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Is Bluetooth Taking Over the World?

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The History of Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology was created in the late 90s when companies were coming up with ways to eliminate cords and make products operate together wirelessly. In the early 2000s, a special interest group was formed that was devoted to Bluetooth technology which is now the Bluetooth SIG.
To be able to use Bluetooth technology in your products, you need to become a member of the Bluetooth SIG. After that, you will have access to the technology and obtain a license to use the Bluetooth trademark.

The current standard for Bluetooth is version 4.2. Bluetooth 5 should be available in the coming year and will add more IoT functionalities, including range, speed, and beacons (location activation).
Where Can You Find Bluetooth?

With over 3 billion Bluetooth products on the market, chances are you tripped over one between brushing your teeth and drinking a cup of coffee. Bluetooth technology is everywhere from smartphones and tablets, speakers and headphones, and sports and fitness devices and other wearable technology. Increasingly, people looking to live a healthier life are incorporating wearable technology to help them achieve their goals. The sharing and monitoring of these devices allow the users to share the content with themselves across multiple platforms as well as with their healthcare providers.

IoT, smart home, and smart industrial applications are continuing to join the market in an exciting way. Imagine Bluetooth in a light switch that talks to the light bulb to tell it when to turn on or off. Then that same smart light switch is connected to the door lock so that when the front door is opened, the light switch knows to tell the light bulb to turn on and illuminate the room.

Is There Too Much Bluetooth?

Will your Bluetooth stop working if you have multiple devices in the same room? Fortunately, that has not become a concern. Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping, which allows the device to switch frequencies to continue to operate at optimal levels. This also helps if more than one Bluetooth device enters a space. By hopping to another frequency, the devices will not collide on the same frequency.

The pairing of Bluetooth devices, as well as management of them, will become easier as new technology developments are released. Consider what Apple did by cutting the cord on their headphones—this will help encourage other companies to come up with similar innovative solutions for their products. However, cutting the cord is not as simple as it sounds. Innovators need to consider how the power will be consumed, how much data the device will send, and how the audio will be transferred and at what quality. Improving these capabilities and others will help devices become more intelligent.
Is Bluetooth Secure?

The current Bluetooth standard, 4.2, is government grade. The market chooses the appropriate level of security that goes into products. Taking that into consideration, the $10 Bluetooth speakers you picked up at the checkout counter probably are not as secure as the $300 speakers. Chances are, the audio is not as good either. If security is a concern, you can look at the specifications list for the product. Purchase the products that include the most secure version of Bluetooth technology to meet your security needs.

Source: http://www.avnation.tv/blog/staff-writers/is-bluetooth-taking-over-the-world

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iOS 10

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iOS 10 available to download….

Everything you love is now even better with iOS 10, our biggest release yet. Express yourself in bold new ways in Messages. Find your route with beautifully redesigned Maps. Relive memories like never before in Photos. And use the power of Siri in more apps than ever. There’s so much to say about iOS 10 — here are just a few of our favorite things.

More info…. click here
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iPhone 7 news and features: all you need to know about the new iPhone

Say hello to the iPhone 7 – Apple's latest flagship smartphone, with upgraded cameras, water resistance, stereo speakers and a longer battery life.
Tim Cook took to the stage at the Bill Graham Civic in San Francisco and told us: "We have created the world's most advanced smartphone – the best iPhone we have ever created. This is iPhone 7."
Obviously Apple would say that, but we'll let you make up your own mind as you read through all the new features below - oh and the headphone jack? Yeah, that's gone.



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The iPhone 7 release date is set for Friday September 16 in 28 countries including the US and UK, with iPhone 7 pre-orders already open.
Demand looks to be high though, with Jet Black orders now quoting November for shipping. If you haven't already pre-ordered online it looks unlikely you'll get any variant of the new iPhone 7 on release day, unless you queue up.
A week after September 16, the iPhone 7 will also be available in a further 30 countries too.

The iPhone 7 price starts at $649 (£599, AU$1,079) for the 32GB model. If you fancy upping your storage you'll need to shell out $749 (£699, AU$1,229) – which is the same cost as the 64GB iPhone 6S when it launched.

Power users will want to check out the $849 (£799, AU$1,379) iPhone 7 with a new 256GB of storage - giving you loads of storage space.
It inherits the same pricing structure as the iPhone 6S when it launched back in September 2015 - at least in the US and Australia it does. For those in the UK the aftershocks of Brexit are being felt with a £60 price hike for the iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 is just as sleek as its predecessors, with the iconic rounded design returning for a third instalment with the same 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm frame as the iPhone 6S. It's lighter though at 138g, down from 143g on the 6S.

One of the big new talking points is its water and dust resistance, with IP67 protection bringing the new iPhone into line with the Samsung Galaxy S7 – and giving you peace of mind when you're in the bath or out in the rain.
Anyone hoping for a flush rear to the new iPhone will be disappointed though, as the iPhone 7 has a very noticeable camera bump.

That camera bump is a little bit special though. It's molded from the aluminum frame of the phone and houses the antennas – removing the ugly bands of its predecessors on the black versions. On the other colors though, the bands are still noticeable at the top and bottom of the device.

There are two new colors as well, with the glass and aluminum Jet Black joined by the matte-finish Black option – the latter option also features a black Apple logo on its rear. You'll also get the choice of silver, gold and rose gold, but there's bad news for Space Gray fans: that option is dead.
Something else Apple has built into the design of the iPhone 7 is stereo speakers, with one at the top and one at the base of the handset. That gives you louder, clearer audio, which will be great for movies and gaming.
Apple says the iPhone 7 kicks out twice the volume of the 6S, as well as having an increased dynamic range. In short, they should sound good.

It's gone! It really has gone. Apple has removed the standard headphone jack – but it's not all bad news.

You get a set of Lightning EarPods in the box, meaning you'll be able to plug in right away, while an adaptor is also included, so you can continue to use your current headphones if you wish – although it's certainly not the most elegant implementation.
If you're feeling flush you can splash the cash ($159, £159, AU$229 to be exact) and get yourself a set of AirPods – Apple's first wireless Bluetooth earbuds. They offer five hours of listening on a single charge, dual microphones enabling you to take calls and interact with Siri, and touch response, so you can answer calls and launch Siri.

Apple has overhauled its camera tech for the iPhone 7, bringing in a brand new 12MP sensor on the rear and upping the front-facing snapper from 5MP to a 7MP Facetime HD offering.
The larger iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual-camera setup, but this is the iPhone 7 page, so we're focusing on that phone here.
The iPhone 7 has a completely new camera system, and gains OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), something the iPhone 6S missed out on but which the 6S Plus boasted.

The wide-aperture lens on the back lets in 50% more light, and it's 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient.

There's a six-element lens and the two-tone flash now has four LEDs for 50% more light and a 50% further reach. It also features a flicker sensor for artificial light, for better picture results.
Apple has also increased the camera's smarts behind the scenes, with the snapper adapting even better to the environment to automatically adjust settings for the best possible result.

Apple says the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have the best battery life of any iPhone – and so they should. It reckons those upgrading from the iPhone 6S can expect, on average, an additional two hours from each charge.

Apple also quotes 40 hours of wireless audio playback and 13 hours of wireless audio. Which is nice.

Apple has stuck with the same screen size and resolution from the 6S for the iPhone 7 - so at first glance there's not much to report.

The 4.7-inch display sports a 1334x750 resolution, which in turns gives you a 326ppi pixel density. That served the 6S well, so you shouldn't worry about it on the iPhone 7. We understand if you're drawn to the pixel packed Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge though.
However, crank up the brightness bar on the new iPhone and you're eyes will be in for a treat. Apple has upped the brightness of the display on the iPhone 7, for an even brighter, bolder visual experience.
TechRadar's take: the biggest takeaway from Apple sticking with the same screen size and resolution is it's not prepared to jump onto to mobile VR bandwagon. To be fair the Retina display is still very good, but if you fancy a full HD resolution take a gander at iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 7 has been groomed to launch alongside iOS 10, and it's a tremendous feature upgrade over iOS 9.3. It introduces a much smarter Siri that can command third-party apps, new Messaging functionality and a convenient Raise to Wake way of lighting up the phone.

It doesn't stop with a software upgrade under the hood. iPhone 7 also gets a performance boost, with the phone packing a four-core, 64-bit Apple A10 Fusion chip.
That's a big leap from just a dual-core processor in the iPhone 6S, with Apple saying the iPhone 7 is 40% faster than its predecessor, and twice as fast as the iPhone 6.
While Apple hasn't confirmed the amount of RAM inside the iPhone 7, reports suggest we're looking at 2GB, which means it looks like it'll be less powerful than the iPhone 7 Plus with 3GB of RAM supposedly inside.

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Emojis may replace your bank PIN in the future



UK banks are in talks to swap numbers for smiley faces


A UK technology firm has launched the world’s first emoji-only passcode, allowing people to log into their banks using four emoji characters, instead of a bog-standard PIN number.

Yep you read correctly folks, this is actually being considered.

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Intelligent Environments has invented a new system to replace bank PIN numbers; emojis. The company claims the tiny smiley faces are far safer than numbers.

According to them, there are 7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers, while there are 3,498,308 million unique permutations with non-repeating emoji passcodes. So on paper, it’s more secure and also prevents hackers from easily guessing your PIN based on your date or birth or wedding anniversary etc.

Memory expert Tony Buzan, inventor of the "Mind Map" technique, explains that the system “plays to humans’ extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history.”

“We remember more information when it’s in pictorial form, that’s why the Emoji Passcode is better than traditional PINs.”

Intelligent Environments coined the system in response to a survey of 1,337 UK adults, which showed that nearly a third have forgotten their PINs, and one in four use the same PIN for all their cards. Talks have begun with British banks on rolling out the new tech, but it’s very early days for such a game-changing concept so don’t hold your breathe.

Article source: T3.com
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What Is USB-C? An Explainer

USB-C is set to replace the USB interfaces we've used since the mid-1990s. Here's why that's a good thing.

Some of the newest laptops are 13.1mm at their thickest point, which leaves little space for I/O ports like the 7.5mm tall USB socket. Any connector still needs some vertical clearance internally to connect to the motherboard and the rest of the system, as well as clearance for the physical plug itself. Enter the new USB-C connector, which will help PC manufacturers create thinner and lighter laptops and tablets.
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What Is USB-C?

USB-C is the hot, new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power . The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard. It counts over 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung. This is important, because it's more likely to be accepted by the majority of PC manufacturers. Contrast this with the Apple-promoted (and developed) Lightning and MagSafe connectors, which have limited acceptance beyond Apple products.

So, It's Like Micro USB?
Yes, the USB-C connector looks like a micro USB connector at first glance, but it's slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: like Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. As long as the connector is lined up right, you won't have to flip the connector to plug it in! The cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you won't ever have to figure out which end to plug in, unlike the older USB cables we've been using for the past 20 years.

Is This USB 3.1?
Yup, this is USB 3.1, which is theoretically twice as fast as USB 3.0. It's fully compatible electrically with USB 3.0, though obviously it won't plug in physically without an adapter. By the way, it's about as fast as the original specs for Thunderbolt (10Gbps).

What About Those Adapters?
Some laptops don't come with any adapters aside from the charger and a single USB-C cable. Others will be available separately. Apple's USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter will be $19, but the one that will give you the most utility is the decidedly expensive $79 USB-C AV Multiport Adapter, which gives you USB 3.1 Gen 1 (the old connector), USB-C pass through for charging, and an HDMI port. Since USB-C is an industry standard connector, cheaper adapters are inevitable. (Check out our list of USB-C cables and adapters that are already on the market.)

What Else Does it Support?
The USB-C connector supports DisplayPort, HDMI, power, USB, and VGA. Notably absent is Thunderbolt, which is superseded by USB-C, just like FireWire was replaced by Thunderbolt. USB-C-to-Ethernet is a no-brainer, but you may have to daisy chain an older USB-to-Ethernet adapter to your USB-C adapter for the time being.

And Power?
The MacBook comes with a 29-watt power supply, while larger laptops have 85- to 135-watt power supplies. Traditional AC adapters use a morass of different sizes and shapes (barrel, MagSafe, Lightning, micro-USB). Indications are that the USB-C standard supports at least 100 watts of power delivery, so it's possible that USB-C could replace most power adapters as a standard in the future. Using USB to power a laptop isn't new, though. Look at the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro $1,099.00 at Lenovo, which has a full-size USB 3.0 power connector.

So I'll Have to Buy New Cables and Adapters?
Yes, unfortunately, you will. However, once you buy a cable or two, they will work with everything that supports USB-C, unlike the situation today, where pulling a mini USB cable out of your bag to charge your micro USB-equipped Samsung Galaxy S6 phone is almost as useless as grabbing a Nokia Pop-Port or Sony Ericsson charger.

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We're only scratching the surface of what USB-C can do, but one thing is certain: the next generation of cross-platform connectors is here, just as the original USB stadnard replaced Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), FireWire, parallel, PS/2, SCSI, and serial ports on Macs and PCs.

Article source: PCMag.com
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BlackBerry’s next smartphone may run Android

BlackBerry doesn’t dominate the smartphone market they way they used to. They’re still fighting, though, and now it’s thought that they’re preparing to deploy a secret weapon.

An awkward-sounding secret weapon, really: a portrait slider phone that runs Android. Not one that runs Android apps, mind you — BB10 devices can already do that. They even ship with Amazon’s app store pre-installed. No, this particular BlackBerry would run the full Android OS, just like a Galaxy S6 or a Nexus 6.
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Wi-Fi That Charges Your Gadgets Is Closer Than You Think


IT’S EASY TO take Wi-Fi for granted (as long as you have the password). But what if it did more than facilitate your Pinterest habit? What if instead of just connecting your devices to the Internet, it charged them as well, no wires required?

That’s the promise of new research from a team at the University of Washington, which has developed what it’s calling a “power over Wi-Fi” system that can recharge batteries through the air, from up to 28 feet away.

The system comprises just two components; an access point (a router), and custom-built sensors. “The goal of the sensors is to harvest RF (radio frequency) power and convert it into DC power,” explains Vamsi Talla, a researcher on the project. “The second piece, the access point, there we actually developed a custom solution on it, just a software modification that would enable the access point to act both as a good power delivery source and, simultaneously, also as a good Wi-Fi router.” In other words, it achieves power over Wi-Fi in a way that both works with pre-existing hardware, and doesn’t interfere with your Internet connection one bit.

Those are two important distinctions. As Popular Science notes, Energous already sells a device that transmits power through the air through RF signals. It requires entirely new, dedicated hardware, though, and loses the Wi-Fi aspect. The UW research, meanwhile, can coexist with traditional Wi-Fi routers, pushing both data and energy simultaneously. Or, more accurately, efficiently harnessing the energy that your router already puts out.

As for Wi-Fi interference, there’s a hard cap on how much output of any kind your router can manage at once, sort of like how putting more ketchup on a hot dog leaves less room for mustard. But the UW team came up with a clever workaround to make sure neither charging nor connectivity goes sideways.

“If we wanted to just blast as much power as we possibly can, that would kill your Wi-Fi, because you’d have power on the channel all the time,” explains Bryce Kellogg, another researcher on the project. “We optimized the router so that we can deliver what seems like, to the sensor, constant power without impacting your Wi-Fi too much. Instead of having continuous power on one of your Wi-Fi channels, we split it among your three non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels. That allows us to deliver about the same amount of power without impacting any one channel very much.”

The team has already tested this out with temperature sensors, a camera, and rechargeable batteries, powering all from ranges of 20 feet, 17 feet, and 28 feet, respectively. If those applications seem a little small-fry, don’t blame them. Blame the FCC, which has imposed a one-watt limit on router power output, for reasons that are mysterious to Talla and company. Should those restrictions loosen, you could start to see far more robust applications.

And you won’t just see them in a lab. The UW team has already installed functional systems in six Seattle-area homes, using Asus RT-AC68U routers outfitted with custom code. It’s worth noting both that the router model they used is several years old, and ultimately inconsequential. It could just as easily be the router in your office right now. “In theory, it’s just a firmware upgrade,” says Talla, with the caveat that hardware manufacturers would need to be on board. While they don’t have any deals in place currently, the team is actively exploring the possibility.

They’ve already founded a startup to help take what they’ve achieved so far and turn it into an actual product. And they see plenty of opportunity for improvement along the way, from increasing the maximum range by making the harvesters more efficient, to tweaking the code to beef up the access point.

“The work we’ve published, you could think of it as the first proof of concept,” says Talla. “But it’s by no means the optimal solution. We’re actively working to make it better.”

They’re also working on nailing down exactly who their market might be, whether it better fits more industrial or commercial needs. The answer would probably be much more clear if they weren’t faced with FCC-imposed wattage limitations, but there’s still plenty of appeal in smaller doses.

Besides, even if they can only ever dispense power in trickles instead of floods, it’s an impressive achievement. Forget power mats and battery packs; the energy we need is already all around us. Now we have a way to harness it—and stay connected, too.

Article source: Wired - Power over Wi-Fi
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