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Amazon, Simon & Schuster Sign Deal Over E-books

October 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Amazon, Simon & Schuster Sign Deal Over E-books

Online book retailer Amazon.com Inc revealed that it has signed a multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster Inc, the second Big-Five book publisher, on the future price of e-books. Amazon, which had been in discussions with Simon & Schuster since July over pricing, confirmed the deal first reported by the Business Insider news blog that the two had reached an agreement. Amazon had been locked in a months-long standoff with publisher Hachette Book Group, the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher... 

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Tablet Sales Growth Dropped Drastically

October 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Tablet Sales Growth Dropped Drastically

The news about tablet sales isn’t good. Gartner and IDC both recently dramatically lowered their tablet shipment and sales estimates for 2014 and coming years, citing primarily the longer-than-expected time customers keep their existing tablets. (That phenomenon is called the “refresh rate.”) Gartner said it had originally expected 13% tablet sales growth for the year globally; it has now lowered that growth rate to 11%. IDC’s forecast change was even more dire: In June, it... 

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Will Smartwatches Hit The 100 Million Sales Mark By 2019?

October 17, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Will Smartwatches Hit The 100 Million Sales Mark By 2019?

With so much hype surrounding smartwatches and wearables in general, one could hardly be blamed for thinking the industry is about tap a new goldmine, but the numbers are not encouraging. Juniper Research now estimates smartwatch shipments will hit 100 million by 2019. The firm expects several high-profile products to launch over the next year or so, helping boost mainstream awareness. However, the figures are anything but encouraging. The report, titled ‘Smart Watches: Market Dynamics, Vendor... 

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Google Exploring Ultra Fast Wireless Internet

October 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google Exploring Ultra Fast Wireless Internet

Google Inc is gearing up to test new technology that may provide the foundation for a wireless version of its high-speed “Fiber” Internet service, according to telecommunication experts who scrutinized the company’s regulatory filings. In a public but little-noticed application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday, Google asked the agency for permission to conduct tests in California across different wireless spectrums, including a rarely-used millimeter-wave... 

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Beats And Bose Cancels Lawsuit, Settles Headphone Dispute

October 13, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Beats And Bose Cancels Lawsuit, Settles Headphone Dispute

A high-profile patent fight over noise cancelling headphones between Bose Corp and Beats Electronics ended on Friday with both sides settling the case out of court. The terms of the settlement were not being disclosed, a spokeswoman for Bose said in an email, adding only that the dispute had been “resolved.” Bose, which makes high-end sound systems and headphones, filed the case last July in federal court in Delaware, alleging Beats had willfully infringed upon five of its patents in... 

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Sharp Has Developed An LCD Panel That Can Come In Any Size

October 10, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sharp Has Developed An LCD Panel That Can Come In Any Size

Focusing on use in car dashboards and consoles, Sharp has come up with an LCD panel that can be cut to almost any shape. Conventional LCD panels are rectangular — something that’s required because the tiny chips that drive each pixel of the display are fitted along the edge of the glass panel on which the screen is made. In Sharp’s new screens, the chips are embedded between the pixels, which offers more freedom in screen shape. There’s still a requirement for a single straight... 

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There’s a Glass App For The Hearing Impaired

October 10, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
There’s a Glass App For The Hearing Impaired

Georgia Tech scientists have developed an app that creates captions on Google Glass for users who suffer from hearing loss. A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology developed speech-to-text software for Google’s wearable technology. Using Glass and an Android-based smartphone, the app converts speech to text and displays it on the Glass heads-up display. “This system allows wearers like me to focus on the speaker’s lips and facial gestures,” said Jim... 

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Toshiba Introduces Smart Glasses To Battle Google’s

October 8, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Toshiba Introduces Smart Glasses To Battle Google’s

Toshiba is entering the smart glasses market. The company is introducing a prototype pair of glasses at the Ceatec trade show in Japan this week, and while they might not edge Google Glass out of the market, they should be a bit cheaper. Called Toshiba Glass, they have a tiny, lightweight projector clipped onto one of the arms near the lens. That projector displays an image that reflects off the inside of the lens to provide an augmented reality-type display. It’s a similar principle to Google... 

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DoCoMo Unveils Navigation Handles, Wearable Skin Sensor To Detect Fat Burning

October 8, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
DoCoMo Unveils Navigation Handles, Wearable Skin Sensor To Detect Fat Burning

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo on Monday unveiled Yubi Navi, a prototype navigation and communication device that uses haptic feedback to convey information. Coated with white rubber, Yubi Navi looks a bit like a game controller or TV remote. It can link to a smartphone via Bluetooth and contains small actuators that twist it left or right or make it bulge slightly in the middle. When used for navigation, it can guide a user to a destination by prompting him to turn left or right at a given intersection.... 

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Panasonic Introduces Pin-sized Battery For Wearables

October 7, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Panasonic Introduces Pin-sized Battery For Wearables

Power-sipping wearable devices could shrink even more with a new rechargeable battery from Panasonic. The electronics maker on Friday announced a “pin-shaped” lithium-ion battery that’s 20 millimeters (.03 inches) long with a diameter of 3.5 mm, about one-twentieth the size of AAA batteries. Panasonic said it’s the smallest in the industry in terms of capacity by volume. The CG-320 battery has a nominal capacity of 13 mAh and voltage of 3.75 V, which allows for Bluetooth and... 

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Verizon’s Redbox Instant Streaming Video Service Shutting Down

October 7, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Verizon’s Redbox Instant Streaming Video Service Shutting Down

Redbox Instant, a streaming video service partnership between Verizon Communications Inc and Outerwall Inc’s Redbox, will cease to exist this week because the venture has not been as successful as hoped, the two companies jointly announced. The service, which combined the Redbox DVD rental kiosk business with a streaming video offering from Verizon, was launched in 2013 to compete against online video company Netflix Inc  but never caught on with consumers. Redbox Instant will shut down... 

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Kuddle, Microsoft To Launch Child Safe Tablet

September 30, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Kuddle, Microsoft To Launch Child Safe Tablet

Kuddle, a Norwegian photo-sharing app created for children, plans to roll out a child safe tablet with Microsoft on Dec 1, and expects to sign funding deals with several venture capital firms within weeks, its chief executive said on Monday. The Oslo-based company said it was on track to reach its goal of one million users by year-end and plans to soon raise another $5 million of fresh funds on top of the nearly $6 million it has already raised. “We are working with Microsoft on several... 

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Sony PlayStation TV Will Arrive At Stores On October 14th

September 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony PlayStation TV Will Arrive At Stores On October 14th

Sony Corp said PlayStation TV set-top box, which allows users to access movies and TV episodes from the PlayStation store, will arrive at retail locations in the United States and Canada on Oct. 14. The price for a standalone PlayStation TV (PS TV) is $99.99, the company wrote in a blog. For $139.99, customers can get a wireless controller, an 8 GB memory card and “The Lego Movie” videogame along with the PS TV. Around 700 games will be available to PS TV users, including “Metal... 

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IEEE Pushing For Standards For Internet of Things

September 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
IEEE Pushing For Standards For Internet of Things

The IEEE is untertaking a rather ambitious effort to put in place a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies. IEEE P2413, which the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers officially started work on in July, would form a framework for interoperability among connected devices and related applications in home automation, industrial systems, telematics and all other sectors that are expected to use IoT in the coming years. While... 

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HTC To Make the Next Google Nexus Tablet

September 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
HTC To Make the Next Google Nexus Tablet

Google Inc has chosen HTC Corp to develop and deliver its upcoming 9-inch Nexus tablet, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Google had been mulling HTC as a potential Nexus tablet partner since last year and HTC engineers have been flying to the Googleplex in Mountain View in recent months to work on the project, the report said. Google’s decision to pick HTC reflects its long-term strategy of building a broad base of partners from device to device to prevent... 

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