- February 14, 2013
- iPhone Accessories
Powerskin has introduced Pop’n ($80), an external 2000 mAh battery charger that affixes to the back of an iPhone 5, using a dangling Lightning plug for connectivity. Pop’n can adhere to iPhones and some existing iPhone cases by using small, flexible suction cups; the size of the Lightning connector will determine whether it works with a given case.
As one of the first Apple-approved external battery chargers for iPhone 5, Pop’n uses an LED light strip to indicate how much battery charge remains in the case. It extends power by up to 70 percent, and is available now in black and white, with red and pink versions to come.
Belkin has announced a multi-year licensing partnership with toymaker LEGO to create accessories for mobile devices, initially focusing on iOS devices including the iPhone and iPod touch. While images were not yet available at press time, Belkin plans to start with the release of smartphone cases with LEGO bricks for a “buildable” case experience, starting this spring. The cases will be “based on iconic LEGO toys,” Belkin said.
Swedish audio company NOCS has begun shipping its new AirPlay speakers, the NS2 Air Monitors ($450). First announced last year at a slightly lower price of $400, the Air Monitors are a pair of bookshelf speakers that incorporate AirPlay technology to allow users to stream audio from a computer or iOS device. While the speakers were supposed to be available early in 2012, they actually became available in limited quantities only in mid-December, with additional stock appearing online more recently.
NOCS advertises the NS2 Air Monitors in six colors—black, white, orange, grey, red, and yellow—however only the first three colors are available at this time, with more stock said to be coming in all colors later this month. The speakers are relatively small and coated in soft touch rubber.
- February 5, 2013
- iPhone Accessories
Following months of unexpected silence, Mophie has finally announced its first iPhone 5 battery case, Juice Pack Helium ($80). Initially available in two colors, the new Juice Pack Helium looks extremely similar to the company’s earlier versions for iPhones, emphasizing thinness over raw battery capacity. Still sporting a curved rear surface with button access holes and bottom pass-throughs for speakerphone functionality, the case offers iPhone body coverage everywhere else, apart from the fully open face. Mophie claims that it’s 13% thinner than any of its previous iPhone Juice Packs, while packing a 1500mAh battery pack that adds 80% additional power to the iPhone 5—notably less than most of the rival cases that were announced at CES last month. An included micro-USB cable promises to simultaneously charge the iPhone and Juice Pack Helium together.
A dark gunmetal metallic version promises to ship by February 14, with a silver version coming at the beginning of March.
Apple’s Siri Eyes Free feature will be coming to the 2013 Honda Accord, Acura RDX, and Acura ILX as a dealer-installed option. The feature, which allows drivers to complete a number of hands-free tasks by relying on Siri voice commands, works on iPhone 5 or 4S models running iOS 6. Honda was initially announced as a manufacturer that would use Siri Eyes Free. In late November, GM announced integration with Siri Eyes Free in its Spark and Sonic cars. [via Engadget]
Satechi has announced the Smart LED Desk Lamp ($100), a lamp with an iPod/iPhone-charging USB port on the back. Interestingly, the lamp has four different lighting modes with different color temperatures: Reading mode uses mid-range temperatures to reduce eye strain, study mode uses high-range temperatures, relaxation mode uses low-range temperatures, and bedtime mode uses low-range temperatures to produce a soft light. The Smart LED Desk Lamp has a lifespan of 40,000+ hours and consumes 1/8 the power of an incandescent lamp.
It features a timer function to turn off the lamp automatically after an hour of inactivity, and its three joints allow the LED panel and frame to adjust to multiple angles. While it’s a more expensive alternative to a typical wall charger, it helps to eliminate wall outlet and desk clutter, with the nice design and novel temperature adjustments as nice assets. Satechi’s Smart LED Desk Lamp comes in black and white, and is available now.
After over 80 years in the consumer electronics business, Philips announced Tuesday that it has sold the remainder of its consumer-focused electronics business to Japan’s Funai. Although Philips steadily reduced its involvement in consumer electronics, leaving its television and mobile phone divisions behind in recent years, the company suffered a fourth-quarter net loss of €358 Million (about $481 million).
Philips has had an interesting history with Apple. It originally sold products that challenged the iPod, including its GoGear series of media players. It then started to make iPod-friendly speaker systems, and later bought iPod/iPhone accessory maker DLO to become a major player in Apple accessories. The company developed quite a few distinctive speakers, eventually including some AirPlay models at widely varying price points, and continued to sell earphones and headphones. Funai will apparently continue to sell these products under its own brand.
Philips will now turn most of its attention to medical equipment, as healthcare sales made up 40 percent of the group’s revenue in the fourth quarter. Consumer lifestyle products accounted for 26 percent of the company’s fourth quarter revenue. [via Wall Street Journal]
Griffin Technology has announced that it will sell a line of Papernomad-branded iPhone and iPad cases in North America. Papernomad is an Austrian company that makes compostable, organic, customizable, tear- and water-resistant sleeves; each sleeve is made from a composite of paper, viscose fiber, and biopolymer that can be ecologically disposed of at the end of its life. Cotton stitching, wool lining and a hemp pull tab are also used in the designs.
Papernomad sleeves are designed to be marked with pencils, pens and crayons. Their prices will range from $40 (Pars Sleeve for iPhone) to $50 (Zattere for iPad), and will be available soon.
Apogee has announced a redesigned version of One ($349), a USB audio interface and microphone that makes a direct digital connection to an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Mac. One offers three input options — a built-in omni-directional condenser mic, XLR input for microphones and 1/4” instrument input. Also, One can now record two inputs simultaneously — the instrument input and one of the mic inputs. A metal chassis now encases One, which uses Apogee’s Maestro software for iOS to control inputs, mic preamp, outputs, and low latency monitoring. It will be available in March, shipping with Dock Connector support and the need for a user-supplied Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter.
Apogee also introduced the updated Duet ($595) for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac, a two-input, four-output USB audio interface for stereo music recording and mixing, another Dock Connector-based accessory that requires the Lightning adapter for new devices. Last but not least, the company also announced iPad compatibility for Quartet ($1295), a four-input, eight-output USB audio interface. Quartet will now ship with a Dock Connector cable, again with the need for a Lightning adapter. The updated versions of Duet and Quartet will be released in February.
Bem Wireless has announced Speaker Trio ($300), which bundles three wireless speakers with a Bluetooth audio and charging base. The three speakers share a wireless connection to the base and can stream the same music to multiple rooms. Each speaker has up to 120 feet of wireless range, while Bluetooth is used to let your iOS device stream music wirelessly at distances of up to 25 feet from the base.
The speakers are 6” x 6” each and offer about six hours of battery life — when not in use, they can be returned to the base for conductive wireless charging. Auxiliary in and out ports are also included. Speaker Trio is available now in black or white.
Twelve South has announced PlugBug World ($45), an all-in-one international version of its PlugBug. PlugBug World piggybacks onto a MacBook power adapter, allowing simultaneous charging of a MacBook and iPad, iPhone, or iPod from the same outlet, adding a separate 2.1-Amp USB port. PlugBug World includes five international snap-on plugs for use in the UK, Europe, Australia, China, and North America.
PlugBug World also works as a standalone international wall charger, as well, promising to charge an iPad up to four times faster than a standard 0.5-Amp USB port, and an iPad mini twice as fast as its included charger; notably, one of the USB ports built into each modern Mac offers identical 2.1-Amp charging speeds, but older Macs and many PCs do not include higher-speed USB ports. The charger is available now.
Withings has announced the US release of its Smart Kid Scale ($180). A Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-connected device, the Smart Kid Scale is designed to track the weight and growth of newborns and toddlers. The scale can be used from infancy to eight years old. It features a large graphical screen and an interlocking baby basket to weigh infants — the basket can be removed to become a toddler scale.
By using the free Withings Baby Companion app in conjunction with the Smart Kid Scale, parents can easily access a history of weight and height readings. The app also logs height, feedings, and how a child’s data compares with children of the same gender and age. Withings’ Smart Kid Scale is available now.
Thought Out has released the PED4 Planet BH50 stand ($50) for the iPhone 5. A steel ball pivoting stand, the PED4 Planet is adjustable, portable, and removable — the stand can be separated from the base and mounted to any tripod for photography. The stand is compatible with either an iPhone 5 or iPod touch without a case.
Also released was Thought Out’s Devil Head ($12) headphone wrap and wrench. Devil Head acts as both a headphone storage device and a wrench for assembly and disassembly of the PED4 Planet stand. Both products are available now; purchased together, the price is $58.
iLounge has announced our 2013 International CES Best of Show Award winners and finalists. Twenty-four winners were selected from hundreds of developers and thousands of products, representing the best and most innovative products we’ve seen at CES. A total of 12 full Best of Show awards were given out, as Incipio took home four Best of Show awards — including Overall Best of Show — while IK Multimedia netted two Best of Show wins. Other Best of Show winners include Adonit, Griffin, LifeProof, myCharge, Soundfreaq, and Switcheasy.
In addition to our 12 full Best of Show awards, 12 total Best of Show Finalist awards were presented to developers. Click here for all the winners and details on the selected products.
You’ve already seen dozens of our pre-show reports from Las Vegas, but today’s the day when the 2013 International CES officially opens for business. Completely filling the Las Vegas Convention Center’s floor space, offices, and meeting rooms for the rest of this week—as well as the nearby LVH and just about every other hotel—CES is going to be packed from edge to edge with new product and service announcements—many of potential interest to iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac users.
iLounge’s team has been in town for days now, meeting with leading developers from around the world. We’ve shared “under construction” photos from the massive 120,000-foot iLounge Pavilion at CES on our Twitter account, and posted everything from First Looks at new products to company-by-company previews of what’s about to be shown. Join us today at CES.iLounge.com for plenty more live coverage of all things Apple from the show floor—we’re very excited by what we’ve seen so far, and can’t wait to share more with you.
With so many 2013 CES reports (visit our special CES site!) hitting iLounge yesterday, we wanted to make sure that the latest CES First Looks didn’t get lost in the crowd.
Speck’s CandyShell and CandyShell for iPad mini are excellent updates to its prior signature product, slimmer than expected for Apple’s tablet.
As a new entry into the Beats-alike market, the Audiovox 808 Studio Headphones are glossy plastic on-ears at a budget-ish price.
The new Native Union Switch is a stylish Bluetooth speakerphone with stereo music streaming and a very cool volume knob.
Based on earlier Cushi stickers, the id America Cushi Plus is equivalent to a full case thanks to added protective elements - and has some great designs, too.
One of the most value-packed super-protective cases around, the SwitchEasy FreeRunner for iPhone 5 is ready to challenge far more expensive rivals such as LifeProof and OtterBox cases.
Audio-Technica has announced its new line of products for CES, including new additions to its QuietPoint headphones line and the introduction of its SonicSport headphones. The company’s budget-priced ATH-ANC29 ($100) over-ear headphones provide up to 87 percent noise cancellation, and interestingly, the cord can be detached for cordless noise-cancelling headphone use. Also, the ATH-ANC33iS ($80) in-ear headphones offer up to 90 percent noise cancellation and feature volume control with an in-line mic and control. These earphones come with Comply foam tips for comfort and fit improvements. Both headphones come with a case, airline adapter and AAA battery. They will be available in April.
Audio-Technica’s new SonicSport headphones are designed for sports and active use. The three debut models include ATH-CP700 ($100), which features a headband that wraps around the back of the neck and a cord-mounted remote and built-in microphone; the ATH-CKP500 ($75), which feature earpieces with angled housings that direct the cord behind the user’s neck; and the ATH-CKP200 ($50), which use a hinged ear hook that adjusts around the ears. These SonicSport headphones will be available in January.
SuperTooth has announced that it will debut its new HD Voice ($89) at CES, a new portable hands-free car kit designed to clip to a car’s visor and pair to a phone using voice commands. The HD Voice will also be able to announce callers in one of 12 different languages and will incorporate two speakers and two microphones to provide enhanced quality.
The company has also announced the new Disco Twin package, which it will be showing at CES along with its entire collection of speakers. Disco Twin ($199) provides users with a pair of SuperTooth’s portable, rechargeable speakers designed to pair with each other and a Bluetooth device wirelessly to provide left and right channel stereo sound. [via Engadget]
JBL has announced OnBeat Rumble ($399), its third Lightning speaker dock. OnBeat Rumble is a Bluetooth-enabled 50-watt speaker with a built-in 4 1/2” subwoofer and two 2.5” full-range drivers. In addition to the Lightning connector, it also has an auxiliary input jack for older and non-Apple devices. Users can download JBL’s free MusicFlow app, which adds additional EQ modes to OnBeat Rumble, as well as enabling music browsing and playlist creation. OnBeat Rumble will be released in the spring.
JBL also announced Charge ($150), a portable cylindrical Bluetooth stereo speaker. Conceptually similar to Flip, the wireless speaker is two inches wide by six inches long and provides 12 hours of playback from one charge of its 6000 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. Two full-range drivers and a 10-watt amplifier are featured. Charge has a rugged exterior with rubber end rings, and will be available in several colors, including blue, black, or green. Charge will be released in the first quarter of 2013.
NYNE has announced that two Bluetooth 4 speakers will debut at CES, the NB-550 ($300) and NB-500 ($200). The NB-550 is a 100-watt speaker with an aesthetically neutral design, which notably includes a USB charging point and auxiliary input, as well at the very recent Bluetooth 4 streaming technology.
The NB-500 is a smaller, lower powered version of the NB-550, which also uses Bluetooth 4. Both speakers will be available in the second quarter of 2013.