CES – MyCharge Battery Pack With Passthrough Qi Charging

LAS VEGAS – myCharge, long-time makers of quality battery packs and charging bricks, this week announced at CES the upcoming availability of a new portable battery with two Qi surfaces built-in. The US$79.99 Portable Power Bank Unplugged 10K Dual is about the shape of a smartphone, and features a Qi pad on top so that your phone will charge when the battery pack is simply up against it. Cleverly, myCharge has included a Qi coil on the bottom of the pack, as well, allowing it to charge from a Qi pad (like then $29 myCharge Powerdisc shown in the picture). In a true “passthrough” sense, a phone stacked on top of a charging battery pack will see the phone charge first, then the pack afterwards, making for a very convenient setup to have on your desk or bedside table. Stack ’em at night to charge, grab ’em in the morning and go! The myCharge Portable Power Bank Unplugged 10 Dual will be available in March and has a list price of $79.99.

CES – TiVo Demos Alexa, Google, and IFTTT Integrations, Coming in February

LAS VEGAS – TiVo has been making a lot of changes to its user interface lately, and it’s not all just on the surface. Under-the-hood they’ve added some hooks and been hard at work putting all the pieces together for some pretty impressive third-party integrations. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations are pretty far along, and TiVo is close to getting certifications for both of those, likely being available before the end of February. More than just turning TiVo on and off, these voice assistant integrations allow for fairly granular controls, including channel changing, play/pause, rewind, and even commercial skip. IFTTT integrations take this one step further, allowing bidirectional communications. This means TiVo could tell IFTTT that the “press D to Skip” icon is on the screen, and that could trigger an IFTTT skill to send the “skip” message back to TiVo. Yep, auto-skip is available and I’ve seen it in action! Even better news: IFTTT integration will work all the way back to Series 4 (Premier) units and doesn’t require the new Hydra UI (except auto-skip actually will require Hydra, at least at launch). Look for more from TiVo soon.

CES – Ring Alarm Home Security System Coming in 2018

LAS VEGAS – Ring, maker of video doorbells and security cams, added an entire home security kit to its lineup today. The US$199 Ring Alarm Home Security System starter bundle includes a keypad, Base Station (with siren), motion sensor, and door/window sensor. Additional motion and door/window sensors can be added to the system, of course. On its own, the Ring Alarm will send alerts to your iPhone, but it can also be paired with an optional professional monitoring service and cellular backup service for $10/month. The nice part is, if you’re comfortable doing your own monitoring with your iPhone, you don’t need to ever pay a monthly fee. Just set the Ring Alarm system up, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and let it do its thing and alert you when something is awry. The Ring Alarm system will be available coming in 2018.