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IFA 2011

— Around The Home

Play video memo pad drags the fridge-magnet into the digital age

By - September 9, 2011 1 Picture
Not so long ago, leaving a message for other members of the household would often involve sticking a note on the fridge and hoping they saw it. Now that just about everybody has a mobile phone, hastily scribbled notes have given way to hastily thumbed text messages or a quick voice, or even video call. Native Union is looking to somehow combine the almost lost art of not-so-instant messaging with the more modern video call with its Play video memo pad. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

ETY Kids earphones keep the volume to safe levels

By - September 6, 2011 2 Pictures
Since the dawn of the Sony Walkman back in the 80s, audiologists have noted an increase in hearing loss among young people. With the current popularity of iPods and MP3 players, that trend shows no signs of abating. Although concerned parents can tell their children to keep the volume down on their personal music devices, such a rule can be difficult to enforce – particularly when childrens’ and parents’ ideas of “too loud” could differ significantly. Etymotic’s ETY Kids Safe-Listening Earphones, however, limit the volume to safe levels, even when cranked all the way up. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

iHealth helps manage your blood pressure and weight on your iPhone

By - September 5, 2011 5 Pictures
For many people, a key part of their personal health management routine involves monitoring their blood pressure and weight. Frequently going to get one’s blood pressure measured at a pharmacy or clinic, however, can be a hassle. Well, to paraphrase an advertising slogan, “there’s an app for that” – along with a device. The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad consists of a blood pressure arm cuff wired to a portable dock, along with the free iHealth app, which users run on their chosen iDevice to keep track of their systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. They will also soon be able to throw their weight data into the mix, with the iHealth Scale. Read More
— Laptops

First impressions: Acer reveals Aspire S3 Ultrabook

By - September 5, 2011 5 Pictures
Acer has announced its first dip into the Ultrabook market at this year's IFA. A more obvious leaning towards the trend-setting MacBook Air design than Toshiba's Portégé Z830 notebook, the Aspire S3 will come with a choice of second generation Intel Core processors, either solid state or hybrid hard drive storage and promises an impressive battery life. We got up close and personal with the pre-production models on show in Berlin, but were left less than impressed. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Philips updates Cinema 21:9 line with 58-inch Platinum series

By - September 5, 2011 14 Pictures
Philips has been teasing us with the promise of the 58-inch 3D capable Platinum Series Cinema 21:9 TV since IFA 2010, but the company finally looks set to deliver. Showing off the new set at IFA 2011, Philips revealed plans to launch the cinema-proportioned TV in September. The Platinum series boasts an ultra-wide 21:9 (2.39:1) aspect ratio and 2,560 x 1080p pixel resolution panel. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Sony Reader WiFi ups the bar for eBook Readers by adding a touch screen

By - September 5, 2011 1 Picture
Among Sony's releases at IFA is one that could put a dent in Kindle's dominance of the eReader space - the 6-inch Sony Reader Wi-Fi. The new reader comes in at just 168 grams, two thirds of the weight of the Kindle 3 WiFi and with a host of advantages that include faster and smoother page turns (we tried it), and a dual-touch touchscreen for easy zooming. Unlike the Kindle, it won't lock you to Amazon as the sole provider of your reading material. It's also cheaper and lighter than the model it replaces, but still US$10 dearer than the Kindle at US$149. Read More
— Around The Home

Dyson unveils its first Ball cylinder vacuum cleaner

By - September 4, 2011 11 Pictures
Until now, Dyson's patented Ball technology that lets vacuum cleaners turn on a dime - or rather a ball - has only been available in its upright models. Now the company has unveiled its first cylinder - or canister - vacuum with Ball technology in the form of the DC37. On show it IFA 2011, the DC37 also includes a "Musclehead" floor tool that recognizes the floor surface and automatically retracts its brushes on carpet, and lowers them on hard floors. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Sony's late charge on the tablet market

By - September 4, 2011 12 Pictures
Sony finally threw its hat in the tablet ring at IFA 2011 by announcing the market launch of the Sony Tablet S and Tablet P (previously codenamed S1 and S2). The biggest point-of-difference from other Android tablets and the heavyweight champ iPad is form factor - the Tablet S gets an unusual asymmetrical shape and the Tablet P throws the conventional tablet format away completely with its clam-shell, dual-screen design. Having stated its intention to become number two in the tablet marketplace and setting pricing identical to that of the iPad 2, Sony is certainly aiming high with this one. Read More
— Music

Sennheiser releases RS 220 wireless headphones

By - September 2, 2011 4 Pictures
How many people out there like headphone cords? Probably not a great number, but audiophiles will tell you that hard-wired headphones offer far superior sound quality than their wireless counterparts. Sennheiser, however, would have us believe otherwise. The company states that thanks to its Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique, its new RS 220 wireless headphones sound like they’ve got a cord coming out of ‘em. Read More
— Around The Home

Miele to release solar-heated clothes dryer

By - September 2, 2011 3 Pictures
At last year's IFA electronics trade show, Miele unveiled its SmartGrid-ready washer and dryer. Although they run off of regular mains power, these machines are also able to access the internet and determine when rates will be cheapest. Users indicate the time period in which the laundry must be washed or dried, the appliances choose the least expensive time within that period, then proceed to automatically start at that time. At IFA 2011, Miele has gone one better by unveiling what it describes as the world's first dryer to use the heat of the sun to get the wetness out of clothes. Read More
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