In the past couple of years, as 3G has become pervasive, cellphone providers haven't been able to rely on the term anymore in marketing ads. So it's no surprise that as soon as newer technologies get introduced, they start touting that they are now offering the next step above that, 4G. The problem is that whether it's Sprint offering WiMax, or Verizon offering LTE, these new technologies simply aren't 4G. The actual definition of 4G is something that none of the wireless companies can define, as that job belongs to the International Communications Union (ITU)--and according to them, none of the carriers met the requirements to really be called 4G. In fact, the ITU hadn't even provided a clear, final decision as to what could and could not be called 4G. This left customers confused as to who had the actual faster networks.
Now, it seems that the ITU has decided to back down, and cave to the various network providers. Over the weekend, the organization released a statement saying "As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as '4G,' although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed." Once again, it seems they do their best to remain unclear and confusing, but what did change is that now when a Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon ad claims their 4G speed, they will actually be accurate. So a few days ago, no one had 4G in North America--now almost everyone does.
Read More | ITU
So, looks like that wireless trackpad peripheral that’s been rumored and leaked has become official, and it’s called the Apple Magic Trackpad. It’s basically a larger version of the trackpad found on the Macbook Pro. Aluminum, glass-covered, and multitouch. It communicates with your Mac over Bluetooth, takes two AA batteries (included,) and requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4. You can pick one up now for $69.
Read More | Magic Trackpad
Hey, looks like Apple is finally owning up to those iPad Wi-Fi connectivity issues that a bunch of people have been having. Rather than asking people to turn off dual-band mode on their routers (although we’e found that this certainly does help in the meantime,) Apple will be releasing a fix as a software update for the iPad. Of course, we have no timeframe for when we will see it, but we are thinking it will have to happen sooner rather than later, now that both the Wi-Fi model and the Wi-Fi + 3G are both out and about, selling in droves. They won’t want that issue hanging around for too much longer, since without Internet connectivity, the iPad becomes a fairly useless device. Yeah, I said it.
Read More | Apple
ASiQ Limited has announced the release of the world’s first bluetooth access-point for commercial airlines. According to Ron Chapman, ASiQ’s CEO, airlines will now be able to offer passengers affordable SMS, MMS, Voice-messaging and text email capabilities while in flight via their new SafeCell app. Better still, SafeCell will also eliminate GSM roaming charges since it does not require a GSM connection to deliver its services. Bluetooth access points are far more efficient than their Wi/Fi counterparts, as they operate as a Personal Area Network (PAN) and unlike Wi-Fi do not have to waste time and money logging in to the internet in order to establish a link. The SafeCell App uses file sizes that are so small even a narrow band satellite link can accommodate the SMS/MMS/text-email needs of up to 192 individual passengers. Bluetooth also operates at up to 3 megabits per second making it compatible with any current data or media plan available. Besides giving you more options to drain your battery with whilst in-flight than just playing Bejeweled II, ASiQ’s service will also enable you to completely ignore the fact that you are crammed in a glorified cigar-tube built by the lowest bidder. Hopefully. I’ll be the guy directly behind you faking trying to light his shoe on fire.
If you’re considering picking up an Apple iPad when they launch a couple of months from now and you plan on taking it on the go, you’ll want to know about the extra fees you’ll incur if you choose to go the with AT&T-provided 3G access plans. First, though, your 3G iPad will cost $130 more than the Wi-Fi-only version. Once you get it, you’ve got two options with AT&T:
- $29.99 per month unlimited data plan
- $14.99 per month for 250MB of monthly data
It’s a good deal for monthly 3G access, especially when you consider the fact that both plans are pre-paid month-to-month plans that don’t require any sort of contract. The other benefit that you get from picking up a 3G iPad model is assisted GPS, which the Wi-Fi-only iPad lacks.
During CES 2010, we were able to catch up with Ryan Biden of BlackBerry, and he was able to give us a live unboxing of the new BlackBerry Presenter device. For those unfamiliar, the BlackBerry Presenter hooks up to a monitor, projector, or display, and allows you to wirelessly give a PowerPoint presentation using a file stored directly on your BlackBerry, with no need for a PC. It’s a great idea, and you can check out the device in this episode. We will also have a demo of the device in our next episode of Bleeding Edge TV.
We know that Sony is busy prepping their 3D strategy, but in the meantime, they are still working on pumping out some awesome televisions with the ZX5 series of Bravia LCD televisions. The Sony Bravia ZX5 sports edge-mounted LED backlighting (no local-dimming Triluminous tech here - boo), 240Hz Motion Flow, a wireless HD media receiver, and a 16.6-mm frame. The set will hit stores in Japan in November, and I’m sure we’ll hear about the US launch at CEDIA.
Read More | Sony Japan
Just as they previously came up with a wireless Guitar Controller for the Playstation, Logitech announced a new version for the Xbox 360. The licensed device features a wooden neck, metal frets and a rosewood fingerboard, with a strum bar and fret buttons. The Controller has a wireless range of about 30 feet and will be ready to tackle Guitar Hero in August in the US and Europe. You can pre-order now for $199.99.
Read More | Logitech
Yesterday, Elecom showed off their Micro Grast designer mice. Today, it’s Logitech’s turn with their 2.4GHz wireless V220s. Available in a Limited Edition of 6 different designs, the Nano-receiver is practically plug into USB and forget it. The mouse has an indicator light for battery left and hits automatic sleep mode when not in use. With 1000 dpi optical tracking, match it up to your designer laptop for $29.99.
Read More | Logitech
Getting ready to grill this weekend? The Wireless Remote Cooking Thermometer comes in two parts, one for the unsuspecting steak and the other for you to hang onto. It displays the temperature and boldly announces when it is almost done then completely cooked. Water-resistant, it features a backlight for those late night bashes and needs 2 AA and 2 AAA batteries (not included.) The thermometer will keep your party from being a complete burnout for $69.95.
Read More | Brookstone