Home locks are now almost universally featuring smart features with some kind of wireless transmission capability built in. We saw at least three of the latest versions available from Goji, Kwikset, and SimpliciKey at CES this year. All three use a form of wireless capability to remotely open and close a deadbolt locking mechanism, in addition to the more traditional (and now somewhat quaint) metallic key method. All three have mobile control apps that also integrate with lock features or functions. I'll try to boil down what I could learn about each at the show...
I like things that are simple. No wires, no fussy setup and updates. Just plug it in and press play. Korus is producing speaker technology to go head to head with other boutique wireless speaker products, and doing so without annoying lag or cumbersome setup. The V600 ($449.99), and V400 ($349) speakers were both on display at the show, and we got an up-close look and listen of these attractive new speakers. The sound of course was as superb as touted (as much as listening to them on the show floor is possible), but the cool thing is that they use neither Bluetooth nor WiFi to stream, but a frequency-hopping algorithm patented by their engineering team.
The Force ($129.95) is the latest sleek wristband from Fitbit sporting an attractive OLED status screen, and on display here at CES 2014 in force (pun intended). Not only does the latest wearable activity tracker keep tabs on your health stats including sleep quality, and waking motion, but also tracks calories burned, motivates you to stay active, compete with friends, monitors incoming calls, and leverages Bluetooth 4.0 to keep everything in sync (wow, what a mouthful)!
Darn near everything I saw last night at the CES pre-shows in Las Vegas included some kind of wireless. Wireless watches and fitness products galore, wireless bicycle handlebars, a real wireless basketball which tracks your shot-making skills in the cloud (which will be another post entirely.) To put it succinctly, I was wirelessly wowed! I did manage to find a few items that were not so wirelessly connected, but still very cool...
Wow, another year flew by, and can hardly believe I'm here again at CES getting my press badge and gearing up for the writing extravaganza to begin! Several of us from the iPhoneLife writing pool descend upon the show like tech vultures every year, and this year will mark my fourth.
Due to other reviews and the mad holiday and CES email avalanche, I totally missed the press release on this new Sunside game (recently also "greenlit" on Steam Greenlight) called Abducted, which is a space horror RPG that uses the Radiance game engine. The first episode (of several to come) was actually released for iOS back on December 19, 2013, and the game in the US app store has been discounted to $2.99 for a limited time.
If you are still on the lookout for a late holiday gift or gadget, check out the iBN26 from iHome ($79.99). This small portable speakerphone allows you to stream and play your favorite music, as well as make and take calls through the surprisingly peppy Reson8 speakers. With aux-in support, you can also use it to play input from almost any external source.
There's a buzz over Angry Birds Go (free), and 'freemium" titles in general to discuss in this edition of WIPTW. I was not aware that computer bits were being subjected to such draconian work conditions on our devices that they needed to rest; but Angry Birds Go introduces the "energy" concept to the Rovio game chest: a union break for overworked player characters, I suppose. Otherwise, ABG has plenty of good graphics, and is mostly goofy and fun like a cart race should be. Also played this week is the jam-packed action pinball slam of the season called Quantic Pinball ($2.99). If you like pinball, you will gorge yourself on this version.
You probably already knew that iHome has cool audio gear to accessorize your smartphone or mobile computing platform of choice. I had been eagerly awaiting the iB75 since getting a brief demo at CES last January, having scoured the earth for a good pair of active-wear Bluetooth headphones. In this review, I'll go over why the iB75s will make a great stocking stuffer for that on-the-go person on your list.
Three cool titles helped me to overcome a triptophan and carb coma this past week. One of them was an actual zombie-style turkey shoot called Gunner Z (free with many IAPs). The second was a free tunnel race called Boost 2 ($1.99). Finally a platform defense hybrid called Forces of Nature ($0.99). All three made for a delicious gobble weekend of time killing fun!