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Apple Opens HomeKit Development

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WWDC 2017 might have been dominated with the announcement of hardware such as the HomePod speaker, but it did host an interesting tidbit involving HomeKit-- the Apple home automation platform is now open for Apple developers.

iOS HomeKitAs Forbes reports, development of HomeKit-compatible devices no longer requires an MFi license. In fact, Apple says one can even develop prototypes using popular developer boards such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, making it easier to start building HomeKit products. That said, the change relates solely to prototyping, and commercial products will still require MFi certification.

Another HomeKit-related announcement regards security. Future smart home devices will not require the integration of an authentication chip, since authentication has been moved to software-based option. Mind authentication still involves the same hardened encryption as it always has.

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Qualcomm Presents Quick Charge 4+

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Qualcomm is quick to present an update on the Quick Charge 4 standard-- Quick Charge 4+, a set of enhancements vendors can add to Quick Charge 4-compliant devices.

Qualcomm QuickchargeThe enhancements found in Quick Charge 4+ are Dual Charge (or at least a "more powerful" version of the feature found in the earlier version), Intelligent Thermal Balancing (steers current to the coolest dual charging pathways in order to keep temperatures down) and "advanced safety features" (monitor phone and connector temperature against overheating and short-circuit damage).

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LG Debuts ProBeam Laser Projector

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LG announces a more affordable laser projector option-- the ProBeam, a compact projector (weighs around 2kg) capable of beaming a 120-inch picture at up to 2000 lumens brightness.

LG ProbeamThe ProBeam handles 1920 x 1080 resolution images, and offers a vertical auto keystone alignment feature the company claims automatically detects and corrects screen image distortion. Bluetooth audio out allows users to pair with any wireless audio product, such as an external speaker or headphones.

Further connectivity includes x2 HDM, x2 USB and ethernet ports.

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Flipp to Control Speakers Over Wifi

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The Flipp is a Kickstarter project with a single aim-- to provide a simple means for the control of wireless audio systems, including products from the likes of Sonos, Bose and Philips.

Flipp remoteThe actual Flipp remote is a palm-size disc. It does exactly four things, namely pause/play music, control volume, skip songs and skip playlists. It has no buttons, meaning control is tied to specific motions based on how one is holding the Flipp.

Thus, rotating the remote with the speckled white face up controls the volume, while flipping (thus the name) to the black side while rotating skips through songs on a playlist. One can also simply press the Flipp once to pause/play, and press and rotate to switch between playlists.

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Wacom Intros Windows 10, iOS Styluses

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Wacom announces a pair of styluses-- the Bamboo Ink, a Windows Ink stylus designed for writing, and the Bamboo Sketch, a stylus with a swappable fine tip for drawing on an iPhone or iPad.

Wacom BambooThe Bamboo Ink is optimised for Windows 10 devices, and comes with 3 different nibs (soft, medium, firm) for different feels. It is compatible with many Windows devices, and as previously detailed at the Microsoft Build conference it allows users to fully interact with the Edge browser, strike through words on Word and even annotate a PDF file.

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