In an unusual decision that will enable third-party companies to produce a communications accessory that it hasn’t itself released, Apple has given its approval to a reference iPhone and iPod touch accessory design that would allow these devices to connect to a DB9, RJ11, or other cable via the Dock Connector. Redpark Product Development‘s Serial Cable Reference Design for OEM use with the iPhone and iPod touch is designed to provide a connection between the iPhone or iPod touch and a number of different medical, scientific, retail, and industrial devices, with a specialized app handing the communication between app and the connected device. Physically, the design includes a 30-pin male Dock Connector on one end and a box with a female connector on the other side. Redpart additionally expects that the design will be suitable for use with the iPad, but has not yet done real-world testing. [via Engadget]
ZoomMediaPlus has announced its new zoomIt application-enabled accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. Working in conjunction with the company’s free zoomIt app, the Works With iPhone- and Made For iPod-certified Dock-connecting accessory enables users to access a variety of content stored on any SD card mounted in the zoomIt’s SD card slot. Features include support for all iPhone OS 3.0 file types, including photos, videos, music, and documents, including PowerPoint, Excel, Word, PDF and others. The app lets users view, listen and share the files via e-mail, Facebook, and Flickr, and supports the transfer of files from the card to the iPhone or iPod touch for unconnected access. In addition, the app will enable users to save photos and videos from the card to their Camera Rolls, or move media from the Camera Roll onto the SD card. The company also plans future updates to support protected content types enabling the streaming of licensed music, videos, and other forms of protected content. The zoomIT SD Card accessory for iPhone and iPod touch is expected to ship in April for $59.95, and is available for pre-order now. ZoomMediaPlus is offering pre-order customers a $10 discount, and will bundle a free 4GB Kingston SD card with the first 250 orders.
Speck Products is now shipping its SeeThru Satin case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Winner of an iLounge Best of Show Award at the 2010 International CES, the SeeThru Satin is a translucent polycarbonate hard case featuring a soft-touch outer finish, raised rubberized front trim, and open access to all ports and controls. Speck’s SeeThru Satin case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in a variety of colors and sells for $30.
Aliph has introduced its new Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset. Sporting a smaller and lighter design than prior Jawbone headsets, the Icon features NoiseAssassin 2.5 noise elimination technology, new signal processing for improved inbound audio clarity, a new volume management system that eliminates the need to adjust volume from one caller to the next, the ability to display a visual battery meter in the iPhone’s status bar, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support, up to 4.5 hours of talk time, and support for the company’s new MyTalk software customization platform, which allows users to personalize the Icon’s speaking voice, customize an easy access button for direct access to services like directory assistance, and more. The Aliph Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset comes in six different styles and is available now for $100.
Tiffen, maker of photographic equipment and filters, has introduced its new Steadicam Smoothee for the iPhone 3GS. Based on the same technology found in professional Steadicam products, the Smoothee is a handheld iPhone mount with a patented design that stabilizes the iPhone when in users’ hands, enabling them to take more steady, professional-looking video. Features of the Smoothee include a fold-up hand grip, quick-release iPhone mount that can be removed and used with any standard tripod, and an included carrying strap and quick guide DVD. Pricing and release information has yet to be announced.
Naturesleeve has introduced its new Slider Case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Made from 70% recycled plastic, the Slider is a two-piece hard plastic case offering open access to all ports, controls, and the camera, a soft velvet interior lining, and a slide-off bottom section for easy docking. In addition, Naturesleeve has promised to plant a tree through the American Forests program for each purchase. The Naturesleeve Slider Case for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now and sells for $22.
Proporta has debuted its new Patent Leather Union Jack Pouch for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. This full covering case features soft, protective inner lining, a slot for storing credit cards, a stitched Union Jack design on the front, patent leather construction, and more. The Proporta Patent Leather Union Jack Pouch for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now and sells for $29.
Uncommon has launched a new online-based personalized case service that allows users to put any image they like on a Capsule Case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The company uses a web-based interface to let users upload and place their photos onto the case, an then employs an exclusive 3D TATT printing process to transfer the ink deep into the case surface. Features of the case include shatterproof polycarbonate construction, a removable bottom for easy docking, a twin-shot dark bezel to highlight the device’s screen, easy-access button covers, and open access to all other ports, controls, and the camera. Uncommon’s iPhone 3G/3GS Customized Capsule Case sells for $40; an iPod touch model is expected to launch soon.
TJM Innovations has introduced its new Bandshell case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The Bandshell claims to improve the sound coming from the iPhone’s built-in speaker via a “sound door” that slides out from the rear of the case to enhance the speaker’s acoustics. Other features include a flat side that enables the iPhone to stand on its own, and open access to all ports and controls. The Bandshell for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in 12 colors and sells for $20.
Social networking site Facebook has released version 3.1 of its official application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The updated application offers optional Push Notifications for friend requests, wall posts, comments, and more, the ability to sync Facebook friends with your Address Book, and a choice of Live Feed within the main News Feed filter options. Facebook 3.1 is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Parrot, primarily known for its wireless mobile accessories, has unveiled the Parrot AR.Drone, a quadricopter piloted via an iPhone or iPod touch. The AR.Drone’s companion application allows users to fly in a real-world environment, complete with objects and conditions to account for, while simultaneously playing a video game on the device’s screen. The app uses the accelerometer and command buttons for control, while the Wi-Fi-connected AR.Drone employs a wide angle camera and high speed camera, an accelerometer, a gyro, an ultrasound sensor, and an advanced computer to make piloting accessible to both savvy and inexperienced users alike. Parrot plans to make an open SDK available to developers soon, and plans to release the AR.Drone to consumers sometime later this year at a currently undetermined price. Continue reading to watch a demo video showing the device in action.
Toffee has debuted its new iPhone Wrap case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Handmade from full-grain nappa leather, the Wrap case offers a protective front flap with an elastic strap closure, and open access to all ports, controls, and the camera when open. It will come in a variety of colors including black, tan, red, blue, and hot pink, and will be available in February for $50.
SwitchEasy has debuted its new Reptile case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Like many of the company’s prior cases, the Reptile employs both a soft ADSP inner shell and GE Lexan polycarbonate UltraFrame to offer protection for the iPhone, and also features a crocodile skin texture on the rear, open access to all ports, controls, and the camera, Included with the case are two screen guards with applicator card, a video stand, a microfiber cleaning cloth, two Universal dock adapters, one black, one white, two Dock Connector protectors, and two headphone jack connectors. SwitchEasy’s Reptile case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now in five colors and sells for $29; for more information, see our First Look article.
Helium Digital has introduced its new HDBT-990 Wristband Communicator. The 990 is a unique iPhone-compatible cell phone accessory, which uses Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR to let the user receive calls directly from the wristband. Features include audible caller ID, incoming call and out of range vibration alerts, up to four hours of talk time and 160 hours of standby time on a single charge, echo elimination and noise cancellation technologies, and support for A2DP, Headset, and Handsfree Bluetooth profiles. Helium Digital’s HDBT-990 Wristband Communicator will be available in February and is priced at $90 CAD, or roughly $87.
Newer Technology has introduced its new Window Mount for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The nine-inch long Window Mount features a suction cup-style mount, a flexible neck, and a rotating black plastic cradle that allows for full access to all of the iPhone’s ports and buttons. Newer Technology’s Window Mount for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now and sells for $20.
Zagg has introduced its new ZAGGsparq mobile backup battery for the iPod, iPhone, and other USB devices. The ZAGGsparq features a 6,000 mAh lithium polymer battery, which the company claims is good for up to four iPhone recharges. Other features include LED lighting to indicate the current power level, two USB ports to charge multiple devices at once, and a compact black body with with integrated standard outlet prongs. The Zagg ZAGGsparq is available now and sells for $70.
Pioneer has unveiled its XW-NAS3 and XW-NAS5 speaker systems for iPod in the U.S. Previously available in other areas, both systems offer 2.1-Channel sound with an integrated downfiring subwoofer, an integrated iPod dock, component and composite video outputs, an included remote control, an auxiliary input, and compatibility with the optional AS-BT100 Bluetooth adapter. In addition, the NAS5 also features Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Receiver processing for improved sound from compressed files and Auto Level Control which monitors the volume level from track to track. Pioneer’s XW-NAS3 and XW-NAS5 speaker systems for iPod are listed as “coming soon;” pricing has yet to be revealed.
Speck Products has forged a partnership with community-based online product platform Artsprojekt to create new versions of the company’s Fitted case for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Limited to 250 each worldwide, and with only the first 100 released prior to Christmas, the first editions will feature artwork from San Francisco-based artist Andy Howell, Noumeda Carbon of Florence, Italy, and Tesha Beaudry Okolowsky of Montreal, Canada. In addition to offering open access to all ports and controls, each case will come with a limited edition designation on the inside and includes a special collectors card about the art and artist. Speck’s Artsprojekt Fitted Authorized Editions for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS will be available soon and will sell for $40.
JVC has announced its new XS-SR3 iPod speaker dock. The XS-SR3 features a unique design with a rotating dock made to accomodate both vertical and landscape positions, a glossy black speaker tube with a curved design that allows the iPod to sit in between the speakers, Dolby Virtual Surround sound processing to create a wider sound field, 5 watts of power, two audio inputs—one analog and one optical digital—and an included remote control. The JVC XS-SR3 will be available later this month and will sell for $150. [via Engadget]
Audio-Technica has introduced its new ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint headphones. The ATH-ANC1 features an on-ear, folding design, and offer the company’s active noise-cancelling technology, which employs miniature built-in microphones to detect environmental noise and apply a corresponding sound-cancelling signal. Other features include full-range drivers, the ability to operate in passive mode without batteries, and an included carrying pouch, 1.6-foot extension cord, an airline adapter, and an AAA battery. Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint headphones will be available in January 2009 and will sell for $130.