By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas – AT&T has begun discounting the price of smartphones and tablets to consumers who sign up for the company’s home security and automation service at one of the almost 600 AT&T Wireless stores that sell the service.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
CTIA 2013 Las Vegas – Bluetooth accessories maker SuperTooth entered into a distribution agreement with Voxx Accessories to market a co-branded line of portable audio equipment under Voxx’s Acoustic Research name.
San Francisco – The Android OS will soon join the iOS and BlackBerry 10 operating systems in providing native software support for Bluetooth Smart Ready technology, Google announced here at its developers conference.
San Diego – SoundCast Systems is broadening the appeal of its wireless outdoor OutCast and OutCast Jr. speaker systems with the development of a Bluetooth adapter.
Soundcast’s battery-operated outdoor speakers use proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technology to stream music from a PC or from a tabletop iPod/iPhone dock up to 300 feet away. The single-chassis cylindrical stereo speakers, which disperse sound in a 360-degree pattern, retail for $899 and $599.
Denver – HydraConnect extended the replacement warranty on its HSS series of HDMI matrix audio/video switchers to five years and added drivers for integration with more home-automation systems.
HydraConnect said it is the first company to sell such products with a five-year warranty. For current owners of HSS products, the warranty will be retroactive to the original date of purchase, the company noted.
Calabasas, Calif. — Consumers who stream CinemaNow movies encoded with multichannel DTS-HD soundtracks through select Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players will be able to decode the soundtracks through a variety of new and legacy A/V receivers, soundbars and HTiBs, DTS said.
Tokyo — Gibson Guitar closed on its purchase of a 54.6 percent stake in Japan’s Teac Corp., which remains listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Plans for the purchase were announced in late March.
The transaction, valued at $58.1 million when announced, represents Gibson’s largest investment to date in another company. In 2012, Gibson bought a 51 percent stake in Onkyo USA and a stake in Onkyo USA’s parent.
Automated Control Technology Partners, Inc. (ACTP) has launched its new home automation brand, TiO (Turn it On).
TiO is a new approach to home automation, one driven by an “outside in” philosophy that focuses on the customer experience, according to the company. TiO home automation solutions will provide professional integrators with an easy-to-install, elegant home automation solution that offers powerful features, maximum flexibility and a new pricing model that will allow home automation to reach a broad base of consumers.
St. Petersburg, Fla. — Industry veteran Mike “Sparky” Detmer, formerly president of Niles Audio, has launched a company offering strategic planning and business-optimization services to manufacturers, distributors and dealers in the technology-integration and consumer electronics industries.
Stamford, Conn. –Harman reports that home audio and multimedia products grew 17 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter ending March 31.
Chairman Dinesh Paliwal said operating margins hit the high single digits in the three-month and nine-month periods, but did not reveal specific dollar volumes.
Paliwal did note the segment’s nine-month operating margin hit a record-high 8 percent. He also said he expects full-year home/multimedia sales to be “close to $600 million.”