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Philips Presents Hue E14 Candle

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Philips Lighting announces the Hue E14-- a candle light bulb compatible with the Hue app-controlled lighting system, available in both colour and white ambiance versions.

Philips Hue CandleThe E14 fits in a wide range of household lighting fixtures (up to 80% of sockets used across the world, the company claims), and offers identical functionality to other Hue products. It is a 40W equivalent bulb with 470 lumens brightness. Customers need to pair the candle bulb with the Hue Bridge accessory before control through the companion smartphone app.

Control features such as custom lighting colours, schedules and geo-fencing, as well as simple on/off switching. Philips says candle light bulbs are mainly used in decorative lamps for the bedroom, and the white ambiance bulb has dimming features promising better sleep.

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A Wrensilva Record Console to Stream to Sonos

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Wrensilva LoftWrensilva announces a smaller and lighter take on the record console-- the Loft, a console built out of N. American walnut able to stream records directly to Sonos speaker systems.

The Loft features modern internals inside retro stylings, with an OA2 precision Gimbal tonearm and Ortofon 2m Red cartridge paired with a 300W per channel Bang & Olufsen ICEpower classD amplifier. The turntable is fully decoupled belt-driven, while wifi connectivity allows one to push whatever vinyl is being played to a whole-home Sonos system.

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Nintendo Finds Early Success With Switch

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It might be early days for the Switch, but so far the curious hybrid of tablet and console shows success-- so much so the Wall Street Journal reports Nintendo needs to double planned production in order to meet demand.

Nintendo switchThe Japanese company was supposedly going to make 8 million Switch units in fiscal 2017 (starting in April), but higher-than-expected sales have lead to a doubling of the figure to 16 million, unnamed supply chain sources claim. The WSJ adds the widely praised Zelda game sold 1.5m units in its first week, and sales for March 2017 can total up to 2.5m.

Such reports follow tweets by New York Times journalist Nick Wingfield, who says the Switch was the fastest selling Nintendo machine in the Americas, with launch title Zelda: Breath of the Wild as best selling standalone launch title.

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Swatch Working on Own Smartwatch OS

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Swatch is working on an alternative to Android Wear and Watch OS, Bloomberg reports-- one to be first seen in a Tissot-branded smartwatch launching by end 2018.

Tissot smartwatchWhat will make the Swatch software better than that developed by the American giants? According to Swatch CEO Nick Hayek the difference lies in its trying to "think small," meaning it drains less battery power, the biggest problem wearables currently face. It also promises to "protect data better," and the OS will be available for 3rd parties.

“There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” the CEO adds.

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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

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Samsung presents what it claims is a "new way to interact with your phone"-- Bixby, its take on the voice assistant likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant.

Samsung GalaxyThe result of the acquisition of Viv, an AI specialist founded by the creators of Siri, Bixby promises to be superior to the competition through 3 specific properties. These are completeness (it can handle "almost" any task one can do using the touchscreen), context awareness (Bixby-enabled apps can summon Bixby at any time, and the assistant carries out tasks specific to the app) and cognitive tolerance (it understands commands with incomplete information, and prompts users to tell it more if necessary).

Bixby will also find use beyond smartphones, since Samsung plans to put it a wide variety of connected devices, including appliances, TV remotes and wearables. In fact, the company states Bixby can work on just about anything with an internet connection and a microphone. Uniting all Bixby-enabled offerings is a dedicated hardware button, which Samsung claims eliminates the "confusion around activating a voice interface."

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