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Airbus' concept image for its in-flight helmet display

If you've ever been on a long flight, you've probably wanted to tune out your fellow passengers -- and plugging in some headphones is only going to do so much. If Airbus ever brings a recently patented helmet display to market, though, you may never have to put up with mid-air distractions again. The headrest-mounted wearable would combine headphones with visor-projected video, producing "sensorial isolation" while you're watching movies, listening to music or playing games. It could even beam a virtual keyboard on to the tray or seat back, so you wouldn't need controllers that take up your already limited space.

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We've virtualized much of the rest of the modern life -- why not payments? Plane tickets, banking and many other aspects of our lives now live on our phones. Payments still exist in the world of paper and plastic.

Google has Google Wallet; Visa has payWave; MasterCard has PayPass; and American Express has ExpressPay. Apple just announced its own, with Apple Pay. If you've heard of any of these credit card services other than Apple's recently announced system and maybe Google's long-running program, we're impressed. You're in the minority; heck, one quarter of US citizens don't even own a standard credit card, nonetheless a virtualized one. But virtual payments are more prevalent by the year, and Apple Pay is giving the concept a much-needed publicity boost. So, all that said, let's talk about the future of payment.

Don't throw away your wallet just yet.

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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple is clearly hoping that its bigger iPhones will tempt you to switch from Android. It just launched a migration guide that helps move your stuff into the iOS universe, whether it's a contact list, internet account or media collection. Some of the advice is fairly self-evident; email and social networks should come across without a hitch, and you'll usually find App Store equivalents to any given Android program. You may find a few useful pointers, however, such as using iCloud as a go-between for your important documents.

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While Opera Max is slowly making official launches around the world, this cloud-based data-compression service has just nabbed another partner -- and it's a pretty big one, too. Today, the Norwegian company announced that MediaTek will be embedding its app in two of its LTE-enabled 64-bit chipsets: the octa-core MT6752 and the quad-core MT6732. What this means is that should manufacturers want to integrate Opera Max into their MediaTek-powered devices (our understanding is that this feature is optional), they wouldn't have to spend time on testing the app, ergo shorter time to market. And of course, the end user gets to load pages, music and video clips faster anywhere on the device (unlike how the Opera browser only compresses data that are loaded within it), while also saving "up to 50 percent" of bandwidth, courtesy of Opera's cloud servers. That said, the service doesn't process encrypted links, for obvious reasons. For those who aren't familiar with Opera Max, feel free to check out the new video after the break.

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Logitech's got a new Harmony remote and it's an even bigger push into home automation over the current Harmony Smart Control home theater remote lineup. Shipping this month, the new Harmony Home Control devices start at $99 for the Home Hub (which turns your smartphone or tablet into a home automation controller). Then there's the Home Control for $149, which adds a simple, button-only remote. At the top of the line is the $349 Harmony Ultimate Home, which swaps out the simple remote for a 2.4 inch touch screen model (seen above). Available in either black or white, Harmony Home can control both your home theater and other devices from partners via IR, Bluetooth or WiFi. There's a lengthy list of support, too: August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, Nest, PEQ, Philips, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, Yale and Zuli.

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It's been a year since Sony launched its range of lens cameras, WiFi-enabled zoom lenses that connect to your smartphone and offer far better pictures than your built-in snapper. For its second generation hardware, the company went one further and built the QX1, which enabled you to swap in any E-mount optic. I say all of this because Olympus has, perhaps belatedly, cottoned on to the idea that there might be something in this type of technology, which is why the company is showing off its Open Platform prototype here at Photokina.

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The highlight for Fujifilm at this year's Photokina is undoubtedly the X100T and its brilliant hybrid viewfinder, but the X30 point-and-shoot is also not to be missed. Internally, the $599 compact is nearly identical to its predecessor, the X20, with the same 12-megapixel, 2/3-inch CMOS sensor and f/2.0-2.8, 28-112mm lens, but it features a few improvements that might make an upgrade worthwhile for at least a few select Fuji fans. The most significant boost is a new 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder, which provides a full 100-percent view, along with a new tilting 3-inch high-res LCD.

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You don't need supernatural powers to realize that it's been 12 months since a Kindle Paperwhite refresh, ergo we're due a new one. It also kinda helps when Amazon's own web-store lets slip a little bit of info. Some eager searchers spotted a listing for Kindle "Voyage" on Amazon's German and Japanese stores. The listings don't have too much information, but do mention a 300 ppi display on the 6-inch device that comes in the usual WiFi and 3G versions. The 112 x 116 mm dimensions suggest the Voyage will be smaller and at 8mm deep, the "thinnest Kindle up to now" (thanks Google translate). The (now-pulled) product page was even kind enough to give us details on price -- $190 or $250 with 3G -- all set for a November 4th launch date. It could be that the Paperwhite name is on the way out, too, with the Spanish version of this support page replacing "Paperwhite" with the new "Voyage" name.

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Facebook's megaphone-like approach to sharing makes it less than ideal for more private missives. Sharing private images or jokes with select people is something of a test of nerves. One slip of a drop-down menu, and your intimate photo could go global, rather than just to your "mates" privacy group. But, Facebook wants you to share in anyway, and to anyone you like with confidence it seems. According to TechCrunch, the social network's working on a "Moments" mobile app to help. Once again, Facebook would be taking a single-focused idea out of the main mobile app into a standalone one if sources are correct. The Moments app will reportedly use a visual, tile-based interface for you select the group or sub groups of people you wish to share your -- we assume -- moment with. If this sounds a lot like Google+'s "circles" mechanism, that's because it does. There's no word when Moments could find its way onto phones, so for now, you'll just have to run the gauntlet with current tools to avoid having your mom comment on bachelor(ette?) party photos.

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Philips will soon launch a couple of iPhone- and iPad-controlled devices, but they're not the company's usual phone docks or Hue smartlight models -- they're gadgets designed to help suppress persistent pain. The first device (above) called PulseRelief uses Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation or TENS technology, which delivers electric pulses straight to your nerves. That's supposed to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and to release endorphins, chemicals that make you feel good and happy. There are tons of similar gadgets out there (search for "TENS device" on eBay and Amazon to see what we mean), but Philips' version lets you choose from 60 intensity levels through its smartphone app.

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