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Sony Launches SDK For SmartEyeglass

September 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony Launches SDK For SmartEyeglass

Sony has rolled out an SDK (software development kit) for its SmartEyeglass head-mounted display, another step toward challenging Google Glass. The glasses can connect to Android smartphones via Bluetooth and project green monochrome text or basic graphics across a field within the lenses. Sony said it will begin sales of the eyewear to developers by March 31, the end of its fiscal year. They will be sold in Japan, the U.S. and some European countries. The Developer Preview SDK includes an emulator,... 

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Amazon Expands Kindle Lineup, Increases Pricing

September 19, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Amazon Expands Kindle Lineup, Increases Pricing

Amazon.com Inc continued its push into hardware with the debut of six new or upgraded devices, including a high-end $199 e-reader called the Kindle Voyage and its cheapest-ever touch-screen tablet. The No. 1 U.S. online retailer also revamped its basic Kindle e-reader to include a touch screen. It will cost $79, about 15 percent more than the current basic model. Other new devices unveiled on Wednesday are a $99 Kindle Fire HD tablet, which includes a smaller, six-inch screen as well as a tablet... 

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Stanford University Develops Ant-sized Radios

September 16, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Stanford University Develops Ant-sized Radios

Scientists at Stanford University have assembled ant-sized radios that could one day help track patients’ temperatures, turn on coffee makers in the morning and prevent forgery. A Stanford engineering team has built a radio, equipped with sensors, computational units and antennas one-tenth the size of Wi-Fi antennas, that is able to gain all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna. No batteries are required. These radios, which are... 

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4K Television Sales Finally Picking Up Steam

September 11, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
4K Television Sales Finally Picking Up Steam

Approximately 14 million ultra-high definition (UHD) 4K2K television sets have been shipped worldwide in 2014, penetrating 6-7% of the overall TV market, according to WitsView, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce. Chinese vendors, including Skyworth, Changhong and Hisense, have the highest shipment rates. The six largest Chinese brands, which also include Konka, TCL and Haier, will achieve a 13-15% penetration rate in the UHD TV market this year, the firm projects. The... 

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Western Digital’s My Passport Goes Wireless

September 9, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Western Digital’s My Passport Goes Wireless

Western Digital has announced the latest addition to its My Passport series of portable external hard drives. The My Passport Wireless, as the name suggests, is WD’s entry in the current crop of WiFi Direct attached storage devices. Available in capacities of 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, the My Passport Wireless drive can sit directly on a WiFi network or act as a pass-through device, linking up to eight devices regardless of type and operating system. One touch syncing with Dropbox, Onedrive and Google... 

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Wireless Charging For PCs, Tablets Expected Next Year

September 8, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Wireless Charging For PCs, Tablets Expected Next Year

Wireless charging will reach PCs in 2015, and laptops will be able to recharge when placed on tables, pads or surfaces supporting power delivery, according to an Intel executive. In other words, laptop users won’t have to carry power bricks, said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group. Skaugen spoke during a webcast keynote Friday at the IFA trade show in Berlin. In a few years, wireless charging will be common in PCs, much like wireless communications... 

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Intel’s Core M Chip Headed To 20 Windows Tablets And Hybrids

September 8, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Intel’s Core M Chip Headed To 20 Windows Tablets And Hybrids

Intel’s new Core M chips — which bring PC-like performance to slim design tablets — will initially be in many Windows 8.1 tablets, but no Android devices are yet on the radar. The chips will be in five to seven detachable tablets and hybrids by year end, and the number of devices could balloon to 20 next year, said Andy Cummins, mobile platform marketing manager at Intel. Core M chips, announced at the IFA trade show in Berlin on Friday, are the first based on the new Broadwell... 

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Acer Launching Two New Low Cost 8-inch Tablets

September 5, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Acer Launching Two New Low Cost 8-inch Tablets

Acer’s latest low-cost 8-inch tablets will come to market in both Android and Windows flavors. The Iconia Tab 8 W runs Windows on an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor. It offers 8 hours of battery life, weighs 370 grams and is 9.75 millimeters thick. The 8-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. For the $149 price tag, Acer includes a one-year subscription to the Personal version of Office 365, which includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. Android fans... 

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Lenovo Adds More Features To It’s $199 Tablet

September 4, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lenovo Adds More Features To It’s $199 Tablet

Lenovo has decided to upgrade the features in low-cost Android tablets with the Tab S8 tablet, which will start selling this month for $199. The tablet, which runs on Google’s Android 4.4 OS, has Intel’s quad-core Atom chip, code-named Bay Trail. The chip is capable of running PC-class applications and rendering high-definition video. The 8-inch S8 offers 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution, which is also on Google’s 7-inch Nexus 7. The S8 is priced lower than the Nexus 7, which sells... 

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Smartwatches To Take Center Stage At IFA

September 3, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Smartwatches To Take Center Stage At IFA

Smartwatches will take center stage at the IFA trade show in Berlin, with LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung and Sony all keen to demonstrate that their new products are what consumers want. Samsung Electronics and LG announced their upcoming smartwatches, the Gear S and G Watch R, last week in advance of the show. Samsung’s Gear S is a 3G smartwatch that doesn’t need a smartphone to function. It’s powered by an unspecified dual-core 1GHz processor and has a curved 2-inch Super AMOLED... 

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Tablet Sales Still Up, But Growth Slowing

September 2, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Tablet Sales Still Up, But Growth Slowing

Tablet sales worldwide will continue to grow this year, but not at the pace previously expected, according to a recently released forecast. After four years of double- and triple-digit growth, worldwide tablet shipments this year will grow by just 6.5% over last year, according to IDC. The research firm had previously forecast 12.1% growth. The tablet market is maturing and long-term trends are becoming clearer, said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets. More money is being spent... 

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Microsoft Begins Purge Of Dubious Apps In Windows App Store

August 29, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Microsoft Begins Purge Of Dubious Apps In Windows App Store

Microsoft has started getting rid of sham Windows Store apps that try to dupe users into paying for free software, the company has announced. “Most of the developers behind apps that are found to violate our policies have good intentions and agree to make the necessary changes when notified,” said Todd Brix, general manager for the Windows Store, in a blog post yesterday. “Others have been less receptive, causing us to remove more than 1,500 apps as part of this review so far.” The... 

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Apple To Go Big With iPad Next Year

August 28, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple To Go Big With iPad Next Year

First there was the iPad at around 10 inches and then there was the iPad Mini that is closer to 8 inches. Now Apple Inc is gearing up to roll out a larger, 12.9-inch version of its once dominant iPad for 2015, with production set to begin in the first quarter of next year, Bloomberg cited people with knowledge of the matter as saying on Tuesday. The report comes as Apple struggles with declining sales of its tablets, which are faltering as people replace iPads less frequently than expected and larger... 

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Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

August 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

Microsoft has lowered the prices of its Surface 2 tablets by as much as 22%, dropping the entry-level Windows 8.1 RT device to $349. It’s unknown whether Microsoft discounted the Surface 2 to clear inventory before it discontinues the tablet, in preparation for a successor, or simply to move a slow-selling product. A clue may be in the length of the limited-time sale: Microsoft said that the reduced prices were good from Aug. 24 to Sept. 27, or “while supplies last,” and set the... 

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Ready For Tablets Priced At $35 Or Lower?

August 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Ready For Tablets Priced At $35 Or Lower?

Generic Android tablets with 7-inch screens and quad-core chips that deliver decent performance could soon make it to market for $35 or less. Tablets with low-resolution screens are already selling for $45 on Amazon, many of which have single- or dual-core processors from a Chinese chip company called Allwinner. But the prices could fall under $35 when Allwinner ships its “fully formed” quad-core A33 chip for only $4, said analyst firm Linley Group in a newsletter this week. The chip’s... 

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