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Tag Archives: smartphones

ComfortWay iPhone Case Provides Cheap Data Roaming

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Modern smartphone have transformed our data usage habits, which is fine as long as you’re in your home country, paying your reasonable rates. But the minute you travel you expose yourself to exorbitant roaming charges. ComfortWay is working on a pretty cool Travel Case for the iPhone 5/5S, and 6, that could give you up to 200MB a day for as little as $2/day. The case contains a configurable SIM that will download the proper carrier settings as soon as you launch the companion app, after arriving at your destination of course. Once logged in, it turns itself into a WiFi hotspot that your iPhone (and up to 9 other devices) then connects to. Oh, and did we mention there’s a 2,400 mAh battery in there as well?

The protocol is HSPA+, which boasts speeds up to 42Mb/s; that’s plenty fast even for HD video. After you’ve reached the 200MB cap, speeds are reduced to 128Kbps. It’s a pay-as-you-go type of product, with credits easily added through Visa, MasterCard or Paypal, in the companion app.

All in all, it sounds like a great product, but seeing as it’s a Kickstarter, it’s far from being available. A pledge of $79 will save you a spot, but that’s the Early Bird pricing. And if it does reach its goals, expect to see the case around May 2015.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

This Prototype OLED Screen Can Fold Into Thirds

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The large screen size of the new iPhone 6 Plus has rekindled the conversation of just how big these devices will get. More screen real estate is always a good thing, but a pocket-bursting phone that looks like a tablet not so much. That why bending screens may be a way to have your cake and eat it too. The above prototype OLED screen, developed by Japanese firm Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, better known as SEL Co. Ltd, fully folds down into thirds, while remaining completely functional. It has been tested to fold and unfold up to 100,000 times, so durability isn’t an issue; that’s two bending sessions a day… for 137 years. The screen itself measures 8.7-inches, and has a 1080p resolution, giving a 254ppi pixel density. And as cool as it is, there’s clearly no word on when or even if this particular model might ever make its way to actual devices you can buy. Still, it’s nice to know the tech is being developed and it’s probably just a matter of time until we start seeing bending devices pop up on the market.

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[ Nikkei Tech article ] VIA [ Digital Trends ]

Chargerito Is The World’s Smallest Phone Charger

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Claims to be the “world’s smallest” anything tend to be taken with a grain of salt around these parts. Looking at the Chargerito, however, it’s really hard to imagine the company being wrong in claiming to have developed the world’s smallest phone charger. Just look at the thing. It measures 2.1″ x 1.3″, which is about the size of a standard car key fob. You can just toss this in your pocket and feel the reassurance of knowing that you’ll be able to top up your battery pretty much anywhere you go.

Chargerito is a $19 pre-order, and comes in Apple’s Lightning cable version or Micro-USB.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Stylish LG G3 Sets New Standards

Brought to you by LG G3.

The latest addition to join LG’s G series, the LG G3 phone is sleek, stylish and innovative to its core. Offering an even more sophisticated look and feel from other popular devices in the family, the G3 also delivers a simplified user experience. The device features a gorgeous 5.5-Inch Quad HD display for a fuller viewing experience, a metallic fingerprint-resistant brushed exterior and Laser Auto Focus to cut down on the time it takes to focus. 

LG G3 PreRoll Video.mov_snapshot_00.06_[2014.07.14_15.29.42]

For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/LGMobile

LightFreq Bulb Does A Lot More Than Just Change Colors

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The exposure received by the Philip’s Hue being sold in Apple Stores has gotten lots of people thinking about smart LED bulbs that change colours through an application on your phone. It’s a hot niche right now, and Lightfreq is an interesting new entrant. Aside from the aforementioned colour-changing abilities, the bulb has built-in speakers that play music of a quality allegedly “rivalling the Beats Pill”. And if you buy more than one bulb, the Follow Me feature enables the sound to follow you from room to room, turning itself off in the room you left and picking up in the new one. The same principle goes for illumination: you won’t have to remember to turn lights off ever again! Built-in microphones also give the bulb an intercom ability, letting you, say, talk to someone in the kitchen while you’re in the bedroom, while a wake-up mode slowly increases brightness at a preset time until you’re awake.

There are tong of features and if it works as advertised, LightFreq could make a splash in the scene. It’s a $55 pledge for early-birds, with the price jumping up to $70 afterwards.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

iSwimband Helps Prevent Kids From Drowning

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According to the CDC, “from 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.” That’s much too large a number, and if the iSwimband pictured above can help bring it down even just a bit, we’re all for it. This device basically alerts you when it senses that one of your children could be in danger of drowning. There are two models: one is for swimmers and is worn around the head, the other is a wristband for younger kids and those who don’t swim yet. The swimmer’s headband lets kids go in the water, but will alert you on your phone if it senses its been under water for too long. The non-swimmer’s wristband however will immediately ping you if it gets wet. This way you can step away from the pool for a couple of minutes, or read that book, without having to worry that your kid will disobey you and actually get in the water like you told him not to. It’s $99 for a set including the app, and two sensors.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

GoTenna Keeps You Connected, Even Off The Grid

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There are times when cellular services just stop working. Whether it’s because we’re off the grid in the wilderness, or in the middle of a natural disaster, our lives have become dependant on being able to communicate with one another and when outages happen, we tend to freak out. GoTenna is a device that connects to a smartphone and allows it to communicate with another GoTenna-connected phone, even when you have no service. It uses low-frequency radio waves to transmit low-density data over long distances, which in ideal conditions can give you a 50.5 miles range. You can send texts to one another, or share locations so you can find your loved ones even when everyone around you is desperately trying to use their cellphones to do the same. You can even send encrypted messages to one another which aren’t stored anywhere.

It’s a powerful device with tons of features and we feel it completely warrants the $150/pair asking price. That’s the pre-order rate, which is expected to go up to $300 for a pair once it fully hits retail distribution. It ships in late Fall 2014.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ C|Net ]

Shazam for iOS Now Integrates With Rdio

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With its latest update, Shazam has gotten considerably more useful. On more than one occasion have I Shazam-ed a song only to have to then manually launch Rdio, search for it, and then play it. It’s annoying and unnecessary and I had been waiting for this kind of integration for a long time. Now, whenever you tag something, you’re given the option to play it in Rdio, or better yet, to play the song directly in Shazam without even needing to launch Rdio separately. The integration is seamless and really well done. It’s an obvious partnership that adds appeal to both services. For users of both, know that the functionality is just an update away, so get to it!

VIA [ UberGizmo ]

InkCase Plus Lets You Have An Energy-Efficient eReader Display Slapped Onto Your Android Handset

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A few friends once mentioned, as they were preparing to drop $600 for a new smartphone, that they were excited at the prospect of using it to read books. Little did they know that most smartphones’ batteries don’t quite hold up to extended use of that sort and gave up on their efforts relatively quickly. Well, these people might want to take a look at the InkCase Plus. It’s a dedicated, modular e-Ink display that nestles into a specially made case. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and is able to go up to 19 hours without needing a charge. This means that you can read a book with no trouble, as well as use it for a variety of other things, like displaying a shopping list, notifications, boarding passes, etc. The device only uses power when it changes what’s on display, which allows it to literally sip on its battery for days at a time. Only turn on your phone’s giant, battery-devouring screen when you really need it.

Sure, it’ll add some bulk to your phone, although not that much: it weighs 45g and is only 5mm thick. The best part is that you can get in on the action for as little as a $79 pledge at the moment. It’s for the Galaxy S5 at the moment, though the company says that if there’s enough interest they can make cases for other devices.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]