It looks like the next big thing has hit Kickstarter, and it's called Memoto. This tiny little 5 megapixel camera clips to your clothes, automatically takes pictures, geotags them, and once plugged into your computer over microUSB, uploads to the cloud for storage (provided you have a subscription plan with Memoto). There isn't a single button on the camera because it automatically starts shooting as soon as you start wearing it.
The picture quality isn't particularly great, but Memoto is aiming for sheer volume. We're talking two per minute for two days straight on a single charge. Luckily, the Android and web app will help organize everything into batches of shots and splice the moments into time-lapse videos. Sharing can be open or private, with selective visibility.
Out and about, in the view of the public, nobody wants to be that guy with the Bluetooth headset. (At least you shouldn't.) In private, however, you can do whatever you want. Bluetooth (yes, it's a verb now) to your heart's content. We don't care.
Then there's the office. In a shared office environment, headsets trump handsets for many of us, be it for traditional voice calls, or for Skype. But having to rip a set of cans off our head to answer a cell call is annoying. And that brings us to the Plantronics Blackwire series of Bluetooth headsets, which does double duty as a Bluetooth headset and a corded USB headset.
Here's a quick update on the Droidax Power Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3 that we reviewed a couple months ago. In our original review, we noted that the case didn't seem to fit properly up top, and so the phone could potentially come loose -- possibly damaging the microUSB plug on the case, or the port on the phone itself. Either way, that was no bueno.
Droidax has sent us a redesigned top half of the case, and the update indeed keeps things a little more snug. The left-hand side of the phone can still pop out ever so slightly, but the right-hand side kept everything as it should be.
And so with that update, we're ready to recommend the Droidax Power Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3, if you're ready to spring $49 for the combination case/2300 mAh external battery.
The Jawbone Jambox is a popular stand-alone Bluetooth speaker with sharp style, heavy bass, and relatively rich app environment. Audio from the jawbone Jambox is pretty solid, and especially heavy on the bass. I didn't have any issues with distortion, even at higher volumes, The lack of hardware playback controls, like pause and play, is a pretty serious downer. The Big Jambox has the full selection of hardware buttons, but costs an extra hundred bucks.
Ah, the combination case and external battery. It's the white whale of Android smartphones. Unlike our iPhone-carrying friends, who have the likes of Mophie to serve their needs, we've been left searching for the perfect way to protect and charge our phones.
Motorola has confirmed that it will no longer be pursuing its webtop program in the future. Famously announced to much fanfare with the Motorola Atrix, the laptop dock is going away. Starting with its latest release of devices -- the Photon Q, Droid RAZR HD, etc. -- webtop will no longer be preloaded and laptop dock devices will no longer be for sale. In an official statement, Motorola laid out the news:
"Motorola's Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. While consumers around the world have adopted Webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices. We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features. Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward."
This probably doesn't come as a surprise to many of us who have either completely forgotten that webtop existed (we wouldn't blame you) or saw with the high prices and anemic sales that the future wasn't bright for the product. Most importantly, this really symbolizes the end of an era for Motorola. Webtop may have been one of the biggest things left that symbolized the Motorola of the past. As if Google and Motorola's statements prior to its latest device launches weren't clear enough, it seems as though we're looking at a "new Motorola" going forward.
I am not what I'd consider to be an audiophile. I don't look down on folks who don't listen to vinyl records (kids, ask your parents), and I don't use $500 headphones. I do, however, throw away earbuds that come with phones (with perhaps one recent exception), and it'll be a cold day in hell before I use an unpowered speaker.
Lockitron has recently announced their latest and greatest smart deadbolt access system, complete with remote door unlocking, per-user access control, access via SMS or NFC, and a knock sensor. There's a dedicated Android app to handle everything, while the door unit itself connects over your home's Wi-Fi network. This model is an iteration on the considerably clunkier, more expensive model launched last year.
While RFID access control has been available in business situations for a long time, Lockitron is clearly way more viable for home situations. With Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, Lockitron can unlock automatically as you approach the door, which is great for when your hands are full with groceries.
Lockitron has already blown way past their funding goal, but you can still preorder one for an early-bird special of $149. The first batch should be shipping in March 2013. What do you guys think? Totally awesome, or are there way too many potential security issues with a system like this?
The Sony SmartWatch is a small clip-on device that connects to your phone over Bluetooth and provides quick access to a variety of notifications, including incoming calls, Facebook messages, upcoming calendar items, and lots more. Some of the more interactive apps include a music handler, a remote phone ringer, and a Google Maps app . Once you’ve installed the Smart Connect app on your device, other Smartwatch compatible apps can be installed and pushed out to the accessory. The selection of quality SmartWatch apps are slim, but there aren’t a lot of alternatives for wearable smartphone accessories out there.
The Google Nexus Q is the coolest sphere sitting atop our entertainment center. OK, so it's the only sphere we've got. And despite how cool it looks, and its great build quality, it really doesn't do all that much, especially when you consider its $299 price tag.
Of course, that was before Google decided to shelve the Nexus Q, ceasing sales and giving away a free sphere to anyone who preordered. Now it sits in a state of limbo as Google works "on making it even better." Maybe it'll return. Maybe it won't. We're holding out hope.
So how would we improve the Nexus Q? We've got a few ideas.
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