General Motors unveiled the long-awaited 2014 Cadillac ELR this week, the first plug-in extended range EV hybrid for the brand. For all intents and purposes, the ELR is a Chevy Volt that's been souped up with Cadillac luxury touches. Originally revealed as the Cadillac Converj, the ELR will feature a redesigned interior cabin that will supposedly define future Cadillac models, with features like Regen on Demand buttons on the steering wheel that let the driver capture the energy generated by the vehicle's momentum, conserving it for a bit more battery juice. The ELR also packs in the awesome Cadillac CUE infotainment dashboard system. The vehicle puts out 207hp, more than 25% more than the Chevy Volt. No final word yet on EV range, though, but the Volt gets about 35 miles before gasoline kicks in, and the ELR is a bit heavier. GM says that production on the ELR is set to begin later this year in preparation for a 2014 North American launch.
Read More | GM
Samsung's latest audio line, revealed at CES, comes with a bold claim: it's are the first in the world to use a soundbar with a built-in vacuum tube amplifier, and Bluetooth to connect to your TV, ditching the wires if you use it alongside a 2013 Samsung television (or other Bluetooth-enabled TV, we'd imagine.) As you can see, it also has a subwoofer, making it a 2.1 solution.
This feat is apparently achieved by a wireless Bluetooth speaker (DA-F60) using the apt-X audio codec and NFC to connect to devices such as your TV. Furthermore, its 7.1 channel surround sound system should also please the home theater crowd, which will work with Samsung's 2013 television line-up. The system also uses a Gallium Nitride amplifier to enhance the sound quality.
Samsung also revealed a "premium" Blu-ray player capable of upscaling DVD content to 4K.
Read More | Samsung
If you're weren't lucky enough to attend 2013's Consumer Electronics Show, then you can catch up on NVIDIA's keynote here. The company had a fairly talked about showing, revealing a similarly praised and criticized product in its Project Shield, Android-based gaming console. NVIDIA also revealed its new Tegra 4 processor, all of which you can see in its entirety in the video after the break.
Read More | Twitch TV
Fulton Innovation, known for its advancements in wireless power, is making yet another run at wireless power in 2013. What's in store this year: Using your tablet to wirelessly charge your smartphone. Fulton showed off its "two-way technology" at CES 2013, displaying a tablet that doubles as a wireless charing pad for other devices and Qi-compatible phones. Fulton demonstrated its two-way technology's flexibility with a printed poster of aDj console that is played by tapping elements of the poster to create sounds, all powered by its two-way tablet, as instead of powering lights it powers the speakers. The circuits of the poster are implemented in conductive inks that create the wireless power coil. Lastly, Fulton showed its multi-device power mat that allows multiple Qi-compatible devices to charge on a single surface.
Read More | The Verge
Withings has announced its contender in the wearable fitness tracker battle with its Smart Activity Tracker at CES 2013. As seen in the image, the Smart Activity Tracker is small, similar to a Fitbit, and it nicely packs in Bluetooth 4.0 for low battery consumption. Throw it in a pocket or wear it on your belt or arm, and it'll track steps taken, flights of stairs climbed, calories burned, sleep quality, and running strides. Even cooler, unlike other similar devices, this one can measure your pulse when you press your finger against its built-in heart rate monitor. A small OLED display is on front to provide all of your stats at a glance, and the battery lasts about two weeks per charge, and uses micro USB for recharging. No pricing info is available for the Smart Activity Tracker just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we know.
Read More | Withings Smart Activity Tracker
We've declared our love for Sonos multiple times here on Gear Live, which is why we're excited about the prospect of the company bringing its product line into home theater. An FCC filing reveals that Sonos has indeed submitted documents related to a soundbar with integrated Wi-Fi (like all other Sonos products) that should play nicely with the Sonos SUB that was released earlier this year. Perhaps we'll get a look at this one at CES next week, pretty please?
Back at CES, the peeps at FitBit announced the FitBit Aria Wi-Fi scale, which aims to compete with the Withings scale we've been using for a couple of years now. The Aria is fairly similar, although it's about $30 cheaper than the Withing model ($130 vs $160,) and it syncs up with the FitBit web portal, which shows you a bunch of charts and data as it pertains to your weight patterns, as well as info from the FitBit and FitBit Ultra tracker (if you happen to use one of those.) The two are definitely meant to act as companions, providing you a nice, deep snapshot of your health and fitness profile. Check out the video interview we did with FitBit at CES, where we got a first look at the Aria scale, after the jump.
You can pick up the FitBit Aria now.
By now you're all familiar with Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect allows users to interact with the video game using hand and body gestures, as well as through voice commands. Though it’s still a relatively new concept, the same technology is slowly migrating into vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz debuted its gesture controls, known as Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience or DICE, at CES 2012. DICE functions by using proximity sensors located within the interior of a vehicle, allowing the user to scroll and select a variety of functions. A highlight of DICE is the ability to select locations on the map instead of searching for them by name. DICE also always users to connect with friends, find information on local business around you, read text messages and control all your basic functions from car temperature to rocking beats.
The main issue with the system, as seen in the video, is the location of the driver. Though there are proximity sensors in the car, there is no set location of where the driver needs to be; often this creates issues for the system recognizing your gesture. Furthermore, there is an issue with safety. Driving is not a controlled environment—yet. There are too many ‘eyes on the road’ scenarios using DICE, often distracting drivers from focusing on the task at hand. Though this is only a concept idea, Mercedes-Benz says it’ll be another 20 years before the production version hits the streets, giving Mercedes-Benz plenty of time to work out the kinks.
Read More | Autoblog
Here at CES 2012, OnStar has just announced their own closed API that will allow developers to tap into OnStar data for use in their own apps. They've also made it known that its first partner on the API front will be RelayRides, a social network that allows anyone to rent out their own vehicle when they aren't in use. This means that you can log in to the RelayRides app, and it will utilize OnStar services to find which cars are available, where they are, and will then allow you to book the car, and even unlock the doors and start it up, all using the smartphones app. Vehicle owners will be able to set their rates and times.
This is just the beginning of the potential of what we should expect from developers as it pertains to OnStar data. More partners will be announced soon, and developers are encouraged to sign up for access, which you can do by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monster is jumping into the high-quality Bluetooth loudspeaker game with the ClarityHD Micro, which they introduced at CES 2012. Similar to the Jawbone Jambox that's been so popular over the past couple of years, the ClarityHD Micro produces "higher definition sound" from your Bluetooth devices, and also allows you to take calls as well using its built-in omnidirectional microphone. So you can be streaming the latest from Justin Bieber from your iPhone, and when a call comes through, you can answer it and hold the conversation over the ClarityHD Micro as well. Convenient. Additionally, the speaker grills are magnetic and interchangeable, allowing the user to switch up the color and style. Expect to pay $219.95 when they ship worldwide this March.
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