Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

NFC

CheckinDJ generates playlists based on the preferences of the crowd

Tastes in music are such a subjective thing that it’s practically impossible to keep everyone in a crowded environment like a pub or coffee shop happy with the tune selection. Developed by the Mobile Radicals group at the UK’s Lancaster University, the CheckinDJ digital jukebox aims to keep the majority of people happy by using near field communication (NFC) and social networking to poll everyone’s musical tastes.  Read More

The Samsung NX2000 mirrorless camera

About this time last year, Samsung announced three new Wi-Fi-packing additions to its NX mirrorless camera range. Since then, smartphone cameras have come on in leaps and bounds – increasing the megapixel count to within spitting distance of dedicated cameras, while also bumping up overall image quality. Rather than square up to the ubiquitous smartphone, like Samsung's Galaxy Camera for instance, the new NX2000 reaches out and taps mobile devices on the shoulder to offer a friendly greeting. Thanks to the inclusion of near field communication (NFC), that quick tap is all that's needed to set up direct wireless communication for instant photo sharing and file backup.  Read More

Continental's smartphone system replaces the car hire station and the car key

Leveraging NFC technology to turn smartphones into keys is an idea that's gaining ground, not just for home access but for cars as well. With this and more in mind, automotive supplier Continental has begun testing a smartphone app enabling real-time centralized control for access to, and charging of, electric vehicle fleets. The system is aimed squarely at the fast-growing consumer segment of member-based car-sharing schemes, as well as corporate and government electric car fleets.  Read More

Sony has announced a wireless audio system with one-touch near field communication (NFC) c...

Thanks to the growing number of wireless speaker systems, those of us who have a good-sized digital music collection on our smartphones or tablets no longer have to concern ourselves with docking our device to hear our favorite tunes. Sony is aiming to make complicated wireless setup and fiddly pairing a thing of the past too, with the introduction of a streaming audio system with one-touch near field communication (NFC) connection.  Read More

Sharetapes cards use NFC and QR codes to load playlists

Once upon a time, the analog cassette tape was king. And for those that remember the time, chances are you might also recall having made a mixtape or two as well. Australian-based start-up venture Sharetapes is looking to recapture a little of that old-school magic, albeit with a modern twist, by launching a line of physical cards that you can load-up with playlists from websites like YouTube, Spotify and 8tracks. Users can then share their saved lists with other people’s smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology or quick response (QR) scanning codes.  Read More

The CalypsoKey can be used to unlock a door, or for almost any other NFC function

One major feature missing from Apple's iPhone, that's commonplace on many high-end Android devices, is near field communication (NFC). This allows NFC-capable devices to interact with one another, to make no-contact payments at businesses, or even to lock and unlock NFC-enabled door locks. Calypso Crystal is hoping to rectify the situation with its new CalypsoKey.  Read More

HTC's Mini lets your Butterfly delegate the whole phone thing to a little helper

Huge smartphones and phablets are great for some customers. They provide more screen real estate, and can double as miniature tablets. But the bigger these devices get, the more awkward they become for phone calls. If your 5-inch smartphone has you feeling like Zach Morris, then HTC has a solution: give your smartphone its own personal dumbphone.  Read More

The ShareKey app uses NFC to lock and unlock doors (Photo: Fraunhofer SIT)

Mobile phones have already swallowed up the average Joe's diary, compact camera, watch and Walkman. They're working on replacing the wallet as well – so the next logical step is to go hunting for the last remaining pocket-dwelling device they can gobble up in their mad fury of convergence – your keyring. Smart and secure door access apps and hardware have already sprung up using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – now there's ShareKey, which uses NFC (near field communication) and aims to be the most secure of all systems.  Read More

Artist's impression of a proton-proton collision producing a pair of gamma rays (yellow) i...

Keeping tabs on the furious rate of technological development happening all around us is no easy task and the passing of another year provides a good excuse to reflect and take stock of the major milestones we've seen. So sit back in your power-generating rocking chair, crack yourself a self-chilling beverage and enjoy our take on the significant trends, technological victories and scientific bombshells of 2012.  Read More

Wandant is available in Japan only, for now

As dog lovers are all too aware, man’s best friend is subject to many of the health issues which plague us humans. However, a new canine-oriented and cloud-integrated pedometer launched by Fujitsu promises to help monitor your dog’s weight and general health.  Read More

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