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Tag: bluetooth

It’s Time for Dual-Band Bluetooth Please!

Posted by J Powers at 12:18 PM on July 18, 2013

170px-Bluetooth.svg[1]So this first week with my Google Glass has come with a lot of fun tasks like getting out and capturing the city through this new device. Yet, it also brought some annoyances – mainly the pairing of Glass to a mobile device. Whenever I got in my car, my Jabra hands-free unit kicked the Glass out and Glass never re-paired with it unless I manually re-paired.

Its not just Google Glass. I have a ZAGG folio on my iPad. I also have a Bluetooth headphones which I cannot use at the same time. I would like to use both – listen to music or podcasts and create an article or two. Instead, I pair the headset to my phone and the keyboard to my iPad.

As we continue down the mobile plug-free road, we’re going to be faced with the same problem as HDMI ports on a LCD TV have – too many devices fighting for limited connectors. Worst yet, we don’t want another device controlling our mobile Bluetooth connections in our pockets.

One way to solve would be to create a dual-band Bluetooth standard. This would be where the Bluetooth could pair 2 devices at the same time. Then you can have your headset and your keyboard work simultaneously.

Another option is a pass-through device. For example: device 1 could be a headset and device 2 (the passthrough) could be a keyboard. You would pair device 2 with device 1, then pair device 1 with the mobile. A little more complex and only effective if you have the passthrough device around.

Currently, Bluetooth version 4.0 has a data rate of 24 Mbit/s. A keyboard might not need that high of a data rate, whereas something like Google Glass might when pushing video. That is where data packeting can shine – giving 2 devices the ability to stay paired and the mobile device not overworked.

Of course, we also have to look at power consumption. Bluetooth low energy (BLE) protocol allows for Bluetooth to be in a nocturnal state. The device would have to also work dual-band so if device 1 is on and 2 is not, it can put half the device to sleep.

At any rate, these connection problems are only going to get worse as we rely on our mobile devices to become our primary computers. Current Bluetooth standards cannot meet that demand. With the growth of mobile devices starting to outpace computers (Gartner predicts 467,000 tablets sold vs. 271,000 PC’s in 2017), the list of companies wanting to connect to that device will grow. Soon enough, we may even need 4-band (or more) Bluetooth devices.

UGO Makes Little Speakers with Big Sound

Posted by JenThorpe at 10:50 PM on May 26, 2013

UGO SpeakerI had the opportunity to check out these cute, colorful, speakers in person yesterday. This was completely unexpected, because the place I found the UGO speakers at was a Strawberry Festival. That isn’t the type of event where one would expect to find anything tech related. (The festival did live up to its name, however, and had plenty of desserts that were filled with some of the biggest strawberries I’d ever seen).

The name of the company is UGO (which is pronounced “you- go”). They were among the many booths of vendors at the festival. What immediately caught my attention about them was that I could hear the music that was playing through the little speaker from several feet away over the noise from the crowd. I can see where having just one UGO speaker would work well for a person to use at home (or wherever else they decide to go).

UGO speakers come in six different colors: pink, blue, red, purple, black, yellow, and silver (as shown in my photo). The UGO mini-speaker costs $39.95, and the UGO Bluetooth Wireless Mini-Speaker costs $129.95.

Each has a micro SD slot. You can load your favorite songs onto a Micro SD card, insert it into the UGO speaker, and the speaker itself becomes your music player. It also has a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. The website says it has a 30′ (9.14m) range in which the sound will carry. UGO offers a 12-month manufacturer guarantee. The vendor at the UGO booth at the Strawberry Fest said that the UGO Bluetooth Wireless Mini-Speaker can be used with any Bluetooth enabled device.

Runaway Air-Fi Bluetooth Headset by Meelectronics Review

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 10:28 AM on May 10, 2013

HP-AF32-RB-MEE-1I picked up the Runaway Air-Fi AF32 Bluetooth Headsets from Meelectronics this week. They are a part of the Air-Fi series. I chose to get the black and red ones, they are black on the outside and have a red pad on the earpieces and at the top of the band. The band can be adjusted to fit your head.  They sit nicely on my ears. The controls which are on the side of the headphones include the button to connect to your Bluetooth device, the forward and reverse button and the volume button. Once I remembered where they were controlling them was easy. The headset also has a hidden headphone. I had no trouble connecting the headphones to any of my devices and including an iPad mini, a Mac Mini and a Galaxy Nexus. I used the headphone to disconnect a call and it worked well. Depending the capability of your phone you maybe able to use the headphones to make a voice call, this worked fine with my Galaxy Nexus .

How do they sound? First I have to say I am not an audiophile so your experience may differ. I thought they sounded good however like a lot of headphones of today the base is emphasized but that is something that I like. I did hear some crackling and hiss noise while I was listening to one song yesterday, however at the time I had walked downstairs away from the device and it was a song I had ripped at a lower bit level. The one thing I appreciate is that if you are having a problem with the Bluetooth connection there is an audio cable included that you can use to connect it to your device and use it as a wired device. According to the website the headphone audio play back will last up to twelve hours on a full charge and about ten hours of talk time. Unfortunately your device’s battery will drain much quicker than the headphone, so when you are not using it, make sure to turn it off along with the Bluetooth connection on your device. It takes about four hours to charge the headphones. They do fold up, however not as flat as I would like them to, they do however fit nicely in the supplied carrying bag.

Overall despite some hiccups I am happy I purchased the Runaway Bluetooth Headsets. They are available on the website and other online stores including Amazon from around $70.00 up to $99.00 depending on the color you choose. I was fortunate enough to get them for almost half price by getting them through the Lockergnome Deal Website. If you are looking for a decent pair of on ear stereo Bluetooth headphones I would take a look at the Meelectronic Runaway AF32 Headsets.

Vivick’s Latest Gadgets

Posted by Andrew at 6:31 PM on February 26, 2013

Vivick HeadphonesCanadian firm Vivick produce a wide range of gadgets, covering everything from iPhone cases, laptop accessories and AV gear. Andy and Scott look at three of the latest products.

On show from Vivick is anLED desk lamp speaker that can be driven via Bluetooth but wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a 70s sci-fi movie. Continuing the theme, they had a Bluetooth headset which looked a bit more up-to-date but I can’t comment on the sound quality. Finally, they showed off a combo-laptop / USB rechargeable battery which had some really good design ideas. It seems to be a brand new product as it doesn’t yet feature on their website, but if you are a battery hogging traveller, keep an eye out for it.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and Scott Ertz of F5 Live for the TechPodcast Network, who should be commended for keeping the interview going.

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Stick-n-Find

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 8:14 AM on February 15, 2013

Sticknfindinhand575If you are like me and put your keys down and then forget where you put them then Stick-n-find may be the device for you. Stick-n-find is a sticker with Bluetooth embedded in it. Stick-n-find is a small device about the size of a quarter and will stay on almost anything you put it on. It comes with a replaceable watch battery which will last about a year. There is a Stick-n-find app for both for both Android and iOS devices that pair with the app.

As you come closer to an item that has a tag on it you will see the indicator getting closer to the target point on the phone. You can also turn on a sound and light indicator through the app so that when you are very near to the device that you looking for the sticker will admit a beeping sound and a small light. Stick-n-find has also added the ability to create a virtual leash. The way the virtual leash works is you create a distance from you that you will allow a sticker to go and if the sticker goes past that distance and alarm will go off in the app. You can also have an alert go off when a sticker gets within a set range.

Stick-n-find was an indiego project The retail price for two stickers should be around forty-nine dollars and it should be available beginning March. To find out more information about Stick-n-find visit their website.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.and Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Casio G-Shock with iPhone Mobile Link

Posted by Andrew at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2013

Casio G-Shock GB6900AAFor digital watches, there’s really only one range to look at – Casio G-Shock. From day-to-day wear to aviation and snowsports, there’s a G-Shock watch that will fulfil your needs. The GB6900AA takes this to a new level, providing incoming call and email notifications from your iPhone. Don straps it on.

The GB6900AA has all the features of a rugged digital watch, but it also has a low-power Bluetooth transceiver, allowing the watch to connect to the Apple iPhone and display or buzz on incoming phone calls and new emails. As a security feature the watch will alert the owner if they get too far, reminding them not to leave their phone behind.

The GB6900AA is currently only certified to work with the iPhone 4S and 5, and there’s Casio’s “G-SHOCK+” application to be downloaded from the App Store. However, an Android version is expected later in the year. Available now in limited numbers for $180.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Zooka Bluetooth Speakers

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 8:31 AM on January 30, 2013

Zooka Anyone who has a tablet, or smart phone knows that their one weakness is their speakers. One solution is to use a speaker dock. The problem with this solution is that it requires an outlet to plug the dock into. This is not very useful if you are in a park or on a beach, the other solution is to use Bluetooth Speakers. This is where the Zooka speakers by Carbon Audio Inc come in. They are Bluetooth speakers made of medical grade silicon. There are no mechanical moving parts and no dock. It slides on to a tablet or top of a notebook. It was designed so it doesn’t hide the iSight camera. There is a kickstand which tucks away into the side and screws into the back. It includes:

  1. Two 30 mm speaker drivers at either end of the Zooka
  2. 30ft Bluetooth Range
  3. Rechargeable battery, providing up to 8 hours of playing
  4. Frequency response of 150 to 20,000 Hz

The Zooka is available at Target, Best Buy Amazon and at Carbon Audio Inc. It comes in a variety of colors and is priced at $99.00

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

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iHealth Blood Pressure Monitor at CES

Posted by Andrew at 6:15 PM on January 28, 2013

iHealth LogoJamie chats to Adam about the iHealth blood pressure monitor, an FDA-approved device that uses Bluetooth to transfer health data to a smartphone or tablet.

The new version  of the iHealth blood pressure monitor builds takes the original docking device and adds wireless data transfer using Bluetooth. The first version integrated with iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads but the Bluetooth feature expands the potential of the monitor to other smartphones and tablets. A cloud service complements the free app providing tracking and monitoring features and integration with other healthcare systems.

Aimed squarely at the home health market, there are two different models priced at $79 and $99, which is very affordable. Check out iHealth’s online store.

Interview by Jamie Davies of Health Tech Weekly.

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Pure Jongo at CES Unveiled

Posted by Andrew at 5:34 PM on January 21, 2013

Pure LogoAt this year’s CES, Pure launched Jongo, the world’s most affordable (and colourful) multi-room music system. Vicky tells Todd all about it.

The Jongo range will shortly include a couple of wireless speakers and a hi-fi adaptor, all with both Bluetooth and wi-fi built-in. Music can be streamed using the Pure Connect app via wi-fi to any speaker in range or else smartphones and tablets can stream music directly to the speakers using Bluetooth. Both Apple iOs and Android devices are supported and it uses the existing wi-fi infrastructure: there’s no need for special transmitters.

The S340B speaker will be available soon and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Price is listed as $229.
The stereo speaker (T640B) and the hi-fi adaptor (A140B) will be on-sale in the summer with MSRPs of $329 and $119, respectively.

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

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Armadillo outdoor Bluetooth speaker unveiled

Posted by Alan at 6:27 PM on January 7, 2013

Outdoor Gear announced today a new outdoor speaker, appropriately named the Armadillo. The new speaker works with Bluetooth 4.0 to play your tunes outside without need of worry about the weather conditions.

The company describes the new device as “A larger version of its predecessor, the Turtle Shell®, the Armadillo is a rugged shelled boombox that will allow you to dig into the dirt and experience the outdoor terrain with your favorite tunes via AirPlay or Bluetooth. Ideal for camping and for the home, the Armadillo is shockproof, waterproof, allows for daisy chaining and provides a USB port for charging other devices.”

Details as to release and pricing were left vague with the release being set for “later in 2013″ and pricing completely non-existent (the Turtle Shell is $149). While the Armadillo looks good for a backyard party, I don’t see lugging it on a camping and hiking trip as a viable option. Perhaps if you park and stay at a campground then sure, but my son and I hike from place to place and camp, mostly backwoods, and packing light and moving quickly is a priority that these luxuries do not lend themselves to.