A just-published Apple patent has revealed plans for a “smart dock” that would allow users to interact with a docked iOS device through voice recognition. The dock would actively listen for audio cues in order to communicate with the docked device — the device’s voice recognition mode would then be activated.
Therefore, Siri could be used without physically interacting with the docked iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Some embodiments of the dock include a device with storage media, a GPS receiver, and/or environmental sensors. An in-car implementation would make a lot of sense, as well. [via Apple Insider]
Mophie has introduced the Powerstation XL ($130), a 12,000 mAh USB battery pack. The Powerstation XL can charge two iPads at the same time, as its dual USB ports each offer 2.1 amps of power. A micro USB port is also included, along with a cable to refuel the battery.
The Powerstation XL includes built-in short circuit protection and a LED battery status indicator. Mophie’s Powerstation XL is available now.
Kicker has introduced its Amphitheater K3 Speaker System with Bluetooth ($200) and Vapor Headphones ($220). The Amphitheater K3 uses aptX audio coding and delivers sound using 3-inch drivers, mid-bass woofers, a tuned-port enclosure, and a 2x10-watt amp. Devices can connect to the Amphitheater K3 using NFC or Bluetooth.
Kicker’s Vapor Headphones come equipped with a pair of 35mm dual-diaphragm transducers and sealing, leather ear pads. The headphones come with a detachable flat cable with three-button remote and microphone. Both products will be shown at CES in January, and released in the first quarter of 2014.
Apple collaborated with Danish company GN Store Nord in developing the company’s new hearing aid, Reuters reports. The ReSound LiNX hearing aid was first announced in late October by GN Store Nord. Billed as the world’s first MFi hearing aid, the device uses Bluetooth-like technology to stream voice and music from iPhones without using an intermediary device.
The ReSound LiNX sits behind the ear and comes in 10 hair and skin tone colors. A global launch is expected in the first quarter of 2014. The price is expected to be slightly more than $3,000.
Acoustic Research has introduced a new line called “AR for Her.” The line will feature a Bluetooth speaker, made to look like a clutch handbag, that streams music from up to 30 feet away. A built-in microphone and rechargeable battery are also featured in the speaker.
The speaker will come in black, white, white with pink polka dots, and leopard print. Acoustic Research plans on updating the look each season while introducing more accessories. The speaker collection will be available in spring 2014.
Logitech has officially introduced and priced its previously-leaked PowerShell Controller + Battery ($100), compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and fifth-generation iPod touch. The game controller encases an iOS device, and includes an integrated 1500 mAh battery.
Logitech also released a list of games compatible with the PowerShell. The PowerShell Controller + Battery is available now.
MOGA’s Ace Power controller should be available this week, and comes with an integrated battery to compensate for the power drain of iOS gaming, depending on a Lightning plug for connectivity. Look for iLounge’s full review in the very near future.
Netatmo has introduced its wireless Netatmo Thermostat, designed by Philippe Starck. An app can control the iOS-compatible thermostat and let users view their heating habits. The thermostat works with most oil, gas, and wood furnaces.
Following Nest’s strategy of updating the common thermostat with a more beautiful and elegant housing, Netatmo’s thermostat makes temperature control particularly easy, and comes with five interchangeable color frames to match the room where it’s installed. It will be released in Europe this month for 179 Euros ($241), with a US release date and price to be announced in January at CES.
Scosche has released its reVOLT ($25), a car charger with two USB 12W ports. While it’s exceptionally similar to earlier reVOLT models, both ports now charge at 2.4A, allowing for full simultaneous iPad charging regardless of the iPad model.
Scosche notes that charging circuitry in reVOLT is designed for iOS — though the charger will work with most non-iOS smartphones and tablets, those devices may not charge at the fastest rates. Notably, Apple appears to have ended 2.4A/12W regarding speeds with the release of the iPad Air; only prior-generation full-sized iPads benefitted from the faster standard. The new reVOLT is available now.
Pebble has announced today that its smart watch “is now fully integrated with iOS 7 and works seamlessly with Notification Center.” All enabled notifications will now be pushed to the Pebble — meaning app notifications beyond calls, emails, and texts. A new iOS app will enable the functionality. Pebble claims the app is currently “under review” by Apple, and will be available in the iTunes Store “soon.”
NOCS has announced its NS900 ($250) on-ear headphones, billed as a “professional DJ headphone.” The NS900 comes with 40mm titanium drivers and interchangeable ear cushions. A stainless steel headband is bolstered by an internal headband with steel hex screws.
NS900 uses a lock to keep the audio cable secure. Three exchangeable cables come with the headphones, including a cable with a three-button remote and mic. NOCS’ NS900 is available for pre-order and ships Dec. 20.
Bad Elf has introduced its GPS for Lightning Connector ($130), a portable GPS device that connects to a Lightning connector to add instant GPS and GLONASS location support. Latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and tracking are provided, and the company claims accuracy to within 9 feet and support for altitudes up to 60,000 feet and speeds up to 1,000 mph.
Bad Elf’s GPS requires no Internet connection or monthly subscription, and enables Wi-Fi only devices to use full GPS-based location services, even in areas without Wi-Fi. The GPS is powered from the attached iOS device, and a micro-USB cable is included for passthrough charging. The GPS for Lightning Connector is expected to ship sometime in November.
Geneva Lab has introduced three new wireless sound systems: the Geneva Sound System Model M Wireless ($599), the Geneva Sound System Model L Wireless ($1,199), and the Geneva Sound System Model XL Wireless ($2,299). The Model M uses Bluetooth A2DP for wireless audio streaming and includes an FM radio, digital clock with alarm, LED display, and touch-sensitive controls. Four amplifiers in the wooden cabinet produce a combined 60 watts of output power.
The Model L Wireless is larger than the Model M and uses Bluetooth aptX streaming and adds a slot-loading CD player. The system’s four amplifiers produce 180 watts of output. The Model XL is the largest model; also boasting Bluetooth aptX and a CD player, XL uses six amplifiers for 346 watts of power. The new models are all dockless versions of the company’s prior iPod/iPhone sounds systems—a response to Apple’s Lightning and AirPlay restrictions. All three sound systems will be available in November in black, white, red, or walnut finishes.
iHealth has announced its Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System ($80). A portable, Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose monitor, the Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System automatically displays blood glucose measurements on an iOS device with the free iHealth Gluco-Smart App. Users can set up reminders to take medications, track trends, and track test strip expiration dates.
The monitor also lets users remotely view and track measurements online. iHealth’s Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System is available now.
Sol Republic and Motorola have announced the new Tracks AIR Wireless Headphones ($200). The Bluetooth headphones claim to deliver solid bass, clean mids and vocals, and extended highs from their A2 sound engines. Tracks AIR boasts a 150-foot wireless range, and battery life exceeding 15 hours; the headphones can also be used with cables for wired use.
Tracks AIR Wireless Headphones feature multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, a dual-microphone for phone calls, and interchangeability with PowerTracks headbands for a customized look. The headphones will be released in “early November.”
Livescribe has introduced the Livescribe 3 Smartpen ($150-200) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The pen uses Bluetooth and an Infrared camera to transfer handwritten notes from a piece of paper onto an iPad screen in real-time using the Livescribe+ app. It comes packed with flash memory and an ARM processor. Unusually, Livescribe 3 uses proprietary Livescribe Dot Paper for note taking, and requires you to buy additional paper after you’ve used up the included 50 pieces.
Livescribe claims its new smart pen offers more than 14 hours of continuous writing on one lithium ion battery charge. The Livescribe 3 costs $150, or $200 for a Pro Edition, which adds a Livescribe Journal, Leather Smartpen Portfolio, and a one year subscription to Evernote Premium. Livescribe 3 is available now.
JBL has announced Pulse ($200), a wireless speaker featuring a customized LED light show. The Pulse delivers sound from two 40mm drivers and a built-in bass port, using Bluetooth stereo streaming with NFC. Pulse’s LED lights feature five pre-programmed patterns, but users can also program their own light shows by changing the patterns, brightness, and colors.
JBL claims Pulse’s rechargeable Li-ion battery offers up to 10 hours of music in one charge, or five hours of music with a light show. Pulse is available for pre-order, and JBL lists the expected shipping date as Nov. 13.
Logitech has introduced the Mobile Speakerphone P710e ($170), a USB/Bluetooth speakerphone. The speakerphone uses a DSP to improve the sound of phone call audio, and has an integrated stand to hold an iPhone or iPad while making video calls.
Designed to be portable, the Mobile Speakerphone P710e has a battery capable of 15 hours of medium volume talk time between charging. Wideband audio, a dynamic equalizer, acoustic echo cancelation and noise-canceling microphone all improve sound quality, making it easier to communicate in noisy work environments. No release date has been announced yet.
Nike has introduced its new Fuelband, the colorful Nike+ Fuelband SE. The black band now comes with the options of yellow, pink, or red neon accents, or in a jet black version. FuelBand SE is waterproof, whereas the first FuelBand was only splashproof, and the Bluetooth hardware has been upgraded to Bluetooth 4.0.
Nike claims its Nike+ system can now better track different kinds of workout activities. The new Nike+ Moves app, which works in conjunction with the band, uses the iPhone 5s’ M7 chip for better tracking. Nike+ FuelBand SE will be released Nov. 6 for $149. [via The Verge]
Nest has introduced Nest Protect ($129), a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Like the company’s earlier Nest Thermostat, the alarm can be controlled using an iOS app. Nest Protect is able give an early warning to smoke or let users know when carbon monoxide levels are rising by lighting up yellow and speaking with a human voice. Nuisance alarms can be canceled out by waving an arm near Nest Protect, rather than touching a physical button. Nest Protect can also send a message to any smartphone or tablet as soon as the alarm goes off, as well as monitoring its own battery levels and sensors.
Nest Protect alarms can work in conjunction with each other, communicating even if Wi-Fi is down. The alarm also works in conjunction with the Nest Thermostat — for instance, the alarm automatically turns off a gas furnace if the carbon monoxide alarm goes off. Also notable is the Protect’s Pathlight feature, which can illuminate a dark hallway when triggered by motion. Nest Protect comes in black and white, and is available now for preorder.