Category Archives: Wireless

Intel shows off what the future of Wi-Fi 6 means for VR and gaming

Intel Wi-Fi 6If there was any single technology that we absolutely rely on in our homes, it would be Wi-Fi. We all have a lot of devices that connect to our Wi-Fi networks, with laptops, tablets, and phones being the most common. But, today we’ve got so much more dependent on our in-home networks, like smart speakers, thermostats, and more.

Even with all of these changes in the way we use Wi-Fi, the biggest complication in Wi-Fi is the addition of high-use devices, such as virtual reality and augmented reality hardware. Standalone hardware like this, which gets its video feed over the network as opposed to being plugged in directly to a computer move a tremendous amount of data over the network. By using this hardware, you can stress your network to the point where other devices, including the computer pushing the video, can experience massive lag.

Fortunately, the next generation of Wi-Fi is almost here. With the reveal of this new technology, running on the 802.11ax standard, we get a much needed new naming convention. Rather than being known by their technological standard, as they always have, the new standard will be generational. The new generation will be known as Wi-Fi 6, with 802.11n becoming Wi-Fi 4 and 802.11ac becoming Wi-Fi 5. The biggest change in Wi-Fi 6 will be a huge increase in stability when stressed.

As evidence, Intel gave us a demo of their Wi-Fi 6 prototype hardware powering a complete virtual reality setup. That included the laptop that was rendering the video and the headset that was controlling it. Having gotten to experience the VR myself, I can confirm that there was never a moment of lag. The video was smooth from start to finish, and all of the controls were responsive. Based on this experience, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be a huge improvement for VR, but also for standard gaming, streaming and more.

Intel expects PCs and routers to begin shipping with Wi-Fi 6 in the first half of 2019.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The Unsurpassed Superior Sound From Monster SuperStars

Monster SuperStarsIt’s hard not to love Monster Products. From their earbuds to their headphones and Blasters, our team at PLuGHiTz Live could not be more impressed. Or so we thought.

Introducing four wonderful additions to the Monster SuperStars: The S100, S200, S300 and S400. This new wireless series adds everything we love about Monster into a versatile set that provides amazing sound on their own, and superior sound when paired together. All four in the series include Pure Monster Sound, are fully water, weather, and splash-proof (Rated IPX7), and include a superior speakerphone with echo cancellation. They also include Monster’s own voice command system, MonsterTalk, which has the ability to access multiple music platforms, such as iTunes, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Starting with the S100, which is a sleek little stand alone speaker that delivers your music with a powerful punch that offers 6+ hours of continuous playtime. Next up is the S200, and don’t let its size deceive you. It delivers incredible sound that is simply heroic with crazy deep bass at max volume levels without distortion. The S200 delivers 15+ hours of playtime in its three speaker configuration along with USB Direct for full digital audio performance, and has quick convenient pairing with NFC compatibility.

Moving up to the S300 and S400’s. Their larger size include features such as a 4 speaker configuration that delivers sensational Monster V-Sound™, a full-range driver (x2) and passive bass radiators (x2). They can also recharge your phone with the built-in power bank that offer enough juice to charge up to 2 devices simultaneously. And to make this series even better, the S200’s and higher can wirelessly pair together as a two piece stereo set that is so bold, you will swear there’s a third channel.

With pricing that starts at $59, you can get more information and purchase a set of your own by visiting the Monster Products website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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The Battle for Wireless Charging is Over and the Winner is Qi

Wireless Power Consortium Qi StandardIt’s always a pleasure to speak with John at the Wireless Power Consortium booth and see the advancements that Qi wireless technology is making year over year. We’ve been fond of this technology from the very beginning and it’s been great watching it take off right in front of our eyes.

The consortium is proud to say that Qi has now been adopted into the mainstream of technology. It’s available in hotel rooms and lobbies worldwide, as well as fast food restaurants and stadiums. Consumer adoption has been quite impressive with over 60 million new users per year and over 200 million phones in the last 12 months that include wireless charging. There are many new players coming into the market with over 900 registered products for numerous different applications.

One of the most impressive areas of growth has been in the auto industry. The number of cars with wireless technology went from 15 last year to over 60 currently. Most major car companies have included Qi wireless charging as either standard equipment or as an option. This technology in vehicles has almost limitless possibilities. We look forward to the day that we adjust our personal settings in the Qi app and when we enter our vehicle and insert our phone into the charging station, everything gets automatically set to our preferences, such as seat position, lighting, music and so much more. We can also be automatically connected to the most important features on our phones without removing them from the charger through either the car’s steering wheel or via voice command. It’s so exciting to know that this type of synergy exists between our phones and our electronics with bigger and better applications on the horizon.

Check out some of our favorite Qi Wireless products at Amazon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Jamstik Uses BLE MIDI

Jamstik LogoThere are many people who dream about learning how to play the guitar. Jamstik can help you make that dream a reality. It is a portable mini controller that was designed around the idea of making music more accessible to everyone.

Nick spoke with Senior Producer Matt Cannon from Jamstik. It is a mini controller that has a sensor that knows where your fingers are at. It shows you on screen in real time either on your iPad, iPhone or Mac. (Android compatibility is coming). First timers can use the Jam Tutor app to go from knowing nothing at all about playing guitar to being able to pluck strings, fret their first chords, and more.

What makes Jamstik unique is that it is one of the first devices to connect through Bluetooth and use BLE MIDI. It is lightning fast and has no latency. Another unique feature of Jamstik is that it feels natural and has real strings and frets.

Musicians who travel, and cannot take their guitar with them, can bring Jamstik along instead. It comes with a travel case and fits in carry on. The ideas they get while traveling can be played and recorded in Jamstik.

Jamstik is available via the Jamstik website, at Amazon, and at Apple stores. It is priced at $299.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Keezel Personal WiFi with VPN Security

KeezelVPNs are great for keeping snooping countries, Orwellian agencies and thieving criminals at bay, but they’re not always straightforward to setup and when you have a laptop, mobile phone and tablet it’s a pain to maintain the VPN on each of them. Keezel has a solution in the shape of a personal wifi hotspot which has VPN software baked into the firmware. Daniel finds out more from Aike Müller, Co-Founder and CEO.

The way the Keezel works is that when out-and-about in coffee shops and other public wifi areas, you connect all your personal devices to the Keezel wirelessly. The Keezel connects to the public wifi network, establishes a VPN connection to a secure server and then all your communications travel securely across the network. Neat.

The standard price is US$99 for the Keezel and then $5 per month for the VPN service. The Keezel is currently on Indigogo’s InDemand having been originally 540% funded back in August 2015. There are some special perks available with devices are expected to ship in March 2016.

Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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CES 2016 Wrap Up Show & TPN Picks

The TPN Team present their 2016 TPN Picks to 10 companies that we felt had the best new products at CES 2016. Off the 1000’s of companies booths we walked by these 10 where tops by our team.

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CES 2016 Primer

Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central gets our CES channels fired up with a primer of what is to come in the coverage department from the 20 team members of the Tech Podcast Network who start preparing to head to Vegas in a couple of days.

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router

D-Link LogoWith wifi routers and access points, there’s a subtle game of one-upmanship based on the number of aerials sprouting from the device. If unit has only one aerial or it’s embedded in the unit, it probably comes free from the broadband or cable provider; two aerials is soooo 11g, three aerials and the router’s got some chops; six aerials….now you’re getting serious. Todd gets up to speed with the AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi router from Daniel Kelley, VP at D-Link.

The AC3200 is a serious piece of kit. To start with, it looks like something straight out of a sci-film, a red stealth fighter fully armed with six laser cannon. And while the laser cannon are really aerials, you get the point – it means business. The AC3200 is a tri-band router using one set of frequencies in the 2.4 GHz range and two sets in the 5 GHz. It intelligently assesses the bandwidth and QoS (Quality of Service) demands of the connecting devices and allocates them to the most appropriate channels, and if necessary, can aggregate all three bands giving a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 3.2 Gb/s. No matter that the actual data rate will be much lower, it’s still screaming fast.

Additionally, the AC3200 uses beam-forming technology to focus the wifi signal to where it’s needed, rather than transmitting uniformly everywhere. On the wired side, there are four gigabit ethernet ports and two USB ports (one USB3, one USB2) for connecting up storage (DLNA server built-in) or printers. The AC3200 can be the hub of a connected home.

The AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (aka DIR-890L/R) is available now on-line for around $300. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.


Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser LogoSennheiser have always been one of my preferred headphone brands and I previously reviewed the Momentum On-Ears for GNC. Consequently, I was very interested to hear that a second generation of Momentum headphones were on their way with both Bluetooth wireless and noise-cancellation features. Marlo chats to Scott Houston from Sennheiser about the Momentum Wireless.

The new Sennheiser Momentum Wireless takes the original Momentum and updates it for listening on the move. No tangled wires with Bluetooth wireless; environmental sound kept to a minimum with active noise cancellation; integrated microphone to take calls without removing the headphones, improved padding for extended listening and folding arms to pack the headphones away neatly. Overall, it looks like a tidy package.

Of course, this doesn’t come cheap with the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless costing US$499 or GB£379 from Sennheiser’s web store.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the TechPodcast Network.


Wi-Fi Alliance Looks To The Future at CES

WiFi Alliance Logo

The 10 billionth Wi-Fi-certified device will be shipping around now. That’s impressive considering that Wi-Fi is still young, going back only 15 years. I remember 802.11b and my first Wi-Fi PCI card which had an antenna the size of a pack of playing cards. Those were the days. Anyway, Don Blaine, the Gadget Professor, gets a little more up-to-date with Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Expected this year is new feature called Wi-Fi Aware which gathers information from the surrounding environment and pushes it to the user (subject to preferences). For example, when in a supermarket, a message might pop up to show the shortest check-out queue or special offers. If combined with the Internet of Things, other clever things can happen such as a garage door sending a message indicating that it’s been open for two hours, or turning the water off if a leak is detected. Sounds like a great technology to make life easier and safer for everyone.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.