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Tag Archives: Wireless

Flic: One Button, Many Functions

Flic

Flic sounds too good to be true, but yet it’s here– well, almost here, anyway, since it’s currently up for funding on Indiegogo. It’s a wireless smart button that can be be programmed to perform a host of functions at the push of a button. It works in conjunction with the Flic app so you can assign which tasks to let it perform when you click, double-click, or hold the button.

Here are just some things it can do: take a picture, control lights, play music, find your phone, open the door (by working with your home automation system), navigate, share your location, and send a message.

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Chat Off the Grid Without WiFi or Mobile Coverage with FireChat

FireChat

With FireChat, you’ll be able to chat with anyone close to you location-wise, even when there’s no WiFi or when you’re outside the coverage area of your mobile network. It works by making use of the Multipeer Connectivity Framework built into Apple’s iOS 7. Think of it as being a peer-to-peer WiFi-Bluetooth connection of sorts where you’ll be able to send text messages and even images without the usual service or connectivity requirements.

FireChat works best in “Nearby Chat” mode where you have to be within 30 feet of the person you’re chatting with. The app is available for free on iTunes.

[ FireChat App ] VIA [ Laughing Squid ]

Print Photos Anytime, Anywhere With LifePrint

LifePrint

LifePrint brings something different to the table when it comes to wireless printers. It connects to your iOS or Android device via WiFi or Bluetooth so you can print pictures mere seconds after you’ve taken them. It works with an app that lets you print 3″ x 4″ photos even when you’re away from home or wherever the printer is. You’ll also be able to beam and print images on your friend and family’s printers when you want to share moments as they happen.

LifePrint is also a “physical” photo social network as it lets you follow your favorite photographers, celebrities, family, and friends, printing out images they share to you in turn.

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Nymi Bracelet Replaces Passwords With Your Heartbeat

Nymi

Bionym takes security one step further with Nymi, which combines Bluetooth proximity detection technology and electrocardiograms to create a new authentication process. The device is meant to be worn as a bracelet and measures the wearer’s cardiac rhythm, which is unique to each person. This rhythm is then used as a password of sorts to unlock digital and physical devices, from smartphones and laptops to doors and other objects.

Once Nymi recognizes the wearer’s heartbeat, it communicates wirelessly to unlock nearby devices. It’ll keep going until the wearer removes it or when someone else wears it. At that point, it will detect a different cardiac rhythm and lock that person out.

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Forget How Many Calories You’re Eating; How About How Many Are You Actually Burning?

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The fitness tech field is crowded with a bunch of devices like the FitBit or the Nike Fuel Band, which keep track of your daily activities and are able to tell you with great detail just how many calories you’ve burned and how active you are. However, all these devices make some assumptions about one pretty essential piece of information: your resting metabolic rate. Without knowing exactly how many calories your body burns before you even start exercising, you have to use approximations to get to your daily total. The Breezing Portable Metabolism Tracker hopes to change that.

Using indirect calorimetry, the device measures the levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in your breath and uses this information to determine your basic, resting metabolic rate (RMR). It then communicates the result to your smartphone, for easy tracking. Not only does it tell you how many calories you burn at rest, it can tell you whether your body is burning fat, carbohydrates or both. This is important information to people who would like to know if the special diets they’re following are working. It’s also useful for those who are practicing exercise routines meant to increase RMR, like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

Used in combination with devices like the Fitbit, it’s becoming possible to get a comprehensive picture of your body’s energy flow. For data nerds, this is heaven. The Breezing device is currently undergoing funding at IndieGogo, and a $250 will get you one.

[ Project Page ]

The Soloshot Keeps You In The Frame, No Matter Where You Are

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Some of you may harbor the desire to create videos of yourselves in the process of committing shenanigans of various sorts, and this always implies a certain amount of logistics. For one, whether these are acts of skillful sporting display, or simply running around while flailing your arms, you’ll usually need a second person to pan the camera to keep you in the shot. The Soloshot removes the need for that friend. It’s a robotic camera base on which you can mount any recording device with a tripod mount, and which then follows your movements thanks to a wireless transmitter armband. “It can rotate at speeds of up to 40º per second all the way around, and can track subjects up to 2000 feet away moving at speeds up to 140 mph.”

Replacing your friends with a robotic device doesn’t come cheap. The Soloshot is $480, but has the extra advantage of not judging you every single time you fail that jump.

Keep reading for a video of it in action, as well as links.

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ShockBox Is A G-Meter For Potential Head Injuries

Playing contact sports is all fun and games (literally) until someone gets a concussion, or worse. It’s not always easy to tell between the player that’s laying on the ground because he got the wind knocked out of him, or the one that needs medical attention because his brain got a shakeup. The ShockBox is a special sensor that is meant to be placed either on or inside a helmet, and it contains two things: an accelerometer and a Bluetooth radio. Should any one player experience a severe hit, a signal is immediately sent to a paired smartphone (say, the coach’s) with impact data and analysis. It uses long range Bluetooth, so the device has a range of up to 100m, and one smartphone can pair with up to 128 sensors at once. This means you could conceivably monitor an entire team, and provide medical assistance when needed. ShockBox installs with 3M double sided tape, which is provided with your $149 unit. Yeah, that’s a lot of money to fork over when you’re decking out an entire high school football team, but if you’ve got the budget, you don’t want to be skimping on safety.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Researcher Claims It’s Possible To Create A Pacemaker Virus

This is some scary stuff. Apparently, in a presentation at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne, IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack discussed a vulnerability in a brand of pacemaker that could be used to deliver fatal shocks to their wearer’s hearts. It seems this as-yet-unspecified brand of pacemaker contains a secret wireless backdoor that could be accessed by hackers up to 30 feet away, and which would allow them to either kill immediately or (perhaps more alarmingly) reprogram the pacemaker to turn it into an autonomous source of infection. The wearer could go then around, unknowingly “infecting” other patients and spreading the virus to the population, making them vulnerable to lethal attacks at any moment.

It is indeed a scary situation but is fortunately not one that is necessarily imminent. Barnaby’s type of “white hat” hacking is meant to raise awareness and potentially lead to tighter software security among manufacturers. He hasn’t released any details that would allow less scrupulous people from exploiting this vulnerability, though there’s no mention if the manufacturer in question has rectified the situation yet.

[ SCMagazine ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

This Mouse Doubles As A Vibration Device (wink wink)

It’s nice when products are able to do more than one thing. We usually call that convergence and it sort of makes sense, like when your phone also browses the Interwebs. That makes sense. Or if your printer can also scan; that too makes sense. We’re not so sure about the Massager Mouse. Officially, it’s a computer mouse that offers up to 10 vibration levels and 2 vibration patterns and is meant to “relieve stress”. But, uh, it’s being displayed at EroFrame 2012 which happens to be a sex show. So when the product description includes “ambidextrous design” as a feature, we know what they’re hoping you’ll do with it. Even its shape and the use of a mood-setting LED is clearly designed with one thing in mind, and we don’t really believe that it’s stress relief. Although, really, stress would be relieved as a side-effect, we suppose.

All this being said, if we ever see that thing on anyone’s desk, you can be sure we won’t touch it with a 10 ft pole. There’s no price or availability information but we hear it’ll also be at CES, so we’ll try to update you on that when we go.

[ Product Page (down at the moment) ] VIA [ Geekosystem ]