1Cool New Devices Debut at Mobile World Congress Americas
On the eve of the first-ever Mobile World Congress Americas conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco this week, Pepcom offered a preview of some of the new devices being debuted at the event, including new smartwatches that will work with both Android and iOS phones, a new backup disk for the iPhone that will save on iCloud costs, a new 360-degree camera that can be used for live Facebook posts and several others. Check them out in this eWEEK slide show.
2MyKronoz ZeTime Watch
This 4-year-old new-gen Swiss watch company is taking on Apple Watch directly with an impressive series of products. As the world’s first hybrid (iOS or Android) smartwatch with mechanical hands over a TFT color touch screen, ZeTime blends the design of a traditional Swiss timepiece with the advanced features of a smartwatch. MyKronoz’s proprietary technology enables ZeTime’s always-on hands to function for up to 30 days with a single charge. The hybrid device is available in size Regular (44mm) and Petite (39mm) and is priced starting at $199.90.
3Verizon’s HumX Speaker for Car Visors
The HumX keeps drivers connected, especially in older cars. This hardware package contains a 4G LTE OBD-II device and a stainless-steel Bluetooth speaker that clips to a car’s visor. The speaker supports HD voice for optimal audio quality and has LED touch icons for contacting Hum customer support functions such as roadside assistance, mechanics’ hotline and emergency assistance. The HumX Wi-Fi hot spot capability allows up to 10 devices to stream content over the Verizon 4G LTE network. Hum is compatible with more than 150 million passenger vehicles, 1996 and newer, on the road today.
4AutoGravity Car Financing App
AutoGravity joined forces with the Fletcher Jones Auto Group to launch FJ Drive, the nation’s first and only mobile app that allows customers to secure financing for cars right on their smartphone. Real-time inventory extends the partnership by empowering users to shop for specific vehicles sitting on the dealership lot. Guests can browse all available cars from their store of choice. Easy-to-use filters, including model year, body type and color, make finding cars simple and intuitive. Guests apply for financing and review their lease or loan offer in the app before picking up their car at the Fletcher Jones showroom.
5Lenovo Motorola MotoX4 Smartphone
Some people may have forgotten that China’s Lenovo bought the phone IP from Motorola awhile back and has been investing a lot of development into the smartphones in an effort to catch up with iPhone here in the U.S. These phones are modular so they can plug directly into a projector, a music player or other peripheral. At the show, Lenovo also showed its Mirage AR headset, Explorer Mixed Reality headset, Tab 4 Home Assistant and Yoga 920 convertible.
6Kingston Bolt for iPhone or iPad
Is your iPhone quickly filling up with photos and videos, and is Apple forcing you to buy space in iCloud? Never mind; just pick up one of these Bolt storage plugs, download the app from the App Store, and you’ll be fine for a long while. They come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities; that’s a lot of storage for a phone. Prices range from $30 to $150. Available now.
7PhotoSpring Interactive Display
This is much more than a simple photo frame that rotates images from a USB thumb drive; this one can be configured to your heart’s content—and from mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac) too. You can display photos and videos in the same slide show; it has a touch-screen interface for easy navigation. It has a 10.1-inch screen, and the images are stored right on the device—up to 32K of them. It’s a good gift idea. The price is about $150.00.
8VPai 360 Clip and App
This combines a production-ready 360-degree camera hardware platform with a user-friendly Android smartphone application that integrates real-time capture, stitching and sharing functions that make recording, rendering and live-streaming of videos an easy task. It supports resolutions of up to 5MP and can be instantly plugged into an Android smartphone using its USB-Type C/Micro USB 2.0 connectors. It is designed for live-streaming 360-degree video on Twitter or Facebook.
9Gogo Wi-Fi’s New Airline Antenna
Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi is well-known all around the world. In the 19 years it’s been in business, it has always had to rely upon its Earth-bound network towers that shoot the signals skyward—and sometimes had gaps that disrupted coverage. Not anymore; Gogo is now in the process of outfitting new planes with this roof-based antenna (actual size is much larger) that will bring signals in from orbiting satellites. This will eliminate any gaps in coverage. These are rolling out over the next couple of years to all airlines carrying—you guessed it—Gogo In-Flight.
10Kenu Smartphone Holders for Vehicles
Kenu is taking its corner of the business to a new level. The San Francisco-based company features phone holders that are magnetic, that suction-cup to windshields and that or that hold tightly to air vents. The company already has made app-assisted driving safer and more convenient for more than 3 million drivers. At MWC, Kenu is debuting four new car mounts: Airframe Pro, Airframe Magnetic, Airbase Pro and Airbase Magnetic, all thoughtfully designed with the driver in mind.