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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

CES 2015: Kenwood’s Connected Car Audio Components

January 9th, 2015

While many of the new products shown at CES are items you’d use in your home or carry in your pocket, the annual show is also a chance for brands in the automotive electronics industry to show off their hot new wares. We caught up with the folks at Kenwood to get the rundown on some of their new car audio components. With a lineup that includes new amps, CD head units and in-dash infotainment centers, one of the features uniting all of these products was a focus on connectivity. By connecting your smartphone to your car audio system and connecting that system to the web, drivers have access to more entertainment and information than ever before. Have a look at the videos below to see what Kenwood has in store for your vehicle in 2015.

 

In addition to a pair of traditional audio amps, Kenwood showed us the  KAC-M1824BT, an amp with built-in Bluetooth. With this amp, users can completely eliminate the head unit and instead wirelessly connect a smartphone or other Bluetooth device right to the amp. This opens up some interesting installation possibilities:  Owners of classic cars can get modern sound without altering their vintage interiors; motorcycles and ATVs can be wired for sound without the addition of a head unit; and users looking to add Bluetooth connectivity to car audio systems they’re otherwise happy with now have an easy, high-quality option.

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CES 2015: Sony Smart B-Trainer

January 9th, 2015

The hardest part of your daily run is actually getting in the mood for it. Wish you could have a personal trainer with you? Someone constantly in your ear telling you to keep going? Well, although Sony can’t provide you with a personal trainer, they can provide you with what we believe to be the next best thing. Sony is working on a prototype that we’re sure runners and fitness enthusiasts alike would love. Sony introduced the Smart B-Trainer - the “B” stands for beat, as in musical beat and heart beat.

17 Smart B-Trainer lifestyle 2

As we can see, the Sony Smart B-Trainer is a pair of Bluetooth headphones, but what Sony has packed into this wearable technology is outstanding. The Bluetooth headphones allow you to listen to your music wirelessly, but they also have the capability to store your music. With this option, you can leave everything behind and focus solely on your run and your music.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. The Smart B-Trainer has a built-in heart monitor in the ear bud portion of the headphones. With a heart rate monitor, you can track your intensity levels throughout your run, but that’s not all. Remember that little voice we wanted to help push us? Well, the Smart B-Trainer has the ability to understand the fitness goals you have set through the app and provides you with live feedback. Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds, the Smart B-Trainer will measure your heartbeat during your run and tell you when to pick up the pace, and when you can relax. Upon doing so, the Smart B-Trainer chooses the best fit song from your collection of music to help you manage that pace. If you need to pick up the pace, the B-Trainer will pick an uplifting song; it will also choose a more mellow one if you are pushing yourself too hard to prevent you from burning yourself out before your run comes to an end. With that said, this is one product we hope to see sometime in the near future!

 

CES 2015: Sony Walkman Puts Studio-Quality Sound in Your Pocket

January 8th, 2015

While best known as the revolutionary portable cassette player of the 80s and 90s, the Walkman name has since been used on a variety of portable music and media players. At CES, Sony showed off a device that it hopes will once again make Walkman synonymous with cutting-edge, pocketable listening devices.

sony zx2 walkman

The Sony NWZ-ZX2 Hi-Res Digital Music Player

 

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CES 2015: Griffin Guide Keeps Computer Cables Clean

January 7th, 2015

Griffin Technology is well-known for their collection of accessories for smartphones, tablets and laptops, which combine practical features with clean designs. We caught up with them at CES to get a look at the new Griffin Guide system, which brings that same sensible design to the desktop to create a cable accessory so ingenious that the only response we can come up with is “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”

griffin

 

Desktop cable management is usually dealt with in one of two ways: Feeding all of your cables through a tightly-packed cable port cut into the desk itself; or not at all, instead letting your cables flop around freely, disappearing behind the desk at random spots. Each has their advantages: the port keeps your cables together, while free-range cabling makes it easier to swap out your devices or rearrange your setup. And of course, each has its disadvantages: Feed multiple cables through the port and they will be hard to fit through, pulling on each other whenever you move one. Unguided cables are always in the way, and lightweight cables often fall back behind the desk when you remove the device they were attached to.

The Griffin Guide combines the pros of each system while removing the cons. It consists of a weighted metal base that can be placed anywhere on your desktop, and a set of magnetic guides that stick to the base, capturing your cables. This creates an organization system this is infinitely customizable, and can be undone instantly. If you want to remove a single cable from the bunch running behind the desk, no more fumbling around trying to unbraid it from the others. I’m personally interested in the Griffin Guide because at any time on my desktop I have a card reader, external hard drive, camera and smartphone that are plugged in to charge or transfer files. Four devices share a pair of cables (I prefer the free-range cable method), but every time I unplug something, the thin cable wants to slip back behind my desk. The Griffin Guide is a simple way to prevent that from happening, and it looks good, to boot.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the Griffin Guide, which should be hitting stores in the fall of this year.

 

 

CES 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad Stack

January 7th, 2015

Whether it’s because we’re away for school or travel for work, we depend on our laptops to keep us connected and organized. Unfortunately, there are some things that a desktop offers that a laptop cannot – unlimited battery life being one. Well, Lenovo went ahead and conveniently solved that problem. Lenovo introduced its ThinkPad Stack earlier, and are we impressed. The Lenovo ThinkPad Stack is a variety of modules ranging from a Bluetooth speaker to a portable battery that stack on top of each other and can be charged/used together.


The Lenovo ThinkPad Stack gives you the ability to turn your laptop into something more. The portable battery not only charges the other modules and your laptop, but it can charge any other USB devices. If that’s all you want, you have the option to just purchase the portable battery, but why stop there? Another module they offer is a Bluetooth speaker. The Bluetooth speaker can connect to your phone, tablet or laptop to give you 8 hours of sound, but stack it with the portable battery to get up to 45 hours of sound. Again, if that or those two are the only modules wanted, you can simply purchase just that, but let’s keep stacking up and see what comes of this. Next comes the external hard-drive. The 1 TB external hard-drive allows you to store and access large files wherever you are, and since we’re on the go, why not stack up the wireless Hotspot?

CES 2015: Samsung Dual Door Flex Duo Range

January 7th, 2015

Samsung has found a way to take the stress out of cooking. How many times have you had to plan out your meals because of different cooking temperatures? Well, with the Samsung Dual Door Flex Duo Range, you can spend your time enjoying your food rather than cooking.

The Samsung Dual Door Flex Duo Range allows you to cook two different meals at two different temperatures with a built-in divider. This isn’t uncommon technology, but what this range has to offer is. Previous year’s ranges allowed for only a single door, disrupting the temperature of both meals. What the Samsung Dual Door Flex has to offer is the ability to open the top door of the range, allowing your other meal to cook without being disrupted.

CES 2015: Belkin WeMo Sensors keep you aware of what’s going on at home, even when you’re not there!

January 7th, 2015

A security system is a great way to keep your home and family safe. Unfortunately, home security systems can be costly, especially for someone on a budget. Well, with Belkin WeMo Sensors, you can stay protected and know what’s going on in your home, without the cost. WeMo’s mobile app sends you live notification and alerts of activity in your home, depending on the sensor you own.WeMo Sensors provide you with a level of safe and awareness, wherever you are.

 


 

For home security, installing a WeMo Room Motion Sensor in your home is a great way keep your home protected from unwanted guest, or even keep your teens from sneaking out at night. The WeMo Room Motion Sensor has a 90 degree motion angle and can be installed in any room or hallway to detect motion up to 30 feet away. Another way to keep your family protected is with the WeMo Door and Window Sensor. The WeMo Door and Window Sensor is a two piece system, once the connection is broken, an alert will be sent to your phone. The door and window sensor can also be placed in other various locations such as your fridge – if you’d like.

Other impressive sensors by WeMo are the WeMo Keychain and WeMo Alarm Sensor. The WeMo Keychain sensor can be attached to your child or placed in their bag, and you’ll receive notifications every time they leave or come home. The WeMo Keychain can also be used on our pets. Then we have the WeMo Alarm Sensor. This is sensor is placed next to your existing alarm. Once your alarm goes off, WeMo will send you a notification instantly. No more worrying if you left the stove on; if you did, you’ll know.

 

 

 

CES 2015: LG Mini Washer Pedestal Lets You Do Two Loads of Laundry At Once

January 6th, 2015

It’s not often that we see something truly new enter the world of home laundry appliances. Since the debut of the front-loading washer and high-efficiency models, washing machines have stayed basically unchanged. Of course, a washing machine is just a box that holds water and spins your clothes until they’re clean. So besides refinements like the debut of the smart washer, there’s not really much else to bring to the table, right? LG thinks otherwise.

Today we got a look at the new LG WD200CV Mini Washer, a self-contained washing machine that fits in the same space as a typical washing machine pedestal. Used to raise front-load washers and dryers to a height that makes loading and unloading more comfortable for the user, pedestals are simple platforms, often hiding a storage drawer. But what if instead of storage, a pedestal gave you more washing volume? That’s the idea behind the LG Mini Washer.

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CES 2015: KANEX GoBuddy and GoBuddy+

January 6th, 2015

You’re at a friend’s house and you notice that your phone is about to run out of battery. “Hey, do you have an iPhone charger?” The response you get is quite upsetting. “Sorry, I have an android.” Or vice versa. Conventionally, you would either leave your friend’s home to charge your phone, or your phone’s juice would eventually run out and your phone would shut off.

Well, KANEX has the solution to your little problem. The KANEX Gobuddy & Gobuddy+ incorporate a charge/sync cable in the form of a keyring, making it easy to transport and almost impossible to forget at home. The KANEX Gobuddy is your buddy on the go. Oh, and did I mention the GoBuddy+ has a bottle opener?

GoBuddy

 

CES 2015: Parrot Smart Tech Keeps You From Killing Your Houseplants

January 5th, 2015

We caught up with the folks at Parrot today at CES and got a look at two new products that are designed to give a technolgical green thumb to even the most irresponsible plant owners. Parrot, who are best known for their drone helicopters and hands-free car kits, were displaying the Parrot Pot and the Parrot Flower Power H2O, a set of devices that use smart sensors to keep your plants thriving when you’re away from home or you simply forget to water them.

The Parrot Pot is billed as the most advanced connected plant pot available.  On the outside, it looks like any other modern houseplant pot, but the Parrot Pot secretly hides a built-in water reservoir and an array of smart sensors that track soil moisture, temperature, sunlight exposure and fertilizer levels. By connecting to the smartphone app, the Parrot Pot can alert you if any of those parameters need adjustment, reminding you to water your plant or move it into or out of the sun. Or if you’d prefer, you can set the Pot to water itself, with the 2.2L reservoir containing up to a month’s worth of water for the typical houseplant.

parrotpot

Parrot Pot, the plant pot that waters itself.

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