“With irritating regularity, my girlfriend and I dance the same dance. She, or I, go to bed with our iPhones. She, or I, lose it somewhere within the ocean of the bedfolds. She, or I, find ourselves apoplectic. She, or I, demands that the other calls the phone to locate. And then she, or I, realize that we’ve lost our phone too. And then we murder each other into a spattering of bloody chunks in our festering rage, somehow to reconstitute ourselves, temporarily find our iPhones and begin this amphisbaena dance anew.”
The guys behind HipKey, a keychain dongle that can track your iPhone (and vice versa), were paying attention, and so they sent me over a unit for review. I’m not sure it’s revolutionized my life, but it sure has simplified it: now, instead of constantly worrying about misplacing my keys or my iPhone, I only have to worry about misplacing both at the same time.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – What do a four-rotor, remotely-piloted vehicle, touch-screen car audio and a little, Bluetooth-armed facsimile of a plant stem have in common? Not much. Yet they’re all concoctions from French-based Parrot; the latter is their newest gadget, a sensor-laden gardening device they’ve named the Flower Power.
For all intents and purposes the latest, 7th generation iPod nano is nothing new. We’ve seen it all before: the widescreen form factor, the touchscreen display. What is new is that we’ve never seen these features in this configuration.
That’s what paradoxically makes the 2012 iPod nano the best one yet: it’s an agglomeration of the best features of the nanos that came before.
It is as though the best features of all previous generations of this protean device are refined and combined into this latest “Lucky Seventh” iteration. Now the iPod nano is the right height, the right shape, the right screen size, the right colors, and perfectly simple. It is what the iPod nano was always meant to be — a good-looking, on-the-go music player.
There really aren’t that many home automation products that blow my mind, but Lockitron has got me drooling. I want to live in the future. A place where my cellphone is the only thing I need to carry with me. I hate carrying keys, and Lockitron just might help me ditch them completely with its simple keyless entry beauty that’s something out of Star Wars or Minority Report or any other sci-fi movie.
Apple neglected to give its iPod line any real attention last year, and so it seems likely the devices will receive a much-anticipated refresh before the holidays. Still, we’ve seen little evidence of this, but one German rewards club has promised that there will be a new iPod nano this fall, and that the “old” model is no longer available from Apple.
Wahoo's low-power sensor should last as long as a regular cyclocomputer.
There are probably hundreds of apps that will turn your iPhone into a mobile fitness device, using the phone’s GPS to track your speed and from there derive calories burned, route taken and so on. Some of them even connect wirelessly through a dongle to heart-rate monitors and the like. It’s like having a coach in your pocket, only he doesn’t wake you up in the morning by shouting at you.
Now, though, things are going to the next level. Wahoo’s new Blue SC speed and cadence sensor talks direct to the iPhone via low-powered Bluetooth 4, letting it communicate directly with your bike.
Ask what the next revolutionary feature for the iPhone will be, and NFC is a common answer. NFC — or near-field communications — is an ultra low-power chip that allows two devices to communicate small strings of information within a couple feet of each other.
Why’s it so revolutionary? The most commonly cited “magic” that NFC would bring to the iPhone would be the ability to use your device to pay for goods and services, just like a credit card.
In other words, instead of pulling out your wallet to buy groceries, get onto the subway or pick up a MacBook at the local Apple Store, you’d just tap your iPhone against a point-of-sale terminal near the register instead. The NFC chips in both would communicate and you’d be on your way, no signature or PIN code required.
Pretty neat, huh? NFC would theoretically allow Apple to take a cut of real world sales made of even non-Apple products. They’d become a mobile payment company. That seems like such a no-brainer that everyone from Bloomberg to The New York Times.
The only problem? Never going to happen, because Apple has already deployed its mobile payment solution, and it’s hidden inside every iPhone 4S that has already been sold.
The specter of Apple's rumored iTV looms large over CES 2012
The Consumer Electronics Show has officially kicked off here in Las Vegas, and if there’s one thing every Mac fan should go into CES knowing, it’s that the whole television industry is petrified of Apple entering it.
As CEA’s Chief Economist and Director of Research Shaun Dubrovik made clear in his introductory presentation on the trends they expect to see this year at CES 2012, the whole television industry is scrambling. They are all trying to anticipate just what the heck Apple is going to do when they unveil their long rumored television, the iTV.
What are TV makers betting that Apple has up its sleeves? A bezel-less, ultra high resolution TV that runs apps and is controlled by a mixture of gestures and voice control and effortlessly interact with tablets and smartphones.
No wonder they’re scared: no one is better positioned to roll out a next-gen television that does all of the above things than Apple.
Thanks to a leak through Apple’s own website, we’re all expecting a refresh to its MacBook Pro family to introduce faster Sandy Bridge processors. According to the latest rumor, they’ll be ready to purchase from next week.