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Entries in smart phones (5)


App That 'Gamifies' Your Relationship Proves We're Too Dependent On Technology

Relationships take work.

Technology is meant to make our lives easier.

So, it was only a matter of time before someone made an app to make maintaining our relationships "easier" than ever.

Kahnoodle is "the couple's app" that's designed to spice up your love life, keep you connected to your Sig O and -- somewhat creepily -- track how loving you've been lately. Check it out:

Using gamification, Kahnoodle wants to make maintaining your relationship automatic and easy—as easy as tapping a button. Its options include sending push notifications to initiate sex; “Koupons” that entitle the bearer to redeemable movie nights and kinky sex; and, of course, the love tank, which fills or empties depending on how many acts of love you’ve logged.

Now, this isn't your run-of-the mill $1.99 app. Kahnoodle members pay a monthly subscription rate that runs anywhere from $20 to $60 a month, depending in part on the number of surprise dates and events you want the service to plan. The company says the special date and event pricing they provide greatly offsets the membership costs, and the website describes some pretty ritzy-sounding dates: learn to sail while watching the sunset, skydive over your city, enjoy a gourmet meal at a cliff-side restaurant. (Follow that up with a surprise "initiate sex" push notification, and you're in for one romantic, not at all disingenuous evening.)

Something tells me this might be more likely to work if it were less expensive, more tongue-in-cheek. Kahnoodle seems to be targeting slightly older, married couples who need help carving out time for themselves. I give it a month before those events and notifications start getting ignored. Thoughts?


Cute Tech: 'Smart' Pajamas Sync to Tablet to Tell Stories

Kids of today seem just as addicted to smart devices as us adults are. Might as well carry that trend into storytime!

Smart PJs feature 47 unique dot patterns that each trigger a different story or an animal lesson when your kid scans it with a smartphone or tablet. Then, the device -- through a free downloadable app -- narrates a story to your child, while they follow along. Or, you can mute the narration and do storytime yourself.

Originally, the creator of Smart PJs was going to use QR codes, but they didn't work well on fabric. So instead he and his team created the unique dot pattern, which is then read by computer vision.

Currently the PJs feature stories like Mother Goose, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen classics. The stories start automatically after the dots are scanned, creating a little surprise for your kid. And before we get too judgy about parents handing the task of storytime over to a tablet, keep in mind that the creator has six kids. So, how did storytime work before he invented these?


Samsung GS4 Features Eye-Tracking and Hover-Sensing

The announcement of the shiny new Samsung GS4 has captured our attention today -- especially when it comes to all the ways it detects what the user is doing, without a single touch. Yep, its eye-tracking and hover-sensing features are not only super cool; they're also pretty practical.

First up, "Smart Pause" tracks your face and pauses any video you're watching if you look away. "Smart Scroll" lets you scroll up or down by tilting the phone a little. To avoid constant scrolling if, say, you're in a car, the phone doublechecks to make sure you're still looking at it before it Smart Scrolls. 

Our favorite feature will probably be Air View, which lets you get a preview of an item on the phone by hovering your finger over it. Just hold a finger over that picture in your gallery and watch a larger version pop up, or hover over an SMS and see other messages in the conversation. Or, answer the phone or skip a track just by waving your hand over the screen. So cool!

And for those users who don't like the idea of their phone "watching" them, don't worry: All these functions can easily be turned off.

Check out the rest of its features here.


The James Bond-style Smart Phone

Ever dreamed of spying on your spouse, keeping an eye on the babysitter or just seeing what your cat does all day? New mobile phone spy software from MobiStealth will let you do just that -- using your cell phone. The system even includes a motion detector. How James Bond is that?

To make the most of the spy software, simply place the phone in a given location, turn on the motion detector feature and head out. When the MobiStealth software detects motion, it automatically sends a live video and audio feed to any (other) mobile of your choosing.

The software even features a stealth mode, which allows the phone to become the ultimate, completely covert spy gadget.


'Send to Sync' Just Makes Sense

Ford Motor Co. and Google are teaming up to make navigating your summer roadtrip easier than ever. Select Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles will now include a Google Maps update called Send to Sync.

The new feature will allow users to map destinations on PCs and smart phones, and then send the information to their vehicle’s Sync navigation system.

"Printing paper directions from a website is a relic in our digital age," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization, in a statement. "With Send to Sync, you can map a destination at home, at work--wherever you have connectivity--and when you get to your car, it already knows where you want to go. It's convenient and it eliminates the waste and distraction of paper maps, conserving resources while helping drivers keep their eyes on the road."