Dec 27, 2016
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As we move further into the age of wireless audio with the iPhone 7 abandoning the ever-so-present headphone jack, a new category of "truly wireless" earbuds has been popping up. So you may be asking, what does "truly wireless" even mean? Well, as you may have seen, many earbuds that have claimed to be "wireless" actually have a wire in between the buds that generally goes around your neck. So, a few companies, such as Bragi, decided to do away with any and all wires, leaving us with Bragi's first product, the Dash. The Dash started as a Kickstarter project back in February of 2014, with an enormous amount of support, raising just under $3.4 million with the promise of earbuds completely free of wires and with loads of other features. These features included activity tracking, touch controls, on-board storage, water-resistance, and more. The campaign had initially intended to ship out the Dash units in October of 2014, but due to many setbacks, they started shipping out units in early- to mid-2016. With initial reports of problems with the microphone and Bluetooth connectivity, it seemed, at first, like the Dash could be just another Kickstarter flop. Instead, however, the company dedicated a lot of time into creating new updates to the firmware that drastically improved, if not completely solved these issues. The Sound DSC01138An earbud can't be good without sounding good, of course. So, how does the Dash stack up to the competition? After all, the price for these is not cheap, coming in at around $300. Well, they're actually pretty good! I wasn't expecting amazing sound from a device so small, yet packed full of components. What I found was that the Dash produces a good, clear sound, though certainly preferring the mids over the lows and highs. That said, I am quite a bass-lover myself and I'm coming from using a V-Moda Crossfade M-100, so I've been spoiled, and for earbuds, the Dash does a good job producing the bass it does. If I had to compare it to some other earbuds, I'd compare the sound to something like the "wireless" (but not completely wireless) Jaybird Bluebuds, which are quite good themselves. Bluetooth Connectivity Now, a common issue with truly wireless earbuds is their often lacking performance in their ability to hold a strong Bluetooth connection. In the beginning, there were lots of complaints from users experiencing poor connection even if the phone was placed only as far as the user's pockets. Obviously, that's a huge issue, but also one Bragi appears to have fixed through their updates. I can confidently say that I have had virtually no issues whatsoever with the connectivity of these earbuds, other than maybe one or two micro drops in connection. I tested the Dash by walking around a room and was able to go as far as 10 to 15 feet away from the source without experiencing any connectivity issues. Additionally, just the process of using and connecting the earbuds is really simple. All you do is take them out of the case and put them in your ears. The buds sense when they're in and automatically turn on, connect to each other, and connect to your phone or other device. Comfort and Design DSC01125Another historically common problem with this category of audio products is the ridiculous look of the product or their inability to stay in ears due to the sheer weight they carry. Luckily, this is not an issue with the Dash. While you may get some head turns while using this product, people often just don't care, and the Dash really doesn't look bad at all. Additionally, these earbuds were surprisingly comfortable to wear. They come with multiple sleeves to fit your ears (XS, S, M, and L), and once you find the right fit, the earbuds fit snuggly and quite comfortably. I haven't had too many issues with the buds falling out, which has always been a problem for me, whether or not the earbuds I was using were wireless. Yet another check mark for the Dash. Gestures/Controls A neat feature of the Dash is the way you control them. There are multiple ways that you control the Dash, including through the app, touch sensors on the outside of each bud, and head gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while using the earbuds, just nod or shake your head to answer or deny the call. Playing and pausing is easy, with just a tap on the right earbud, or start tracking activities with a tap on the left. One of the issues I noticed is that the touch sensors aren't only sensitive to your fingers, so putting on a winter hat caused the earbuds to do some unwanted actions. After looking around a bit, though, it looks like Bragi addressed this issue by including a touch lock that can be implemented by holding down on both the right and left touch sensors, which worked well and solved my problem. Other Features DSC01143The other features included with the Dash are a microphone, onboard storage, a heart-rate sensor, and a case that charges the buds 5 times on-the-go. To start off, the microphone had quite a few complaints in the early days, with users claiming it was unusable and that the person speaking sounded robotic over the phone. This is yet another area where Bragi has used its firmware updates to address an issue. When I was using the microphone for phone calls, some people said there were no problems at all, while others said it sounded a bit muddled, but they could still hear me and know what I was saying. As for the onboard storage, there's not much to be said about it. Songs can be added through a computer and using it works as described. Next up is the heart-rate sensor, which seemed to be relatively accurate, though I didn't have another device to compare it to at the time. This is a really nice feature for athletes looking to listen to music without an annoying wire and no need for a smartwatch. And lastly, the charging case. The case is built quite well, with an aluminum sleeve and a strong metal or plastic where the earbuds actually rest. The earbuds flash when they've been connected properly, and a magnet holds them in place. My only complaint is that I feel like I will drop the earbuds when trying to get them out of the case because you have to take the sleeve off, hold that, hold the battery part, and then fiddle with getting the buds out. That said, overall, the battery case is a nice feature, as the battery life on the buds isn't spectacular at about 3 hours. Conclusion So, what are my overall thoughts of the Dash? Well, I like them. I don't know if I, personally, would quite want to spend the $300 for them, but I could understand why some would. The features work well and the sound quality is pretty good, considering everything that's built into them. I think Bragi's next product, the Headphone, could also allow a lot more people to purchase their products, with reportedly better sound quality and a much lower price of $149. However, that new product does strip the Dash of many of its capabilities, including the water-resistance, touch controls, onboard storage, and heart rate sensor. So it really comes down to what you want. If you want the smart capabilities, there really is no other product out there that offers all of the Dash's capabilities, but if that does interest you, the Headphone is probably the way to go.

Christmas 2015 Brings with it All Kinds of Buzzing and Gliding

From drones to hoverboards, this Christmas was filled with all kinds of fun motorized gadgets. While the kids rejoice, all of the parents get to worry about all of the safety hazards brought along with these new toys.

For instance, you may remember the hoverboard danger that is their tendency to catch on fire in a more explosive manner…

 

Not to mention all of the funny fail videos that show just how difficult these things are to ride and how dangerous they can be in terms of breaking bones and causing all kinds of other injuries…

 

It sounds like these hoverboards sent many people to the emergency room this Christmas, according to these Twitter users…

It appears the wrist injuries are fairly common…

Even our state representatives can’t seem to avoid the dangers of the infamous hoverboard, with Florida Representative Carlos Curbelo having received an arm injury due to his daughter’s hoverboard.

With all of these injuries being reported from the hoverboard, it seems fair to deem the hoverboard this Christmas’s most dangerous gift. But let’s not let the hoverboard be the only one to get attention, with all of the kids’ new drones buzzing around, certainly there are dangers to be seen. In fact, one Twitter user was doing just fine with their hoverboard until a drone showed up…

 

So what’s the moral of the story here? If you got one of these new shiny gadgets, please take care of them, be aware of your surroundings before using them, and use common sense to lower your risk of injury as much as possible.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

People Reacting to the Tesla P85D’s Insane Mode

The latest Tesla Motors vehicle, the $120k Tesla P85D, is able to use its 691 Horsepower to go from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. This vehicle easily reaches 1g of lateral acceleration which means that you will be blown away by its acceleration especially if you’ve never experienced anything close to that before.

 

High end sport cars can accomplish the same feeling but internal combustion models have to rev up to get the torque and horsepower levels up while on electric vehicles you don’t have to wait. Check out the video above of people reacting to the P85D’s insanely fast acceleration and the video below of the vehicles announcement from a few months back!

More Info: Tesla Motors

Tesla Unveils Dual Motor All Wheel Drive Model S and Autopilot [Videos]

Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage and announced a Dual Motor All Wheel Drive Model S as well as Autopilot that will work on any D models and every new Model S that comes out of the production line.

P85D accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The fastest accelerating production four-door car ever.

60D and 85D provide all wheel traction and gain 10 miles of highway range compared to their rear motor Model S counterparts. via/ Tesla G+

Check out the video above of the full announcement and features overview then the video below of a Tesla P85D test drive!

Self-Driving Car Breaks Down While Congress Tests it Out

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have been working on a self-driving car using a Cadillac SRX as their vehicle. Using a series of sensors such as radar and lidar that are non-noticeable and all around the car, the vehicle is able to detect and process information using the computer found below the floor of the interior. This allows the car to navigate around the city and avoid obstacles to ensure safety of passengers and people around the car. Also included is the ability for the human driver to take control:

“In addition to its autonomous driving capabilities, this vehicle also allows seamless switching between autonomous and manual driving. The driver can override the vehicle’s decisions in an instant. We did this a couple of times to ensure the safety of passengers both inside and outside the vehicle,” Rajkumar, one of the professors who designed the car, stated on the University’s website.

Along with the building of the car, six transmission switches had to be installed on intersections throughout D.C. to allow the demonstration to Congress to take place.

Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee were offered the opportunity to ride in the vehicle to test it out for themselves. Being that the allowance of the car to be in public hands would have to be approved by the committee and Congress overall, this was a great demonstration as it showed it glimpse into the future of automobiles.

Unfortunately, right before the car was going for another ride, it broke down and wouldn’t start. No one knows for sure what caused the break-down, but Raj has stated that it was likely overheating just like any other vehicle could, as it was a hot day and the car had been running for more than 6 hours; one component overheated and the car failed to start. Because of this, there really is no need to worry as it wasn’t caused by the new technology.

However, due to the fact that this IS new technology and people have to put their lives in the hands of this new technology, any malfunction, even if it’s not caused by the technology itself, is going to be seen as something to worry about to the public: especially when it’s an important government official in the seat. The problem with that is that people are comparing the technology to perfection and not today’s reality; accidents are bound to happen, but it’s also much better than the current scenario.

Google’s self-driving car has driven more than 300,000 miles with one accident that wasn’t caused by the car itself, and that’s surely better than what human drivers can say. Yet, like I said before, when people put their lives in the hands of things instead of people, they’re more cautious.

All we can hope for is that the rest of the demonstrations went well and continue to go well while the technology progresses more in the future.

Early Look at iOS for Cars [Video]

Developer Steven Troughton-Smith emulated a vehicle display on his desktop to enable the car version of iOS. iOS for the car is apparently hidden in iOS 7.0.3 and has basic UI elements for now. Steven made a video demonstrating some of the features, which are likely to change by the time the software is finalized, check it out the below…

http://youtu.be/M5OZMu5u0yU

Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept [Gallery] CES 2014

Audi has just announced the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept at CES 2014. Our gallery below…

Audi CES 2014 Press Conference Live Stream and Blog

The Audi Press Conference is about to begin. Embedded below is Audi’s official lifestream of the event and below that is our live blog.

Music is playing and the atmosphere is hectic, most likely because they served alcohol before letting everyone in.

audi 2014 ces live

Video playing…
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First reference to Google.

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Guy in video had no hands on the wheel

A guy from the Big Bang Theory is on stage!
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President of CEA, Gary Shapiro, is up on stage and will introduce Rupert Stadler

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Rupert Stadler is up on stage!
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They are redefining what piloted driving means for this era.

He is going through the eras of the Automobile.

They are committed to redefining mobility.

Piloted Driving Audi A7 and Audi S3 Sedan are up on stage
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Tegra and AT&T’s involvement in the cars
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More on Audi’s past and customers preferences
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“The future is almost here”

So far the focus is on adding more technology which translates to better driving experience.

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Light Show Dance.. Woot!
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Laserlight Concept
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Check out the Audi Concept gallery here.

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Rupert Stadler is getting 4 connected car awards
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It’s over!

Next Event – SXSW 2017

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