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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 - 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.

CES2012: IK Mutimedia Announces 4 New Music Focused Tools

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 10th, 2012

It's been an exceptionally busy first day at CES for music focused experts IK Multimedia with the announcement of 4 different products to come from their stable very soon. It's of particular interest for DJs of all skill levels with a number of products specifically aimed at that market.

The iRig Mix is one such product. It's the first mobile mixer for an iOS device, promising to offer the same controls that would be expected from a professional DJ mixer. Including a crossfader, cues, EQ and volume controls all in an impressively compact format, the hardware can be used with a number of different DJ mixing tools.

One of the more clever features behind the iRig Mix is that it can be used for mixing any type of audio source including but not limited to MP3 players or CD players, all supplemented with automatic tempo matching and beat-syncing. Other features within the hardware ensures that musicians as well as DJs can gain benefits from it thanks to the extra guitar/microphone input that can be processed by other aps such as AmpliTube and VocaLive.

The iRig Mix is powered easily via a regular phone charger as well as through a laptop's USB port for maxiumum convenience.

It's set for release in February and is priced at $99.99.

What better way of using the iRig Mix than by using IK Multimedia's DJ Rig app? Set for release soon, it's a feature rich, double-deck DJ mixing app for iOS devices. Professional functionality oozes throughout the app such as visual cue points, crossfader curves and an on-the-fly sampler with 4 banks of 9 pads. Most originally is the ability to automatically synchronize the app audio with any external audio source thanks to DJ Rig's ability to listen to the device's audio input and determine its BPM tempo.

DJ Rig is set to be available in two formats: a free version offering a reduced set of 6 effects and 1 pad sound bank and the full version priced at $9.99.

Other musicians haven't been forgotten about with the iRig Mic Cast aiding those in need of a great means to record audio. It's a pocket-sized piece of hardware that can be attached to the audio port of the iOS device in order to provide crystal-clear audio quality. It's ideal for recording podcasts, interviews, lectures, speeches or just regular voice memos. Two different sensitivity settings ensure that the sound quality is always strong regardless of if the source is near or distant.

The iRig Mic Cast will be released this quarter, priced at $39.99.

Finally, in this plethora of announcements, is the iRig STOMP, the first stompbox guitar interface for iOS. Guitar and bass players can now integrate signal processing apps into their existing pedalboard setup for enhanced tone shaping and effects processing.

The device is compatible with any guitar/amp/instrument app for maximum flexibility and promises precise adjustments for guitar players who prefer to have ultimate control over the sound they produce.

Set for release in Q2 of this year, the iRig STOMP will cost $59.99.

We'll be sure to keep track of the developments of all these apps that are bound to revolutionize how musicians create music.

Best and Worst (and WTF) of CES 2011

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on January 11th, 2011

Well, it was a long, strange, Vegas-y week for us here at 148Apps. We took to the Las Vegas Convention Center to check out all the latest gadgets and apps that we could stand. Here's our roundup of the best, the worst, and the just plain WTF of the whole conference.

Best of CES

iCade: iPad Arcade Cabinet

We were so excited by this thing turning out to be real, we dropped a post on it right away. It does indeed look to be real, and has many a geek excited. Starting out as a April Fool's joke on Think Geek, ION Audio picked up the idea and ran with it.

iHome iW1 - Airplay Enabled Rechargeable Home Speaker

If you haven't been under a rock for the last several years, you'll have seen iHome speaker docks, for your iPod and iPhone. The latest speaker boast some impressive features, most notably Airplay compatibility and a rechargeable battery, leading to within-network mobility. Imagine playing Slacker Radio or Pandora from your iPhone to a speaker in any room in your house, or, better yet, a speaker you can take with you from room to room while playing from the iPod touch in your pocket? Now THAT's the future. [iHome]

Dexim iPad Bluetooth Keyboard/Leather Folio Combo Case

This is the one that Engadget posted about - you know, the one with the iPad 2 prototype in it? We were more impressed with the foldable folio-style iPad case with the thin, magnetically attached bluetooth keyboard as part of the unit. Easily removed, as well, for those non-keyboard moments in your travelling life. Slick design abounds here, and we can't wait to get our little hands on one. [Dexim]

iConnect MIDI to iPad/iPhone

If you're a musician, you'll appreciate the fact that while there have been great music creation apps on the iPad and iPhone, but not many ways to use them with hardware controllers like keyboards or drum machines. That could change with iConnect, a new hardware box that utilizes the connector on your iOS device to connect MIDI and USB devices that use the MIDI standard. Hooray for us!

Eton Crank-Charged Emergency Box with USB Power Dump

There you are, in the middle of a natural disaster and the power is out. Your iPhone is dead, and you need to call your Aunt Mary to make sure she's ok. Never mind that her power is probably out, too, but should you need to charge your various devices on the go, you'll want one of these hand crank power units from Eton. The pictured model even has a "power dump" feature, so you can build up a charge with the hand crank, then let it do its thing all on its own, so you don't have to sit there cranking until the wee dark hours of the morning just to play that last ound of Canabalt. Throw in the built in radio, flashlight, and more and you've got almost everything you need to survive the next power outage. And yes, that IS in fact Jeff's handsome hand and iPhone modeling for you.

Sennheiser Digital Noise Canceling Headphones with iPhone Compatibility

Sennheiser is known as a maker of high-end audiophile headphones, and at CES, we found out why. Boasting many different lines of headphones, from Adidas special additions to digital noise canceling headphones with pass through mic systems in place (when you need to hear the stewardess on the plane, for example) and iPhone remote buttons.

Worst of CES

iPhone and iPad Cases

Seriously, folks, how many cases do you actually need? From shiny be-dazzled iPhone cases to every bizarre iPad stand/case/kiosk thing, the one thing that CES had in plenty was cases. Look, we appreciate a well designed case as much as anyone, but do we really need four dozen of each type? Don't answer that -- it was a rhetorical question. Color us sick of iPhone and iPad cases, with only a few notable exceptions.

"iPad Killer" Tablets

This was the year of Android at CES. Everyone and their mother's brother had a tablet, from tiny little companies to ginormous world-spanning companies, and everyone in between. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab (sweet form factor and solid design) and the Blackberry Playbook (amazing looking OS, but still waiting to see full functionality) at the show, not to mention LG's offering, it's hard to want to see any other "budget friendly" tablets. You get what you pay for, folks.

Streaming TV Products

File this under "Things That Do What Airplay Does, Only Less Well and More Kludgy-y Looking." We saw WAY too many little black or white boxes that will "STREAM TV FROM YOUR SMART PHONE!!!!" We aren't adding the exclamation points here. Look, electronics makers, Apple already did this, and we don't need to snap on some poorly made plastic doo-hicky to our "smartphone" in order to do it. Plus, AppleTV just works. Honest.



We're still wondering why this product exists. The makers claim that we all need a bluetooth enabled meat temp probe. The only thing we MIGHT concede is that having an app on the iPhone or iPad that tells us how long a given piece of meat will take to be done could be handy. Otherwise...err...huh? We're men, see, and we burn meats on grills. We don't need no fancy pants meat probe to tell us when it's done!

Smart Appliances

We don't want our oven to download recipes. Seriously. We can do that with the BILLION APPS DEDICATED TO JUST THAT! We don't want our refrigerator to send us targeted advertising email, either, thank you very much. Plus we don't want to have to pay for an extra data plan for our kitchen. There is, however, a Whirlpool Washer/Dryer with an app to tell you when laundry is done. That could be handy, we suppose. Maybe. Like when the huge buzzer sound our dryer makes just isn't enough.

SkunkJuice Earbuds

Ok, we were a bit intrigued with these earbuds that allow multiple magnetic connections for music sharing, even before the hot booth babes with teh "You Wanna Hook Up" T-Shirts and short shorts showed up to demo them. We reserved this WTF special mention for the Director of Communication at the booth, who invited us to a press conference “in 20 minutes” but she didn’t know where it was. Nor could she find out. Neither could we. Marketing Fail, guys.

Did you go to CES? See anything you'd consider the best, the worst, or WTF? Let us know in the comments below!


The Best and Worst of CES for iPhone Lovers

Posted by Jeff Scott on January 14th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

This last week, Chris, Tony and I made the trip to CES to take a look at some of the best new gadgets and accessories for the iPhone. After walking 743.9 miles, shaking 16,984 hands, and trading business cards with 3.5 gajillion people, here's are some of the highlights of what we saw.

FloTV Mophie Battery Case - Mophie announced an interesting new version of their great juice pack. This new version will include a FloTV receiver allowing you to watch broadcast TV right on your iPhone. They include the FloTV receiver yet the unit is only 2mm thicker than the usual Juice Pack. So far the only downside we've heard is the price of the FloTV service which is expected to be about the same as it is for other devices. Full details are still short, but we'll let you know more as soon as we find it out.

Tunebug - Tunebug is a tiny little interesting speaker for your iPhone. Not much larger than a couple matchbooks stacked on top of each other, this isn't a normal speaker. Tunebug uses a patented technology called SurfaceSound that turns anything you set it on into a speaker. The coolest implementation is a Tunebug that straps to you bike helmet and connects to your iPhone using Bluetooth allowing you to listen to music while riding your bike without plugging up your ears and tuning out all of the sounds around you. Obviously a huge breakthrough for biker safety. The other implementation connects to your iPhone (or any device) with a normal speaker wire and sets on your desk, turning your desk into the speaker. The Tunebug will be available soon at $119 for the Bluetooth version, $69 for the wired version.

Zoll PocketCPR - As amazing as the iDevices are, they really don't do much in the ways of saving lives. Sure, there are some apps that are probably helpful in the medical community, but life saving isn't quite the iDevice's forte. The Zoll PocketCPR changes this with an app that shows how to perform CPR with accuracy by using the accelerometer to judge compression depth. At the booth, we heard a story or a doctor who used the app and was complimented by a nurse who hadn't seen proper CPR done by a doctor in a long time. The app hasn't been officially approved by the FDA yet, but Zoll expects the approval to come shortly. [More Info]

Blio Reader - we got a chance to get a demo of the iPhone version of the much talked about Blio Reader. A multi-platform ebook reader announced at CES. Blio does a few things that other ebook readers don't do. For one, there's text to speech technology. Also included are some pretty good options for different ways to read text on the device including both as printed and text versions. Obviously this will be a much more interesting app if the rumored tablet/slate is released. Blio is still a few weeks off, but it looks to be a great platform. We'll bring you more as soon as we can.

L5 Universal Remote - The L5 Universal Remote, while not quite as universal as the Logitech Harmony due to its lack of bluetooth connectivity (PS3), but is quite an amazing remote replacement unit. With the included IR attachment, the L5 Universal Remote instantly learns your remotes features without needing to plug in those pesky product codes. To me, there's really nothing that excites me quite as much as the prospect of controlling my entire house with my iDevice. The L5 will be available soon.

What Happens In Vegas...

Posted by Jeff Scott on January 5th, 2010

Gets reported on 148Apps!

One of the largest trade shows in the world takes place in Las Vegas this week. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a massive show with endless aisles of gadgets, gizmos, and hopefully iPhone Apps. While I don't know the exact number, I believe it will be attended by roughly 1.9 billion people. The size is so imense that it pretty much shuts down all forms of public transportation and makes it impossible to get a data connection on your iPhone.

But the reason for this post is that if you, an industry person, iPhone developer, accessory manufacturer, or booth babe are around and would like to talk to us or invite us to your party, please drop us a line at review {dot} monkey {at} 148apps.com and we'll try to set something up.

We'll do our best to report the coolest things we see. But without a data connection, that might be hard. Keep an eye on our Twitter stream for the updates.