Apr 252017
 

Have you tried ordering any cool gadget lately? Manufacturers seem to have more and more problems sending out deliveries than ever before. This may be because of mounting pressure for cost cuts and just-in-time production but it all too often makes customers feel unrewarded for seeking a special item.

Just look at Apple. Try ordering the new Apple Airpods. How many weeks for that if you place your order in the Apple Store? In Germany you would have to wait an estimated 6 weeks. And I believe that was even worse just a while back. When again did they make the announcement? Oh don’t ask!

Or how about the new fitness gadget Fenix 5 from Garmin. 4-6 weeks – at least –  they tell you when ordering straight from the Garmin shop in Germany. Not to mention the sapphire version – that seems to be even further away from market introduction. Some batches miraculously seem to find their way to Amazon or Ebay but other online tech stores not often seem to be that lucky to compete stock-wise.

This delivery nuisance is not limited to a few single countries or a few specialty products. I believe there are mounting supply shortages all over the world when it comes to high end tech gadgets. Companies tend to announce products and then keep customers on hold until they can deliver them in proper quantities.

Maybe the only sensible solution to this problem is not to order unless something is readily availabe in stores. Anyhow, it would be far easier if manufacturers were to restrain themselves from promoting things they just can’t deliver in sufficient numbers.

Mar 312014
 

This wireless sound gadget can be used in conjunction with e.g. your computer devices or your iPhone for instance, making it possible to watch the movies you made (e.g. that you transferred to your iPad or Android device with your Wifi enabled camera). Maybe you will be interested in reading about this device only because you intend to go running listening to your favorite mp3 music.

Anyway, IMO this Sony Bluetooth® Wireless Sports Headset MDR-AS700BT is good enough to catch your attention.

Lupico_140327__FXE4304

 

The Sony Bluetooth® Wireless Sports Headset MDR-AS700BT is sold in a terribly annoying packaging. You can either choose to destructively rip it apart – or if you are more inclined to save the bundle e.g. for later resale you will have to fumble quite a long time to free your new headset of its plastic and cardboard prison. Once you get hold of the Quick Start Guide there is no stopping you. It is all you need to get to grips with the new device. Now you only need to charge the 3.7 V built-in lithium battery (for about 1.5 hours) via the included micro-USB cable and you are ready to go.

 

So here is what I liked and disliked about the new gadget:

+ handling easy to comprehend (using the Quick Start Guide)

+ crisp sound – a little “bass-y” but not too much (frequency response 2.4GHz band i.e. 2.4000GHz-2.4835GHz)

+ water resistant makes it a perfect companion for outdoor sports

+ good Bluetooth® connectivity (tested on iPhone)

+ remote control on earpiece works flawlessly

+ long lasting battery life (up to 9 hours of listening)

– comparably steep Price (street price around $ 75/ € 90)

– quite uncomfortable (IMO) plastic neck band (or let me call it a bracket) that is positioned over or rather behind the ears and behind the head

– permanently blinking LED on one earpiece is annoying in dark surroundings (I taped mine and this way got rid of the distraction)

– no plug adapter supplied to charge via wall socket

– fumbly packaging

 

Final Word

This Sony Bluetooth® Wireless Sports Headset MDR-AS700BT is a fun gadget you can take with you running or use e.g. when you want to watch movies streamed from your iPad or other gear. The sound is wonderful considering this is a wireless device. Do not expect anything beyond that though. If you can live with a little discomfort around the ears (and maybe you will not even face this problem), this headset is a winner and can be highly recommended.

Need any more infos? Just go to a Sony site here and get all the technical data you need.

Jul 022013
 

Today marks the first commercial smartphone launch featuring the Firefox operating system. The spanish Telefónica starts selling the ZTE Open for €69 including €30 of airtime plus a free 4GB microSD card coming with the prepaid Movistar offer. For now the ZTE Open will only be available in Spain but soon further Firefox smartphones should be offered in other countries as well (beginning with Latin America).

Image: ZTE Open (C) ZTE

Image: ZTE Open (C) ZTE

The ZTE Open is the first commercially offered open web smartphone device and shows that the alternative and independent OS Firefox can also be used quite effectively in mobile devices. Other manufacturers like LG Electronics, Sony and Huawei are said to follow this example and probably will be introducing their own Firefox OS mobiles very soon. This is good news for all users looking for an alternative to iOS and Android. All applications and services running on Firefox OS will be implemented using Javascript and HTML5 making it more accessible for developers.

The ZTE Open is equipped with a single core Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and only has 512 MB ROM/256 MB RAM available. But additional memory can be added using the MicroSD card slot. It comes with a 3MP camera, a 3.5 inch HVGA TFT touchscreen display, stereo FM radio, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPS and dual band Wi-Fi. Apps can be found on the Firefox Marketplace.

In general mobile phones equipped with Firefox OS will probably be kept simpler and serve more basic needs. The main goal seems to be to make Firefox mobile phones available at a comparably cheap price. This development may mark the end of the more rudimental featurephone and push smartphones into areas where previously they were simply unaffordable and of course it will try to take away some of the dominant Google market share.

Apr 212013
 
google brille glass10

Photo: Google Inc.

Mobile communications and human interaction will probably never be the same again. Google is taking us to the next level. Soon these space-age looking devices called Google Glass will be dropped on the market.

Maybe by the end of this year they will be available in stores. The first developers have already taken a spin and are reporting on their new gadgets.

So is this going to be heaven or hell and will you be wearing a pair of these glasses soon?

google glass2 Frau

Photo: Google Inc.

Photos: Google Inc.

  • Camera: 5 MP photos / 720p videos
  • 12 GB usable flash memory (can be synched with Google cloud)
  • Wifi and Bluetooth
  • Display with unspecified resolution (supposed to look like 25″ screen from 8 feet away)
  • Battery lasting one full day (of typical use)
  • Charging via included Micro USB charging unit
  • Compatible with any Bluetooth-cabable phone
  • MyGlass enables GPS and SMS in combination with mobile phone

These specs sound pretty cool at first sight and will probably give GoPro a bit of a headache. Google Glass will be of great value for all who love to do hands-free documentations of their favorite activities and adventures. They will be able to take cool movies or pictures on the go, riding a bike, skydiving or while hiking through the Grand Canyon with the sun shades pulled over the extra light and durable Google Glass frame.

Audio comes via Bone Conduction Transducer i.e. transmitting sound to the user`s skull without the need for earphones. Looking at the prism screen on the upper right side of these “spectacles” users can search the internet, do video conferences with friends, use GPS navigation with overlaying data into the vision or even watch the latest movies. Google Glass can be paired to numerous devices via Bluetooth. But to get the full performance and be able to use all features the new MyGlass Android app and an Android mobile would probably be most suitable. Want more infos? Here is a link to Google including the specs and product info.

Have a look at this cute video supplied by Google via YouTube:

But will it all end there? Probably not. Some geeks will be wearing Google Glass all the time! You will soon be seeing people sitting in bars, walking the streets, driving a car and working at the office wearing Google Glass. Not far down the road users will even be able to identify their friends in a crowd. Now, wouldn`t that be a little frightening?

And just imagine: This coming first version of the Google Glass is probably only going to be the beginning of an all new hype. In time the relevant parts might be designed to be even smaller and the devices will then become less obvious for other people to make out. This will enable anyone to take pictures and movies e.g. of people everywhere and anytime – without them knowing it. An instant post to Facebook would only need a quick voice command. People might be wandering around like zombies following their on-board navigation system, instead of looking at you or having a real and undistracted conversation.

Here is a funny video by DartanionLondon via YouTube:

Then again, shouldn`t we embrace the new technology and work with it, enjoying the great opportunities offered to us? In earlier days some people were equally put off by technological advances. Remember the first days of the walkman? Or what about the invention of radio and TV? Many people thought it was the end of civilization as we know it. Even the invention of the printed book was demonized back in the old days because instead of doing hard work some folks seemed to be idly reading all of the time.

So let`s just wait and see where Google Glass will take us. And what Apple will do to stop the new avalanche. A new iWatch maybe? Exciting times for tech geeks for sure.

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