Steve Ballmer crashes CES keynote and other Qualcomm tidbits

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2013

Though Microsoft passed on this year’s CES keynote, that didn’t stop the company’s boss Steve Ballmer from making his trademark entrance to last night’s keynote by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. His running out on stage wasn’t on par with the previous bigger than life entrances and the now famous ‘developers’ chant and was in fact a prearranged surprise, but it’s still kinda noteworthy. Ballmer basically praised Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors that power new Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices. Qualcomm made a number of announcements at the show and the company’s keynote wasn’t short on celebrities…
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CES 2013: Sharp talks IGZO display tech

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2013

Sharp, one of Japan’s three struggling consumer electronics giants (the other two are Sony and Panasonic), showed off its IGZO panels at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Last we heard, Apple was hoping to use IGZO tech in upcoming products. It’s interesting Sharp’s demonstration included Corning, the maker of the iPhone’s cover glass that in its third-generation boasts 40 percent higher scratch resistances and 50 percent better overall strength. Sharp’s IGZO technology requires only a fraction of energy compared to traditional LCD screens and provides richer, livelier colors, deeper blacks and overall sharper images while maintaining the thinness of in-cell display tech featured on the iPhone 5Read More


CES 2013: Crayola’s Light Marker for iPad lets you paint in the air

By Cody Lee on Jan 8, 2013

CES didn’t officially start until today, but we’ve already seen a plethora of new mobile products and accessories. We’ve told you about smart watches and smart forks, and even smart automobiles. And now we have something for the kids.

Crayola, easily one of the most recognizable names in art supplies, has teamed up with iOS appendage-maker Griffin to create the Light Marker, a marker-shaped stylus that can draw on an iPad without having to touch the screen… Read More


CES Unveiled: some new products we like

By Jim Gresham on Jan 7, 2013

Last night, CES opened to members of the press with Unveiled to highlight many of the design award honorees and new tech that will be featured across the upcoming show, which starts tomorrow. I was on hand looking for new iOS compatible or Apple accessory products geared toward iOS devices. Check inside for a few of the products I stumbled upon… Read More


CES 2013: Canopy’s Sensus case adds touch controls to the back of your iPhone

By Cody Lee on Jan 7, 2013

As CES marches on, it’s getting tougher and tougher to keep up with all of the different iOS accessory announcements. But we’re trying. Earlier today we saw the Hapifork from Hapilabs, and Griffin’s PowerDock, and now we’ve got an interesting case to show you.

The Sensus iPhone case, from Canopy, is very unique in that it has a 10-point touch sensor across the back, and built into the sides of it. This enables users to interact with applications and perform other tasks without actually touching the handset’s display… Read More


CES 2013: Griffin’s new PowerDock charges five devices simultaneously

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2013

Griffin Technology is on a roll at CES 2013. Among the product announcements they made at the show is this ultimate charging station that I’d definitely make good use of, the PowerDock 5. As the name implies, the main advantage is its  design which makes possible charging of up to five iPhones, iPods or iPads at once, an indispensable feature for families that mostly use Apple’s mobile products (I know, filthy rich people).

Each of its five charging bays conveniently has a 10-watt, 2.1-amp power supply so you can store and charge, say, five power-hungry, full-size third and fourth generation iPads simultaneously. As if that weren’t enough, the badass accessory even accommodates your iPads in their cases. What more could you ask from a charging station? Read More


CES 2013: a ‘smart’ fork arrives, but will it help you eat less?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2013

We already have smart TVs (Samsung leads the charge), as well as smart ovens, smart laundry and smart vacuum (all coming from LG in 2013). Heck, we’re increasingly wearing app-enabled smart watches around our wrist (we’re looking at you, Apple). It really is no surprise then that gadget makers now expect we’ll monitor our eating habits using a ‘smart’ fork?

Enter the Hapifork from Hapilabs, an unusual app-enabled accessory coming this Spring to “greatly improve your digestion”, up to the point where “you’ll likely start losing weight”. I’m not entirely convinced science exists to back that claim… Read More


CES 2013: Lego debuts iOS-friendly Mindstorms EV3 programmable robots

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2013

Toy maker Lego announced at CES 2013 a new line of iOS-compatible toys that let children and robotics hobbyists create and command robots “that do what you want”. The kit turns your Lego creations into live robots that can be programmed without a computer. Previous Mindstorms incarnation dating as far back to the original model released in 1998 all required a PC. The Mindstorms EV3 kit comes with the EV3 Intelligent Brick, a programmable unit that un‐tethers robots from the computer and sports its own ARM9 CPU with 64GB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage… Read More


CES 2013: Hyundai to integrate Apple’s Siri into its vehicles

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2013

After General Motors announced in November it was going to be one of the first car companies to market its new Chevy Sonic and Spark vehicles with the new Siri Eyes Free feature, today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas car maker Hyundai Motor Company also confirmed it will integrate the feature into its vehicles, although the company did not specify which models will be part of the initiative. More information right past the fold… Read More


Belkin unveils the Thunderstorm, a handheld home theater for your iPad

By Cody Lee on Jan 6, 2013

CES starts today, meaning you can expect to see several new product and accessory announcements over the next 5 days. Earlier today we told you about the Cookoo smart watch, and now it’s Belkin’s time to shine.

Known for Apple accessories like USB cables and keyboard cases, Belkin doesn’t have much of a track record in the audio space. That changes, though, with the Thunderstorm, a new iPad case with built-in speakers…

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CES 2013: Bluetooth Smart-enabled Cookoo watch launches with iOS compatibility

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2013

Among the many exhibitors vying for your attention at the CES show room floor are makers of connected smart watches. Pebble, the most highly funded Kickstarter project to date, already teased “big news” at CES as it readies to finally launch its Android and iOS connected E-Paper Watch.

You can now put Cookoo on your list of CES smart watch announcements. Another Kickstarter project, the Cookoo watch just launched worldwide as an iOS and Android connected accessory supporting low-power Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth 4.0) networking.

In the case of Apple’s platform, the scratch and water-resistant Cookoo watch supports the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad mini, iPad 3/4 and fifth-gen iPod touch and uses a button-cell battery so it doesn’t need to be recharged like typical smart watches do… Read More


Packing gear, gadgets, and survival items for CES

By Jim Gresham on Jan 5, 2013

As we mentioned previously2013 CES will be the largest trade show of its kind, with a massive show floor of 1.86 million square feet and spanning the Las Vegas Convention Center, plus three additional hotels and conference centers. Lucky for me, I am headed on my first religious pilgrimage to this largest of large conferences and the next planning step is packing.

But, what to pack to help me survive the war zone that is the CES show room floor? Check inside for a long list of gadgets, gear, and survival items I’ll be bringing along for the ride… Read More


Can mini iPhone boost Apple past Samsung?

By Ed Sutherland on Jan 4, 2013

It’s a new year, but talk of Apple’s need to produce an inexpensive smartphone is back. This time there is a name for the device: the iPhone mini. Friday, an analyst forecast the company could unveil a cheap iPhone in 2014 to combat Samsung’s handset lead in the face of the high-end smartphone market “nearing saturation”. To break out of its #2 position, Apple must follow Samsung’s success of marketing to many different groups of consumers.

That’s at least the main line of reasoning by analyst Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. To date, Apple has only subsidized iPhones that sell with a contract, in addition to the expensive contract-free offering and the somewhat discounted previous versions of the smartphone. Sooner than later, the company will need to recognize the untapped segment of inexpensive prepaid handsets, an area that could boost it beyond its chief rival… Read More


Corning announces Gorilla Glass 3 ahead of CES

By Cody Lee on Jan 3, 2013

With just a few days left until the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas, Corning, a Kentucky-based glass-maker, has announced the third iteration of its popular Gorilla Glass line.

As most of you know, Gorilla Glass is a high-strength, thin sheet of glass used as a protective cover in many touch screen devices, including Apple products. And version 3 is a lot more durable… Read More


Amid iWatch talk, Pebble teases ‘big news’ at CES

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 3, 2013

Pebble, the company behind the upcoming smart watch of the same name,  is telling its Kickstarter backers that “it’s time” for some “big news” as the company promises to livestream its CES news event January 9 at at 12pm ET. For those unaware, their Pebble E-Paper Watch has been long in the making and last April became the most highly funded Kickstarter project to date, which tells you there’s certainly some demand for such a product.

Should the company finally releases its iOS and Android smart watch, it could breathe new life into the product category that cries for a sprinkle of Apple magic. Or perhaps Pebble Technology figured it better release its gizmo ahead of a rumored iWatch Apple’s reportedly been collaborating on with Intel? Either way, looks like 2013 will be the year of smart watches… Read More


Surprise, Intel faces roadblocks in securing content for its Apple TV contender

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 2, 2013

Yesterday, news broke that chip giant Intel, frustrated with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV”, is prepping its own set-top box and  cable service for an introduction at the CES show, which runs January 8-11 (iDB will be there!). The report noted Intel “has a plan to overcome licensing hurdles” by rolling out the TV service gradually, on a city-by-city basis.

Today, The Wall Street Journal throws its proverbial credibility behind the rumor, but also explains that Intel, just like Apple, has found that Hollywood is proving to be a much tougher nut to crack… Read More


Samsung’s upcoming TV has ‘an unprecedented new shape’. Is it translucent? Frameless? Retina?

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 1, 2013

Say what you will about Samsung of South Korea, but the company is leading the Smart TV revolution at a time when the once mighty Japanese consumer electronics giants like Sony, Panasonic and Sharp are struggling to stay afloat. Last week the firm teased an upcoming TV launch with a charming video suggesting that “all the TVs are rushing to see Samsung’s new TV” at CES.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the clip closes rather dramatically with a shot of a large TV set hidden behind a white sheet. Following up, Samsung has now shared an intriguing image via its official blog that raises more questions than it answers… Read More


Intel might launch own Apple TV competitor and cable service at CES

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 1, 2013

The world’s leading chip maker Intel, which supplies processors for Apple’s Mac notebooks and desktops, is reportedly prepping to launch its rumored virtual cable TV service and set-top box because the company was frustrated with “everyone doing a half-assed Google TV so it’s going to do it themselves and do it right”, according to sources that spoke with TechCrunch.

Intel allegedly “has a plan to overcome licensing hurdles” that Apple reportedly has been facing for some time in its attempts to woo big-budget Hollywoood studios. The semiconductor giant will apparently roll out the service on a city-by-city basis rather than nationwide, opting to cut content deals on a per-market basis.

Apple, of course, has long been rumored to be testing prototypes of a full-fledged 46 to 55-inch television sets as the living room remains “an area of intense interest” for the Cupertino giant… Read More


iDownloadBlog heads to CES 2013

By Jim Gresham on Dec 31, 2012

Boasting more than 40 years of experience, the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is the largest event of its type across the world and this year is no exception. As we head to January 8, the whole tech world is preparing for the largest trade show in global history, with a show floor of 1.86 million square feet. Thousands of companies, techies, press, and gadgets will be huddled together at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada.

I will be heading to Vegas to cover all of the action focused around iOS devices, which includes everything from third party hardware to software. Representing iDownloadBlog as an an official member of the press, I will have access to preshow events and additional after hours meetings with some of the big names surrounding iOS compatible products. To keep everyone in the loop, this article is an opportunity to give our readers a preshow look at what to expect from an attendee’s perspective… Read More


Netatmo’s Urban Weather Station is for the weather guru

By Jim Gresham on Nov 20, 2012

I love the weather. No real reason in particular, but fascination started as a young child when I would rush home from school to track Hurricanes on the Weather Channel, despite living nowhere near the coast. When I first read about the first iOS specific Netatmo Urban Weather Station a month back, I was fascinated with the ability to monitor the temperature, both in and outside my house. A weather nerd at heart, I think this is an awesome piece of hardware. To the weather novice, it is still a great addition for your connected home. Below, we take a look at the personal weather station that just received CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award honoree in three categories… Read More