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CES 2014 - IK Multimedia's iRing Will Let Users Control Music Apps With Hand Gestures

Posted by Rob Rich on January 8th, 2014

iOS apps for musicians aren't a new thing, but depending on the instruments they use actually incorporating these apps into their work can be a hassle. That's where the iRing comes in. These simple-looking rings work in conjunction with the iOS camera's image recognition technology to allow users to control various music apps - including AmpliTube, SampleTank, and GrooveMaker 2 - using nothing but hand gestures. In other words, if you've got your hands full of guitar you won't have to put it down in order to start fiddling with an iOS app. Developers interested in incorporating iRing features into their products can also swing by the official website to request an SDK and free licensing program.

The iRing will be available worldwide sometime within the first quarter of 2014 for $24.99 - in white, silver, and green - at numerous music and electronics retailers.

- Ring controller, in tandem with either of two included apps featuring advanced motion-tracking technology, allows remote control of iOS app and app parameters using hand gestures
- Great for musicians and non-musicians alike
- Includes two identical, two-pattern reversible rings, allowing for numerous control combinations and the control up to 6 effect parameters simultaneously with two hands
- Rings are unique looking, light, comfortable and provide a universal fit
- Included iRing Music Maker app allows novices to make music using hand gestures
- Included iRing FX/Controller app lets musicians and DJs create custom MIDI control setups, plus add and control audio effects when used together with other music apps via Inter-App Audio or Audiobus

CES 2014 - The mophie space pack Protects, Charges, and Stores Extra Data for Your iPhone 5/5s

Posted by Rob Rich on January 8th, 2014

mophie has just introduced the mophie space pack; a hybrid iPhone case/charger/storage device. That's right, it's a case with its own battery that you can use to charge your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s when you're running low, but it also offers extra storage space for your files.

That's up to 16,000 photos, 14 hours worth of movies, 9,000 songs, or a whole lot of document data from email and other online downloads. Data can be managed both through the phone directly and by connecting the mophie space pack to your computer directly. All in a case that will also recharge your phone for you.

The mophie space pack will be available in March for $149.95. Although if you're really impatient you can at least preorder it directly from mophie's website.

CES 2014 - Yahoo News Digest Automatically Summarizes and Presents Users with Top News Stories

Posted by Rob Rich on January 8th, 2014

Yahoo has recently announced Yahoo News Digest - a spiritual successor to Summly of a sort. The app posts collection of articles twice per day - once in the morning and then again in the evening - with the intention of keeping users easily informed of the day's biggest stories. Information on top news stories is gathered from several different sources and presents users with an assortment of data bits, referred to as "Atoms," to browse through at their leisure. These can include quotes, videos, wiki entries, images, infographics, and more, all of which are both gathered through program algoryhthms and had-curated.

Yahoo News Digest is available now as a free download.

CES 2014 - BRV-Bank Offers Users a Water-Resistant Portable Backup Battery Pack That's Controlled by an App

Posted by Andrew Stevens on January 8th, 2014

BRV-Bank is a new intelligent portable backup battery with Bluetooth technology from Braven. It's a water-resistant and shock-proof power bank that wirelessly connects with an app that allows users to monitor battery levels, start and stop charging devices, and locate the device from a smartphone or tablet.

“The BRV-Bank is built for the outdoors and emergency preparedness with the ability to withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it,” said Andy Fathollahi, Chief Executive at BRAVEN, in a press release. “Users can now locate their backup battery, turn it on and off remotely and monitor the battery level.”

CES 2014 - iZZi Slim is an Attachable 5-in-1 Camera for the iPhone

Posted by Andrew Stevens on January 7th, 2014

iZZi Gadgets announced the new iZZi Slim at this year's CES, which attaches a 5-in-1 lens to an iPhone. People can use one finger to rotate through each lens to discover the ideal selection for the photograph they want. They can choose from a fisheye, 2X telephoto, 0.67x wide-angle, macro, and the original iPhone lens.

CES 2014 - Ozobot Robot Recognizes Codes, Lights, and Patterns While Sitting Atop a Smartphone or Tablet

Posted by Andrew Stevens on January 7th, 2014

Engadget reports on a tiny 1 inch sized robot that loves moving on top of smartphones and tablets, and it recognizes codes, lights, patterns, and the surface that it's on. The Ozobot is intended for gameplay, but not much else is known besides what's mentioned in the press release that Engadget quoted.

"A pocket-sized robot with the ability to operate on physical and digital platforms, Ozobot melds the worlds of robotics and gaming into one, making it distinctly playful and uniquely creative."

CES 2014 - The RP One from SIGNAL Wants to Deliver Console Quality Game Controls to iOS 7 Devices

Posted by Rob Rich on January 7th, 2014

SIGNAL's RP One is designed to be a standalone game controller that connects wirelessly to all current iOS 7 devices. It's meant to evoke the feeling of a console controller - with an ergonomic design and size that should be comfortable to a variety of hand sizes and a number of controller inputs like dual sticks, a digital pad, face buttons, and triggers.

The RP One also comes with a universal stand/charging dock meant to accommodate iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches as well as many of the cases they might be nestled in. Combine that with the option to use both the RP One and an iOS device while they charge and it's essentially like a home console. Of course it can still be used on-the-go and allows for up to 10 hours of continuous play.

The RP One will be available some time within the fist half of 2014 and will sell for $99.99.

CES 2014 - Thinium Unveils Two New Slim and Portable Wall-Mounted Mobile Device Chargers

Posted by Rob Rich on January 7th, 2014

Lugging cables around can often be a bother, as can using said cables to act as a stationary charger for your iPhone. That's why Thinium has been working on a pair of portable chargers called the Thinium Charge and the Thinium ReCharge.

The Thinium Charge is only slightly larger than a credit card and is designed to fit easily into a pocket or even a wallet. Once your phone needs charging you just have to take it out, unfold it, and viola; one wall-mounted iPhone charging station. There's also a USB cable tucked away inside of it that will allow you to charge your device from a computer or any other USB-compatible energy source.

The Thinium ReCharge is essentially the same thing as the Charge with two significant differences. First, it allows you to charge to devices simultaneously. Second, it can also function as a battery backup in the event that you can't find any places to plug in.

The Thinium Charge will be out sometime within the first quarter of 2014 for between $39.99 and $49.99 (depends on the model), and the Thinium ReCharge will follow afterwards and pricing has yet to be announced.

CES 2014 - LaCie's Fuel Gives You an Additional TB of Wireless, External Storage Across All Your iOS Devices

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

I'll admit to having some storage issues on my iPhone 5, but that's mostly due to the games I have installed. However I know that there are also plenty of users out there who tend to fill up their devices with photos, music, and movies; and they're exactly the sort of users LaCie wants to help with the Fuel.

The Fuel is a 1TB (1 Terabyte, as in 1,000 gigabytes) wireless storage device for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It allows for up to 500 movies, 160,000 songs, or 190,000 photos in total. That's a lot of storage! It also lets you share that data with up to five devices at one time, as well as stream content to Apple TV or external speakers using AirPlay. And as I've said; it's totally wireless. It also offers a USB connection if you'd prefer to guarantee a steady data stream and doesn't require an internet connection for wireless transfers.

The LaCie Fuel will be available through various retailers as well as the official site soon for $199.99.

CES 2014 - StudioConnect HD Lets You Record Multiple Music Tracks Simultaneously in HD

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

StudioConnect HD is the newest audio toy from Griffin Technology; allowing users to record multiple tracks in HD to both iOS or Mac OS X at the same time. It accommodates microphones, guitars, keyboards, and bases, as well as acting as a charging platform for your iPad. Which iPad? Any of them, really. It comes with both a 30-pin and lightning connector (plus a USB port to connect to your Mac).

The StudioConnect HD will be available from Griffin Technology's website soon (Fall 2014) for $199.99.

Compatible With
- Auria (iOS)
- GarageBand (iOS and OS X)
- Logic Pro X (OS X)
- JamUp / BIAS (iOS)

- Two ¼”/XLR combo inputs with individual Gain control, Pad switch, 48v Phantom Power and Signal/Clip LED indicator
- USB MIDI and 5-pin MIDI support
- TRS 1/4” balanced out for monitors
- Dedicated Monitor and Headphones volume controls
- Compatibility with iOS (30 pin & Lightning) and OS X (USB)
- Conveniently holds and charges iPad

CES 2014 - TAO Wellness Announces the TAO WellShell Exercise Tool That Whips You Into Shape With "Variobics(TM)"

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

It can sometimes be tough for people to make time for exercise. Maybe they work long days or have to spend too much time sitting at a desk. Perhaps there are other physical limitations that are preventing them from going for a jog or a bike ride. Well now there's TAO to consider as an alternative.

The TAO Wellness fitness program, along with the TAO WellShell, promote a brand of exercise know as Isometrics. Isometric exercises are basically the application of pressure at certain points of the body, for certain lengths of time, and at certain strengths, in order to improve circulation and tone muscles. The WellShell and Tao Wellness system work together to not only present you with Isometic exercises but to create an entire program for you to follow; complete with reps, coaching, and so on. "Variobics(TM)," they call it.

The WellShell will measure and track your progress, then give you the results through the TAO app (coming soon) and allow you to see how far you've come. What's so interesting about it is that the exercises are largely comprised of squeezing the device from various angles - all of which will work different groups of muscles - so there's nothing really holding you back from using it whenever you have a spare moment but can't manage any major physical activities such as running, pushups, and so on.

If you're headed to CES you can check out the TAO Wellness system and the WellShell January 7-10 at Booth #26712 in South Hall 2. If not, you'll have to wait a bit longer (and keep an eye on the website) to get your hands on it.

CES 2014 - Withings Aura Intricately Analyzes Your Sleep Patterns to Help you Get the Most Out of Your Zs

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

Health services smart product developer Withings is poised to unveil their latest gadget, the Withings Aura, at this year's CES.

The Withings Aura is a special sleep systems that's designed to both monitor your sleep patterns - using a combination of bedside device and sensor that you slip under your mattress - and help you improve them. The two devices work in tandem to analyze your sleeping environment (noise, temperature, light levels) and your own personal sleep patterns (heart rate, movement, breathing) in order to figure out the best way to help you sleep better. Once the data is collected the bedside device will use a series of ambient sounds and gentle light patterns tailored to your specific profile that whould help you get the most out of your rest.

The Withings Aura system also allows you to view your sleep data and control a number of more personal features such as settings for powernaps or recovering from jet lag. It will be available at "select retail partners" and off of Withings' own website in the Spring for $299.

CES 2014 - Square and Griffin Technology Reveal Their New Merchant Case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s

Posted by Rob Rich on January 6th, 2014

Square has been around for a fair bit now; making digital transactions on-the-go and generally allowing small business owners a convenient way to charge customers using nothing but their iPhone and a tiny add-on. The new Merchant Case they've created in conjunction with Griffin Technology looks to improve upon that convenience.

Aside from simply securing your phone in a sturdy non-slip case, it will also make toting the reader and using cards even easier. There's a spot in the corner of the case allows the Square Reader to slip right in without having to take the case off, and a groove along the bottom that allows credit cards to slide through easily and consistently. And once you're done processing transactions for the day you can simply tuck the Square Reader into a compartment on the back of the case and forget about it until it's time to use it once more.

The Merchant Case + Square Reader set won't be shipping for another couple of weeks, but you can preorder it now for $19.99 on Griffin's website.