Accessories


Intel Takes on Smart Glasses

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Intel confirms rumours from the likes of Bloomberg with the announcement it is, in fact, working on smart glasses able to provide users with simple notifications by literally beaming images in their eyeballs with a laser.

Intel VauntDeveloped by the Intel New Devices Group (NDG) and first revealed by The Verge, the glasses are dubbed Vaunt and look like regular glasses. They lack cameras, speakers, microphones, display or any computing hardware as such. In terms of technology, the frames carry an electronics suite inside the right stem powering a low-powered laser (a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, to be specific).

The laser able to beam a red image on a holographic reflector on the right lens, which in turn is reflect right on the retina. The actual image is small (around 400 x 150 resolution) and consists of simple text, such as a notification pushed from a smartphone. The Verge says the image appears on the lower right side of the visual field, and disappears whenever one is not looking in that direction. According to Intel such an effect is intentional, since it did not want notifications to appear directly in the line of sight.

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A Headphone Jack-Connected SonarPen Stylus

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Hong Kong-based startup Greenbulb takes to Kickstarter to launch a lower-cost alternative to the Apple Pencil-- the SonarPen, an iPad stylus users connect to the tablet via 3.5mm headphone jack.

SonarPenCompatible with any iPad released after 2011, the SonarPen uses an interesting means to transmit pressure data to the iPad. It essentially turns pressure information into sound waves, which in turn are carried by the audio cable. The iPad then interprets the audio signals back into digital information.

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The Lightning-Enabled LXORY Wireless Charger

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Lxory Dual Charging PadMobile accessory maker LXORY presents a first at CES 2018-- the Dual Wireless Charging Pad, a wireless charger featuring a Lightning port, as well as the regular USB inputs.

The addition of a Lightning port makes the charger particularly useful for iDevice users, since they will not need to change cables when switching between wired and wireless charging. The pad charges up to two Qi-enabled devices simultaneously, and also includes a USB-A port for the wired charging of just about anything else.

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Skin Analysis, Through iPhone Attachment

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Customers worried about the condition of their skin get a connected solution from Neutrogena-- the SkinScanner, an iPhone attachment and app combo able to take magnified skin images and measure moisture content.

SkinScannerThe SkinScanner uses a 30x magnification lens illuminated by 12 LED lights, as well as a moisture sensor. It is attaches to the iPhone camera, and is designed to be pressed directly up to the user's face. Pairing with the Skin360 companion app allows it to compare pore size, moisture, wrinkles and other such factors to other users on the system in the same age range, before giving the user a score out of 100.

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Charge Your Phone on the Pikachu Charger

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iPhone 8 and X users (or owners of any smartphone with wireless charging capability) get a more adorable charging accessory option-- a wireless charger modeled after Pikachu, the yellow Pokemon with appropriate electric powers.

Pikachu chargerMade by TeknFun, the Pikachu charger uses Qi induction technology, making it compatible with the latest Apple and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, among others. A trio of USB ports allow it to charge other devices, and Pikachu's cheeks glow red while charging is taking place.

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