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Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 20:00:15| Engadget

Will Apple's rumored mixed reality headset set the company up for failure, or for a future where smart glasses are everywhere? That's the big question running through my mind as we prepare for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week. Despite Apple's track record with disrupting nascent technology most notably, with the iPod and iPhone there's plenty of reason for skepticism when it comes to mixed reality. Existing mixed reality headsets like the HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap 2 are targeted mainly at corporate customers that can more easily stomach the high prices. VR headsets have arguably plateaued when it comes to the depth of their experiences and their potential market. Just look at the PlayStation VR2, which mostly recycles existing VR games.And then there's the major problem, the one Apple needs to solve more than anything else: Why would mainstream consumers not the geeky early adopters or impassioned gamers want to wear something on their head for extended periods? A mixed reality headset wouldn't be like the iPod or iPhone, which expanded the possibilities of existing products but could easily slip into your pocket. It's not just like the AirPods or the Apple Watch, accessories meant to compliment Apple's existing hardware. A headset, by its very definition, would have to be an all-consuming product, a persistent reminder that you're seeing the world through Apple's eyes.At its WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple will need to make the case for its mixed reality headset as deftly as Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone and iPod. But this time, it likely won't have a completed product meant for mainstream users. (Admittedly, the iPhone took a few years to transform into something more compelling with the addition of 3G and the App Store.) Instead, well probably see an appeal to developers to help build its mixed reality ecosystem, and for consumers to have faith that it'll eventually be more affordable and truly useful.Reporting from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman points to Apple's mixed reality headset potentially called the Reality One or Reality Pro being a $3,000 device with a focus on gaming, exercise and productivity. Its said to rely on finger gestures to navigate a floating interface, and there will be a virtual keyboard along with support for physical keyboards. Additionally, Gurman notes that there will be a Digital Crown, similar to the Apple Watch, that can transition the headset from fully immersive VR into mixed reality, which will combine the digital interface with the real world using onboard cameras.Magic Leap founder (and This Week in XR podcast co-host) Rony Abovitz sees Apple's potential headset as a major boost for the mixed reality industry. "If Apple actually reveals an XR system next week, that act alone will help to validate the belief shared by many XR pioneers that XR is the next important computing platform," he told Engadget over email. "It will take time and a number of generations to perfect, but we should see the market move more quickly after this milestone."The Magic Leap 2 mixed reality headsetDevindra Hardawar/EngadgetBut not everyone is convinced that "mixed reality" (MR) is the way forward. Edward Saatchi, the founder of the VR studio Fable and the original founder of Oculus's Story Studio, tells me he still he's "unconvinced" about the concept of MR: "As a VR and AR creator, there are significant differences between making AR content and making VR content and its hard to see how an MR headset which cant decide between AR and VR will be hugely successful.""AR and VR present significantly different design challenges and you cant port an AR app over to a VR app," Saatchi added. He likens it to smartphone gamepad accessories, like the Backbone and Razer Kiyo, that aim to let you play either complex console games or casual phone games. Putting those together just "doesn't quite feel right" to him.As cloudy as Apple's intentions may seem right now, the mixed reality industry is primed for the sort of disruption the company is known for. After all, Apple didn't make the first MP3 device, or the first smartphone. But it was the first company to create a simple music store supported by the music industry, and the iPhone represented a dramatic leap forward over what the BlackBerry and other smartphone platforms offered in 2007."The biggest piece that Apple brings to the table with this [headset] is the Apple installed base, and the ability to leverage all of the other Apple tech with a wealth of already installed hardware," Jack Gold, President and Principal Analyst at J. Gold Associates told Engadget. "Meta doesnt have that same ability since its really only a browser/software play. Apple could easily couple any headset with links (and OS updates) to iPhones and Macs and have a built-in market of millions. So Apple has a head start against anyone in the market with an installed base of users that could be easily upgraded."Gold notes it also makes sense that Apple is focusing on developers first: "Given the price and the relatively low volumes expected, its much better to get [headsets] to creators than consumers, and save the consumers for follow on products with better features (which are also being debugged by the developers), and a lower price."Even if Apple manages to build one of the most sophisticated mixed reality headsets on the market, it's still unclear what the mainstream pitch for such a device would be. For it to be truly compelling, I'd imagine the company has to go a step further from what we've seen with the Meta Quest (and the upcoming Meta Quest 3). It'll need to go beyond games to deliver experiences you can't get anywhere else.One possibility came to mind a few weeks ago when Sightful unveiled its augmented reality laptop, Spacetop. It's asically a small computing box which, together with customized Nreal smart glasses, lets you see a 100" AR display. While I didn't get to test it in person, it's easy to imagine something from Apple offering similar functionality when connected to a Mac, iPhone or iPad.Just imagine toting a MacBook Air to a coffee shop, slipping on a pair of mixed reality glasses, and having a 100-inch virtual window expanding out of the laptop's screen. It'd be a boon for multitaskers, as well as people who need to work on confidential material in public. (No more people peeking over your shoulder on planes!) Itll likely be years before this is technically feasible, but that may also align with when Apple can make a more affordable headset.Apple's vision reportedly extends beyond mixed reality to lightweight AR glasses, but it's still unclear how feasible those will be in the future. "Pure AR glasses seem like a totally logical next step, but it was 10 years ago that we all said it would take 10 years to get there, and they still dont seem 10 years away to me," Saatchi said.But why stop at glasses? Apple's mixed reality ecosystem could easily translate to more advanced technology that doesn require you to wear anything. "I think the biggest issue is still having to wear this 'thing' over your head that takes up space and makes it so I cant really see that well (imagine trying to walk down the street with one of these things on)," Gold said. "I think in five to ten years, what well see is XR that does not require this massive thing on my head to work. Thats when it gets more meaningful, using heads up displays, even 3D displays on phones, etc."To paraphrase Dr. Emmet Brown in Back to the Future, where we're going, we won't need screens.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-wwdc-2023-mixed-reality-headset-analysis-180015769.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 19:45:13| Engadget

The week after Memorial Day can sometimes be a little sleepy on the deals front, but this week we saw a good number of sales, particularly on audio equipment. The headliner deal, a rare sale at Sonos, takes up to 25 percent off some of the brand's most popular speakers. JBL is discounting a few of its better Bluetooth speakers, Sony's new WH-CH720N headphones are down to $128 and Apple's AirPods Pro have dropped back to $200. Solo Stove carried over its holiday sale to this week, in which you can save up to 45 percent on the brand's mostly smokeless fire pits or get $120 off one of our recommended pizza ovens. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today. Sonos speaker saleI heard from a colleague that they'd just bough a Sonos speaker before this sale popped up. To avoid the same disappointing fate, you may want to shop now if you've been thinking about a speaker from one of our favorite brands. Currently, many of the more popular speakers are up to 25 percent off in a rare sale. Discounts apply to one of our favorite soundbars, the Sonos Arc, which is $719.20 after a 20 percent discount. It calibrates its sound to your living room (or wherever you set it up) and works well with other Sonos speakers as you expand. The Beam, which is our favorite mid-range soundbar is down to $399.20, which is nearly $100 off the street price. I particularly appreciate the way the Beam makes dialogue much clearer.  Our favorite portable smart speaker, the Sonos Roam, is also part of the sale, down to $134.25 instead of its usual $179. The new Era 100, which our deputy editor Nathan Ingraham gave high marks to, isn't on sale by itself, but is available bundled with the Move speaker for $99 off. Sony WH-CH720N headphonesThey've only been around for a few months now, but Sony's WH-CH720N wireless headphones are already 20 percent off at Amazon and Adorama, bringing them to just $128. Our audio expert and editor Billy Steele deemed them "budget-friendly headphones with premium sound" in his review last month. They're a mid-range and more affordable alternative to Sony's $400 WH-1000XM5, but compromises like a mostly plastic build make the headphones look "decidedly cheap." It's also missing some advanced features like automatically pausing when you take them off. Still, Billy was impressed by the overall sound quality, remarking on the clarity of detail and ample bass. They have a long, 35-hour battery life and are also lightweight and comfortable, even after hours of wear. Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0Solo Stove's Memorial Day sale is still going on, with discounts up to 45 percent on some of the brand's nearly smokeless fire pits. The medium-sized Bonfire 2.0 is still just $250 after a $150 discount. It's 19.5-inches in diameter and comes with an improved ash pan for easier cleanup. Solo Stove is also still offering a free mini fire pit, the table-top-friendly Mesa if you enter the code FREEMESA at checkout (just remember to add the mini pit to your cart first). And while Ooni's Memorial Day sale looks to be over, Solo's answer to the pizza oven boom, the Pi Pizza Oven (and one of our favorites), is on sale for $400 after a $120 discount. Humble Metroidvania game bundleHumble Bundle, the online store that sells bundled games at a discount while giving money to charity, has a notable set of games on offer this week. Nine Metroidvania games, including Hollow Knight, Bloodstained and Rain World, are going for the minimum price of $15. Bought separately, the titles would sell for $164. As with all Humble Bundles, you can pick the price you pay, with a portion of the money going to publishers and charities like the Malala Fund, the ACLU and One Tree Planted. This bundle supports Girls Who Code and has already raised $34,061 as of this writing. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is on sale for $145 instead of its usual $180 at both Amazon and from Microsoft. That's close to the lowest price we've seen for the highly customizable controller since its debut in 2019. It works with Xbox Series X or S consoles as well as PCs running Windows 10 or 11 and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or Microsoft's own Xbox Wireless protocol. If you prefer, you can just plug it in with the included USB-C cable. Many other items are included as well, like a charging dock, four paddles, an extra D-pad, additional thumbsticks and a carrying case. If you don't need all of that (and don't want to have it in black) you can grab the Core version of the Elite Series 2, which is currently on sale for $104 from Microsoft. The Xbox Wireless Headset is also on sale for $85 instead of $100, which is an all-time low. Of course, this set didn't make the cut in our guide to the best gaming headsets. Our senior commerce writer, Jeff Dunn, would suggest instead the wired Astro A40 TR, which is on sale for $100 after a 23 percent discount. It's got a more spacious soundstage than many gaming headsets with an emphasized bass that delivers a "a smooth and satisfying thump" without overdoing it. True, they're not wireless, but you can plug them directly into the headphone jack on your new Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.  Apple AirTagsLosing your keys and wallet is never fun. A Bluetooth tracker can help you stop doing that. Right now Apple's option, the small white AirTags, are on sale for 20 percent off when you buy a four pack from Walmart or Verizon. They're our favorite trackers for iPhone users (and don't work with Android devices) because they tap into the vast FindMy network, enabled by default for every iPhone user out there. That means any nearby phone can anonymously find your lost item and help you zero in on its location. In my tests, the AirTags were neither as loud nor as quick with separation alerts as the Chipolo One trackers. Those were the best overall pick in our guide, work with both iPhones and Android phones and are currently just $75 for a four-pack.    WD_Black 1TB SN850X NVMe Gaming SSDThe latest WD_Black 1TB SN850X NVMe Gaming SSD with a heat sink is currently just $80 at Amazon, which is a 56 percent savings over the usual $180. It offers read/write speeds of up to 7300/6300 MBs and, in addition to PCs, it's also compatible with PS5 consoles. If you need even more storage, check out the 2TB size which is $150 instead of $310. If you'd prefer external storage, you can grab the WD_Black 1TB P4 Game Drive SSD for $100 or 44 percent off its $180 list price. The 2TB capacity version is on sale for $160, which is an even steeper 52 percent discount. As they're external, they're compatible with both PS and Xbox consoles and can even store files from your PC or Mac. Samsung Pro Plus microSD cardSamsung ran a promotion on its storage devices last week and many of the deals are still live at Amazon. Of particular note is the 128GB Pro Plus microSD card, which is down to $18 after a 31 percent discount and represents a new low price. It's our top pick in our guide to the best microSD cards. This deal bundles a handy USB reader, but if you don't need one, you can get just the card for $15. The 256GB model is $24, which is the lowest price we've seen yet. You can also snag deals on the Samsung Evo Select card, which is 55 percent off, or the ultracompact Samsung Fit Plus flash drive which is now just $15 for the 128GB version. The ever-popular portable SSD, the T7 Shield, is 44 percent off in the 1TB size.  Chromecast with Google TV The 4K version of the Chromecast with Google TV is currently $40 at Amazon and Best Buy. That's a 20 percent discount and matches the cheapest price we've seen yet. The streaming dongle can turn any set into a smart TV, giving you a slew of streaming options while offering support for Dolby Vision. If you don't have a screen that can handle 4K video, the HD dongle is even cheaper at just $20 after a 33 percent discount. Our commerce writer Nicole Lee gave the 4K version an 86 in her review and we named it the runner up in our streaming device guide thanks to its great Google Assistant integration and informative Google TV interface. JBL Flip 6A handful of JBL speakers are on sale right now, including JBL's Flip 6, Charge 5 and Xtreme 3 all of which our homepage editor, Jon Turi, recommends in his guide to the best Bluetooth speakers. The Flip 6 puts out impressive volume considering its 1.2-pound size and still manages to deliver "solid lows [and] crisp highs." True to it's name, you can flip it on its side to save tabletop space and the IP67 waterproof rating mean it can handle a dunk. It's down to $100 after a 23 percent discount at both JBL and Amazon. That's not an all-time low, but falls within $10 of its Black Friday pricing. The Charge 5 is at little bigger at just over two pounds and can likewise pump out bigger sound. It delivers the same quality sound as the smaller Flip 6 (and has the same waterproof rating). The larger battery not only goes for 20 hours on a charge, it can even juice up your small devices via the USB port. It's on sale for $150 after a 17 percent discount from both JBL and Amazon. For even bigger sound, we recommend the Xtreme 3. Its 4.3-pound size is large enough to warrant a shoulder strap and can adequately output sound for a backyard get-together. It's $100 off after a 25 percent discount and you can get it from JBL or Best Buy.  Govee M1 RGBIC LED strip lightsLight strips might not be the most necessary smart home devices, but they can add a decidedly fun vibe to a living room, bedroom or gamer cave. The latest option from Govee, the 16.4-foot M1 RGBIC LED Strip Lights are on sale for $85 at Amazon, after you click to apply the $15 coupon. Our senior commerce editor, Valentina Palladino, recommends them in our guide to smart bulbs because they have an impressively wide color spectrum, don't require a hub and let you customize 15 different segments to get just the right lighting scheme. Other Govee lights are also on sale, including the 100-foot RGBIC LED Strip Lights for $48.48 after applying the $10 coupon. These have an older chip in them and aren't quite as bright as the newer model, but at less than a dollar per foot, they're an inexpensive way to get started with smart strip lights. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen)At this point, we'd recommend anyone looking into AirPods Pro to wait for them to go on sale. This week is one such time, as the second generation of Apple's AirPods Pro have dropped back to $199 both at Target and at Amazon. They are Engadget's recommendation for the best earbuds you can buy for iPhones. Billy gave them an 88 in his review, noting their improved performance and better features over the previous generation. They also deliver one of the most natural-sounding transparency modes of any earbuds out there. Eero Pro 6 mesh Wi-Fi 6 routerAs part of a larger sale on Amazon's line of Wi-Fi routers, the Eero Pro 6E mesh Wi-Fi router is on sale for $200. That's a 20 percent discount, but $20 more than its lowest price so far. Still, if you've brought home a newer smartphone, tablet or laptop that can access WiFi 6 and want a router that can supply that band, this might be a good time to upgrade. If you've got a large area to cover, you may need a few routers. A three-pack of Eero routers can cover up to 6,000 square feet and are similarly discounted.  Google Nest WiFi RoutersIf you'd rather get a WiFi router from Google, take a look at Amazon's sale on Nest devices. A three-pack of the Nest WiFi Pro 6E routers is 15 percent off, or $340, which is the lowest price in the past four months, though not an all-time low. Set these up throughout your home and you'll get 6,000 square feet of coverage with access to the usual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands, plus the newer 6 GHz band. Compatible devices, like newer smartphones, laptops and tablets, can access this band and get lower latency and less network crowding.  Ring Video DoorbellThe wired version of the Ring Video Doorbell is seeing a steep discount this week at Amazon. Usually $65, it's now just $39 after a 40 percent discount. The camera uses motion detection to tell when someone is at your door, sending out instant notifications. You can see, hear and talk to visitors using your phone or an Echo display. To hear a chime inside your home when someone rings the bell, you'll need an Alexa-enabled speaker or a Ring Chime. The devices offer customizable privacy settings, but it's important to note that Amazon's Ring devices haven't had the best track record on that front. iRobot Roomba 694Last week, Wellbots offered a few discount codes on many of our favorite Roomba robot vacs, and now Amazon and iRobot have matched many of those prices. One of particular note is the iRobot Roomba 694, the winner from our guide to budget versions autonomous cleaners. It's currently 35 percent off, or $179, from both Amazon and iRobot. That matches the all-time low on a vac that offers an easy-to-use companion app and powerful suction. Also on sale is the iRobot Roomba j7, which is $400 after a $200 discount at both Amazon and the iRobot store. It's the runner-up mid-range vac in our robovac guide, in which Valentina noted its excellent obstacle avoidance and good cleaning power. The standard j7 doesn't come with a clean base, so you'll need to manually empty what the machine picks up in a run. If you want an auto-empty feature, you can opt for the Roomba j7+, which Amazon and iRobot have for $600 instead of $800. If you also want a vac than can mop, the Roomba Combo j7+ includes an on-board mopping pad that automatically deploys when the bot detects hard floors. It's available from Amazon, Target or directly from iRobot.Our pick for a premium robo vac is the Roomba s9+ which is $749 instead of $1,000. Pick that one up from either Amazon or iRobot. Samsung The Frame Smart TVA sale on Samsung's The Frame Smart TVs at Woot takes 27 to 33 percent off sets ranging from 43 and 75 inches. That makes the 50-inch model $870 instead of $1,300 and the 43-inch $730 instead of $998. The QLED 4K smart TVs run on Samsung's Tizen OS and feature an Art Mode that camouflages the screen as a fairly convincing piece of art when it's off. The anti-reflection matte display, narrow wall mount and external CPU add to the illusion, particularly if you drop the thin connecting wire behind the drywall during installation. Apple Mac MiniApple's entry-level Mac mini with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage is $100 off right now at B&H Photo. The deal matches the all-time low of $499 and makes it the most affordable way to get a decent Mac desktop computer. It won't handle heavy workloads and isn't upgradable, so you'll probably want to make sure it can handle what you want it to do before you checkout. If you want a larger SSD, you can grab the version with 512GB of storage for $679, or $120 off. Amazon offered the same deals last week, but has since run out of stock. We gave the beefed up version of the latest Mac mini a score of 86 when it came out earlier this year.  Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonos-speakers-are-up-to-25-percent-off-plus-the-rest-of-this-weeks-best-tech-deals-174516851.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 19:24:43| Engadget

Meta's long-running attempt to get employees back to the office might just succeed. The Facebook owner tells Engadget it will require that office-assigned staff return to in-person work for at least three days a week starting September 5th. People who are exclusively remote can stay that way, Meta says.In a statement, a spokesperson says Meta is "committed to distributed work" and that people can have a "meaningful impact" both at the office and working from home. This is part of an effort to refine the collaboration and work culture that help staff do their best, according to the representative. This is part of a previously announced hybrid strategy that came alongside large-scale layoffs. Meta sees 2023 as the "year of efficiency," and believes some in-person teamwork is necessary for maximum productivity.Meta instituted a formal remote work policy in May 2020 as it became clearer that the COVID-19 pandemic was unlikely to end any time soon. While it hoped to reopen offices in 2021, it repeatedly pushed back that timeline as COVID-19 spread and new virus variants emerged. In early 2022, contract workers protested requirements to return to the office months before Meta's in-house employees were (at the time) slated to make a similar move.The social networking giant isn't alone. Apple and other major tech companies have mandated hybrid work schedules and have faced similar resistance. Some employees have objected to the reduced flexibility in locations and schedules as well as increased costs that can include daycare and transportation. There's pressure from other companies, too. Shopify, Spotify and other well-known brands have instituted remote-first policies that may be more attractive to job seekers. While the pandemic appears to be winding down, the employment landscape has clearly changed.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/meta-will-require-staff-to-be-in-the-office-at-least-three-days-a-week-172443689.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 17:30:46| Engadget

Whatever YouTube rabbit hole youve spiraled down lately gaming playthroughs, political commentary, niche eight-hour video essays youve encountered an ad for virtual private network, or VPN, services. The influencers promise military grade encryption and streaming content from anywhere as long as you use code FOLLOWME10 at checkout so that they get their cut.Its not just anecdotal that VPN ads are everywhere on YouTube. Since the beginning of 2016, VPN companies have collectively sponsored about 247,000 YouTube videos, according to Daniel Conn, co-founder of influencer marketing consulting firm ThoughtLeaders. Almost none came up before then, signaling rapid growth as both influencer marketing and VPN companies took off.For the YouTubers, its a lucrative and consistent way to fund their aspirations; for VPN providers, its helping to bring the obscure security product into the mainstream. But for the casual viewer, the sharp spike in VPN ads adds to the confusion and jargon around cybersecurity and it could be misleading us on how secure we really are.If you do think of it like education, it might be the most pervasive form of security education out there, said Dave Levin, assistant professor in computer science at the University of Maryland.Researchers at the University of Maryland took a random sample of those hundreds of thousands of ads to better understand what these influencers are saying about security. While not explicitly inaccurate, most of the ads featured vague or exaggerated claims on what VPNs could do, according to Michelle Mazurek, also an associate professor in computer science at the university.All a VPN can really do is mask your IP address and the identity of your computer on the network by creating an encrypted "tunnel" that prevents your internet service provider from accessing data about your browsing history. They cant keep your identity secret, protect from financial exploitation, offer military-grade encryption or other marketing terms these companies use. Military-grade encryption refers to AES-256, but thats become an industry standard, and wont protect you from security threats like phishing attacks. Still, its sold as a one-step security solution, when its really just the start of what you can do to protect yourself online. The companies and the ads are overselling what a functional one could do, Omer Akgul, the PhD student at University of Maryland who led the research paper on VPN advertising, said. It's problematic that users think they're getting protections where they really aren't.Most advertising comes with these caveats, but in a field as high risk and difficult to understand as security, the exaggerated claims can be damaging. If a YouTuber sells you on a new electric toothbrush, you can get first-hand experience deciding whether its worth your money. You can feel whether it leaves your teeth feeling clean, see real results when you go in for your next dentist appointment and easily compare it to other options on the market. But security isnt tangible. One VPN service might be more user friendly than the next, but we rely on recommendations from others to tell us whether or not one is more secure.The power behind influencer marketing lies in those recommendations. We trust the people we follow as we build parasocial relationships and see them advertise the same services over and over again. According to the UMD research, influencers use this to tailor their approaches to VPN ads. A far-right conspiracy channel will tout a VPNs privacy protections from government snooping because, while a movie reviewer will say the VPN can help you access streaming platforms in different countries, Akgul said, because YouTubers know who their audiences are, they can frame it in such a way that their audience would be interested or understand.Influencers tend to be tight-lipped about these advertising relationships because it can put future earnings in jeopardy. But according to Conn, the influencers hes encountered generally like working with VPN providers because they can be so lucrative. And for VPNs, the competition is fierce to secure top converters, and includes exclusivity periods to prevent top YouTubers from working with competitors. Theyre also actively recruiting with companies like Surfshark, NordVPN and ExpressVPN all touting open calls for influencers to sell their services.It's a battleground, Conn said. Because of these exclusivity causes, it's a race between them to scoop up in inventory because effectively you're blocking your competitor from the advertising space as well with those clauses. Its a very aggressive market for VPNs.If youre looking to hide your internet data from your ISP, want to stream Netflix abroad or are connecting to an untrusted public network, a VPN would be a worthwhile investment. But just because youve seen more ads online, doesnt mean the use cases for VPNs have changed. Plus, as it becomes a more lucrative way for influencers to make money online, it probably means you should be even more skeptical of both the advertisements and the provider themselves.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/youtube-influencer-selling-vpns-security-problems-153046206.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 17:00:58| Engadget

Alongside todays Street Fighter VI launch, 8BitDo has announced a new Xbox-licensed arcade stick. The wireless accessory, which has moddable controls and supports swappable arcade buttons, arrives later this month.The Arcade Stick for Xbox is far from the first arcade-style joystick accessory and it isnt even 8BitDos first in that category but if the quality of the companys previous controllers is any indication, it could be worth a look. For starters, its highly customizable: You can remap its buttons (including profile support) with 8BitDo Ultimate Software or swap out the physical buttons, choosing between standard 30mm and 24mm sizes. In addition, the company says the joysticks mounting plate is compatible with virtually every arcade stick ever made.8BitDoThe wireless accessory connects with a bundled 2.4G dongle adapter or wired via the included (nearly 10 ft.) USB-C cable. The accessory also has a 3.5mm audio jack for plugging in headphones. 8BitDo rates its battery life at 30 hours of playtime without headphones and 20 hours with them. Its estimated charging time is around four hours.The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is compatible with Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One and Windows 10. It ships in black and white color options and costs $120 undercutting its highest-profile competitor, the Hori Fighting Stick alpha for Xbox, by $80. The 8BitDo Arcade Stick for Xbox officially launches on June 30th and will be available for pre-order on Amazon.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/8bitdos-xbox-licensed-arcade-stick-is-wireless-and-customizable-150058244.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 16:45:42| Engadget

A single WiFi router just doesnt cut it for many people. Thankfully, there are better options than having to rely on a sole connectivity point for an entire home, and a mesh system is one of them. Google Nest has one of the best-known mesh systems, and packs of its WiFi Pro 6E routers are currently on sale. A three-pack will run you $340, which is 15 percent off the regular price and close to a record low.The routers will blanket up to 6,600 square feet with WiFi connectivity over the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. If you have devices that are compatible with the 6 GHz band, that's the way to go, since it should provide sturdier connectivity and mitigate interference from your neighbors' networks.Google claims the Nest WiFi Pro 6E system can adjust the performance and activity of your network automatically. For one thing, it will prioritize video calls. The company says the system can monitor itself, diagnose issues and even resolve certain common problems without your input.You'll be able to see everything that's connected to your network and pause access for devices that you don't want using your WiFi. In addition, you can set up a guest network with its own password. Unfortunately, Nest WiFi Pro 6E isn't compatible with older generations of Google WiFi or Nest WiFi.Those who don't have to cover quite such a large area may want to opt for a two-pack of the Nest WiFi Pro 6E instead. Dual routers will provide up to 4,400 square feet of WiFi coverage. For the time being, the two-pack is $50 off at $250.Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/google-nest-wifi-pro-6e-router-packs-are-up-to-17-percent-off-on-amazon-144542649.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 16:10:02| Engadget

Nintendo has a solution if your Switch is looking a little drab, or if you need an extra controller pair for a Mario Kart session. The company is releasing Joy-Con controllers in two pastel color combos, purple/green and pink/yellow, on June 30th. Both sell for the same $80 as other shades and deliver the same combination of motion control and "HD rumble" as before.Additional controllers are must-haves for games with local multiplayer, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, a Joy-Con set in particular is useful for any titles with motion controls (such as Arms) or four-person multiplayer (like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe). It's often a good idea to get Joy-Cons in different colors so that there's no ambiguity as to which units are yours.This isn't going to address the potential for Joy-Con drift, and you may want a Pro Controller if you prefer a conventional gamepad. There are some good third-party alternatives, too. Still, this adds some welcome variety. You now have your pick of six color pairings, most of which weren't available when the Switch launched. It's just a question of whether or not you're willing to invest more into the Switch six years after its debut.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/nintendo-kicks-off-the-summer-with-pastel-hued-joy-con-controllers-141002133.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 15:30:01| Engadget

This is a good moment to buy into a smart speaker ecosystem. Sonos is holding a Father's Day sale that cuts up to 25 percent off the price of recent speakers and soundbars. Most notably, the high-end Arc soundbar is down to $719, or nearly $180 off. That could make it particularly appealing if you want to roll the savings into another smart speaker. The sale ends June 18th, or while supplies last.The sale also drops the prices of the portable Move speaker to $299, and the mid-tier Beam soundbar to $399 both $100 discounts. The Roam, meanwhile, is down to $134 (about $45 off). The savings also stack up with bundles, some of which include Sonos' new Era 100 and Era 300 speakers.The Arc is one of our top premium soundbar picks for good reason. It delivers exceptional sound quality, including immersive Dolby Atmos audio, and its integration with the Sonos ecosystem makes it ideal if you want multiroom audio or a smart speaker with access to a wide range of services. The only real catch is that expansion can quickly get expensive, especially if you want spatial audio using the Era 300.The Roam, meanwhile, is our favorite portable speaker. It sounds superb for the money, and it's very portable while offering the benefits of Sonos' system. It's not Sonos' loudest portable option (that's the Move), and the 10-hour battery life isn't stellar compared to some of the competition. At this price, though, it's a good pick for a picnic or a small backyard gathering.Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonos-speakers-and-soundbars-are-up-to-25-percent-off-in-rare-sale-133001802.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 14:56:01| Engadget

There's no better way to make a dumb TV smart than Chromecast with Google TV, thanks to the breadth of streaming options, Dolby Vision support and relative affordability. Now, you can grab one for even less at Amazon thanks to a new sale. The 4K version is available for just $40 (20 percent off), tied for the lowest price we've ever seen. And if HD resolution is fine, the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) is just $20, for a savings of 33 percent also back down to an all-time low.The Chromecast with Google TV isn't as small as some streaming sticks, but it's still a nice compact (and attractive) solution, and the cable makes it easy to plug into most TVs or projectors. It also comes with a nice remote control that's comfortable in hand offers controls that are pleasant to use. The design, along with the solid feature set helped the 4K version earn an 86 score in our Engadget review and top pick in this year's streaming devices buyer's guide. For compatible TVs, it offers support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, along with regular HDR10. It also offers excellent Google Assistant integration that makes voice commands a breeze. And while past Chromecast devices could be laggy, both the 4K and HD versions offer much improved performance. The main downside is the lack of Apple TV, but Chromecast with Google TV works just fine with Apple devices. As mentioned, both the 4K and HD devices are down to all-time lows ($40 and $20 respectively), so it's best to act soon if you're interested in buying one.Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-4k-chromecast-with-google-tv-is-cheaper-than-ever-at-amazon-125601913.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

2023-06-02 14:30:20| Engadget

Its only a few days until the beginning of Apples Worldwide Developers Conference next week, and were eager to see what the iPhone maker is cooking up. This week, Cherlynn and Devindra are joined by Engadget Senior Writer Sam Rutherford to dive into all of the Apple rumors: That fabled mixed reality headset, a potential 15-inch MacBook Air and more! But really, all eyes are on the headset. Is Apple setting itself up for failure, or for a future where smart glasses are actually a thing? Also, we discuss the late-breaking news about Metas Quest 3 headset, which sounds like it will offer better VR and color mixed reality support for $500.Listen below or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you've got suggestions or topics you'd like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!Subscribe!iTunesSpotifyPocket CastsStitcherGoogle PodcastsTopicsApples AR Headset, iOS 17, MacOS 14 and everything else we expect to see at WWDC 2023 1:16Meta Quest 3 details drop ahead of Apples developer conference next week 33:48Oppo debuts MR Glass Developer Edition 37:41AI leaders issue dire warning on its risks, neglecting their own responsibility in its development 41:46Chatbot rolled out by National Eating Disorders Association taken offline after giving bad advice 45:37Working on 52:17Listener mailbag 56:41Pop culture picks 58:39LivestreamCreditsHosts: Cherlynn Low and Devindra HardawarGuest: Sam RutherfordProducer: Ben EllmanMusic: Dale North and Terrence O'BrienLivestream producers: Julio BarrientosGraphic artist: Luke Brooks and Joel ChokkattuThis article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/engadget-podcast-apple-wwdc-2023-preview-123020712.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising

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