Accessories

Edward Snowden Designs Surveillance-Proof iPhone Case

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Edward Snowden Designs Surveillance-Proof iPhone Case

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is continuing his anti-government surveillance work from his current exile in Russia, with a design for an iPhone case able to prevent snooping by outside parties.

Designed in collaboration with Andrew "Bunnie" Huang-- the founder of Bunnie Studios and the first person to hack the Xbox-- the iPhone case concept is described in a paper titled "Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance." Primarily aimed at journalists, activists and rights workers, the case accesses the phone antennae through the SIM slot, and warns users through alarms and a small mono-colour display on the outside of the case.

Dubbed the "introspection engine," the add-on requires the SIM card to be installed in the case itself. It monitors all the radios inside the phone, including GPS, Bluetooth, wifi and cellular modem.

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Kickstarting the "Most Advanced Gaming Mouse"

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Kickstarting the

New Zealand-based Swiftpoint presents what it claims is "the most advanced gaming mouse ever made"-- the Z, a rodent complete with accelerometer, gyroscope, OLED display, force sensor, tactile feedback and 17 physical buttons.

The above mentioned sensor array allows users to pivot, tilt and roll the mouse for an extra level of game control. For instance, the company suggests it as a means for flight simulator control by lifting and moving the mouse in the air, or tilting for crouch or lean controls in a shooter without need to press a keyboard button.

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Razer Presents iPad Pro Keyboard Case

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Razer Presents iPad Pro Keyboard Case

Razer announces the Mechanical Keyboard Case-- a self-explanatory accessory for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro offering what the company claims are superior buttons.

The "mechanical" part of the name comes from what is described as "the world's first low-profile mechanical switch." The result, according to Razer, provides the same feel and performance as a mechanical keyboard from slim chiclet keycaps.

Most other iPad keyboards use a membrane or other similar technologies to detect key presses.

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Asus ROG Presents Ranger Backpack

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Asus ROG Presents Ranger Backpack

Customers wanting to move their PC and related gear around might be interested in the Asus ROG Ranger, a backpack promising a durable means for doing so.

According to the company the backpack is made from water-resistant 1260D Gucci polyester, and can resist any wear and tear. Adding further "tough protection" is a built-in polyurethane cover one can put over the backpack in case of rain. When done the cover simply folds up and tucks back into a zipper at the base of the pack.

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Das Keyboard Kickstarts Cloud-Connected 5Q

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Das Keyboard Kickstarts Cloud-Connected 5Q

German keyboard specialist Das Keyboard takes to crowd funding to spur interest in its latest offering-- the 5Q, a "cloud-connected, open API RGB mechanical keyboard."

As the company puts it, the cloud-based smarts allow users to fully customise the keyboard, with controls as granular as setting individual colours for each keys. Such control presents some interesting use cases, such as having a key change colour whenever an email from a specific contact is received or setting the number keys to display customer satisfaction as a bar graph.

Handling the control of such functionality are services such as IFTTT (IF This Then That) and a keyboard API, one Das Keyboard dubs Q.

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Raspberry Pi Gets Kodi Case

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Raspberry Pi Gets Kodi Case

The company behind the media server software formerly known as XBMC takes on Raspberry Pi accessories with a case for the Raspberry Pi 3, 2 and B+.

A co-creation with case maker Flirc, the Kodi Edition case allows customers to turn the micro-PC into a home theatre PC (HTPC) running, of course, on the Kodi media centre. Construction is in aluminium, and the case acts as a passive heat sink to silently keep the Raspberry Pi's CPU cool.

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iXpand Boosts iPhone Storage, Battery

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iXpand Boosts iPhone Storage, Battery

SanDisk announces the iXpand-- an iPhone 6 and 6s case series promising to expand storage by either 32, 64 or 128GB while adding durable protection.

The storage connects to the smartphone via Lightning port. A companion app allows users to set camera roll storage directly to the case, and content protection is ensure via password and migration to SecureAccess Windows/Mac software.

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How to Add Thermal Imaging to Smartphones

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How to Add Thermal Imaging to Smartphones

Customers wanting to add thermal imaging capabilities to their smartphones now have a means to do so with the CompactPRO, the first in a line of miniature add-on IR cameras.

According to maker Seek Thermal the CompactPRO is the first thermal imaging camera built for smartphone use to feature 76800 measurement pixels and a 320x240 thermal sensor array. The device weighs just 14g and it simply plugs in the smartphone in question.

A companion app providing a choice of thermal levels, different colour palettes, a choice of 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios and 7 user modes.

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Wireless Charging for All via Fli Charge?

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Wireless Charging for All via Fli Charge?

The Fli Charge promises to be the "fastest and most powerful" wireless charging system yet, featuring a pad claiming to simultaneously charge up to 8 smartphones.

Unlike other wireless power systems, the Fli Charge uses conductive (instead of inductive) charging-- a technology the makers say is nearly 100% efficient, is able to simultaneously charge both high and low power devices and uses 40W of power.

The system caters for smartphones lacking wireless charging capabilities through a companion case. Dubbed the Flicase, it fits the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S7 and S7 edge, and charges the phone when in contact with the pad.

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Otterbox Presents Modular iPhone Case

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Otterbox Presents Modular iPhone Case

Customers interested in the modular possibilities of Google's Project Ara might find an iPhone-compatible solution in the UniVerse Case System, an Otterbox case allowing users to add camera lenses, a card reader or even extra storage.

The UniVerse Case System features a fairly simple concept-- the iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus/6s Plus case has two slots in the back, one at the bottom and another at the top. Users simply need slide a module in either slot, with Bluetooth and Lightning taking care of connectivity.

Compatible modules come from a number of 3rd party vendors and provide a number of features. Polar Pro offers a number of basic accessories, including a pair of tripods (the Tripper and Stance), a PowerPack battery, the Beat Pulsar speaker and the self-explanatory Fisheye lens. Square has a Contactless and Chip Reader ideal for small businesses, Olloclip sells a 4-in-1 camera lens and SanDisk adds 128GB of additional iPhone storage with the iXpand Flash Drive.

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Speck Presents Pocket-VR with Candyshell Case

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Speck Presents Pocket-VR with Candyshell Case

Accessory maker Speck combines mobile VR viewers with smartphone cases with the Pocket-VR-- a collapsible, portable VR headsets users can combine with the company's Candyshell Grip cases.

Available in versions compatible with the iPhone 6, the larger 6s and the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Pocket-VR is a black plastic device. It ships together with a black and gray CandyShell Grip case, and users can snap the viewer over the case in order to check out VR experiences on the go.

VR experiences come through Google's Cardboard iOS/Android app.

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