We're going to try out a new series where we highlight the latest connected devices and accessories. Everything here has recently gone on sale for the first time, or is shipping in the near future. These will span Bluetooth accessories, connected home devices, and anything else that isn't a phone or tablet, but plays nice with them.
1. Nest Cam
This week Nest announced a new security camera based on those built by recently-acquired Dropcam. The new Nest Cam features a similar disc-shaped camera unit, but has a slimmed down mount. Many of the features will seem familiar, such as ongoing 1080p surveillance and cloud-stored playback, mobile motion notifications, and two-way audio. Night vision has been improved with intelligent adjustments for artificial light and a wider field of view. Nest also announced a new version of their smoke and CO detector, Protect, which can tell the difference between fast- and slow-moving fires and has a new design that's easier to install. For now Nest Cam is only up for preorder, but will be shipping next month.
2. UE Roll
Ultimate Ears has launched a new waterproof Bluetooth speaker call the Roll. Besides being able to handle a little splashing around, the UE Roll's most interesting feature is bungee system that lets you attach the speaker to just about anything. The Roll can pair up with other Ultimate Ears speakers for up to 9 hours of stereo sound. Companion apps for iOS and Android allow for ongoing updates and remote control from your phone. There are a ton of different color and style combinations available, ranging from subdued to gaudy. If you plan on spending a lot of time at the beach this summer, check this one out.
3. Fallout 4 Pip-Boy
(Zip forward to 16:30.)
Bethesda kicked down the door of the biggest video game conference of the year by announcing Fallout 4. Since the last iteration of the 50s-flavored post-apocalyptic game, the developers have become quite mobile-savy. Not only did they launch a fun little city-builder game called Fallout Shelter for iOS, they also announced the special Pip-Boy edition of their game which would include a replica of the iconic wristwear.
Aside from making jokes about how this was the smartwatch of the future, this thing will actually be able to hold your phone and provide live information from the Fallout 4 as you're playing it. Game director Todd Howard said of the tie-in, "Usually second screen experiences are just stupid gimmicks, but as far as stupid gimmicks go, this is the best fucking one I have ever seen." I'm inclined to agree. Even though Fallout 4 doesn't launch until November 10 and the Pip-Boy edition costs a whooping $119.99, it's already hard to find anywhere that will have online stock for preorders. Here are a few sources that are worth checking in on.
4. Logitech K400 Plus Keyboard
Logitech has historically done a great job with living room keyboards, and they've recently refreshed their lineup with the K400 Plus. It plays nice with any Windows or Android device you have plugged into your TV, and includes an embedded touchpad and media controls. With a separate download, you can program new shortcut keys and tweak cursor responsiveness to suit your needs. If you're looking for a full keyboard to go with a set-top box like the NVIDIA Shield Android TV, the K400 Plus is a good fit.
5. Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
One of the other goodies out of E3 this week was a premium gaming controller direct from Microsoft. For those that are super-serious about their playtime, this new controller features hair triggers on the underside for rapid and precise action. High-grade materials all around are designed to significantly reduce wear and tear, not to mention enhance comfort for long gaming sessions.
You'll even be able to fine-tune the controller with a key mapping switch and swap out parts based on personal preference. The Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller will work just as well with your Windows PC as your console. Take a look at our hands-on experience to see what it's all about. Preorders are available now, with shipping date expected to be in October.
Which gadgets are you looking forward to?
We're still playing with the format, so we want as much feedback from you guys as possible. What kind of devices are you interested in outside of the world of phones and tablets?