Insignia has created the first IAAIS-compliant HD Radio Tuner with voice response. Good for the visually impaired or those who like the simplicity, the Narrator features a 2.4" color LCD display with station song and artist information. It has 10 AM and 20 FM presets, bookmarks, a dual alarm with snooze function and 3.5mm headphone jack. Included with the package is Radio Reader Service, an adapter and both AM and FM antennas.
The iFrogz wireless Boost uses near-field technology to pump amplified sound or tunes out of two 2W x 2RMS speakers. It runs on a USB power connector or 3 AA batteries and is compatible with most devices. Get 15 hours of play or 6 months of standby time when battery driven.
Microsoft's super deal for college students is on again. Purchase a Windows PC for $599 or more and get a free 4GB Xbox 360. Available to college students in the U.S. and Canada, find a participating retailer like Dell.com, Best Buy or the Microsoft Store and prove your eligibility then let the games begin, at least until supplies run out.
Ecobee recently released its latest Smart Si Thermostat that can be controlled by computer, smartphone or tablet. With a simple user interface and high-res color display, the built-in weather function is based on algorithms. There are auto- alerts for equipment malfunction and service tune-ups. In addition, a quick save button puts your home in an energy saving setting when you are away.
Fitness freaks, the ultimate scale has arrived. The Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale is more than just a weight gauge. With easy set-up it will recognize up to 8 users. It can track your weight, body fat percentage and BMI online, upload automatically and create progress graphs. Your account will be password protected and you can control how much data you want to share. Android and iPhone apps are available that will assist in goal setting, logging your food and activities, and chart your progress.
Braven, formerly Spar, has given its wireless Six Series speakers the additional capability of charging your smartphone while working. Priced between $150 - $190, all three last from 12 to 20 hours per charge, have a range of 33 feet and speakerphone access. They can also connect with other speakers with 3.5mm in and out jacks and the internal mic works with Skype, iChat and other apps. The 600 and 655 models are made of aluminum and the 650 and the 625 is more rugged and has a built-in LED flashlight. Pre-order now for a June delivery.
Amped Wireless is proud to present its dual-band R20000G Router. It covers up to 10,000 square feet and goes between the 2.4GH and 5GH bands for unbroken coverage. The device has five Ethernet jacks and a USB 2.0 port as well as a range of up to 1.5 miles. The high-powered WiFi router has an omni-directional antenna, works through walls and is great for transferring large data files or gaming.
The wonder that is GPS is pretty much taken for granted these days but it has a basic flaw, it cannot reach satellite usage when inside. Fraunhofer Research is working on an indoor version with Smartsense navigation that combines an acceleration sensor that gauges how fast the user is walking and one to track Earth's magnetic field. Unfortunately, this new application has a ways to go as it will have to have knowledge of the building to function. Still, it's a first step that may perhaps catch the eye of smartphone manufacturers and was displayed at this week's demonstration at the Sensor+Test trade fair in Nuremberg.
Netgear was the first to unveil an 802.11ac router with speeds of up to 1350 Mbps but Buffalo has beaten them to market with the WZR-D1800H that is 3 times faster than 5 GHz. Their AirStation Router can deliver 1750 Mbps to net surf and stream HD video and music. The WLI-H4-D1300 Media Bridge features the same specs and has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both are backwards compatible with 802.11b/g/n and .11a, and each is available at a MSRP of $179.99.
Such a deal! Purchase one of Jabra's shock-resistant Clippers in one of its bright and shiny colors and get a $15.00 MP3 credit from the Amazon Music Store. The Bluetooth stereo headset switches between music and calls automatically, plays, pauses, stops and skips tracks and alerts you when a call is coming in. The device includes a mobile distance alert, can connect to two different devices at the same time and comes with a handy 3.5mm plug. The offer is good through June 18.
By the way, Amazon has added online coupons to many of its products that can be added at checkout.
Smartphones keep getting more useful as we can shop with them, bank with them and now take them for a train ride. Amtrak has plans for iPhones to become an electronic ticket scanners on several of its routes. By summer's end, passengers will be able to either display a bar code or print tickets.
About 1,700 conductors will have his/her own iPhone with a bar code scanner, an extra battery and an app that can not only scan but can report equipment failure. The app can also send alerts for special need passengers to a station that is ahead. Boston, Portland, Maine, San Jose and Sacramento start off the program that is costing Amtrack over $7 million to start and they plan on adapting the technology for Android users in the future.
Batteries never seem to last long enough, especially since smartphones seem to suck up more power with every new generation. Lilliputian Systems has designed a clever fuel cell for charging an iPhone. With a USB connection, you get 10 - 14 charges with one butane cartridge. The device and refills will become available via Brookstone, can be carried on planes and recycled when empty. Look for a release later this year. The company is so gung-ho that Mouli Ramani, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, says it is like "having a plug in your pocket."
Landlines are becoming a thing of the past as most only use cell/smartphones so AT&T, in an effort to cut costs, has managed to kill white pages in about 75 different markets. While this will not affect yellow pages, areas that approved the changes are required to pay $1.99 (plus air time) for each 411 directory assistance call. Customers can also request a CD-ROM of home listings.
The latest Public Service Commission to consider sending white pages only to those who request them is in Louisiana, who will decide by May 23. At the very least the plan will save a few trees.
TiVo has released its spring update meant to improve service.Netflix is now available with larger poster graphics, improved 1080p resolution and search, instant queue and personalized categories added. An updated YouTube app offers a directory, one-click links and continuous play. Finally, parental control can be used with Premier's HD menu that sets a 4 digit access code for those shows and movies not suitable for children.
Jawbone Headsets have been around a long time and they are finally getting around to growing up, or in this case the 5" Jambox . The portable speaker is compatible to most wireless smartphones, computers, tablets or Bluetooth devices. It features two drivers with a dome for a wide audio spectrum. It gets up to 10 hours of usage with its rechargeable battery and its MyTalk portal allows download of software and apps.
As a freshman at UC Berkely, Derek L. My automated his dorm room and included control of music, lights, curtains and an Emergency Party Button that sets off a disco ball and strobe lights. Three months and a few hundred dollars later, the app/voice activated BRAD (Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm) was shared with the world. Create your own by seeing how he did it himself.
USB 3.0 may soon gain in popularity and Verbatim is one of the first to embrace the new speed. They claim that their Store 'n Go V3 flash drives are twice as fast as 2.0. Of course they are 2.0 backwards compatible, come in 8 to 64GB memory sizes and are available in 7 different colors. A retractable design means no lost caps and password protection software is available.
Sirius XM has just released a free update for its Android Internet Radio App. Tune Start allows listeners to restart a current song and Live Radio can be paused and continued or skipped forward to catch what is coming up. Start Now lets the user go back up to 5 hours on various channels. Show Finder is a programmable guide to set reminders up for an entire week and organize favorites. Current subscribers should receive it automatically and newbies can get the app from Google Play.
It's nice that Zuckerberg is becoming more benevolent as he did recently by embracing National Donate Life Month. Facebook users can now share the fact that they are donors or connect with one of the 22 state registries. Donate Life America claims that before the drive about 400 would sign up daily, and by the end of the first day of release over 6,000 had joined. Over 24,000 registered in the first two days.
We watched a news story on Nightline last week that showcased Jessica Danielson, a young woman who is awaiting a double heart/liver transplant at the Mayo clinic. She expressed sorrow at the fact that for her to get one, someone has to die. Physicians say that members of the donor family often meet the donee to ease both parties.
Anyone can become an organ donor when getting a drivers license or ID card from the DMV and with as many as 18 deaths a day for those waiting for an organ, we hope our readers will consider becoming one as well.
Satechi's Audio Cube Bluetooth Speaker is quite unique and features 2 x 2W audio with A2DP. Compatible with most enabled devices, including Apple and Android, this miniscule wireless cube is perfect for those on the go who prefer it to a bulky earpiece. The built-in 3.5mm audio jack makes for simplified USB charging that provides up to 6 hours of play.
Mitsubishi has made a move towards easier networking with their new Diamondcrusta WIDE monitors. Available in glare and non-glare models, both have a 1920×1080 resolution, 23" screens and a LED Backlight IPS panel with a 3.5mms (GTG) response time and a 178 ° view angle. They feature an ECO mode for reduced power comnumption up to 35%. Best of all it has Android and iOS support for your smartphone via HDMI with its GigaClear Engine II.
MTV's Power of 12 campaign is working on the 45 million 18 - 29 year-olds who can make a real difference in the upcoming elections. A recent study from Gallup claims that group has become apathetic and many don't even register to vote. As a result, you will soon be able to take a break from mudslinging rhetoric to play MTV's Fantasy Election '12 but you can register now.
Like fantasy sports games, you build a team of candidates running for president, the Senate and House. Gamers play against others and get points for registration, watching debates and publicly support candidates. The invite-only beta release should be up by June.
Those who long for the days of all-American made products would appreciate Element Electronics. In production since last month, the company is the only TV assembly plant in the U.S. Although Element only has about 100 workers to start, its president, Mike O'Shaughnessy, came from the Midwest and believes his choice to build the plant in Canton, MI was both an emotional and patriotic one.
Their products do not contain high levels of lead, mercury or other volatile organic compounds and they use environmentally sustainable practices in all stages of manufacturing them. Fortunately, the TVs not only look and sound great, their LCD and LEDs cost about the same as units made in China. Consider making your next HDTV purchase an Elemental one.