The Belkin meeting room power center has 4 AC power outlets and 8 USB ports. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Modern day meetings around the conference table may be a rare occurrence in our often-mobile and telecommuting world, but when they happen, the incoming mass of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks need a lot of electricity.
Instead of making all your employees figure out where the outlets are (under the table? behind them on the wall?), why not provide a big fat power center in the middle of the action? The Belkin Meeting Room Power Center aims to do just that, with a huge, round UFO-looking power hub that sports four actual plugs and a generous eight USB ports.
Probably the world’s first connected crockpot. Shiny! Credit: Eli Milchman
LAS VEGAS, CES 2014 – Belkin is really hopping onto this connected-home thing with fiery fervor. They already have a formidable array of Internet-connected devices in their WeMo line — switches, plugs, motion detectors — and now they’ve added light bulbs and a DIY WeMo interface that can be adapted for use with practically anything that’s powered by electricity. Oh, they’ve also just come out with a big, shiny cloud-connected crockpot so you can cook dinner from the office.
Joining Belkin’s armada of WeMo home-automation devices today is the WeMo Insight Switch. Like the plain-vanilla WeMo Switch, the Insight Switch will let you power on or off whatever is connected to its outlet via the WeMo iOS or Android app. Unlike the regular Switch, the Insight lets you also see exactly how much money you’er spending on juice, and adds more control flexibility.
I wonder just what effect the new iPad Air will have on keyboard covers? The iPads one to four were all big enough that you could pretty much squeeze a full-sized keyboard into a matching cover, but all the keyboard cases I have so far tried for the iPad mini have been unusable, like a netbook keyboard.
Belkin’s new keyboards for the iPad Air hope that physics will continue to favor the former situation.
The ring of Tim Cook’s softened Southern twang hasn’t yet left our ears, and yet Belkin has already announced, not one, but practically a whole wall at the Apple Store full of iPad Air cases and keyboards.
Of the ten cases and three keyboard cases announced by Belkin after today’s event, the most interesting is the minimalist Qode (perhaps a Star Wars character?) Thin Type Keyboard Case — one of Belkin’s excellent keyboards wrapped in aluminum and equipped with a hinge that lets it double as a cover for the screen. For a little more protection, there’s the Qode (Peruvian dessert?) Ultimate Keyboard Case, which adds a protective aluminum backing around the iPad Air.
You probably made a lot of New Years resolutions to get off your butt and work out. You probably said you were gonna work out five times a day. Maybe more. Maybe you said you’re going to do one of those cool juice diet cleanses with a side of anorexia.
For those of us who made all these exercise goals, but are still binging on cheeseburgers, there’s an amazing — if not extreme — FitBit hack that can help. With just a FitBit activity tracker and a Belkin WeMo internet-controlled power outlet, you can set your daily activity goal, and if you don’t reach it, the system cuts power to everything plugged into your Belkin Wemo to give you some extra motivation to go jogging.
While Apple’s newer notebooks like the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro are certainly aesthetically pleasing, some trade offs had to be made in order to achieve such thin machines. Apple has been slowly paring down the number of ports it includes on its notebooks, most notable with the MacBook Air.
Even though these machines are becoming more and more capable all the time, the lack of connections on them puts a serious strain on their functionality. That’s where the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock comes in. This little attachment for your laptop gives you eight additional ports to work with right on your desk.
While the iPad’s audio has always been certainly passable in most situations, the tiny speakers that Apple crammed into the device aren’t anywhere near a suitable replacement for the sound quality that can be produced from larger, more substantial speakers.
In order to bridge this gap, Belkin is showing off at Macworld this year what they call the Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater, a case for your iPad that integrates 2 4-watt speakers for a more immersive experience. Cult Of Mac’s Erfon Elijah talked to Brandon from Belkin at Macworld to learn more about the product.