Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in London, UK, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Philips hue tap battery-free light switch finally reaches US

Philips hue tap battery-free light switch finally reaches US

Philips' hue tap wireless, battery-free light switch for the company's color-changing bulbs has finally arrived in the US, allowing the smartphone-phobic still still get in on the home automation action. The ZigBee switch uses kinetic power to switch between up to four preset hue scenes, meaning it can be stuck to a wall without cabling being required, or moved around from coffee table to nightstand.

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Free apps are going to get a lot more confusing in Europe

Free apps are going to get a lot more confusing in Europe

Android app downloads could get a lot more confusing in Europe, with Google agreeing to cease referring to titles with in-app purchases as "free" in the Google Play store, while Apple has been criticized by the EU for not committing to a similar system. Responding to concerns by the European Union around how "free" titles can be misleading as they subsequently push in-app downloads, Google agreed that no title with IAP content will be labeled as free as of the end of September this year. Meanwhile, Apple has also responded to the EU critique.

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Kindle Unlimited earmarks $800k extra for self-publishers

Kindle Unlimited earmarks $800k extra for self-publishers

Amazon will increase its fund for self-publishers agreeing to loan their ebooks by $800,000 this month, the retailer has confirmed, predicting an uptick in downloads with the launch of the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Those with ebooks being distributed already under the Kindle Owners Lending Library will automatically see their titles added to Kindle Unlimited, buoying Amazon's 600,000+ tally of currently available titles, a move which had left some authors wondering whether their loan royalties would dip.

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Following in your footsteps: SmartSoles bring GPS to heel

Following in your footsteps: SmartSoles bring GPS to heel

The tech world isn't short of ways to track you, but if you're yet to embrace wearables and don't have a smartphone, it's still possible to fall off the grid. GTX is targeting the elderly, young children, and potential kidnapping victims traveling to unstable countries with its GPS SmartSole, a waterproof insole that hides wireless tracking technology under your heel.

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These are Acton’s Rocketskates, and they’re insane fun

These are Acton’s Rocketskates, and they’re insane fun

We may not have hover boards yet, but we can have motorized shoes, and Acton is leading the charge with its RocketSkates. Already a Kickstarter hit, the futuristic electric skates are controlled by your feet and can push you along at potentially four times the average walking pace. Risking life and limb (not to mention being laughed at by onlookers), I caught up with Acton to try out the latest prototype.

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Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

The age of robotic butlers and Jetson's-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.

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