Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Mobile Phones

Mobile Phones, cell phones

Trade your Bluetooth Headset for a Jawbone

January 7, 2008

Just got an email that Jawbone is offering their Jawbone Bluetooth headset in exchange for your current Bluetooth headset. The deal is you visit their booth at CES, give up your old BT headset, Jawbone will smash the competing BT headset into tiny little pieces (for recycling purposes of course) and they'll hand you a brand spankin' new Jawbone. A brand new Jawbone in exchange for my current old Bluetooth headset? Wow!

D2 Technologies mCUE mobile convergence softphone launches

January 7, 2008

D2 Technologies today released at CES what they claim is the industry’s first embedded mobile convergence software solution for dual-mode phones.  D2’s mCUE mobile convergence software solution combines a communications user interface with the company’s vPort MP VoIP software platform and is targeted towards OEMs and service providers to help deliver integrated Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Unified Communications (UC) functionality.

mCUE provides a complete embedded software framework for multi-mode mobile handsets for enterprise and consumer use, such as dual-mode cellular plus Wi-Fi phones. Its completely Java-based user interface framework for Linux can be ported to other GUI platforms.

“mCUE revolutionizes mobile communications by tying together the best aspects of PC-based communications, such as VoIP, instant messaging and presence support, with the roaming benefits of mobile cellular and connection speed and quality of in-building wireless,” said Doug Makishima, vice president of marketing at D2 Technologies. “It is a complete turnkey solution for multi-mode mobile communication devices.”

mCUE is interoperable with enterprise IP-PBXs and UC systems as well as service provider networks.

MOGO Wireless Boosts Cell Phone Signal

January 3, 2008

MOGO Wireless launched a series of cellphone signal boosting products at CES, the coolest of which simply plugs into your car accessory adapter to end those dropped calls while driving. (using your Bluetooth hands-free handset of course)

MOGO's plug-and-talk products includes a business/home office product that works in conjunction with a laptop (USB port), as well as a mobile product that works from an automotive 12 volt power supply to amplify signal strength up to 10 times. Considering USB is only 5V, I'm surprised the USB model can amplify signals up to 10x.

Anyway, the MOGO is compatible with all service providers operating on 800 and 1900 MHZ including AT&T, Inc., Sprint, T-Mobile, Alltel and Verizon Wireless, and is also compatible with Bluetooth devices. The MOGO Personal Mobile Cell Tower is installed by plugging the adapter into a car power supply or by plugging the USB adapter into a laptop, depending on the product purchased.

GPS + Google Android = Wi-Fi Army

January 2, 2008

Wi2P Entertainment is developing a gaming application called Wi-Fi Army that combines GPS tracking, WiFi, cellphone, and a cellphone camera that allows you to play a game of "GPS laser tag" against other players. They claim to have used Android's ability to control a phone's GPS receiver to create the Augmented Reality game called Wi-Fi Army. You use your phone's GPS, WiFi, and Google Maps to track your opponent and shoot him. Though instead of using a laser to nail your opponent you use your camera's phone to take a picture of him.

The game figures out whether you've hit your opponent or not by recognizing the picture of him when you upload it to the Wi-Fi Army web server. Facial recognition obviously.

Streaming TV with Skype

January 2, 2008

How would you like to use your Slingbox with Skype or is it Skype with Slingbox? Anyway... For a few months now I've been playing with using Skype along with a Slingbox, a popular gadget that lets you stream your home TV content, enabling remote viewing of live and pre­-recorded television over the Internet. I've been a huge advocate of streaming live TV across the Internet for years, so figured I'd post my tips on streaming TV utilizing Skype, Slingbox, and TV tuner cards.

Slingbox includes a software player for remote playback of your TV/video content, so you're probably wondering why anyone would want to use Skype instead.

Thin out your George Costanza Wallet with Just One Club Card

December 27, 2007

I previously wrote today about my George Costanza wallet, which was replaced with a Men's Digital Photo Wallet from Brookstone. Even with my new gadgety wallet, I still had to do some pruning of various club cards to reduce the thickness of wallet. For instance, I took out my Mohegan Sun casino club card, Foxwoods, Viper Club of America card, Stop & Shop card, and various other cards.

Well, today, I happened to come across a website called Just One Club Card, which lets you combine your various club cards into a single small sheet of paper, thus saving you from having an overstuffed fat wallet or a backache/buttache from sitting on a fat wallet.

You simply enter in your club card account numbers online and it will generate the barcode images on the web page in a small condensed format that you can stick in your wallet. You can then print it out.

Creative InPerson Wi-Fi Videophone

December 20, 2007

Creative leaked the Creative InPerson Wi-Fi videophone via their FCC filing.

It features H.264 video with SIP support, high video quality (up to VGA resolution and 2 Mbps bit-rate) and claims to perform well under low light. It features a wide-angle lens, and dual microphones with acoustic echo cancellation and noise. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that will power the 7-inch, 16.7 million color LCD for about 2 hours.

RIM Garners 10% of Smartphone Market

December 20, 2007

According to ABI Research, Research In Motion (RIM) is likely to end 2007 with around 10% share of the smartphone market. In terms of device shipments, RIM will be the second largest smartphone vendor in 2007, after Nokia. RIM’s share in the smartphone market has steadily increased in the last five quarters — from 7.2% in 3Q 2006 to 9.5% in 3Q 2007.

The report points out that RIM’s business is still predominantly in North America and stresses that RIM needs to focus on bringing their smartphones to the emerging markets of Asia Pacific and other regions. RIM's Blackberry, Curve, Pearl, and other models have changed the email landscape forever, when they enabled 100% continuous anywhere email access with an easy to use interface (large screen + QWERTY keyboard).

With all the hype surrounding the Apple iPhone, I'd be curious what percentage of the smartphone market share it now holds.

Toshiba SCiB Battery Breakthrough

December 12, 2007

Rich writes about a battery breakthrough from Toshiba called SCiB. Toshiba Corp.'s Super Charge ion Battery, or SCiB, can recharge to 90 percent of its full capacity in less than five minutes and has a life cycle of more than 10 years, Toshiba spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida said. Toshiba, said the new rechargeable lithium-ion battery will eventually be used in hybrid and electric cars.

Rich is practically giddy with this news since he is almost as much a gadget freak as I am. He's constantly carrying miscellaneous chargers, extra batteries, etc.

Philips VOIP841 Review

December 11, 2007

I'm been testing the Philips VOIP841 for review for a few months now. Let me start by saying I constantly have various VoIP products and gadgets on my desk for testing, but they typically only stay there for a short while. The Skype-based Philips VoIP841 wireless DECT phone is the rare exception - it's been on my desk for over 4 months. Why? Because the darn thing works and works very well as a Skype phone.
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