I have this seemingly odd affinity toward bags. There are just so many uses for a good bag that not only looks good, but also offers up plenty of pockets, zippers and pouches to keep things organized. The tech junkie in my needs a lot of organizational additions. No one likes to dig through the bottom of a bag for cords, battery packs, headphone cables or USB sticks. Booq has a pretty good selection of bags, and other accessories, already on the market that we have really enjoyed using and now they are adding one more to the repertoire. The new Booq Taipan Shock.
The Taipan Shock uses a 210D nylon material for the interior lining and a 1680D tri-weave polyester exterior fabric that also has a water-repellent coating. The separate laptop compartment offers up thick padding to protect your laptop and uses a genuine YKK water-repellent zipper as well. Internal measurements are 17.3 x 13 x 1 inch and will carry around a 13 – 15 inch Macbook or up to a 16.4-inch laptop. The bag empty weighs in at just over 2 pounds.
“Our goal for the Taipan shock was to create a good-looking everyday bag that can handle the wear-and-tear that comes with frequent use,” says booq’s lead designer S. Kema Subsomboon. “We designed the bag’s exterior so it transitions well from a commute to the office, and we also made sure the interior organization and storage can house a wide array of professional items.
In the video of the bag you can see the gentleman change out the zipper puller from black to red. Booq includes a red, orange and blue with the bag so you can add a dash of color. The Taipan Shock also features Booq’s Terraling service. Terraling is a simple 3-step registration process that uses each bags unique serial number found on each bag. Toss in the reflective logos on the back, padded shoulder straps, and it looks like a breathable mesh back with the price tag of $95 and you have a pretty good looking bag.
Interested in the Booq Taipan Shock? Feel free to pick one up through Amazon.
The post Booq announces the Taipan Shock, another professional’s ‘on-the-go’ bag appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
The first Misfit wearable was the Misfit Shine. It is a small little puck like device that resides in a rubber strap for your wrist. Misfit also had a small clip, a necklace and even a pair of socks for you to place the puck inside to help you track your walking and such. We had a set that we received for review at CES 2014. We had a good time with them and they certainly looked pretty slick. Now Misfit has announced a new tracker that goes to the opposite side of the coin and is targeting the sporty thrifty people out there with its latest Misfit Flash.
The Misfit Flash resembles the Shine except it is made from a soft-touch plastic that is waterproof to 30 meters (Shine is 50 meters). The new Flash will be offered in a variety of flashy sporty colors such as Frost, Onyx, Fuchsia, Zest and Wave. There will be a total of 7 color offerings at launch time this October. Similar to the Shine it runs on a single CR2032 coin cell battery with a battery life of about 6 months. Just like the Shine it will track your steps, calories burned, distance traveled along with sleep duration and sleep quality.
“Flash is the only fully featured activity and sleep tracker in the world for under $50, making it an incredible value,” said Tim Golnik, VP of Product and Design at Misfit.
Interestingly enough, the Misfit Flash was created in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company. Apparently they are a long-term strategic partner of Misfit. Anyways, to sum up the whole announcement, Misfit launched a plastic version of the Shine to appeal to a broader market of more sporty individuals that couldn’t wrap their head around a Shine at $99.99.
While I enjoyed my time with the Shine, they really need to dump some time and money into the Android companion app. I understand there is a pretty decent tie in from Apple with John Sculley in the mix and the company name, Misfit, stemmed from Steve Jobs, but if you are going to go cross-platform, make the apps work and be as useful as competing OS platforms are. Point in case, the iOS Misfit app is pretty outstanding, where as the Android app lacks a large portion of the functions and has some serious sync issues. Maybe an update is coming with the release of the Flash to help ease the pain. Hey, I can hope right? Regardless of that small caveat, you might be interested in the Misfit Flash. If so, direct yourself over to the Misfit website to pre-order one when ever you are ready.
BURLINGAME, CA September 16, 2014— Misfit, makers of Shine, today announced its second wearable product, Misfit Flash, a versatile and easy-to-use fitness and sleep monitor.
Crafted out of a special soft-touch plastic, Flash is comfortable, extremely durable, and waterproof to 30 meters, making it fit for even the toughest uses. It comes in seven unique colors including a lemon-lime Zest, funky Fuchsia, and minimalist Frost.
“Flash is the only fully featured activity and sleep tracker in the world for under $50, making it an incredible value,” said Tim Golnik, VP of Product and Design at Misfit.
Like Shine, Flash never requires charging and can be worn virtually anywhere—on a user’s wrist, pants, shirt, shoes, lapel, or even on a keychain. Flash includes the very best of Shine’s user experience and automatically measures steps, calories, distance, sleep quality and duration, and even tracks cycling and swimming. The entire front of Flash is a button; to check your progress toward your daily activity goal and the time of day, simply press it. Flash syncs wirelessly with the Misfit App on iOS and Android phones.
Available for $49.99 in the United States, Flash will be available at Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Walmart and other retailers worldwide in October, and can be pre-ordered now at misfit.com/flash.
Flash was originally created in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, Misfit’s long-term strategic partner, to encourage active lifestyles globally. Misfit’s first product, Shine, launched in late 2013, and is now available in tens of thousands of retail locations in over 40 countries.
Misfit invents and manufactures great wearable and smart home products. The company was founded in 2011 by Sonny Vu with John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple and Pepsi, and Sridhar Iyengar, co-founder and former CTO of AgaMatrix.
The post Misfit Flash is a new $50 full featured fitness and sleep tracker wearable appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
MEElectronics Air-Fi Metro2 AF72 In-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headset Review: Light, powerful and portable
One thing that has always impressed me about MEElectronics is their will to perfect the products that they have produced, and the MEElectronics Air-Fi Metro2 AF72 In-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headset is the latest example of that striving for perfection. Taking into account feedback from users, MEElectronics say the Metro2′s are even better than before, so let’s check them out and see what’s what.
What’s in the box
We’ve reviewed quite a few MEElectronics products here at AndroidSPIN before so we generally know what to expect when we open one of their boxes – as expected, they haven’t disappointed. Along with the Metro2 headset itself, we get the usual suspects of spare earbuds in different sizes and a pouch to carry all your gear in, as well as a charging cable, some stabilizing ear inserts to add to the earbuds if you prefer, and a few little clips that can be used to tidily store the headset when you’re done using them.
As the full name of the device suggests, the Metro2 is a Bluetooth headset and is comprised only of the earbuds, the cord between them and an in-line control module that is used for turning the headset on and off, changing volume and houses the built-in microphone. The first thing that struck me about the Metro2′s is exactly how small it seems. My only other experience with fully wireless earphones have been the Denon Exercise Freak earphones (see that review here), and I assumed they had to be that big due to the necessary electronics. As you can see though, the Metro2 has none of that bulk and keeps an extremely slim profile – still not as small as an unpowered pair of earphones, but still surprisingly small. In fact, MEElectronics claims the Metro2′s are the “world’s lightest stereo wireless headset at 0.4 ounces”, and I’m inclined to believe them as they really are extremely light.
How do they perform?
The audio quality of the Metro2′s is impressive – despite its diminutive size and weight, the Metro2′s still pack a punch in the sound department and manage to give extremely good performance on all fronts, highs, mids and bass. If anything, it tends towards the bassy side, but this can be reeled in with some EQ tweaking. Part of this sound quality is thanks to the noise cancelling of the earbuds themselves – the Metro2′s are advertised as noise cancelling and using the passive abilities of the well-fitting earbuds, the headset is able to create a very isolated space to fully enjoy the audio exploits of the earphones.
A side-effect of the well-fitting earbuds can, however, be discomfort. Many of you who have read my audio product reviews will know I generally shy away from earphones due to discomfort they can cause – unfortunately, the Metro2′s fall into this category. By virtue of needing to engage the passive noise cancelling, you do have to quite firmly insert the earbuds into your ears and after an hour or two, I found myself with very sore ears. I do have to mention that this is a very personal critique – I’m sure many of you reading this very much enjoy using earphones, so you can take my words with a grain of salt.
Bluetooth pairing, as you might expect given the maturity of the technology, is extremely simple and will have you up and listening in no time. MEElectronics cleverly uses the power button as a multifunction button, used for powering on and off the headset as well as initiating pairing.
As a completely wireless set of earphones, you would expect the stability of the Metro2′s to be pretty good. With the addition of the stabilizing ear inserts we mentioned earlier and the earbuds firmly stuck into your ears, the Metro2′s may as well be glued in there. I found myself having to shake my head very violently to even get them to dislodge slightly, and even then, I think I did myself more of a disservice as I could still hear music coming from the headset. If you’re looking for a headset for fitness use, with the added bonus of its small footprint weight and size-wise, I would say the Metro2′s are a pretty good candidate.
Microphone performance is good on the Metro2′s, however due to the wraparound nature of how one wears the headset, it’s actually quite hard to get a good signal without grabbing the mic and pulling it into a more convenient position. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you wearing the Metro2′s dangling around the front of your face, but that would probably look a little unusual.
MEElectronics says that the music playback time of the Metro2′s is about 5 hours, and that’s just about exactly what my experiences have been. It is a bit short for my liking as it can’t really get me through a full work day (after which requires a two hour charge time), but it’s really not surprising given the lightweight design of the headset. For many people, particularly those who would use this as a fitness accessory for an hour or two, this is probably a decent trade-off.
Overall, I really like the MEElectronics Air-Fi Metro2 AF72 In-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headset – they’re light, compact and manages to pack some serious punch. The audio quality is great and made better by the passive noise cancelling and its size and stability features make it ideal for people on the go or just want a headset that is distreet. At a MSRP of $99.99, that’s a decent price for the package they’re offering, and MEElectronics is making it that much cheaper by offering the Metro2′s for $79.99 as part of a sale.
Gallery of Photos
The post MEElectronics Air-Fi Metro2 AF72 In-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headset Review: Light, powerful and portable appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
The Nintendo Entertainment System is the king of consoles. Many say it is the home console that started it all. While there were others before it, Nintendo took the NES and made it a household name. I used to have two, but sadly they got hijacked during a series of moves after high school. Still erks me. In the digital era we live in now it is pretty common place to have those old school NES titles on other high-end gadgets like our phones and tablets. As nostalgic as that might be, the controller is the real win of falling back to the glory days of Super Mario. So why not grab a redefined version that connects via Bluetooth or USB?
While it isn’t exactly the same thing., it is pretty close. At least it looks like an NES controller, just with a few extra buttons. It needs those extra buttons though, as much as I’d like a traditional A and B Bluetooth game controller, you would want to use it beyond just classic 8-bit gaming.
The NES30 brings in four buttons along with two shoulder buttons. It syncs up to your iOS or Android device through Bluetooth, but it can also connect to other devices, like your computer, with a USB cable. Listed battery life is pretty solid also coming in at 20+ hours.
I know you want one. Who wouldn’t? If you do, then you might want to consider hurrying cause it is listed only for another 7 days. Hit the link below.
The post [Deal Alert] NES30 Bluetooth Controller, so full of nostalgia for $30 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
The LG G Watch has dropped its price tag by $50 in the Play Store today. That brings the Android Wear powered smartwatch down to $179. That makes it $0.99 less than Best Buy has been selling it for the last few weeks. The new price tag is only going to be effective until September 23rd as part of a special fall savings.
It probably isn’t a coincidence that the price dropped the same time Apple did their iWatch announcement. You know where to go to grab this in the Play Store, or you can just go to Best Buy and not wait on shipping.
The post LG G Watch goes on sale in the Play Store for $179 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
When it comes to putting computers on our bodies, everyone’s an armchair Anna Wintour. Take a look at the comments on any story about wearable technology, just about anywhere. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. And with good reason. While some of us view our PCs, smartphones and tablets as status symbols, our clothing and accessories are more closely tied to our identities than anything else.
Over the past few years, the frenzy for wearables has reached its peak. This week alone, Sony, Samsung, LG and Motorola have all shown off their next attempts at wrist-worn technology. And with each announcement comes a new set of sartorial critiques.
And yet, despite a seeming consensus from the tech press about the aesthetic appeal of devices like the Moto 360 and Pebble’s Steel, the world is still waiting for the one wearable that will have us all strapping a computer to our wrists, faces, waists or whatever. But the real obstacle to wearable adoption isn’t a matter of style; it’s a matter of taste.
The real obstacle to wearable adoption isn’t a matter of style; it’s a matter of taste.
New York Times tech-scribe-cum-style savant, Nick Bilton recently penned a speculative editorial proclaiming the as-of-yet-unannounced iWatch as the device that could finally take wearables mainstream. Apple will no doubt roll out a beautiful piece of machinery — it has an excellent track record and a proven team of designers, engineers and businesspeople on board — but the truth is, no matter how good the software, no matter how innovative the functionality, no matter how versatile and beautiful the design, there will never be one wearable for everyone.
Almost every player in the wearable game thus far has proven an ability to produce successful consumer technologies. Some of us can even agree that they’re starting to get the style right, but the truth is we all fancy ourselves individuals when we get dressed in the morning. No single company, whether it’s Apple or Motorola or even Swatch is ever going to make a single device that we all want to wear.
Apple’s wearable device, whether it’s a watch or a fedora or even a condom, will no doubt be a meticulously designed piece of hardware, but it’s going to take a much more robust and diverse market, full of choice for wearables to really take off. It’s going to take more than NFC, fitness tracking and Jony Ive’s magic touch. It’s going to take more than killer features and refined hardware.
It’s going to take time.
[Images: Evgeny Dubinchuk and Fuse, Getty]
Google has added their Glass Explorer Edition to the US play Store today, negating the need for the dedicated sign-up and order page that they previously had it listed on. The selling price still remains at $1500 and is offered in a variety of colors, 5 to be exact, to make them a little more fitting to your style plus you get a free frame or shade with your purchase.
The Play Store page also has the various accessories available to purchase individually. Those include frames, 4 style options, for your prescriptions lenses ($225), Shades in 3 styles ($150) and the Stereo or Mono Earbuds ($85).
Head on into the Play Store to take a look and get an order placed if you do so desire.
The post Google Glass Explorer Edition, Frames, Shades and Earbuds make their way to the Play Store appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Looks like it game time for Motorola and their suite of new offerings. We know they are bringing the new Moto X, Moto G, the Moto 360 and mini Bluetooth earbud of sorts. While some valued members of the press got to have some nice hands on time earlier today, the rest of us have to wait until he 5th. Luckily for us, it is already the 5th on the east coast. With that, there have been some new videos posted on YouTube via the Motorola Mobility channel that shows us a bit about the new Moto X, the clever little Moto Hint Bluetooth device and the Moto 360. Check em out.
The post The New Moto X, Moto 360 and Mini Bluetooth Moto Hint have official Videos appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Continuing with the barrage of news from IFA from all the big name OEM’s, we have news coming from Sony about their two new wrist options. Sony has announced two new devices to grace the smartwatch scene and both are uniquely different from past devices and from each other. The SmartWatch line from Sony traditionally ran their own version of software. With the new SmartWatch 3 though, Sony shifted its efforts over to Android Wear.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 brings a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 TFT LCD transreflective display. In English, it should look great even in direct sunlight. It carries along the traditional 4GB of on-board storage, ARM Cortex A7 quad-core processor at 1.2GHz, 512MBs RAM and a 420 mAh battery that is rated for 2 days of usage (charges via traditional micro USB). The silicon band is more of a holder for the watch face. Think the KYROS smartwatch, where you can pop the main unit out of the band and stick in something else. More so another colored watch band. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is IP68, carries NFC, GPS and Bluetooth. Yes, this is one that you can leave your phone at home and still track your run via the built-in GPS. It will come in Black and Green at launch.
The SmartWatch 3 is clearly geared towards the more active lifestyles with its colorful bright color options. It is scheduled for an Autumn launch in Europe with a price tag of 229.99 Euro’s.
The second device they announced is the SmartBand Talk. This device is a redone SmartBand SWR10 with the addition of a curved 1.4-inch E-Ink display. Think Pebble. Sony took the device a little further though and added in a mic and a speaker to give you the full Dick Tracy phone calls on your wrist type of thing. The SmartBand Talk also has an altimeter inside to let you track elevation as well. The SmartBand Talk is scheduled for an Autumn release as well in Europe for 159.99 Euro’s.
Both devices will utilize Sony’s LifeLog app that is free in the Play Store.
The post Sony SmartWatch 3 and E-Inck SmartBand Talk are Officially Announced appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
We heard rumors that Samsung was dabbling in the world of virtual reality or at least with something that would be a bit Google Glass like. Now we have news of what Samsung has been working on and it leans way off to the left is much more Oculus than Glass. Which does make a lot of sense being that it uses Oculus technology to bring a virtual reality display to your face with a new Oculus Mobile SDK.
“Samsung Gear VR goes far beyond expectations of how mobile technology can be used to consume content, and is a powerful representation of the progressive innovation of the Gear series,” said JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are pleased to have partnered with Oculus VR to bring this incredibly immersive mobile content experience to consumers.”
“We are thrilled to reveal the Gear VR Innovator Edition, a state-of-the-art mobile VR experience powered by Oculus,” said John Carmack, CTO of Oculus. “The deep technical partnership with Samsung has enabled us to create a virtual reality headset with world class resolution and performance, all on a completely mobile platform.”
Reading through the press release from Samsung and checking out the project on the Oculus blog you can see what they did. Anyone remember Google I/O and Google Cardboard? I feel like Google knew about this the whole time and poked fun at Samsung at the time. Here is what I am seeing and reading, you pair your Galaxy Note 4 to the Gear VR and then click it under that blue shield and put it on your head. You can see the two eye holes in the product image above the actual device in the photo below.
The unit does connect directly to your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Note 4 becomes your VR world screen. It has physical controls by the way of a touch pad, back button and volume keys. It provides you with a 96 degree field of view with a motion to photo latency of < 20ms. The Gear VR isn’t coming immediately for consumers, more so for innovators, developers and early adopters. There is an additional perk with the Gear VR over Google Cardboard though. If you decide to buy one, you get a 16GB SD card that is loaded with VR goodies. Yes, you have to toss the card into your Note 4 first, but will contain a collection 360-degree videos and 3D Movie trailers. Below is a list of some of the other things that the Gear VR will bring to your face.
- As part of the Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron partnership with Samsung, Gear VR users will gain exclusive access to Tony Stark’s Lab inside the all new Avengers Tower.
- IMAX offers samples of Hollywood and documentary films in a virtual theatre with Samsung Gear VR – the next best thing to a live IMAX experience.
- DreamWorks VR from DreamWorks Animation allows Samsung Gear VR users to interact and laugh with DreamWorks characters and content in a whole new way like never before.
- Legendary’s Pacific Rim Jaeger Pilot is an immersive content experience that puts viewers at center of the action with Samsung Gear VR.
- Cirque du Soleil Media presents a 360 live-action 3D VR experience, featuring an act from Zarkana filmed by Felix & Paul Studios for Samsung Gear VR.
- M-GO Advanced, a new paradigm for digital video virtual reality applications, offers an unmatched interactive search and discovery of the latest premium movie and TV show content with Samsung Gear VR.
- Vevo offers more than 100,000 HD music videos, live concert events and original programming that can be enjoyed in an immersive, full-screen theater experience on Samsung Gear VR.
- Protocol Zero (working title) from DENA enables Samsung Gear VR players to infiltrate enemy grounds undetected in blackout conditions with hi-tech optics including night vision, X-ray vision, and thermal vision.
Since the Gear VR uses Oculus software, there are some new experiences coming from them as well. There will be the Oculus Home, Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos. Oculus Home is is a user interface to connect to the Oculus Store to download things. Oculus Cinema is your virtual movie theater where you can playback your movies in a varietey of theater environments.
The remaining 360 Video and 360 Photos lets you view your panoramic content in a virtual view.
I am a bit interested in the Samsung gaming controller being part of the display. While I didn’t see any direct mention of it in the press release, I would imagine that Samsung has, or will be, offering up games that can be played through the Gear VR with the controller. Possibly the Pacific Rim Jaeger Pilot experience? I will keep poking around for details on that from some of the guys that are in Berlin for the event right now.
Sprints press release this morning does confirm that they will offer the Gear VR along side the Note 4 and Note Edge. So there is that. What are your thoughts? Love it, hate it, want to watch it burn in a fiery death?
The post Samsung also announces the Gear VR, their Mobile Virtual Reality Headgear appeared first on AndroidSPIN.