Smart bedroom gadgets: 8 must-have devices for a more blissful bedroom

This is the second part of our room-by-room guide to the best smart home products on the market right now – and it’s all about the best room in the house, the bedroom.

This is the second part of our room-by-room guide to the best smart home products on the market right now – and it’s all about the best room in the house, the bedroom.

From gadgets that’ll help you sleep soundly to ones that’ll brighten your morning, here’s the smart tech you need to master your bedroom.

1. Google Home

Google Home isn’t only useful in the bedroom, but it has lots of functions that makes it a very handy bit of kit for your bedside table. It’ll wake you up in the morning (“OK Google, set an alarm for 7am”), deal with your laziness (“OK Google, snooze alarm”), and not even judge you when you go back to sleep (“OK Google, cancel my alarm for 7am.”)

Tip: ask it to play whatever song’s stuck in your head when you wake up – clears it right out. If you can’t think what it’s called, say “OK Google, play the song that goes ‘Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning.’”

You can ask it for a quote to motivate you for the day, ask what the weather’s like so you can dress appropriately, get traffic updates or even a personalised wakeup digest by saying “OK Google, good morning” (that one’s going to stump future linguists.)

Google Home is finally heading to the UK – It’ll be arriving in April. And if you are looking for something similar without Google smarts, Amazon Echo does a lot of the same things.

$129.99, Google US / Around £129 / Around AU$2102. Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link

Despite the name, the Link isn’t a Zelda-themed smart fan, but a heater, cooler and air purifier with an app.

It’s a huge indulgence, price-wise, but if you’re the type of person who can’t sleep unless the air is perfect, you might find it’s worth every penny. The app isn’t a pointless add-on, but a powerful control centre that allows you to check and change every element of your environment – as our reviewer comments, you can “monitor the air quality, temperature and humidity of your room from anywhere in the world” if you like.

The Link does the excellent job of heating and cooling that you’d expect from a Dyson product (and frankly from any fan at this price), and it’s strangely quite fun monitoring the air quality in real-time. More importantly, though, it’ll make life a whole lot easier for people with breathing difficulties, allergies, and specific temperature needs – or, like me, people who enjoy sleeping in a sauna for no good reason at all.

It even has a Night Mode so the display doesn’t dazzle you in the dark. Very cool.

$499.95, Amazon US | £499.99, Amazon UK | AU$749, Harvey Norman3. SleepPhones

When you’ve lived in a basement flat off a busy road with single glazing, you become something of an expert in sleeptime acoustics. SleepPhones are still our favourite way to block out slumber-disrupting racket, whether in your bedroom or any other noisy place you might fancy a nap (like aeroplanes).

They’re flat earphones built into a comfortable fabric headband, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth so you can listen to music, podcasts or just white noise as you drift off. The accompanying app isn’t great, so skip that and use one of the many other white noise apps in the app store. If you like complete darkness for sleep, you can use the band to cover your eyes too.

There’s a wired version available but trust us and get the wireless. The saving isn’t worth the hassle (and worry of sleep strangulation. Yikes).

You’ll need to charge them by USB every few days, but it’s easiest to just put them on charge when you get up. In the US, there’s a wireless charging version for a little more cash.

$99.95, SleepPhones US| £69.99, SleepPhones UK| AU$159.95 Sleep Solutions4. Fitbit Alta HR

Along with the Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit unveiled two new sleep tracking features that take the wearables company’s already-useful sleep tracking capabilities to new heights. The first, Sleep Stages, uses your heartbeat and the band’s accelerometer to figure out how long you were in each stage of sleep (light, recovery sleep; deep, repairing sleep; and dreamy, memory-making REM sleep). This helps you work out not just how long you slept, but how restorative that sleep was – handy if you keep waking up from a solid eight hours feeling shattered.

The second feature, Sleep Insights, uses data from 2.5 million years’ worth of nights (from different people – they’re not the world’s longest-running startup) to tell you exactly what you need to do to fix your sleep patterns.

It’s useful, interesting stuff, like: “There seems to be a strong correlation between your sleep and your runs. The last 10 weeknight logs show that you had 20 mins’ more restful sleep on days you ran vs. days you didn’t.” It then your weekend sleep logs to work out if you need more rest in the week.

Sleep Insights will be on all Fitbit devices from the 27th of March 2017, while Sleep Stages will only be available to Alta HR (out March in the UK, April elsewhere) plus the existing Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Blaze bands. However, Insights is less accurate without Stages, so it’s worth getting a device with both if you can.

Price around: $160 / £129.99 / About AU$210 Fitbit.com5. Amazon Kindle Voyage

There are now almost as many types of Kindle as unauthorised biographies of Donald Trump, but our choice for night-time reading is definitely the Kindle Voyage. Like the Paperwhite and Oasis models, it has a backlight, but the Voyage has a sensor so it can tell how much light there is in the room and adapt its brightness accordingly. This is something we’re all used to on our phones, and it makes total sense to bring it to something you’ll use for reading.

The Voyage packs a six-inch touchscreen with a comfortable 300 ppi resolution, it’s slim and light enough to take out with you, and doesn’t give you the same sleep-disrupting eye strain as reading on a phone or tablet. There’s a model with ‘free’ 3G for an extra bundle of cash, but considering it holds stacks of books and only needs charging every couple of weeks, if you plan ahead a little you’ll be more than happy with the WiFi edition.

6. Belkin Wemo Switch

Since most of us don’t have the liberty of a dressing room, the bedroom ends up becoming a stand-in. That means many are home to hair straighteners and curling irons, lurking dangerously close to lots of flammable items like bedding, clothing and snoring partners.

The easiest way to kill that horrible did-I-turn-it-off anxiety when you leave the house is to plug hair tools into a smart switch. That way, if you do leave them on, you can turn them off easily from your phone on the bus to work. Before checking your smart smoke alarm for alerts, of course.

Belkin’s WeMo switch is a particularly good one in the sense that it doesn’t need a hub or any other products to make it work. You just use an app to connect it up to your home WiFi. WeMo switches also integrate with Amazon Alexa and now Google Home, so you can connect up all the electricals in your bedroom – the TV, the lamp, the fan – and turn them on and off without getting out of bed. Just make sure you keep the firmware updated so you don’t unwittingly contribute to a botnet.

7. Philips Hue

You’ve got a lot of choices for smart bulbs these days, and which brand is best for you will depend on what other smart products you have in your house. There’s no point buying the whole Hue kit if you’ve already got Hive, for instance, because you can just use your existing hub and get the cheaper Hive bulbs.

Overall, though, Philips Hue is undoubtedly the most fully-fledged of the smart lighting platforms, and the one we’d recommend for your boudoir if money’s no object. Why? For starters because you’ve got an immense array of different bulb, fitting, and mounting options, which makes it far easier to integrate smart lighting into your existing décor. And secondly just because it works really, really well.

In the bedroom, you can use the app to automatically ease you awake with a personal sunrise, skipping the need for a wake up lamp, and the Hue platform works with pretty much everything you’d want it to: Alexa, Homekit, Google Home, Nest and so on. You can even use it with IFTTT: we recommend setting up a recipe that turns on the red light whenever you play ‘Roxanne.’

8. Ikea Nordli wireless charging bedside table

If you’ve got a Qi wireless charging phone, it’s worth getting one of these just for the look on your favourite non-techy friend’s face when you show them. Putting your phone down on your bedside table to charge feels like the kind of magic we were promised in the future, and combining two things that are almost always together anyway makes so much sense. Far more sense than most smart home products.

Wireless charging is slow, yes, but if your phone’s going to sit there ‘til you wake up then it really doesn’t matter. Ikea also offers lamps with the tech built in if you’d rather not choose your bedroom furniture around your phone, but either way, it’s almost worth getting a Qi phone just for the fun of this.

$109.99, Ikea US / £85,Ikea UK / AU$168, Ikea AusWhat did, and didn’t, make the cut…

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of the smart home – and goodness knows, brands have. Tech manufacturers seem to be playing an ongoing, rising-stakes game of “Will It Wi-Fi” with the contents of our houses, but that’s not the question they should be asking. You can put a chip in pretty much anything, it’s just whether you should.

There were lots more products we could have included in this roundup, but we’ve stuck firmly to things that are widely available, either now or soon, and that have smart functionality which actually adds something to the experience rather than being tacked on because “everyone’s doing it.” Things we rejected for this article included a really cool wake-up light whose app doesn’t work properly, a great smart home set that’s only available in one country, and anything we couldn’t hand-on-heart say we’d buy ourselves (pay rise permitting).
As a category, the smart home has a long way to go. Thankfully, so does our series on the products that have nailed it so far.

Next up, we’ll be heading into the living room – see you there.

7 best smart home products for your kitchen

Targeted New Ad Technology Takes Flight

“Dynamic Ad Drones remove the typical constraints placed on online advertising, cutting through the clutter of screens and Wi-Fi, broadcasting to consumers in real time, when they are most likely to buy,” said Renee Hill, co-CEO of Eyereturn.

“Dynamic Ad Drones remove the typical constraints placed on online advertising, cutting through the clutter of screens and Wi-Fi, broadcasting to consumers in real time, when they are most likely to buy,” said Renee Hill, co-CEO of Eyereturn. “Our integration with Game of Drones Inc is the first of many initiatives that marry online advertising, machine learning, big data and the real world to create truly memorable advertising experiences.”

Eyereturn is expanding their offering into this revolutionary real world environment at a critical point in the evolution of digital advertising, where major advertisers have become extremely vocal in their desire to target real humans with 100% guaranteed viewability.

“Dynamic Ad Drones moves our offering to the next level. Adding the ability to target dynamic out-of-home advertising messages to carefully curated audience segments completely validates our technology model,” said Flynn Harlie, CEO, Game of Drones Inc. “An additional benefit of our technology is that we can absolutely guarantee that not a single impression will be served to a robot or spider.”

Advertisers can choose from a variety of options, including “predictive placement”, where the advertisement effectively anticipates an individual’s journey through the buying cycle, appearing quickly and directly in front of the consumer at the optimal time and place to drive a sale.

Other tactics available include immersive perpetual placement, where the advertisement will maintain a respectful but persistent presence in the consumer’s physical environment to deliver unparalleled brand message reinforcement. A key feature of the system is that ads are not constrained by traditional standards so can be delivered with sound on by default, at a volume that commands user attention.

To learn more, please visit: http://dynamicaddrones.com

About Eyereturn Marketing: Eyereturn Marketing is the premier buy-side platform and integrated technology suite designed to simplify the campaign management process. Through one platform, clients get access to the Eyereturn ad-server, DSP, DMP, campaign analytics, verification service & retargeting solution – enabling dynamic, real time decision-making for every type of ad on every screen.

About Game of Drones Inc: Game of Drones Inc is the first company in the world to combine Drone technology with the patented HyperGranular™ human recognition system which delivers individualized close proximity advertising at scale. Game of Drones Inc was launched from the statistical aeronautical techlab at Rosecrown University in 2014. Using Game of Drones Inc, major advertisers achieve a guaranteed 100% share of voice at any time and in any place.

Media Contact: Renee Hill, President & Co-CEO, rhill@eyereturn.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/targeted-new-ad-technology-takes-flight-300432886.html

SOURCE Eyereturn Marketing

Microsoft is going to sell its own versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+

If you have a fondness for both Samsung hardware and Microsoft software then we might just have the perfect pair of phones for you: a Galaxy S8 or S8+ crammed with Microsoft apps, available in store soon for those of you in the US.

If you have a fondness for both Samsung hardware and Microsoft software then we might just have the perfect pair of phones for you: a Galaxy S8 or S8+ crammed with Microsoft apps, available in store soon for those of you in the US.

ZDNet reports that these “Microsoft Edition” phones will need to be unboxed in a Microsoft-run store, connected to the in-store Wi-Fi, and then populated with Microsoft’s key Android apps, like Cortana and Office.

“Microsoft Store is committed to empowering its customers to achieve more through Office and Microsoft applications,” Microsoft said in a statement. “The new device customization is an example of bringing together Microsoft applications on more devices so customers can work, play and connect from their pockets.”

Mobile first

While the move may raise a few eyebrows, it’s the next logical step for Microsoft, which has been pushing its own apps for iOS and Android for some time now. The tech giant also develops lock screen and launcher apps for Android that effectively turn Google-powered devices into Microsoft-branded ones anyway.

Apple’s handsets are much more tightly locked down of course but by making apps like Cortana available on multiple platforms, Microsoft is conceding the mobile OS space to Apple and Google while wanting to make sure Windows loyalists can carry on using their favorite programs.

You can pick up your Microsoft-themed Galaxy S8 or S8+ for $749.99 or $849.99 from April 21, Microsoft says, though there’s no word yet on whether the scheme will roll out beyond the US. It shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to achieve the same end result with a quick visit to the Google Play Store anyway.

Read the web’s most in-depth review of the new Galaxy S8

How virtualizing BLE Beacons will change the indoor mobile experience

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

Thanks to cellular GPS, the days of pulling your car over to ask for directions are long gone.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

Thanks to cellular GPS, the days of pulling your car over to ask for directions are long gone. It has never been easier to find your way from point A to B and to track down nearby points of interest like restaurants or gas stations.

But, what happens when you walk indoors? The “blue dot” navigation experience doesn’t exist. When inside a mall, conference center, or office complex, you are back to stopping and asking for turn-by-turn directions when needed.

There is enormous demand for an indoor location experience that is on par with outdoor cellular GPS. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is an exciting technology that promises to satisfy this demand. The major mobile device manufacturers have put their weight behind BLE beaconing standards and a robust BLE ecosystem has emerged to develop indoor location solutions. But two things have held BLE indoor location services back to date:

The high cost of overlay networks.Complicated deployment and operations.

These issues have primarily been due to the fact that BLE location services require the deployment of battery-powered physical beacons, which are difficult to deploy and manage. Fortunately, the recent introduction of new virtual beacon technology changes all that. With virtualization, BLE location services are finally ready for mass market adoption. Here’s how.

Simplified deployments using virtual beacons

BLE physical beacons are small battery operated devices that are attached to a wall or ceiling, usually about 30-50 feet apart. They broadcast BLE signals typically at -10dBm to 4bdBm of power at intervals typically ranging from .1 to 10 beacons per second. Each physical beacon must be configured and mounted manually, with extensive site surveys required for proper placement and calibration.

They are powered by batteries that can last from months to years depending on usage (stronger signals and more frequent intervals result in lower battery lives). When the battery dies on these devices, they must be found and replaced. In large venues, this can be a challenging and expensive feat, especially if beacons were lost or moved (intentionally or otherwise). For these reasons, many companies have shied away from using physical battery beacons, which has hampered the widespread deployment of BLE.

Converging BLE functionality into existing Wi-Fi networks and virtualizing the physical beacon functionality allows companies to bring indoor location functionality to their business and customers. In other words, BLE broadcast functions are moved into the standard IT infrastructure – i.e. BLE antenna are added to a Wi-Fi Access Point or deployed as a dedicated BLE-only “beacon point” that are mounted on the celling and powered via Ethernet, eliminating the need for wall-mounted beacons with batteries. These Access/Beacon Points leverage directional antennas powered by a single Bluetooth transmitter sending unique RF energy in multiple directions.

These beacon points create a flashlight-like beam with more energy pushed in front of the directional antenna than out the back or to the sides. The energy forms power distribution much like an ellipse. A probability weight is then assigned to each point in the location map. The further the expected signal strength from the measured signal strength, the lower the probability the device is at that location. By combining and then analyzing probability surfaces for every directional beam, the most likely location of a device is determined with exceptional accuracy.

Unsupervised machine learning in the cloud eliminates site surveys and ensures consistent user experience across mobile devices and space; the RF environment is constantly learned in real time. RF models (e.g. path loss formulas) are constantly updated in accordance with environmental changes, eliminating the need for site surveys and manual calibration while maximizing BLE performance.

With BLE broadcast functions moved into Access/Beacon Points and location services handled in the cloud, there is no longer a need for physical BLE beacons. Virtual beacons can be added and moved anywhere on a floor using a software UI or programmable workflows. Power and interval settings can be configured and adjusted remotely (see figure below). In addition, different organizations can manage and operate their own beacons in the same venue, with an unlimited number of beacons available for deployment.

MIST

Power and interval settings for virtual beacons can be configured and adjusted remotely.

In summary, virtual beacons offer many advantages over physical beacons, which include:

No batteries.Beacons are easy to setup and move.No risk of loss or theft or movement from a beacon’s original position.Building aesthetics are not affected by the deployment of physical devices.Virtual beacons are stackable so different applications and tenants can get different messages.No site surveys or ongoing calibration required.

Do virtual beacons eliminate the need entirely for physical BLE beacons? While this is possible in theory, physical beacons still make sense in areas that are hard to reach from traditional WLAN access points. For example, rooms with high ceilings (like an atrium) still benefit form physical beacons, as do outdoor facilities or very high density environments that require accuracy within one to three meters.

BLE has the ability to deliver amazing new indoor location-based experiences that are on par with outdoor GPS. By converging it with Wi-Fi and using machine learning in the cloud to optimize location performance, BLE is easier than ever to deploy. In addition, beacons can now be virtualized for simple moves, adds and changes with no costly site surveys or manual calibration.

The world is ready for new indoor location experiences. With virtual BLE, mass market adoption is just a few clicks away.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

The best Australian Amazon Kindle deals in April 2017

This is TechRadar’s dedicated page for Amazon Kindle deals. Here you’ll find the cheapest Kindle deals for all of Amazon’s e-readers. We crosscheck every model of Kindle with every retailer every day to pull in the best deals so that this page is always up to date with the cheapest prices.

This is TechRadar’s dedicated page for Amazon Kindle deals. Here you’ll find the cheapest Kindle deals for all of Amazon’s e-readers. We crosscheck every model of Kindle with every retailer every day to pull in the best deals so that this page is always up to date with the cheapest prices.

You’ll find the latest prices from a wide range of retailers for the latest Kindle e-readers. We’ve found the best prices on the basic yet impressive regular Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite and you’ll also find the best deals on the more luxurious models of the Kindle Voyage and Kindle Oasis.

What makes a good Kindle deal?

If this is your first Kindle, you’ll want to know how to tell a good Kindle deal when you see one. Luckily, there are so many good ones out there it’s pretty easy!

The early Kindle e-readers don’t have LCD screens or powerful internal components which means they’re usually a lot cheaper than tablets and phones. The lack of a glass screen is fantastic for glare-free reading though and an immediate improvement over using the Kindle app on your phone or tablet.

The Kindle Voyage normally has a price of about US$220/£170/AU$299, so if you can get it for cheaper than that, you’re onto a winner. After that, there isn’t a huge difference in features, so it all depends how much you want to spend. If you can find the Kindle Paperwhite for under $120/£110/AU$169, you’re getting a good price. With the new Kindle Oasis model arriving recently, we may see the older models’ prices drop soon.

Here are the best Kindle deals currently available…

Kindle Oasis deals

The luxury e-reader you’ve been waiting for?

The new Kindle Oasis is out now and costs $290/£270/AU$449 for the basic Wi-Fi version. There’s no avoiding the obvious, that’s a lot of money for an e-reader. However, dedicated e-reader fans will appreciate the extra lightness and improved screen lighting. The considerably cheaper Voyage and Paperwhite models are excellent alternatives though. Have a look at our Kindle Oasis verdict for more information on why this is the future of Amazon’s Kindle range.

Kindle Paperwhite deals

The best standard Kindle ever is a value-for-money winner

The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite is the best standard Kindle yet, it’s the most cost effective e-reader on the market and it easily beats the Kobo Aura on performance and design. Unlike the cheaper model, this one comes with screen lighting. Amazon has managed to create a fast e-ink tablet with inventive reading apps. You can lookup words in the dictionary without leaving your page, or even flick through any relevant Wikipedia entries for most words or terms. As far as value for money goes, this is the one to beat.

Amazon Kindle (2016) deals

The new 2016 Kindle, also known as the ‘Kindle Touch’, is the updated version of the entry level Kindle last released in 2014. If you want the cheapest option, this is the one you should go for as the 2014 version has been discontinued and any deals you see are probably for preowned or refurbished units. With prices starting around £60/US$80/AU$109, you’re getting a bargain. The 2016 model is also available in white (the 2014 was black only), it’s lighter, thinner, has double the RAM speed and double the storage capacity at 4GB. The lack of a lit screen is the only thing holding it back really.

Kindle Voyage deals

A worthy runner up to the Oasis

The Voyage used to be the most expensive Kindle around before the Oasis arrived, but at least we’re seeing the price drop now. Amazon’s Voyage is one of the best ebook readers available. It’s more compact than other Kindles and the screen is sharper than the cheaper models. A flush display makes the device easier to keep clean and carry around, the screen’s resolution is the highest it has ever been, and it even comes with an ace origami-style case (at additional cost).

We check our Kindle deals every day to make sure they’re always up to date and available!

The best Australian Chromecast deals in April 2017

The Google Chromecast is not only one of the most useful and innovative gadgets of the last few years, it’s also dazzlingly cheap. And if you’re looking to pick one up for the cheapest possible price, you’ve come to the right place!

The Google Chromecast is not only one of the most useful and innovative gadgets of the last few years, it’s also dazzlingly cheap. And if you’re looking to pick one up for the cheapest possible price, you’ve come to the right place!

Chromecast is a Wi-Fi HDMI dongle that you plug directly into your TV. From there you can use your smartphone or tablet to ‘throw’ video at your TV over Wi-Fi – whether it be Netflix movies, live football matches from the major broadcasters or simply just a funny YouTube video. On this page we’ll find you the best prices for the Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast 2 (or just Chromecast now) and Chromecast Audio and explain how they differ.

What is a good Chromecast deal?

This one’s easy. The standard price for a Chromecast 2 is $54. You should never, ever pay more than that because you can always find one for that price.

Chromecast 2 deals

The Chromecast 2, or ‘new Chromecast’ as it’s also known, is very similar to the now discontinued 2013 Chromecast. Sure, it looks a little different. And it’s got slightly faster network performance and a few other tweaks such as coming with a dangly cable instead of as a rigid stick. But essentially the same product in a different shape.

Chromecast Audio deals

While it doesn’t offer true multi-room streaming at the moment (fingers crossed that comes soon), this easy-to-use and affordable device modernises any trusty set of wired speakers you already own with wireless capabilities. In doing so, it also opens them up to features that will grow and get even better over time. Got an old set of speakers or an ancient iPod dock? Turn it into a wireless speaker with Chromecast Audio!

Chromecast Ultra deals

The 4K Chromecast Ultra is the newest member of the Chromecast family. If you have a 4K TV or are planning on getting one, it’s certainly worth picking one of these up. The Chromecast Ultra is a cheaper alternative to Amazon’s Fire TV or the US-only Roku 4 for getting 4K content on your TV. Chromecast Ultra deals are usually around $88, so anything cheaper is an added bonus.

April Fools’ Day 2017: Don’t trust anything – CNET

So there’s the fake news that, some argue, could mean the end of civilization as we know it. Then there’s the fun stuff.

Hello, April Fools’ Day.

And it’s not just for kids and that crazy cousin you never really trusted.

So there’s the fake news that, some argue, could mean the end of civilization as we know it. Then there’s the fun stuff.

Hello, April Fools’ Day.

And it’s not just for kids and that crazy cousin you never really trusted. The companies trying to sell you stuff also like to show they have a sense of humor.

So keep a wary eye on your social media. You’re sure to see links flying across your Facebook and Twitter feeds about some ridiculous new venture from the likes of Google or McDonald’s, and then five seconds later, wonder how you fell for it. Still, some pranks may turn out to be the real thing, just ahead of their time, like Google’s 2014 joke that pretty much predicted Pokemon Go.

We’re scouring the web to find all the hoaxes and jokes online so you can double-check whether what you saw is real or a prank. Some companies have already gotten a head start, like Lyft and Burger King. Remember, with April Fools’ Day upon us, don’t believe everything you see — and verify before sharing.

Mono by Lyft: The ride-hailing company faked a new wearable that, it said, would let you catch a ride by raising a glove called the Mono. Lyft unveiled the prank Thursday, urging people to “get Mono” — haha, get it, like the virus that’s associated with kissing? Apparently, the thumbs-up glove actually works, according to a Lyft spokesperson.

Petlexa: It’s Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa… but for your pets. The prank lets your dogs woof and cats meow to Echos in your home and order food or play fetch. The beginning of the joke clip also teases a fitness tracker for hamsters running on the wheel.

Whopper Toothpaste by Burger King: For when you always want to smell like fast food. Burger King France released a video on Wednesday showing off its April Fools’ day prank: a toothpaste that comes with “total whitening onion, daily fresh tomato and anticavity steak.” Does anyone know if you can brush your teeth with fries? Asking for a friend.

Lexus Lane Valet: Sometimes, we wish an April Fools’ prank were actually real. Lexus “announced” the Lane Valet, which uses autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle communications to steer off left-lane hogs. The fake demo video shows a man driving slowly in the left lane and being automatically steered off by the frustrated driver behind him. Please be real soon.

T-Mobile Onesie: Forget smartwatches, Snapchat Spectacles and smart jackets. T-Mobile’s joke could be the next intersection of technology and fashion: the connected onesie. The smart pajamas are described as the most “complete fitness tracker ever created,” even getting down to tracking your bladder content.

OnePlus Dash Energy: The Chinese phone company is jumping into the energy drink game. OnePlus on Friday announced Dash Energy, an energy drink that could give you a full day’s charge in 30 minutes, as a way to promote its the battery prowess of its phones. Unlike with other April Fools’ pranks, though, OnePlus is actually making this a real thing you can get your hands on, on the streets in London, Finland and the OnePlus Experience store in Bangalore, India.

Free Flat Earth globe by Groupon: The site is taking a page out of Shaquille O’Neal’s book and jumping on the Flat Earth bandwagon. Groupon is offering a free 2-D Flat Earth globe for April Fools’ Day. “Look out any window or walk down any street. The ground is right there, and it’s flat as an old soda.” If only we were a disc floating on a cat in space. If. Only.

Coffee-flavored Coffee-Mate: If energy drinks aren’t your thing, then what about coffee-flavored coffee? Coffee-Mate usually offers flavors like Caramel Macchiato and Sweet Creme, and for its April Fools’ prank, it decided to double down on the classic coffee flavor.

KFC’s Smart Bucket: Because everything is connected online now, KFC rolled out a smart bucket for its April Fools’ joke, where you can order fried chicken with voice control, and use it to control your smart home. For Bluetooth it runs on “Limited Integrated Connection Kinetics (LICK)” and supports 401.17k/f/c Wifi. The power source is “Herbs and Spices.” Kind of like the Pizza Hut smart sneakers, which we also wish were a joke.

Trulia’s For Sale and Rental Pawperty pages: Real estate site Trulia unveiled property listings geared toward pets. So, if Fido or Fluffy could actually read, they could weigh in on whether your new apartment has enough nearby fire hydrants, or how good the local bird watching is. You know your cat would have an opinion.

IKEA’s updated Småland: Time for some sad social commentary. IKEA Singapore posted on Facebook that it’s doing away with its in-store playground, Småland, in favor of sitting pods and tablets because “studies of children’s play habits reveal that today’s kids prefer tablets to physical activity.” Unfortunately, judging by the reactions to the post, the joke might be a bit too believable.

Auntie Anne’s new logo: In an effort to court millennials and Gen Z, the pretzel chain is launching a rebrand. In this prank, it’s taken two years of marketing mojo to replace the halo that usually sits atop the Auntie Anne’s pretzel with a flower crown, like one you might find in your Snapchat filters. “While it was an arduous process, the end result is a look that’s, as the kids say, ‘lit,'” the company said in a fake press release.

Samsung Exynos Yoga Processor: A foldable, flexible device might only exist in our April Fool’s dreams just yet. Samsung tweeted a picture of “the industry’s first flexible mobile processor.” D.J. Koh, Samsung’s head of mobile business actually discussed the idea with CNET’s Shara Tibken saying, “I’m very much interested in that form factor. If you ask me, ‘Hey D.J., can you commercialize this year a flexible form factor of a smartphone?’ Today I will say maybe not. But that form factor, I’m very, very much interested in. That’s one I want to try in the future.”

Quilted Northern’s uSit: And now for some bathroom humor. The toilet paper maker wants in on the health tracking craze with uSit, a device that keeps tabs on your, well, bathroom habits. And because nothing’s real until it hits social media, uSit lets you notify friends and even compete with them.

We’ll be updating this page as more jokes roll in, so stay tuned and stay skeptical.

Updated at 9:12 a.m. PT: To add Trulia, Samsung, IKEA, Auntie Anne’s, and Quilted Northern’s April Fool’s pranks.

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Verizon positions senior leadership to accelerate delivery of next-generation services

Continuing to report to McAdam will be Marni Walden as executive vice president for Media and Telematics, and John Stratton as executive vice president for Customer and Product Operations.

McAdam said, “This new structure is designed to accelerate our progress toward delivering the promise of the digital world to customers.

Continuing to report to McAdam will be Marni Walden as executive vice president for Media and Telematics, and John Stratton as executive vice president for Customer and Product Operations.

McAdam said, “This new structure is designed to accelerate our progress toward delivering the promise of the digital world to customers. It will give us greater organizational agility to continue to lead the market with our wireless and fiber services, scale and expand our media and telematics businesses, and maintain the leadership in network reliability and new technology that is a Verizon trademark.”

Media and Telematics

Media and Telematics will focus on integrating, scaling and growing Verizon’s portfolio of new businesses in digital media and telematics. Walden will be responsible for quickly scaling these businesses into major contributors to Verizon’s future growth.

The combination of AOL with the assets of Yahoo will give Verizon more than 1.3 billion digital media users and generate $7 billion in revenue. Walden’s team will be responsible for integrating these businesses and building brand and market share in this growing market.

In addition, Walden will continue to lead Verizon’s integration and expansion of its telematics (connected car and fleet management) portfolio. Through acquisitions of Hughes Telematics, Fleetmatics and Telogis, Verizon is already the world’s leading telematics provider, with customers in 30 countries around the globe.

Network and Technology

Vestberg — who served for six years as CEO of Ericsson, a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company headquartered in Sweden that provides 35 percent of the world’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructures – will lead a U.S.-based team responsible for further developing the architecture for Verizon’s fiber-centric networks. Network and Technology will focus on delivering seamless network experiences for customers, whether on wifi, fiber, 4G, 5G or future technologies.

Verizon’s network assets consist of the country’s leading 4G LTE network, the largest 5G test-bed in the U.S., the nation’s biggest residential fiber network, a global internet backbone and undersea cable network carrying much of the world’s internet traffic, and – with the recent acquisition of XO Communications – fiber assets in 45 of the top 50 markets in the U.S.

Customer and Product Operations

The Customer and Product Operations team will focus on operating and growing Verizon’s established businesses, which include: Verizon Wireless, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Verizon Partner Solutions, Verizon Consumer Markets and Verizon Business Markets. These businesses generate more than $120 billion in annual revenue and serve more than 120 million customers.

Stratton will focus on growing these core businesses, while accelerating Verizon’s shift toward a digital-first model. Stratton will also lead operations and sales for the Internet of Things products and services, including smart communities.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 160,900 and generated nearly $126 billion in 2016 revenues. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 114.2 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.

VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, feature stories, executive biographies and media contacts are available at Verizon’s online News Center at www.verizon.com/news/. News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit www.verizon.com/about/rss-feeds/.

Media contact:
Bob Varettoni
908.559.6388
robert.a.varettoni@verizon.com

Related Links
http://www.verizon.com/
https://www.verizonwireless.com/
http://www.verizonenterprise.com/
http://www.verizon.com/about/

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/verizon-positions-senior-leadership-to-accelerate-delivery-of-next-generation-services-300432273.html

SOURCE Verizon

Related Links

http://www.verizon.com

Delta Unveils Innovative Line of Wireless Charging Systems for the Material Handling Industry

Delta’s wireless charging system is safe and highly reliable with no moving parts. It can be mounted to the wall or floor and is available in a range of power levels.

Delta’s wireless charging system is safe and highly reliable with no moving parts. It can be mounted to the wall or floor and is available in a range of power levels. It is comprised of a base-pad that is connected to a wall-box and a low-weight on-board unit that is integrated into the vehicle. The 1kW can charge with a 20 mm gap between the base-pad and on-board unit. The system can be programmed for any type of battery. The transmitting and receiving sections communicate via WIFI. Communications with the vehicle are via CANBus.

Overall the adoption of electric industrial vehicles is fairly new, with many companies still relying on gas and LPG powered lifts. Currently, the majority of industrial electric vehicles are charged using low-efficiency chargers that can waste more than 50 percent of the power consumed from the AC line. Delta’s durable wireless charging solutions are superior in efficiency and eliminate the costly wear and tear that wired systems experience. As industrial facilities continue to scale up and increase in complexity, wireless charging solutions that can keep pace with these developments and enhance workflow will be imperative.

In addition to its wireless charging technologies, Delta will also have on display its DC-DC converters, motor drives and more charging solutions, including modular high efficiency charging stations for forklift applications and on-board chargers designed to charge a battery within an industrial electric vehicle.

For more information, visit http://www.delta-americas.com/promat2017/.

About Delta Americas

Delta Americas was established 33 years ago and has grown to over one thousand employees in recent years. Delta has offices, R&D centers, manufacturing, distribution and repair centers in multiple locations in the U.S., Mexico, and South America. In the U.S, operations are located in Fremont, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Raleigh, Boston and Detroit to better serve its diverse customer base. Outside the U.S. Delta continues to expand its Americas operations in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Canada.

Delta Americas serves the IT, communications, industrial automation, renewable energy, lighting, power tool, automotive electric vehicle, and other major industries. Products include power electronics, DC brushless fans, visual displays, industrial automation, networking products, electronic components, consumer products, energy efficient and renewable energy products to name a few. The company is always striving to define new ways to improve the energy efficiency of its products through advanced research and product development.

For more information, please visit: www.delta-americas.com

About Delta

Delta, founded in 1971, is a global leader in power and thermal management solutions and a major player in several product segments such as industrial automation, displays, and networking. Its mission statement, “To provide innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow,” focuses on addressing key environmental issues such as global climate change. As an energy-saving solutions provider with core competencies in power electronics and innovative research and development, Delta’s business domains include Power Electronics, Energy Management, and Smart Green Life. Delta has 153 sales offices, 61 R&D centers and 40 manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Throughout its history, Delta has received many global awards and recognition for its business achievements, innovative technologies and dedication to corporate social responsibility. Since 2011, Delta has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability™ World Index (DJSI World) for 6 consecutive years. In 2016, Delta was ranked by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) at the Climate Change Leadership Level.

For more information about Delta, please visit www.deltaww.com.

Media Contact:
PAN Communications for Delta Americas
Sean Welch, +1-407-734-7330
swelch@pancomm.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/delta-unveils-innovative-line-of-wireless-charging-systems-for-the-material-handling-industry-300432372.html

SOURCE Delta

Apple iPad (9.7-inch, 2017) review – CNET

Remember the iPad? In the afterglow of its splashy 2010 debut, Apple’s tablet became the post-smartphone “it” gadget of the decade. In recent years, however, sales have dipped — both for iPads and tablets in general.

Remember the iPad? In the afterglow of its splashy 2010 debut, Apple’s tablet became the post-smartphone “it” gadget of the decade. In recent years, however, sales have dipped — both for iPads and tablets in general. But not for lack of trying: Near-annual improvements have pushed the iPad family forward, with higher-resolution Retina screens, ever thinner bodies, and — with the more expensive iPad Pro — towards productivity and creativity features such as stylus support and a high-end keyboard.

Ironically, the iPad line’s biggest problem was that the older models were so good that there wasn’t a huge incentive to replace them. And it didn’t help that phone screens have gotten ever larger in the past few years, too: Why lug out a tablet, even a slim one like an iPad, when a 5.5-inch phone offers a reasonably close experience? Those newer iPad Pro models, meanwhile, were perfectly lustworthy, but priced at laptop pricing tiers of $600 and up. For watching videos, reading the web and playing Super Mario Run, older iPads — or those big-screen phones — remained good enough for a lot of users.

That’s why I’m surprised that I’m as excited as I am about this new 2017 model, a 9.7-inch tablet simply called iPad. Like the super-thin 12-inch MacBook, it drops all the honorifics — no Air, Pro or Mini here — and instead positions itself as the most purely distilled example of the concept. Not the bells-and-whistles flagship, but the one that delivers the iPad basics at a very competitive cost.

The price, in fact, is the most exciting thing about this otherwise very familiar iPad. It starts at $329 (£339 or AU$469) for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model and $459 (£469 or AU$669) for the 32GB Wi-Fi/LTE version,. It also comes in a 128GB version starting at $429 (£429 or AU$599) with Wi-Fi and $559 (£559 or AU$799) with Wi-Fi/LTE, which is the model tested here; there is no 64GB option. That starting price of $329 is $70 less than the $399 starting price of the iPad Air 2 it replaces. That’s $60 more than the previous budget champ, the smaller iPad Mini 2 (now discontinued), but it still makes this new model the most affordable full-size iPad ever.

Thanks to its lower starting price, this is a great first iPad for someone new to the brand, or an opportunity to update from an older model that doesn’t support iOS 10, such as the third-gen Retina iPad or the original iPad Mini. It’s close enough to impulse buy territory for a lot of people, and it’s also a near-perfect gift for anyone.

Let’s call it the iPad SE

So how did Apple cut the price on a full-size iPad without cutting into their legendary profit margins? Well, let’s just say that this new iPad may not actually be as new as it seems. It follows the half-step-forward, half-step-back model used in the Apple Watch Series 1 and the iPhone SE, essentially putting updated components in a bit of a throwback physical package, while keeping more expensive, more feature-filled models on sale right next to it.

This new iPad replaces the iPad Air 2 in Apple’s tablet lineup, but it’s actually closer to the original iPad Air in some ways. In fact, it has the exact same 7.5mm thickness and 469 gram weight as the 2013 iPad Air 1. By comparison, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad Air 2 is 6.1mm thick and weighs 437 grams (as does the 9.7-inch iPad Pro). Note that the LTE versions of these tablets weigh 7 to 9 grams more.

Even though this new model is slightly thicker and heavier, you’d probably have to put them side by side to notice. It’s minor, but in person, there’s a definite difference. It’s a small step backwards in design, and it’s probably also at least one reason this new tablet reverts back to the classic iPad name rather than the iPad Air.

Apple says new smart covers and related accessories for the iPad are backwards compatible with the original iPad Air line, but the reverse may not be true because of some shifting in where the magnets that control the sleep/wake feature are located.

A shinier screen

While the new iPad, the 9.7-inch Pro and the late iPad Air 2 all have the same 2,048×1,536 resolution, the screen is still where you’re apt to notice the biggest differences between them.