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Enid Burns

one2TOUCH silicon keyboard operates when a smartphone is set on top of the center pad

Near-Field Communication (NFC) is generally associated with contactless payment methods such as the mobile wallet. In practice, NFC's uses include connecting a smartphone to a car and other devices. Now Norway-based one2TOUCH is offering silicone keyboards that connect to smartphones and tablets simply by laying the mobile device on top - no pairing required.  Read More

Panasonic Europe's ELUGA phone is waterproof and dustproof to international standard IP57 ...

Panasonic named its two new Android handsets ELUGA, an acronym of sorts for "elegant user-oriented gateway," to symbolize the slim pair of phones that aim to combine both design and function. The electronics manufacturer introduced the ELUGA and ELUGA Power handsets this past week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, extending the number of Android devices unveiled at the show from the likes of LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Viewsonic and Huawei, just to name a few.  Read More

BAE Systems is developing structural batteries for the military (Photo: Shutterstock)

Battery life is a crucial issue on any portable device drawing power - from cell phones to something as big as a car. Of course, the larger the battery, the more it weighs. Structural batteries which store power in the parts that make up the device are seen as a solution to this issue and BAE systems is working on such systems with the aim of lightening the load for frontline soldiers.  Read More

A microchip on the earbud senses in which ear it's placed

The L and R labels on your headphones serve a purpose, and it isn't just about fit. The audio source - whether it's a receiver, PC or MP3 player - sends left- and right-channel sounds to the appropriate earbud. While it might seem minor, this can be a difference between a disjointed experience listening to music, movies and other video, to a fuller experience that connects sight (in the case of video) and sound - with sound coming from the direction it's intended. There's no chance of a mix-up with the Universal Earphones being developed by Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo - the headphones decide for themselves which ear they are in, and send sound to the each channel accordingly.  Read More

Virus base layer garments provide use recycled coffee beans in the fiber to provide warmth...

They clearly like a coffee over at Californian sports clothing company Virus. While its employees might order a mocha latte, the company is interested in the grinds. Virus' StayWarm line uses what it calls Coffee Char, or coffee charcoal in the construction of the fabric. The grounds are recycled and processed into a natural fiber to produce a comfortable base layer fabric that traps heat close to the skin.  Read More

Philips Soundbar CSS5123

There's something to be said about streaming content from your PC on the TV. The question is how do you get that content from the PC - and now tablets and phones - to your TV. The latest option from Philips is the Soundbar CSS5123, an Android-powered surround sound speaker that lets you stream content from any DLNA-enabled device.  Read More

Rydis' H800 robotic air purifier roams the house in search of allergens, odor and dust

An air purifier is typically set to clean a set number of square feet in a house or building, say 100 square feet (9 sq m). That means nearby rooms don't benefit, and you may even wonder about the perimeter of the room in which you have the purifier, and whether air particles in that area are being cleaned. The Rydis H800, a robot air purifier from Moneual, addresses these concerns by roaming the house in search of dirty air to clean and purify.  Read More

The i Violin display at CES

Often viewed as works of art, violins and other string instruments are not uncommonly displayed in the home. One Chinese company is turning a number of violins and other string instruments into speakers, so the display is functional. Instruments used to make the speakers, which also include bass and other string selections, are made by Hua Xing String Instruments in Guangzhou, China. A driver is inserted into the instrument, and the resonance within the resulting ViolinSpeaker is used to produce and project sound.  Read More

Swann Sky Eye RC helicopter with camera

An iPhone app and a camera take flight in the new remote control helicopters from Swann. Three models include i-Fly Micro Lightning, Sky Eye and Black Swan. The i-Fly Micro Lightning lets you control the helicopter via an app for the iPhone, iPod or iPad. The Sky Eye and Black Swann models house a camera capable of taking still and video images.  Read More

The De Soto T1 Wetsuit in action

Over the past few years an unlikely material has found its way into wetsuits: limestone. One would think that using rock to create rubber might cause a wearer to sink, but the porous yet closely-packed cells found in a limestone-based rubber is said to make the wearer more buoyant. De Soto Sports, a San Diego-based company that makes clothing and gear for triathlons, developed its own brand of limestone-based rubber, GreenGoma, to use in its wetsuits. Starting with the 2012 line, which first hit stores this past fall, all of the company's T1 wetsuits are made with GreenGoma, which eliminates the use of petroleum products in the line.  Read More

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