Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


OtterBox Preserver Series of phone cases

Posted by Mike Dell at 1:25 PM on February 1, 2014

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Don Baine talked with Jordan Vetter at the Otterbox booth at CES 2014 about the new OtterBox Preserver Series of phone cases.

The Preserver Series is a waterproof and dustproof case that will keep your iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4 safe and sound while you enjoy whatever environment you find yourself in.   All the phone’s functions, including the Touch ID sensor on the 5S, remain available while protecting your phone against water, dust and drops. The cases are fully submergible up to 6.6 ft. (2 m) for 30 minutes and can take a drop from up to 6.6 feet (2m) without damage.

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The OtterBox Preserver is available now in assorted colors for $89.95 from otterbox.com

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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Kanex Multi-Sync Keyboard

Posted by Andrew at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2014

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Todd chats with Tracy from Kanex at CES Digital Experience about their new Multi-Sync Keyboard for Apple devices.

Although touch is great way of interacting with tablets and smartphones, it really doesn’t replace a keyboard when it comes to large amounts of text entry. In response, many manufacturers have come out with add-on keyboards that typically connect to the tablet via Bluetooth. These are generally useful devices but usually it’s one keyboard-one device and often there’s already a keyboard on the desk for the PC, so the desk simply gets more cluttered.

Kanex’s solution the Multi-Sync Keyboard which allows 3 Bluetooth and 1 USB connection to be maintained at any one time – Mac, iPhone and iPad. The user can then switch between connections, entering text into just one device at a time but being able to connect to up to 4 devices. Brilliant! Currently, it’s only available for Apple devices, but future versions should support PCs.

On-sale now for US$69.95 at www.kanexlive.com.

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

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BeeWi Combat Toys

Posted by Andrew at 11:58 AM on January 24, 2014

BeeWi LogoTodd and Don have some fun with Tobias Schoeler from French wireless specialists, BeeWi, and on show at CES are Bluetooth battle robots. Controlled from a smartphone app, the robots can fight against themselves or other BeeWi remote controlled toys including helicopters. Very cool and lots of fun.

The robots will be available in the first half of 2014 priced at US$35 and will be supported on Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. More information and more toys at www.bee-wi.com.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor, and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Flir brings thermal imaging to the iPhone

Posted by Alan at 9:27 AM on January 24, 2014

flirFlir appeared at Showstoppers, a pre-CES show that helps to kick off the Las Vegas electronics show, and we caught up with them to see what was new. It turns out, the company now has a case for your iPhone that can work a bit of optical magic, transforming the handset into a thermal imaging device.

The product goes a bit beyond just thermal though, as it combines it with the visible spectrum to produce a nice high-quality image. There are a lot of features added to this, and the user can choose the type of image seen. This technology does come at a cost, though. Retail pricing is slated for $349, and the release is planned for this spring. You can head to Flir to find out more.

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

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Korus Portable Wireless Speakers

Posted by Andrew at 10:16 PM on January 22, 2014

Korus LogoTodd and Don interview Nortek‘s Rob Halligan about the new wireless speaker system called Korus, which instead of using wifi or Bluetooth, uses SKAA, a wireless hi-fi audio standard that won CES Innovation awards in 2010 and 2011. The benefit of SKAA is low latency and greater range, but the downside is that it’s not built-in to any smartphone, tablet or media player. This is solved via a dongle, the Korus Baton, a SKAA transceiver which comes in USB, Apple Lightning and Apple 30 pin variants. Plug it in to the PC, Mac or Apple device and you are good to go. An Android version is expected later in the year.

Using SKAA rather than wifi or Bluetooth also means that there’s no faffing around with SSIDs or pairing with PINs; it’s simply a case of pressing a button on the wireless speaker and the speaker locks onto the nearest Baton. Press the button again and it moves onto the next.

Korus currently have two speaker units for sale, the V400 and V600, priced at a penny shy of US$350 and $450 respectively on the Korus shop at www.korussound.com.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Seal Shield Waterproof Covers

Posted by Andrew at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2014

Seal Shield Logo

Todd and Don chat to Bradley Whitchurch from Seal Shield about their latest products aimed at both the healthcare market and technology users with active lifestyles. With expertise in waterproof and anti-microbial technologies, their core products are washable keyboards, mice and TV remote controls.

In the video, Bradley demonstrates the Seal Shield’s washable True Type keyboard by submersing it in warm water, along with an iPhone and iPad covered in Seal Shield’s Life Proof Shield. The Life Proof Shield is a skin which covers the product, keeping the water out and bug-free.

The Life Proof Shield is $29 for the iPad and can be purchased in a combo with the Life Proof Bumper case for $59 from Seal Shield’s site and other good retailers. More information at www.sealshield.com.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Griffin’’s Merchant Case + Square Reader is Now Shipping (for iPhone)

Posted by Mike Dell at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2014

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I know there are TONS of iPhone cases out there, but few are special built for just one thing.  This Griffin Merchant Case is one of them.  So simple, but solves a problem for mobile merchants.

After their announcement at the 2014 CES, Griffin Technology’’s Merchant Case + Square Reader is now shipping. The Merchant case is the first protective solution optimized for the new Square Reader.

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“We’re extremely excited about the enthusiastic response to the Merchant case. Our case, combined with a Square Reader, is a perfect solution for business on-the-go,” said J. Curtis, Director of B2B Product Development at Griffin.

I use square all the time and I was exited to see this announcement. When I upgrade to the iPhone 5S in February, I plan on ordering one of these.

The Merchant case is molded to keep the Square Reader in place and eliminate strain on the iPhone’s headphone jack. A cutout along the bottom aligns with the Square Reader and allows credit cards to slide through easily and consistently. The case protects the phone from bumps and drops and it’s made of non-slip material which makes it easy to hand over to customers for signatures. When the square reader is not in use, it can be stored on the back of the case in it’s own little spot.

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Griffin’s Merchant case includes the new Square Reader and is now available for $19.99 at store.griffintechnology.com/merchant-square-case-for-iphone-5.

Minimalist Momentum Headphones from Sennheiser at CES

Posted by Andrew at 6:30 AM on January 10, 2014

Sennheiser LogoSennheiser are usually my headphone manufacturer of choice when it comes to music, so I’m always interested in the latest news from the German team. To be honest, it’s not massive news but when the headphones look as good as these, who cares?

For CES, Sennheiser have updated their “minimalist urban” headphones, the Momentum On-Ear with three new colours; high-gloss black, classic brown and intense red. Nice. The ear pads and headband have been finished in Alcantara, a high-tech soft-touch material produced in Italy. Alcantara provides a combination of suppleness, durability and breathability that makes it popular in the fashion, interior design, and automotive industries, and the use of the material by Sennheiser makes the headphones very comfortable for long listening sessions. The headband is made of brushed stainless steel. All round, they look great.

Momentum On-Ear

Audio-wise, the On-Ear is driven by Sennheiser’s proprietary 18-ohm transducers, delivering the usual Sennheiser experience of incredible clarity and detail with a slight bass emphasis. The closed, on-ear design ensures reliable isolation from external noise for a great listening experience on the move, even in noisy urban environments.

The Momentum On-Ear headphones feature a single-sided detachable cable with in-line remote and microphone for Apple devices to control music playback, and to make and receive calls on the go.

With the three new colour versions, Sennheiser has reimagined this essential, cool design in richer, more subtle tones,” said Charles Cha, Product Manager at Sennheiser. “Where the Momentum On-Ear headphones first showed their playful and extroverted character, the new versions are a more discrete revelation of luxury that hints at their superb performance.

The MSRP seems to be US$299 but they currently seem to be on-sale in the Sennheiser store for $199.

I want.

Kwikset adds Remote Unlocking to Kevo at CES

Posted by Andrew at 5:59 PM on January 8, 2014

Kwikset KevoThe Kwikset Kevo is a deadbolt lock that uses Bluetooth communication as well as a physical key to lock and unlock doors. Currently it only works with Apple iPhones but it looks really cool. You walk up to the door, touch the Kevo lock, the lock checks your eKey on your phone and the door opens. There’s a whole host of clever features based around eKeys which can be transferred to people you trust and owners can receive notifications of when the lock is opened. The glossy video below shows the main features of the Kevo.

The Kevo has been available for a few months and at CES, Kwikset are responding to customer feedback with new enhancements to the Kevo lock system. The Kevo Bluetooth Gateway will be available in the summer and the unit will allow owners to remotely lock and unlock Kevo using their smartphone, say when a relative visits from out of town or a neighbour unexpectedly needs to feed pets.

Kwikset is quickly expanding the value Kevo delivers to current and future owners through a series of Kevo technology advancements, beginning with remote functionality, based on the desires of today’s consumer” said Keith Brandon, director, residential access solutions. “Kevo continues to be the breakthrough smart lock technology on the market, gaining recognition from the CES Innovation Awards, among many others.

As you might expect, the Kevo locks don’t come cheap at around US$220 but it looks like a neat solution and once Kwikset (a) get it working on Android and (b) produce a UK version, I might well be interested.

Steadicam Smoothee Now Available for Apple iPhone 5s, GoPro and others (CES)

Posted by Mike Dell at 9:49 AM on January 8, 2014

Tiffen Tiffen announced it’s Steadicam Smoothee is now available for iPhone 5 and 5s,  GoPro HERO 3/3+,  DRIFT sport cameras, Ghost-S and HD Ghost.

Developed by Steadicam,  the patented Smoothee eliminates shakes associated with handheld video recording, letting users “fly” through their video capture moments, up and down steps, indoors and outdoors, through crowded events.

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“The Steadicam Smoothee continues to hold onto its title as the most popular handheld camera stabilizer for action cameras and Apple iPod Touch and iPhone products,” comments Steve Tiffen, President and CEO, The Tiffen Company. “As the perfect companion to some of the hottest consumer video capture devices on the market, CES is the ideal venue for showing off Steadicam’s latest Smoothee developments. Plus, with our booth located right next to GoPro, visitors can see first-hand how tremendous the movie making experience is when you combine the Hollywood shooting techniques of Steadicam with the action adventure capture of GoPro HERO.”

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The Steadicam was introduced in 1976 and revolutionized the world of film and video. Over the past 30+ years, Steadicam has been an invaluableproduction tool in the industry. New generations of Steadicam Camera Stabilizing Systems have been comprehensively redesigned to unleash endless creative possibilities.

Steadicam Smoothee retails for $149.00. For more information including where to buy, please visit http://www.tiffen.com/steadicam_smoothee_homepage1.html.