iPhone

Trends from CES

With the doors closing on CES today it seems fitting to take a look back at the hottest trends of the show and highlight some of my favourite tech pieces.

Garmin

Wearable technology has been a dominating trend at CES this year, especially in the fitness arena. A host of bands, watches and detachable gadgetry were unveiled with the promise of improving our sleep, training our brain and enhancing our fitness. Launches such as the Garmin vivofit (www.garmin.co.uk), available from March for around £99.99, intend to monitor your personal activity levels and use the information to set tailor made goals. The water-resistant band tracks your sleep, counts your steps, monitors calories burnt and sets out to help you achieve your fitness goals with its progress tracker and inactivity sensor.

LG

The term “the internet of everything” was key at CES 2014. The phrase essentially identifies that technology firms are working hard to  make our homes, lives and cars smarter using interactive technology and data communication. From the aforementioned fitness trackers, to LG’s smart fridges and washing machines that you can text, the major tech players are aiming to use technology to improve the efficiency of our day to day activities.

Earlier on in the week we focused on Ultra HD and curved technology. Both elements have played a huge part in CES 2014. With smartphones and televisions literally bending – our visual experience becomes highly immersive and our calls more ergonomic.

Toyota

In the automotive sphere, hydrogen powered cars and self-driving capabilities caused quite a stir. Toyota announced the as yet untitled hydrogen and oxygen powered car, set to launch in 2015 (www.toyota.com/fuelcell). Toyota claims that despite its sustainable fuel, the car will perform in the same way as a ‘regular’ car – achieving 0-60 in 10 seconds and reaching top speeds in excess of 100mph. The firm acknowledged and commented on the challenge of refuelling the fuel cell car with niche and currently sparse refuelling systems, announcing that certain areas in the US are becoming focused on significantly multiplying the number. BMW showcased its latest autonomous driving tech at the show in its 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe. The technology facilitates the cars to navigate bends and hurdles without driver intervention thanks to cameras, radars and sensors.

Griffin

In addition to these key trends I want to highlight some other stand-out products from the show. The Griffin Wireless Powermate, available from Summer 2014 for around $59.99 (www.griffintechnology.com). Achingly stylish in its metallic, circular form, the Bluetooth LE running Powermate can be programmed to carry out six key commands for most computer applications in a click or a spin – from simply adjusting computer volume and replacing repetitive keystrokes, to becoming the hacker’s choice for programming smartly. The rather quirky, russian-doll inspired styled Mother product from Sen.se caught my eye, available to pre-order now for $166 (www.sensemother.com). The ‘doll’ assumes the role of a nucleus and four connectors are then attached to items that you want to essentially make ‘smarter’. A connector can for example be attached to a pill bottle and if the bottle remains untouched an alert will be sent to your smartphone to remind you to take your pills. I was really impressed by the ranges on show from Ozaki (www.ozakiverse.com) – the Taiwanese company got is so right with its array of cool smartphone and tablet accessories including the mini piano keyboard for iPhone and interactive chess set for the iPad – Chesspoly.

Goodnight from Las Vegas!

 

 

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How to find an iPhone

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iPhone How To: use visual voicemail

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Charge your iPhone at festivals with the Eton Mobius

The Eton Mobius (cool name!) is an iPhone case with extra battery charge and solar power perfect for festivals or enjoying the outdoors. One hour sun gets you about 25 minutes talk time, 20 minutes of internet use, 35 minutes of video playback and more than two hours of audio playback.

This neat rechargeable battery case has been designed for the iPhone 4 that features a solar panel, a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel re-charges the 1800 mAh Rechargeable lithium ion battery pack on the back of the case.

Mobius can also be charged via computer using the Micro-USB cable and will sync with iTunes. Once the battery has been re-charged, the user is in control as to when the extra battery power is used. Mobius features a standby switch to turn off direct power transfer to the iPhone 4, allowing the case to charge and store energy in its own battery – only using the power when you need it.

The durable and ergonomic battery case has both a battery charge and solar charge indicator, so the user always knows the power status of the Mobius.

Visit www.nevadaradio.co.uk, price £69.99

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Top Travel Apps for this Summer

The busy holiday season is just around the corner and although it should be the highlight of the year, many people find the planning stage of their annual getaway not so fun. Where to go, what are the ‘must sees’, does it fit my budget, all add to the stress of booking a holiday.

Whether you want to relax on a sunny beach, roam the Scottish Highlands or visit the Pyramids in Egypt, help is on hand with a number of easy to use travel apps. They will not only ensure you plan and execute the perfect trip, but will help you get the most from your holiday whilst there too.

Gogobot (FREE) for iPhone

Gogobot helps you plan the perfect trip with the help of friends. By allowing you to tap into your personal networks, be it on Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter, you can receive personal advice and reviews from people like you – not strangers.

Browse more than 60,000 travel destinations and arrange them according to recommendations made by your friends. With the touch of the screen you can search for hotels, restaurants, and attractions, plus turn photos into postcards (love that!), which can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, SMS or email – letting everyone know that you’re having a great time!

TripLingo (from £6.99) for iPhone, Android

Learning a few phrases and travel-related questions will go a long way to making your trip more enjoyable and the locals will appreciate your effort. TripLingo makes picking up the local lingo and culture easy and fun.

With over 1,000 phrases, a built-in dictionary, and flashcards nothing will be lost in translation! Nifty features include articles on local etiquette, information on the country, plus multiple audio examples for phrases helping you with the pronunciation – so you sound just like a local.

Packing Pro (from £1.79) for iPhone

Have you ever reached the airport and had that sinking feeling you’ve forgotten to pack something? Well this excellent app is perfect for those of us who are perhaps a little forgetful, or those who tend to leave packing until the last minute.

Packing Pro will assist you with what to bring based the number of adults (males & females), children & days, as well as temperature, destination & clothes washing preferences. With Packing Pro, you’ll never forget something as crucial as your bikini or sun screen again.

Camera+ (from 69p) for iPhone

Capturing magic moments with friends and family and of your holiday surroundings are important to creating lifelong memories of your trip. The easy to use Camera+ iPhone app not only allows you to get snap happy, but encourages your creative side too.

A number of features will ensure top quality pictures such as special effects, cropping, easy editing, plus a choice of image boarders. Once you’ve got the perfect pic, proudly share your holiday snaps with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or simply via email.

Airbnb (FREE) for iPhone, Android

To avoid disappointing holiday diggs, sign-up to Airbnb, a trusted community for holidaymakers looking to discover and book unique accommodation around the world, either online or from your mobile phone.

From apartments to villas and castles to B&B’s, Airbnb offers accommodation across 19,000 cities and 192 countries. And if you’ve found something you like the look of, but still have a few questions, Airbnb allows you to message the host directly, as well as access host details and get directions to your destination. For the last-minute holiday organisers amongst us, with one simple tap you can search for available places nearby for that night.

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