SmartThings Launches Online Market for Internet of Things

In an effort to promote its own Internet-of-Things devices, startup SmartThings is launching an online marketplace that offers starter kits and an array of devices and solution sets that help manage the home. SmartThings first launched its products via Kickstarter in September, including a hub and variety of sensors to track movement and manage devices, providing users with home automation solutions controlled largely by smartphones. Continue reading SmartThings Launches Online Market for Internet of Things

Foursquare and Yahoo Discussing Potential Data Partnership

New York-based startup Foursquare may have found its most lucrative business move yet, which involves monetizing data about venues and locations that has been collected from millions of check-ins. The company already monetizes data through a partnership with Gnip, which sells packaged data from social services like Twitter, but these efforts may be expanded in the future if Foursquare partners with Yahoo for the company’s location data. Continue reading Foursquare and Yahoo Discussing Potential Data Partnership

Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

The Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard for connecting smartphones and tablets to HDTVs and other home entertainment products will receive an upgrade allowing support for 4K video. MHL currently supports up to 1080p, but the need for 4K resolution will increase as more 4K TVs are sold. The backward compatible MHL 3.0 will also support simultaneous data and video feeds and provide power to charge the mobile device. Continue reading Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

Conde Nast and Amazon Join in Print and Digital Magazines

Condé Nast recently announced a collaboration with Amazon where the online retailer will manage the publisher’s print and digital subscriptions. The “All Access” service will be available for Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, WIRED and others. Additional titles will be added later in the year. The partnership will introduce Condé Nast to new Amazon customers, where they can manage their print and digital subscriptions with their Amazon accounts. Continue reading Conde Nast and Amazon Join in Print and Digital Magazines

Companies Using Sound for Mobile Payments and Data Sharing

Several companies are developing systems and apps that use sound waves to transfer small pieces of data over short distances, and could simplify transferring funds electronically. This is an alternative to using near-field communication (NFC) to transfer data wirelessly. Many devices are ready to use sound technology, including simple and feature phones. There are problems in using sound especially in loud areas, but it has significant potential. Continue reading Companies Using Sound for Mobile Payments and Data Sharing

Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Now that Barnes & Noble is getting out of the tablet business, the company announced it is launching free Nook Video Apps for Android, iOS and Roku devices. The new apps enable users to purchase or rent movies for streaming and includes integration with individuals’ UltraViolet collections. No longer keeping content exclusive to Nook devices, the retailer has also updated its Android and iOS e-reader apps with the ability to read Nook Comics titles, previously not available outside of the Nook ecosystem. Continue reading Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Microsoft recently announced the release of its new touch screen technology that turns any ordinary surface, such as a table, a wall, or the floor, into an interactive touch screen. The technology was originally developed by Seattle startup Ubi Interactive using a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor. Now out of beta, the product is publicly available. The product has potential applications for classrooms, corporations, and business and personal use. Continue reading Kinect for Windows Enables Touch Screens on Any Surface

Intel Makes its Case: There is No Better Time to Buy a PC

In a survey conducted by Intel, it was revealed that 97 percent of participants consider their PC to be their primary computing device. The survey also found that participants consider their PCs to be vital to their daily existence, and of the 43 hours per week spent on computing devices, about half of that time is spent in front of a PC. Intel suggests that it may be the perfect time to buy a new PC, and despite competition from tablets, the PC is not a thing of the past. Continue reading Intel Makes its Case: There is No Better Time to Buy a PC

Gates and Myhrvold File Patent: Generating Video From Text

Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold have unveiled another compelling idea — a device or app that can automatically create custom video clips from any selection of text. For Gates and Myhrvold, creating videos from text or images would be a major feat. But the pair have also patented other technologies with major potential, such as a Hurricane Suppression System for the Gulf of Mexico. If the video technology is made, it can have an impact on how students view reading. Continue reading Gates and Myhrvold File Patent: Generating Video From Text

Facebook Testing New VIP App in Attempt to Take On Twitter

Twitter currently dominates the world of “public” sharing, with numerous celebrities and public figures utilizing the service to interact with fans. Facebook hopes to compete with Twitter in this arena, and is creating an app that would allow celebrities to more readily engage in conversation with their fans from a mobile device. The VIP app, currently being tested by a small group of partners, could help make the relationship between celebrities and their fans more intimate and immediate. Continue reading Facebook Testing New VIP App in Attempt to Take On Twitter

Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

When attending a live concert, it is not unusual to witness a sea of smartphones, but some find it challenging to enjoy the show while attempting to record it at the same time. And audio quality recorded via the phone is usually disappointing. Tech entrepreneur Dean Graziano may have the solution with a new app called Lively, which allows musicians to sell fans better quality footage from live concerts for a reasonable price: $4.99 for just the audio, or $9.99 for audio and video. Continue reading Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

Losing Ground to Apple and Google, BlackBerry Is Up For Sale

BlackBerry announced on Monday that its board of directors has formed a special committee and has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to explore strategic alternatives that could include joint ventures, strategic partnerships or an outright sale of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company. The news follows declining stock value in the wake of disappointing sales of new devices running BlackBerry 10 and a shrinking customer base for the company that helped pioneer the smartphone market. Continue reading Losing Ground to Apple and Google, BlackBerry Is Up For Sale

Facebook to Acquire Developer of Speech Translation Tools

Facebook has agreed to acquire Pittsburgh-based Mobile Technologies, a developer of voice-recognition and speech translation tools. Founded in 2001, Mobile Technologies offers an automatic interpretation service for lectures and developed Jibbigo, a speech-to-speech translator app for iPhone and Android. The company’s goal has been to break “through language barriers to open up communication between the people of the world.” Continue reading Facebook to Acquire Developer of Speech Translation Tools

Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

Impacted by the growing popularity of camera phones, compact digital camera sales continue to decline, especially for Canon and Nikon. Sales have also suffered among high-end cameras. Combined, Canon and Nikon had 44 percent of all global sales, according to IDC. Camera manufacturers are hoping that high-end models with interchangeable lenses will improve sales. These cameras have higher margins compared to compact cameras, approximately 15 to 25 percent, according to analysts.

Continue reading Compact and High End Cameras Suffer Due To Smartphones

ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

We recently reported that the Obama administration had vetoed the International Trade Commission’s ban on the import of certain Apple iPhones and iPads, citing concerns of patent holders gaining “undue leverage.” The veto reversed an earlier legal victory for rival Samsung, which suffered another setback on Friday when the ITC ruled that the South Korean manufacturer had violated two of Apple’s patents — and issued an order banning the import of products using Apple’s multitouch features and headphone jack detection. Continue reading ITC Rules in Favor of Apple, Orders Ban on Samsung Devices

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