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More Digital Home Opinion

  • Opinion: Google myth-busts the nonsense that 'Glass is ready for prime time'

    Google's smartglasses are far from perfect, but we have to give the company credit for always positioning the current iteration of Glass as a work-in-progress. I would qualify the Glass Explorer program as the ultimate alpha test of any prototype in consumer-tech history--insomuch as Google has recruited thousands of hardware testers, publicly, to help its engineers work out the kinks.

  • Opinion: Layar, the pioneering augmented reality app, is now available for Google Glass

    The year was 2009. The iPhone was still a relatively fresh young face, and a newfangled technology called "augmented reality," or AR, was giving iOS users a few fancy parlor tricks to try out with their smartphones. Layar was the biggest name in mobile AR back then--and now it makes a return on a smartglasses platform that needs some AR mojo.

  • Opinion: Take your selfie out to the ballgame: This baseball team will put your face on its jersey

    As a kid, I always wanted my picture on a baseball card. As an adult who's more likely to eat a slider than hit one, I'll just have to settle for getting my picture on a baseball jersey.

  • Opinion: World's smallest wearable Ringblingz is coming for your teenagers

    Wearables that deliver notifications and only notifications really need to justify their existence, since, let's face it, it's really not that big a deal to just wait until you pick up your smartphone to see who called or texted you. So to succeed, products need a fun design that you'd actually want to wear, good battery life so that keeping them charged doesn't become a chore, customization so you get only the notifications you really care about, and a low price point because... duh. Ringblingz, shown off at the R/GA accelerator's demo day at South by Southwest, hits all of those pitches out of the park.

  • Opinion: Moov is the activity tracker that also coaches your activities

    Your activity tracker can count your steps, and your phone's GPS can tell you how far your run was, but can either of them help correct your form to reduce the risk of an injury? No, but Moov can. It can also coach you through biking workouts, count how many laps you swim, and lead you through a fun cardio boxing routine, giving you real-time feedback on your punches' speed and form.

  • Opinion: Let my love open the door: Nymi wristband uses your pulse as a password

    Yeah, yeah, we're all special. It's a cliche, but in at least one way, we really are special: Our heartbeats have individually identifiable characteristics that are impossible to spoof or replicate.

  • Opinion: Mio stays on the pulse of fitness hardware with its wrist monitors

    Mio Global's Mio Alpha watch is a heart rate monitor you can wear on your wrist. But since it's accurate while you exercise, you should be able to bid a not-so-fond farewell to those sweaty chest straps that take the fun out of fitness tech.

  • Opinion: Report: HTC to demo three smartwatches at Mobile World Congress (but to carriers only)

    Great hardware, but poor market traction. That's been the rip on HTC's smartphone line-up, so the Taiwanese company is digging into wearables in a bid to get on the ground floor of a hot new product trend. And now, according to a Wednesday Bloomberg report, HTC might be bringing no fewer than three smartwatch prototypes to Mobile World Congress next week, and at least one will be demoed to carriers in closed-door meetings.

  • Opinion: 5 ridiculous things Apple is more likely to make than an Android phone

    "There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market." It sounds like the sort of thing a message board troll would say to get a rise out of you in a forum you should stopped reading 15 minutes ago. It is not what you'd expect to hear from one of Apple's co-founders.

  • Opinion: A year with Pebble: What I've learned from the smartwatch

    As it turns out, 2013 probably wasn't the Year of the Smartwatch, given that none of the wearable tech released last year set the world on fire. But 2013 was the year I got my first smartwatch, as the Pebble shipped in January, and, as one of the device's Kickstarter backers, I received mine a month later.

  • Opinion: As HTC says 'yes' to wearables, only these megabrands haven't committed to wearable tech

    We can now add HTC to the list of megabrand hardware companies that have officially committed themselves to wearable tech. In an interview with Bloomberg published late Wednesday, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang told the news service that a wearable would be ready in time for the 2014 holiday shopping season.

  • Opinion: Empty Nest: My old thermostat was too dumb to reboot

    Nest, the maker of smart home appliances that was recently bought by Google, ran into some trouble earlier this year when some users reported that their Nest thermostats were shutting down in the middle of a record cold snap.

  • Opinion: Use your smartphone to check your remote control batteries

    Most standard remote controls send signals to your home theater gear using a beam of infrared light, which a sensor on your hardware picks up. You can't see this beam, but your smartphone's camera can! So, if your remote isn't working right, you can use your phone to check if your remote needs fresh batteries.

  • Opinion: Click this: All about mechanical keyboards and why you need one

    Keyboards are of two kinds: (1) the cheapo, no-name slabs that are bundled by the millions with PCs, and (2) the ones that are actually worth using--and in most cases, that's a mechanical keyboard. Stalwart friend to gamers and power typists alike, the mechanical keyboard's physical operation and durability make it the gold standard for computer use. It's not the only option out there--good alternatives abound for wireless, ergonomic, and other purposes--but if nothing else, ditching that freebie is something everyone should do. Read on to learn more about why a mechanical keyboard should be in your future.

  • Opinion: Lose the Force, Luke: Fitbit hands out refunds to Force users with rashes

    Here's the mildly irritating truth of the developing wearables era: Your favorite wrist gadget might give you a skin rash.

  • Opinion: FAQ: What is 4K exactly, and do I have to buy a new TV now?

    One of the most undeniable trends as this year's CES expo was 4K TVs. There were giant 4K sets, curved 4K sets, and bendable 4K sets. But all that 4K action might leave you wondering: what does 4K mean? And what effect does the onslaught of 4K have on the future of the HDTV I just bought?

  • Opinion: ChefJet 3D printer is the sweetest thing we saw at CES

    I can roll out and decorate cookies with the most die-hard of my Midwestern relatives. In fact, I may put them to shame, since my attention to detail while making Christmas cookies a few weeks ago annoyed even my Mom. Is it weird that I'm feeling proud about that? She has high standards, you guys.

  • Opinion: This cuddly, snuggly, high-tech therapy robot saved our CES

    Robots to assist the differently abled are not a brand-new idea. But I've never seen a robot as cute and cuddly and downright huggable as Paro, a theraputic robot in the form of a furry, huge-eyed baby seal. And from the moment I encountered it in a corner of the South Hall at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, I was in love.

  • Opinion: Sony's Life Space UX demo boasts of interactive entertainment

    Welcome to The Living Room of the Future. Your kitchen table is a giant widget display! Your vanity mirror can also show you the latest issue of Vanity Fair! And the ceiling? Well, you can program it to look like the actual sky outside.

  • Opinion: Auto-tune your karaoke sessions with Singtrix

    Karaoke is incredibly fun--if you can sing. Actually, it's fun either way, but the vocally challenged among us (myself included) could use a little push to get up on stage. And since you can't hog the mic all night, wouldn't it be nice if other people's crooning magically sounded better too?

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