All items tagged with "Bluetooth"

The iPhone just made room keys obsolete at Starwood hotels

Your iPhone is now a hotel key too: Photo: Starwood Hotels

Your iPhone is now a hotel key too: Photo: Starwood Hotels

The dream of replacing all the pieces of plastic in your wallet with your smartphone got a little closer to reality today as Starwood hotels announced that its new keyless entry system – SPG Keyless – is rolling out to hotels worldwide.

Guests at Aloft, Element, and W Hotels around the globe can now use their iPhone and the SPG app to skip the hotel front desk altogether, walk straight to their room, and unlock it, no key required.

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Stick this wireless, iPhone-controlled light switch on any wall

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.02.10 AM

Photo: Avi-On

Ever been annoyed by the placement of light switches in your house? Is there never one around when you need it? The Avi-on Switch is a new light switch (with an associated iPhone app) that you can literally just stick onto your wall like a Post-It Note, no wiring required.

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Turn your game audio up to 11 with these Bluetooth cans

These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I typically try out a new product for review without reading any of the documentation or media relations stuff that the folks who send us such things want us to look at. I want to have as pristine an experience as possible. Sometimes that leads to little surprises.

I put these new Astro Gaming A38 Bluetooth headphones on my head last week, and paired them with my iPhone to play a little music. After a few songs of various genres, I stopped the tunes and took these off my noggin. I suddenly realized that my girlfriend had been blending up a protein shake in the nearby kitchen. It was surprising because I honestly could not hear it with the headphones on my head and playing music at a relatively low volume – and our blender is really loud.

While they’re great for music, these are also fantastic sounding headphones that help you immerse yourself into any game on your iPad or iPhone, cutting down on the auditory distractions from the outside world when they’re powered up.

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Supercapacitor-powered Bamboo speaker charges in minutes and lasts for hours

This speaker charges in minutes, plays for hours. Photo: Blueshift

This speaker charges in minutes, plays for hours. Photo: Blueshift

A few years ago, Portland resident Sam Beck built a bike-powered speaker that wouldn’t cut off when he stopped pedaling at stoplights. He accomplished such a feat with an amazing new technology: supercapacitors.

Instead of stopping there, however, Beck decided to bring his vision to the portable bluetooth speaker market, and his company — Blueshift — was born. Crowd-funded and open sourced, these gorgeous bamboo speakers charge in minutes and sound amazing for hours. The original unit, called Helium, is a big, bold bamboo speaker that packs a ton of sound.

Beck is releasing a second generation speaker called Hydrogen on crowd-funding site Crowd Supply. This new boombox is smaller and a little less loud, but it’s the same quality and design as its larger sibling, and a little less pricey.

Part of the appeal, for Beck, of figuring out this entirely new way of powering a speaker was the inherent challenge of doing something that no one else had.

“It seemed like such a good idea,” he told Cult of Mac over the phone, “I wondered why no one else was doing it. I saw that there was another way to do things that no one else was doing.”

Check out the video below for more details on this gorgeous high-tech portable speaker cabinet.

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Logitech’s new keyboard with built-in iPad stand lets you dial between devices

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.41.51 AM

Many of us use a Bluetooth keyboard with our Mac or our iPad, but using the same keyboard with multiple devices can be a real pain in the neck, since Bluetooth doesn’t elegantly let you pair one accessory with multiple devices.

For a little while now, Logitech has been trying to massage away that pain with a series of keyboards that can switch between being paired with a Mac and iOS device, but Logitech’s new Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 makes it easier than ever. And it has a built-in stand for your iPad or iPhone to boot.

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Creative Sound Blaster Roar: a powerful Bluetooth speaker with five drivers and built-in subwoofer [Sponsored post]

Creative Sound Blaster Roar: a powerful Bluetooth speaker with five drivers and built-in subwoofer [Sponsored post]

This post is brought to you by Creative Labs, creator of the Sound Blaster Roar.

The Sound Blaster Roar is the epitome of audio quality, features and great looks combined into one device.

Musicality, accurate timbre, tonality, with deep, tight bass within a portable Bluetooth wireless speaker shouldn’t be a pipe dream. Creative Labs boasts of defying these laws of acoustic engineering with their Sound Blaster Roar.

Their innovative acoustic chamber design allows the Roar to adopt an impressive five-driver speaker design, which includes two high-performance amplifiers and a built-in subwoofer. Beyond the audio quality prowess, this Red Dot design award-winning speaker also includes a whole host of nifty features, doubling up as a portable battery bank, MP3 player, voice recorder and a speakerphone.

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Tile Bluetooth tracking tag works great — if you live in San Francisco

The tiny Tile really is small and light enough to use anywhere. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The tiny Tile really is small and light enough to use anywhere. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Tile is a tiny plastic widget that never gets lost. In theory anyway. It talks to your iPhone via low-power Bluetooth and lets you track the Tile itself, and anything the Tile is attached to.

I’ve been using one for the last couple of weeks, and it works just fine. But so far it doesn’t seem to be much more useful than one of those keychain finders that beeps when you whistle. Why? Because to be truly useful, the Tile needs to reach a critical mass of users.

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FCC filing suggests Apple will enter the iBeacon hardware business

iBeacon FCC filing

Apple’s iBeacon technology has potentially massive implications across a range of areas — many of them having been demonstrated over the past year.

Up until now, however, Apple has handled only the software side of the equation with the aid of the microlocation technology found in iOS. That may be set to change with new first-party iBeacon hardware, for which FCC filings have just been uncovered by electronics company Securifi.

Registered as the “Apple iBeacon” and with a model number of A1573, the document describes how the technology was tested in collaboration with the Chinese company Audix Technology, between April 30 and May 13 this year. The beacon in question (at least in the case of the model tested) is USB-powered, has a diameter of 5.46’, and a working frequency of up to 2.4GHz, which is standard for Bluetooth.

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Gadget Watch: New gear to trick out your iPad, your bike and your camera

Logitech’s updated Ultraslim Keyboard Cover is worse in almost every way

ultraslim-2

Old versus new: Logitech takes several steps backward with its next-gen Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Logitech’s updated Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air replaced its predecessor mere months after the original’s launch. The most obvious difference between the two is the flip-out hinge that joins the keyboard to the iPad like a cover to a book, but in reality the two devices are completely different.

Is the new one better? In one way yes. In others? Nope.

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