Wireless charging system gets cool new magnetic audio gadgets

Stacked, the wireless charging case that charges your iPhone with a series of stackable power banks, is expanding it’s line of useful, connected devices to help simplify your life and fill it with music. The company is showing off it’s two new audio accessories at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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CES 2016: Lutron ‘Serena’ and ‘Sivoia QS Triathlon’ Motorized Shades Now Support HomeKit

Lutron Electronics today at CES 2016 announced that its Serena and Sivoia QS Triathlon motorized window shades now support the HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge.

The home automation system enables users to remotely control their Lutron shades using Siri on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch. Homeowners can say commands such as „Hey Siri, turn on the lights“ or „Siri, open the shades,“ while Serena shades can also be set to desired levels with preset scenes like „Good Morning“ or „Good Night.“

Sivoia QS Triathlon shades require the professionally-installed Smart Bridge PRO:

The HomeKit-enabled Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge (a do-it-yourself solution) supports Serena battery-powered shades, while the Smart Bridge PRO (a professionally-installed solution) supports Lutron Sivoia QS Triathlon wireless shades (both roller and fashion honeycomb styles), plus Sivoia QS drapery tracks, the Kirbé vertical drapery system, tensioned shades, pleated shades and Roman shades.

Lutron’s Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge, available for $69.99 on Amazon (regular $150), launched as one of the first HomeKit accessories in June 2015, allowing homeowners to control lights in specific rooms or areas using Siri voice commands. Lutron accessories, sold by Apple and other resellers, can also be controlled with the free Lutron app or Pico wireless remote control.

Caséta Wireless kits and Lutron shading solutions are available now, starting at $80 and $349 respectively.

Tags: HomeKit, Lutron, CES 2016
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CES 2016: Zagg Debuts Mobile Charging Station for iPhone and Apple Watch

Zagg is debuting several products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, including a Mobile Charging Station designed as an at home and on-the-go solution for charging an Apple Watch and an iPhone.

The Mobile Charging Station is designed to accommodate and charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time while also wrangling the necessary cables. It includes a pop-up base for charging the Apple Watch, which works with both open and closed loop bands.

Inside the Mobile Charging Station, there’s an area for winding up excess cable to provide a neat, organized solution for travel. The Mobile Charging Station has a built-in 5,000mAh battery inside, so it’s also able to charge devices even when not connected to a power source. While a Lightning cable is included, customers will need to supply their own Apple Watch charger.

Zagg’s other CES offerings include the $100 Flex Arc wearable earbuds and speaker and the $130 Now Cam. The Flex Arc is worn around the neck like a collar and has retractable earbuds. An external microphone and speaker allow music or calls to be heard without using the earbuds.

The iPhone-connected Now Cam is a rugged, waterproof action camera for capturing photos and videos, similar to a GoPro. Designed for „social video,“ it can take 720p video or standard photos, and it has a 6-second capture and share feature.

Zagg’s Mobile Charging Station will be available for purchase from the Zagg website at the end of January. It is priced at $79.99.

Tags: Zagg, CES 2016, Zagg Mobile Charging Station
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CES 2016: Misfit Announces New ‘Ray’ Activity Tracker and ‘Specter’ Smart In-Ear Headphones

Misfit today unveiled the new products that it is planning to show off at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, announcing both the Ray activity tracker and the Specter „Smart Hearable“ in-ear wireless headphones. Like most of Misfit’s products, both are designed to track activity and sleep.

Misfit’s Ray Fitness and Sleep Monitor is its latest wrist or neck-worn wearable device, which moves away from the iconic circular shape of its previous Shine and Flash line of products. The Ray instead more closely resembles a Jawbone UP2, featuring an adjustable rubber band with a cylindrical aluminum body. At 12mm in diameter and 38mm long, Misfit says Ray’s form factor makes it „uniquely wearable.“

Inside the Ray activity tracker, there’s a 3-axis accelerometer for tracking sleep and activity, along with a vibration motor for user feedback and alerts. It includes a multicolor LED „eye,“ which combines with the motor to nudge users during periods of inactivity, alert them to incoming text and calls, or serve as a silent alarm. Ray is water resistant to 50 meters and does not need to be charged as it uses watch batteries that are replaced on a six-month basis.

Specter is Misfit’s other new product, positioned as the company’s first smart wireless headphones. Specter was created in partnership with 1MORE and features dual driver technology for wide dynamic range and rich sound quality. According to Misfit, the Specter’s design allows it to be worn comfortably all day, during exercise, and during sleep. Specter’s unique feature is a built-in accelerometer, which allows the earphones to be used to track activity and sleep when used, much like Misfit’s other products.

Both Ray and Specter are compatible with Misfit Link, Misfit’s software platform that lets the company’s line of wearable devices be used as a remote control for functions like changing music, taking a selfie, activating iPhone-connected lights, and more.

Ray is available in Rose Gold and Carbon Black. Priced at $99, it’s set to ship in the spring and can be pre-ordered today from the Misfit website.

Information on the Specter headphones is still limited, so pricing and a release date have not yet been shared. Misfit says additional details on Specter will be available in the spring of 2016.

Tags: Misfit, Misfit Specter, Misfit Ray, CES 2016
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Samsung to Add iOS Support to Gear S2 Smart Watch Later This Year

Samsung today held a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the company announced new rose gold and platinum variants of its Samsung Gear S2 smart watch and pledged future iOS support for the device.

First introduced in August, the Gear S2 is Samsung’s newest smart watch and its first with a round display. The Gear S2 was originally available in black or silver with matching leather or rubber bands, but later this year, Samsung will also introduce high-end 18-karat rose gold gold and platinum plated versions, made from real precious metals much like the Apple Watch Edition.

At the current time, the Gear S2, which runs Samsung’s Tizen operating system, is compatible only with Samsung smartphones, but that’s set to change. Samsung says that later in the year, it will „bring the Gear S2 to iOS,“ allowing it to compete with the Apple Watch on Apple’s own platform. Samsung didn’t share additional details on when iOS compatibility might be implemented.

Samsung announced several other products at CES, including a Surface Pro-style 12-inch Galaxy Tab Pro S tablet that runs Windows 10 and two very thin Notebook 9 ultrabooks. The Tab Pro S, which weighs 1.5 pounds, features a 2160 x 1440 Super AMOLED display, an Intel Core M processor, 4GB RAM, and up to 256GB storage.

Samsung’s Notebook 9 laptops are available in 13.3 and 15-inch sizes, with the smaller of the two weighing in at 1.85 pounds, which is lighter than the Retina MacBook. The larger version weighs 2.84 pounds, and both feature a 1080p display. Max specs for the Notebook 9 laptop includes a Core i7 CPU, 256GB flash storage, and 8GB RAM. Pricing and release info on Samsung’s NoteBook 9 laptops and the Galaxy Tab Pro S is not yet available.

Tags: Samsung, Gear S2
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Best Buy drops $1,100 off Apple Watch Edition price tag

People that throw away money on gold Apple Watches usually don’t need deals, but if you’re looking to get an Apple Watch Edition for the holiday, Best Buy has the biggest deal we’ve ever seen on Jony Ive’s immaculate timepiece. The electronics retailer has slashed $1,100 off the price tag for an Edition 42mm 18-Karat […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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None more black: LG’s OLED displays show that nothing is really something

This post is brought to you by LG Electronics. When it comes to TVs, more is the new black. As the visual fidelity of film and television gets ever more refined, the visual subtleties and dynamics can be lost by TVs that aren’t able to produce a true black tone. It’s a benchmark of a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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New magnetic charger lets you juice up iPhone wirelessly

We are wireless, but not quite wire-free. One company wants to help iPhone users cut a couple of cords with a magnetic charging solution called the STACK PACK. It’s all capital letters for a product that sounds more like workout vitamins. The STACK PACK promises to pack just as much power as that soon-to-be obsolete […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3.9 Million in Third Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device behind Fitbit fitness trackers during the three-month period ending September 30.

Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.

Fitbit shipped an estimated 4.7 million fitness trackers for 22.2% market share in the third quarter, compared to Apple’s estimated 18.6% market share. Apple Watch shipments grew over IDC’s second quarter estimate of 3.6 million, but both Apple and Fitbit ceded some market share to Xiaomi and other vendors.

Chinese rival Xiaomi remained in third place with an estimated 3.7 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.4% market share. Garmin and BBK rounded off the top five with 900,000 (4.1%) and 700,000 (3.1%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 7.3 million shipments and 34.6% market share.

IDC estimates that wearable shipments totaled 21 million worldwide in the second quarter, growth of 197.6% compared to the 7.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. IDC said the average smartwatch price was around $400, while basic bands and trackers averaged $94. China continues to be the fastest-growing wearables market, especially for lower-priced fitness trackers.

Apple has not disclosed Apple Watch sales numbers since the device launched in April, instead grouping the wrist-worn accessory with iPod, Apple TV and Beats Electronics accessories under an „Other Products“ category in quarterly earnings reports. But when asked, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives consistently remain upbeat about current sales.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: IDC, Fitbit
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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