Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Compatibility: iPad (2nd/3rd/4th-Gen), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone 4/4S/5/5c/5s, iPod touch 4G/5G
Zivix's new PUC ($130) takes a new twist on connecting your iOS and MIDI devices; rather than providing a Lightning interface, it instead acts as a Wi-Fi MIDI bridge, effectively turning your keyboards, DJ controllers and more into Wi-Fi-enabled MIDI devices. The unit can be powered for up to 15 hours of continuous use from two included AA batteries or plugged into a Micro-USB power source. A single standard MIDI DIN port allows for connection of a single MIDI device or hub, and the PUC can be switched to function as either a MIDI input or output interface. A free companion iOS app provides the interface between the PUC Wi-Fi connection and iOS, which should allow compatibility with any CoreMIDI compliant iOS app.
Originally debuting at this year's CES, IK Multimedia's iRig Voice ($40) is basically a redesign of the company's 2011 iRig Mic (iLounge rating: B), adding omnidirectional support and now coming in five iPhone 5c-coordinated colors instead of just basic black. A new companion app, "EZ Voice," is available as a free download. iRig Voice retains the same analog connection as the prior version, including the pass-through headphone port, and is constructed from a similar lightweight, yet durable plastic.
Model: Pulse O2
Compatability: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches (iOS 5.0+)
Billed as Withing's new product, and the sequel to last summer's Pulse Activity Tracker, Pulse O2 ($120) is actually a simple update with some new software. The sensor itself is exactly the same as before, but it ships with updated firmware that can detect blood oxygen levels, which is especially important for mountain climbers, those training in high altitudes, and people with breathing problems. This firmware is available for existing Pulses. There's also a silicone band included in the package now, so the device can be worn as a watch.
In time for the World Cup, Uniq Creation has released a huge new collection of cases based on the flags of participating countries. Sportif is available for iPad Air ($50), iPad mini ($45), and iPhone 5/5s ($27). The tablet cases are pretty standard folios with hard plastic shells. Their covers are one color, with two strips running down the right edge. As for the iPhone case, it's reminiscent of Spigen SGP's Slim Armor. The core is rubber, with a plastic plate that fits onto the back and wraps around the sides. That shield can be removed to insert a credit card for tap and go payments.
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