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Accessories

Nintendo, Smartphone Accessory Maker?

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Nintendo, Smartphone Accessory Maker?

Gaming giant Nintendo looks to smartphones and tablets as a next growth market-- and the company hints it will even go as afar as making mobile device accessories in the quest for new business.

"Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves," general manager of entertainment planning and development Shinya Takahashi says at an annual shareholders meeting. "I believe Nintendo's way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game."

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Asus ROG Presents Ranger Backpack

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Asus ROG Presents Ranger Backpack

Customers wanting to move their PC and related gear around might be interested in the Asus ROG Ranger, a backpack promising a durable means for doing so.

According to the company the backpack is made from water-resistant 1260D Gucci polyester, and can resist any wear and tear. Adding further "tough protection" is a built-in polyurethane cover one can put over the backpack in case of rain. When done the cover simply folds up and tucks back into a zipper at the base of the pack.

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Das Keyboard Kickstarts Cloud-Connected 5Q

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Das Keyboard Kickstarts Cloud-Connected 5Q

German keyboard specialist Das Keyboard takes to crowd funding to spur interest in its latest offering-- the 5Q, a "cloud-connected, open API RGB mechanical keyboard."

As the company puts it, the cloud-based smarts allow users to fully customise the keyboard, with controls as granular as setting individual colours for each keys. Such control presents some interesting use cases, such as having a key change colour whenever an email from a specific contact is received or setting the number keys to display customer satisfaction as a bar graph.

Handling the control of such functionality are services such as IFTTT (IF This Then That) and a keyboard API, one Das Keyboard dubs Q.

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Raspberry Pi Gets Kodi Case

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Raspberry Pi Gets Kodi Case

The company behind the media server software formerly known as XBMC takes on Raspberry Pi accessories with a case for the Raspberry Pi 3, 2 and B+.

A co-creation with case maker Flirc, the Kodi Edition case allows customers to turn the micro-PC into a home theatre PC (HTPC) running, of course, on the Kodi media centre. Construction is in aluminium, and the case acts as a passive heat sink to silently keep the Raspberry Pi's CPU cool.

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Wireless Charging for All via Fli Charge?

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Wireless Charging for All via Fli Charge?

The Fli Charge promises to be the "fastest and most powerful" wireless charging system yet, featuring a pad claiming to simultaneously charge up to 8 smartphones.

Unlike other wireless power systems, the Fli Charge uses conductive (instead of inductive) charging-- a technology the makers say is nearly 100% efficient, is able to simultaneously charge both high and low power devices and uses 40W of power.

The system caters for smartphones lacking wireless charging capabilities through a companion case. Dubbed the Flicase, it fits the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S7 and S7 edge, and charges the phone when in contact with the pad.

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SteelSeries Ships OLED-Packing Rival 700

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SteelSeries Ships OLED-Packing Rival 700

SteelSeries launches what it describes as the "first modular gaming mouse with OLED display and tactile alerts"-- the Rival 700, a mouse featuring a customisable OLED display on the left-hand side.

First seen back at CES 2016, the Rival 700 carries what SteelSeries describes as a "tactile engine" providing users with customisable vibrating patterns, feedback durations and triggers, among others. For instance, player can set the mouse to vibrate whenever a game cooldown is over, or provide a heartbeat-like sensation when health is low.

Meanwhile the aforementioned OLED display allows for both various gaming aids (such as showing various game stats) or simple customisation with an image or animated logo. SteelSeries Engine 3 software takes care of OLED and vibration customisation together with the obligatory built-in RGB lighting.

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iPad Pro Gets BookBook Case

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iPad Pro Gets BookBook Case

Twelve South announces a version of the popular BookBook cases fitting the iPad Pro-- allowing customers to protect the tablet while giving it the appearance of a classic book.

Handcrafted in high-quality leather, each case is distressed so as to be given a unique look and features two hardback covers to protect the iPad while traveling. The iPad Pro version has a built-in pocket for the storage of a Pencil or stylus, while dual zippers keep the case firmly closed. To further protect the display the inside has a soft microfibre covering.

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How to Tap Towards a Wearable Mobile Keyboard

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How to Tap Towards a Wearable Mobile Keyboard

Ran Poliakine, the man behind wireless charger startup Powermat Technologies, aims to make typing on mobile devices easier with Tap, a wearable device able to translate taps into letters or numbers.

The Tap is made out of a soft foam material and slips on the fingers like a knuckleduster. It uses any flat surface-- "a table, a chair or even your body"-- and a unique input system able to turn 31 different taps into letters or numbers. Connectivity comes through Bluetooth and the makers say it is compatible with smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and even VR headsets.

The actual input method takes some time getting used to, and as such it requires around 1 hour to master via game-style tutorial on a companion TapGenius app.

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The Audio-Boosting iPad Case

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The Audio-Boosting iPad Case

A startup named Ampple takes to Indiegogo to launch an iPad case promising to boost the audio capabilities of the tablet with "HD sound" up to three times louder than the built-in iPad speakers.

Also named Ampple, the case features a pair of front-facing speakers, an "innovative" innovative inner sound channel design and a 5000mAh allowing for 10 hours of use. Further improving audio is CONEQ, a sound correction algorithm found in a number of Panasonic and Toshiba audio products.

Construction is in polycarbonate material adding just 12-14mm to the tablet, and the makers say it does not inhibit button, camera or microphone functions. The actual case can be worn on 9.7-inch iPad models, but since it uses Bluetooth connectivity the speakers can be paired with just about every other Bluetooth-enabled device, including iPhones and the iPad mini.

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