Following a multi-year dispute, Hearing Components has won a patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Shure. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of Hearing Components, who claimed Shure was infringing on two of its patents relating to the use of foam tips in combination with earphones to provide sound isolation. Hearing Components filed the suit in May 2007, and won jury and bench trials in January 2009, which were subsequently appealed. “The products patented by Hearing Components were developed from years of research,” said Hearing Components President/CEO Bob Oliveira, Ph.D. “We take our intellectual property very seriously and are glad to have resolution of the use of foam tips on hearing devices.” According to the company, the ruling should result in an award of just under $5 million for the two counts of infringement.
Previewed by the company in March, JBL has announced that its new On Time Micro alarm clock speaker system is now available. The On Time Micro features a centrally-located iPod and iPhone dock, an AM/FM RDS radio, seven independent alarms, a backlit LCD screen with automatic dimming, two Phoenix drivers with 6 watts of power each, an auxiliary input, and an included remote control. The JBL On Time Micro is available now in silver or black and sells for $249.
L5 Technology is now shipping its new L5 Remote for the iPhone and iPod touch. The L5 Remote is a dock-connecting universal remote control that works in conjunction with the company’s free L5 Remote app to allow users to control TVs, DVD players, DVRs, cable boxes, audio equipment, and other IR-based products. Via the application, users can set up their own custom remotes by dragging and dropping virtual buttons onto their custom remote screen, then assigning a unique signal to each button by aiming and pressing the corresponding button on their old remote. L5 Technology’s L5 Remote for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $50.
IK Multimedia has introduced its new AmpliTube iRig interface and software solution for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The solution includes the iRig dongle, which connects to the device’s headphone port and offers a headphone monitor port as well as a port for connecting electric guitars, bass guitars, or other instruments using a 1/4-inch output. Once connected, the dongle interfaces with the company’s line of AmpliTube apps for the iPhone, which offer the user software-based amps, stompbox effects, cabinets, and microphones. Free, LE ($3), and Full ($20) editions of the software will be available. IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube iRig dongle for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is available for pre-order now and sells for $40; both it and the various editions of the AmpliTube app are expected to arrive “soon.”
A prematurely posted press release from Visa and Device Fidelity has revealed that the two companies are working together to create a case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS that will allow for contactless payments. Near Field Communications World, which spotted the release on MarketWatch before it was pulled, reports that the case will sport a secure memory card that hosts Visa’s payWave contactless payment application, allowing users to “make payments by simply waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal.” According to the release, “[t]housands of merchants throughout the U.S.” have already upgraded their payment terminals to accept Visa mobile payments; the technology has been certified by Apple and is expected to begin market trials “this summer.” [via The Register]
Scosche has announced that its new IDR655m, IDR355m, IDR355md, and IDR305m earphones featuring the company’s tapLINE II Remote and Mic are now available. The tapLINE II is an in-line remote and microphone system that places the controls at the fork in the wires for more convenient access, and the integrated mic farther up on the right channel wire for improved voice clarity. Recipient of an iLounge Best of Show Finalist award at the 2010 CES, the IDR655m earphone features 11mm drivers, cabling wrapped in a nylon-braided jacket, small, medium, and large single and dual flanged silicone eartips, and an included sheepskin leather carrying pouch. It sells for $100.
Scosche’s IDR355m and IDR355md both feature 10.7mm drivers, the same small, medium, and large single and dual flanged silicone eartips as the IDR655m, and six interchangeable color caps for user customization; the 355m features a predominantly white body, while the 355md features a black housing. Both models sell for $55. Finally, the IDR305m features a 10.7mm driver, a black housing with dark chrome accents, and included small, medium, and large single flanged silicone eartips; it is available exclusively at Apple Stores and sells for $40. All of Scosche’s new IDR earphones are available now.
Krypton has introduced its new Flex Case and Screen Armor accessories for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Flex Case is a form-fitting silicone case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS offering push-through protection for the power and volume buttons, open access to all other ports and controls, and one of four graphic designs on the rear. It sells for $30. Krypton’s Screen Armor is a series of film screen protectors offering non-sticky application, an included microfiber cleaning cloth, and either a clear, anti-glare, mirror, or 360-degree privacy finish. It is available now and sells for $13-$25 depending on the finish.
Seidio has debuted its new Innocase Rugged case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Rugged consists of a hard, yet flexible Innocase 360 skin that features a built-in screen guard and a thin profile, and a thick Rugged Skin that fits over the inner 360 skin, offering added shock protection and covering the ports and camera to keep out dust and dirt. The Rugged Skin is then covered with a snap-on hard plastic skeleton for added structural integrity. The Innocase 360 can be used on its own as a low-profile solution; a Rugged Holster is also included. Seidio’s new Innocase Rugged case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now and sells for $50.
Pioneer has rolled out four new sound systems for the iPod and iPhone. The new Audition Series XW-NAS3/-K system features a top-mounted dock, a double isolated frame for improved bass response with less cabinet resonance, a 2.1-channel dynamic digital amplifier, component and composite video outputs, compatibility with Pioneer’s AS-BT100 Bluetooth adapter, and a down-firing subwoofer. It will be available in April in black or white and will sell for $450. The XW-NAV1K-K HTD system is designed to serve as an all-in-one home theater unit, with a built-in dock, 1080p-upscaling DVD/CD player, composite video and HDMI output, a FM tuner, USB connectivity for attaching a USB flash drive or hard drive, a digital amplifier, two full-range speakers with 2.75-inch passive radiators, and an included remote control. It will be available in June with either a black or white frame and will sell for $300.
Pioneer’s XW-NAC1-K and XW-NAC3-K Duo Series systems offer dual top-mounted docks for playback and simultaneous charging, built-in Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming, a “Double Shuffle” feature that plays music from both connected iPods or iPhones, fading the music in and out between songs, auxiliary inputs, composite video outputs and a black-and-white design. In addition, the XW-NAC3-K offers DLNA 1.5 compatibility, and the ability to play Internet radio stations via the vTuner feature. The XW-NAC1-K will be available in May while the XW-NAC3-K will be available in June; the systems will sell for $350 and $450, respectively.
Speck Products has unveiled its new ShieldView line of screen protectors for the iPad, iPhone 3G and 3GS, and second- and third-generation iPod touch. ShieldView protectors use static-cling to adhere to the devices’ screen without leaving any residue, and feature an anti-glare finish for improved visibility. In addition, all ShieldView protectors ship in a re-sealable storage envelope to help keep the spare protectors in good condition. Speck’s ShieldView screen protectors come in three-packs for the iPhone and iPod touch and sell for $10; the iPad protectors come in a two-pack, and include a screen cleaning cloth for $25.
Mili has released its Power Skin external battery + case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, as well as its PocketPal foldable USB charger. First seen at the 2010 International CES, the Power Skin features a 1,200 mAH battery integrated into the case, which features a snap-on top piece for easy device removal, cut-outs for access to the camera, volume and power buttons, headphone jack, and ring/silent switch, and a pass-though mini-USB port that allows for the charging of the encased iPhone. Available in eight two-toned color combinations using black, white, blue, green, orange, and silver, it sells for $70. The PocketPal is billed as the “world’s smallest mobile phone USB charger,” and offers foldable plugs for easy carrying and a 1000mA output; it too is available in a variety of colors and sells for $20. Both the Power Skin and PocketPal will also be available in a bundle for $80.
Sony has introduced four new pairs of headsets for the iPhone and iPod. Featuring in-line three-button remotes and microphones, the new DR‑EX300ip, MDR-EX38ip, DR-V150iP, and MDR-E10iP all offer complete compatibility with the third-generation iPod shuffle, second- and third-generation iPod touch, fourth- and fifth generation iPod nano, and iPhone. The DR-EX300iP in-ear headphone features a 13.5mm Neodymium driver that’s oriented vertically in the ear, four sizes of supplied hybrid silicone earbuds, and a genuine leather carry case for storage and transportation. The DR-V150iP are over-the-ear headphones designed for DJ use, and feature a 30mm ferrite driver, an adjustable headband, and reversible earcups. The MDR-E10iP earbuds feature colored cord stems, a 13.5mm Neodymium driver, and included soft ear-pads. Finally, the MDR-EX38iP features an in-ear design, a 9mm Neodymium driver, and three sizes of hybrid silicone earbuds. They are available now in black or white and sell for $34; the rest of Sony’s new headsets for iPhone and iPod will be available in May. [via Engadget]
Kee Utility is set to show its Desk Phone Dock concept at the China Sourcing Fair in April. The Desk Phone Dock is a new aluminum and white plastic iPhone dock allowing users to initiate and receive calls on their iPhones using a traditional handset. To enable this functionality, the Desk Phone Dock features a built-in dock on the right side, which also houses stereo speakers, a headphone port, and a volume knob, with a traditional handset on the left. The concept also employs a break-out box for USB charging/syncing and power. Still a concept at this time, Kee Utility’s Desk Phone Dock has yet to receive a release date.
NewKinetix has introduced its new Rē universal remote control accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. Connecting to the devices via the Dock Connector, Rē works in conjunction with the company’s free Re Universal Remote Control app to control most infrared-compatible electronics. The Rē contains an “extensive” IR database for many brands and types of AV equipment, and can also learn IR codes for remotes not covered by the database. Other features include activity-based user interfaces, allowing users to see and use related buttons for several devices at once, macro functionality, an included carrying case, and the ability to set up “Favorites” lists of TV channels for easy access. The Rē universal remote control accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $70.
Skydda Design has introduced its new TradCase and TradDuo cases for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Both the TradCase and TradDuo are carved from premium-quality hardwood and hand-polished; the TradCase is made from a single type of wood—cherry, walnut, or teak— while the TradDuo blends two wood types—maple and either walnut or cherry—in a vertical stripe design. Features of both cases include wooden buttons for volume and power control, open access to all other ports, controls, and the camera, and a two-piece design with removable bottom for easy docking. Skydda Design’s TradCase and TradDuo cases for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are available now and sell for $45 and $55, respectively.
Proporta has unveiled its new Aluminium Lined Leather Cases for the fifth-generation iPod nano, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. Both cases are crafted from genuine leather, and feature aluminum reinforcement for protection, a vertical flip-open design, contrast stitching, and open access to all ports, controls, and the devices’ cameras. Proporta’s Aluminium Lined Leather Cases for the fifth-generation iPod nano, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS are available now in mulberry or teal and are priced at $36 and $43, respectively.
Incase has introduced its new Topo Flex Snap Case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Topo Flex Snap is a hybrid case that employs a hardshell element with a rubber Topo patterns that adds flexibility to the case while also boosting grip and shock protection. Other features include open access to the power button, ring/silent switch, camera, headphone port, screen, and Dock Connector port, push-through protectors for the volume buttons, an included s-stand for video viewing, and a rubberized interior. Incase’s new Topo Flex Snap Case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS is available now in three two-tone color schemes and sells for $35.
iGi, also known as i-Got-it Corp, has introduced its new i-Got-Control accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. i-Got-Control is a dock-connecting infrared transmitter and receiver that works in conjunction with the company’s free i-Got-Control app to allow users to control various electronics with their iPhone or iPod touch. According to the company, the i-Got-Control solution offers a database of more than 40,000 IR codes for leading consumer electronics devices; the app also allows users to learn a device’s IR codes from an existing remote and set a single device as master volume device. The i-Got-Control for iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $70; the companion app is free and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
iHome is now shipping its iA5 app-enhanced alarm clock for the iPhone and iPod. Recipient of an iLounge Best of Show Finalist award at the 2010 CES, the iA5 offers an extended, front-center mounted dock, a standard clock face hidden behind the front grill, which also houses a single audio driver with a Reson8 speaker chamber, bass and treble EQ adjustments, a programmable snooze function, and a line-in jack for other audio devices. Notably, the iA5 also integrates with the company’s free iHome + Sleep app, which deactivates the built-in display to turn the connected iPhone or iPod touch into a large clock screen, with multiple alarms—which can be set to post Twitter or Facebook alerts when the users goes to sleep or awakens—a sleep statistic tracker, weather widgets, and a news tracker for catching up on events happening while the user is sleeping. The iHome iA5 app-enhanced alarm clock for the iPhone and iPod is available now and sells for $100.
Line 6 has introduced its new MIDI Mobilizer, a Dock-connecting accessory that allows users to connect MIDI devices to the iPhone and iPod touch. The small black accessory offers both MIDI in and MIDI out ports, letting users record MIDI data from nearly any compliant device, or playback and restore data from the iPhone or iPod touch to the MIDI device, by using the company’s free companion MIDI Memo Recorder application. In addition, it allows for the sharing of MIDI information by exporting a Standard MIDI File (SMF) that can be emailed to the user or a collaborator. Line 6’s MIDI Mobilizer for iPhone and iPod touch will include a pair of five-foot, five-pin Planet Waves MIDI cables, and will be available later this Spring; pricing has yet to be announced. [via Engadget]