The Stratus XL controller takes iOS gaming to the next level [review + giveaway]

By Jim Gresham on Dec 15, 2014

Since Apple announced MFi controller support for iOS games, fewer options appeared than originally anticipated. The reason for a slow response is a bit surprising. However, my point of view is slightly skewed as an iOS accessory hardware reviewer. Still, I cannot imagine why app developers would not want to build in the support. Even more shocking is the small list of hardware options.

At CES 2014, it seemed like controllers would be the new thing. Unfortunately, several companies I chatted with never released their controller. We have come a long way since January 2014 and a full year plus another six months since the MFi controller support protocol released at WWDC.

SteelSeries was one of the first companies to-market with their SteelSeries Stratus. The Stratus was an extremely small MFi controller, but perfect for on-the-go gamers. Recently, they released the Stratus XL, a full sized battle tested design, similar to a true console handheld. After settling down with the XL, it changed the way I look at iOS as a gaming platform. Read More


Selfy case kinda turns your iPhone into a GoPro

By Jim Gresham on Dec 7, 2014

Where do I even begin talking about selfies? Everyone loves a good selfie. They are wildly popular across the world, even causing South Korea to ban “unregulated” selfie stick sales. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, and other forms of popular social media channels are completely filled with selfies. What caused our self obsession will never be explained, but the selfie is here to stay.

The selfie stick was one of the first hardware selfie assistants. I saw them around touristy places when I traveled, but didn’t think much of them about a year ago. Now, they are increasingly popular and being utilized in everyday places. Several iterations of selfie-inspired accessories cropped up and iLuv is capitalizing on the fad. Launching “selfy,” iLuv guarantees you will always have a quick way to snap a selfie and includes a laundry list of add-ons to assist. Read More


Good deal: 41% off this remote control mini drone

By Cody Lee on Nov 26, 2014

Folks looking to pick up something different this holiday season for that special someone, or even themselves, may want to check out the SKEYE Nano Drone. The remote control quadcopter is small enough that it can be flown almost anywhere, and right now deal site StackSocial is offering it at a steep discount.

UPDATE: You can get this mini drone for even cheaper from Amazon.

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are guaranteed to be a hot-ticket item this holiday season. The SKEYE differs itself from the rest of the pack with its size and agility. It measures just 1.57×1.57 inches and utilizes a 6-axis flight control System, making it perfect for performing stunts. Read More


The MOTO TC is a fun iPhone controlled rally race car

By Jim Gresham on Oct 6, 2014

If you are ready to hit the pavement, I suggest grabbing the Griffin MOTO TC Rally iPhone controlled toy car. That’s right, no additional hardware is required, just your iPhone and the Bluetooth 4.0 controlled race car. As a child, teenager, and even as an adult, one of the biggest rushes in the toy world is remote controlling a toy car. Growing up, I used to make race tracks in the pine needles behind my parent’s house. Not much has changed.

Bringing my childhood excitement in line with the 21st century, the MOTO TC is not only iPhone controlled, but also utilizes virtual damage control, weapon systems, and can monitor lap times. It is essentially like playing a console racing game, but with actual hardware. Read More


Philips expands iPhone-connected line with hue lux, tap and luminaires

By Cody Lee on Mar 28, 2014

Philips’ iPhone-connected Hue lighting system has come a long way since we first reviewed it in 2012. The company has added a number of products to the lineup over the years, including LightStrips, Bloom bulbs, and bulbs for recessed lighting installs. And today, it’s expanding the line even more.

This morning, Philips announced three new upcoming Hue products. The first is known as the ‘hue lux,’ a bulb that can only emit white light, the second is the ‘hue tap,’ which allows you to control the Hue system without the iPhone app, and the third is luminaires, a set of high-end 3D light fixtures… Read More


Google readying iOS remote desktop app unofficially named Chromoting

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2014

Google officially started work on Chromoting, a remote access technology for its Chrome OS, some four years ago.

Later rechristened to Chrome Remote Desktop, the VNC technology resembles Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection software and is designed to allow folks to access virtual desktops.

An Android Chromoting app has been in the works since last year and now a blogger has discovered evidence in the form of support documentation on the Chromium issue tracker website which indicates that an iOS version is also under development.

Why should you care? Read on… Read More


CES 2014: Orbotix announces new ‘Sphero 2B’ connected toy

By Cody Lee on Jan 6, 2014

I hope you’re ready to see a flurry of new products and accessories this week. The PR train known as the Consumer Electronics Show is now in full swing, and a number of companies have already made some big announcements.

The Colorado-based Orbotix got in on the early action. The makers of the popular Sphero ball unveiled its latest connected toy: the ‘Sphero 2B.’ This time it’s a cylinder, instead of a ball, and it’s twice as fast as the current Sphero… Read More


Good deal: 28% off iPhone-controlled Cobra iHelicopter

By Cody Lee on Nov 17, 2013

We’ve seen a lot of good deals on Apple-related gear over the past few days. There’s the Steve Jobs/Jony Ive book combo for 55% off, the iPhone 5/5s accessory bundle for 46%, and today we have another one to share with you.

Stack Social is offering the popular Cobra iHelicopter at 28% off. Using an audio jack transmitter, the remote control helicopter can be steered with either an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and it shoots tiny missiles on command… Read More


Check out this tricked-out Toyota 4Runner run by iPads

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2013

Apple likes to tout the fact that people are using iPads in a wide variety of professions and situations. From doctors to film-makers, musicians to photographers, it seems like everyone is finding a use for the popular tablet.

And that includes car enthusiasts. A tricked-out Toyota 4Runner from Herbst Smith Fabrication made some noise at the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas this week for its unique iPad-controlled electronics and stereo system… Read More


Griffin introduces new iOS-controlled ‘Moto TC Rally’ car

By Cody Lee on Nov 8, 2013

Folks in the market for a new remote control car that you can control with an iOS device should check out Griffin’s new ‘Moto TC Rally’ offering. It’s half the price of the recently released Anki Drive kit and uses Bluetooth 4.0.

The fact that it uses Bluetooth 4.0 is huge for a few reasons. In addition to requiring almost no power, this means that you won’t be restricted to line-of-sight, nor will you have to attach a bulky controller pack to your device… Read More


Philips adds new recessed light bulb to its iPhone-controlled Hue lineup

By Cody Lee on Nov 5, 2013

Philips has expanded its Hue line of iPhone-controlled lighting with a new bulb this week, called the BR30. Unlike previous Hue bulbs, the BR30 is designed to fit into recessed sockets to create the effect of light shining from a hole in the ceiling.

The BR30 bulbs are designed to fit the standard E27 screw base and deliver 600 lumens of light. And like other Hue bulbs, they provide a full range of color, except the light is delivered in a downward beam instead of being omnidirectional… Read More


$199 Anki Drive now available in Apple Stores

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2013

At the September double iPhone keynote, Apple’s boss Tim Cook invited guys from Anki up on stage to show off their new innovative game-slash-accessory, Anki Drive, basically an iPhone-controlled system comprised of miniature self-driving cars that race around a vinyl race track.

The successful presentation wowed the audience and the robotics company said shortly after that Anki would launch later in October. And as of yesterday, the Anki Drive is available from the Apple Store for a cool $199… Read More


Anki Drive iPhone-controlled cars launching October 23 for $199

By Cody Lee on Oct 17, 2013

During Apple’s WWDC keynote this summer, Tim Cook called a couple of guys from Anki up on stage to show off their new iOS accessory/game called ‘Anki Drive.’

Anki Drive is essentially a set of self-controlled, iOS-connected vehicles that race around a vinyl race track. The company describes it as a “video game in the real world.”

Although the demo failed initially, folks were impressed by the Anki Drive cars. And many will be happy to hear that they’ll finally be available for purchase next week… Read More


Apple patent turns iPhone into smart home remote

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 27, 2013

The introduction of numerous media devices – from your television to DVD player and stereo – coupled with the growth of smart homes would seem to cry out for Apple-like simplification. It just so happens, there is a patent for that. Apple has patented a way to control your home media collection right from your iPhone.

The patent, filed a half-decade ago by the creator of the iTunes Remote app, uses “scenes” to adjust your home multimedia to fit settings like “Romantic Movie Night”, “Dinner,” or simply “Relax.”… Read More


Parrot unveils new AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition

By Cody Lee on Aug 17, 2013

In January of last year, Parrot took the wraps off of its AR.Drone 2.0 at the Consumer Electronics Show. And needless to say, the easy-to-fly iPhone-controlled quadricopter, with its built-in 720p camera, wowed the crowds.

Unfortunately, though, the AR.Drone 2.0 suffered from a problem similar to its predecessor—battery life. The RC vehicle could only fly for about 15 mins on a single charge. But that’s about change with the new Power Edition… Read More


Orbotix announces faster, brighter Sphero 2.0

By Cody Lee on Aug 14, 2013

The Sphero ball was one of the first iPhone-controlled accessories to hit the market back in 2010, and it has long been a favorite of enthusiasts. The baseball-sized rolling ball can be remotely controlled via an iOS or Android app.

Today, Orbotix announced the successor to the Sphero ball: Sphero 2.0. The upgraded accessory is more than twice as fast as its predecessor—capable of rolling at 7 FPS—and three times as bright, with more LEDs and colors… Read More


Logitech to launch Harmony remote for iOS this August

By Cody Lee on Jun 20, 2013

I received a Logitech Harmony remote for Christmas last year, and it’s been by far my most frequently used gift. It’s completely replaced 5 of my living room remotes, it’s easy to run, and it took me less than 15 minutes to set it up using my computer.

This being said, you can imagine how excited I was when Logitech announced last night that it would be bringing its Harmony line to iOS (and Android) via the Ultimate Hub. The accessory, it says, will turn your smartphone into an all-in-one remote… Read More


Check out this house outfitted with $80k in iPad-controlled gear

By Cody Lee on Nov 26, 2012

Home automation has been around for decades. But with the recent advent of the smartphone and the tablet, the market has started to evolve much more quickly. Just look at products like the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Philips Hue.

It seems like you can control pretty much anything with your smartphone or tablet these days, and we’ve come across a cool example of that. Check out this video of a house that has $80 grand of iPad-controlled home automation equipment… Read More


iHelicopters release a new iDevice-controlled toy: the iUFO

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2012

iHelicopters, the makers of iPhone-controlled vehicles are on a roll again. After creating a lineup of iPhone-controlled helicopters, RC cars and the rocket-launching Cobra copter, their latest offering is the iUFO. As the name suggests, it’s a flying device that resembles an unidentified flying object. Its rotor system is maneuverable via your iPhone, iPad or iPod using a free app that talks to the unit via the transmitter which plugs in the headphone jack .

Its spherical design is aimed at protecting the rotors from hitting nearby objects and breaking. The manufacturer says the system even allows iUFOs to roll over the ground without crashing the rotors and says you don’t have to worry about crashing the unit against the walls or ceiling… Read More


Romo the robot is back and better than ever

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2012

Romo the robot first appeared last November as a Kickstarter project. It was essentially a fully motorized, acrylic robot that was both controlled and powered by an iOS device. And despite looking like a build-it-yourself hobby-bot, it collected well over $100,000 in pledges.

Well this year, Romo is back and better than ever. The robot has been redesigned from the circuit board up, and has been improved in almost every way imaginable. It looks better, goes faster, thinks smarter and is much easier to use… Read More

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