyfieEye device, which is something that will cater for those who have a penchant for snapping photos with their smartphones wherever they go. Of course, there are different ways and methods to shoot something in a creative manner with but a smartphone, but it would not hurt to be able to have a unique camera accessory to go along with your shots. The LyfieEye is touted to be the first truly affordable camcorder that plugs straight into Android phone ports — it works across USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or USB Type-C types.

With the LyfieEye, you can preview, record and playback immersive spherical 360º videos and photos. These recorded media can subsequently be shared directly to Facebook and YouTube for 360º Spherical Views. Not only that, it will be able to synchronize flawlessly with any VR (Virtual Reality) headset that is currently available on the market, all without the need for any kind of technical lag. The direct microUSB plug-in will also make a solid connection without any kind of interference. In other words, the LyfieEye will be able to plug, record and share seamlessly.

The LyfieEye can be used on Android smartphones with the supporting app enhancing it. Known as LyfieView, this app is a snap to use, and its elegant UI will enable users to capture spherical 360º content using their LyfieEye. This allows one to experience spherical 360º video first-hand. Viewers are able to check out beyond what their viewfinders are aimed at, as well as experience immersive, spherical 360º content on their smartphones.

In order to make the LyfieEye possible, there are proprietary technologies which empower it. Among them include an innovative, seamless LyfieSense architecture which optimizes several specialist technologies: among them include optical lenses, semiconductor image sensors, an image processing IC chip that was created specifically for synchronizing LyfieEye’s two lenses, the USB connector for USB 2.0 / 3.0 / Type-C, and software integration with smartphones.

Targeting long term use, the LyfieEye will come with a recommended retail price of $149 a pop, but the first hundred backers can pick up it up as a discount for $109.

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Zero Zero Robotics reveals the Hover Camera Passport

Drones do seem to be dime a dozen these days, but how many of us have already decided to settle for a particular model that suits our needs? It really depends on our needs and of course, pricing. There are some high end drones out there that can capture 4K video without missing a beat, but you will definitely need a fair bit of practice in order to obtain good shots. Zero Zero Robotics has their portable solution in the form of the Hover Camera Passport, which will cost all of just $599. The Hover Camera Passport is touted to be the first truly consumer-friendly and self-piloting flying camera, making it as an essential travel accessory in the future for the avid shutterbug.

The Hover Camera Passport has been specially tailored to the personal travel experience, where it will merge the portability of a smartphone alongside the point of view image capturing capabilities of a drone. Touted to be the only truly self-flying camera on the market, the Hover Camera Passport will pave the way for a new category of consumer flying robotics, making it simple and easy to use, letting you remain in the moment at all times.

It does not matter where you are — in a bustling city or in the outskirts, or even in the great outdoors, the Hover Camera Passport is not restricted by the restraints of controllers that interrupt the moments which you would like to remember. All that you need to do is to unfold the flying camera, power it on, and the Camera Passport will take off. It can steadily frame the perfect shot thanks to Zero Zero Robotics’ proprietary Embedded AI technology, as it goes about capturing memories effortlessly in 13MP photos and 4K video.

The Hover Camera Passport tips the scales at just 242 grams, and arrives fully enclosed in carbon fiber while boating of AI-based safety mechanisms to ensure the user and their surroundings are unscathed despite being flown indoors and out.

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The TRAKK Shell Backpack is a portable speaker for those who can’t sit still

There are some people who actually enjoy working out. It’s normally those kids who grew up playing sports and never thought that being outside is as much of a chore as it is to everyone else. Then again, once you start getting healthy, it is pretty fun to go on a run or take a scenic bike ride. It can be a nice way to take a break from staring at screens and working every second you breathe.

If you like the escape from your visual prison but still want to listen to the top 50 hits on your phone, then the TRAKK Shell Backpack is going to be just what you need. This is a backpack to carry all your nerd tech, water, and snacks, and will also be a 20W Hi-Fi Bluetooth speaker and 5200 mAh power bank. It seems like a must-have item for gadget-loving adventurers who go from morning workout to work to evening bike rides without stopping to juice up their phone.

This pack is rated IPX5, being able to take a water jet in any direction without ruining your smartphone inside, meaning rain is of little inconvenience. It’s also shockproof, comfortable to wear for hours at a time, has speakers loud enough to be heard in rain or while running on gravel, and has pockets galore for all of your stuff. There’s a controller for the speaker so you can control your music, volume, turn on snazzy lights on the backpack, or take calls. This is a $149.95 backpack that is only for serious music-lovers who can’t stand to sit down.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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Cozmo is a mischievous robot that wants to be your friend

It may not be today, or tomorrow, but we really are approaching the time when robots will have sentience. While that could either be a good or bad thing, we won’t know until it happens. Until then, we can have little robot friends that have a bit of a human streak programmed into them.

While Cozmo might sound a bit like WALL-E, he certainly doesn’t have the same temperament. This little droid is quite curious, wanting to learn, plot, plan, and play with whoever is around. It is meant for children to play with, and comes packed with content and games of speed and skill. He even comes with three interactive Power Cubes for specialty games. Thanks to its bright blue eyes that emote, it will be easy to forget that you’re hanging out with a piece of plastic!

You don’t have to worry about putting anything together, as Cozmo only needs to be juiced up through its drive-on/drive-off charging dock. There is the matter of having an iOS or Android device around, but at this point, who doesn’t have one of them? While Cozmo will learn and grow in your home, you can expedite its learning through the SDK if you have a creative imagination. While Cozmo doesn’t have a microphone, you’ll be able to program things for Cozmo to say, such as the weather or remind you about buying milk. This will cost you $179.99, and starts shipping tomorrow.

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