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Jawbone launching Up, a fitness bracelet

Bluetooth audio accessory company Jawbone is extending its line into health and fitness. Later this year the company will launch a motion-recording wristband called Up that will connect to smartphone apps. It will be able to discern when its user is exercising, sleeping, or eating, Jawbone founder Hosain Rahman told me.

Rahman announced the product at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Tuesday. It was, he says, more of a concept launch than a product release. He did not disclose when the product will be available or how much it will cost. Rather, he was hoping to generate interest … Read more

Jawbone Era is first headset with accelerometer

(Edit: We've been informed that the company now goes by Jawbone instead of Aliph, so we've edited the blog post to reflect that). Jawbone has just announced the Jawbone Era, the first ever Bluetooth headset to have a built-in accelerometer. Combined with multi-processor technology, serial flash, and a larger dynamic wideband speaker, the Jawbone Era is emblematic of how advanced even the smallest piece of gadgetry can be these days.

The aforementioned built-in accelerometer is coupled with MotionX, a motion technology licensed by Jawbone from a company called FullPower. This allows the headset to perform certain actions by … Read more

Jawbone Icon brings battery meter to BlackBerrys

One of the benefits of the Aliph Jawbone Icon is that if you pair it with an iPhone you can see the headset battery meter next to the iPhone's. Now BlackBerry owners have the icon as well. Just pair and connect the Jawbone Icon to your BlackBerry and you'll see the Icon's battery meter. To get this new functionality, you'll have to get it from Jawbone's MyTalk Web site under the "Mobile Apps" tab.

The Jawbone Icon comes in six designs, and you can customize it with a variety of "apps" … Read more

Aliph adds A2DP to the Jawbone Icon

Aliph Jawbone Icon owners rejoice: you will now be able to add A2DP or stereo Bluetooth functionality to your Bluetooth headset for the unbeatable price of zero dollars. All you have to do is plug in your Icon headset to the computer, log on to Aliph's MyTalk Web site, go to the "Innovations" section, and then add the new A2DP feature. This lets you stream music or any other audio from your phone to your headset.

We were already big fans of the Aliph Jawbone Icon--the variety of the Icon's designs, its features, the audio quality, … Read more

Aliph Jawbone Icon boasts industry-first software platform

Aliph has just unveiled the Jawbone Icon, which promises to be the company's most sophisticated Bluetooth headset yet. We had a chance to really put the headset through its paces for the past week, and we have to say it absolutely delivers. Not only does it look and sound great, it offers more flexibility than any other Bluetooth headset due to an industry-first software platform.

It's called MyTalk, and the Jawbone Icon has what Aliph says is an operating system on a chip. This lets Aliph do some really interesting things with this headset. For example, when you pair the Jawbone Icon with the Apple iPhone, you'll see a visual battery meter of the Icon right next to the iPhone's own battery meter on the upper-right corner. This way you can easily check on the Jawbone Icon's battery status. While this may strike some people as a small thing, we think it's pretty cool.

The big news with MyTalk, however, is that you can plug the Jawbone Icon into your computer and customize it with a variety of Audio and Dial "apps." Simply log on to the mytalk.jawbone.com Web site (which will be live shortly), plug in the headset via a USB cable, and the Web site will automatically detect it. You can then customize it with a variety of Audio apps, which are essentially voice profiles of different personalities.

There are six voice personalities--The Ace, the Hero, the Thinker, the Bombshell, the Rogue, and the Catch--plus a default that comes with the headset. The voices range from a deep male baritone to that of a sultry female. You can also have it in French, German, or Spanish. The different voice profiles are used for spoken alerts on the headset that announce things like incoming caller ID and the headset's battery status.

As for the Dial apps, they are essentially speed dial numbers you can map to the Talk button on the headset. Some of the Dial apps include Voice Dial; Directory Assistance; 1800Free411; Jott (a service that lets you dictate notes, reminders, and more); and Dial2Do; which is similar to Jott. Though calling these personalization options "apps" is a bit of a stretch, we really have to commend Aliph on the intuitive interface of the MyTalk Web site. Perhaps the best thing about the MyTalk software platform is that Aliph can easily send out firmware updates this way.… Read more

The Gizmo Report: Klipsch's Image S4i In-Ear Headset

If you've flown on a commercial airline since 2000, you've probably seen people wearing Bose QuietComfort headphones. They're expensive and large, and I don't like them.

Their noise-cancellation circuitry actually generates noise of its own, and my ears are good enough to hear it as long as I'm not seated too near the engines.

I started wearing earplugs on airplanes in the 1980s when I discovered the squishy memory-foam type. They block noise better than headphones ever could, and they don't make any noise themselves.

But when I bought my first iPod, that strategy didn't seem quite so perfect anymore. The ear-bud headphones that came with the iPod never fit me at all; they just fell out. After some experimentation with small folding travel headphones, I decided I was happiest with in-ear headphones. They gave me most of the noise reduction of the foam earplugs along with the ability to listen to music.

The problem with in-ear headphones is finding a model that fits me. I gather that this is a common problem with this type of product. I went through several low- and mid-priced models before settling on the old Apple In-Ear headphones--they just worked the best for me. (Interestingly, I had the same experience as CNET's Steve Guttenberg when he reviewed them: they only fit well when inserted upside-down.)… Read more

Aliph Jawbone Prime with 'Earcandy'

Aliph has just announced the Aliph Jawbone Prime, the successor to the highly acclaimed Aliph Jawbone 2 from last year. The Prime sports almost the same design as the Jawbone 2, except it has a dimpled loop pattern on the surface and a slight dip on the front to indicate the multifunction Talk button.

Other changes in the new Jawbone Prime include a more comfortable fit thanks to rubber ear buds with loops, and enhanced noise reduction due to a reworking of Noise Assassin, its noise cancellation technology. This means the Jawbone Prime works much better to combat wind noise … Read more

Aliph introduces accessories for the Jawbone

Accessories for a Bluetooth headset may seem a little much, but Aliph has recently announced a few new add-ons to its popular Aliph Jawbone 2 Bluetooth headset. First, it addresses a few complaints about the Jawbone 2 fit with these new fit earbuds. These rubber ear cushions come with an additional rubber loop made to fit securely within the folds of the outer ear, so you won't need the Jawbone ear hook any more. Aliph also claims that these new ear cushions will make it easier for consumers to place the Voice Activity Sensor correctly.

Next is the Jawbone … Read more

Layoffs hit Bluetooth headset maker Aliph

The layoffs across the tech sector are hitting companies large and small.

The maker of the popular Jawbone Bluetooth headset has let several employees go, citing the economy as one of the main reasons.

"Given the current economic climate and opportunities we have to more efficiently bring products to market, we are realigning our resources to increase focus on our core technology and products. As part of this effort, we have eliminated a number of positions in the organization," an Aliph spokesperson confirmed to CNET News Friday.

The spokesperson declined to say how many or from which departments … Read more