Headlines

2 weeks ago

Withings Activité Pop is very good at hiding all the smarts

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It's not always appropriate to broadcast the fact that you're wearing a fitness tracker, especially if your gadget of choice is a bright blue band and you've just stepped into a very important business meeting. Sometimes you need something with a little more style, and the folks at Withings have been pushing in that general direction for a while now. At CES this year, the company is showing off a budget friendly version of their watch that hides just how good it is at tracking your sleep and steps. It's called the Activité Pop, and the biggest feature to this gadget is the massive step down in price from the original. While you lose the classy Swiss design chops, the Activité Pop comes in at $150 instead of $520.

Myriam and John have all the goodies in the video, as well as a more detailed hands on right here, but it's cool to see Withings going all out on the watch design. All too often you hear how our smartwatches don't behave enough like watches, and now there's a functional and relatively inexpensive option for those folks.

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2 weeks ago

Maelstrom VR app lets you walk around in two worlds

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I'm standing in a crowded press room at CES 2015, nearly identical in size and noise level to a dozen others I've been in this week, only I've been told this room has a separate room inside it that only I can see. A VR developer hands me a pair of smart glasses so I can see this other world, and as I put the hardware on I can. This second world isn't full of people, but instead has a series of waypoints on the floor that activate when I approach. There's no gamepad or controller to help me get to these waypoints. I'm going to have to walk there myself, which is fine. When I take a step forward in the real world, I also take a step forward in this second world.

Virtual reality and augmented reality constructs are fun, but it's complicated to create an experience where you can seamlessly enter the digital world without either a controller or padding to help as your body accidentally glances off of a wall. VR developer Sean McCracken is here in Las Vegas showing off an app that creates an effect similar to demonstrations shown with Google's Project Tango with what is arguably more logical hardware. Instead of walking around holding a tablet, Maelstrom is all about using smart glasses to enter the digital world.

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2 weeks ago

Qardio's medical-grade body monitors are built for accuracy

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While your average fitness monitor or health tracker is great for keeping a daily tally of how many steps you've taken or how well you slept last night compared to the night before, you can't really take this information to your doctor and expect that data to be useful. CES is positively overflowing with this technology this year, but a lot of it is deliberately made for personal use only. Medical professionals rely on finely tuned instruments for their data collection, and in most cases that equipment is not something you can carry around in your pocket. The folks at Qardio are hoping to bridge that gap with their health tracking equipment, claiming that their hardware is medical grade and could be used by doctors.

Cali and Scott have all the details in the video, but with Qardio it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which your health data is something medical professionals could just grab from your phone in the future and have it actually be useful information.

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2 weeks ago

AT&T's new Rollover Data plan for its Mobile Share Value users starts Jan. 25

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AT&T will begin offering its own Rollover Data plan for all of its 50 million Mobile Share Value customers starting on Sunday, Jan. 25 at no additional cost. This news follows that of T-Mobile which announced a similar plan in December for its customers called Data Stash.

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2 weeks ago

Amazon Fire Phone on sale today for $189, if you're crazy enough to want one

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The Amazon Fire Phone was one of the biggest smartphone flops in recent memory but today, if you really want to, you can get an unlocked version of the Fire Phone for just $189.

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2 weeks ago

Huawei plans to launch its Honor phones in the US sometime in 2015

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Huawei plans to start selling its budget priced Honor Android smartphones in the US sometime later in 2015. The China-based company first launched the Honor line in December 2013 and sold 20 million of them in 2014.

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2 weeks ago

Nokia N1 Android tablet goes up for pre-order in China for $250

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After an official unveil in November 2014, the Nokia N1 is now up for pre-order in China. The tablet is listed for 1599 Yuan ($256), and will be available in the country from January 29.

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2 weeks ago

CES 2015 Day 1 roundup

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CES 2015 has officially begun! That's right, the biggest tech-stravaganza of the year is under way, and if you thought all the big announcements happened yesterday… well, you're wrong. There was more today, and there'll be more tomorrow. This is how CES goes.

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2 weeks ago

OhMiBod's connected vibrators buzz in sync with heartbeat, controllable by smartwatch

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OhMiBod for smartwatches

OhMiBod is expanding the functionality of its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-connected sex toys at CES by announcing a new smartwatch app. With it, users will be able to remotely control vibrators from near or far, though that's in line with its existing phone app.

The really cool stuff is how the smartwatch app for Android and iOS will read a user's heartbeat and create vibrations based on that pulse. Alternatively, the app can read ambient noise (such as music) and produce vibrations from that data as well. OhMiBod's current Club Vibe massagers already do that sort of thing.

The bigger question, perhaps, is if you really want to be wearing your smartwatch to bed. (And if you do, we suggest not checking it too frequently. Unless, of course, you're using it in this context.)

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3 weeks ago

Camera, or phone? Panasonic's Lumix CM1 aims to be both with little compromise

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Panasonic Lumix CM1

Well, it's mostly a camera — but we're okay with that.

Panasonic is known far more for its cameras than its mobile phones, but the new Lumix CM1 combines its imaging expertise with a full-on smartphone experience to create one unique device. On one side is a standard phone experience with a familiar KitKat interface running on a 4.7-inch 1080p display and powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor. On the other side, you basically have a high-end point and shoot camera, with a 20.1MP 1-inch sensor, f/2.8 28mm Leica lens and complete manual controls

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3 weeks ago

Basis Peak fitness and sleep tracker is all about nonstop bio monitoring #CES2015

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The folks at Basis have updated their design but have lost none of the original drive that made their first fitness and sleep tracker important in the first place. Basis Peak is an upgrade in every conceivable way, from the solid design update and fantastically responsive display to the hardware responsible for data collection. The whole point of Basis from the beginning has been to accomplish the most accurate picture of your health with hardware that is constantly monitoring. Not only do you get a clearer picture of your health throughout the day, but Basis is using some clever contextual software to simply know when you are doing things. This means no prompting for sleep mode or workout mode, but the app will still be able to accurately demonstrate when you fell asleep or how long you were riding a bike.

What you won't find on the Basis Peak is any smartphone notification integration of any kind, but that is in the works via a software update later this year. In the mean time, this is a connected fitness and sleep tracker through and through.

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3 weeks ago

Garmin talks VivoFit 2, personal bands, Connect IQ

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There are fitness trackers, and then there are Fitness Trackers. It's fair to say the folks at Garmin know a thing or two about fitness tracking, since they've been making GPS watches since 2003. Their most recent efforts demonstrate clearly how much time they have had to perfect adding complex parts to their watches, if for no other reason than the battery life on these products is just outstanding. The Garmin VivoFit promised a year of battery life on a single charge, and it's successor is taking that same bold claim and adding a bit of style.

CES for Garmin this year means showing off the entire collection, which includes everything from the $130 VivoFit 2 to the $500 fēnix 3. The VivoFit 2 is going to work its way into several different band designs to suit your needs, and with Connect IQ acting as a developer kit Garmin hopes third party support will make these wearables even more useful. They're simple, stylish, and the battery life alone is worth giving Garmin's wearable efforts a serious look.

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3 weeks ago

Hands-on with Dell's crazy thin Venue 8 7000 tablet

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Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell's latest Android device is one handsome looking thing

This is the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet. While the name doesn't exactly inspire, the device itself certainly does. To coincide with CES 2015 it's finally going on sale and what we've got is the thinnest tablet currently on the market at just 6mm. But that's not all it has to boast about. It's also got a stunning QHD resolution OLED display, a 3D RealSense camera, front facing speakers and ridiculously skinny bezels. And it's a handsome looking thing, for sure.

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3 weeks ago

Hands-on with the Sony Walkman NW-ZX2: $1119 of Android-powered music player

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX2

Great sound with an insane price tag

At the Sony booth at CES 2015 we had a chance to test out the Walkman NW-ZX2 as well as Sony's new PHA-1A headphone DAC/amplifier combination that were all announced at Sony's press conference. To say this is just another music player is more than an exaggeration — this device is a beast.

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3 weeks ago

Martian and Guess double down on smartwatches with real watch style

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While Google and Apple have made it clear they plan to make smartwatches a touchscreen-focused experience, there's still plenty of companies out there working hard to embed smarter features into traditional watch designs. The folks at Guess have decided that the way Martian Smartwatches has been doing things is the way to go, and so their new partnership has created a whole new line of devices aimed at both style-focused users and several options for women. During CES this year the two companies are showing off what that partnership looks like, and why it matters. Adam and Rene took a quick look at what makes the Martian platform special, and it turns out everything comes down to audible responses and a multi-pattern vibration setup that allows users to prioritize notifications without even looking at the watch.

It's cool to see Martian continuing to come up with new ways to set themselves apart, especially with their future plans to interact with the connected home through voice commands. If you're not totally sold on having a big screen on your wrist, Martian and Guess have lots of things to show you.

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