CES 2017: Kanex Debuts GoPlay Sidekick Game Controller for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

Kanex today introduced the GoPlay SideKick, a pocket-sized wireless game controller for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. The MFi-certified controller connects to Apple devices over Bluetooth 4.0 and offers up to 20 hours of gameplay on a single charge with almost any controller-supported game on the App Store.

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The console-inspired game controller features pressure-sensitive buttons, dual analog joysticks, trigger buttons, a directional pad, and a Lightning connector, while one of its more interesting features is its patent pending protective clamshell case with an integrated stand that props up an iPhone during gameplay.

Kanex said the GoPlay SideKick will be available in February for $59.95. For reference, Apple sells the SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller and HORIPAD ULTIMATE Wireless Game Controller for $49.95 each. Other options include, among others, the MOGA Rebel and Mad Catz CTRL i.

Tags: Kanex, CES 2017

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CES 2017: Chamberlain Reveals HomeKit-Compatible Smart Garage Door Openers

chamberlain-1Chamberlain, a connected smart home company that specializes in garage door openers, today announced that it will be introducing Apple HomeKit compatibility to a range of its connected smart home devices. For users already using the company’s products in the “MyQ” ecosystem, they will be able to gain HomeKit support through the addition of a new MyQ Home Bridge.

For new users, Chamberlain will launch the all-new Smart Garage Hub, a device that can add smartphone controls to “virtually any brand of garage door opener” that users already own.

Thanks to HomeKit compatibility, users will be able to control their garage door — and any MyQ connected lighting accessories — through their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch, and even use Siri.

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“The value of MyQ technology extends far beyond the garage, but into the daily fabric of families and their lifestyles in the home,” said Cory Sorice, Vice President of Marketing for Connected Products and eCommerce at Chamberlain. “Through our growing product line, new features that add convenience and control, and expanding partnerships with tech leaders, Chamberlain has established itself as the industry’s preeminent smart home innovator.”

Additionally, Chamberlain announced new Smart Light Switches and lamp controls, as well as new features within the MyQ mobile app, including guest accounts and scheduling abilities. On iOS, users will be able to add Touch ID onto the app’s startup to ensure an additional layer of security is protecting access to their garage door and lighting controls.

The company said that the MyQ Home Bridge should arrive by April 2017, and the Smart Garage Hub will launch around July 2017. The MyQ Home Bridge will run at a special introductory price of $49.99 (regular $69.99), but there was no mention of how much the Smart Garage Hub will cost.

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CES 2017: LaCie Rugged and d2 Drives Updated With More Speed, Higher Storage, and USB-C or Thunderbolt 3

At CES today LaCie announced “significant” updates for its LaCie Rugged and d2 computer storage solutions, beefing up each product with more speed, increased storage capacity, and better compatibility with modern computers, including Thunderbolt 3 on the LaCie d2.

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The updated LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C solution has support for USB 3.0-compatible computers, as well as models with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, and includes an integrated Thunderbolt cable that works with both first-generation Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2. Capacity options are available up to 5TB, with included Seagate BarraCuda drives for speedy transfers. The top-of-the-line version includes a 1TB SSD and can deliver speeds of up to 510MB/s, which LaCie said is a 30 percent increase from the previous models.

The company also gave details on the new LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 3 storage solution, which it called “a great companion to limited-capacity SSD-based laptops and all-in-one computers.” Specifically, LaCie mentioned that the accessory “performs great” on the new MacBook Pro line, and includes capacities up to 10TB with speeds up to 240MB/s, representing a 10 percent jump from the previous generation.

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Featuring speeds of up to 240MB/s, a ten percent improvement over the previous generation, photographers can spend less time moving files from camera cards into Adobe Lightroom. Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports mean the user can daisy chain dual 4K displays, a single 5K display or up to six total LaCie d2 drives—all through a single cable connected to their computer.

It’s even possible to power a compatible laptop such the latest MacBook Pro® through a USB-C port. That’s one less cable cluttering up the desktop. The LaCie d2 is also backed by a five-year limited warranty, the most generous in the industry.

Beginning sometime in the first quarter of 2017, both the LaCie Rugged and LaCie d2 devices will be available for users to purchase worldwide. Starting at $249.99, the LaCie Rugged drive will come in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB HDD and 500GB and 1TB SSD capacities. The higher-tier LaCie d2 drive will start at $429.99 and will come in 6TB, 8TB and 10TB capacities.

Tags: LaCie, CES 2017

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CES 2017: Netatmo Debuts HomeKit-Enabled Smart Smoke Alarm

French company Netatmo has unveiled two new consumer-facing smart home products at CES 2017 this week, namely the HomeKit-compatible Smart Smoke Alarm and non-HomeKit Indoor Security Siren.

In addition to activating a loud 85-decibel chime when it detects smoke, the connected Smart Smoke Alarm uses a home’s Wi-Fi network to send real-time smoke alert notifications to paired smartphones so that homeowners can alert emergency services or carry out other actions necessary when away from home.

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The smoke alarm is equipped with a 10-year battery, and an alert will be sent when it approaches the end of this lifetime and needs to be replaced. For peace of mind, the alarm automatically performs constant battery and overall performance tests, generating self-check reports that are sent directly to paired smartphones.

If the smoke alarm is activated by burnt toast or another false trigger, a Bluetooth LE hush feature enables it to be easily silenced with a paired smartphone using the free Netatmo Security app. An integrated LED strip on the front of the alarm enables users to view its current status at a glance.

HomeKit compatibility allows users to create smart home scenarios involving the Smart Smoke Alarm. For example, it can be configured to switch on all your smart lights when smoke is detected to make sure the whole house is alerted.

Meanwhile, Netatmo’s new Indoor Security Siren activates a piercing 110-decibel chime when a home intrusion is detected by Netatmo’s existing Welcome camera or Tags, with a goal of scaring away intruders. The siren is highly customizable and can be adjusted so that it is only triggered in specific situations.

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For instance, homeowners can choose to only sound the siren when an unknown face is seen while the house is unoccupied. They can also choose to activate the siren when the Tags detect that a specific door or window has been opened.

The siren includes a handful of pre-installed voice messages such as “the police are on their way” which homeowners can choose to activate in order to hopefully deter intruders. The siren also detects vibration and movement, so it can tell if someone tries to tamper with it and notify the homeowner immediately.

The Indoor Security Siren can be controlled with the free Netatmo Security app, including for on-demand alarm activation, and it is also programmable with IFTTT. However, unlike the Smart Smoke Alarm, the siren does not support HomeKit.

Netatmo said both products will be available in the second half of 2017, but it has not disclosed pricing at this time.

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CES 2017: FLIR ONE Pro Brings Professional Grade Thermal Imaging to Smartphones

After initially launching a thermal camera that doubled as a case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, at CES this year FLIR Systems has now expanded its line of thermal imaging smartphone accessories with a professional grade FLIR ONE Pro. The company also introduced an updated version of the original FLIR ONE thermal camera attachment.

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The Pro line of the device works like the other versions by connecting to the bottom of an iPhone or Android smartphone, through a Lightning or USB-C connector. It also has a small wheel that users can toggle to extend the connector to adjust its length, making it possible to use the Pro with thick-skinned protective cases – like LifeProof and OtterBox – often seen on professional work and construction sites.

The all new FLIR ONE Pro is a must-have for any inspector or contractor’s toolbox. Combining enhanced high resolution MSX imagery with powerful measurement tools and report generation capability, the FLIR One Pro works as hard as you do, almost.

Concerning its thermal abilities, the FLIR One Pro can measure temperatures on any spot in a scene between -4°F and 248°F (-20° to 120°C) and capture the images with a resolution of 160×120 pixels, double that of the third-generation FLIR ONE. The Pro model also packs in what the company calls “VividIR” to fuel the accessory’s “powerful image processing” so users can get crisp and clear details from each thermal image.

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Due to its professional designation, the FLIR ONE Pro comes at a higher price of $399.99, while the basic FLIR ONE will cost users $199.99. FLIR Systems has shared a collection of images taken with the thermal camera attachment on its website, as well as detailed a few areas where the accessory can be used, for anyone curious.

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Toyota and Ford Create Automaker Group to Promote Open Source Smartphone Interfaces

Ford and Toyota have formed a four-automaker consortium to speed up the deployment of open source software for connected in-car systems, according to a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The SmartDeviceLink Consortium, which includes Mazda, PSA Group, Fuji, and Suzuki, aims to prevent Apple and Google from controlling how drivers connect smartphones to their vehicles. Suppliers Elektrobit, Harma, Luxoft, QNX, and Xevo have also joined the organization, which is named after an open source version of Ford’s AppLink connectivity interface, a system used in over 5 million vehicles globally.

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The non-profit group’s goal is to promote more choice in how drivers connect to in-car technologies like dashboard displays, steering wheel controls and voice recognition systems. By using an open source platform, the automakers hope to set a standard by which they and their suppliers can integrate smartphones with vehicles, and thereby attract developers who can then integrate the universal linking technology into their software.

Toyota has so far resisted including Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in its vehicles, arguing that doing so would diminish safety and security standards. Ford offers them on all its 2017 model vehicles, but remains supportive of an open-source software platform that all app developers can use as an alternative to Carplay and Android Auto.

The open source project will be managed by Livio, a software startup Ford acquired in 2013. Livio will work with early adopters to build the interfaces and infotainment systems for each vehicle environment.

Apple’s own system, CarPlay, brings Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts, and a number of third-party apps, such as Spotify, to a vehicle’s dashboard. Apple announced CarPlay with several big-name partners already on board, like BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and more.

Due to Apple’s commitment to user privacy, CarPlay collects very little data from users and car manufacturers. According to information released by Porsche, Apple only collects information on whether a car is accelerating while CarPlay is in use. This is in stark contrast to Android Auto, which collects a lot more car data when in use.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tags: Toyota, Ford

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CES 2017: Faraday Future Shows Off ‘FF 91’ Connected Electric Car for 2018 Release

Secretive electric car company Faraday Future today held a press event at CES 2017 where it unveiled its first production vehicle, the autonomous FF 91. The unveiling comes just as Faraday Future has been rumored to be “on the brink of collapse” amid financial difficulties and employee departures.

Faraday Future has been a bit of a mystery despite its ambitious plans to remake transportation with a fleet of intelligent electric cars. Unfounded speculation had at one point suggested Faraday Future might somehow be related to Apple and its Project Titan vehicle efforts, but Faraday’s partnership with Chinese electronics company LeEco, which has electric car ambitions of its own, proved otherwise.



Nick Sampson, senior vice president of R&D and engineering at Faraday Future, took to the stage tonight to discuss Faraday’s work over the past two and a half years on “reformatting the future of mobility” with a focus on disruption.

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CES 2017: Withings Teams Up With L’Oreal for Smart Hairbrush

Withings, Kérastase, and L’Oréal have teamed up to create the world’s first Bluetooth-connected smart hairbrush that’s able to interface with your smartphone.

The “Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings” combines sensors created by Withings with signal analysis algorithms designed by L’Oréal to determine the quality of the hair and “monitor the effects” of your haircare routine.

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There’s a built-in microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to determine details about frizziness, dryness, split ends, and breakage, plus a feature that measures the force being applied to the hair and the scalp while you brush.

An accelerometer and a gyroscope analyze brushing patterns and count brush strokes, haptic feedback capabilities alert you if you’re brushing too hard, and conductivity sensors can tell if you’re brushing your hair wet or dry to provide accurate measurements.

The hairbrush connects to a mobile app that analyzes the data and the ambient weather to provide a hair quality score, data on brushing habits, and customized product recommendations for different hair types.

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“Withings has a track record for empowering everyday objects such as bathroom scales and watches with sensors that provide people with insight into their behaviors, and we’re excited to now bring this expertise to the beauty industry,” said Cedric Hutchings, Vice President of Digital Health for Nokia. “Each time someone uses the smart brush they get rich data they never before had access to, which can improve their overall hair care experience.”

The hairbrush will be priced at under $200 and will be available at Kérastase hair salons, the Kérastase website, and the Withings website in the fall of 2017.

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