Best Buy Pulling Out of China – The ill-fated foray of Best Buy into China—with 184 stores—has come to an end with an agreement to sell its stores to a China-based real estate firm. The company’s global expansion has met with mixed success and it will now focus on its core U.S. business. The firm’s president said the sale has no bearing on its remaining Canada and Mexico businesses.
New Bluetooth v4.2 Spec – Increased speed, security and data-transfer reliability are provided by the 4.2 version of the core Bluetooth spec just adopted by the Bluetooth SIG. The new profile will be adopted by end of this month and is called Internet Protocol Support Profile (IPSP). It adds privacy features which make it difficult for eavesdroppers to track a device thru its Bluetooth connection without permission. Devices will transfer data up to 2.5 times faster than previous versions, and battery consumption is also reduced. Bluetooth Smart sensors will be able to access the Internet, making it possible to use an existing IP infrastructure to manage Bluetooth Smart “edge” devices, such as in connected homes that have personal and wide area control.
Lincoln Autos Offer Revel OEM Audio Systems – This is the first time Harman’s Revel brand will appear in a factory sound system, joining other Harman brands such as JBL and Infinity. The Revel systems will be designed for each Lincoln’s interior, with speaker placement, tuning, calibration and the number of speakers unique to each model. The new Lincoln MKX midsize premium utility vehicle will be the first with the system next month. Owners will use the MyLincoln Touch screen to select three listening modes: traditional stereo, audience, and On Stage—a pseudo-surround option placing individual instruments and musical elements thruout the cabin. Revel Ultima, which restores information lost in compressed music, is included. Tweeters and midrange speakers are mounted close together to improve reproduction accuracy, and custom Revel waveguides are to optimize the high-frequency dispersion of the tweeters. Revel’s proprietary hybrid amp design combines Class A/B and Class D amplification. An aluminum speaker grill complements Lincoln interiors without degrading sonic performance.
Uncoupled Power Working Group Adds Energous – Energous wants to bring truly wireless charging technology to the masses and has therefore joined the Power Matters Alliance. The UPG group is working on the specs for wireless power transfer based on non-magnetic technologies such as RF, ultrasound and laser, to deliver power at distances of up to 30 feet. They will also manage the certification program. It hopes to have products on the market by Q4 2015.