Accessories

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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iPad Pro Gets BookBook Case

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iPad Pro Gets BookBook Case

Twelve South announces a version of the popular BookBook cases fitting the iPad Pro-- allowing customers to protect the tablet while giving it the appearance of a classic book.

Handcrafted in high-quality leather, each case is distressed so as to be given a unique look and features two hardback covers to protect the iPad while traveling. The iPad Pro version has a built-in pocket for the storage of a Pencil or stylus, while dual zippers keep the case firmly closed. To further protect the display the inside has a soft microfibre covering.

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How to Tap Towards a Wearable Mobile Keyboard

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How to Tap Towards a Wearable Mobile Keyboard

Ran Poliakine, the man behind wireless charger startup Powermat Technologies, aims to make typing on mobile devices easier with Tap, a wearable device able to translate taps into letters or keyboards.

The Tap is made out of a soft foam material and slips on the fingers like a knuckleduster. It uses any flat surface-- "a table, a chair or even your body"-- and a unique input system able to turn 31 different taps into letters or numbers. Connectivity comes through Bluetooth and the makers say it is compatible with smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and even VR headsets.

The actual input method takes some time getting used to, and as such it requires around 1 hour to master via game-style tutorial on a companion TapGenius app.

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The Audio-Boosting iPad Case

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The Audio-Boosting iPad Case

A startup named Ampple takes to Indiegogo to launch an iPad case promising to boost the audio capabilities of the tablet with "HD sound" up to three times louder than the built-in iPad speakers.

Also named Ampple, the case features a pair of front-facing speakers, an "innovative" innovative inner sound channel design and a 5000mAh allowing for 10 hours of use. Further improving audio is CONEQ, a sound correction algorithm found in a number of Panasonic and Toshiba audio products.

Construction is in polycarbonate material adding just 12-14mm to the tablet, and the makers say it does not inhibit button, camera or microphone functions. The actual case can be worn on 9.7-inch iPad models, but since it uses Bluetooth connectivity the speakers can be paired with just about every other Bluetooth-enabled device, including iPhones and the iPad mini.

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Satechi Intros Mac-Matching USB-C Hub

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Satechi Intros Mac-Matching USB-C Hub

Accessory maker Satechi announces the Aluminium Mini Docking Station-- a compact hub ideal for use with the latest MacBooks, able to expand the USB-C port into x4 USB 3.0 ports while adding networking and A/V ports.

The hub provides x USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm jack in the front, and x2 USB 3.0 ports, ethernet port, HDMI port and DVI port in the back. The company says the HDMI port supports 4K output or multiple monitors via the DVI out.

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