Category Archives: iPhone

On3 PowerCliq Smart Battery Case



PowerCliq LogoCombo battery cases for the Apple iPhone are commonplace from no-name clones to well-known manufacturers whose brand is almost synonymous with the product. On the other hand, combined case, battery and Bluetooth headset packs with smart battery management are really quite rare. In fact, On3‘s PowerCliq is the only one I know of, so watch Don get a hands-on demo from Brad Yasar of On3.

The PowerCliq is a 2700 mAh battery case for the iPhone which has two additional features. The first is a Bluetooth 4.0 headset that slides into the back of the case for both storage and charging. The second is that the charging features of the external battery can be controlled by app on the iPhone. When plugged in, most battery packs simply charge until the smartphone is fully charged and then keep it topped up; there are some schools of thought that suggest this can be detrimental to the long-term performance of the battery.

On the PowerCliq, the app can be used to set a minimum battery level such that the recharging doesn’t kick in until the iPhone’s battery falls to that level and once fully charged, turns off. This larger discharge / charge cycle is supposed to improve the life of the battery.

The PowerCliq is fundraising on Kickstarter with early birds getting in at $88.  Update: since CES, the Kickstarter campaign has been cancelled. There’s a note on Instagram saying that this is to allow for new developments and the campaign will restart soon.

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

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Schneider Optics Interchangeable Lenses



Schneider LogoDigital pictures and cameras on smartphones have changed the photography beyond recognition in the last twenty years and the quality of the imagery is such that innovative filmmakers are using iPhones to record footage. One restriction remains and that is the lens itself; there’s only one and it’s fixed in place. There’s no swapping in a macro lens, though Schneider Optics might have a solution. Todd finds out more from Don.

Schneider Optics iPro Lens systems provides a selection of high quality optical lenses for Apple iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy S4, including macro, wide-angle, super wide, tele and fisheye. The system works by fitting the smartphone itself into a case and then mounting the lens onto the case with a bayonet connector to ensure the best possible optical alignment. The smallest offset can lead to aberrations and a loss of picture quality, which the iPro Lens case and lens combination avoids.

The iPro Lens is available now for the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus variant will be on sale shortly. Lenses cost from $39 to $99, the case is $31 and there are kits available too.

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

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Floome Smartphone Breathalyser at CES



2045 TechIt’s best not to drink alcohol at all before driving as even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgement. However, if you need to check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), then the Floome smartphone breathalyser from 2045 Tech can help you determine if it’s legal to drive. Fabio Penzo CEO shows Todd that he’s sober.

Floome is a small palm-sized device that plugs into the earphone jack of a smartphone. The owner breathes into Floome which analyses the alcohol concentration and passes the data to the Floome app on the smartphone. The phone then shows the BAC on the screen along with a green or red indicator. The app has other features such as showing the location of the nearest taxi firm or it can send “come and get me” messages with the alcohol level superimposed on a selfie.

The Floome will be launching in Italy for 49 euros and will come to USA in a few months.

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

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Peri Duo Speaker Case for iPhone



Peri Logo

When it comes to smartphones and tablets, there are few mobile devices that produce anything like a decent volume and as for stereo separation, forget it. Fortunately Peri can come to the aid of iPhone owners with the Peri Duo, a high-power wireless speaker and phone charger case. Todd and Jamie find out more from Cedric Sumimoto, co-founder of Peri.

The Peri Duo is a standalone wi-fi and bluetooth-enabled speaker and iPhone charger case all in one. As expected, music can be streamed via AirPlay but the iPhone doesn’t have to be in the case when playing the music, so the Duo speaker can be on the opposite side of the room while the iPhone is safely in a pocket. Even better, more than one Duo can be connected to a phone so one Duo can be assigned as the left speaker and one as the right. Alternatively, one phone can multicast to dozens of Peri Duos, which really gets the party going.

The battery is 2500 mAh which will fully recharge an iPhone once with a bit over, or else the Duo will play music for around 4 hours.

The Peri Duo will be available for the iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and iPod Touch. The MSRP will be $139 though it’s currently on pre-order at $99 via Indigogo. Deliveries are expected from April onwards.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Ventev Battery Packs and Accessories at CES



Ventev LogoAlthough there have been great improvements in battery technology, the bigger screens, thinner devices and faster processors mean that I still have to watch my smartphone’s battery level. USB power packs go someway in alleviating battery anxiety and Marlo chats to Scott Franklin of Ventev to see what they can offer the charge concerned.

Ventev offer a selection of mobile accessories including battery packs and cables with some specifically aimed at Apple owners with Lightning connector. On show in the video are battery packs with combinations of built-in wall chargers, capacity and intergrated cables. With prices from $39.99 up to $99.99, there’s a pack for every situation and price.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch. Note that the early part of the interview is missing.

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Ion Audio Gets The Party Going at CES 2015



Ion Sound Experience

The great thing about Ion Audio is that they concentrate on fun audio products: seriously, who else puts a speaker in plant pot? At CES, Ion has continued in the tradition of fun with two products for two very different environments. Todd listens in with Wendy Fortin, Ion Product Manager.

First up is the Block Party Live, a 50W PA speaker on luggage wheels complete with light show. No really, there’s a light dome on top that projects coloured lights. Music can be streamed via Bluetooth and there’s an Apple and Android app to control the lights. Available now for $199.

Coming inside, the Sound Shine are wireless stereo speakers with built-in LED lighting. Screwed into a standard lamp holder the two speakers can either work as independent mono speakers or can be paired up for stereo sound. As with the Block Party, music is streamed via Bluetooth and both the music and light output can be controlled via an app for both Android and Apple devices. Available in Q1, $69 buys a single lamp and $129 gets a pair.

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

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Patriot Launches MFi Certified FUEL iON Charging Case



Patriot FUEL iON Charging Case. jpgPatriot released the FUEL iON Charging Case for the iPhone 6. It is a MFi certified case to make charging the iPhone 6 “unconsciously addicting and easy”.

The FUEL iON Charging Case for the iPhone 6 offers consumers a simple charging solution that uses patent-pending magnetic connectors to charge the phone without the use of a plug-in cord, eliminating wear and tear on the Lighting connector and increasing the longevity of the device. The case has been designed with an elevated bezel to prevent scratches.

Patriot FUEL iON Charging StandsConsumers can choose from three different charging bases. The FUEL iON Charging Stand is ideal for the office with an ergonomic angle for viewing your phone while charging. The snap to position rotational access allows the user to manipulate the phone from vertical to horizontal positions.

The FUEL iON Car Charger installs on any windshield and can mount and rotate your phone. It is optimal for GPS use. The FUEL iON Charging Pad allows you to simply lay your phone at any angle on it to charge. It is perfect for nightstand charging.

In addition to the iPhone 6 Charging Case, Patriot offers FUEL iON cases for the iPhone 5/5, Samsung Galaxy S4/5, and the Samsung Note 3. For those that are on-the-go, Patriot also has a 2100mAh magnetic portable battery that connects to the back of the phone and provides a full charge without the restrictions of connecting to a cord.


Capti Narrator Comes To The Desktop



Capti LogoFor most people it’s usually faster to read than it is to listen but there are times when it’s better to listen than it is to read; while driving or at the gym, or even for pleasure to nod off to sleep. If this sounds of interest, take a look at Capti Narrator.

Capti Narrator is a popular app for the iPhone and iPad which takes text and reads it out. It’s sophisticated with features such as playlists and it can read from a range of textual formats (.pdf, .doc, .rtf, .epub, etc.) sourced from a variety of locations – Google Drive, Dropbox, Instapaper, local storage and more.

At this year’s CES, Charmtech Labs LLC has announced Capti Narrator v1.0 for Mac and Windows computers which greatly increases the flexibility of the app. If Capti is installed on more than one device, the playlist can be synchronised via Capti Cloud and seamlessly switched between devices. Capti makes it easy to add webpages to the playlist and it skips ads, menus, and other clutter and reassembles articles spread across multiple pages. Without installing Capti, the Capti Bookmarklet can be added into any web browser on Windows, Mac, or Linux to add webpages to Capti Cloud.

Capti can be downloaded for free from www.captivoice.com.


Free Beer from Alcohoot at CES!



Alcohoot Logo

Alcohoot are offering free beer for visitors to their stand at CES (booth 74549). On the surface, it’s a cheap trick but as they sell breathalyzers there’s a certain relevance to it. No doubt the merit of personal breathalyzers will continue to be debated for years to come but focussing on the technology, Alcohoot have produced a portable breathalyzer that plugs into the headphone jack of both Android and Apple smartphones. The Alcohoot uses an FDA-registered fuel cell sensor built into a hand-sized pocket device to record the owner’s alcohol level as he or she breathes into the unit.

Alcohoot and Phone

The complementary app is available on both the Android and iOS platforms and lets the owner track his or her consumption. Handily, it can provide contact details for taxis when over the legal limit for driving.

App Screens

The Alcohoot was a winner of the Red Dot Design Award, 2014, which puts it in good company along with Apple, Beats By Dre, Bose, BMW, Nest, Nespresso, Blackberry, Lenovo, Nike+ FuelBand, LG and many more.

Available in three colours – black, white and red – the Alcohoot can be bought from their store for $99.99 along with extra mouthpieces.

If you want to learn more, pop into Alcohoot’s CES booth 74549 at the Sands Expo Center for a few beers. Cheers!


Griffin Tackles Cord Clutter with New Products at CES 2015



Griffin OrganizersGriffin Technology will be busy at this year’s CES. One of the new product lines the company is debuting will bring joy to those of us who obsess over keeping cables and connectors tidy. This line provides a variety of solutions designed to organize essential cables for a clutter-free car, home and office workspace.

The line-up consists of four initial products and will grow over the course of 2015. The Guide, Sleeve, Hanger and Clip are simple yet extremely functional products to keep cables organized.

Guide is described as part cable management and part building blocks. It’s designed to allow users to have necessary cables right where they want them. Guide consists of three magnetic pieces in varying shapes that attach onto the steel base to capture and guide cables. The different sizes of the magnetic pieces allow for cables of varying sizes and lengths to be held in place. Guide will be available in a variety of material options in Q2 2015 and retails starting at $29.99.

Sleeve is made of durable strands of braided plastic that create an abrasion-resistant sleeve used for running up to four cables in a tangle-free bundle. Sleeve closes itself around the cables it holds. It will be available February 2015 in 3 length options: 1’, 1.5’ and 2’ and will retail from $7.99 up.

Hanger is designed specifically for in-car use. This device is made from durable and flexible silicone. Hanger weighs about an ounce and is made to easily slide into a car’s air conditioner vent. Hanger features three molded sockets, perfect for holding power and AUX cables when those cables aren’t being used. Hanger will be available in February 2015 and will sell for $4.99.

Hanger isn’t the only item designed especially for the car. Clip is designed to make connecting an iPhone 6 to power and AUX cables as easy as possible. The flexible silicone Clip slides on the end of a Lightning connector charge cable and an AUX audio cable to hold the two together in the precise position to be plugged in simultaneously to the iPhone one-handed. Clip is bundled in Griffin’s Car Connections Pack with a Premium Flat AUX Cable and PowerJolt SE charger for the ultimate in car convenience. The Car Connections Pack will be available for iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in February 2015. The entire pack will list for $39.99.

You can find out more about these cool new organizational items by visiting the Griffin Store online and also by visiting the Griffin booth at CES 2015. They’re at Booth #4310, North Hall.