TiVo Co-Founders Plan Launch of QPlay TV Streaming Device

Through their San Jose-based startup InVisioneer, TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton are reportedly getting ready to release a new TV companion device called QPlay, designed to blend video discovery and curation with smart TV functionality. According to a recent FCC filing, QPlay connects to TVs through HDMI and, similar to Chromecast, relies on an iPad for Wi-Fi set-up and device interaction, rather than a remote control. Continue reading TiVo Co-Founders Plan Launch of QPlay TV Streaming Device

3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

The Sense 3D scanner is now available, with a $400 price tag and scanning abilities for objects up to 10 x 10 feet. The handheld device can even digitize a person, and within the next few years, it is expected to become a mainstream consumer product. Sense reviewers are enthusiastic about the scanner, praising its attention to detail and ease of use, although there is a minor learning curve and some have questioned the need for a USB cord. Continue reading 3D Systems Portable Handheld Sense Scanner Now Available

Google Nexus 5 Smartphone Now Available for Android Fans

Google’s Android-powered Nexus 5 is now available with many of the features that were leaked prior to its release. The new smartphone includes an upgraded 4.95-inch 1080p display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM. It shows off the latest Android 4.4 technology, also known as KitKat, and it can be purchased on the Google Play Store today in 16GB ($349) or 32GB ($399) models. Continue reading Google Nexus 5 Smartphone Now Available for Android Fans

Sony Launches Pair of Xperia Android Phones and SmartWatch 2

Sony’s new flagship Android phone, the $650 Xperia Z1, is now available in the U.S. The 5-inch phone features a massive 20.7-megapixel camera and can attach additional lenses. The company is also introducing its 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra, with a 4G LTE option, and its $200 SmartWatch 2 this week. The SmartWatch 2 will compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, the Pebble, Qualcomm’s Toq and a slate of new wearable devices expected to launch soon. Continue reading Sony Launches Pair of Xperia Android Phones and SmartWatch 2

Microsoft Targets Content Creation Market with Surface Pro 2

Microsoft introduced two new tablets during a launch event on Monday. The Surface 2, starting at $499, is the company’s follow-up to the Surface RT. It features a higher-resoution 1080p ClearType display and Tegra 4 chip. Microsoft is making a play for the content creation market with its $899-$1799 Surface Pro 2, presenting it as a full-fledged mobile workstation. During the demo, Surface GM Panos Panay teamed it with a RED Dragon Carbon Fiber camera to showcase 6K video capabilities. Continue reading Microsoft Targets Content Creation Market with Surface Pro 2

Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

Sony is expected to debut a new streaming media device this week, similar to Google’s Chromecast. Briefly teased on the Sony blog last Friday, the BRAVIA NSZ-GU1 Smart Stick is a small dongle that unlocks Google TV on BRAVIA HDTVs. Users will have access to the Google Play store through the Smart Stick, in addition to streaming video applications such as Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Netflix, Redbox Instant, Vudu, YouTube and other BRAVIA apps. Continue reading Sony Unveils New Smart Stick: Basically a Google TV Dongle

Wearable Tech: NFC Ring Designed to Unlock New Possibilities

A Kickstarter-funded UK company led by app developer John McLear has created a piece of jewelry with built-in RFID technology that can be used to unlock doors and mobile phones, start a car, transfer information, link people and more. The NFC Ring, which never needs charging, provides users with the option of public and private inlays for secure information sharing. The Kickstarter campaign concluded last week and dramatically exceeded its target goal by raising about $380,000. Continue reading Wearable Tech: NFC Ring Designed to Unlock New Possibilities

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

Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Plug is a small network connected device that enables users to convert a portable hard drive into private cloud storage that can be shared between PCs, smartphones and tablets. The creators are looking to create a more secure alternative to services such as Dropbox to store, preserve and share data. With 38 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign has already significantly exceeded its original $69,000 goal (as of press time, the total was $736,790). Continue reading Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Raspberry Pi: Mini Computer Attracts Hoards of Hobbyists

The Raspberry Pi was initially intended to help schoolchildren tinker with an inexpensive computer ($35 for new models and $25 for older versions). Nearly a million units later, the Raspberry Pi has become a huge success with hobbyists who customize their miniature computers. The Pi is only 3 inches by 2 inches and is less than an inch in height, but its inexpensive nature allows hobbyists to tinker with the device. Continue reading Raspberry Pi: Mini Computer Attracts Hoards of Hobbyists

CES 2013: USB Cloud for Customized, Specified Web Viewing

USB Cloud offers small, individually serialized USB keys. When the keys are inserted into a USB socket, it automatically seeks out the USB Cloud registry, which then routes the browser to the webpage that you specify in their registry for that serial number. The Osaka-based firm envisions connecting online stores to physical stores, managing digital content, augmenting direct mail strategies, and more. Continue reading CES 2013: USB Cloud for Customized, Specified Web Viewing

New Cord-Cutting Tool: Boxee to Offer USB Live TV Stick in January

  • Boxee is augmenting its broadband box for cord-cutters with a USB dongle that provides users access to broadcast TV.
  • According to paidContent: “Boxee, which has been working mightily to get people to cut their cable cords with its own broadband box for five years, is preparing a new add-on product in January that will let users pull out the cable cord and plug a USB device into their cable box, giving them access to broadcast TV channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC for free.”
  • “If you live and die by ESPN, then yes, you have to stay on cable. But we believe there are plenty of people who just want access to regular broadcast channels,” says Avner Ronen, CEO and co-founder of Boxee.
  • However, Ronen believes there are consumers interested in basic broadcast content that would benefit from this approach. “The problem with canceling your cable subscription and relying just on the Internet has been the lack of live sports, a presidential address, local news, special events and live TV shows,” he told paidContent. “But these things are all available on broadcast TV channels…for free, over the air in HD.”
  • The Live TV stick will be available for $49, as an add-on to the $180 Boxee Box.

Sprint to Limit Unlimited 4G Mobile Broadband: Will Smartphones be Next?

  • Sprint announced it will replace its unlimited 4G mobile broadband for mobile hotspots and devices with three new tiered data plans.
  • Starting in November, “users of mobile hotspots, USB modems, tablets and notebooks will pay $45 for 3GB of combined 3G and 4G, $60 for 5GB and $90 for 10GB of combined data,” where before only 3G data had limits.
  • “Sprint was already showing signs that it couldn’t keep up the unlimited game forever,” reports GigaOM. “It announced last month that it was doing away with unlimited data for its smartphone hotspot feature and was capping data at 5GB a month.”
  • Some are concerned that this prefaces the end of Sprint’s unlimited data plans for smartphones, a differentiating factor from other providers and a selling point for the Sprint iPhone.

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