Showing posts in Technology

The striking Beoplay H5 earphones are B&O’s first-ever wireless headphones

Posted in Music, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 6 Jul 2016

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Their first-ever wireless earphones, the Beoplay H5 is Bang & Olufsen’s latest collaboration with Danish designer Jakob Wagner. With users able to choose from preset sound profiles or adjust audio specifications through an accompanying app, the H5 is designed with comfort in mind, and comes with seven different eartips; three sponged, four silicone. Connecting to your phone via Bluetooth, the Beoplay H5′s cloth cable loops around the back of your neck and the earphones will run for roughly five hours on a two-hour charge. Plus when they’re not in use, you can click the earphones together and they automatically power down to conserve battery. Also in the box, the Beoplay H5 comes with a charging cube, cable clip and carrying pouch, and is available now for £199 from the B&O site: www.beoplay.com/products/beoplayh5

Vifa release their second portable bluetooth speaker, the minimal and gorgeous Oslo design

Posted in Design, Music, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 4 Apr 2016

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Taking the power of their debut Copenhagen line, and squeezing it into a shell half the size, Oslo is Danish manufacturer Vifa’s stunning new speaker system. Weighing just 2.4kg, the Oslo packs 2 x 50mm aluminium cone and neodymium magnet drive units, and dual 65 mm woofers mounted back-to-back. The gorgeous design is a work of art, with just the embroidered volume buttons on the front hinting its a portable speaker, connecting to your phone or laptop via Bluetooth, aux or NFC. The Oslo is available in six colourways for €499 from the Vifa online store: www.vifa.dk/shop

Casetify team up with Poketo for a sleek collection of design-led phone cases and Apple Watch straps

By Sam Bathe on 14 Dec 2015

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Known for their completely customisable phone and tablet cases, Casetify have teamed up with hip LA store, Poketo, for a collection of bright and colourful designs. Available in Casetify’s new Standard Case for Apple iDevices, the Snap Case for pretty much everything else and three stunning Apple Watch straps, the Poketo collection is hand-designed and curated by their in-house design team to create a mix of both colourful and monochrome geometric patterns, brush strokes and shapes. The Poketo collection is available from the Casetify online store, starting at £24.99: www.casetify.com/collections/poketo

Master & Dynamic introduce two new Marco Brambilla-inspired blue colourways for their signature MH40 over-ear headphones

Posted in Music, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 20 May 2015

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Inspired by the midnight sky and jewel-toned displays of Marco Brambilla’s Apollo 18 Times Square installation, Master & Dynamic have introduced two new colourways for their flagship MH40 over-ear headphones. In navy/black and navy/silver, the MH40s come with rich blue cowhide and lambskin on the headband and CNC-milled forged aluminium for the ear cups. Custom 45mm neodymium is used for the high-performance drivers, while the cables are heavy woven with oxygen-free copper ensuring pure sound and reduced noise. The new MH40 colourways are available for $399 from the Master & Dynamic online store: www.masterdynamic.com

Teenage Engineering’s Game & Watch-inspired Pocket Operators cram a synth into your palm

Posted in Music, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 14 Apr 2015

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Lauded in the music world for their innovative products, Teenage Engineering are back with the Game & Watch-inspired Pocket Operator series. Collaborating with fellow Swedes, Cheap Monday, the Pocket Operators are available in three different versions, the PO-16 Factory melody unit, PO-14 Sub bass synth and PO-12 Rhythm drum machine. Each with 16-step sequencing, 16 sounds to choose from and 16 additional effects, the tiny music-makers can turn out some pretty serious beats, despite being powered by just two AAA batteries. The stripped back synths come with a low-tech speaker though outpout is high quality through the audiojack, and are available from the Teenage Engineering online store for €69 each: www.teenageengineering.com

Le Cord upgrade Apple’s stock white Lightningcables with woven leather and rope colourways

Posted in Technology
By Sam Bathe on 8 Apr 2015

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Not a new idea, but one of the best executions, Le Cord have taken Apple’s boring stock white cables, and turned them premium with leather or colourful with rope. Certified and approved by Apple and using original parts and components, the braided leather and rope models come in a multitude of colours with wood or plastic housing the port. All USB to Lightning, the cables will work with a multitude of iOS devices, including the latest iPhone and iPads. Le Cord’s cables are available in two lengths, 40cm and 1m, and start at €29.90 from their online store: www.lecord.se

Vifa follow up their gorgeous Copenhagen speaker with the portable Helsinki and stay at home Stockholm models

Posted in Music, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 16 Feb 2015

Launching the supremely stylish Copenhagen speaker last year, Danish audio and design company Vifa break in 2015 with two new models. The Helsinki is a more portable speaker with hand and shoulder straps for easy transit. Connected via Bluetooth, jack or NFC, the speaker packs two 50mm Vifa driver units and back to back 60mm woofers. The Helsinki is available in four iconic Kvadrat textile colourways for €399.

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Vifa’s Stockholm speaker is meant for the home. At 1.1m long, the model packs two 28mm tweeters, two 80mm mid-range drivers and four 100mm woofer units for impressive range and power, while great wireless connectivity means you can still play what you want from wherever you are in the house. Compatible with virtually any phone, tablet, PC/MAC or TV through Bluetooth aptX, Apple AirPlay, WiFi direct and dlna music streaming, if you are on the same network, you don’t need to even be within eyeshot. The Stockholm is available in six Kvadrat colourways for €1,499.

The Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm speakers are available through Vifa worldwide resellers: www.vifa.dk/store-locator

JBL’s Horizon Speaker will wakes you up gradually with ambient light

Posted in Technology
By Sam Bathe on 14 Nov 2014

Known for their speakers rather than alarms clocks, JBL’s new Horizon Speaker has an interesting alarm clock feature. Rather than using sound to get you out of bed, the Horizon wakes you up gradually using LED ambient light. With a USB port to charge your phone or tablet over night, the Horizon Speaker will also connect to devices via Bluetooth to wirelessly stream music, plus a built in FM radio tuner. The JBL Horizon Speaker will be available soon for £79: http://uk.jbl.com/jbl_product_detail_uk/jbl-horizon-black.html

Hard Graft get cosy with their new Fit MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve

Posted in Products, Technology
By Sam Bathe on 13 Nov 2014

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Premium accessories brand Hard Graft have release a new sleeve that hugs the sleek profile of Apple’s super thin Macbook Air and Macbook Pro Retina laptops. Offers an all-around secure protection without being bulky, the body of the sleeve is made of 3mm pure German wool felt, with premium vegetable-tanned Italian leather accenting the top. Featuring a scratch-free nylon zipper closure, all of Hard Graft’s products are handmade and adorned with a signature red and white ribbon. The Fit MacBook Pro Retina Sleeve will set you back £117 and is available now from the Hard Graft online store: www.hardgraft.com/products/fit-sleeve

Sponsored: Technology trends in 2014

Posted in Technology
By Sponsored on 23 Sep 2014

There are only a few months left of 2014, but throughout the year we’ve already seen some impressive advances in the tech world, as well as the increased popularity of existing items and devices. Show the rest of this post…

2015 is sure to welcome a whole host of new and exciting technologies that we just won’t be able to resist getting our hands on. But for now, let’s review what we’ve seen so far in 2014 and discover the year’s technology trends.

Rise of the phablet

‘Phablet’ is starting to become part of the standard vernacular. Smartphones have begun to evolve into something bigger, with the phablet stealing a march on the mobile industry.

The smartphone presented a way for us to keep up with things on the go, using a number of apps to help us shop, play and connect with others. Then the tablet came along, offering a number of these benefits but on a bigger screen – without the benefit of a phone, of course.

Now the phablet is taking centre stage. The device offers the best of both worlds and is becoming the model of choice for many looking for a new phone. So popular has the phablet become, top smartphone manufacturer Apple is taking the lead of other phablet trailblazers like Samsung and creating its own version.

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The tablet steps out

That isn’t to say the tablet has diminished in popularity – quite the contrary. Tablet technology continues to evolve and now more and more households can boast ownership of the powerful mini-computer.

Instead of being viewed as a luxury purchase, consumers are starting to see the potential of the tablet. Instead of carrying bulky laptops around, the tablet offers a neat, light and extremely stylish way to do work and catch up with the world on the go. Furthermore, parents are seeing the benefits tablets provide for kids, with educational apps and fun games keeping the little ones occupied for hours.

More and more manufacturers have branched out into creating these devices, with Toshiba one of the latest to expand on their selection of models. Be sure to check out Toshiba’s latest tablet, the Encore 2, available with the latest Windows 8.1 operating system. Also don’t miss the Excite Write, offering a 10.1-inch screen and running on an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

4K TVs

Just when you think television technology has hit its peak, something new hits the market. It seemed there was nowhere to go when 3D television came crashing into our living rooms, but now Ultra-HD (or 4K) TVs have started to appear on the market.

These incredible televisions offer unprecedented picture quality. While HD was once the ultimate for watching TVs and movies in the most impressive clarity, the 4K TV now offers up to four times the picture quality of standard HD models. That’s pretty unbelievable when you think about it.

Now, other technology is following suit, with 4K Blu-ray players hitting the market to offer the closest thing to cinematic entertainment in the comfort of your own home. Once you see the incredible power of Ultra-HD TV, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to watch TV and films any other way.

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Social media continues to flourish

Social media has continued its status as one of the leading web services. Two key events in 2014 has emphasised the power that websites like Twitter and Facebook hold in the online world.

The first was the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The global football tournament exploded online, becoming the biggest sporting event on social media ever recorded. According to Twitter, some 35.6 million tweets were sent during Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the tournament semi-final, breaking the previous record of 16.4 million tweets sent during the earlier Brazil vs. Chile match.

Another social media phenomenon is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The task of pouring a bucket of cold water on your head, donating to charity and passing a nomination on has enjoyed unprecedented popularity on Facebook. It has stretched to all corners of the world and has even seen some top celebrities taking the challenge.

According to the BBC, charity ALS received $98.2 million in donations from July 29th to August 28th this year, with $2.7 million achieved during the same period last year. The event has helped to prove the power that social media holds.

Image credits:
Curved TV: Kārlis Dambrāns
Tablet: slgckgc
ALS Challenge: Anthony Quintano

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

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FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

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