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Google's Nest Swallows Revolv

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Google-owned smart thermostat and smoke detector vendor Nest makes a second home automation-releated acquisition-- Revolv, the company behind the connected device home hub of the same name.

RevolvThe Revolv product offering consists of a red puck-shaped control device packing 7 radios combined with an iOS app and a cloud-based backend. It handles 10 protocols, and the free cloud service allows the creation of "actions" (aka scenes) based on geolocation, time or sensor activity.

Further details behind the deal are not available. The sale means Revolv will no longer sell its hub device, even if it promises its service will remain available for existing customers. Instead, the company will be putting its efforts into working on the "Works With Nest" open API program.

“Nest bought a team of people knowledgable in the interoperability of a wide variety of radio technology and software protocols in order to make integration easier for partners and customers,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett tells Forbes.


Goodbye Nokia, Hello Microsoft Lumia

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Microsoft confirms it is dropping the Nokia name from Lumia smartphones as it starts transitioning its branding from "Nokia Lumia" to "Microsoft Lumia" on apps, websites, social media and marketing materials.

Microsoft LumiaThe move should come to no surprise, as Nokia Windows Phone apps have already been rebranded to Lumia.

"Lumia is now part of a compelling family of Microsoft products like Xbox, Windows and Surface along with a range of services such as Skype, Office and Bing," Microsoft SVP of market for phones Tuula Rytilä says. Rytilä also reveals an unspecified Microsoft Lumia device will be announced "soon."

For the curious, the branding on future Lumia products features the Microsoft name and a plain black version of the company's four-squared logo.


LG Presents Smallest Projector

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LG MiniBeamLG rolls out what it says is its smallest portable projector yet-- the HD MiniBeam (model PH300), a projector featuring a durable LED light source and a battery promising up to 2 and a half hours of use.

It beams 1280 x 720 resolution images at 300 ANSI lumens and 100000:1 contrast ratio, in sizes of up to 100-inch. Auto Vertical Keystone (AVK) technology allows for "more convenient" operation by automatically selecting optimal projection angles, while LG says the LED has an estimated lifespan of 30000 hours.

Connectivity options include USB, HDMI and MHL.


Haier, Energous Team Up in Wireless Charging

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Appliance vendor Haier announces a partnership with wireless charging developer Energous-- one seeing Energous embed its WattUp chargers into Haier appliances in the near future.

Energous HaierWattUp technology uses the same radio bands as wifi routers (5.7 and 5.8MHz) and claims to provide 4W of wireless power from up to 4.5m distance, without need for placing devices on a mat. However devices need to carry WattUp receiver technology in order to actually sip from the wireless power.

“WattUp is a natural fit for a wide range of Smart Home products,” Haier says. “As Haier Wireless continues to make efforts and the wireless power industrial ecosystem continues to improve in the connected home market, Haier will accelerate industrialization application of true wire-free charging technology. In our vision, WattUp-embedded Haier Wireless appliances would serve as transmitters for any WattUp-enabled device that is within range.”


Fitbit Intros "Fitness Super Watch"

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Fitness wearable Fitbit takes on the post-Apple Watch world with the Surge, a wearable device that's somewhere between of fitness tracker and a smartwatch, one the company describes as a "fitness super watch."

Fitbit trioDesigned for fitness aficionados, the Surge features 8 sensors, namely a GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor and heart rate monitor to provide "the most advanced tracking in the thinnest, lightest design on the market." Like other fitness wearables the Surge pushes the stats gathered by the sensors to the Fitbit smartphone app for exercise-specific summaries complete with tailored metrics, workout intensity and calories burned.

It also features smartwatch functionality with caller ID and, text alerts, as well as music control via touchscreen. Furthermore Fitbit claims battery life clocks at up to 7 days, allowing one track either a work week or a marathon on a single charge.


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