Energous Says Its Truly Wireless Charging Technology Will Ship Later This Year — In Next iPhone?

Amid rumors that Apple will release its first iPhone models with wireless charging capabilities as early as this year, its possible partner Energous has told The Verge that its first truly wireless transmitters will begin shipping by the end of 2017, over two years after it first introduced the technology.

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Energous CEO Steve Rizzone also dropped yet another hint suggesting its partner is indeed Apple. “One of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world,” he said. “I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home.”

Energous is the company behind WattUp, a truly wire-free, over-the-air charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away. If you walked into a room with a WattUp transmitter, for example, a smartphone with a built-in WattUp receiver would automatically begin charging.



Energous today announced that its WattUp technology will be embedded in six products on display at CES 2017 this week, such as the Chipolo Plus Bluetooth tracker and a SK Telesys hearing aid, but these implementations will require small, contact-based, portable transmitters rather than the larger, truly wireless transmitters coming.

The company said these early devices integrated with WattUp receiver technology will be able to seamlessly transition from being charged by the contact-based transmitters to forthcoming larger transmitters that offer over-the-air charging at-a-distance of up to 15 feet, seemingly by the end of this year.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest Apple and Energous have partnered on wireless charging. Energous has claimed it is working with “one of the top five consumer electronics companies,” it has relationships with Apple manufacturers TSMC and Foxconn, and both Apple and Energous are members of ANSI.

Energous certification documents dating back to 2014 were also uncovered with an “Apple compliance testing” listing, and Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor recently made a $10 million investment in Energous. Dialog makes power management chips and is said to get as much as three quarters of its business from Apple.

The deal Energous made reportedly gives its mystery partner first dibs on shipping its truly wireless charging technology “inside of phones, laptops, tablets, and certain wearables and accessories,” and given the multiple rumors from credible sources, it appears one of those products could be the next iPhone.

Given that Apple has removed the headphone jack on iPhone 7 models, leaving the Lightning connector with the double duty of charging and connecting wired headphones, the move towards wireless charging would be appropriate.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: wireless charging, Energous

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CES 2017: Withings Debuts HomeKit-Enabled ‘Home Plus’ Baby Monitor and Security Camera

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Withings introduced the next-generation version of its “Home” smart security camera and baby monitor, which adds HomeKit compatibility.

The new “Home Plus” is one of the first security cameras on the market to integrate with HomeKit, allowing it to interface with other HomeKit-enabled products and be accessed through Apple’s own Home app.

Like many security cameras on the market, the Home Plus streams HD video to a smartphone or tablet, allowing users to keep an eye on their homes when away, or on their children when in a different room. The Home Plus sends notifications out when there’s unusual noise and movement, and it’s able to monitor indoor pollution.

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Design wise, the Withings Home Plus looks similar to the original Withings Home, introduced in 2015, with a wood enclosure and white accents that house a wide-angle camera. It has the same HD camera with night vision support and the ability to store video for up to 48 hours with no subscription plan needed.

Withings plans to make the Home Plus available for purchase during the first quarter of 2017. It will be priced at $199.

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Withings has also begun selling its new Withings Steel HR, an analog fitness tracking watch with a built-in heart rate monitor. First introduced in September, the Withings Steel HR looks like a traditional watch, but features heart rate and activity tracking. The Steel HR is available for $179.95 to $199.95 from the Withings website.

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Apple Confirms $1B Investment in SoftBank’s Vision Fund

Apple LogoApple today announced that it has invested $1 billion in Japanese company SoftBank’s Vision Fund, confirming rumors suggesting the two had held talks back in December.

The SoftBank Vision Fund, which SoftBank is aiming to launch next year, could be one of the largest tech investment funds in the world. The money will be invested in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, robotics, and connected devices.

According to Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, the company believes the fund could be strategically important for future developments.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, “We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple.” She added Apple has worked with the Japanese telecom company for many years.

SoftBank is aiming to raise $100 billion for the fund, with plans to contribute at least $25 billion itself. The Saudi Arabian government is the largest contributor, pledging up to $45 billion.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has promised to invest $50 billion of the fund in the United States to create 50,000 jobs in the country, a move that’s been praised by President-elect Donald Trump.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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CES 2017: Ring Launches Motion-Activated Security Camera With Floodlights

Ring, best known for its popular video doorbells, has added an outdoor Floodlight Cam to its security camera product lineup.

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The Floodlight Cam is a motion-activated security camera with built-in 3K lumen LED floodlights, a 270-degree field-of-view, facial recognition, a 110-decibel siren alarm, two-way audio, and infrared for night vision. The hardwired, self-install camera is controlled via Wi-Fi with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone.

When the Floodlight Cam detects movement, homeowners will receive a push notification on their iPhone, while the HD video camera will also begin recording so users can see and speak to whoever is on their property through the free Ring app for iPhone and iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows 10 devices.

If a suspicious person is detected, homeowners can scare them off by turning on the device’s siren, yelling over the loudspeaker and pulsing the light rapidly. Not only will this likely scare off a potential intruder, but it will also get neighbors’ attention so they can assist in calling the authorities. Video recordings can be accessed during and after an event and shared with neighbors and local law enforcement.

With the Ring app, homeowners can manually flash the floodlights, sound the alarm, and zoom in and pan to focus. Users can set customizable motion zones and a schedule for the lights to turn on and off automatically if desired. The camera is weatherproof and designed for temperatures between -5°F (-20°C) and 120°F (48°C).

Ring is accepting pre-orders for the Floodlight Cam for $249 on its website beginning today; orders will begin shipping in early April. Cloud video recording, allowing users to view and download up to six months of previous events, is available for $3 per month or $30 per year if desired.

Tags: CES 2017, Ring

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CES 2017: Hands-On With a Smart Ring, Smart Shower, Smart Shoe, and Smart Everything

The Internet of Things is the name of the game at CES 2017. If you can think of a product, there’s a good chance a vendor not only has it, but has one that’s connected to the internet via WiFi, Bluetooth, and an app.

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At CES Unveiled, we went exploring for the most interesting products. Some, like the connected hairbrush from Withings and Kérastase, are grasping at a future where everything you do is monitored and optimized, while others, like the Smart Remote from Sevenhugs, are trying to truly simplify your home.

Some honorable mentions are the Smart Cane from Dring Alert Systems and FeetMe smart insole. The Smart Cane monitors usage and creates a user profile. If the user deviates from the “normal” usage, or if the cane detects something like a fall, it will automatically alert a specified contact of this.

The FeetMe is a smart insole that you insert into a shoe. With the insole in place, you can monitor how you walk and run, and with that information, you can adjust your stride or pressure points to be more efficient.

We’ll be covering CES 2017 for the rest of the week so be sure to subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel, and follow closely here on the site!

Tag: CES 2017

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CES 2017: Twelve South Debuts ActionSleeve Armband for Apple Watch

Twelve South today unveiled its latest accessory, the ActionSleeve Armband for Apple Watch. The ActionSleeve is designed to move the Apple Watch from the wrist to the upper arm, keeping it out of the way during intense workouts while leaving all of its functionality intact.

Specifically designed for sports that require wrist gear like weightlifting, rock climbing, boxing, Kettlebell training, and CrossFit, the ActionSleeve protects the Apple Watch, keeps it out of the way, and securely holds it in place even during vigorous workouts.

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The Apple Watch slips into the padded frame of the ActionSleeve, and then the ActionSleeve itself is strapped to the upper arm. The screen, Digital Crown, and side button remain accessible, and the heart rate monitor continues to work. According to Twelve South, the heart rate monitor may even perform better on the upper arm because of its tight fit.

actionsleeve2

ActionSleeve can actually improve Apple Watch’s heart rate tracking. How? When you flex your wrist or your watch band isn’t tight enough, it can cause inconsistent readings or drop outs. ActionSleeve holds Apple Watch tightly and securely to your upper arm – delivering more consistent skin contact and more accurate heart rate tracking. If you’re serious about training or you’ve had trouble with the Apple Watch heart rate monitor in the past, ActionSleeve might just be the ticker-counting ticket you’re looking for.

Priced at $29.99 and available in either red or black, there are ActionSleeves for both 38 and 42mm Apple Watch models. The 38mm ActionSleeve fits arms up to 15 inches, while the 42mm ActionSleeve fits arms up to 17 inches. There’s also a 42mm “Slim” variant for the larger Apple Watch that fits smaller arms.

The ActionSleeve is available for purchase starting today from the Twelve South website.

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CES 2017: Incipio Debuts HomeKit-Enabled Smart Wall Switch and Power Strip

Incipio today expanded its line of CommandKit home automation products, introducing the CommandKit Wireless Smart Wall Switch and Wireless Smart Power Strip, both of which are compatible with HomeKit

The Wireless Smart Wall Switch is designed to offer a way to manually control HomeKit products like lightbulbs, giving users a way to quickly turn them on or dim them. The Smart Wall Switch includes motion sensor functionality that can be used in various HomeKit scenes to automate many smart home products.

incipiosmartwallswitch

Incipio’s Smart Power Strip features four smart outlets that can be controlled using Siri commands, Apple’s Home app, or the CommandKit app. Each outlet can be controlled individually, allowing users to turn standard electronics and appliances into smart ones that can be remotely turned on and off.

incipiosmartpowerstrip

“The additions to our CommandKitTM product line offer users even further accessibility to smart solutions to achieve a connected home,” says Carlos Del Toro, Director of Products, Incipio. “With Apple’s HomeKit platform pioneering connected home utility through optimizing Siri and the Home App and the ascendancy of other simplified smart home devices, evolving our CommandKitTM solutions to support multi-system integration was top of mind during development as there are now multiple entry points for smart home attainability across many audiences.”

Incipio’s existing CommandKit line also includes the CommandKit Smart Outlet and the Smart Light Bulb Adapter.

The CommandKit Wireless smart Wall Switch and the Smart Power Strip will be available for purchase during the second quarter of 2017. Incipio plans to price the Wall Switch at $59.99, while the Smart Power Strip will be available for $99.99.

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