Although electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular for
commuting, a lot of people still don't like the idea of completely
shelving their perfectly-good human-powered two-wheeler. That's why
companies such as Superpedestrian, Evelo and Hycore
have developed electric-assist wheels containing a battery pack and
motor, that can simply be installed on a regular bike. Although most of
them are still in the "pre-order" stage, FlyKly's Smart Wheel
is now actually reaching consumers. I recently got to try one out, and
it definitely does help with the hills ... although at least one tweak
is still needed.
Like many people who try (not) to use a mobile phone while mobile in an
auto, I have sound- and device-management issues. That's why I welcomed
the chance to try out the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD, a sleek hands-free
calling and speaker system that uses either Bluetooth or NFC to connect
up to two mobile devices at a time. Useable with or without its app and
either iOS or Android devices, it's a good choice for those who can't
afford a complicated stereo overhaul for their car and need to support
multiple phone operating systems.
Plantronics, well known for communication headsets and Bluetooth earpieces, has been showing more of its casual, active lifestyle side over the past year. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro, BackBeat Fit, and BackBeat Go 2 have been targeted at consumers looking for portable audio gear. But with the market so saturated these days, it takes more than Bluetooth wireless to turn heads. We get some quality time with Plantronics’ latest BackBeat Sense headphones to see if the added features truly make a meaningful difference.
The Scrambler is a radical departure from the sleek, expensive high-performance machines Ducati is known for these days. It's a small, humble, retro dual-sport machine with an 800cc engine, a modest 75 horsepower and a look so American you'd hardly believe it was designed in Italy. But this bike has been Ducati's biggest success of the year, single-handedly boosting global sales by more than 20 percent, so we've been very keen to get our hands on one. Last week, the stars aligned, and we had a chance to ride it. And yes, the Scrambler is nothing like any other Ducati in the range.
China’s DJI made a gutsy move with the release of the Phantom 3. The Phantom 2 Vision+ was still clearly the best all-in-one prosumer camera drone on the market, so the Phantom 3 could easily have been an incremental upgrade. Instead, it's a total overhaul, and an amazing piece of aerial camera gear that equals gear that costs twice as much (like DJI's own Inspire One) in many areas. But is it perfect? No - and not by a long way. There's some pretty clear areas for improvement, even if the Phantom 3 Professional is still miles ahead of the competition.
Ultimate Ears boasts an impressive record with its line of Bluetooth speakers since the release of the original UE Boom in 2013, which it followed up with the smaller UE Mini Boom and the larger UE Megaboom. All of these speakers pack big sound, loud colors and a portable form factor. Ultimate Ears’ latest and most compact speaker, the UE Roll, launched just in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer and we dive in to see how it hangs, dunks, floats, and sounds.
Back in May, British headphone maker Reid Heath Audio (RHA) announced a new pair of in-ear headphones that debuted something called DualCoil dynamic driver technology. The company had managed to install two independently-powered dynamic voice coils on a micro ring magnet, one to handle lower audio frequencies and the other to take care of the higher end. The T20s promised a true-to-life reproduction and support for high resolution audio. We got to plug in for some hi-res, and lo-res, listening.
Most "new" products we see are really just minor evolutions of gadgets that have been around for years. But here's one that's completely unlike anything we've used before. Meet Thync, a wearable that zaps your brain to change your mood – like a drug that replaces chemicals with technology.
The Garmin vivoactive fitness tracker is a smart(ish) watch which combines all-day activity and sleep tracking along with more detailed exercise monitoring thanks to built-in GPS capabilities. Gizmag recently spent a few weeks putting the device through its paces, as it put us through ours, to see what it can do and who it is best suited for.
Many activities, such as operating heavy machinery, enjoying loud concerts, or shooting guns at a range, generate harmful levels of sound. Ear protection reduces such noise to prevent long-term damage, but it can be difficult or inconvenient to adjust the volume when one needs to hear "normally." One of the latest forms of protection attempts to solve this dilemma with a design that allows more or less sound to pass through with the push of a button. We get some ears-on to see how well the ProSounds X-Pro ear plugs differentiate themselves from the field.