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2 years ago

In praise of SOL Republic's Jax earbuds

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Surprisingly great sound comes from the​se $39 earbuds

I tend to look at the bundling of accessories with smartphones as unnecessary up-sells — particularly earbuds. More often than not they're uncomfortable or just sound horrible, cheap throwaways, really.

With the SOL Republic Jax earbuds that are being sold alongside Motorola's new fare (that'd be the Moto X and Moto G), I was proved wrong. Motorola slipped us a pair of the $39 1-button Jax earbuds in a holiday greeting in December, and I took them along for the ride at CES last week. (Yeah, I was a little late in picking up my mail.)

I don't test earbuds for a living, but for under $50, these are a great buy.

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2 years ago

MyCaseBuilder talks creating the perfect custom case #CESlive

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MyCaseBuilder can help keep your stuff safe from life's bumps and bruises

Phil and Cali talk with Steve Holland from MyCaseBuilder about how they are conquering the issue of everyone carrying different gear with them. Whether you have a video camera, a DSLR and multiple lenses, or some audio gear with you on the go, MyCaseBuilder helps you create a fully custom case. Utilizing their software you can create a layout on their website using the shape library that they are constantly adding to, and preview what it will look like in 3D form.

Using a water jet they are able to precision cut the foam to the exact specifications that you desire, and the customization is endless. If you are in the market for a custom case to haul your gear, head over to MyCaseBuilder and check out the full interview above for some additional information.

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2 years ago

The Eye Tribe gaze tracking enables finger-free Fruit Ninja on Android

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The Eye Tribe was at CES 2014 showing off their eye-sensing bar, which lets users navigate without tapping or clicking anything. This has been available for awhile for $99, but what was really interesting was the micro USB dongle they showing running on an Android device. This enabled gaze tracking on a few productivity apps, but most the most impressive demo it ran was Fruit Ninja, so you could play just by looking at different points on the screen.

The more serious and slightly foreboding application here is that tracking gaze can be used by advertisers to figure out which ads you look at and for how long. Obviously that kind of data would be hugely useful, especially to an ad giant like Google, but this is likely pushing the boundaries of what people are comfortable with. 

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2 years ago

Staying alive at conferences with Seidio

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Your phone goes through a lot at a show like CES, so gear up!

It’s the last day of CES 2014. People are heading home. Stalls are being taken down. Feet are being dragged. Batteries, both human and otherwise, are drained. Well, most batteries. When we got to our freakin’ sweet stage in South Hall a few short days ago, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the show, we were greeted by a giant pile of accessories from our gracious sponsor, Seidio. Before long, I had my Galaxy S4 decked out with their extended battery and purpose-built Active Extended case, plus their Charging Vault as a back-up. Of course I slapped one of our new AC stickers to represent while out on the show floor. For all of its usefulness, I normally don’t rock the holster, but at a show like this, the fashion police aren’t exactly going to be writing me up.

I had used a few Seidio cases in the past, and even their extended battery for the Galaxy Nexus way back, but it was great to get reacquainted. It also reminded me about how absolutely vital extra battery life is at a show like CES. We had a huge crew coming, so we all leaned on our phones for chatter on Google Hangouts, figuring out who’s grabbing what taxi, where we need our video guys, and finding our way through the massive, sprawling convention area to our next meeting. I expect that the last week has been the busiest ever for any phone I’ve had in my pocket, and it wouldn’t have made it through any day without some extra juice.

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2 years ago

Can't afford an Oculus Rift? Strap a phone to your face with Dive

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Dive was at CES 2014 showing off their recently-launched virtual reality accessory built for smartphones 5 inches and smaller. Besides having adjustable wide angle lenses and the proper straps and clamps in place to make everything work, Dive also has an SDK so developers can make their 3D apps stereoscopic and formatted to work with the accessory. 

I still can't decide if this is so bad it's good, so bad it's bad, or crazy enough that it might just work. While my reaction to wearing the Dive headset wasn't quite as explosive as our demonstrator's here, I was able to get a decent 3D effect, barring a bit of light leakage where the lens sliders are set. I also got to try out the latest Oculus prototype, which obviously blew Dive out of the water when it came to app quality and overall experience, but it's also still very much in a pre-release state. 

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2 years ago

Fitbit talks best-in-class fitness tracking #CESlive

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Force yourself to Flex and enhance your fitness tracking

Cali and Daniel were able to catch up with Lindsay Cook from Fitbit to check out some of the new devices that they brought to consumers in 2013. Showing off the Fitbit Flex and the Fitbit Force they give us a rundown of the features of each product.

Luckily Fitbit has recently released an update which allowed for compatibility with more Android devices so syncing on the go is even easier. Be sure to check out the full interview above to catch all the great stuff that Fitbit has going on.

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2 years ago

Sphero talks creating games and new hardware #CESlive

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Sphero upgrades hardware, allows customizations

John and Daniel got to sit down with Ian and Adam from Sphero to talk about the newly introduced Sphero 2B. Turning a remote controlled ball into a game and then branching out with new customizable hardware, Sphero has been hard at work. Whether you want to complete challenges or freely roam around the office and have some fun with friends, look no further than the Sphero.

To catch all the talk about the new changes from Sphero be sure to check out the entire interview above.

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2 years ago

ReveelSound makes your music sound alive with any headphones #CESlive

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Inline analog device brings back audio detail for any recording

Standard electronics lose audio detail during the calculation to turn electricity into music. These canceled sounds are still there, but we don't get to hear them. This little analog device from ReveelSound can fix that.

This small gadget simply plugs inline with your headphones, and those "lost" sounds are restored. It sounds like Voodoo, but the priceless look on Derek's face around the eight minute mark tells me that it works.

Take a few minutes and see John P and Derek talk with Larry from ReveelSound about this revolutionary new product.

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2 years ago

LG wants you to be fit #CESlive

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Let's get fit!

Georgia and John got to take a few moments with Jim Clayton and Ashley Kim of LG to talk about their big announcements from CES 2014. Previously LG has been known in the smartphone and appliance space, but this year they have introduced the Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones. Much of the focus from CES has been wearables, and it seems as though just about everyone is getting in on the fitness tracking.

LG hopes to make a big impact in your fitness journey with their new devices. Be sure to check out the whole interview for some great information, and be sure to check out the rest of our coverage as well.

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2 years ago

Swiftkey heads to automobiles as they partner with Clarion for smarter in-car technology

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Swiftkey looks to improve the overall experience of in-car technology

While many folks are used to using Swiftkey of their smartphones, the software maker's latest announcement could see you using their keyboard in your car as well. Swiftkey has announced they've teamed up with  in-car entertainment manufacturer Clarion on their AX1 Android car stereo system and are the default keyboard offerings on the head unit.

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2 years ago

PowerbyProxi talks better ways to charge your devices #CESlive

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Ditch the cables and charge wirelessly

John and Rene talk to Fady Mishriki from PowerbyProxi about better ways to charge your mobile devices. Utilizing intelligent wireless charging pads PowerbyProxi is able to charge your devices just as fast as your wired charger, but allow you to move into the world of wireless charging.

PowerbyProxi hopes you will ditch your charging cables in favor of their wireless technology. Be sure to check out what Fady has to say to John and Rene in the 12 minute demo above.

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2 years ago

LG G Flex QuickWindow and Vest cases

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Two cases with distinct functional differences

Accessory support for the recently-announced G Flex is a little light at the moment, but LG is at least showing off early versions of two cases for the bendy behemoth. The QuickWindow and Vest, as they're called, are similar in styling and materials but serve to distinctly different purposes.

The QuickWindow, on one hand, is much the same as we've seen for previous LG devices like the Optimus G Pro and completely covers the front and back of the G Flex. You're getting a hard outer shell with an interesting faux metal pattern on it, a nice stitched material where the front hinges on and a cutout in the screen cover portion to show you bits of information when closed.

With the Vest case, you're getting something a bit more minimalist. The basic idea is to simply protect all four corners of the G Flex against occasional bumps and scratches, while leaving most of the sides and back open to the air. Made of the same material and color as the QuickWindow, it gives a bit more visual flair with interesting cutouts along the edges and a solid portion down the middle of the back plate.

Be sure to take a closer look at the cases with our photo gallery after the break.

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2 years ago

Seidio brings a gaggle of cases to #CESLive

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You want cases for your expensive smartphone? Seidio has cases of all kinds

Seidio knows mobile device accessories. We sell plenty of their products at ShopAndroid for many different model of Android. That's because you want them — and you want them because they look great and work well.

John P. and Rene Ritchie sat down and had a little chat with them on the CESLive stage. Check it out and see what they have to offer, including the new OBEX Waterproof case for the Note 3.

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2 years ago

Turn your TV into a communications center with this Android based adapter

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Join family time even from across the country

Traveling is a large part of many families, and trying to keep in touch while on the go can be a bit difficult. Meet-Bob Ltd. is hoping that they will be able to put families back together even when they are apart with their latest announcement, the Bob. While the name is a bit odd, the device itself is an Android based HDMI stick that will plug into any television set allowing families to communicate, interact, share content and play via the television.

Each member of the family will create a log in for the stick, and this allows for a fully personalized experience each time you log in. Carrying the device with you is easy as it is just about the same size as a USB thumb drive, so just pack it up and get ready to play when you are at your destination.

Bringing families together regardless of the location of each member makes the Bob something that many will enjoy. Being able to watch movies or videos together, share content from across the country or playing a game with the kids while away will be a great selling point.

Unfortunately no information on pricing or availability has been announced yet, but being as everyone in the family will need one of these to participate we can imagine them to be on the affordable side. 

Source: Meet-Bob

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2 years ago

Seidio announces OBEX Waterproof case for Galaxy Note 3

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Seidio today at CES is announcing a new OBEX waterproof case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The case sports an IP68 rating, meaning that it’s waterproof for up to 30 minutes at 2 meters. (Far better than you’d fare, we’d say.) It’s also rated against dust, and for falls from 6 feet at different angles.

Also, an anti-reflection glass protects the camera lens without getting in the way of your precious selfies. Waterproof membranes protect the speakers and microphones, and rubber stoppers keep the phone’s USB and headphone ports clear of debris. And the case does all this without getting in the way of NFC signals.

The case itself is $79.  Another $10 will get you a holster as well.

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