Archive for the ‘CTIA Spring 2013’ Category

Wacom Bamboo Stylus

800x600_CS100K_01What you are looking at here is the Wacom Bamboo Stylus, and it is meant to be a stylus for a Wacom tablet. If you don’t know what a Wacom tablet is, then you should probably read some old entries of my blog, like this.

Oh, you can also use a Bamboo Stylus on anything with a touchscreen, which really helps on tablets and smartphones. I have used Styluses before, and the Bamboo is 25 percent narrower in diameter.

You can use the Bamboo Stylus on Wacom’s Bamboo Paper, the Penultimate, as well as Autodesk, Sketchbook Mobile, and I’m sure much more. If you want to get in on this stylus action, feel free to lay down $29.95 at the Wacom site.

Posted by on May 27th, 2013 No Comments

Sound Pockets is an iPhone 5 Freedom Case for headphones

Sound PocketsI always like seeing products that are simple, but solve a big problem. In the case of the Sound Pockets Freedom Case, it is the problem of earbuds with a mobile device.

I’m sure we all know the problem of earbuds getting tangled, and it would be nice to have an iPhone case that could hold earbuds all wrapped up. It has a special door that opens up to reveal this hidden place, and you can still keep your iPhone, case and all, in your pocket.

Best of all, the case’s flap, for lack of a better word, can prop up the iPhone so you can watch videos on it in portrait or landscape mode.

The Sound Pockets are available on the main site for about $39.95 in many colors for the iPhone 4/4S, the iPhone 5, and the iPod Touch version 5.

Posted by on May 27th, 2013 No Comments

Mobigrip makes certain you don’t drop your phone

homebanner2wlogoSome of you might remember when we reported on the Flygrip, which is a device that adheres to the back of the phone so you can hold it easily in between two fingers. The Mobigrip is like that, but the user only uses one finger.

As you can see in the picture, the user loops his or her finger around Mobigrip, and the disk part on the Mobigrip adheres to the phone. That is pretty much all there is to it, but this “mobile leash” can save your phone.

I don’t really think there is anything more I can say about this product, other than the price. It is about $9.95 in many colors and you can find them here.

Posted by on May 27th, 2013 No Comments

Mobio Pivot and Go

SONY DSCI’m always glad to try out something new, and so I was pleased to try out two from Mobio, the Go and the Pivot. Both are designed to mount a mobile device, with the power of magnets.

I’ll start with the Mobio Go, which is one of the best ways to attach a phone to your dash. Considering that a lot of people use their phone’s GPS while behind the wheel, you might as well use it in a safer manner. Also, in a way that doesn’t involve putting a smartphone on a cupholder.

For the Go, you just need to put the 3M adhesive magnet on the dash or something, and then put the other 3M adhesive magnet on the phone. Then, as you go somewhere in your car, you just stick the phone on the dash. We’ll talk about the Pivot after the jump.

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Posted by on May 27th, 2013 No Comments

Want Hello Kitty products? Spectra International has your iPhone covered.

Hello Kitty iPhone caseWhile I was at CTIA, I met up with a company known as Spectra International. I never really heard of this company, but I was able to find a lot of products that they do.

For example, they have a whole branch of products devoted just to Hello Kitty. I had a chance to try out a case for the iPhone 4/4S. Yeah, that is the older version, but hey, call me old fashioned. In case you are wondering, they have cases for the iPhone 5 as well.

They also have Hello Kitty Bluetooth speakers, televisions, karaoke machines, CD players, laptop/notebook/iPad sleeves, computer accessories, clock radios, and all kinds of other products that are Hello Kitty based.

You can check out more products on the official site here, and the other Hello Kitty products here.

Oh hey, did I mention that Spectra International sells products from Jensen, Paul Frank, and Studebaker? They got it.

Posted by on May 27th, 2013 No Comments

Ashton Kutcher and other lessons from CTIA 2013

Ashton KutcherAs you read this, I am on my way back from Las Vegas after CTIA 2013. As you might have guessed, I am pretty bushed, and so Speculative Fiction Friday will be on later than usual.

I had a chance to see Ashton Kutcher’s keynote, which was a dialogue with Julia Boorstin from CNBC. It was weird to see an actor known for playing unintelligent roles like one of the dudes from Dude, Where’s my Car talk quite intelligently using a lot of tech-business lingos. Apparently, Kutcher is heavily invested in tech businesses like Square and other million-dollar players.

I’ve been following the aftermath of Kutcher’s keynote, and most are commenting on his comments on Twitter. As you might remember, Ashton was the first to amass over 1,000,000 Twitter followers. He is actually quite critical of Twitter now, saying that it has sort of become a new media that just wants to sell you stuff.

He also had a commentary about Facebook. When Boorstin asked him if Facebook is too big, Kutcher answered “No”. This sort of surprised me, but he talked about how Facebook’s limiting their applications has actually improved the service. He also talked about how “Facebook is the new religion” as it opens us up to strangers.

I think that the most interesting thing that he said was a commentary about “the second screen”. This concerns how television shows are trying to incorporate information and other things on a mobile phone while the viewer is watching. Kutcher’s advice is that “the television is the second screen”. I have to agree with him on that. I think most users are focused on their mobile while they watch TV, and the TV content is merely on in the background. He wonders why no one has made a feature-length film that incorporates the second screen, and I also have to agree with him on that.

As I type this out, I am about ready to make one final circulation around the floor at CTIA. Many of the other reporters that I have talked to are disappointed, and I have to admit there are bigger tech conferences than this one. I am told CTIA won’t be doing their Fall and Spring conventions anymore, and the only reason why they had this one is because the space was already rented out. Apparently, they are merging to a bigger show in Vegas for 2014.

Posted by on May 24th, 2013 No Comments

LG’s VuTalk is a really cool way of communicating

heros-es2It really is interesting to see how technology can truly bring us closer together. I find it odd that people are meeting their girlfriends/boyfriends on chatrooms, and wondering how long before our chats online are just as good as face-to-face conversations.

While I was at a party last night hosted by LG, I had a chance to see their new VuTalk feature in action. VuTalk is a feature on the Optimus G Pro, and I believe it might be on some of their other phones as well.

VuTalk is a simple feature where callers can interact with the use of a Memo board. I’m sure that most of you have a note-taking app of some type where you can jot random things down. I use mine to take notes on Sunday morning church services.

Imagine if you took that notetaking app and two people were able to write on it. It would be like having a whiteboard in front of you, with two different-colored markers, so you can see who is writing what. That alone is pretty cool to have, but VuTalk takes it a step further as you can share images from a photo gallery on it.

Once the conversation is over, the user can save what he or she has for later. It is kind of like scrapbooking a chat! Tech interaction like this really impresses me, and I really hope that more than just LG phones have it.

Posted by on May 23rd, 2013 No Comments

Vyclone: Mix all those videos together

20130522_141857While I was at CTIA, I found several apps designed for mobile devices that are automated video editors. There was Muvee and Magisto, who I will surely write articles about at some later date. This time, I am going to focus on Vyclone.

Vyclone is an application that allows you to make movies from more than just the videos on your phone. The way it works is that multiple Vyclone users film videos, and then upload them to a cloud. From there, a Vyclone user can remix these videos together using Vyclone’s automated editor, and the edited video can be uploaded to friends.

In case you are wondering, it is possible for a Vyclone user to edit these videos on their own. The Vyclone editing tool is nothing more than something where you say: “Camera 1, Camera 2” and so forth, but you can edit with about 16 videos, from your phone! By the way, you can use a PC to edit if that is easier for you.

In case you are wondering why I chose this shot, it is because I took it while at CTIA. This is Joe Sumner, who co-founded Vyclone with David King Lassman. Sumner is a musician, who noticed at concerts that people would be constantly filming on their smartphones during the events. He had the idea that all of these videos could be blended together to make just one very concert film rather than many sloppy hand-camera shot flicks. By the way, Joe Sumner is the son of Sting. Yes, that Sting, the guy who was in the Police. Apparently, his real name is Gordon Sumner.

I asked Joe how the Vyclone program can magically edit videos. He told me that they have algorithms that know when “the best shot” is. In all honesty, I think it is odd that we have this technology. If you want to see whether or not Vyclone really can figure out how the best shot is taken, go and download it on the Appstore for iOS, Android, and Windows.

Posted by on May 23rd, 2013 No Comments

Mobelisk MoGo Chimera is poised to change everything

Mobelisk MoGo Chimera exploded view1Generally, I don’t like to say that a product can change everything unless I truly believe it to be true. In the case of the Mobelisk MoGo Chimera, I really believe that the potential for it is amazing.

Now I know you are looking at this picture and thinking: “So what, it is a tablet with handles”. While iPad and other tablet companies have truly opened our eyes to what a tablet can do, I still feel that their true potential is underused.

For example, let’s say I am working at a store that sells flatscreen TVs. A customer wants to buy one, and so I give that customer a piece of paper that tells hi or her that he or she can pick up a flatscreen at the front counter, and pay for it there. On the way, the customer has some serious buyer’s remorse and wonders if he or she is getting the best deal, and changes his or her mind. Now, imagine that same situation, but I have a Chimera, and I can show this customer on the tablet that he or she is getting the best deal. Not only that, I have a way of making that receipt for the customer, so no buyer’s remorse can set in.

As someone who worked retail for about four years, I can honestly say that every floor employee should have something like this. The problem is that every one doesn’t. I really believe that a product like this would be terrific if every employee, from the waiter to the used car salesman, were to have one.

Believe me, I understand why shops won’t invest. It is because this technology is probably too expensive for everyone to have. However, for the customer to see the best deals and to make fast purchases, I consider it completely worth it.

Posted by on May 23rd, 2013 No Comments

RBOT is probably the future of robotics, for now

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though CTIA is technically a mobile technology conference, you still see a few technologies that are unrelated, but a lot of fun. In this case, the RBOT International Company.

What you see in the image is what I saw on the CTIA showfloor, which is tablet with a robot body that is very similar to the tim-E robot that we reported on a few days ago. This particular one came up to me and started to have a conversation with me. As you might have guessed, it was pretty one-sided. The robot told me that I looked good, though.

I think we are a long way from I, Robot type products that can do all our menial tasks for us. Still, having these guys around for telepresence purposes or simply advertising is pretty cool, really. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing these guys everywhere, trying to peddle at Wal-Mart or even giving us the specs as a used car lot.

Check out more information at the RBOT site, and see examples of the SWAN, Mime, and the Mini. You might be surprised at the robo-technology that we have now.

Posted by on May 23rd, 2013 No Comments