Back in February 2012 Think Geek unveiled the 8-bitty, a retro-styled controller for iOS and Android devices. Today, the 8-bitty made an appearance on the FCC, winning approval for its Bluetooth wireless capabilities. FCC documents for the 8-bitty include external photos, above, as well as internal photos, which show of the controller’s Broadcom BCM20730 processor. The 8-bitty’s user manual is included in Think Geek’s filing as well, and unfortunately it appears that the controller requires a screwdriver to open its battery door…retro indeed.
The 8-bitty will cost $30. A release date is not yet available for the controller, but you can view the 8-bitty’s product page on Think Geek here.
Last month at IFA, Berlin-based Zero1.tv unveiled a new universal remote system for iOS devices called the VooMote Air. Unlike Zero1’s previous universal remote products, which require adapters to be attached to the iOS device itself, the VooMote Air only requires an app and an IR blaster, pictured above.
Today, the VooMote Air received FCC approval, giving us a better idea of how the device will work. According to FCC filings, the VooMote Air will use the Bluetooth capabilities of iOS devices to communicate with the VooMote Air blaster, allowing users to control their TV without adding any hardware to their iOS devices. The system supports the Bluetooth 4.0 standard.
No word yet on pricing or availability. Check out the company’s FCC filings here.
This bizarre-looking copter from U Dream Cheeky made an appearance on the FCC today. The toy features two main rotors and two side-mounted rotors, giving consumers an alternative to the traditional helicopter design. Known as the iStrike Shuttle, the toy sports Bluetooth connectivity and is controlled by your favorite iOS device. However, the iStrike app is not yet available on Apple’s App Store.
The iStrike Shuttle features a 500mAh battery, which is about half the size of the battery in Parrot’s AR Drone. The device recharges via USB.
No word yet on pricing or availability. You can see U Dream Cheeky’s iStrike Shuttle FCC application here.
Perhaps this may be filed under dumb things people do with smartphones, but I want one nevertheless. What you’re looking at above is the iLaunch Thunder, made by Dream Cheeky. This USB-powered device features four launchers for Nerf-style darts and Bluetooth for wireless control. The device is controlled by a free iOS app that allows you to aim the iLaunch Thunder by moving cross hairs. You can even set the app to fire darts by simply shaking your phone. Awesome.
A patent application filed earlier this year by Apple may bring improved accessory integration with iOS devices. The patent, described as “Pushing a user interface to a remote device,” describes a method of displaying the iOS interface (as well as the iPod interface) on accessories, such as a car’s navigation system, and allowing seamless integration between the two devices.
While many auto manufacturers currently offer iPod or iPhone interface accessories, most of these devices display only a rudimentary playlist on a car’s navigation system with slow forward/back, up/down interaction. Apple’s UI push patents describe how the entire iOS interface – apps and all – can be displayed and controlled by a third party device, as illustrated above, via touch or a D-Pad. In theory, this will allow users to interact with iOS and iOS apps through their car’s navigation system, for example. While playing Angry Birds while driving probably isn’t a great idea, there are some apps, like music, email or maps, that would be idea for a car’s nav system.
Check out the patent, application number 13/175,581, here. Note that this is just an application – it hasn’t yet been issued.
The unassuming Gmate Client, pictured above, hides some powerful functionality: it can turn any iOS or Android device into a phone. Simply insert a SIM card into the Gmate Client, download the Gmate app to your device, and connect via Bluetooth, and you’re ready to make calls or send SMS messages. The Gmate Client allows users to place calls with non-phone devices, such as an iPad, iPod Touch or Android tablets. The Gmate can also be used to add a second SIM card to the iPhone or Android phones – a great feature when travelling.
So how’s it work? The Gmate Client, which passed through the FCC today, essentially contains the guts of a cell phone, including a SIM card reader, Mediatek ARM processor and Bluetooth processor (below). The Gmate app provides an interface for the device and manages Bluetooth connections. Of course, Apple didn’t approve the Gmate app, so you’ll need to jailbreak your iPhone in order to download the Gmate app from Cydia. You can download the Gmate Android app directly from Gmate’s manufacturer, Skyroam.
You can buy the Gmate Client directly from Skyroam for $99.