Apple Bets on New iPhones to Boost Sales, Holiday Revenues

Apple is readying the debut of its next iPhone, which sources say will feature a dual-camera system (on the larger version), a re-engineered home button that vibrates, and no headphone jack. By featuring a design similar to last year’s 6S and 6S Plus, Apple is breaking its typical two-year redesign cycle. The two phones will reportedly retain the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes. The introduction of new iPhones is likely in response to dwindling sales, the result in part to the two-year gap between new models. Continue reading Apple Bets on New iPhones to Boost Sales, Holiday Revenues

Google Readies to Ship Developer Kit for Modular Ara Device

Is Google’s Ara modular smartphone the next revolution in mobile devices, or a cynical ploy to refresh the company’s brand as an innovator? It depends who you listen to. Google’s modular Ara, which began in the company’s ATAP skunkworks program, is on the verge of shipping a developer kit, with a consumer version slated for 2017. The modular device allows users to add or replace a wide-angle or telephoto camera module, a larger battery or E Ink displays; modules can be developed by third parties. Continue reading Google Readies to Ship Developer Kit for Modular Ara Device

Google, Infineon Prototype New Gesture Tracking Technology

A new generation of chips is making gesture tracking more accurate. German company Infineon Technologies AG has paired its radar chips with Google’s algorithms to create Soli technology, enabling devices to detect smaller gestures from several meters away. The first Soli technology devices, presented at the Google I/O developer conference, are prototypes of an LG Electronics smartwatch and a Harman Kardon loudspeaker. Recognizable gestures include hand movements such as those required to wind a watch. Continue reading Google, Infineon Prototype New Gesture Tracking Technology

Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

Philips launched a new 43-inch, 16:9 computer monitor in the U.S. this week that features a 4K Ultra HD LCD display touting 3840 x 2160 resolution, 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, and a 5ms response time. Model BDM4350UC touts 10-bit color support (with color reproduction rated at 1.07 billion colors) and a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1. The IPS monitor — which also features MultiView functionality, built-in 7-watt speakers, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub — is currently available on Amazon for $800. Continue reading Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

Google Cast Technology Powers New Vizio TVs and Speakers

Vizio is launching a SmartCast TV set and several soundbars and speakers, all based on Google Cast, the same technology as that company’s Chromecast streaming stick. With the SmartCast TV, the user can control streaming services directly from his or her phone, without a remote control. Vizio just introduced a companion Android app on Google Play that will allow volume control and other basic functions as well as a movie/TV show guide. One partner in the launch is Walmart’s video service Vudu. Continue reading Google Cast Technology Powers New Vizio TVs and Speakers

Clarion to Demo its New Full Digital Car Sound System at CES

Clarion is bringing what it claims to be the first fully digital, in-car audio system to CES this week. The company’s Full Digital Sound (FDS) system also plays high-resolution audio. “This all-digital approach operates on a purely digital audio signal from the source to the speaker voice coils, resulting in pristine sounding audio with zero loss in quality and no added noise from DACs or analog connections,” explained the company. The digital signal travels from the head unit to a processor and then to the speakers; at no point is it converted from digital to analog or passed through an amplifier. Continue reading Clarion to Demo its New Full Digital Car Sound System at CES

CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

The Internet of Things will grow larger once again at CES 2016 with both incremental and innovative advances in objects, systems and simplicity, but for the entertainment industry the past year should also serve as a cautionary tale. Smart home sensors that track and analyze movements to enable new levels of seamless interaction will impact both the home and the world at large. Security will likely become an increasing concern as the infrastructure is created to effectively connect devices and systems. Continue reading CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

CTA: Tech Spending to Increase This Holiday Shopping Season

About 160 million U.S. adults — or 74 percent of holiday shoppers — plan on purchasing tech gifts this season, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s 22nd Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, which predicts holiday tech spending will reach $34.2 billion this year. Top gifts include smartphones, headphones, tablets and portable Bluetooth speakers, while 12 percent of shoppers indicate they plan to purchase a wearable device. CTA has identified six types of tech shoppers that could help retailers better understand the preferences of today’s consumers. Continue reading CTA: Tech Spending to Increase This Holiday Shopping Season

Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google unveiled two new Chromecast streaming devices yesterday, in addition to a new tablet and a pair of Nexus phones. Google has already sold more than 20 million Chromecasts, which now offers access to thousands of apps, including HBO Now and Netflix. The $35 Chromecast extends the mobile apps already on our phones to our TV, whereas a competitor such as the $149 Apple TV is more a device for storing apps to run on television. One of Google’s new silver dollar-sized Chromecasts is available to work with your TV, while Chromecast Audio plugs into speakers to play music sent from your phone. Continue reading Google Announces New Chromecast Devices for TV and Music

Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps. Continue reading Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

El Capitan Theatre Marries Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos Tech

Disney’s historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is one of five theaters in the world to combine the Dolby Vision advanced laser projection system (created in partnership with Christie Digital) and Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. The facility, which first opened its doors in 1926, now features two Christie 6P 4K laser projectors and more than 100 speakers. Audio engineer, musician and tech journalist Ryan Waniata viewed a screening of Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” and was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater. Continue reading El Capitan Theatre Marries Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos Tech

GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Ron Johnson, a former retail exec with Apple and J.C. Penney, has launched a Web-only startup to offer a new twist on online retail. Menlo Park-based Enjoy Technology will begin offering high-end consumer electronics in select locations today via its website, GoEnjoy.com. The site will sell smartphones, laptops, tablets, drones, and more — in addition to offering free delivery and in-home setup service. Johnson expects that the in-home service will give Enjoy an advantage over established rivals such as Amazon and eBay. Continue reading GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Samsung SUHD TVs Feature Stunning Image Quality, High Prices

Samsung launched its new line of super high resolution SUHD 4K TVs, but interested consumers will have to pay a premium for the superior picture quality and additional features. All of the SUHD TVs have four times the amount of pixels than the average 1080p television set. The highest-end model also has an LED backlight system, a curved screen, and a built-in camera for hand motion controls. The new SUHD TVs will start shipping this month, with the high-end models reaching $10,000. Continue reading Samsung SUHD TVs Feature Stunning Image Quality, High Prices

Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

Media mogul and entertainer Jay-Z is in closing negotiations to acquire Swedish company Aspiro AB, which owns music streaming services WiMP Music and Tidal. The deal, reportedly valued at $56 million, is being handled by Jay-Z’s S. Carter Enterprises. Tidal is the American and U.K. version of WiMP Music, a streaming service that offers CD-quality music files. Once the deal closes, Jay-Z may join the ranks of Dr. Dre who sold his Beats Music streaming service to Apple last year.  Continue reading Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

While universal remotes are primarily used to control cable boxes and TVs, Cupertino-based startup NEEO is taking the idea a step further. The company claims its universal remote can control a home theater system and almost every smart device that a homeowner could imagine. The NEEO touchscreen remote works with over 30,000 Internet-connected gadgets such as the Nest, Philips Hue and others. It also uses hand recognition software to create profiles for each user. Continue reading New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

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