Engadget: We haven’t heard much about Sony’s HomeShare wireless networking protocol since the initial buzz in 2008, but based on today’s announcements, it’s fairly clear that Sony intends to ramp things up in 2011. The SA-NS300 and SA-NS400 are two new wireless network speakers designed to broadcast tunes from a variety of sources such as DLNA-enabled PCs or BRAVIA internet music services found on Sony’s latest Blu-ray players. iPhones and iPods can join in on the streaming fun when placed in HomeShare compatible NAS-SV20i and NAC-SV10i docks. Since all of these components go beyond the realm of your average IR controller, Sony has kindly released the HomeShare-friendly touch screen RMN-U1 Wi-Fi universal remote, too. Using its activity-based control options, the remote allows those invested in the HomeShare system to send music throughout their network and a view a variety of eye-candy — you know, like album art. Even more interesting is that Sony says all of the components will be available this March for between $200 and $300 depending on the device, which is far below the four figure price points of its early HomeShare gear.
Born Rich: The new BeoSound 8 from the house of Bang & Olufsen is undeniably one of the coolest and sexiest iPad/iPhone/iPod speaker docks we’ve ever seen. Taking your digital music experience to a completely new level, the BeoSound 8 iPhone dock features a manual room adaptation switch with three positions, so that you can place it anywhere without compromising the sound performance. The gorgeous iPhone dock can also accept music streamed wirelessly over Wi-Fi. To suit your liking, the BeoSound 8 comes in either black or white with aluminum details and matching power cord. The BeoSound 8 iPhone dock, featuring cone shaped speakers, will hit the shelves by the end of this month for $999.
Electronista: Chevrolet today became the latest automaker in the US to add roving Internet access to its vehicles.
The Avalanche, Equinox, Express, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse all now have an after-sale option of an Autonet router that provides a 1.5Mbps connection even at speed.
Like the Chrysler option, it accomplishes the feat by sharing a 3G link over a local Wi-Fi hotspot that shares the connection with passengers and those within a 150-foot radius.
Service costs $29 (€19) per month and requires a dealer install, but the router itself will cost $199 (€136) on a two-year contract if bought before the end of the year. It normally costs $399 (€272).
AVRev.com: In-Stat has released a report predicting increased proliferation of Wi-Fi, driven by consumer electronics devices usually found in the living room.
Wi-Fi is already commanding the mobile device and home network markets, and In-Stat sees the signs for a transition to the living room.
Game consoles are already experiencing an attach rate of 80%, and DTVs will likely be another major factor in increasing the presence of Wi-Fi.
The largest sector of the market that is Wi-Fi enabled is still mobile devices, however. Notebook PCs, portable media players and cell phones/smart phones will sell hundreds of million Wi-Fi capable units by 2012.
TechRadar: GPS technology will nudged aside in the years ahead, as hybrid location systems using Wi-Fi and Cell-ID take over, according to analysts ABI Research. The high-tech consultancy estimates that assisted GPS Cell-ID and Wi-Fi-based technologies will make up a quarter of all positioning systems by 2014.
The Global Positioning System was originally developed for use by the American military and gives great results in open terrain. Indoors or in crowded cities, however, getting an accurate fix can be difficult or even impossible. Assisted GPS and Cell-ID systems (using the position of mobile phone towers) and Wi-Fi locators like SkyHook are already filling the gaps in GPS coverage, and more technologies are coming online all the time.
ABI Research predicts the rise of motion sensors, TV broadcast and proximity technologies such as Bluetooth, NFC and RFID, as manufacturers seek the lowest-cost solution to offer location-based services.
VNUNet: Smartphone manufacturers are cramming more and more technology onto platforms, but the end result is shorter battery life and more disgruntled customers.
In its latest report into European smartphone sales analyst house Canalys reports that 38 per cent of smartphones now come with GPS built in, and 58 per cent are capable of connecting using Wi-Fi.
However, the extra features, and large touchscreens which make up 13 per cent of the smartphone market are having a negative effect on battery life and this is causing customer dissatisfaction.
“People are wary of draining their battery and not being able to make calls,” said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham.
Canalys polled 4,000 European phone users and the number one concern they expressed was battery life.
Electronista: The next model year of Chrysler vehicles will have mobile Internet access as a staple feature, the American car company has said before an official announcement of the vehicles themselves.
All of its 2009 models will have the option of UConnect Web, a service that will give the vehicles a 3G cellular Internet connection shared throughout the car over Wi-Fi. The service is intended to let passengers use notebooks and smartphones whenever the car is inside the cellular network’s coverage area.
The feature isn’t platform-specific and won’t restrict the type of use in the car, according to Chrysler’s UConnect engineer Keefe Leung. The service would thus allow streaming video from some sites as well as other apps and content sometimes filtered out of mobile services.
Gizmodo: Fresh off those leaked spy shots of Palm’s Treo 850 is some more espionage in the form of meaty specs. This source is unproven (and the info comes from a “friend who works at Palm”) so don’t take these as hard rumors, yet. The big whoop is Wi-Fi for the first time, while the other stuff is more run o’ the mill: HSDPA, 320×320 touchscreen, 2MP cam, microSD, 256MB onboard memory plus 32MB SDRAM, miniUSB and WinMo 6.1. The RAM spec conflicts with what BGR said, 100MB. Again, this source is not battle-tested, but here’s hoping they’re right about the Wi-Fi at least.
T3: In its previous incarnation Nokia’s N-Gage was a handheld, but now it’s back as a mobile games service, where you can download games on the move and play online. Sounds good?
It is if you’ve got an N81, N81 8GB, N82, N95 and N95 8GB which allows you to download the service, and its even better on the new 5320 Xpress Music which come with the application pre installed. Rubbish, if you’ve got any other Nokia blower as it’s not compatible.
If you are one of the chosen few to get the “Gage” the choice of games isn’t bad. Fife 08, Asphalt 3: Street Rules and World Series of Poker are available now, with Tetris, The Sims, Dogz, Crash Bandicote and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, promised soon. You can bag these from Glu, EA, THQ Wireless and Gameloft but a hefty price of £8. Cheeky.Use is unlimited though, and you can try every game for free. Unfortunately if you change your handset, you lose the game, which sucks if it’s close to upgrade time.
When it comes to playing the games there’s no comparison to a DS Lite or PSP. On a N81′s 2.4in screen, it’s still enjoyable but ramp the complexity up and things become trickier; we’d have preferred a few more inches of pitch in FIFA 08. The headphone connection gets in the way as well, so a Bluetooth stereo headset is essential.
The N-Gage Arena Community is pretty impressive. You can chat and play with other gamers and take part in mass online tournaments. Just make sure you check your network charges first. You can get your competition juices flowing; the more you play, the more points you score and the better your ranking.
If you’ve got a compatible handset and access to WiFi, N-Gage lets you play alone (or with others) in the bath, on a train, or even up a mountain. But we’re not totally convinced. At £8 a pop, games are pricey and really need to check with network download costs. If handset and game choice improve, N-Gage could be a winner, but we’ll stick with our handhold for now.
Camera Core: The Asus P527 Smart Phone is probably what you’d call perfect. When shopping for a new phone, you’d probably look at its technical specifications first and more often than not, base your decision on that piece of scouting job. Well, if you did that, it’s hard not to choose the Asus P527 phone. On paper, it has everything you’d ever dream of in a phone. But it’s not always the specs and features that matter. At least not with the P527. Later on in the article, you’ll know why.It’s features include a big 2.7-inch LCD and spacious keypad that is both very usable and attractive. Beneath the elegance, you have Wi-Fi, GPS, an FM radio. Asus has even thrown in a even remote desktop-control feature. Great right? Well, unfortunately, what will detract users from getting this phone is its slow response time that I’m sure most users will loose patience of, and buggy applications.