Accessories

Logitech Brings Trackball Back

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Logitech Brings Trackball Back

Logitech makes a surprise announcement with the MX Ergo-- the company's first trackball mouse since the M750, a trackball released way back in 2010.

The MX Ergo combines the trackball features of the M750 with the industrial design of the MX Master S2. It includes customisable back/forwards buttons, support for the multi-PC Flow feature and connectivity via either Bluetooth or Logitech Unifying receiver. Charging comes through included micro USB cable.

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OtterBox Opens uniVERSE Case System

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OtterBox Opens uniVERSE Case System

Accessory maker OtterBox releases the CAD for the uniVERSE Case System-- allowing anyone to design and 3D print accessories, even if they don't actually own a 3D printer.

The uniVERSE Case System involves an OtterBox iPhone and iPad case with a modular rail mount on the back. It allows users to attach a variety of accessories from a number of 3rd parties, including mophie power packs, Nite Ize auto and bike mounts, SanDisk memory expansion, Brydge keyboards and olloclip camera lenses, all with OtterBox protection.

Now the accessory mount CAD allows users to create and print own ideas using a 3D printer. Access to such a device is not an issue-- OtterBox has a partnership with 3D Hubs, a global network of over 6500 printers offering "competitive pricing, quick turnaround from local vendors and myriad materials."

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How to Turn the iPad into a 2nd MacBook Display

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How to Turn the iPad into a 2nd MacBook Display

AstroHQ presents a hardware means to turn the iPad into a full-on second Mac display-- the Luna Display, a tiny dongle allowing users to connect the tablet to their PC or notebook, wire-free.

The Luna Display plugs into the Mini DisplayPort or USB-C port found in modern Macs and MacBooks. It works together with a companion app on both Mac and iPad, using wifi to transfer data between the two.

According to AstroHQ, the hardware dongle taps into Macs' full graphics capabilities, including Metal GPU support. As such, it promises very high image quality with full Retina resolution and reliability across all visual media. One can also use the iPad touchscreen, with pinch to zoom, scrolling and even Apple Pencil support.

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Twelve South Brings Curve Stand Back

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Twelve South Brings Curve Stand Back

Accessory maker Twelve South announces the Curve-- a comeback of the iCurve stand, feauturing an "elegant" design promising to elevate an Apple notebook to an ideal angle.

Launched back in 2003, the original iCurve was the first stand designed by Twelve South co-founder Andrew Green. The Curve is a similar offering, built out of aluminium with a matte black finish to match the new Space Grey MacBooks. It elevates the notebook by 16.5cm and keeps 70% of the base exposed through an open bottom, allowing for better cooling.

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Tile Bluetooth Trackers Go Pro

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Tile Bluetooth Trackers Go Pro

Tile presents the Pro series-- an update of the company's Bluetooth tracker product offering an increased Bluetooth range, twice the volume and more water resistance.

The Pro series consists of two devices, the Tile Sport and Tile Style. Both feature Bluetooth range reaching 60m, louder ring tone and water resistance for up to 1 hour in 1.5m of water. They are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing users to search for lose items through speech.

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Why the Smart Connector is Underused

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Why the Smart Connector is Underused

Why don't more products take advantage of the Smart Connector, the magnetic snap-in port found in the iPad Pro? Fast Company spoke to a number of accessory makers, and discovered the reason is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple itself.

So far only four accessories support the Smart Connector. One is the Apple Smart Keyboard, the first and only iPad Pro keyboard cover. Then there are two keyboards and a docking station, all made by Logitech. Logitech managed to bring its Smart Connector-enabled products to market thanks to a close partnership with Apple, meaning other companies having to compete with both.

As Incipio tells Fast Company, “with an iPad Pro keyboard on the market already, we are evaluating the market’s appetite for another iPad Pro keyboard and identifying if there are any gaps that we can fill... [W]e are developing with having a point of difference in mind rather than developing to be quick to market.”

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How to Turn a Smartphone into a Game Boy

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How to Turn a Smartphone into a Game Boy

Customers missing the handheld gaming experience of the classic Game Boy might be interested in the Hyperkin SmartBoy, an accessory adding physical controls and a Game Boy cartridge slot to Android phones.

The SmartBoy was first presented by Hyperkin 2 years ago as an April Fool's joke, before the company decided to turn the joke into reality. It is compatible with Android phones with a USB-C port (such as the Google Pixel and Moto Z), and features the full Game Boy physcal button configuration, colour scheme and even grooves on the back for full tactile nostalgia.

It works via companion SmartBoy app, and should play nice with many of the emulators currently available on the Google Play Store. In addition it even handles original Game Boy cartridges-- although games take a while to load, since the SmartBoy essentially needs to dump the contents to the smartphone before running them through emulation.

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Mophie's XXL USB-C Battery Pack

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Mophie's XXL USB-C Battery Pack

Mophie presents a battery pack large enough to charge devices such as MacBooks or the Nintendo Switch-- the powerstation USB-C XXL, with 19500mAh capacity and 30W fast-charging.

As the name suggests, the battery pack features USB-C connectivity for the charging of modern devices. However, for customers owning anything else it also includes a USB-A port with 5W charging. The USB-C port receives as well as accepts charging, and the package includes a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-A to USB-C cable.

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A BookBook for the Latest MacBooks

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A BookBook for the Latest MacBooks

Twelve South announces a version of the BookBook case for all 12-inch MacBook 2016 and MacBook Pro models, providing customers a means to disguise their notebook as a vintage hardback book.

The BookBook case also offers protection, with reinforced corners and a stronger crush-resistant spine. The outside is in premium oil-pull up leather, while the inside is covered in soft microfibre material.

The inside has a hidden compartment for the holding (or hiding) of documents, as well as two elastic bands one can slip over the corner of the MacBook screen. This allows one to open the MacBook screen when they open the BookBook case.

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SteelSeries Claims "True 1-to-1" Mouse Tracking

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SteelSeries Claims

Gaming peripheral maker SteelSeries presents a pair of mice featuring its latest sensor-- Sensei 310 and Rival 310, both promising true "1-to-1" tracking, or mouse movements matching exactly with on-screen movement.

The sensor in question is dubbed the TrueMove 3, and was co-developed with PixArt, the team behind the Wii Remote. SteelSeries says it is the culmination of 15 years of work on the perfect gaming mouse. The TrueMove 3 promises true 1-to-1 tracking from 100 to 3500 CPU, while at 3500 to 12000 CPI it uses advanced jitter reduction technology.

Further reducing response time and increasing accuracy is the SROM. The IPS is consistent from 100-12000 CPI, and SteelSeries promises ultra-low latency at all CPI settings.

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Nanomaterials for Faster Charging Batteries

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Nanomaterials for Faster Charging Batteries

Researchers at the Drexel College of Engineering present a new kind of battery electrode made with MXene, a highly conductive nanomaterial promising faster charging chemical batteries.

The MXene material is nearly two dimensional material similar to a sandwich. It combines oxide "bread" with a conductive carbon and metal "filling," with layers stacked on top of each other like a Pringles. However the structure, while highly conductive, makes it difficult for ions, the chemical carriers of charge, to diffuse to through the battery. To resolve the issue, the researchers combined the MXene with a hydrogel, turning the Pringles into a swiss cheese through which ions can flow freely.

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