Looking to spew music, audio from your video off your Camera Roll, or even from your Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad? Well, dude, you’re in luck because TuneLink Home is here and it’s pretty much amazing. More than just a way to get audio from your iOS device but also an amazing universal remote the TuneLink Home is very much worth a look and a purchase if not finding high placement on your Christmas list. Read the review and find out why.
NFC is the new big thing in mobile. No, I’m not referring to the National Football Conference of the NFL here in the States, but rather Near-field Communication. Much like RFID – another acronym for Radio Frequency Identification – NFC will allow devices to pass information to a near-by reader.
Google already employs this in its mobile operating system Android, as does Nokia in a handful of its handsets (see image). The most commonly used technology used for NFC is in fact that other lesser-known acronym, RFID. Found in key fobs for “Pay Pass” as well as Google phones to your passport, RFID has become the standard hardware for NFC. While many have become concerned with RFIDs security vulnerabilities, manufacturers have taken to it to like crack due to its affordability and its it-just-works aspect. While reports have already floated around between job offers at Apple and rumors of NFC devices being tested in the field by the iCompany, what Apple will choose is not clear.
One thing is clear, however: NFC is the next big thing.
With its heavy use in social media from services such as Google’s Lattitude, FaceBook’s Places, to foursquare and Gowalla, all which basically are employing NFC, we have seen just how popular this technology is already in its infancy.
A start-up based in Southern California wants to be the first to take shopping to the fullest with your iPhone and other devices to pay for things like groceries, shoes, coffee, and lumber. MobilePayUSA is currently working with major merchants and financial institutions in making payment with your phone a reality. MobilePayUSA is an immediate, simple, low-cost and viable alternative to NFC sidelining security concerns and costly equipment for the merchant. I spoke to founder and CEO Randy Smith about his company’s visions and use of NFC last fall, and he hopes to eliminate plastic (credit cards) and paper (receipts) with MobilePayUSA. Smith told me that the idea is that no one really forgets their phone anymore, but wallets still seem to sometimes not find their way into peoples’ pockets. With MobilePayUSA on your phone, you won’t have to worry about having your wallet, credit card, check book, or cash. As an added bonus, Smith said that reward cards we all love to lose will be built into the application and instantly give you discounts at the register and track your points for you with every purchase. Smith hopes to have a public beta available soon.
MobilePayUSA may beat Apple to the punch with its application, but Apple doesn’t seem to want to just go after the eWallet feature. No, like anything Apple, it wants to be the only one doing what it’s doing. It wants to go far beyond “There’s an app for that.” Think car security. Think home security. Think computer security. Think whereever you need a key – or password – and you’ll begin to understand just how huge NFC can really be.
Take a look at the tech landscape and you’ll find GM’s onStar app for nearly every 2011 model in iTunes. Unlock and lock doors with a push of a button. Start your vehicle with a push of a button. Lock and unlock your front door with one of the many wireless dead bolt locks available today. Turn on or off your home lights. All from your iPhone. But the trick is, you need to actively do something with your device.
Apple will remove that from the equation and, much like how keyless entry works on a Mercedes with its fob, you could simply walk up to your front door and open it…as long as your iPhone is on your person. Or go into the garage and open your car door and simply push the Start button to power up the engine. (I can say power up now since hybrid and electric vehicles are more common. )
This is would make the iPhone 5 the reason to ignore Droids and Windows 7 phones and all the others.
It’s not hard to see this technology coming to vehicles soon, either. Remember, Apple and Volkswagen openly admitted a few years ago that it was working closely on iPod integration and rumors even had an iCar in development before the global economical crash. It would be easy to bring auto-locks and authorize vehicle operations with an iPhone 5 to the masses with VWs bread-and-butter Jetta and Golfs. Since VW owns Audi, Porsche, and Bentley, upscale customers would be able to brag to their friends how their phone can start the car. Heck, how cool would it be to sit in a Lambo and just drive off without every grabbing for a key?
I could see GM jumping on board as well due to its onStar app already being in use. It wouldn’t take much for GM to integrate NFC with onStar. Between GM and VW, you would have 2/3 of the most sold vehicles in the world NFC ready for the iPhone 5.
Boy, wouldn’t that make Steve Jobs smile?
If you’re looking for big sound for your small room to accompany your video and gaming experience, then you may wish to check out the new harman kardon SB 16. With a 100 watt sub-woofer you can stick anywhere in your room for rich full, kickin, bass, and a small bar of speakers that can be placed on a table or mounted to a wall for that left and right sound, space is not an issue anymore. Unlike other brands that attempt to fit big into small and give that tin can sound, harman kardon wouldn’t put it’s name on the line for such a thing.
You know this 2.1 setup is going to rock and make you smile with pride when your friends beg you to, “show us where the system really is!” For just about the price of a decent sub-woofer, harman kardon may have just planted your next sound system in front of your TV. Just in time for the Steelers hard hits against the Packers in Super Bowl XLV next week.
HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NSYE: HAR), today announced the release of the new harman kardon® SB 16 2.1-channel soundbar home theater speaker system.
Home theater installations typically involve five loudspeakers, a subwoofer or two, and lots of speaker wire. Not every room can accommodate so many components, and not every homeowner wants to live with them. The harman kardon home cinema soundbar system offers an elegant and far simpler alternative: a single amplified loudspeaker unit connected directly to your television, DVD player or game console, and a single wireless subwoofer that you may place anywhere in the room.
Offering traditional stereo playback or realistic 3-D surround-sound processing, the SB 16 delivers true harman kardon performance with the absolute minimum number of components, and with no wires in (or out of) sight.
The SB 16 delivers exceptional sonic performance that can flood a room with a completely rich surround-sound experience from just one speaker. The soundbar features two-way, dual-driver, left and right soundbar speaker channels, each with two 3-inch (75mm) midrange drivers and a 3/4-inch (19mm) dome tweeter. The sleek and glossy wireless subwoofer is driven by 100 watts of power and boasts a 10-inch (250mm) driver within a ported enclosure. The soundbar amplifier power boasts 25W x 2 into 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20kHz, at <0.07% THD, when both channels are driven simultaneously. State-of-the-art harman kardon sound-processing technology includes a 3-D virtual speaker surround mode that creates a complete surround-sound experience without any extra speakers or wires.
“To design an elegant technological solution that is convenient to use and can operate seamlessly within its environment is one of the biggest goals that drive us here at HARMAN,” said David Slump, president, HARMAN Consumer Division. “The brand-new harman kardon SB 16 is proof of our continual passion for this goal.”
The SB 16 also includes key features that make it more convenient when instruction manuals, cords and remotes constantly fill up our living rooms. For example, the new soundbar is programmable so that it can obey your TV remote’s volume, power and source commands, enabling a single remote to control your whole home theater system. An EQ switch lets you adjust the soundbar’s bass for wall mounting or table mounting to deliver the most natural-sounding bass performance in any installation. And last but not least, an auto turn-on circuit automatically switches the subwoofer from “standby” to “on” when an audio signal is present.
Pricing and Availability
The harman kardon SB 16 is available in black and has a suggested retail price of $599.99. For additional information or to purchase, visit www.harmankardon.com/SB16.
With MiLi HD, users don’t have to struggle with wireless streaming and spotty WiFi connections. MiLi HD allows Apple users to watch their downloaded films, TV shows, and mobile services like NetFlix, in 1080i HD directly on their home television. Listen to your entire music or iTunes library playing through your high-quality home audio setup or through MiLi HD’s built-in HiFi speaker. “No longer does your mobile entertainment have to be just mobile,” says MiLi Power’s Executive VP, Robert Grossman. “MiLi HD provides the most reliable option to connect your mobile device to your home entertainment systems. 2011 marks a rebirth of MiLi Power, with a new management team and a slew of new innovative products to hit the market, it’s sure to be an exciting year!” MiLi HD, along with the rest of MiLi’s new product line will be on display January 6-9, 2011 at CES.
Watch HD videos from your Apple device directly on your flat-screen or listen to your full music library through your high-quality home audio system
• Compatible with all Apple products, including iPad
• 1080i HDMI output, built-in HiFi speaker
• Mini-USB connection
• Fully functional docking station with charging capabilities
• Apple certified with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
MiLi HD ($99.99) will be available at www.MiLiPower.com and select retailers nationwide. To request additional information about MiLi, please contact PR Representative Brad Hobbs at (305) 576-1171 x19 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’ve heard that this is ‘the year of 3D,’” said Wayne Kozuki, product manager, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America’s Presentation Products Division. “But Mitsubishi has been selling 3D-ready TVs since 2007, so it’s the home entertainment industry that is finally catching up to us.”
Mitsubishi’s new Diamond 3D projector is packed with features that create crisp, vivid, engaging 3D images that can display over 100-inch screens, creating a true theater experience. Powered by an SXRD™ cutting-edge reflective liquid-crystal optical engine, Mitsubishi adds its own algorithms and processing technologies to create high-brightness, high-contrast (up to 120,000:1 full on/full off) images that are smooth, dazzling and true to the original content.
A key element in projector performance is its lens, and Mitsubishi has incorporated extra-low dispersion glass into its six-piece, 17-cluster structure for higher functionality that minimizes chromatic aberration. The result is colors and details that are impeccably crystal clear.
With its auto-iris function, Mitsubishi’s Diamond 3D home theater projector automatically sets the optimal aperture according to each scene, and its 120Hz refresh rate produces ultra-smooth transitions and amazing and life-like images. An independent management function allows adjustment to color characteristics such as hue, intensity and brightness individually (red, green, cyan, magenta and yellow), without affecting the other colors..
With a wide range of powered lens shift (100% vertical and 45% horizontal), this new Mitsubishi Diamond 3D projector is easy to install, even in a complicated room configuration. In some cases there may not be a need to turn the projector upside down in a ceiling mount, and its 1.8x powered-zoom range also gives installers additional installation flexibility.
At only 19dBa, this Diamond 3D projector is extremely quiet, so viewers can easily hear the movie, even in whisper-soft scenes, instead of an annoying projector hum. Two HDMI™ version 1.4 inputs support 3D signals, as well as provide easy set-up options for multiple video inputs, and its RS232 support offers plug-and-play connectivity with third-party remote operations.
Mitsubishi’s new Diamond 3D projector also offers low cost of ownership with an estimated 4000-hour lamp life* in low conservation mode. It also has a convenient and simple rear-access lamp design for easy lamp exchanges and a one-year limited warranty on the lamp, one of the best lamp warranties in the industry.
“3D is a large screen, immersive experience, and we’re proud to showcase our new 3D Diamond Projector at this year’s CEDIA,” said James Chan, senior director, marketing, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America. “We continue to bring the best projection technology with a broad range of products to our home theater partners.”
Mint.com is the leading online personal finance solution, and Zillow.com is a leading real estate and home shopping website. As the result of a new partnership, Mint’s home valuation exclusively uses Zillow’s proprietary Zestimate® algorithm for real estate analysis. Updated regularly for continued accuracy, Zestimate values factor in a range of data, including comparable sales and individual home facts, such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size and remodels.
“This will give Mint users a more complete financial picture so they can save and do more with their money,” said Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit Personal Finance Group and founder of Mint.com. “Because a home is usually a person’s largest asset, it makes perfect sense for us to integrate with Zillow, to help our users track their home’s Zestimate in their Mint account.”
The addition of Zillow information can also lead to better financial decisions.
“Zillow and Mint have a common goal — to empower consumers with information so they can make more informed decisions regarding two very important areas of their lives – their home and finances,” said Spencer Rascoff, chief executive officer of Zillow.com.
Mint users who have already added their home to their Mint.com account will see their home’s estimated value from Zillow the next time they log in. Others can add their home value at any time. To view Zestimate values for their homes, users simply add a real estate account and enter their home address in the property search box. Users can then decide whether they’d like to accept the Zestimate value or manually enter their estimated home value.
Victor Pak, President and CEO of Pakedge, noted, “Custom installation professionals have been asking us for a wireless access point with high-throughput video streaming capability – and we’ve answered their needs with our new WAP-W3N. It offers flexible configuration options and comes with mounting hardware that enables it to be installed in a server rack as well as in other locations.”
The WAP-W3N offers high data-throughput with an 802b/g/n radio configuration, and its trapezoid-face housing enables optimum positioning of the unit’s three antennas. The WAP-W3N’s compact size, rugged aluminum enclosure and 1U rack-space wing brackets enable it to be installed in a server rack, or it can be wall-mounted or placed on a flat surface. The WAP-W3N uses a single Cat5e cable for both power and networking, making installation easy.
The WAP-W3N is highly configurable and is optimized for use with A/V system touch panels and control devices. It offers multiple SSID and VLAN (virtual local area network) support, enabling a user to segment a wireless network for different devices – for example, computers, A/V system touch panels and gaming systems – to provide the most efficient operation for all the connected devices.
The unit can be configured in four modes: Wireless Access Point, Wireless Bridge, Wireless Repeater or Wireless Distribution System (WDS). The WAP-W3N features software-controlled, variable power output, for maximum transmission/reception performance, range and security. The WAP-W3N supports the latest security standards including WPA, WPA2, AES, TKIP, WEP, RADIUS, MAC filtering and SSID Hide. The WAP-W3N can be used worldwide, thanks to its software-enabled country and power output configurability.
The Pakedge WAP-W3N Wireless-N Access Point is currently available and comes with three 5dBi omnidirectional antennas, a power supply, wall-mounting hardware and rack-mount brackets a Quick Start Guide and a Cat5e cable. Please contact email@example.com for pricing.
Salamander Designs is adding a layer of memory foam to the cushions and backs of all its premium theater seats. This will make all the seats more comfortable. Eco-friendly, soybean-based foam reduces the amount of petroleum used in polyurethane foam (a core material in cushions). The new combination of foams is more comfortable, more durable and more eco-friendly than the combination of materials used previously.
The memory foam, similar to that used in Tempur-pedic® mattresses, is much denser than conventional foam, with an open-cell structure that provides better support. As a seated person shifts his or her weight, the foam constantly and subtly readjusts itself to provide continuous support.
The new combination of materials further demonstrates Salamander Designs’ dedication to its philosophy of continuous innovation and Environmentally Friendly Operations. “We are committed to making business decisions that are globally responsible and environmentally friendly,” said company president Salvatore Carrabba. “As alternatives present themselves, we make every effort to take advantage of Green opportunities in all aspects of our business.”
Salamander Designs is applying the memory foams to its entire collection of premium Home Theater seating, including the Alex, Talia and Matteo lines. All the seats are hand-made in the USA by dedicated artisans. The company pays attention to every detail to ensure maximum reliability, durability and comfort. The three basic styles come in 27 high-fashion colors and four cover materials, including leathers that use an eco-friendly tanning process. Consumers can still customize their seating selections as simply as before, while enjoying the satisfaction of defining a solution, that is uniquely their own. The Salamander process allows customized seating to be shipped quickly, thus eliminating the usual penalty of a long wait for customization.
For further technical information, visit Salamander’s website at www.salamanderdesigns.com.
D-Link, the end-to-end networking solutions provider for consumers and business, today announced a trio of products designed to make the digital home more secure and less power hungry with minimal impact on the family budget.
The D-Link® Home Monitoring Starter Kit is an affordable, easy-to-use and very innovative “Connected Home Monitor” system that provides homeowners and renters with new levels of security for their property and loved ones. Designed for quick and easy installation by the user, the system connects via broadband router in the home, and can then be remotely monitored and controlled through a personalized web portal account at mydlink.com. Alerts from wireless sensors around the home are instantly relayed by text, email and voice-call to the consumer and their designated contacts.
Featuring a sleek, unobtrusive design, the D-Link Home Monitoring Starter Kit offers enhanced features found in more costly security systems, and uses Internet Protocol (IP) technology to offer an improved range of services and functionality in homes without traditional phone lines (POTS). The system can be easily expanded with infrared motion detection, door/window contacts, keypad, personalized key fobs, fire, carbon monoxide, and water leak detectors — all offered as additional accessories. The system can use these sensors to inform parents when their kids get home safely from school, and a home video option is available with D-Link IP cameras which can capture and record events with remote access to the images available through the website or via mobile phones.
Whether the user is traveling, at work, on vacation or at the neighborhood shopping mall, this solution can provide new levels of protection with the mydlink™ platform monitoring the property 24 hours a day, seven days a week It can even protect people in the home, with messaging to relatives and caretakers if someone is not out of bed and moving around the property by a specified time in the morning!
The kit’s Control Unit is simply connected via Ethernet cable to a broadband router and reports all alarm and other activity information directly to the mydlink platform. A range of in-home sensors report wirelessly to the Control Unit, and the user can add up to 20 additional sensors. The whole system can be self-installed in just 30 minutes as all sensors supplied with the standard kit are pre-registered with default settings.
The Home Monitor can be expanded with the D-Link Home Energy Monitoring Starter Kit. It is one of the first products that lets consumers measure energy consumption of all electrical appliances in the home, turning the Home Monitor into the ultimate smart energy “Green Machine”. It actually changes the way homeowners or renters deal with the age-old challenge of how to keep their home energy consumption to a minimum. It also provides practical tools for power management. When linked to the Home Monitoring Starter kit, consumers can use the mydlink portal to program devices to power-down when the home is empty, helping reduce carbon emissions and reduce utility bills by saving electricity.
The kit is equipped with two power-usage sensor adapters (additional sensors may be purchased separately) that plug into the home’s wall sockets near where the electrical appliances are located. By plugging the appliances directly into the kit’s sensor adapters, users can automatically download energy consumption data to their personal mydlink.com webpage where they have access to real-time power usage levels; daily, weekly and monthly breakdowns; cost conversions and graphical analysis. In addition, the product allows utility companies to offer users incentives on fee schedules based on their history of energy conservation.
The D-Link 3G Door Phone, another security innovation from D-Link, is the newest idea for adding another level of surveillance for the home. It acts like – and is powered the same as – an ordinary doorbell. But it is not ordinary. It is the first doorbell of its kind to allow homeowners to get a full view of visitors to their property from wherever they are – at home or away – using their 3G mobile phones. A built-in fixed focus .1 megapixel CMOS camera captures the images of visitors and streams the information to the PC or 3G mobile device, an LED indicator lets the homeowner know that the device is working, and an illuminated button allows easy visibility when it is dark outside.
Price and Availability
All three products, the D-Link Home Monitoring Starter Kit with a MSRP of $149.99, the D-Link Home Energy Monitoring Starter Kit at $99.99 MSRP, and the D-Link 3G Door Phone priced at $199.99 MSRP are expected to be available in the second quarter of this year through the company’s vast network of retail and etail outlets, and at D-Link’s online store, www.dlinkshop.com. Additional details for free and paid-subscription services for the D-Link Home Monitoring Starter Kit will be available when the product ships.
The new Madrid Cabinet in Natural Cherry finish
The Madrid is a sleek, fully assembled triple-wide cabinet whose clean, minimalist lines recall the strong modern design influences so compelling in mid-twentieth century furnishings. Its contemporary design will appeal to customers looking for a simple, sophisticated solution to their A/V needs that also complements their décor.
Designed, engineered and manufactured by a company on the forefront of the industry, the Madrid is unique in the depth and breadth of its features. For example, it provides ample storage for TVs plus up to five other components (including a center-channel speaker), a pull-out drawer for DVDs and CDs, easy accessibility, good ventilation, adjustable shelves, raceways for concealing and managing wires, and easy compatibility with IR remotes. The understated wood base conceals non-marking casters that make Madrid easy to install, move, service and clean.
The Madrid is also a model of quality construction. Measuring 70 inches wide by 22 inches high by 20.25 inches deep, the cabinet presents three compartments accessible using sliding bypass doors with warm, bronze-tinted glass panels that permit IR signals to pass through to the A/V components inside. Each unit comes with a classic Natural Cherry finish, or a more Euro-contemporary Wenge finish on open-grain oak veneer. The adjustable shelves each support 50 lbs. and the wood top supports up to 250 lbs., making it a practical choice for virtually all components. Sliding rear panels provide easy access to components from the back.
The Madrid is available now in Natural Cherry from Salamander Designs dealers at a suggested price of $1,499. It will be available in Wenge later this year.