Canon Vixia Camcorders

Canon Vixia CamcordersThe Canon Vixia camcorders have been popular with consumers and Canon have upgraded the range with six new models. Jeffrey Powers has been a Vixia owner for some time and chats to Ben Thomas from Canon to learn more.

Some of the new models have built-in wi-fi allowing live streaming from the camera to iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The footage can be captured by the free Movie Uploader app and, if desired, uploaded to Facebook and other video sharing websites.

There’s also new dynamic image stabilization technology that has four different stabilization modes that kick-in depending on the particular situation.

The Vixia camcorders normally record the AVCHD format but they can record direct to MP4 which is great for sharing on media players and mobile phones. The cameras take SDXC cards (up to 64GB) and have internal memory; the price determines exactly how much. Roughly, 32 GB will give 12 hours of 720p footage.

Prices start from $349 for R-series and $549 for the M-series.

Sorry we didn’t get to see Kellie Pickler. Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Shogun Bros X-1 Chameleon Gamepad Mouse

Shogun Bros X-1 ChameleonShogun Bros X-1 Chameleon converts between a mouse, a game pad and a presentation controller at the flick of a switch. Sounds like a great idea but does it work in practice? Nick checks it out.

The Chameleon X-1 looks like any ordinary cordless optical mouse when placed on a desk, but flip it over and there’s an array of game-pad controls and buttons on the underside. The X-1 comes in a range of bright colors and the clever design won it a CES Design and Innovation Honoree award. It runs off a single AA battery, making the mouse lightweight, too.

For the gamers, there’s a product tie-in with Assassin’s Creed using customized versions to match in-game characters, including a leather covered mouse – don’t ask me which character this is supposed to be. These limited editions will be on-sale in about a month: the standard X-1 is on-sale now for around $60.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Fulton Innovation Brings Wireless Charging Everywhere

Fulton Innovation was a founding member of the Wireless Power Consortium and were recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to show off their latest, no pun intended, innovations.  They are working to unify a standard for wireless charging of all of your devices from phones to tablets and more.  The standard is called Qi (pronounced “Chi”) and it will bring together all of the makers of your favorite mobile devices and allow them all to charge wirelessly in a standards-based way.  Users will be able to charge a smartphone simply by sitting it on a table, or in many other ways.

Fulton Innovation is looking at a lot more than just phones and tablets though.  They are looking at entering your kitchen with such things as wireless blenders that will charge right on your countertop, induction ranges, even charging your electric car by simply parking it in a particular space.

All of this futuristic sounding technology has been developed and was on display at CES.  Now Fulton Innovation is working with third-party manufacturers to get their technology built and out into the marketplace.  You can visit them online to find out more and you will definitely want to watch the video below.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Zimri Speakers Brings Incredible Wireless Sound

zimri speakers logoZimri Speakers was recently at the Consumer Electronics Show to display their latest line of speakers.  They have a full range beginning with tiny bluetooth speakers that can be used with a laptop or even tablets and smartphones.  What sets their speakers apart is both battery life and the lack of distortion, even at the highest levels.

Moving up the line from the smallest speaker already mentioned, Zimri’s next entry is nearly identical, but has a slightly bigger body for better base and also an SD Card slot, allowing it to be a stand-alone music player.  Zimri also offers battery packs that can not only recharge your speaker, but also your mobile device.

You really have to watch the video below to get the full concept of Zimri Speakers.  The demo of the bluetooth range, especially in a crowded and noisy CES show filled with other  bluetooth devices, is absolutely amazing.  For more information you can visit Zimri Speakers.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.

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Altair Semiconductor Powers 4G and LTE

Altair Semiconductor logoThe Altair Semiconductor Company specialises in 4G and LTE wireless chipsets for the mobile telecoms industry. Andy and Courtney chat to the CEO of Altair to find out more more about the transition to the latest wireless standards.

4G, LTE and mobile broadband were all key technologies at CES this year, with products incorporating 4G announced from Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and LG, to name but a few. When compared to the relatively slow penetration of 3G, 4G uptake is happening much faster and it’s even surprising the industry. Verizon is expected to have most of the USA covered by the end of 2012. China and India are not far behind with major deployments.

Tablets and smartphones are driving the market but Altair’s chipsets are included in 4G dongles, MiFi-type units and wireless broadband routers.

Interview by Andy McCaskey  and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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Vertix Raptor Helmet Communicator

Vertex Raptor II Helmet Communicator

Veteran biker, Andy “Hog” McCaskey, checks out Vertix‘s Raptor helmet communicator. Let’s roll!

Vertix Raptor-i is a Bluetooth-based helmet communication system that brings together phone, intercom, radio and music player functions into a single unit. It’s perfect for any activity where wearing a helmet is the norm including motorcycling, motorport and skiing.

A microphone and speaker are fitted inside the helmet and Raptor unit goes on the outside. The unit’s controls are designed to be operated with gloves on and a remote control will be available in a few month’s time. Noise-cancellation and auto-gain control to ensure that voices can be heard clearly even at speed.

For the intercom function, two Raptor units can be paired together so that rider and pillion can talk or two riding buddies can chat between bikes.

The MSRP for the Vertix Raptor-i is $160 and it’s available now.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

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AikenLabs Immersive Motion Accessory System

AikenLabs Immersive Motion Desktop Starter KitAikenLabs Immersive Motion Accessory System is a body-worn motion controller that takes real world actions and puts them into video games. Andy checks out some moves with Ethan from AikenLabs.

The Immersive Motion Accessory System comprises small black boxes worn on bands that connect wirelessly to a master controller which in turn, is connected to PC or game console via USB. Each box has an accelerometer, a magnometer and  gyroscope to accurately track motion. No optical sensor or camera is needed.

Once the boxes are in place on the player’s head, arms, legs or plastic sword, actions such as hitting, pushing or kicking in the real-world get translated into similar actions in the game. Cleverly, the system converts the gestures into standard game controllers actions such as button presses or joystick moves. Consequently the system can be used with nearly any game console straightaway; there’s no need to wait for developer support.

Interview by Andy Smith of Geocaching World.

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Connected Wireless Speaker by Sharper Image

Sharper ImageWe all want to listen to music while we are in the kitchen or bathroom, but for most of us counter space is at a premium. Sharper image has a solution for this problem. At CES 2012 Steve Lee of Netcast Studio spoke with Don of Sharper Image about their newest product the connected wireless speaker. It takes up very little space and is designed specifically for the kitchen or bath. You can either plug it into any AC outlet or it also works through the installed lithium batteries. There is between 3-4 hours of playback time on a fully charged battery. Once it is plugged in or started it will connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth enabled device including a smart phone or tablet. You can also take a call directly from the device with its built in microphone. It should be available in May or June for about $49.99 online at the Sharper image Web site or through various retailers. This should be a great product for the kitchen or bath.

Interview by Steve Lee of Netcast Studio

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Parrot Introduces Cool Products like AR Drone Mark 2

Parrot There are some products that are shown at CES that are just cool and everyone who is a kid at heart just wants, the AR. Drone by Parrot is one of those gadgets. This year at CES 2012 they introduced AR. Drone Mark 2. The Mark 2 (aka AR. Drone 2.0) is controlled by a smart phone or tablet. It has a one button launch. Once it is launched it will sit and hove till the next command. The AR. Drone Mark 2 can fly up to 150 feet in the air, or as far as wi-fi will allow.  AR. Drone Mark 2 has stabilization and pressure sensor technology built into it. On the front is an HD camera and a standard def camera on the bottom. You can stream and record the video back to the phone via wi-fi. The video can then be uploaded to your favorite social site, including YouTube and Facebook.

It come with two hulls one for in home use and one for outdoor use. It is built to take some crashes, but if something breaks you can get replacement parts are on-line. The AR. Drone Mark 2 should be available according to Peter George of Parrot in the second quarter of 2012 for about $299.00

Once you are finished playing with the AR. Drone Mark 2, you may want to relax with a little music and some quiet time, well Parrot has you covered there too. They are introducing a pair of stereo cordless headsets that are noise canceling called the Parrot Zik . They work over either Bluetooth or the included cord. They run on a chargeable battery and give about 5 hours of listening pleasure. Once the battery runs down you can continue listening by connecting the cord. What makes the Parrot Zik headphones stand out besides the great style by French designer Philippe Starck are the controls on the headphones. There is a sensitive touchpad on the headphone which allows you to skip back and forth thru tracks by swiping right or left and control volume by swiping up and down. The headphones fold down flat to fit into a small carrying case. There is no price or launch date at this time, but they should be available sometime in 2012 at various retailers. All together Parrot introduced seven new products at CES 2012, including three additional products in the car environment and the asteroid marketplace.   You can take a look at all of them at their Web site Parrot.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of [Geek News Central](http://www.geeknewscentral.com ) and Don Baine The Gadget Professor of Geek News Central

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GreenWave Reality Smart Home Services

GreenWave Reality LogoTodd interviews Greg Memo from GreenWave Reality, a global innovator in the emerging smart home services market including home monitoring and elderly care. On show is their home energy management solution that uses wireless (ZigBee) plug-in devices to monitor and control power consumption.

The system is not just limited to power management as other remote monitoring and control technologies such as lighting and video can be included. The complementary iPad app allows the homeowner to select individual rooms within the property and make adjustments if necessary – for example, a thermostat could be turned down or the timings changed to alter when the heat comes on.

The overall solution won a CES 2012 Innovations Award so congratulations to GreenWave. Available now, starting from $200.

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

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