Jun 17

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Google’s investment in Sage TV continues to bear fruit as the team is apparently hard at work preparing their second generation Google Fiber set-box. Continue Reading…

playstationtv

Amongst the various E3 gaming convention announcements is news that Sony intends to bring PlayStation TV to US shores this fall. Introduced in 2013 as PlayStation Vita TV (review), Sony appropriately drops “Vita” branding given its generally poor mobile market reception and the PSTV’s broader capabilities. Part TV streamer, that will surely replace Sony’s unsuccessful line of Roku competitors, and gaming system, PSTV will be priced at Fire TV equivalency: $100 for the base system, add $40 if you’d prefer the gaming controller upsell. Continue Reading…

Slingbox M1 Coming Soon

Dave Zatz —  June 12, 2014

slingbox-m1

Why hello there, little Slingbox. I’ve been tracking you several weeks since first popping up on the Sling Media warranty page as the Slingbox M1. Further I’m told, as FCC docs now confirm, that you’ll bring wireless capabilities to the lower end of Sling’s lineup via a more Roku-esque form factor. In fact, you may even replace the Slingbox 350 released in 2012 and clock in at a lower MSRP – perhaps $130-150. See you soon?

starbucks-powermat

While Coffee Bean may have given up on café table Qi charging, Starbucks has just announced a nationwide initiative to bring Powermat inductive charging to all US stores. Despite the promise of wireless power, a variety of competing standards and far-from-universal mobile manufacturer integration have led to limited consumer uptake. Perhaps more than 12,000 retail SBUX outposts will stimulate adoption. Although, iPhone and iPad owners will require compatible cases or external chargers, which probably defeats the purpose, as wireless power hasn’t (yet?) been integrated. Continue Reading…

Amazon Prime Music Arrives!

Dave Zatz —  June 12, 2014

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After months of rumor and speculation, Amazon Prime Music has arrived. And, as with other Prime benefits, the streaming service is effectively free for existing Prime members ($99/yr). At launch, Amazon’s collection pales in comparison to other streaming music services, such as Spotify. Yet, as The Verge notes, it doesn’t have to compete head-on. Prime Music is a just-nice-enough perk that it’ll surely replace my $4/mo Pandora and provides another reason to stick with Prime (despite LaserShip’s ongoing delivery challenges).

As to the service itself, it’s an interesting ad-free hybrid of albums, tracks, and playlists… with favorites ending up cross-pollinating your library of Amazon music purchases. In fact, anything tagged Prime can be downloaded for offline listening. Sadly, Amazon “Cloud Player” joins “Unbox” in the digital media dustbin as the e-tailer goes with the clear, yet dull, “Amazon Music” app branding for iOS and Android. Regarding app distribution, Fire TV support remains notably absent and my Sonos connected speaker system hasn’t yet been updated. Soon?

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…