High-tech product releases announced the week ending March 21 include a smart power outlet that only charges authenticated devices, a portable credit card payment dongle for smartphones, a connected wearable health and fitness device, a small budget smartphone, and an eco-friendly speaker dock. Unless otherwise noted, pricing and release dates have not been announced.
A power outlet that will only charge authenticated devices
Sony has developed an “Authentication Outlet” that can be programmed to only charge previously authenticated devices or those belonging to a specific user. The smart power outlet is able to monitor and track a device’s electricity consumption over time and can charge individual users for their electricity consumption on a per-use basis via electronic money payments. The technology is still in development but a prototype was recently shown at the NFC&Smart WORLD 2012 expo in Japan.
A portable payment device that accepts credit card payments on your smartphone
Entering into the next generation of payment technology, PayPal has introduced a mobile payment dongle called PayPal Here. The triangle-shaped, thumb-sized card reader enables small businesses to securely accept credit card payments using their mobile device for a fee of 2.7 percent. The free PayPal Here dongle is already available for select merchants in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong with a wider rollout expected to start next month.
A connected healthcare device that reduces stress and helps you lose weight
The Hicel Fitcare is a wearable, watch-shaped electronic device that helps users reduce stress and develop healthier breathing patterns. The Fitcare claims to analyze your pulse through a built-in sensor to show optimized, and individually tailored breathing methods on the display that will help you reduce stress and relax. It also uses a three-axis sensor to measure your daily calorie expenditure and encourages users to increase their activity rate throughout the day. Official release dates and pricing have not been announced but the device is expected to be commerciazlied by the end of 2012.
A small, budget smartphone that fits in your pocket
The Samsung Galaxy Pocket is an inexpensive Android-device for budget-conscious consumers that want to go against the enlarged smartphone display trend. The compact device has a 2.8” display, a 2MP camera, a microSD card slot, and runs on Android 2.3. It weighs in at 97g and measures 103.7 x 57.5 x 12 mm. The entry-level smartphone is expected to arrive in the UK later this year.
A compact speaker dock that’s made from organic materials
The Bayan 3 Speaker Dock for iPod is a small but aesthetically pleasing speaker dock that is made using 9mm thick solid wood and eco-friendly materials. It uses pseudo-stereo technology to create a stereo sound and offers 45W RMS power performance. The Bayan 3 features a 5.25” aluminium dome design base, a 2” mid and high range speaker driver and an easily accessible charge & play dock at the front. The Bayan 3 Speaker Dock for iPad is priced at £99.99 (€119) and is available now.