There’s a project on Kickstarter that I thought was pretty neat called Moonlite. It uses your iPhone flashlight to project stories onto the wall or ceiling. The projections come in the form of a ViewMaster-like reel of images. The words from the story appear on your screen, and each time you click the reel, the app turns the page with new words. It’s a clever marriage of the physical to an app, and I definitely applaud anything that helps parents tell bedtime stories to kids. A lot of folks seem to agree as the project has already raised $294,842, more than 14 times the original goal of $20,000. There’re 53 hours to go in the campaign as of this writing. The video below tells more about the project, and you can read more on the Kickstarter page, too. Funding options that get you a Moonlite start at $35.
We have a deal for you today on a 3-pack of 6.5-foot MFi-certified Lightning cables. You can get them through us for $21.99.
Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the smart home and IoT gear they saw at CES 2017. They also dive into storage and smart fitness tech, too.
Andy Grignon worked on many things during his tenure as an engineer at Apple: iChat AV, iSight, Dashboard … and the radios inside the very first iPhone. Andy took to Facebook last night to offer some reflections on that last bit, 10 years after iPhone’s announcement, and has posted them publicly for all to see. We’ve included the text here in our full article just in case you don’t have a Facebook account, but both his post and the comments over there are worth a read. Andy’s a colorful, honest, and reflective cat. Needless to say also quite smart. Enjoy!
Smile’s TextExpander got a nice update on Monday, assuming you’re a Touch Bar MacBook Pro user. The 6.1.3 update adds Touch Bar support so you can add, organize or delete snippets with a tap, filter snippets, and check your snippet statistics, too. The update also includes better VoiceOver access and fixes a few bugs because everyone else deserves a little something in the download. TextExpander 6.1.3 is a free download and works with Smile’s TextExpander subscription service.
Robert Scoble said Monday that Apple is working with lens powerhouse Carl Zeiss AG on “mixed reality optics.” That’s one of the many terms used for augmented reality, for those keeping score at home. His evidence is circumstantial, at best, but I approve of his reasoning. While at the the Zeiss booth at CES, he learned the company was, “NOT showing off its mixed reality optics.” He then added, “I said ‘Tim Cook didn’t let you,’ and the employees around me smiled nervously.” Again, that’s circumstantial, but Mr. Scoble’s instincts have a good track record. To add further circumstantial speculation, Zeiss is the sort of company Apple might work with on any kind of lens-related product or technology. And we already knew that Apple has at least a thousand people working on augmented reality. So…I buy it.
LAS VEGAS – One of the more unusual devices I saw at CES was Reliefband Technologies‘ self-titled product. This device uses current to modulate the median nerve on the underside of the wrist to control nausea and motion sickness. This is the same spot you can rub for nausea, and it’s the spot targeted by acupuncturists. At this year’s show, the company introduced a new—and infinitely better looking—version called Reliefband Neurowave. While the original Reliefband was functional, it looked like it was designed by engineers in 1989 (you can see it on the company’s site). The new version shown below looks like a modern smartwatch. It adds a display and separates the electronic plates from that display, which means you wear it as a watch. The old version had to be worn so that the ugly interface was underneath your wrist like engineers and pilots sometimes wear watches. I don’t suffer from nausea or motion sickness, but Jeff Gamet is going to test it out for us. The new version is priced at $150 and will ship in the second quarter of 2017. The firm hasn’t yet added the new product to its website.
One can per into a crystal ball and try to predict what Apple will do in 2017. Or one can generate a wish list of things personally hoped for. Far better, however, is to ask some very astute questions about Apple going into 2017. Great questions are valuable guides for analysis as we go along. This is just what Neil Cybart has done. The discussion is on page 2 of last week’s Particle Debris.
Apple Music’s spinoff version of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke will feature 16 episodes per season, each with a different celebrity host. Announced in July and teased further in August, the news that each episode would a different host was announced by Mr. Corden and the executive producers of the show.
Apple unveiled the original iPhone 10 years ago on January 9th, 2007, at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple changed the smartphone world that day and opened the door for a future where mobile computing is the norm, and flip phones, Treos, and Blackberrys are fading memories.
Back from CES, your two favorite geeks have some fun stuff to report about and all of your questions to answer. The latter include things like fixing Mail.app’s CPU-hogging, which hibernatemode to use for your MacBook, and much, much more. Press play and enjoy!
Rod Roddenberry, as part of his Background Mode interview with The Mac Observer, has generously provided us with three copies of The Roddenberry Vault on Blu-ray. We’re going to give away these amazing multi-disc packages to three lucky winners. Read on to see how you can win one for your Star Trek library.
LAS VEGAS – Lattis unveiled the Ellipse Smart Bike Lock at CES last week. In addition to being app-controlled and having a programmable combination lock, this bike lock is solar powered. That makes batteries a non-issue as long as the device sees at least one hour of sunlight per week of usage. It has a built-in accelerometer which the app harnesses for crash alerts with HPS coordinates it can send out to a designated contact. The accelerometer is also used for theft detection alerts. Another nifty feature is the ability to give a friend access through a one-time code you can send out from the app. The shackle is made from chromoly steel, and the lock is substantial. I liked the fit and finish, and the “smart” functions seem to be smart, rather than an attempt to merely bolt an app onto a lock. The device is priced at US$199, and it’s available now.
Rod Roddenberry is a media producer. The son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, he’s following in his father’s footsteps. It all started when Steve Jobs gave Gene Roddenberry an original Macintosh in 1984, and the young Rod started experimenting with MacPaint. Ever since then, Rod has been an Apple enthusiast. Today, Rod is carrying on his father’s work as a producer, the chief executive of Roddenberry Entertainment and the founder of the Roddenberry Foundation. And he’s currently working with the CBS All Access Star Trek: Discovery. Rod’s foundation funds small grants focused on early-stage unconventional ideas that can disrupt and serve the greater good for mankind. Rod and I chatted about all this plus his passion for preserving the Earth’s oceans. We covered a lot of ground in this fascinating interview. You won’t want to miss it.
The folks at Stack Commerce have brought back our deal on the KlickR. This device serves as a go-between for your iPhone and any device with an infrared receiver. Put it onto or next to the receiver and you’ll be able to control it from the companion app on your iPhone or Android device. You can also use voice controls, designate rooms and multiple devices (if you have multiple KlikRs), and more. It’s the kind of device that helps bridge legacy electronics with the Internet of Things, and we have a deal on KlikR for $19.99.
With CES 2017 behind us, Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about what stood out for them. They look at health and fitness, televisions, and more.
Apple’s next iPhone will reportedly sport an OLED display, and now insider sources are saying Sharp ramping up to be a supplier in a Foxconn factory. Sharp is investing about US$864 million in the production line at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou City facility in northern China to make OLED displays, presumably all for Apple.
LAS VEGAS – Kensington is stepping up to the plate with their new Thunderbolt 3 dock for the Touch Bar MacBook Pro. Louie Yao shows its features to Jeff Gamet at CES 2017.
LAS VEGAS – myCharge is well known for their portable batteries for recharging our smartphones and more, and now they’re making sure even the USB-C MacBook and MacBook Pro are covered, too. The company’s RazorPlatinum can juice up your laptop, iPhone, or iPad for US$99.99. The RazorUltra is coming soon and handles your smartphone and tablet for about $60, plus both have USB-A ports for everything else you need to power up. It’s great seeing USB-C batteries hitting the market because we’re going to see the connector showing up even more places—something that’s very clear at this year’s CES.
LAS VEGAS – More than anything else, the question I’m most asked regarding not-yet-existent technology is, “when are we going to get wireless charging?” The answer, thanks to Energous, is “likely this year.” Energous has developed a technology that supports three ranges of wireless charging: near-field contactless, two-to-four feet, and ten-to-fifteen feet. We’ve all seen contactless charging with (some) cell phones and the Apple Watch, but anything beyond that seems like magic. In this video, that’s exactly what you’ll see. I also got to experience the same remote control charging from ten feet away. That’s because devices with Energous’ WattUp receivers can be charged by transmitters of any of the three distances. Contactless is available for manufacturers to use now, and Energous is working to have the remaining distances approved and available within the next year. Power is only sent to the device when a charge is needed and Bluetooth is used to allow the transmitter and receiver to negotiate the connection. The future appears to be right around the corner.