Blackberry launches the Passport


Featuring a large square touch screen and new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard, the BlackBerry Passport is a device purpose-built for productivity-driven business professionals who want a smartphone that empowers them with the mobile tools they need to get things done, without sacrificing style or portability.

BlackBerry Passport Features: passport

Large High-Resolution Square Screen – The BlackBerry Passport includes a 4.5” square screen with a 1:1 aspect ratio, 1440×1440 pixel (453 dpi) HD display and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for added strength.

Innovative BlackBerry® Keyboard – The BlackBerry Passport’s revolutionary new keyboard brings innovation to input with a responsive touch surface like a trackpad that lets you perform many touch functions directly on the keyboard. You can scroll web pages, flick to type or slide along the keys to move the cursor, leaving the full screen space for viewing.

BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3 – The BlackBerry Passport comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, including new features such as BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry Blend and Amazon Appstore. It has a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that each user’s most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen.

Best-in-Class Battery Life – The 3450 mAh battery is the largest among the top selling smartphones and phablets and, when tested against a very active user, provides up to 30 hours of mixed use. It’s our best battery power to date.*

Dual app storefronts for a Wealth of Professional and Popular Apps

–          BlackBerry World – BlackBerry World showcases essential productivity apps for business professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration.

–          Amazon Appstore – Preloaded on BlackBerry Passport, users can access popular consumer apps through the Amazon Appstore, including the latest Android games and apps, such as Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, Temple Run 2 and Cut the Rope 2.

BlackBerry Assistant – The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.

Premium Components – The device is built for the most demanding user using durable materials mixed with top-of-the-line technology, including a Quad Core 2.2 GHZ Processor, 3 GB RAM, 13 MP OIS rear camera and 32 GB memory.

BlackBerry® Natural Sound – BlackBerry Passport comes with powerful speakers and a quad microphone system that delivers a high-quality listening experience. BlackBerry Natural Sound Technology is built in to adapt Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending upon phone position and background noise, automatically adjusting volume so you don’t have to.

“As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea – to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. “The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices.”

Thoughtful Design for the Mobile Professional

Inspired by actual passports, the universal symbol of mobility, the size and form factor of BlackBerry Passport is portable enough to easily tuck into pockets and use wherever you go. Utilizing premium, robust materials such as Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 for the display and forged stainless steel for added strength, BlackBerry Passport will provide the durability business professionals require in a smartphone.

The large square screen is optimized for viewing and creating content, and will make everyday tasks like reading and writing emails, reviewing and editing documents, web browsing, and map navigation, more comfortable and effortless. The BlackBerry Passport includes the industry’s first touch-enabled keyboard with gestures that make typing, editing and navigating more efficient and accurate. BlackBerry’s physical QWERTY keyboards have always made it easier for users to create polished, professional communications with exceptional accuracy. BlackBerry Passport’s new QWERTY keyboard is almost four times more accurate than BlackBerry® 10 virtual keyboards – the error rate is on average 74% lower – so there are fewer typos to get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

The BlackBerry Passport along with Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry®, are the first devices to launch on BlackBerry’s latest OS platform, BlackBerry® 10.3. They come preloaded with new productivity-enhancing features including BlackBerry® Blend and BlackBerry® Assistant, as well as the BlackBerry® World™ storefront and Amazon Appstore, offering access to the very best apps for work and play.

BlackBerry Blend

BlackBerry Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBM™ or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend is being introduced on the BlackBerry Passport and will work across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, Windows® 7+ and Android™ tablets running Android 4.4+ via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections. BlackBerry is also working to bring the Blend experience on other tablets soon. The downloadable version of BlackBerry Blend for Macs and PCs is available today at, on the Apple® App StoreSM for iPad tablets, or via the Google Play™ Store for Android tablets.

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit


New meditation app promises a more focused mind


I hate to start a review off on a negative note but unfortunately I was unable to review this app because I have an iPhone 4s. Fortunately my contract is finally coming to an end this October just in time for the new iPhone 6. That being said I’ve downloaded the app to my old iPhone and will be transferring to my new one when it arrives.

I must say I really was looking forward to some music to get me focused and so with that in mind went on the hunt for some alpha wave infused sounds to get me in the mood for some computer programming. I quickly found that YouTube was an excellent source and have listed a few links here for those with incompatible devices.

YellowBrickCinema – Alpha Waves for Focus

MeditationRelaxClub – Music for Concentration


zen180 appZen180 launched today the free Zen180 App to get focused, creative, and help with the everyday stresses of living.  Available immediately through the iTunes store at:, the Zen180 app provides background audio that you can listen to while meditating, reading, studying, doing homework, or trying to relax.  The Zen180 app features 5 cognitive enhancing audio programs:  FOCUSED, CREATIVE, AWAKENED, RELAXED and ROMANTIC Mind.  The main FOCUSED audio track is free, with the other 4 tracks priced at $.99 each or $1.99 for all 4.  With Zen180, you can dramatically increase your mental and learning abilities, creativity, happiness, focus and concentration.  The app accomplishes this with its exclusive 3D binaural beats to mimic the desired state of mind to help you meditate on a deeper level with brain enhancement audio technology to augment the 5 natural brain wave patterns: Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta and Gamma.

Experience the Benefits of Deep Meditation in Minutes

The Zen180 audio app allows you to experience all the benefits of deep meditation in a matter of minutes.  Just select the track for the specific state of mind you are trying to achieve (focused, creative, awakened, relaxed or romantic) and the time period (from 5 minutes to 30 minutes), put on your headphones and tap “start session” (Zen180 recommends you always use stereo headphones, since the app will not work properly with regular speakers).  The idea is to listen to the audio track with headphones while you are trying to focus on a task or simply to meditate.  You will notice how much better you can focus on your work or meditation while using the app.

Helps with Writer’s Block

Zen180’s CREATIVE Mind track can help creative people, such as writers and musicians, overcome the dreaded “writer’s block” or other creativity hang-ups and free the mind for new ideas and directions.  The AWAKENED Mind track helps students, frequent travelers, workaholics, and party animals pep up after a red-eye flight or late night out so they are ready to work the next day.  The ROMANTIC Mind track will bring you closer to loved ones and the RELAXED Mind track helps you completely relax and let go of problems when over-stressed.  “Scientists study meditation and doctors recommend it to help reduce stress.  Millions of Americans practice it every day. Why?  Because meditation works.  Zen180 unleashes your mind’s potential,” said Noah Rasheta, President, Zen180.

Zen180 App Features:

  • 5 cognitive enhancing audio programs:
    • FOCUSED Mind:  for reading, studying or writing.
    • CREATIVE Mind:  for brainstorming, creating new music, art, or writing.
    • AWAKENED Mind:  for a boost of energy or to wake up.
    • RELAXED Mind:  to calm down and relax.
    • ROMANTIC Mind:  to soften your heart and re-connect with your spouse or loved ones.
  • Audio programs includes:  5, 15, and 30 minute track choices.
  • Features exclusive 3D binaural beats to mimic the desired state of mind, which help you meditate on a deeper level.
  • Brain enhancement audio technology augments the 5 natural brain wave patterns:  Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta and Gamma.

Availability & Pricing

The Zen180 app with FOCUSED Mind audio program is free through the iTunes store at:  You can unlock the other 4 Zen180 audio programs:  CREATIVE Mind, AWAKENED Mind, RELAXED Mind, and ROMANTIC Mind with an in-app purchase of $0.99/each or all 4 for $1.99.  For more information, see or contact, Facebook:


Travelon waterproof case review

Front of insert

During a recent trip to the US I visited an Eddie Bower outlet store and picked up a Travelon clear view waterproof case for my iPhone. I figured I couldn’t go wrong for five bucks and the product declared that it was submersible to 65 feet and that it floats.

Now while I can’t prove that it’s good to 65 feet for the 30 minutes it claims I can attest to the fact that it does indeed float. It is also an IPX8 certified case.

The main issue I had with the case was the design and now I understand why this particular model was being cleared out for $5. There is an awkward opaque design on the back that completely covers the camera. Now my main reason for buying the unit was to take photos.

Inserting the phone upside down and backwards mostly resolved the issue but then the screen was partially covered. Well at least I can take an underwater photo now.

Inserting the phone itself was a bit awkward and required a bit of skill in getting inserted correctly. The pillow inside the case indicates if the seal has been compromised but pushing all the air out of the pillow was a bit of a challenge.

Overall I can’t complain for $5 but definitely wouldn’t recommend paying more considering the design issues. Perhaps newer models will feature a more functional design.

2015 International CES will showcase sports tech innovations

Recon Jet

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently announced the launch of the Sports Tech Marketplace, a showcase of the latest in sports technology set to début at the 2015 International CES®. Owned and produced by CEA, the International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. The 2015 CES is scheduled to run January 6-9, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sports Tech Marketplace

Presented by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the Sports Tech Marketplace will highlight how technology is being incorporated into sports and how it is affecting the participant experience. The marketplace will feature the most recent products, services and trends in sports technology, placing a global spotlight on this fast-growing category. The Sports Tech Marketplace will be located within the Sands Expo at CES Tech West.

“Technology is being used more and more in sports, and the 2015 CES will be the ‘can’t miss’, best place to experience the wide range of these products and solutions,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “Sensors, wearables and mobile technologies are revolutionizing sports by providing real-time information that enables us to better meet our athletic goals. CES is at the forefront of this emerging class and we’re pleased to partner with SFIA to bring it to life.”

Recon Jet

“Technology has driven some of the greatest innovations in our industry,” said Tom Cove, president and CEO, SFIA. “We’re proud to partner with an organization like CEA to launch the Sports Tech Conference and Marketplace. We see technology revolutionizing the current sports landscape and we’re only at the tip of the iceberg. The combining of these two-storied associations to produce the conference and marketplace ensures that it will be of the highest quality. We hope Vegas and the tech industry is ready for the sports industry, because we’re ready for them.”

The Sports Tech Marketplace will be part of CES Tech West which includes the Sands Expo (Sands), The Venetian and Wynn/Encore exhibits. Tech West will also feature leading companies and the newest innovations in lifestyle technologies, including fitness and health tech, smart home, the Internet of Things, sensors, startups and other high-growth technologies changing the way we work, live and play.

The 2015 CES will feature more than 3,500 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies.

About CES

The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry. And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

About SFIA

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. More information can be found at

Top 10 Tech must-haves for summer road trips


Summer is officially here and along with the arrival of warm, balmy weather and long relaxing days comes two solid months of patio lounging, backyard BBQs and the classic summer road trip. Whether it’s a drive to the cottage, a day at the beach or a weekend of camping, here are a few great gadgets to pack along for the ride.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8fuji
This instant camera makes it fun and easy to snap photos wherever you go. It takes instant credit-card-sized photos that you can share with friends or carry in your wallet.

GoPro HD
The GoPro HD waterproof camera records video in gorgeous Ultra HD resolution and takes detailed 12MP snapshots whether you’re biking down a mountain or swimming in the ocean. With built-in WiFi, you can control the camera with the included WiFi remote and preview footage on your smartphone or camera.

Sony QX10 Optical Zoom Digital Camera
The Sony Zoom mounts onto smartphones allowing you to use your favourite apps and existing menus to play back, edit and share quality images captured by its powerful 18MP lens. One touch connectivity links the two devices, instantly enabling high-definition photography beyond the capabilities of a smartphone camera.

Bose SoundTrue Over-the-ear headphones
Get the most out of your summer playlist with Bose SoundTrue around-ear headphones. With its lightweight design, it’s great for all-day wear whether you’re listening to your tunes by the lake or watching your favourite movies on your tablet.

Nintendo 3DS
A great way to pass the time on a long drive or during a rainy summer day, the Nintendo 3DS provides up to 6.5 hours of battery life for 3D games and 10 hours for 2D games. The dual screens are 90 per cent larger than the original 3DS, while the upper one can display your games with cool 3D visuals without needing special glasses to see them.

Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Speaker
Keep the summer playlist going at the beach, on the patio or at the campgrounds with the greatest wireless speaker system. The 360 degree wireless speaker blasts sound in every direction, is water-resistant and can play songs wirelessly up to 50 ft away.

Seagate Wireless Plus
The Seagate Wireless Plus mobile storage device allows you to stream your media wirelessly without Internet by using its own WiFi network to send results to your mobile device. Enough storage for about 500 movies and allows up to eight tablets and smartphones to reach and store content at the same time.

LifeProof Smartphone Case
Waterproof, dirtproof, snowproof and shockproof, this is a must-have to keep your smartphone safe and protected during your summer outdoor adventures!

POWERROCKS Stone 3 portable battery pack
Never worry about losing power with the Powerocks Pro Series portable battery pack to charge your smartphone or tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablet
Enjoy cinema-like HD quality whether viewing movies, games and more. At only 6.6mm, this slim tablet is easy to carry so you can stay productive and entertained wherever you go. It also comes with privacy features, such as a fingerprint scanner, for tighter security.

Add Wi-Fi to anything with TI’s Internet on a chip

wifi on a chip

Today Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) introduced its new SimpleLink Wi-Fi® CC3100 and CC3200 platforms for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The SimpleLink Wi-Fi family is the first in a series of new easy, low power SimpleLink wireless connectivity solutions for the IoT. This new Internet-on-a-chip family allows customers to easily add embedded Wi-Fi and Internet to a wide-range of home, industrial and consumer electronics through features including:

  • The industry’s lowest power consumption for battery operated devices with a low power radio and advanced low power modes.
  • Flexibility to use any microcontroller (MCU) with the CC3100 solution or leverage the CC3200’s integrated programmable ARM® Cortex®-M4 MCU, allowing customers to add their own code.
  • Easy development for the IoT with quick connection, cloud support and on-chip Wi-Fi, Internet and robust security protocols, requiring no prior Wi-Fi experience to get a product connected.
  • The ability to simply and securely connect their devices to Wi-Fi using a phone or tablet app or a web browser with multiple provisioning options including SmartConfig Technology, WPS and AP mode.

With a QFN package and fully integrated RF and analog, the CC3100 and CC3200 allow developers to create a low cost, compact and easy to use system by placing the device directly on a PCB. The SimpleLink Wi-Fi family comes with cloud connectivity support through TI’s IoT cloud ecosystem members. TI also provides various kits and software tools, a certified TI module (coming soon), reference designs, sample applications, development documentation, and TI E2E community support.

Building on its MCU ecosystem of low-cost LaunchPad evaluation kits and BoosterPack plug-in modules, TI provides developers an easy way to design and evaluate Wi-Fi and Internet applications:

  • Get started using TI’s SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 solution with the first wireless connectivity LaunchPad evaluation kit.
  • The SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 BoosterPack plus the Advanced Emulation BoosterPack allows customers to connect to any MCU, including the ultra-low power MSP430 LaunchPad.
  • If customers have not selected an MCU or want to get started quickly, they can begin software development with a PC and the CC3100 BoosterPack plus the Advanced Emulation BoosterPack using SimpleLink Studio.

For more information on the features and benefits of the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 and CC3200 platforms, please read this blog post.

Pricing and availability:

  • SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 and CC3200 solutions are available now through TI eStore and TI authorized distributors:
    • CC3200 LaunchPad is available for $29.99
    • CC3100 BoosterPack + CC31XXEMUBOOST + MSP-EXP430F5529LP bundle is available for $49.99
    • CC3100BOOST + CC31XXEMUBOOST bundle is available for $36.99
  • CC3100 and CC3200 production units will be available in July and will be part of TI’s sample program.
    • CC3100 –$6.70 per 1,000 units
    • CC3200 –Starting at $7.99 per 1,000 units
  • CC3100 and CC3200 modules will be available in 3Q

TI’s SimpleLink wireless connectivity portfolio
TI’s SimpleLink portfolio of low power wireless connectivity solutions – wireless MCUs, wireless network processors (WNPs), RF transceivers and range extenders for the broad embedded market – makes it easier to develop and connect anything to the Internet of Things (IoT). Spanning over 14 standards and technologies including Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Bluetooth low energy, ZigBee®, Sub-1 GHz, 6LoWPAN and more, SimpleLink products help manufacturers add wireless connectivity to anything, to any design, for anyone.

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at

Get the FIFA World Cup app for iPhone and Android

FIFA World Cup app

The official FIFA World Cup™ app has launched with exclusive coverage from Brazil 2014, meaning fans can take the world’s biggest event with them wherever they go. The app, first released in December 2013, has been fully updated ready for the opening match of the tournament.

The official app for Brazil 2014 is the essential companion, featuring live coverage from all 64 games. Fans can stay connected with the latest news, photos, videos, real-time voting on the official Man of the Match plus the chance to win the actual kick-off ball from the games.

The app is the virtual ticket for smartphone users to #joinin FIFA’s Global Stadium – the social, online and mobile hub for the World Cup. During the matches, fans can engage with friends, worldwide fans, players, coaches and celebrities from the in-app social media feed and could see themselves in the Global Stadium, by adding #WorldCup to their posts.

Fans can also keep track of all the tournament stats, the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, 197 world leagues and explore how FIFA brings to life its passion for developing the game and building a better future with stories from our worldwide projects.

Matt Stone, FIFA Head of Digital, commented: “The official 2014 FIFA World Cup app is your virtual ticket to the global stadium. It’s the best way to #joinin with the biggest conversation on the planet – only the World Cup and digital can make this happen. It’s the perfect companion both for TV viewers and for audiences on the move.”

About FIFAs digital platforms is the world’s official digital home of the World Cup and the online heart of football. It is also a one-stop shop for retail, event ticketing, accommodation and hospitality.

Via our official app and social media accounts, we encourage the billions of football fans to #joinin and share the excitement of the #WorldCup in FIFA’s Global Stadium.

Constantly updated, offers the latest news, live scores from 197 world leagues, video highlights, historical data, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes access and – through the free Club – a global meeting point for people who love football.


Have complete control over your house with smart locks

smart locks

OKIDOKEYS today announced that its full line of residential Smart-Locks and accessories are now available on Due to the successful launch of OKIDOKEYS products at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show – OKIDOKEYS enable consumers to lock and unlock residential doors, garage doors and gates using smartphones, cell phones or RFID tags — Amazon invited OKIDOKEYS to be present in the Amazon’s Home Automation store.

OKIDOKEYS enables consumers to securely and easily manage access and share keys to all properties anytime and from anywhere through a complete line of smart devices.  In addition to obtaining smart door access via OKIDOKEYS, consumers still have the option of using current traditional keys. The OKIDOKEYS line of smart lock and key solutions combines an elegant design and the latest technological innovations while maintaining a small footprint on the door.

“OKIDOKEYS is bringing residential locks to The Internet of Things environment by introducing a new kind of keys with more flexibility and more control,” said Pascal Metivier, Founder and CEO of OKIDOKEYS. “We leveraged of our proven Mobile Key solution in the hotel industry space to develop a secure and  reliable solution for every home. We’re happy to work with Amazon to make OKIDOKEYS products available to consumers around the world.”


The OKIDOKEYS Smart-Lock easily installs on the interior side of any home door using the existing US ANSI Grade 1 and Grade 2 deadbolts. It can be self-installed in just a few minutes with no drilling or wiring required. Once the Smart-Lock is in place, users can lock and unlock their doors with a Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth 4.0) enabled smartphone, using the free OKIDOKEYS App available for iOS and Android. Users can select different opening rules according to their needs, including hands-free mode.



Access-Pack includes a Smart-Lock and a Smart-Reader plus Smart-Tags. Once OKIDOKEYS Smart-Reader is paired with the OKIDOKEYS Smart-Lock, users and their guests can enjoy the freedom to lock and unlock doors using a variety of key options: smartphones, cell phones and smart-RFID tags. Users can even keep a credit-card-sized RFID card in their wallets in case the cell phone battery loses its charge. Tags are also perfect for children.

Key Management

Using the OKIDOKEYS app and Web portal, users can create, send and delete keys with family, friends and all trusted third-parties, at anytime. It is now effortless to provide instant access to their homes when they are away, grant time-limited access to babysitters, housekeepers, pet-sitters or trusted contactors. OKIDOKEYS can provide homeowners notifications whenever their doors are being operated. Users, for example, know when their children return home from school. OKIDOKEYS highly-secured Web platform can be accessed from any smartphone, laptop or tablet using 3DSecure login, identical to the most advanced security environments (Banks, Military, etc.).

OKIDOKEYS makes it easy to manage multiple homes and rental properties, allowing owners complete control over who receives a key and for how long. Keys can be shared from anywhere – across continents and time zones – making life easier and more profitable.

For more information, watch OKIDOKEYS in action.

Pricing :

OKIDOKEYS  Smart-Lock is available on in the Home Automation store for $189, OKIDOKEYS Access-Pack for $249.


OKIDOKEYS is an OpenWays Company (world’s leading Mobile Key solution provider), providing consumers with a complete line of Smart Locks and Smart Keys. OKIDOKEYS leverages the secure and proven technology OpenWays already provides to the global hotel industry to offer front desk bypass solutions for hotel guests wanting a fast, efficient and modern check in/out process. Based in USA and Europe, OpenWays and OKIDOKEYS teams combined have more than 100 years of experience in leadership positions with the world’s leading makers of access management systems and electronic locks. With high-quality materials, modern designs and the latest technological innovations, OKIDOKEYS products are built to be a lasting revolution for the home. For more information, visit Connect with OKIDOKEYS on Facebook and Twitter.

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HTC One (M8): The Ultimate Smartphone?

HTC One M8

Last year around this time I had the opportunity to review the HTC One and was in awe of this smartphone. It’s a gorgeous unit and now HTC is releasing the next generation M8 model. I’ve been reading some of the tweets about the HTC One today and found a number of sites pointing out that the units would be difficult to repair.


According to iFixit the original HTC One was the most difficult phone to repair for do-it-yourselfers period. The M8 model is a little easier and garnered just 2/10 in a repair review.  Now I understand there might be a niche group out there wanting to repair their own tech but focusing on this point is a little too much in my opinion. The majority of folks aren’t going to focus on the repairability factor where any phone is concerned; I would guess the main focus would be:

  • usability
  • design
  • features

This being said, the HTC One doesn’t disappoint. Launching in Gunmetal Gray with the all-new HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8), boasts a high-quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub that anticipates your needs and uses Motion Launch controls to make everyday tasks easier. New Duo Camera technology delivers creative, professional-looking photos and amazing effects, and HTC BoomSound again sets new standards for audio quality on a smartphone.

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC said: “In 2013 we introduced the best smartphone in the world, but we never stopped challenging ourselves and the status quo in this category. As pioneers in mobile innovation, we continue to design and build devices that will dazzle, inspire and transform the smartphone industry. Today I’m proud to launch the most stunning, intuitive and advanced handset that the industry has seen to date, the new HTC One (M8).”

Phone Design

Achieving another breakthrough in design and quality with the new HTC One (M8), the phone’s body has been re-crafted to create an even more stunning yet approachable look. The beautiful, durable, high-quality metal unibody flows right up to the 5-inch, full HD (1080p) display, tapering to thinner edges, with softer curves for a smooth, more natural grip, while adding the benefit of removable storage accommodating up to a 128GB micro SD memory card for more content to share.

Supported by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and fully integrated 4G LTE, and running Android 4.4, Kit Kat, the latest version of the Android OS, the new HTC One (M8) features the all-new HTC Sense 6, available on the device and as an upgrade from the Google Play store. Completely redesigned with a cleaner, more striking visual style, HTC Sense 6 features bold, customizable color themes and delivers a more intuitive, personalized user experience. For those who prefer the stock Android experience, the HTC One (M8) Google Play edition will be available for pre-order beginning today and for purchase on the Google Play store in the coming weeks.

HTC One M8

Smartphone Imaging

The new HTC One (M8) brings a totally different dimension to mobile imaging by combining the world’s first smartphone with a Duo Camera that features HTC’s innovative HTC UltraPixel module, with a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording. The new Duo Camera produces incredible images in all lighting conditions and rich, high-quality video. A 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera also captures superior selfies with ease.

The Duo Camera incorporates a special depth sensor, in addition to the main HTC UltraPixel™ module, for a range of artistic effects and tools that allow more creativity with images than ever before. Using the depth sensor to capture detailed depth information from a scene, the Duo Camera can create professional-looking portraits — alter the focus of an image after the photo has been taken with UFocus, or make the photo’s subject stand out in a more impactful way by altering the background with creative effects using Foregrounder. Other tools include Seasons animations to add seasonal flavor to the image, Copy & Paste to insert family and friends into an entirely different photo, and Dimension Plus, which presents a unique perspective by changing the image angle with a simple screen tilt.

This advanced camera technology also works behind-the-scenes, capturing images right from launch so that when the shutter is activated, the sharpest possible image is instantly displayed. The camera autofocus operates at a speed of 300 milliseconds, producing beautifully crisp images of split-second action. When the flash is required, the intelligent LED Dual Flash automatically selects the exact color tone and light intensity for more natural skin tones and a professional-looking shot.

With so much scope to create exciting imagery, HTC’s Gallery organization also has been a priority for the designers of HTC Sense, who developed Image Match, a visual search tool that intuitively moves all photos from a particular subject into one album.

Finally, the new HTC One (M8) also has an integrated Slow Motion mode, which enables high-definition video capture in slow motion to produce unique effects in the final version. When editing, action can be slowed at critical points for emphasis – perfect for adding drama or highlighting a special moment.


Cloud Services

In 2014, HTC’s unique Zoe feature will evolve into a cloud-based service, enabling Zoe Video uploads for all to see, along with the ability to invite friends and family to add their own photos, videos and music to the original Zoe video. Incredible highlight reels of classic moments are even better when the creation is shared. The new Zoe app will be available for download through Google Play this summer.


Gesture Controlled Shortcuts

With the introduction of HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8) boasts capabilities that give the product a sixth sense. For example, Motion Launch™ is immediately able to detect its position and movement, thanks to built-in motion sensors that allow interaction with the phone without turning on the screen. A simple swipe will activate the device, Auto Answer allows calls to be answered without touching the screen simply by putting the phone to the ear – a handy tool if the phone rings while gardening or washing dishes – and a double tap turns the lock screen on and off.


Case Protection

An outstanding smartphone deserves a smart case that protects and extends its innovative design and industry-leading functionality. Optimized by HTC Sense 6, the new HTC Dot View phone case protects the screen, while displaying notifications and interactions in a retro, dot-matrix style.

Taking that sixth-sense functionality one step further, Motion Launch is extended to the HTC’s new Dot View case – simply double tapping to turn on the phone, in addition to checking the time, weather, new texts, emails and calls – all without touching or revealing the screen.

HTC Dot View Case

Power Saving Mode

The innovation continues as HTC changes the way people use their phone battery. With the original HTC One (M7), HTC optimized power consumption to get the most out of the phone. The new HTC One (M8) takes battery optimization to a whole new level making the battery power last 40 percent longer. While normal power saving mode delivers a great experience, the HTC One (M8) features an Extreme Power Saving mode that makes the battery last even longer. Fully charged, it will deliver 14 days’ worth of battery power, while allowing calls, texts and emails – perfect for travel. Activated either manually or automatically, Extreme Power Saving mode delivers 60 hours of extra standby time at 20 percent power, 30 hours at 10 percent power and 15 hours at 5 percent power. Whether out late at night or hiking in the mountains, running out of battery power is no longer a worry.


BoomSound Audio

The new HTC One (M8) again takes the smartphone audio experience to new heights. The latest HTC BoomSound technology creates an immersive, powerful, crystal-clear sound with rich tones from bass through to treble. Delivering sound that is 25 percent louder than the HTC One (M7), without compromising quality, the new HTC One (M8) has dual frontal stereo speakers with a new amplifier, redesigned speaker chambers and a tailored audio profile for a truly high-definition experience.


BlinkFeed News on your Home Screen

HTC BlinkFeed is now more intuitive, with continuous scrolling for a fluid browsing experience, adaptable tiles and a new layout that presents articles in a clean, easy-to-read way. With the introduction of a new SDK that allows partners to integrate their own content, users can more easily find and subscribe to new media sources, in addition to instantly creating custom feeds on any topic. Whether sports, movies or shopping are a favorite interest, this feature ensures delivery of the most useful and relevant information. With News Bundles that bring all articles and tweets on the same topic together for easy reading and more than 1000+ content partners now clearly categorized on one page, following the most interesting news couldn’t be simpler.


Fitness Features

With the new HTC One (M8), it’s easier than ever to get healthy and stay motivated by combining its power-saving sensor hub with the preloaded Fitbit app. Alternatively, the phone can be used with one of Fitbit’s range of trackers6 to access advanced features such as sleep tracking and smart alarm or to capture data when exercising without the phone. Set fitness goals and see achievements brought straight to the HTC BlinkFeed home screen with no additional effort. Fitbit is the top downloaded app for connected fitness devices on the Google Play store.



The only remote anyone will ever need has been redesigned on the new HTC One (M8) to provide an interactive second screen. Integrated official Facebook and Twitter streams enable real-time conversations and the ability to follow fan commentary about programs online and in social circles. HTC Sense TV now also brings live sports statistics for the 10 most popular sports in the world, with sports fans able to access the latest scores, match statistics and get live updates from games that can’t be missed while watching another game on the main TV screen.


“This extensive range of enhancements shows that we put consumers at the center of everything we do, which is why our customers can be confident they are getting the best smartphone of 2014,” said Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC Americas. “With our focus on delivering a premium experience to consumers and the tremendous support from our partners, I’m thrilled that we can make the HTC One (M8) available for purchase today across North America and ensure that HTC will help protect that investment long after their purchase with HTC Advantage.”



Customer Support

HTC Advantage enables unmatched support for the HTC One family of smartphones – HTC One (M8), HTC One, HTC One mini and HTC One max – by working to solve the challenges of today’s mobile lifestyle. The program is available at no extra charge and features a free, one-time cracked screen replacement within the first six months of ownership, a commitment to future software innovation and content storage and backup solutions that consumers need in today’s digital world.

In addition to the latest software updates from Android, HTC will continue to drive innovative experiences on the HTC One family of smartphones by delivering HTC Sense 6 applications through Google Play, which provides consumers with richer features when available, rather than waiting for the next major OS update. HTC Sense 6 will be available for all 2013 HTC One products – HTC One (M7), HTC One mini and HTC One max – in the U.S. and Canada later this spring.


North America Availability

The new HTC One (M8) will be sold through more than 230 operators around the globe in Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold. Colour availability varies by carrier.

In North America, the HTC One (M8) is available online today through major wireless carriers and retailers including Amazon, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Best Buy, Bluegrass Cellular, Car Toys, Cellcom, Chat Mobility, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Costco, Military Exchange, Net10 Wireless, Pioneer Cellular, RadioShack, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and Walmart in the United States, and Best Buy, Bell, Future Shop, Rogers, SaskTel, T-Booth, TELUS, Wind and Wireless Wave in Canada. Starting in April, it will also be available to purchase online and in retail through T-Mobile, and broad in-store availability across the majority of partners begins on April 10.


For more information about the HTC One (M8), please visit


For press materials and images of the HTC One (M8) please visit:




About HTC

Founded in 1997, HTC Corporation (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC’s portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by the HTC Sense® user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please visit


LG G Watch being developed in collaboration with Google

LG G watch

LG Electronics (LG) is working together with Google on LG G Watch powered by Android Wear, which extends the Android platform to wearables. LG G Watch will be compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones and will present relevant information to users just when they need it or whenever they say “OK Google” to ask questions or get stuff done. As one of Google’s lead partners in this effort, LG is planning to introduce its first watch powered by Android Wear in the second quarter of 2014.

The LG G Watch powered by Android Wear will present a low barrier to entry for developers and offer the best Google experience for users. LG engineers worked closely with Google from the initial stages of development to ensure that the LG G Watch worked perfectly with Android Wear. This is LG’s fourth device developed in close collaboration with Google following the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition.

“The opportunity to work with Google on LG G Watch was the perfect chance for LG to really pull out all stops in both design and engineering,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With the LG G Watch, LG is continuing the milestones we’ve set in wearables following in the footsteps of the world’s first 3G Touch Watch Phone in 2009 and the Prada Link in 2008. We’re confident that a well-designed device has the potential to take the smart wearable market by storm.”

LG G watch“With wearables, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google. “The potential in this space is exciting which is why we’re thrilled to work together with partners like LG to bring Android Wear devices to market.”

Additional details of the LG G Watch powered by Android Wear, including hardware specifications, will be announced in the coming months.

Android and Android Wear are trademarks of Google, Inc.


About LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company is an innovator and trend leader in the global mobile communications industry. LG is driving the evolution of mobile forward with its highly competitive core technologies in the areas of display, battery and camera optics and strategic partnerships with noted industry leaders. LG’s consumer-centric products — including the flagship premium G Series models — incorporate unique, ergonomic designs and intuitive UX features that enhance the user experience. The company remains committed to leading consumers into the era of convergence, maximizing inter-device connectivity between smartphones, tablets and a wide range of home and portable electronics products. For more information, please visit

SOURCE LG Electronics

Context Awareness goes big at SXSW with Eventbase


If you’re a marketer then context awareness is something that you’ll want to know about. SXSW is starting up and Eventbase has created a game changing app that uses iBeacon to prompt mobile users to interact with people and nearby objects. Context awareness is gaining traction in places such as transportation, retail, venues, entertainment, museums and loyalty. According to the Gimbal website, “Gimbal proximity beacons complement GPS by allowing devices and applications to derive their proximity to beacons at a micro-level not currently afforded by GPS technology on consumer devices. When it’s within physical proximity to the beacon and detects it, the app can notify the customer of location-relevant content, promotions, and offers.”

Eventbase SXSW Press Release

Eventbase Technology Inc., creators of the world’s most trusted event app platform, today launched an innovative iBeacon™ powered app at the massive South By Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also known as Bluetooth Smart and called iBeacon™ by Apple, is a game-changing technology that lets smartphone and tablet users detect beacons and interact with people and objects around them.

In an industry first, Eventbase is placing beacons within select session venues. When attendees enter the venue they will receive a prompt to “Join the Conversation” within the official SXSW GO iPhone app, where they can network with other attendees in that session and participate in a discussion forum and live audience polls. In some cases, the beacons will enable quick access to an attendee’s Registration QuickCode.

In partnership with partner Urban Airship, Eventbase also provides the ability to deliver iBeacon™ triggered push notifications to app users containing highly relevant messages about the sessions they attend and the places they visit.

SXSW Technology Director, Scott Wilcox, says the potential for iBeacon™and BLE technology at events is tremendous.

“This year we’re focusing on using beacons to deliver timely information and access to services, while keeping the number of beacon alerts to a minimum,” Wilcox says. “In the near future, we foresee beacons being used in conjunction with many of the technologies currently relied on by events – like QR Codes and RFID.”

Eventbase Co-founder, Jeff Sinclair, says the company has received a great deal of interest from event organizers looking to deploy beacons at conferences, trade shows, festivals and sporting events.

“Beacons make it possible to deliver highly relevant information and services to users in a particular area even when indoors, where GPS location is often not accurate, or when users do not have a reliable internet connection,” Sinclair says. “This is an exciting technology for event organizers looking to provide the ultimate attendee experience.”

Eventbase has spent months working with hardware and software partners to ensure the technology is secure and safe. Importantly, the SXSW app is not using beacons to track personal information and privacy is safeguarded with controls that allow users to opt in and out of the service.

The official 2014 SXSW GO app uses the Gimbal context awareness and proximity platform from Qualcomm Retail Solutions, which enables delivery of personalized, highly relevant communications to consumers on their mobile devices based on interests and context.

iBeacon™ and BLE technology is now available in the latest version of Eventbase’s premium event app product.

To demonstrate this new technology in action, Eventbase is hosting a daily iBeacon™ Tour departing from the SXSW Trade Show booth #1239.

About Eventbase
Eventbase (formerly known as Xomo) is the world’s most trusted event app platform. Eventbase enhances the attendee experience by providing a feature-rich, location-aware, native event app available on popular smartphone and tablet devices. Eventbase Premium powers official native apps for the largest events on earth, including South By Southwest (SXSW), three Olympic Games (Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and Sochi 2014),Spring Fair (UK’s largest tradeshow), Sundance Film Festival and Lollapalooza. Eventbase also offers Eventbase Free, a self-service app that’s perfect for events of any size – including conferences, festivals, sport and community events. Visit: and follow: @EventbaseTech

About South By Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery. Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW®, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock


Wow. Facebook is spending a lot of money! $19 billion to be exact. When I heard this yesterday I couldn’t believe my ears. Is WhatsApp really worth this much? What I’m really wondering is how Facebook is going to get any kind of ROI out of this still potential purchase. Of course a purchase of this magnitude has to go through a lot of approval processes and legal footwork before it can be considered a done deal.

Currently WhatsApp allows the first year free then .99 cents per year afterwards. So doing some simple math means that 450 million users returns about $450 million per year. Now Facebook doesn’t have too many options to increase revenue here since if they raise the rates another open source solution will pop up and lure users with zero fees. Neither can Facebook advertise on the platform as the .99 cent fee is supposed to bypass that. I suppose Facebook could integrate the platform directly into its own, however many people would prefer to keep their text messages separate from Facebook’s prying eyes.

My other thought is that perhaps Facebook is buying Whatsapp simply to quash the competition. In other words, if eyes are on Whatsapp, they aren’t on Facebook right?

Facebook WhatsApp
Facebook to acquire WhatsApp. Image by Jay Kenobi.

UPDATE: according to some sources, namely CNN Money, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO Facebook)  predicts that Whatsapp is on target for a billion users, “Whatsapp is on the path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” So that being said, what Facebook does with the acquisition is the important question. If they simply leave it to forge its own path I think the ROI could be huge. However if Facebook integrates completely with it own platform I wouldn’t expect the ROI to be nearly as high, however eyes wouldn’t be on a competing product.

Facebook WhatsApp Press Release

Facebook announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares.  The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

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WhatsApp has built a leading and rapidly growing real-time mobile messaging service, with:

  • Over 450 million people using the service each month;
  • 70% of those people active on a given day;
  • Messaging volume approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume; and
  • Continued strong growth, currently adding more than 1 million new registered users per day.

According to the vendors website, “WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.”

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

Facebook fosters an environment where independent-minded entrepreneurs can build companies, set their own direction and focus on growth while also benefiting from Facebook’s expertise, resources and scale.  This approach is working well with Instagram, and WhatsApp will operate in this manner.  WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained; its headquarters will remain in Mountain View, CA; Jan Koum will join Facebook’s Board of Directors; and WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.

Upon closing of the deal, all outstanding shares of WhatsApp capital stock and options to purchase WhatsApp capital stock will be cancelled in exchange for $4 billion in cash and 183,865,778 shares of Facebook Class A common stock (worth $12 billion based on the average closing price of the six trading days preceding February 18, 2014 of $65.2650 per share).  In addition, upon closing, Facebook will grant 45,966,444 restricted stock units to WhatsApp employees (worth $3 billion based on the average closing price of the six trading days preceding February 18, 2014 of $65.2650 per share).  As of February 17, 2014, Facebook had 2,551,654,996 Class A and B shares outstanding plus approximately 139 million dilutive securities primarily consisting of unvested RSUs.  The Class A common stock and RSUs issued to WhatsApp shareholders and employees upon closing will represent 7.9% of Facebook shares based on current shares and RSUs outstanding.

In the event of termination of the Merger Agreement under certain circumstances principally related to a failure to obtain required regulatory approvals, the Merger Agreement provides for Facebook to pay WhatsApp a fee of $1 billion in cash and to issue to WhatsApp a number of shares of Facebook’s Class A common stock equal to $1 billion based on the average closing price of the ten trading days preceding such termination date.

Facebook was advised by Allen & Company LLC and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; and WhatsApp was advised by Morgan Stanley and Fenwick & West, LLP.


About Facebook

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

About WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a personal real-time messaging network allowing millions of people around the world to stay connected with their friends and family.

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Forward Looking Statements
This press release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including the expected completion of the acquisition, the time frame in which this will occur, the expected benefits to Facebook and WhatsApp from completing the acquisition, and the expected financial performance of Facebook following completion of the acquisition. Statements regarding future events are based on the parties’ current expectations and are necessarily subject to associated risks related to, among other things, regulatory approval of the proposed acquisition or that other conditions to the closing of the deal may not be satisfied, the potential impact on the business of WhatsApp due to the announcement of the acquisition, the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the definitive agreement, and general economic conditions. Therefore, actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. For information regarding other related risks, see the “Risk Factors” section of Facebook’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2013. The forward-looking statements included herein are made only as of the date hereof, and neither party undertakes an obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason.

SOURCE Facebook