Category Archives: Gadgets

Automatic

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The check engine light — that enigmatic indicator that can signal anything from a loose gas cap or old spark plugs, to a worn out catalytic converter or an empty windshield fluid reservoir — is hardly an effective way of remaining in-tune with your car. But with Automatic ($100) you can finally decode that uninformative light, letting you know what kind of help your car needs and potentially saving a trip to the mechanic. And that’s not all it does: helping improve your car’s fuel economy, alerting emergency response in case of a crash, and automatically remembering where you parked are just a few incredibly-useful features.

Automatic plugs into the same port your mechanic uses when you take your car in for service. It’s easily accessible near the steering wheel.

Add in that its beautifully-designed iOS and Android apps are constantly updated with new functionality, and you get the partner your car always needed.

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Meet Jibo The World’s First Family Robot

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We’ve dreamt of it for decades: a robotic assistant that becomes more than just an appliance, and more like part of the family. Jibo ($500) promises to be exactly that. This white, 11-inch tall companion would look right at home alongside Wall-E’s EVE, with an HD LCD touchscreen “face”, a sleek, white ABS plastic, glass, and aluminum body, and a 3-axis motor system that allows for natural, emotion-stirring movement.

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Thanks to two hi-res cameras, Jibo can recognize and track faces, and can even independently take photos and video, while 360º microphones and natural language processing let you talk to him from anywhere in the room. He can even connect with your phone to give you hands-free reminders and messages, while being so much more personal than a simple bop or buzz. Coming in 2015.

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Navdy

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Navdy ($300) is a head-up display (HUD) that allows drivers to use turn-by-turn navigation, make calls, and use smartphone apps, all without taking their eyes off the road. The Navdy display mounts atop the driver’s side dashboard and projects an image on a 5.1-inch transparent display.

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The driver interacts with Navdy through voice and gesture commands. Navdy is currently available for pre-order, and is scheduled to ship in early 2015.

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NomadPlus iPhone Backup Battery

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NomadPlus ($40) is a smart backup battery that sits between your phone’s charging cable and the wall wart itself, letting you slide the white pronged square into its black body and connect your charging cord to the other side.

Plug it into the wall, and once it’s done charging your iPhone, it’ll fuel up its internal 1500 mAh battery, giving you a 70% additional charge when you need it the most without forcing you to use a bulky battery case or carry around an extra power brick.

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The Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger

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The Flux Capacitor USB Car Charger ($25) from thinkgeek is a USB car charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter socket, charges two devices at once and looks like the flux capacitor from Back To The Future.

- Officially-licensed Back to the Future merchandise.
- Compatible with anything that charges via USB (iPhones, smartphones, iPads, tablets, GPSes, etc.) as long as you have the cable.
- Two USB charging ports, which each provide 2.1 Amps.
- On/Off switch for Flux lighting effect.
- Flux Capacitor fluxes in its famous light pattern as it charges your goodies.
- Flexible arm pivots up and down so you can better customize it to best fit your vehicle’s power port placement.
- Includes: Flux Capacitor unit with 2 USB ports and integrated 12V vehicle cigarette lighter adapter.

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Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited Subscription Service

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Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited—a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates—just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go. Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial.

Kindle Unlimited features include:

Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver,plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle,and The Good Earth,as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides.

Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married,and Life Code.

Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan,Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles.

Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint.

Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles.

Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration.

Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8—so you always have your library with you and never lose your place.

For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.

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ThinkGeek To Release Star Trek Phaser Remote Control In November 2014

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Created using 3D scans of the actual prop used on the original Star Trek series, this phaser remote control will be officially revealed at ThinkGeek’s San Diego Comic Con booth next week.

The learning remote will control of IR-based devices using up to 36 stored commands. The device relies solely on motion gestures for its functions. Any motion you can think of—as long as they’re all relatively unique—can be used to control volume, change channels, or start a recording.

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The phaser remote also includes authentic sound effects, vibrating force feedback, and the ability to lock out other users with a private passcode. It’s expected to be available in November for around $150.

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The Coolest Cooler

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The Coolest Cooler ($165) has launched its Kickstarter campaign and surpassed its $50,000 goal by a landslide. The clever cooler contains an attachable 18V battery-powered rechargeable blender and a removable waterproof Bluetooth speaker. A handy USB charger is also included.

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Other features:

- LED lid light              

- Gear tie-downs          

- Cooler divider/cutting board

- Extra wide easy rolling tires

- Integrated storage for plates and knife

- Bottle opener

The Coolest Cooler runs as a Kickstarter campaign through August 29, 2014.

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Apple Brings Vibrant Colors & iSight Camera To Most Affordable iPod touch Model

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Apple today announced its 16GB iPod touch is now available in vibrant colors and equipped with a 5 megapixel iSight camera for just $199. The entire iPod touch lineup features the 5 megapixel iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording, brilliant 4-inch Retina display, Apple’s A5 chip and FaceTime camera. iPod touch features an ultra-thin and light anodized aluminum design and is available in pink, yellow, blue, silver, space gray and (PRODUCT) RED. iPod touch comes in a 16GB model for $199, 32GB for $249, and 64GB for $299.

iPod touch comes with iOS 7, offering more than 200 features including Camera app filters that let you easily add real-time photo effects. Additionally, the Photos app offers ways to automatically organize your photos based on time and location. With iCloud Photo Sharing, it’s simple to share photos and videos with exactly the people you want to see them and your friends and family can comment and access their shared streams from any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC at any time. This fall, iOS 8 will be supported on the entire iPod touch lineup.

Pricing & Availability

iPod touch 16GB is available starting in the US today and worldwide in the coming days, in pink, yellow, blue, silver and space gray through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested price of $199 (US). Starting today, the 32GB and 64GB models have been repriced worldwide, at a suggested price of $249 (US) for the 32GB model and $299 (US) for the 64GB model. iPod touch requires a Wi-Fi connection or a Mac with a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port, Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later and iTunes 10.7 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later and iTunes 10.7 or later. An Apple ID is required for some iPod touch features.

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Jump Into the Directors Seat With The Star Wars Scene Maker App

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Innovative storytelling has always been at the heart of the Disney brand. Today, Disney Publishing Worldwide presents Star Wars fans the opportunity to re-imagine the epic narrative with Star Wars Scene Maker. Through filmmaking tools and mechanics, this app gives users the creative space to re-create iconic scenes from the Saga.

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Users have the freedom to position and move 3D animated models of characters, vehicles and environments in order to experience the Star Wars universe however their imagination desires.

To truly enhance the directing experience, three movable cameras can be maneuvered and switched to different film modes, with options to rotate and adjust vertical heights to give scene makers complete creative control of how they film their scenes. Fans can also choose between incorporating iconic music and dialogue from the films or recording original audio, with options to choose voice filters, including Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper, or the Rebel intercom.

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Scene Maker is free to download and comes with one free scene, “The Battle of Endor,” from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In addition, “Cloud City Duel” from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and “Death Star Trench Run” from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope are also available through in-app purchase. Each additional content pack is $2.99, and $3.99 for both.

The Scene Maker apps will continue to feature content from the Star Wars Saga, with plans to expand to new content from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series on Disney XD.

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