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The Most Unusual Mobile Gadgets of 2024

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In the dynamic landscape of mobile technology, innovation knows no bounds. As we embark on a journey through the latest and quirkiest gadgets, our spotlight falls on unconventional devices that challenge norms and redefine user experiences. Let’s dive into the realm of cutting-edge mobile tech, where creativity takes center stage.

Belkin Auto-Tracking Stand Pro

A Glimpse into the Future of Video Calls Imagine a world where your iPhone becomes a personal videographer. Belkin’s Auto-Tracking Stand Pro transforms this vision into reality. Placing your iPhone on this stand triggers a mesmerizing experience as the camera autonomously tracks your every move. With a 360-degree motorized base and 90 degrees of tilt, this stand ensures your antics are captured effortlessly. Priced at $180, it’s not just a stand; it’s a glimpse into the future of video calls and livestreaming.

Withings BeamO

Health Monitoring Reimagined Withings continues to push boundaries with the BeamO, a multifunctional health-tracking device. This sleek gadget combines blood oxygen level tracking, a medical-grade ECG, a digital stethoscope, and a body temperature monitor. Designed for aesthetics and functionality, the BeamO is set to revolutionize how health data is collected and shared. With an impressive eight-month battery life, this $250 device is not just a gadget; it’s a holistic health companion.

Clicks: Turning Your iPhone into a Productivity Hub For those yearning for the tactile feel of a physical keyboard on their iPhone, Clicks offers the perfect solution. This case seamlessly integrates a keyboard, transforming your iPhone into a productivity powerhouse. Designed for intermittent use, Clicks provides an uninterrupted view of the screen, making it a stylish and functional accessory for $TBD. It’s not just a case; it’s a statement for productivity enthusiasts.

MMGuardian Phone

A Guardian for the Digital Age MMGuardian takes a step further in digital parenting with the MMGuardian Phone. Priced at $229, this smartphone comes pre-equipped with MMGuardian protection, offering comprehensive features like contact management, message monitoring, web filters, and location tracking. Utilizing deep learning AI, it claims to detect inappropriate selfies, providing a unique safeguarding feature for tech-savvy parents.

Garmin HRM-Fit

Fitness Tracking Redefined In a niche move, Garmin introduces the HRM-Fit, a heart rate monitor designed specifically for sports bras. This $150 device offers a neater and more comfortable alternative to traditional chest strap-style monitors. Syncing seamlessly with Garmin smartwatches and various gym equipment, the HRM-Fit addresses a specific need in the fitness tech market.

Augmental MouthPad

Redefining Accessibility in Tech Augmental introduces the MouthPad^, a tongue-controlled plate that challenges traditional means of device navigation. While it may seem eccentric, this $TBD device opens doors for individuals with disabilities, offering an alternative way to interact with technology. Although in the demo phase, the MouthPad^ showcases a potential game-changer in accessibility tech.

DoublePoint Wow Mouse

Gesture Controls on Your Wrist DoublePoint takes control systems to new heights with the Wow Mouse, bringing finger-based gesture controls to smartwatches. Currently available for Wear OS, this app adds an extra layer of interaction for users. With plans to license the technology to device manufacturers and release an SDK, the Wow Mouse is not just an app; it’s a glimpse into the future of wearable tech.

 

In Summary

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, these unconventional gadgets stand as testament to the boundless creativity within the industry. Stay tuned for more updates on the latest and strangest in mobile tech as we continue to explore the frontier of innovation.

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Google’s Update to “Quick Share” Improves Usability

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In a recent CES announcement, Google disclosed its collaboration with Samsung to extend Quick Share compatibility to all Android phones. Although Samsung’s Quick Share has coexisted with Google’s Nearby Share on Galaxy devices, the two services are now interoperable. The integration eliminates the need for Samsung users to choose between two separate file-sharing services. Google’s update of the Nearby Share branding to align with Samsung’s enhances the cohesion of the file-sharing experience between Galaxy and non-Galaxy devices. It’s important to note that not all functionalities have been retained in the rebranding process.

As Google began the rollout of Quick Share to non-Galaxy devices today, users observed that the enhanced experience lacks certain features present in Quick Share on Samsung devices. Notably, functionalities such as creating a temporary link for file sharing (link sharing) and temporarily sharing encrypted files (private sharing) are unavailable in the updated version.

An included feature in Google’s version of Quick Share, borrowed from Quick Share on Samsung devices, is the capability to display available devices directly in the share sheet. This functionality ensures that nearby Quick Share targets are visible within the share sheet, eliminating the need to tap the Quick Share button to access the full interface when sharing files with your own devices.

The alteration simplifies the process of file sharing across your devices. While Google has been working on integrating Nearby Share targets into the share sheet since last year, the introduction of Quick Share on Android marks the official rollout of this feature. Although observed on devices like the Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google Pixel 8 Pro, and OnePlus 11, some users have reported not seeing Quick Share targets in their share sheets. This change may be associated with a server-side flag independent of the Quick Share rollout, so users are advised to watch for Quick Share devices appearing in Android’s share sheet.

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Google lauches “Circle to Search”

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Today, Google has globally launched the Circle to Search feature on the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S24 series. This recently unveiled feature enables users to perform searches anywhere on their phones through gestures such as circling, highlighting, scribbling, or tapping.

The technology company sees the new feature as an effort to seamlessly integrate Google Search into everyday moments. Whether you’re watching a video or browsing images on a social app, the goal is to make it easier to pose spontaneous questions. As an illustration, while watching a video of someone enjoying a Korean corn dog, you can circle the corn dog and inquire, “Why are these so popular?”

The feature extends beyond circles to include various gestures. For instance, while conversing in a messaging app about a restaurant with a friend, you can effortlessly tap on the restaurant’s name to access additional details without exiting the app.

Circle to Search simplifies the process of looking up definitions for words or phrases. Imagine watching a video with a drink labeled “prebiotic,” and you’re unsure of its meaning compared to “probiotic.” Previously, you’d have to switch to your browser to search. Now, you can activate Circle to Search by long-pressing the home button or navigation bar, highlight “prebiotic,” learn more, and seamlessly resume the video with a swipe.

Circle to Search allows you to initiate searches from any app, eliminating the need to pause your current task and open a browser for a search. Additionally, if you typically take screenshots as reminders to search later, this is no longer necessary; you can search immediately without disrupting your ongoing activities.

On January 31, Circle to Search will debut on the recently unveiled Galaxy S24 Series smartphones at the Samsung event. Additionally, it will be accessible on premium Android devices like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, supporting all languages and locations where these phones are sold. Google anticipates expanding support to more Android smartphones over time.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 Set to Bolster Battery Life

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Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Flip6 is set to tackle battery life concerns by featuring a larger 4,000 mAh battery, addressing the criticisms of the smaller cells in previous Flip models like the Galaxy Z Flip5, which had a 3,700 mAh battery. While still smaller than some competitors, such as Oppo’s Find N3 Flip with a 4,300 mAh battery, the 4,000 mAh in the Flip6 represents about an 8% increase from the Flip 5. The Flip6 will maintain a dual-cell configuration, with one cell rated at 1,097 mAh and the other at 2,790 mAh, totaling a 3,887 mAh rated capacity, likely resulting in a 4,000 mAh typical capacity. Additional rumored upgrades include a larger 3.9″ cover display (up from 3.4″ in the Flip5) and a significant camera improvement with a 50 MP main camera compared to the 12 MP in the Flip5. The Galaxy Z Flip6 is expected to be officially announced in the middle of this year.

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