Google introduces Google TV

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Android, Hot Devices, News, Video

On the second day of the I/O developer conference Google unveiled Google TV, internet-enabled platform that will be available as early as this fall on devices offered by Sony and Logitech.

While Sony will be selling HDTVs and Bluray players with GTV capabalities, Logitech will offer devices that will be connected to existing hardware. No pricing was revealed, but all three devices will be available at BestBuy. In addition Google TV will be integrated with Dish Network.

Along with all the cool features viewers will be able to use a special remote control and browse for upcoming TV shows, view more information online, schedule for future DVR recording or watch previous episodes on Hulu or Amazon. In addition a translation service will be available to translate LIVE TV captions in any language.

Another applouded feature is the ability to use your Android phone as a remote or speak to your device the search queries displayed on the screen.

The devices from Sony and Logitech will use a specialized version of the popular Atom processor which will be optimized for TV viewing. The integrated browser is Chrome and initialy the operating system will be powered by Android 2.1 later on to be updated to the newly introduced Android 2.2.

Most Android apps should work with the service and the source code and APIs will be released in early 2011.

VW Bik.e – Electric bicycle instead of a spare tire?

May 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Gaming, Hot Devices, News

Think of it as the spare tire in your new VW. Yet, you can’t ride your spare tire in case your car runs down. This is when you can pull out the Bik.e and get on your “green” way…

Volkswagen has introduced the Bik.e at Auto China 2010. This is a great and very cool looking device. Looks like a small bike without pedals. It’s nifty design allows it to fold down into a flat disc which fits perfectly into the spare compartment in the bottom of most trunks.

Even though it most likely will not come standard with your new VW commercial plans have been revealed.

The Bik.e is not meant for long distances and rather as a supplement to your car. It’s top speed officially is 20 km/h (12.5 miles per hour) though spectators say the version at the show was going much faster.

The Bik.e could use the car’s DC current or regular AC.

Pinnacle Systems PCTV HD mini Stick

November 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Home Entertainment, Hot Devices

, Brilliant HDTV and 100% DIGITAL

Pinnacle PCTV HD mini Stick is an ultra-compact, USB-powered TV tuner that’s the perfect match for super-slim laptops. The integrated signal booster improves reception sensitivity even if the signal isn’t strong. The easy-to-use TVCenter Pro software lets you watch, TimeShift and record TV. You can enjoy TV in full-screen mode or in a scalable window while using other applications. PCTV HD mini Stick comes with a mini remote control and high-gain telescopic antenna.

* Ultra-compact HDTV tuner stick with super-strong reception
* Watch free HDTV on your PC – no service fees
* Supports both digital over-the-air TV (ATSC1) and unencrypted digital cable TV (ClearQAM2)
* Includes mini-remote control and high-gain telescopic antenna
* Turns your PC into a PVR with TimeShifting: pause, rewind TV
* Stereo sound
* Electronic Program Guide (EPG3)
* Automatically record shows to your hard drive in MPEG-1/2 or DivX4 formats, or direct-to-DVD
* Compatible with Windows Media Center5 (Windows Vista™ Home Premium or Ultimate; remote kit sold separately)
* New: built-in slide-cap to protect the USB connector
* New: integrated signal booster improves sensitivity for over-the-air HDTV reception
* Bonus: VideoSpin video editing software
* Bonus: travel bag

Windows Version: $119.99
Mac Version: $129.99

Check Engine Light On? CarMD May Have Your Answer

November 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Hot Devices

Adopted as a government mandate to lower emissions, the “Check Engine” light comes on when a vehicle’s computer detects a problem that impacts emissions output.

All 1996 and newer cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans manufactured for use in the U.S. have this technology. It can signify anything from a loose gas cap to a major car repair expense. You can diagnose the problem yourself and more importantly with CarMD, You can receive an estimation of the cost to fix it. There is no doubt that access to this information can save you time and money, especially when reviewing your mechanic’s repair estimate.

Most mechanics charge $55-$100 to run a diagnostic on your car when a “Check Engine” light comes on. With CarMD, you can use the same basic technology to diagnose the health of your car at home, and print out an easy-to-understand PC report detailing the severity of the problem and how much it should fairly cost to fix it.

The power of the CarMD handheld tester

You can use the tester to monitor and maintain the health of your 1996 and newer car, light truck, minivan and/or SUV for the life of your vehicle.

The red, yellow and green indicator lights help you instantly diagnose the health of your, your family’s, even your neighbor’s vehicles. For example, CarMD can help you to:

Examine a used car before buying
The green, yellow and red lights on the CarMD tester can tell you if the used car you’re considering is jewel, a possible lemon, or a big red flag.
Give your vehicle a clean bill of health before road trips
Again, watch the lights. Green = go, Yellow = proceed with caution, Red = consult your mechanic.
Pre-”smog” test your car
Yellow or red lights mean you may not pass a state emissions test. Be sure to consult your mechanic.

The combined power of the handheld tester and

By combining the tester and website, CarMD can provide you with more specific information about what’s ailing your vehicle. Each tester you purchase lets you register up to 3 vehicles and run up to 6 diagnostic reports a month. These reports empower you to:

Know why your vehicle’s “Check Engine” light is on
The handheld tester can read your vehicle’s computer and upload that information to your PC via the CarMD website, allowing you to diagnose your vehicle’s health quickly and easily. A green light means you’re good to go. Yellow light or red light? You can run a diagnostic report to find out what’s ailing your vehicle, likely repairs and estimated repair costs. To view a sample report click on What Do I Get.
Get a second opinion on your mechanic’s report
Take your diagnostic report to your mechanic to help ensure they have located the source of your car’s pain and are planning to send you a fair bill.

These are just a few of the many uses for CarMD. Click to learn more about What You Get with CarMD

Available at


November 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Hot Devices, News

Aiptek introduces the latest in Pico projectors, the Pocket Cinema V10, a compact projector with built-in media player. This latest innovation from market leading Aiptek is designed as a stand alone media player or for use in conjunction with an iPod, DV, DSC, games console or mobile phone (via AV-out). The Pocket Cinema’s integral media player will play Mpeg4 movies, Jpeg Photos and MP3 music files. When connected to an external device the Pocket Cinema will project movies and images from any video source with an AV out and gaming graphics. Measuring just 125mm x 55mm x 23mm the Pocket Cinema V10 is designed for ultimate portability and is convenient for use in or away from the home.

The 50 inch projected screen will enhance bedroom gamers’ experience and also provides an impressive outdoor cinema for camping trips or festivals. Due to its small footprint and scalable screen size the Pocket Cinema is also ideal for use on aircraft, in the car or in a hotel room. Product features: • A mobile media player mini-projector playing back picture, MP3, and video clips • Projects image up to 50” within distance from 21cm to 180cm. • Projects image from connecting to iPod, DV, DSC, game console or mobile phone (via AV-out) or from playback in embedded flash memory or SD/MMC memory card. • Resolution – 640 x 480 Pixels (VGA) • A convenient tool for business meetings and presentations • White LED light source • 3M technology • Li-Ion battery, Tripod and Remote control supplied • Cradle with speaker & power charging (Optional) With 1GB of internal memory and a further 8GB of storage available with optional 8GB HDSC card the Pocket Cinema will beam movies and photo’s up to 50 inches within a distance of 21cm to 180cm. The Pocket Cinema V10 will be available from November at and at an SRP of £299.99. Also included in the box is ArcSoft Media Converter, ArcSoft Total Media Extreme, Li-Ion battery, AC adapter, USB cable, AV Cable (3-in-1 AV jack), Tripod, Pouch, Application CD, Quick start guide. ENDS About AIPTEK International Specialists in the manufacture of multifunctional digital devices, AIPTEK has a large number of product innovations designed with the emphasis on build quality and value for money. AIPTEK’s product portfolio includes palm sized camcorders (hybrid devices incorporating digital video, still image capture, web cam, data storage, MP3 player and voice recorder in one compact design), digital picture frames and graphics tablets, as well as Bluetooth enabled technology.

Wal-Mart devoting more space to Blu-ray

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Home Entertainment, Hot Devices

While I love Blu-ray, I’ve been a bit apprehensive about switching out my library to the newer format. After all, all of those estimates says Blu-ray will be history in a few years, anyway. But Wal-Mart is trying to help out the HD disc cause.

In fact, the super store is going to be devoting more shelf space to titles. But in order to do this, they will be getting rid of some of the space devoted to CDs. This is due to the fact that CD sales have dropped about 23% since more and more people download music these days.

This might be a good move, since consumers seems to like the idea of having a tangible, physical movie for their collection, but are perfectly okay with a digital-only copy of a CD. Hopefully, this will help Blu-ray and give them the boost in sales they need. Now, if someone would only make the discs less expensive.

Wireless carriers open the network to embedded devices

Where’s the next big evolution in wireless?  The tier 1 operators think there’s tremendous growth opportunity in embedding wireless connectivity into all types of devices and appliances.

With penetration rates hitting 85 percent and above in the U.S., wireless carriers are quickly realizing that the next big growth opportunity lies in not just connecting people to their networks, but in connecting devices.  And those devices aren’t just the typical wireless handsets but all types of consumer electronics goods and appliances. Basically, any type of device-digital camera, personal music player or navigation device-can be outfitted with wireless.

This is the reason Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility have formed targeted open development business units and it’s why Sprint Nextel’s Xohm Business Unit is encouraging big vendors such as Intel and Nokia to “self-certify” their WiMAX gear to speed device time to market.

PCMCIA cards that connect the carrier’s network to the laptop are a good first step but the only way carriers will reap the rewards of their 3G/4G network investment is to give the consumer an embedded device.

“Whatever device it gets embedded in is OK with me, as long as I have the ability to place it on my network,” said Tony Lewis, vide president of Open Development for Verizon Wireless.

That’s an almost radical position for Verizon Wireless which, most everyone would agree, has a reputation of being something of a control freak when it comes to its network.

“This was met with some skepticism early on but I think folks have come to find out how serious we are and how significant this is and, more importantly, how quick and easy it is to get onto the Verizon Wireless network now,” Lewis said.

Sprint Nextel’s Xohm Business Unit comes from the opposite extreme. Within a couple weeks of its WiMAX launch in Baltimore, Xohm could point to a dozen laptops with embedded WiMAX capability available in retail and 20 more in the pipeline being certified. In the next three to five years, Xohm expects to see “smaller devices really starting to take off in terms of volume. These devices will be digital cameras, video cameras … music devices, e-books. From sheer volume they’re going to be very big,” said Bin Shen, vice president of product management and partnership development at Sprint’s Xohm Business Unit.

Embedding rather than having external USB or card-based technology is important because embedded devices “go through the more conventional consumer electronics device channels,” Shen said. “We all agree in order to drive the wireless broadband and the data adoption you really have to go through an embedded device model.”

AT&T’s 3G product focus is on embedded connectivity with such devices as Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) that look like small Internet-specific computers.

“When you get to ease-of-use, a plug-and-play for the customer, embedded is going to be the future, especially as you go into some of these other (non-laptop) devices,” said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T. “I believe embedded is the only way to go.”

All the carriers talk about being open, but vendors must go through a screening process to get on their networks. Devices must work within a proprietary scheme, at least with Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and must be certified by all the carriers. Sprint’s WiMAX is an IP-based technology that’s available around the world but devices still need an OK to be on Xohm.

The big difference is how the networks will handle the devices, said Shen, pointing out that data is an add-on for voice-centric 3G and “WiMAX is designed for a really high-speed broadband network.”

However, WiMAX has its limits when it comes to footprint. Sprint’s Xohm Business Unit is expected to merge with Clearwire to form the “new” Clearwire with a $3.2 billion investment from Google, Comcast, Intel and others. That merger is expected to close by year-end and while the “new” Clearwire is promising nationwide ubiquity, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are everywhere now.

“Pretty much everybody has a handset… so where’s the next big momentum in this industry? It’s in the connected devices. An embedded module is a radio chip that would be placed in that device,” Lewis said. “It could be as extreme as your refrigerator or toaster; it could be as useful as medical devices; as fun as gaming devices; attaching things not just to your car but to your parking space, your front door, your medicine cabinet.”

As long as there’s a Verizon connection, Verizon’s open to partnering with any number of device manufacturers and is willing to simplify its certification process. In the end, though, it becomes a Verizon Wireless product built by an outside vendor.

“I want to qualify it for my network. I want to have the ability to have as many devices as possible working on this network. If a manufacturer chooses to go to another network that’s certainly their option to do that,” Lewis said. “This is giving consumers their choice on which network they want to operate this device.”

Perhaps the best example to date of a wildly successful embedded device is the Apple iPhone which really is not open at all.

“We’re having very nice success with the iPhone (and) the only way we got there was because I knew that when Apple walked into my office they weren’t walking into Verizon’s tomorrow. We could really open up and give them all of our details and work on new things and build new capabilities,” Lurie said.

While admitting that the new era of open embedded devices will go both ways–exclusive and non-exclusive–Lurie believes that the relationship with the carrier, not the technology, will drive the market.

“Many of these consumer electronics players have never done mobility before… so they’re looking at their core partner to help them build mobility, build a distribution model, build the device. Those are the things they’re going to want to do with a partner to start and possibly down the road that will change,” he said.

What won’t change is the carriers’ focus on the embedded device as Velcro to bind consumers to their networks and grow revenues beyond voice.

“This is the natural evolution of utilizing one of the greatest assets we have, the network, (and) more importantly giving our consumers even more choices than they have today,” said Lewis. “There are lots of opportunities for folks out there to do some innovative things if they know they have an open network.”

Sprint Launches HTC Touch Pro

November 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Hot Devices, Mobile Devices, Mobile Phones

Sprint has officially launched the long awaited HTC Touch Pro after a second delay intended to address last-minute hardware/software issues on top of being delayed for stock issues from its original October date.

The device features a large 2.8 inch touchscreen display with VGA resolution, TouchFLO 3D user interface, hardware sliding QWERTY keyboard, voice dialing and voice control,, 1xEVDO Rev. A packet data, Internet Explorer Mobile, Wi-Fi radio, GPS transceiver with A-GPS support, 3.2 megapixel camera with video recorder and flash, Bluetooth with stereo audio support, and microSDHC expansion slot.

The Touch Pro also marks a first for Sprint: It is the first device on the carrier with TV output.

The device is now available from Sprint for $399.99 after new 2 year agreement and $150 instant discount, with an additional $100 mail-in rebate bringing the total to $299.99 after purchasing the device under a qualifying plan.

T-Mobile G1 Early Adoption Soars

November 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Android, Hot Devices, Mobile Devices, Mobile Phones

According to WebTrends, the early adoption rate for the T-Mobile G1 Android-powered mobile phone is soaring. Within the first few days of availability, many of the largest newspapers in the UK reported a surge in readers using the G1’s browser. reports that it has seen 5000 downloads and 31,000 visits from G1’s browser. WebTrends updated its tracking app to look for the G1 browser on the day the device launched in the UK. Thanks to the huge influx of users browsing the sites with G1 devices, the handset could prove to be the biggest challenge yet to the iPhone. Paul Cheesbrough, Chief Technology Officer at TMG, said, “It’s important that the Telegraph is seen to embrace new technologies and lead the way in exploring new avenues for the provision of the latest news. As people increasingly look to online platforms and their mobiles for on the move updates on what’s going on in the world today, having an insight into browsing patterns from day one in order to ensure that our site is modified to achieve maximum efficiency within Android handsets is invaluable. As such, WebTrends is giving us visibility of the early adopters and the latest technology used in interaction with our brand.”