Mobile gear on display at MobileFocus
Much of the product news that comes out of trade shows typically comes after hours; such was the case with this year’s MobileCon gathering and Tuesday night’s MobileFocus event. The evening event connected to this week’s conference on mobile devices in the enterprise provided an Alice in Wonderland-themed showcase of gadgets, devices, and technologies. Between tables and toadstools, people dressed like Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Red Queen passed out goodies, while attendees got the goods on several neat consumer products.
Here’s a sampling of what was on display Tuesday night.
Plantronics showed off a full line of Bluetooth devices, from the mid-range Marque 1 and 2 devices, which give visual and vocal instructions on pairing and operating, to the high-end Voyager Legend. Plantronics also had its Backbeat GO wireless earbuds on display: The tangle-free pair of headphones operate using Bluetooth and boast an anti-sweat coating for runners. They also claim up to 4.5 hours of battery life.
Immersion demoed its haptic effects, a technology also referred to as tactile feedback, aimed at enhancing games, music, and movies by providing vibration in mobile phones, tablets, and game controllers. Currently available mostly in Android handsets such as the Galaxy S III, haptic effects are produced by actuators built into the device and help to add a sense of realism to the experience. Immersion’s haptic effects can be added to any app of your choosing, and adjusted to vibrate harder or softer depending on your preference.
Tagg Pet Tracker
Tagg’s Pet Tracker, a GPS unit for your pet’s collar, has been around for a while, but the company announced some additional features, mainly activity monitoring. That turns the Pet Tracker into a kind of FitBit for your pet. Now Pet Tracker will not only use GPS to track your pet’s location and send a text or email alert if your pet gets lost, it can also track your pet’s day-to-day activities, set activity goals, assign points to activities, and create interactive charts to show your pets action over time.
Scout, a daily personal navigator from Telenav, aims to personalize your navigation experience by providing information on events, concerts, local happenings, and games, as well as directions on how to get to them. Users find events on Scout’s site, then use the iOS or Android app (or the app in conjunction with a touchscreen dashboard unit from Samsung) to get multiple routes and turn-by-turn directions to the chosen event. Scout can also help navigate through an unfamiliar city, keep track of your daily commute times, avoid traffic, and make your trip easier with relevant information posted on its My Dashboard feature.
HeartMath’s emWave 2 looks to help reduce stress levels by monitoring heart rates and providing visual and audio cues for aligning your breathing and heart rhythms. The second generation Personal Stress Reliever takes a pulse reading from your thumb or earlobe then instantly develops a breathing sequence for you to follow, focusing on positive emotions and synchronizing breathing with the rise and fall of illuminated LEDs. emWave 2 works alongside the company’s Inner Balance app which brings many emWave features to iOS devices with real-time feedback, guided techniques, and journaling to track progress.
Duo Games covers a broad spectrum of accessories for anyone who turns to mobile device to scratch their gaming itch. On Tuesday, the company showcased its Atari Arcade dock, Duo Pinball, and Duo Gamer controller. The Atari Arcade is a dock designed specifically for the iPad and iPad 2; it features a familiar retro design with an analog joystick and four control buttons. Duo Pinball, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller for the iPad, works with the Pinball HD apps from Gameprom and has two side buttons to control the on-screen flippers, a spring-loaded plunger, and realistic bump and tilt for a more authentic pinball experience. The Duo Gamer, also a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller, is a handheld device that provides the familiar controls of a console controller for gaming on the iPad, or on a TV via an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Just dock an iOS device into the Duo Gamer stand, connect via Bluetooth, and launch your game.