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The Sony Remote/Speaker Hybrid

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Sony retains a more whimsical side as it presents the SRS-LSR100-- essentially a TV remote grafted on top of a wireless speaker able to receive 2.4GHz signals from a dongle attached to TVs or stereos.

Sony speaker remoteBut why would anyone even want a remote-speaker combo? As the company puts it, sometimes users want to continue listening to the TV and be able to change the channel even as they move away from the screen. As one does.

Other uses suggested by Sony include boosting TV sound while indulging in noisy activities (such as cooking or exercising), as aid viewers who might be hard of hearing or soothing babies to sleep.

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Samsung Adds to Wireless Audio 360 Speakers

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Samsung announces 3 additions to the Wireless Audio 360 speaker lineup-- the R5, R3 and R1, all featuring "ring-radiator" technology from the egg-shaped R7 and a built-in tap-and-swipe user interface.

Samsung Wireless Audio 360The speaker launch comes with an update to the Multiroom control app, one adding playback, volume and playlist control via Gear S smartwatch, a display of all available speakers and easier music sharing across all wifi-connected devices in the home.

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WSJ: Amazon (Partly) Gives Up on Hardware

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Following the failure of the Fire Phone Amazon gives up on mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reports-- the online retailer turned hardware maker is reportedly killing projects and laying off staff from the secretive Lab126 hardware division.

Amazon BezosLab126 is the facility behind the Fire tablets, STB and phone, as well as the oddball Echo speaker/voice-activated assistant and the Dash product re-ordering button. According to the WSJ unsold Fire Phone inventory lead to a $170 million write down, meaning the creator has to not only scale down in size but also shelve some admittedly interesting-sounding projects.

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CEA Defines HDR-Compatible Displays

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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announces the industry definition for high dynamic range (HDR)-compatible displays, a means for HD and 4K/UHD displays to push brighter, more colourful pixels.

HDR Monitor Such a definition should make it easier for retailers and customers to determine whether a display carries the interface and processing technology required to produce HDR content. Many 4K/UHD sets already support early HDR implementations through wider colour gamuts and higher frame rates.

According to the Association, an HDR-compatible TV, monitor or projector should have the following minimum attributes:

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Ex-Apple CEO Presents Obi Worldphone

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Obi Worldphone, the latest venture of ex-Apple CEO (and Misfit co-founder) John Sculley, presents a pair of mid-tier Android smartphones aimed at younger customers in emerging MEA markets, the SF1 and SJ1.5.

Obi WorldphonesThe SF1 and SJ1.5 are not the first Obi Worldphone handsets-- 2014 saw the company release 5 smartphones made with off-the-shelf parts in the UAE. The SF1 and SJ1.5 differ by being Obi-designed , if in collaboration with Ammunition, the San Francisco design firm behind the the first Beats headphones.

As such, the two handset have look reminiscent of the OnePlus handsets, with slightly raised "extruded" displays supposedly offering a bit of protection from drops. Both devices have 5-inch displays and components from the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek, Sony, Corning and Dolby.

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