LAS VEGAS -- It's easy to find Bluetooth products that turn solid surfaces—like your desk—into a speaker. Finding one that sounds really good is a harder task, but Bass Egg thinks it has that covered with its new Verb. The Verb vibrates to bounce air off hard surfaces that converts to sound waves, making your wood, metal, stone, or glass surfaces act as omnidirectional speakers. It's anodized aluminum body holds up under abuse, the audio range it offers goes beyond what we've heard from competing products. The Bass Egg Verb is priced at US$99.95, and the crew we spoke with at CES 2015 told us that soon you'll be able to gang them up for stereo audio, too.
Virtually everyone plays a game on their iPhone. And those of a particular vintage appreciate how different games are today than when you played in fear of being eaten by a Grue. We have now arrived at the perfect intersection of both these things: Mayday! Deep Space, a new game much in the style of the old-school text adventure, but this time you control the character using voice commands. It's US$2.99 from iTunes And so far it's the most fun I've had playing a game since Monument Valley. Via Silicon Florist we find out more about the creation of this game, including interviews with the creators. I haven't played for very long yet, but I am completely hooked. I should point out that unless you're known for randomly shouting out directions, this may not be the best choice for killing time in line at the grocery store.
From Apple: "The James Bond films have given us five decades of explosive action and captivating international intrigue. For the first time digitally, you can now own the entire iconic series — from Dr. No to Skyfall — in Bond 50: The Complete 23 Film Collection. This essential bundle is available for a limited-time price until January 12." The average price here is US$4.35 per movie. Moneypenny would be very pleased. Again ... January 12 is the drop dead date for this offer. Plus, see Kelly Guimont's CSF for more on the upcoming Bond movie (#24) "SPECTRE" due to be released in November this year.
Over at TekRevue, Jim Tanous has revisited the use of a RAM disk on two new Macs, a 2013 Mac Pro and a 2014 MacBook Pro. He reports that, "The 2013 Mac Pro features extremely fast PCIe-based flash storage, but it’s no competition for the speed of a 32GB RAM Disk. The internal flash storage hits around 1,200MB/s reads and just shy of 800MB/s writes, but the RAM Disk peaks at 4,800MB/s reads and 5,100MB/s writes. 5.1 Gigabytes per second. Nice." Of course, the RAM disk eats into the available RAM so it's geared for specialized applications that can really use the boost. But it's also volatile, so reboot or lose power and it goes poof. Even so, check out TekRevue's tantalizing tutorial and amazing benchmark tests.
LAS VEGAS - When Apple changed the form factor for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, that means olloclip's add-on camera lenses and cases wouldn't fit any more. The company took care of the lenses, and now it's almost ready to release updated cases, too. The olloclip case has a special cutout to fit its camera lenses, has a hard plastic body for durability, and rubberized edges for grip action. The cases are sleek and good looking, plus they do away with the flip-out panel the previous version needed to give you access to your iPhone's cameras. Final pricing hasn't been set yet, but the company did tell us at CES 2015 it's very close to shipping.
LAS VEGAS - Netatmo has expanded beyond weather tracking with its new Welcome camera that identifies friends and family, and knows when someone is a stranger. As the Welcome snaps more photos it gets better at identifying people you know, and it announces who it sees. The images it captures are stored in an encrypted format so data you want to keep private stays that way, and it includes an iPhone app you can use to set alerts for specific people or receive notifications when you're away from home. Netatmo hasn't set their final pricing yet for Welcome, but the company does plan on shipping the device in the next few months. TMO checked it out at CES 2015, and it looks pretty cool.
LAS VEGAS - Wacom is ramping up its professional graphics tablet game yet again with its brand new Cintiq 27QHD and27QHD touch tablets. Both were introduced at CES 2015 on Tuesday with 2560 x 1140 27-inch built-in display surfaces sporting over 1 billion colors covering 97 percent of Adobe's color gamut. The new Qintiqs support 2048 pressure sensitivity levels and multiple stylus nibs, too. The 27QHD is priced at US$2,299.99. The 27QHD touch, which adds support for touch-based gestures, costs $2,799.99. Both will ship before the end of the month.
LAS VEGAS - French company Devialet was showing off its Phantom Implosive Sound Center Tuesday night at Pepcom. This powered speaker system looks amazing and sounds even better. There's a caveat, though: listening to any speakers or headphones on a convention show floor is a terrible idea. It's just too noisy, but I was impressed with this device. The company designed them so that you can use from 1 to 24 of them together. They sync using Wi-Fi, and they're priced at $1,999 [price corrected] per unit. I have a lot of questions about the Phantom Implosive Sound Center, and I can't wait to test them out. In the video I posted to Instagram, the iPhone did a remarkable job of capturing the sound. Plus, you can see the subwoofers moving. Check it out.
LAS VEGAS - Parrot showed off two new products in its Flower family called Parrot Pot and Parrot H2O. Where the original Parrot Flower monitors your plants and reports conditions to your iPhone or Android device, Pot and H2O both add automated watering. Pot is a self-contained pot for your plant that includes a separate reservoire for water, sensors for monitoring the the soil and exposure to light, and then a mechanism for delivering that water to your plant when it needs it. H2O does the same thing, but it's a standalone device you can use with any pot. H2O gives you three weeks of "autonomous waterimg," while Pot delivers a full month. Plus, it works with PArrot's database of more than 7,000 plants to get it exactly right. Pretty cool, right? Parrot hasn't announced pricing and said only that both devices will ship sometimes in 2015.
LAS VEGAS - Evollve Inc. showed off Ozobot Bit Sunday night at CES Unveiled. This 1-inch robot can sense colored lines, detect patterns such as intersections, read flashing light codes, and play back up to 500 commands. It's also programmable using a color-based code language and a block-based programming editor. The company is aiming it at kids as an interactive tool that can teach them programming skills by allowing them to make their own courses for Ozobot Bit to follow, or by making their own games. The device also interacts with an Android and iOS app. In the included image, several Ozobot Bits are following paths that cross from tablets to hand-drawn paper and back again. Ozobot Bits are shipping now for US$49.99 for one, or a two-pack for $99.99.
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