iFrogz’s Caliber Advantage iPhone 5 gaming case hands-on

Caliber Advantage iPhone 5 gaming case

It’s no secret that iOS mobile gaming leaves us wanting when it comes to physical controls. Fortunately, at CES 2013, iFrogz is out to fill that void with the Caliber Advantage iPhone case-gone-console. The Caliber Advantage, an iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch accessory, uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the corresponding enabled application rather than the phone itself. iFrogz mentions that a deal with Epic Games and Chair Entertainment to build the basis for the Caliber software powered by the Unreal Engine is in the works. In fact, later this April the company will host its own developer conference aimed at seriously expanding the platform and hopefully adding support for previously released titles.

Marrying a case with a full-fledged controller certainly adds some bulk, but after handling the prototype, the approximate half inch of added girth honestly didn’t incite any ill feelings. The chassis, while clearly heavy on the plastic, felt more sturdy than anticipated, and fairly natural to our hands. As for the buttons? Crisp and responsive, hard though that may be to believe. The unit is set to retail at $70, and curious iOS gamers can feel free to take a closer look in the gallery below.

Kevin Wong contributed to this report.

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Zoom iQ5 professional stereo microphone hands-on

Zoom iQ5 professional stereo microphone for Apple lightning devices handson

Earlier at CES, we got our hands on the Rode iXY 30-pin stereo microphone iPhone add-on that left our Lightning users a bit sad. Cheer up! The folks over at Zoom got us over to their booth to try out the company’s new iQ5 professional stereo microphone. The iQ5 is a different beast than its aforementioned competition in that it works in conjunction with native iOS applications. What this means is that you can use it while recording video on your iOS device. The microphone itself rotates for this specific purpose, allowing for both horizontal and vertical audio recording in raw, 90- and 120-degree field positions. The recording resolution is capped at a respectable 16-bit/44.1kHz — though slightly less than we were hoping.

We didn’t get a chance to actually hear an audio sample from the iQ5, but we’re pretty confident it’ll sound better than the standard mic equipped on any of the supported devices. The Zoom iQ5 lacks a bit in customization department as well as build quality — we’re generally not fans of the cheap plastic construction. The spec sheet certainly leaves us wanting, but it’s a start in the right direction for current-gen iOS devices. The iQ5 will set you back $100 and start shipping Q2 of this year — until then check out the gallery to hold you over.

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How computer scientists are trying to stop smartphones and tablets from breaking the Internet

There’s just one problem with the post-PC mobile revolution: The Internet may not be designed to properly handle it. To understand why this is, recall that the Internet was originally designed to be something like the post office where packets of data are sent back and forth from one IP address to another based on information in the packet header. The problem is that none of the Internet’s architects at the time could have known about all the mobile devices that would one day be hooked up to the Internet, from smartphones and tablets to vacuums and refrigerators. When you take all these devices into account, and you consider that they could easily create a logjam by all requesting the same

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Microsoft confirms R2 Studios acquisition, makes Krikorian a VP with the Xbox in mind

Xbox Smartglass hands-on

Microsoft is silent no longer on its buyout of R2 Studios. The software giant has officially confirmed its purchase of R2, a home automation and entertainment startup, for an unspecified amount. It’s also clearer that ex-Sling chief and R2 founder Blake Krikorian is central to the deal — he’s becoming a VP in the Interactive Entertainment Business, and much of the release (after the break) centers on Krikorian’s content-related design experience and how it could help the Xbox. We’ll just have to be patient enough to wait for the eventual results in our living rooms.

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Samsung confirms no Windows RT tablets for US markets, blames tepid retail demand

Well, the Windows RT tablet market just got a bit less crowded, as Samsung has confirmed to CNET that its ATIV Tab won’t be sold or distributed in the US. The company’s decision is based in part upon feedback from retail partners, which suggested that such a product would be only modestly successful in the marketplace. Samsung also pointed to the lack of education about Windows RT, and suggested that it would require too much of an investment to properly inform consumers of the differences between it and Windows 8. Instead, the company will take a wait and see approach to gauge how the Windows RT market develops — we’ve heard this line before. It’s currently unclear whether Samsung’s decision will affect the availability of its Windows RT tablets in other markets.

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Via: TNW

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