Wireless

Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Review – Smarter Bluetooth headphones

Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Review – Smarter Bluetooth headphones

You’re spoiled for choice right now with wireless headphones, but Plantronics is hoping the new BackBeat SENSE can slot in with a mixture of clever tech and everyday flexibility. Lightweight and quietly handsome, they may not have in-your-face branding of some rivals, but they come from a company with a solid track-record both in audio and in wireless devices. Bluetooth offers more than just cutting the cord, mind, and Plantronics claims to be doing more than most with its smart wireless system.

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Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google has launched Eddystone, a new open-source Bluetooth LE beacon platform which plays nicely with iOS, Android, and other OSes. Aiming to power a new age of location-based services, as well as give those responsible for managing a flock of Bluetooth beacons the tools to make sure they're working properly, Eddystone arrives with two main features: telling mobile devices exactly where they are and what's nearby, and linking a physical location with online data.

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Netgear R6400 promises up to 80% boost from afar

Netgear R6400 promises up to 80% boost from afar

Netgear has added a new smart router to its home networking line-up, with the AC1750 Smart WiFi Router R6400 promising up to 80-percent better performance at a distance. The new router, which offers 802.11ac WiFi along with backward compatibility for a/b/g/n devices, offers up to 1,750 Mbps speeds (450+1300 Mbps), at least in theory, along with simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz use. Meanwhile there's a smartphone app for management rather than having to log into a clunky browser interface.

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Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Apple knows how to make iPhone antennas invisible

Radio waves may not pass through metal, but Apple is developing new materials that could look like aluminum even as they play nice with LTE and WiFi networks. The distinctive strips running around the edges and across the rear of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are a necessary evil, given the interference a fully-metal chassis would introduce to the wireless tech a smartphone relies upon. However, a freshly-filed Apple patent suggests a fix could be on the way, and it could have big implications for MacBooks, too.

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Did Apple dash Dre’s dream of a Beats Sonos-rival?

Did Apple dash Dre’s dream of a Beats Sonos-rival?

Apple axed Beats' ambitions of a wireless home audio system to rival Sonos, insiders say, with the rumored project iced in the aftermath of the acquisition. Beats Electronics had been working on a speaker system which would upgrade its existing range from Bluetooth-alone to supporting multiroom synchronized playback over WiFi, among other things, Variety's sources suggest, but a supposed combination of technical hurdles and dwindling confidence left the concept in limbo.

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Oculus Touch: up close with the next-gen VR controller

Oculus Touch: up close with the next-gen VR controller

Today Oculus announced Oculus Touch, a set of wireless controllers that allow the user to see gestures and movement in virtual reality. While the latest software for Oculus Rift did include visions of virtual reality hands, Oculus suggested today that they needed to go a step further. Beginning their special Oculus Rift event out with word that the headset would ship with an Xbox One controller, they went on to show a couple of hand-held joysticks with halos around them. This is the controller setup that'll usher in the future, so they suggest.

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Phiaton BT 100 NC wireless headphones bring noise cancellation

Phiaton BT 100 NC wireless headphones bring noise cancellation

Phiaton has introduced its new BT 100 NC headphones, a pair of wireless earbuds designed for those who need to listen to music in loud places, or who want to use the headphones while being active. The set is wireless and able to deliver notification alerts using vibration (which is felt through the band). There’s also NFC joining the Bluetooth, and noise cancellation functionality that can be toggled on and off. The run time will depend on whether that noise cancellation feature is being used, but up to 12 hours on a charge is available, placing it toward the high-end in the market in terms of battery life.

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Logitech K400 Plus keyboard wants a spot on your sofa

Logitech K400 Plus keyboard wants a spot on your sofa

Set-top boxes and smart TVs may have proliferated, but sometimes there's nothing quite like the flexibility to hooking your PC up to the big screen, and now Logitech has the keyboard to completely the pairing. The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a relative of the company's original Wireless Touch Keyboard K400, pairing a touchpad with a full QWERTY layout and 33 feet of range.

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Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

The Philips Hue ecosystem will be fit with Apple HomeKit capabilities this Autumn, including both systems old and new. Philips Hue has suggested that they "will help existing users to upgrade their system" and will be updating "all existing Hue light sources" to be "made compatible with HomeKit." If that's not good news for those Hue users looking to work with HomeKit in the future, I don't know what is. Come this September, this system will be sent up in full detail. For now, Philips is preparing their system for full compatibility.

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