Holiday Tech Spending to Reach Record Levels – According to a new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) forecast, there will be great increases in online shopping to the highest levels of consumer spending on electronics since the CEA began tracking this in 1994. Total tech spending is expected to reach a record $33.7 billion during this year’s holiday season. After tablets and laptop computers, the item most wanted to receive as gifts this season are TVs.
Trumpeter Kenny Wheeler Dies – The Canadian composer, trumpet and Flugelhorn player who has been based in the U.K., died last month. In addition to his performances in jazz he was active in free improvisation and sometimes contributed to rock recordings. He also wrote over one hundred compositions.
Sony Adds Nanotech Streaming to UHD TVs – Sony will be bundling the NanoTech Ultrafix streaming network app for UHD TV movies with all their 2014 Sony UHD TVs. The owners of the TVs will have one-click access to a large library of UHD VOD content, including 40 titles made for IMAX. There is also a wide selection of action/thrillers, comedy, drama, concerts, sports videos, TV shows and moving murals plus up to 100 hours of free content. It uses HEVC/H.265 compression standards along with NanoTech’s own proprietary methods. It can stream visually lossless UHD video for uninterrupted viewing at under 8Mbps, making UHD available to most North American and European Internet subscribers today.
Bose Expands SoundLink Line – A SoundLink portable Bluetooth speaker is pocket-sized, has dual-opposing passive radiators with two transducers, voice prompts for pairing, a 3.5mm aux input, and the ability to remember the last eight devices it paired with. With a lithium-ion battery it provides eight hours of play time, and can recharge in three hours. It sells for $129 and comes in several colors. The new SoundLink headphones are Bose’s first on-ear Bluetooth models and feature the firm’s Active EQ and TriPort technology. A two-mic system rejects ambient sounds such as wind, and Adaptive Audio Adjustment technology automatically changes the volume based on speech level and ambient noise. The headphones are $249 and come in black or white.
Wi-Fi Alliance Promises Simpler Wi-Fi Direct – The first TVs, printers and cell phones with a new one-step connection between devices could be launched at the January CES. To reduce the number of steps from three to one, devices will automatically detect whether another product is equipped with the Wi-Fi Direct option. Users will be able print documents direct from a smartphone, tablet or PC with one command, they can transer files including photos in one step, DLNA-enabled devices will discover each other, and screen mirroring will be enabled in one step. The user simply clicks on the icons and connecting will be in one click.