Review: Nike+ FuelBand SE, a smart fitness band that encourages you to get active

Screenshot 2013-12-08 22.32.23

Nike’s fitness band, the FuelBand came out in February of 2012. The Nike+ FuelBand SE, the newest model of the fitness device, was released last month. Since it relies on Bluetooth LE, the Nike+ FuelBand SE is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, as well as the fifth generation iPod Touch. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Nike+ FuelBand App. The new FuelBand has been designed to be more accurate and more water-resistant.

I have been using the Nike+ FuelBand SE for a little over a month, going through two defective units (one with a broken clasp, and one with a faulty battery and accelerometer) and finally stuck with the third band (which had a sticky button) for the purpose of this review.

Read more

New for accessory makers in iOS 7: Open AirPlay audio, Apple-designed hearing aid tech, device management, much more

apply_mfi

We already told you about a few big new features in terms of improvements to Bluetooth coming in iOS 7: Developers will now have a standardized controller framework for hardware game controllers and new features for BLE devices that will bring Notification Center support and always-connected apps. That’s not all Apple has planned for accessory makers in the near future, below developers have reached out to explain some of the other big new features that will be available to accessory manufacturers with iOS 7 and Mavericks… Read more

Broadcom announces BCM4335 chip that will likely power 2013′s iPad and iPhone to Gigabit ’5G’ Wi-Fi

Broadcom just announced its next round of portable device wireless chip, the BCM4335, which includes the ability to connect to the superfast 802.11ac networks. Apple exclusively uses Broadcom chips in this family for its iOS devices (and a different family for its Macs). The current iPad and iPhone use the Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n baseband/radio with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and an FM transceiver—and the xxx5 is just a minor step up.

We found some code that indicates the next iPhone will use the Broadcom BCM4334, which adds the 40nm process and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities (perhaps opening some Airdrop capabilities too).

The 40nm chip will continue to deliver Bluetooth 4.0 and FM, but its 802.11ac networking could save some power using the new standard. It also features the “industry’s most advanced idle power consumption performance, which significantly extends a mobile device’s battery life.”

Sample chips are already available with a full production expected to be delivered in Q1 2013, just in time for next year’s iPads.

The press release follows: Read more

Meta Watch announces first Bluetooth 4.0 smartwatch for iOS, ships to devs this month

Run by former Nokia and Fossil execs, and previously available in beta for Android devices only, Meta Watch officially launched its smartwatch platform today that interfaces with iOS—the first of its kind to utilize the low energy Bluetooth 4.0 technology. The watch works with an iOS app for customizing which notifications will pop up on its display. Notifications consist of the usual phone calls and messaging, but developers have access to an API that will allow them to send almost anything to the device.

The company previously had issues getting the platform to run smoothly due to limitations of iOS. However, thanks to Bluetooth 4.0, the device featuring a 96-by-96-pixel LCD display is now slated to ship sometime this month for $199. The Meta Watch is clearly still more of a development kit than an end-user product at this point, but with six fully programmable buttons, a 3-axis accelerometer, vibrating motor, ambient light sensor, and of course Bluetooth 4.0, there is a ton that devs will be able to do with the device.

Read more

CES 2012: Zomm outs Lifestyle Connect, tiny Bluetooth 4.0 medical dongle for your iPhone 4S

We previously told you about the benefits of Bluetooth 4.0 technology found on the iPhone 4S, also TV and —conceivably— rolling out to all Apple products soon. While Zomm’s Lifestyle Connect is not exactly the first Bluetooth 4.0 accessory (bragging rights belong to Find My Car Smart, a Kickstarter project), this device is a dream come true to people seeking a reliable medical solution to relay health information from compatible monitoring solutions “to a trusted network of people and professionals.”

Smaller than a credit card, it connects wirelessly with a Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone such, as the iPhone 4S, allowing you to speak with a live operator dubbed Personal Safety Concierge directly from the integrated speakerphone on the device. The Personal Safety Concierge can then contact your doctor, send status updates via a phone call, SMS or email or even dispatch police, fire or medical rescue to you exact location…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Read more

First Bluetooth 4.0 accessory helps you find your car, as Microsoft launches Bluetooth keyboard for iPad

The iPhone 4S is one of the first devices to support Bluetooth 4.0. Today, the first accessory to take advantage of the new technology is a new Kickstarter project called Find My Car Smart.

Find My Car Smart uses a Bluetooth 4.0 powered dongle to transmit the location of a car that can then be picked up by an iOS app, letting a user find a car in a busy parking lot on a map. Due to it being a Kickstarter project, it will need to get enough backers to see the light of day. It’s pretty cool, nonetheless. So, if you’re interested make sure you pledge.

Microsoft is also getting in the Bluetooth accessory game with the release of a new tablet keyboard. The Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is portable and it will hook up with an iPad, Android tablet or any other device that supports Bluetooth.

Microsoft makes the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, available for $49 on their hardware store. If you can’t look past that Windows logo, you could always just buy an Apple wireless keyboard for $68,or even try Apple’s iPad Keyboard dock.

Read more