Tech in the news

  • Top 7 Tech Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

    Top 7 Tech Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

    Did you forget? Here’s a reminder: Father’s Day is coming! That’s right, June 18, 2017 brings yet another year of frantically finding an appropriate gift the big guy will like. Hold on a minute – relax. eeco is here to lend you a hand. We’ve put together a shortlist of seven awesome tech gadgets your dad will love – making shopping less of a hassle. Read on to grab one of the following gadgets before it’s too late!

    7. Nest Learning Thermostat

    Nest Learning Thermostat

    Coming in at number seven and priciest ($246) on the list, is the Nest Learning Thermostat. If your dad has a DYI attitude or needs a new thermostat, look no further. The Nest thermostat can learn what temperatures dad likes and when he comes and goes to automatically adjust the temperature and save energy. With Wi-Fi capability built-in, dad can control his new thermostat from anywhere in the world using his smartphone or tablet. It still requires a little bit of DYI action, but with an easy install, there’s no way dad will mess it up on Father’s Day.

    6. Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam

    Pruveeo F5 Dash Cam

    Bring safety, security and peace of mind to dad this Father’s Day with a dash cam. The Pruveeo F5 dash cam comes with Wi-Fi, a 140-degree wide-angle view for everything on the road ahead and crystal clear HD video playback. The bundled app lets dad download and watch recorded videos on his smartphone. A smart design means it hides away behind the rearview mirror so it doesn’t distract dad while he’s driving. Other features include loop recording (deletes old videos when it runs out of storage), motion detection/parking mode (records even when the car is off) and like all dash cams, it automatically turns on/off with the engine.

    At $39, it has 290 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, making this a great Father’s Day gift.

    5. Amazon Kindle E-reader

    Amazon Kindle E-reader

    If your dad enjoys the love of reading, grab him a Kindle E-reader for Father’s Day. At just $80 (without special offers), it holds thousands of books at one time, providing hours of entertainment. With an incredible battery life and a thin, lightweight design, dad can take his Kindle to work, on travel and wherever else he goes. Thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, dad can get even more books on Amazon including tons of free titles.

    4. Smart Home Assistant

    Smart Assistants Amazon Echo Google Home

    Ease your dad into a Smart Home future by getting him a snazzy assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home for Father’s Day. Currently available at discounted rates of $140 and $110 respectively, both assistants are commanded by voice and can do just about anything. Dad can ask for directions, call you when you’re still not home, get recipes from the Internet or find new dad jokes – the two assistants use Wi-Fi to search for answers online. It’s also easy to pair the two with apps like Spotify and Pandora for music playback using built-in speakers, and control Smart Home features and appliances using Samsung SmartThings and Philips Hue.

    3. Google Chromecast & Chromecast Audio

    Google Chromecast Audio & Chromecast

    Bring dad’s old, dusty speaker system back to life and give his TV an edge with Chromecast Audio and Chromecast. Priced at $30 each (until Father’s Day, June 18), the two bring a whole new level of connectivity to the home. Chromecast Audio connects to any speaker system using the 3.5mm audio standard, and with built-in Wi-Fi, it lets dad play his favorite tunes from a laptop or mobile device. Fumbling and searching through tons of CDs to find the right song is a thing of the past – and he gets to keep those old speakers, too. On the other hand, Chromecast hooks up to any TV to play videos and movies from a laptop, smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi. It also allows dad to show off his Caribbean vacation pictures on the big screen directly from his smartphone.

    2. UE Roll 2 (Waterproof) Bluetooth Speaker

    UE Roll 2

    Coming out from Ultimate Ears is the UE Roll 2, one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market. At $70, it’s a great mix of budget and brilliant sound for Father’s Day. With a range of up to 100 feet, a nine-hour battery life and an IPX7 rating allowing it to be submerged for up to 30 minutes – your dad will love it. The sound is big – real big. Dad can rock out to heavy metal tunes in the shower or relax with some jazz and classical music on the sofa. Thanks to a lightweight design, he can take it out into the backyard by the pool or on a hike.

    1. Cables – Lots of Them

    eeco USB Cables

    What dad doesn’t need new cables? A gift that’s perfect every time is a USB cable. For Father’s Day, eeco’s cables are 20% off using the code: DADISNO1 (US/CA; UK: DADSRULE). Whether your dad uses a device that needs a microUSB cable, a Lightning cable or a USB Type-C cable – we’ve got you covered. Available directly from Amazon, order now and dad will get his cables right on time for Father’s Day.

    六月 12, 2017 By masy@eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • Bluetooth 5: Explained!

    Bluetooth 5: Explained!

    Bluetooth 5

    via Bluetooth SIG

    After two years, Bluetooth finally received a major update this past December. It went under the radar until the Samsung Galaxy S8 announcement in March. The S8 will be the first device to offer Bluetooth 5. 5no more “v” or “x.0” – is a major upgrade over 4.0 and its 4.x updates.

    What is Bluetooth?

    Bluetooth is a wireless technology invented by Ericsson in 1994. It allows the ability to connect devices wirelessly by “pairing” them. It is cross platform, so it works with almost any device on the market (iPhone/Android/Windows/Linux). Bluetooth allows the transfer of data, audio and control of Bluetooth-compatible devices such as speakers, wireless mouse/keyboard and smart home products. In contrast to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth has lower power-consumption, making it a useful addition in mobile devices.

    A worthy update

    Almost everything can be connected via Bluetooth: headphones, speakers, cameras, mouse/keyboards, fitness bands, door locks and even lightbulbs. With so many devices polluting the airwaves, Bluetooth devices can easily disconnect or not pair with a mobile device.

    Bluetooth 5 intends to fix this. According to Bluetooth SIG, Inc.,“5 quadruples range, doubles speed, [and] increases data broadcasting capacity by 800%.”

    What Bluetooth 5 promises to do

    1. Better pairing with devices

      If you own Bluetooth peripherals and try to pair them with your mobile device, then you’ve noticed how slow the process can be. Issues can be that the device isn’t recognized, cannot connect or connects and then disconnects. Bluetooth 5 promises to connect more devices, faster. The new upgrade should transfer data two times faster than 4.0, and there will be less audio delay with connected speakers and headphones.

    1. Greater range, better connectivity

      An issue with previous versions of Bluetooth has been the short range, especially indoors. Without a clear line-of-sight, Bluetooth is limited to a range of 10m. Connect an audio device, walk out of range or into another room and the audio begins to skip or stop working altogether. Outdoors, 4.0 provides a theoretical maximum range of 50m. Bluetooth 5 quadruples the range to 40m indoors and 200m outdoors. This means you can leave your phone in your bedroom and catch some sun in the backyard.

    1. Significantly faster data transfer speed

      One of the biggest advantages Bluetooth 5 has over 4.0 are data speeds that are eight times faster. Forget Wi-Fi or cable transfer of your photo gallery, use 5 without issue. Thanks to the ability to transfer eight times the data, 5 also allows pairing two devices at the same time. So, if you have two Bluetooth speakers in the house, connect them both to play audio at the same time.

    2. Stronger signal

      Bluetooth 5 promises to reduce interference from other Bluetooth and wireless devices. If you’re using a wireless keyboard to type an email on your computer, it won’t disconnect because of interference from your smartwatch. Similarly, when your phone is connected to your car, it won’t skip or drop calls because of your neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal.

    The Internet of things 

    “Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience.” Mark Powell, Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG

    The Internet of Things continues to grow and Bluetooth 5 aims to help connect IoT enabled devices. Thanks to advances in pairing and a more robust signal, Bluetooth 5 will keep them connected for a pleasant experience. If you have multiple smart lightbulbs, speakers and other devices around the house, 5 allows you to pair and control all of them. The combination of longer range, faster transfer speeds and better pairing offers a variety of opportunities to make your home smart.

    Available, but coming soon

    Bluetooth 5 was officially released in December 2016, but not every device in 2017 will have it. For now, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the first-and-only device with 5, but expect mobile devices of Fall 2017 (iPhone 8?) to come equipped with better Bluetooth.

    四月 25, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • The Switch to C

    The Switch to C

    The Switch to CThe highly-anticipated release of the Nintendo Switch has stores quickly running out of stock. 1.5 million consoles were sold in the first week, and sales continue to rise. It’s the first time Nintendo has combined the portability of a hand-held system with a gaming console. Besides Wi-Fi, connectivity includes Bluetooth and multiple USB ports including a USB-C port. Charging via USB-C is a first for Nintendo.

    There’s a first time for everything

    Up until now, Nintendo has only used its own proprietary charging connectors. The switch to USB-C (no pun intended) means the Nintendo Switch can be recharged anywhere with any charging device. Portable chargers like power banks are ideal for gamers on-the-go.

    However, the Nintendo Switch does not come with Quick Charge or any other type of proprietary charging methods. USB-C can deliver a large amount of power, but the Switch doesn’t take advantage of this. Its 4,310mAh battery takes 3.5 hours to fully charge.

    This charge time is based on using the included charger and dock that comes with the Nintendo Switch. Is it possible to charge the Switch using a standard wall charger and USB to Type-C cable? It is possible, but the charge time is significantly slower.

    The charging question

    How fast would a USB-C charger or power bank with a USB-C to C cable charge the Switch? The result: much faster.

    Hooking up our 10000mAh aluminum power bank with USB-C PD (power delivery) charged the Nintendo Switch to 45% in one hour. Granted, this was while it was in sleep mode, using no power.

    In conclusion, our testing shows not every power bank can charge the Nintendo Switch properly. Both the power bank and cable matter. Power banks must support USB-C output and the cable must be Type-C on both ends.

    A USB-C cable is not included with the Switch, but here’s one of ours.

    四月 21, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • HKTDC Electronics Fair: The 7 Cool Tech Products We Saw

    HKTDC Electronics Fair: The 7 Cool Tech Products We Saw

    Last week, the eeco team attended the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) Electronics Fair in Wan Chai. It’s an excellent place to see what new tech products are coming to the market. In 2016, over 62,000 people attended the fair and over 2,800 exhibitors were present. There was no shortage this year, either.

    With that being a quick introduction, this blog post will cover a few products the eeco team thinks are cool. At the HKTDC Electronics Fair, technological innovation was lacking, but design made up for it. Products such as Bluetooth speakers shrunk in size and other products adopted premium materials such as aluminum and steel. A few products showcased their tasteful artistic designs.

    Bluetooth Speakers

    Villo: artistic, multi-directional Bluetooth speakers

    Villo Color Villo Open Villo Covers

    One of the coolest Bluetooth speakers we saw are made by a company called Villo. They immediately caught our attention by their colorfully designed speaker covers. The covers are interchangeable; so, if you’re not feeling the all-black cover, switch it for a colorful mosaic or one that resembles fire. Villo’s unique design creates an almost surround-sound experience with its multi-directional speakers. Up to 10 Villo speakers can be connected for audio throughout the house.

    Mentioned: FABRIQ

    Fabriq Speaker Fabriq Speaker

    FABRIQ is a sister-brand of Villo. These compact Bluetooth speakers have a bunch of different designs and can also pair with other FABRIQs to pump up the noise.

    EWA: compact, steel Bluetooth speakers

    EWA BT Speaker EWA BT Speaker

    At a glance, EWA’s Bluetooth speakers are nothing special. But hold them, lift them and don’t drop them, because they’re heavy. Made of brushed steel, one speaker as big as the palm of your hand weighs over a whopping 500 grams. The use of steel makes these speakers feel durable and keeps them sturdy on any surface. The sound quality is surprisingly good for compact speakers, especially from the mini ones.

    Wall Adapters

    PowerCube: multi-port modular wall plug

    PowerCube PowerCube

    PowerCube by Allocacoc is a wall plug that supports multiple inputs. Each PowerCube comes with a master switch built-in that shuts off power. The company’s design is a common theme (modular cubes), but each version has a different twist. PowerCube Remote comes with a battery-free remote. A nice feature of the Remote is that it can connect to multiple PowerCubes; one switch turns on/off all the cubes in your apartment.

    Smart Home

    Smart mirrors: check your reflection, the weather and the day’s events

    Imagine a television that replaces your bathroom mirror. Wake up in the morning and get ready to brush your teeth. As you look up, alongside your reflection you see the day’s weather and tasks. Once connected with Alexa or HomeKit, use voice commands to play music, check emails or secure your home. Running on Android, the home screen of smart mirrors can be arranged to your liking. As television screens become thinner and lighter, smart mirrors may one day replace standard mirrors in your home.

    Orvibo: touch-based glass wall outlets

    Orvibo is a company specializing in Smart Home products. Formats like Amazon Echo and Apple HomeKit are supported by Orvibo products to control doorbells, cameras, curtains and overall home security. Orvibo’s light switches are a cool product. Made of a glass-like material, the switch turns on/off with a touch of the finger. There’s nothing to press; a light-touch does the magic.

    Mobile Accessory 

    PIECE: dual-SIM adapter

    PIECE SIM

    PIECE is a cool phone accessory. It’s half the size of an iPhone 5s, and doubles as a second SIM card slot. Simply insert a SIM card into the device, connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and voila, your phone now has dual-SIM capability. Unfortunately, it only supports 2G, so data capability is out; only phone calls and text messages are supported. The material build isn’t the best, as the shell felt flimsy. PIECE comes with a dedicated “selfie-button” to take pictures on your phone and has an alarm to locate your phone if the two are separated. The built-in 550mAh battery provides four hours of talk-time.

    Your Thoughts

    What do you think of these seven products? Do you think they’re cool enough for you to buy/use in your own home? Have you seen products that are way, way, way cooler? Let us know in the comments below!

    四月 17, 2017 By eecotech Blog Tech in the news
  • Apple won’t lose its Lightning, and here’s why

    Apple won’t lose its Lightning, and here’s why

    Rumors of the upcoming iPhone 8 (or 7S) are floating around on the Interwebs. They talk about what the phone will look like or what it will feature. Talk about wireless charging, curved screens and larger phone size are just a few. One rumor that has gained traction is the debate over whether Apple will ditch the Lightning connector and make a total switch to USB-C.

    A Wall Street Journal article reported “people with direct knowledge of Apple’s production plans” saying,

    “…Apple [will] introduce other updates including a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices, instead of the company’s original Lightning connector.”

    Will Apple ditch its proprietary Lightning connector in favor of USB-C? One side of the argument says yes. The evidence: Macbooks. Apple’s new line of Macbooks have made a full switch to USB-C.

    The other side says no. The evidence: Apple’s MFi certification program.

    Made by Apple, for Apple

    Money is LightningThe no’s have a substantial argument. MFi – Made for iPod, iPad and iPhone, is a money-maker for Apple. Any hardware or software made by a third-party for iPods, iPads and iPhones must receive a MFi certification to use Apple and product logos on their packaging. To become MFi certified, third-party products must pass certification tests and pay a licensing fee. They must also carry a special chip inside for compatibility with iOS.

    There’s no doubting Apple has a giant share of the smartphone and tablet market. With such popularity, there’s of course going to be hundreds of third-party manufacturers looking to make a profit. For Apple, this translates to $$$.

    It’s all about control

    Besides the MFi certification program, Apple has no interest in losing control of its proprietary Lightning connector. Google may be pushing USB-C as the future of cables, but it’s nothing exclusive to Google itself. With the Lightning connector, Apple controls what goes into their devices, thereby keeping control of their connector, device and the money that comes from it. Imagine if the iPhone could use USB-C cables. Would you buy a USB-C cable from Apple or the one made by LG or Samsung for a third of the cost?

    Continuing the theme of money in this blog post, sticking with a Lightning connector also saves Apple money. The amount of time and money spent in R&D to ensure a new connector (USB-C) works perfectly and looks good in a slim, attractive device just isn’t worth it. Why fix something that’s not broken?

    The connector going into an Apple device won’t lose its Lightning, but it doesn’t mean the other end won’t be USB-C. USB-C is a powerful connector; it supplies power, audio and video all-in-one and therefore, it’s a connector of convenience for Apple. It basically does what Lightning has been doing for years now.

    Lightning will stay

    Any rumors circulating about Apple ditching the Lightning connector are just rumors. It will all be revealed this coming Fall.

    四月 14, 2017 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ | Everything you need to know

    Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ | Everything you need to know

    The Samsung S8 / S8+ is here…

    techradar Samsung S8 screenshot techradar

    Coming April 21st is Samsung’s greatest phone yet, the Galaxy S8 and S8+.  Exceptionally beautiful and considerably expensive. This phone is possibly Samsung’s most important release to date, considering the spontaneously combusting Note 7 the year before. It’s an opportunity to present and best rivals such as the LG G6 and the upcoming iPhone 8, and show consumers it won’t get them booted off planes due to bomb scares.

    Created with a combination of glass (Corning’s Gorilla Glass) covering the front and back, and metal holding everything together. In looks alone, the Samsung S8 is unlike its predecessors. Samsung has removed the recognizable physical home button and capacitive buttons, instead replacing them with on-screen buttons. The standard power and volume buttons are located on the right and left respectively, with an additional third button underneath the volume. This new button launches Samsung’s Siri-like AI, Bixby. More on that later.

    With physical buttons removed, the Samsung S8 uses a similar haptic-feedback like Apple’s iPhone 7 for a button-like feeling. Such a large screen leaves no room for physical buttons.

    The screen is beautiful

    CNET Samsung S8 website screenshot CNET

    At a whopping 5.8 inches, Samsung calls the new display: “Infinity Display.” It’s gorgeous. Curved edges at the sides make it hard to tell where the metal body meets the display. Thanks to on-screen buttons and the removal of Samsung’s logo, the top and bottom have been stretched to incorporate the massive display.

    A large increase of 0.7 inches in display size would mean an equally large increase in physical size, but it doesn’t. Over the S7, the S8 is hardly any bigger. The Samsung S8 and its 5.8-inch screen is equal to the S7 Edge and it’s 5.5-inch.

    A Super AMOLED display is standard, but this time the resolution increases (amongst other things) to 2960×1440 pixels. Samsung says there’s room to place two apps side-by-side, so social networking and watching videos is seamless.

    Don’t you go, headphone jack 

    To silence rumors that Samsung followed Apple and cut out the headphone jack, the new S8/S8+ keeps the 3.5mm standard. Audiophiles and consumers will be relieved to hear there will be no need to buy an adapter to plug in 3.5mm headsets.

    Next to the headphone jack is a future-proof and Google-backed USB-C port. Alongside these two plugins is the speaker. Very standard.

    Impressive hardware

    Like all Samsung flagships of the past, the S8/S8+ stuffs the best hardware on the market into a slim, compact design. Two chipsets are offered: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core for the US market, and Samsung’s very own Exynos Octa-core for the international market. This much power should theoretically provide a blazing-fast user experience on Android’s 7.0 Nougat software.

    4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage accompany an expandable SD card slot with support for up to 2TB of space. NFC and MST for secure, wireless transfer and Samsung Pay are adopted from the S7 along with IP68 certification, making the Samsung S8 pair water and dust resistant.

    Battery life and the charge

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Until reviews of battery life are conducted, numbers and hope is all that is available. Battery capacity isn’t impressive. 3,000mAh on the Samsung S8 and 3,500mAh on the S8+ is a less juice than expected to supply a larger, more power-hungry display. Thankfully, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge is there in both wired and wireless charging formats. The new Snapdragon 835 chipset supports QC 4.0, which promises to be both USB-C & USB-PD compliant while delivering 50% charge in 15 minutes.

    Camera improvement

    Taking a break from ogling the display and taking a closer look at the Samsung S8, the rear camera hasn’t changed. It’s the same 12-megapixel lens with OIS from the S7. However, Samsung states the camera software is better to improve picture quality and speed. The rear camera may not have changed, but the front camera gets a big improvement. It’s an 8-megapixel sensor with autofocus for those beauty shots.

    New software tricks and fingerprint sensor 

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Previously, S6 and S7 had their fingerprint sensor located on the home button itself. A convenient location to unlock the phone without having to punch in unlock codes or patterns. On the Samsung S8, the lack of a home button means the fingerprint sensor must be moved. It’s now located at the back next to the camera, rather than under it like other Android manufacturers. It’s not the best location as the camera will get smudged when fumbling around trying to unlock the phone.

    Iris scanning is back on the Samsung S8, and is an alternative to fingerprint scanning. By using “eye-prints,” the phone can unlock the phone and make payments. Even better, Samsung improves Android’s face detect system to unlock the S8.

    The most compelling software feature is DeX. By purchasing a special dock from Samsung, the S8/S8+ can be hooked up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse to get a desktop-like feel. DeX can only run Android apps, but with most desktop apps now available on Android, it’s a useful feature for those business and tech-savvy people on-the-go.

    Hello, Bixby

    Samsung S8 website screenshot S8 website screenshot

    Say hello to Bixby, Samsung’s version of Siri – or Google Assistant – or Cortana – or Alexa. Remember the dedicated Bixby button mentioned earlier? Hold that and it launches Samsung’s personal assistant. It only supports 10 built-in apps and any new apps must be coded to support it. While it’s no different (and may be lacking) than Google or Apple’s personal assistants, Bixby does have a trick up its sleeve. By using its in-camera features, point the Samsung S8 camera at any objects and Bixby will search the web for it. See a cool pair of shoes or an eclectic watch? Bixby will search the web and show where it can be bought online.

    Initially, Bixby is trained to only recognize US and Korean humans.

    The S8 or the S8+? Choosing is easy

    Besides the screen size and battery capacity, the two phones are identical. Hardware, software and cameras come with no difference between the Samsung S8 pair. If screen size is important, the Galaxy S8+ is the way to go. But if budget is a concern, the Samsung S8 is $120 cheaper.

    In conclusion, no matter the choice, it’s undeniable the S8/S8+ is the sleekest and most beautiful smartphone on the market.

    三月 30, 2017 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • What’s Coming Up

    What’s Coming Up

    It’s been a hectic time at eeco over the past couple of months with us working non-stop on developing an entire range of new products. Now that several of these new products are approaching launch, we felt it was time to share what we’ve been up to!

    Quick Charge 3.0 Power Bank

    qc-3-new-1-banner-web

    The first of our new wave of products to hit the digital shelves will be a sleek new power bank. We really pulled out all the stops with this one, giving you all the features you told us you wanted. Large capacity, lightweight, Quick Charge 3.0, USB-C support, it’s all there. It’s fair to say that we’re looking to the future with this one. The inclusion of a USB-C port effectively makes it future-proof as more and more devices will support the standard over the next couple of years, and Quick Charge 3.0 is going to be in demand in 2017.

    Comment from lead designer Markus: “We’re really happy with the matte space-gray aluminum casing, it feels and looks great. The slimline look is also very pleasing, despite its large capacity it can still fit easily in your pocket. We were very careful in selecting materials and the technology inside is state of the art. Overall, this is a real quality product and one we’re sure will do well.”

    Micro-USB/Lightning Cables

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    Shortly afterwards you’ll be able to get your hands on some impressively sturdy cables we’ve been developing, available both in Micro-USB and Lightning versions. In a previous blog entry we wrote about ways in which you can preserve the life of your cables. Well, at eeco we’re doing a lot of the hard work for you by reinforcing our cables with near-indestructible aramid fiber. These cables should be able to stand up to whatever your daily life can throw at them and more.

    Lead designer Markus: “We designed these cables before any of the other products so in many ways we were setting the design language that we would stick to for all future products. This meant that we put a great deal of thought into every detail. In the end we went for a slimline look with a smooth taper, an elegant and attractive design. For the cable head we decided to go with a dual material molding in order to increase durability. The top part uses a hard material that can protect the connector, while the lower part is made from a more flexible material so that the cable head can move more freely and is less likely to suffer from bending. The cables can withstand 10,000 bends in laboratory testing, a stat which we are very proud of.”

    Other design details are that the tapered head design fits the fingers perfectly and is very easy pull out of a port. Also, the logo on the cable isn’t silk printed like is common, it is part of the molding itself. This gives a higher quality feel and also reduces production costs. The partner we sourced the materials from has more than 10 years experience with high quality cables so we are confident these cables will last”.

    Wall chargers

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    We also have a series of wall chargers on the way, with 1 port, 2 port and 4 port variations for 3 different plug types (US, EU and UK). We are well aware that most people buying a charger will be looking for something better than the default one that came with their device, so we did our best to give each model something a bit extra.

    The single port model comes with QC 3.0 fast charging, currently the fastest method of charging available. Our dual port model offers a hefty 24W of charging, enough for both ports to charge at an impressive 2.4A simultaneously. We will also offer a quad port version for those with heaps of devices in the home which also supports 2.4A rapid charging.

    Lead designer Markus: “This series of wall chargers was the first non-cable we designed, so once again it was important to get the design right. We went for a simple, minimalist design; sleek and elegant. The molding is done in three parts, with two sides and a central section containing the ports. We were careful to design it in such a way that for each version only the middle part has to be different, the edges remain the same. This helps reduce costs, simplifies production, while also making the design easily adaptable. This adaptability was useful when developing the versions for the different plug types we support, and will also come in handy for future models.”

    Car Charger

    qc-3-new-1-banner-web-3

    Quick Charge 3.0 has been a bit of a theme for our latest line of products and our USB car chargers are no different. Both the single and dual port models come with Qualcomm certified chipsets offering super-fast QC 3.0 speeds, the two port model supporting a whopping 30W max output across both ports.

    Lead designer Markus: “We were keen to make the car charger out of a single part so as to eliminate joins and visible lines and we are pleased with final result. A single molding product looks so much more sleek and clean, and also helps keep costs down. We also wanted to make something that would blend in with your dashboard and match the styling of a car as much as possible. A bright and garish product looks cheap when placed inside a car, so we kept the design and color-scheme as low-key and classy as we could.”

    Power Bank 5000mAh & 10000mAh

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    In addition to our slim-line QC 3.0 power bank, we have also developed a separate pair of power banks following the same design theme as our wall and car chargers. The larger of the two packs a substantial 10000mAh and charges at a swift 2.1A (and also look great). The smaller of the two is an ultra-compact power bank aimed at those on the move that squeezes a hefty 5000mAh into its tiny shape. It too charges at 2.1A and compares very favorably to other portable power banks of this size in terms of bang for buck.

    Lead designer Markus: “We thought a lot about the different capacities would could produce. It’s tempting to always attempt to produce the largest capacity possible, but it’s important to consider what people actually want from a power bank. We did a lot of research and found that 10000mAh and 5000mAh would be the best to aim for, 10000 because that’s enough to charge a phone 3 times and 5000 because we could make it small enough to fit easily into a pocket. In terms of design, similar to the wall charger we were keen to produce something adaptable that we could reuse in future just by changing the ports or the internals. We spent a lot of time with the engineers and production team making sure everything was just right and that there were no gaps or imperfections in the casing.”

    iPhone Stand

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    Into 2017 we will also have a stylish new iPhone stand. Aside from being a place to mount and charge your iPhone, it is also the perfect audio companion for it. The stand itself includes buttons for changing track, adjusting the volume and for playing and pausing music. This means you don’t have to touch the screen itself, which can sometimes be fiddly to operate when you aren’t holding the phone in your hand. You can also connect headphones to the stand and listen to music as you charge, something that isn’t straightforward for iPhone 7 users.

    Lead designer Markus: “We think this stand really brings out the beauty of Apple’s designs. An iPhone neatly placed on it looks stunning, the stand really compliments the style of the iPhone. The product is crafted from a single piece of aluminum using the same process as Apple uses in the manufacture of its MacBooks, so the quality of the finish is something we’re very proud of.”

    More in the works!

    This is just what have to offer in the immediate future, we have a great deal more in the pipeline, including a few innovations we are really excited about. A lot of work has gone into to each of these and it will be a thrill to see them on sale and in the hands of our customers!

    十一月 22, 2016 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
  • Why Apple Is Right to Drop the Headphone Jack

    Why Apple Is Right to Drop the Headphone Jack

    iphone-7-plus-580x358

    The iPhone 7 finally launched and as expected most headlines focused on the removal of the traditional headphone jack. 300,000 had signed a petition even before the announcement had been made and there has been a lot of mocking on social media. However, we are willing to bet that opposition will fade away pretty quickly, and here’s why.

    An inevitable trend

    Apple aren’t the first manufacturer to drop the headphone jack and they certainly won’t be the last. You can be sure that in a few years time all the major smartphone manufacturers will be dropping the headphone jack. That’s the nature of progress. Somebody has to be a trendsetter and make the move early, and Apple have always thrived in that role.

    Lightning headphones are much better

    lightning better than headphone jack

    The audio quality is better

    Modern music players all work with digital sound formats, but the traditional headphone jack needs an analog signal. Analog audio isn’t necessarily worse than digital audio in principal, the problem is that a conversion needs to take place via a digital audio converter (DAC). Every time a conversion takes place there will always be a slight loss of quality. As Lightning and USB-C are digital connectors, the signal can bypass the DAC chip completely and go straight to the headphones, meaning that truly lossless audio is possible.

    Lightning/USB-C can supply power to your headphones or speakers

    One of the big disadvantages of most noise-cancelling headphones is that they need to be charged. Lightning headphones can draw power as they are used, meaning power thirsty features such as active noise-cancelling can be included without the need for batteries or charging. removing the need for batteries and pre-charging. Also, many audiophiles currently invest in external headphone amps as the audio chip built-in to smartphones isn’t powerful enough. With Lightning headphones this isn’t a problem as the better models include their own dedicated audio chip that draws power through the Lightning port.

    Not having a dedicated headphone jack saves space

    taptic

    The inside of a smartphone nowadays is like a super high-tech jigsaw, everything is slotted into place with not a millimeter to spare. If you can save a little bit of space, you can add more features and improve performance. The headphone jack is a relatively long connector and takes up a good bit of space when connected to the device. Not having to accommodate this frees up valuable space for engineers to have fun. Without this extra room perhaps it would have been harder to add the new Taptic Engine to the Home button on the latest iPhone.

    Apple has done this many times before

    It’s also worth pointing out that Apple has a long history of dropping old technology before some users were ready for it, and in every case time has proven them to be correct. Consider these past examples…

    apple-dropping-tech-image2

    We could also mention Apple dropping hardware serial ports from the iMac or when they ditched of their own Firewire standard. In all these examples Apple made a bold move to drop a well established standard before some were ready for it. Sound familiar? There may have been a little bit of short-term pain as people had to buy new hardware or work out a different solution, but Apple’s position help fast-forward progress, and the switch would have had to be made sooner or later anyway.

    We need a trendsetter

    If manufacturers were all averse to dropping out-of-date technology for fear of upsetting those still using it, progress would move at a snail’s pace. It takes a trendsetter company willing to ruffle a few feathers to take a stand and force progress. If the decision is wrong the company will lose business and struggle, but the continued success of Apple over so many years shows that being uncompromising is certainly not unpopular with consumers. Dropping the headphone jack may be a smart move.

    九月 9, 2016 By eeco Blog Tech in the news
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