Shure Intros First Bluetooth Earphones

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British high-end audio maker Shure announces its first Bluetooth wireless earphones-- the SE215 and SE112, both promising to build on the SE Sound Isolating line with the same ergonomic design.

Shure earphonesThe earphones promise "endorphin-inducing, detailed sound" through a design able to block up to 37dB of outdoor noise. Battery life clocks at 8 hours, while wireless range is 10m via Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. The SE215 are the more premium option, with a detachable cable connecting the two earbuds, while the SE112 has fixed cable.

As for current Shure detachable earphone users wanting to go wireless, the company has them covered with the Bluetooth Accessory Cable-- a cable accessory adding Bluetooth connectivity together with integrated mic and 3-button remote for volume and playback control.

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Pi to Wirelessly Charge from a Distance

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Wireless charging is set to truly hit the mainstream with the iPhone 8, but a startup named Pi wants to further extend the reach of the technology-- specifically by 30cm, through the imaginatively named Pi Charger.

Pi ChargerAs debuted at the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield event, the Pi Charger is a conical device able to charge multiple devices within around 30cm in any direction. It is not a full-room wireless charging offering, the the maker promises it actually works, and does so without need to put devices on a charging pad.

The technology behind the Pi Charger is resonant induction, the same used by the Qi standard found in the new iPhones. It is paired with a special beam forming algorithm allowing Pi to shape and direct the magnetic fields around the device. This allows users to charge a smartphone by putting it next to the charger, as opposed to directly on it.

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Microsoft Teases Windows Mixed Reality Event

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The press is to see more of the Windows Mixed Reality-- aka the Microsoft combination of virtual and augmented reality-- at a special event come 3 October 2017, ahead of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update launch.

Windows Mixed RealitlyThe event should be an "opportunity to hear where Microsoft is headed next," and will have Kinect and HoloLens inventor Alex Kipman as speaker.

One can safely assume the event will host a variety of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which should hit the market from 17 October. As seen at IFA 2017, Mixed Reality headsets come from a number of vendors, including Acer, HP, Dell and Lenovo. The trade show also hosted an Asus headset with unique polygonal design, but that one will only hit the market on Spring 2018.

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The Alexa-Controlled Smart Mattress

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Sleep technology company Eight adds further capabilities to its smart mattresses with an Alexa skill allowing one to control such products through Amazon-enabled devices and voice commands.

Eight smart mattressThe "smart sleeping" products currently compatible with Alexa are the Smart Mattress collection and the Smart Mattress Cover. Users can state commands such as "Alexa, warm up the left side of the bed" or "Alexa the bed is too cold" to warm up the bed. In addition one can ask ask "Alexa, how did I sleep last night?" or "Alexa, what's my sleep score" to receive statistics related to their sleeping patterns.

Eight plans to add further Alexa commands later this year for more robust interactions between its products and the virtual assistants. Eight products already feature automation capabilities through If This Then That (IFTTT), but Alexa allows for perhaps simpler integration, not to mention control.

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August Updates Smart Locks

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August presents a pair of smart locks-- the Smart Lock Pro and the next generation Smart Lock, both featuring DoorSense, a sensor allowing the locks to detect whether the door is open or closed.

August lockAs one might expect from the name, the Smart Lock Pro is the full-featured August smart lock offering. It supports wifi via included Connect bridge, as well as Bluetooth, HomeKit and Z-Wave Plus. It also includes Active Monitoring, a service providing users with "smarter" alerts for any activity at the door, including the aforementioned DoorSense feature.

Meanwhile the regular Smart Lock is a lower-cost version offering basic functionality, if with the addition of DoorSense to ensure the door is securely closed and locked.

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