Archives For Gadgets

NETGEAR-nighthawk-7500-specs

Via an overseas briefing and FCC filing, details of the next generation Netgear Nighthawk wireless router have begun to clarify. The Nighthawk X4 AC2350/R7500 builds upon the success of the existing Nighthawk, as cited by Wirecutter, with additional horsepower, more finely tuned QoS, quad-stream wireless, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports and eSATA to meet our NAS or Mac Time Machine archival needs. It also bumps up the antenna count from 3 to 4. Of course, this sort of tricked out network solution comes at a price. And, to meet my 802.11ac router needs should I flip from Verizon to Comcast, I’m not sure I’m willing to pony up the $250.

wink-hub-side

By way of the New York Times, we learn GE and Quirky have expanded their collaboration on “Wink” – the brand under which they’ll tie together their existing (and downright bizarre) product line and tap into other home automation solutions via the FCC-revealed Wink Hub. The $79 Hub bridges networks, like Z-Wave, and will be displayed at nearly 2,000 Home Depot retail outposts when it launches July 7th. (Take that Lowe’s Iris?) Of course, these guys aren’t the only players in town with the very fine Staples Connect and SmartThings out to early leads with the Apple behemoth now taking interest via HomeKit and healthy Apple TV hub speculation. Not to mention, after like a decade of stagnation, Harmony finally woke up ready to fulfill their home control destiny. The next 12-18 months are going to be huge in this space as the tech expands beyond the affluent digerati and into the mainstream. As for me, my needs are simple… Continue Reading…

2014-06-09 20.29.20

Intro
Ever misplaced your keys? Or wanted to know when your luggage has arrived at the baggage claim?  Maybe marked the spot where you parked the car in the mall lot?

The Elgato Smart Key aims to address all of these situations as a sensor that you either attach or place on different items for tracking. Depending on what you are looking to track, the Smart Key can notify you of certain situations that might need attention.  Walk too far away from your keys, it will start to beep. Attach to your luggage and when it comes near to you at baggage claim, your phone will notify you. Continue Reading…

samsung-tv-sdk

As Samsung continues to hedge against Google/Android reliance and standardize across disparate product lines, while perhaps avoiding Microsoft royalties, the company has expanding the Tizen OS initiative beyond smart watches and to connected televisions. Via Liliputing:

Samsung’s Tizen-based TV SDK Beta will be available early July following the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco from June 2–4th. The Tizen-based Samsung TV SDK Beta supports the HTML5 standard through its framework called Caph and enables developers to write apps that run on a Tizen OS –based TVs.

For maximum impact, we expect Samsung will have to provide an efficient mechanism for developers to port Android apps to the similarly Linux-powered Tizen. But what of the Boxee team? The video startup was acquired by Samsung about a year ago… and, since then, it’s been radio silence. I have it on good authority that “Boxee” is dead and personnel form a product innovation team within Sammy’s “visual display” business unit. As to what the NYC-based group is currently working on, we can only guess. But, given their skillset, fleshing out a new television OS and UI certainly wouldn’t be out of the question.

amazon-fire-bundle

Well here’s an interesting promo should you lack for both a TV streamer and tablet. Amazon has paired their new Fire TV with the 7″ Kindle Fire HDX tablet for $249, which clocks in $79 cheaper than purchasing each separately. While the Fire TV remains somewhat app poor, the platform has grown on me and we’ve enjoyed dozens of hours of Amazon Instant video at this point (and unloaded our Apple TV). Had the offer been available at launch, I’d have gone this route given my deep ties into Amazon’s ecosystem and synergies between the products (that may or may not ultimately extend to other tablets):

  • Second Screen—Fling movies, TV shows and photos from your Kindle Fire HDX to your HDTV so you can use your tablet to control media playback or browse the web
  • Mirror your Kindle Fire HDX on your HDTV—Share everything you enjoy on your Kindle Fire HDX from apps to music and photos with everyone in your living room

(via Swanni)

Monarch-iPad-holders

As a former frequent flier, I can’t tell you how many battles between passengers and/or flight crew I’ve witnessed in relation to wireless devices and reclining seats (including very dramatic testimony from a breast-feeding woman who asserted the man in front of her had starved her infant). Fortunately, we appear to have moved to a better place with the advent of gate-to-gate wireless gadgetry and what looks to be an end of reclining seats… on at least a few airlines. And next up is Monarch Air. The carrier is outfitting their fleet with thinner, non-reclining seats… that conveniently provide a tablet holder where one might expect an entertainment console — which sure beats attempting to prop up your device via water bottle (as shown below), providing more stability and a better viewing angle. Not to mention if US carriers like Southwest or United follow suit, our iPads would truly replace the seat-back TV given onboard streaming options. Continue Reading…

simpletv-drilled

Remember that buzz saw of a fan that the second gen Simple.TV shipped with? Well Simple, and their hardware partner Silicon Dust, have resorted to a variety of software updates and a drill to rectify the issue. And, as you can see above, they’ve begun shipping devices with a newly perforated chassis. But the good news doesn’t end there…

Built into Simple.TV’s Android and iOS apps for phones and tablets, support for Chromecast enables users to easily ‘cast’ their favorite live or recorded over-the-air TV shows onto any HDTV powered by Google’s device.  With Simple.TV’s ability to stream live and recorded TV anywhere, users can watch their favorite shows on the big screen at home and anywhere a Chromecast is connected. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Simple also has flipped the switch on video downloads for offline viewing. While this is (currently) accomplished via PC/Mac desktop, we imagine the MP4s can simply be relocated to the mobile device of one’s choosing – until such a time that the apps themselves are updated with this functionality. Speaking of updates, Chromecast and content downloads are only available to Gen 2 hardware at this time, but Simple indicates future support for early adopters running first generation hardware.

Given the enhancements, and new press representation that we hope keeps it real, we’ll probably give Simple.TV another look (in relation to Tablo, which we’ve been quite impressed with). Stay tuned.