The French have a history of coming up with some pretty fascinating ideas. Some don’t work out too well. Some are ingeneous. The VEA Buddy watch looks like it fits in the latter category. What makes it different than the deluge of other smartwatches that have recently arrived: It might actually be brilliantly (French word, by the way) practical.
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There’s this really cool, funny, slick video made by a bunch of Israelis called Sight, in which a guy walks around in a world where everything he sees is overlayed by augmented reality. Everything. All the time. Sounds far-fetched? Not so much anymore.
Today, Metaio announced that their new augmented-reality chip, called the Metaio AREngine, will make its debut in ST-Ericsson phones — in a handset(s) that may be available to the public as soon as the end of this year, or early 2014 if things move more slowly.
Like the Plantronics Voyager Legend we reviewed a few months ago, Jabra’s new folding-boom Motion series incorporates motion sensors — so they can do things like automatically answer calls when you place the headset to your ear, and even automatically adjust the volume.
If you’ve been waiting for Apogee’s pro, multichannel Quartet to finally become iPad-compatible since we mentioned it last month, time’s up — it’s ready.
You know about Magnetyze, right? It’s a system that lets you charge an iPhone 4/S or Galaxy S3 without the need for a cord. Pop your iPhone into the provided case, then drop the case on the magnetic charging base and your iPhone will charge (and sync) — it works kind of like the MagSafe power adapter on a MacBook. It’s really cool on the S3, because the Magnetyze case replaces the S3’s original back, so there’s almost zero extra bulk. Neat.
As video surveillance goes, Netgear’s VueZone system is about as easy and user-friendly as it gets. But does VueZone sacrifice power and performance for ease-of-use? We tested the two-camera system, which cam with two motion-detecting cameras, four magnetic mounts and the master gateway for $290. It also came with a one-month trial subscription to the Premier service subscription; the no-frills Basic service, which allows you to montitor up to two cameras remotely from your computer, is free.
Boy, things are really heating up in the minimalist heck-with-all-this-crap-I-only-want-to-carry-one-thing space. Earlier this week, Distil Union unveiled Wally, basically a strip of leather that clings tenaciously to the back of your iPhone, with a small cavity you can fill with cards or cash.
But the $35 Crossover, created over at crowdsource-design site Quirky, looks like it might be even more minimalist than Wally — it’s just two silicone straps that grip the edges of your iPhone. And it comes in all kinds of colors to boot.
Back when I lived in SoCal, I was fixated with the coast. The sand, the surf, the sailboats. In fact, I often sailed out of Oxnard, a sleepy seaside burb just north of Los Angeles, which also happens to hide Mac-friendly bag-maker HEX.
Makes sense, then, that they’d launch the nautically themed Cabana collection, a heavily striped gathering of MacBook carriers and cases, and even an iPhone case. And nothing says “boating” more than a copious helping of stripes. But the bags aren’t just all about looks; they’re also all constructed of tough, water-resistant waxed canvas. I can practically hear the seagulls.
That’s right — instead of a case that turns your iPhone into a wallet, Wally, the latest Kickstarter project from Distil Union, sort of does the opposite. It’s a slip of leather that attaches to the back of an iPhone 4 or 5 via something called “micro-suction,” and creates a cavity with just about enough space for three of your most-used cards.
I have a complicated relationship with gloves. On the one hand, I love that they keep my fingers from falling off in frigid weather. But then there’s the frustration at their complete lack of cooperation when I’m trying to use the touchscreen on my phone. As a result, I end up either constantly removing and re-donning my gloves in an endless cycle that freezes my delicate fingers anyway — or abandoning my phone altogether in disgust.
The problem is that most touchscreens rely on our fingers to act as conductors, and conventional gloves block that conductivity. But glove-makers have rolled with the times, and there are solutions — gloves that allow conductivity to pass through the glove’s fabric and onto the screen. One of the most buzzed about is Outdoor Research’s Sensor Gloves ($69), which use real leather that doesn’t appear or feel any different than leather used in non-conductive gloves.