Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Despite what NSA Official Claims… Former NSA Chief Says the Feds *Are* Collecting Data on You

NSA Seal.jpg
 
Here's an interesting little tidbit on security and privacy.  It seems that the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), General Keith Alexander, made an appearance at the DefCon meeting recently in Las Vegas.
 
At that conference, General Alexander was asked by DefCon founder Jeff Moss “does the NSA really keep a file on everyone?,” Alexander replied, “No, we don’t. Absolutely no. And anybody who would tell you that we’re keeping files or dossiers on the American people knows that’s not true.”

The General went on to explain that there is congressional oversight of the agency & that it is charged with foreign intelligence & not spying on people within the borders of the United States.

However, William Binney disputes that statement.  Mr. Binney who is a former technical director at the Agency, states that the NSA is filing away Tweets, emails, search data, and other info on U.S. citizens within the borders of the US.

Will we ever get the straight scoop on this?  I'm saying probably not, but it does make you a bit paranoid doesn't it?  For all the details, check out the full article on Wired.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Google Brings Google Earth 3D to iOS

Earlier this summer, Apple announced that they would be building their own map software to run on iOS devices.  This effectively meant that Google Maps would no longer be an integral part of the Apple system.

 

Not to be deterred by the announcement, Google has continued to develop and improve their mapping software not only on Android (of course) but also on iOS.  As of this past Thursday, iOS now has Google Earth 3D rendering on its iOS app.  It's a limited number of areas that are featured, but Google plans on adding more all the time.

 

The only drawback is that the 3D rendering will only work on iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and iPad 3.  I suppose it's just one more reason to upgrade your hardware...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Curing LIght in IronMan 2

Ironman Curing.jpg
Sometimes my geekiness surprises even me.  Tonight as I was watching Ironman 2 on Bluray for the umpteenth time, I couldn't help but grab the above screenshot.
I'd noticed it as I'd watched several times before (Ironman has always been my favorite super hero), but this time I just had to get an image of it.
If you watch enough techie kind of movies, you'll be treated to dental equipment more often than you'd think.  It's never used as actual dental equipment, mind you, but due to how cool some of the things we use look, they lend themselves well to the visual aesthetic of the silver screen.
The shot above is shown fairly early in the movie as Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) works on creating the Whiplash suit.
It's only on screen for a couple of minutes, but it goes to show how high tech some of the stuff I get to use every day looks to the rest of the world.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Google Talk Suffers Outage



In the last 6 months or so, I've become very reliant on Google Voice.
The service handles all of my text messaging as well as taking care of storing and notifying me of voicemail.
So, it kind of goes without saying that at this point of time, I flat out *need* access to the service.
Yesterday, there was an outage of the service and, in typical Google fashion, they were all over trying to fix it.
Along the lines of their motto "Don't Be Evil", they also handled the outage with a great deal of transparency.
If you ever want to see how these things are dealt with as well as the progress they are making on these situations, you can Go to the following link.. It is their App Status Dashboard.

So I've come away from this situation impressed. The nice thing about dealing with Google on these types of things is that you know they have the resources and brainpower to get these things rectified quickly.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 27, 2012

Google Debuts 1-Gigabit Internet Connections in Kansas City

Google.png
 
A couple of years ago, Google announced the creation of the "next generation" Internet via a contest.   The winner?  The city of Kansas City, KS.
 
Since that time, folks in this part of the world have anxiously awaited the availability of the service… and now it's here.  The bi-directional 1 Gigabit service not only can provide an Internet connection, but can also deliver television in a package Google is calling IPTV.
 
The service is quite available just yet, but should be in the not too distant future.  At this point, Google is saying they will begin hooking up neighborhoods when about 10% of homes in a neighborhood have signed up.
 
The service offers no caps to the bandwidth and will also include 1 Terabyte (which is 1000 Gigabytes) of Google storage for all the things you want to store in the cloud.
 
Pairing this with the TV service that offers a DVR with 2 Terabytes of storage and video on demand and this thing seems like an absolute winner.
 
My only lament is that I don't live close enough to the target area to get it myself… yet.  I'm certainly hoping that the service will continue to expand into the KC metro area and will soon approach my home and business.
 
For a great article with more details, check out multichannel.com  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

StarDental®’s 430 SWL Named #1 Selling Fiber-Optic Handpiece in America

430 Series-noFlex.jpg
 

 

Handcrafted in Lancaster Pennsylvania, 

StarDental’s 430 Line has Become an Industry Classic

 

Malvern, PA (July 24, 2012) – DentalEZ® Group, a supplier of innovative products and services for dental health professionals worldwide, is pleased to announce that research performed by  Strategic Data Marketing* has revealed that StarDental®’s 430 SWL handpiece is the #1 selling fiber-optic handpiece in America.   

  

As the top-selling handpiece line in DentalEZ history, the solid and dependable StarDental 430 series has earned its place as a staple of the American dental practice.  Named the 430, which signifies the revolutions per minute, the first 430 handpiece was introduced in 1981.  Each 430 handpiece is handcrafted in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

 

The design of the 430 series handpiece evolved from StarDental’s Vista line, which was first introduced in 1979.  Two years later in 1981, the first member of the 430 handpiece line was introduced to the dental industry.  Star’s Vista line introduced the original look of the 430, but each handpiece in the 430 line gradually evolved into its own right, with new overall designs and updated modern technology such as StarDental’s ceramic ball bearing turbines.  

 

A fiber optic version of the handpiece was introduced in 1987, and the LubeFree ceramic bearing was introduced in 1991.  Since then, the 430 has had numerous updates with many models to choose from.   

 

According to StarDental Senior Product Manager, Rick Gross, “Every StarDental 430 handpiece is built by hand in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a place where heritage and tradition are held in high regard by those who live and work there.  When a dental professional chooses to use a 430, they are not only purchasing a quality handpiece, they’re also shaking the hand that helped build it by supporting their fellow working Americans.”  

 

As the #1 selling fiber-optic handpiece on the market, each handpiece in the StarDental 430 Series remains a classic favorite among dental professionals.  Made with StarDental ceramic ball bearing turbines, the full family of the 430 Series includes: StarDental’s 430 SWL, featuring solid glass rod fiber optics, the 430 K®, 430 SW®, and the Kaleidoscope®.  Each is available in lubricated or StarDental’s traditional LubeFree which provides substantial cost and time savings.  

 

The small head and high-torque design of the 430 Series provides superior oral accessibility and visibility, and the high power enables fast and precise removal of tooth surface and amalgam.  Its low noise level reduces the possibility of auditory damage and provides a pleasant patient experience.   The recent introduction of the StarBright® LED Handpiece Swivel and StarBright® LED Replacement Bulbs provide the option to switch the 430 SWL, as well as all existing StarDental handpieces to a cool, white LED light source.  

 

For additional information on all DentalEZ promotions and products, please call 866-DTE-INFO or visit www.DentalEZ.com.    

 

*Document available upon request

 

About Strategic Data Marketing (SDM)

 

SDM is the only dental research company specifically dedicated to providing reliable and accurate market research services for a myriad of manufacturers and product brands in key dental markets.  Their extensive report options and custom services provide dental professionals with the tools needed to make informed, timely decisions in developing and selling dental products to the US, Canada and UK dental markets.

 

About DentalEZ® Group

 

DentalEZ® Group is committed to advancing the practice of dentistry through innovative products and services.  Encompassing six distinct product brands — StarDental®, DentalEZ®, CustomAir®, RAMVAC®,NevinLabs, and Columbia Dentoform® — DentalEZ® Group manufactures everything in the operatory, from handpieces to chairs to vacuum systems to dental simulation models, creating a complete line of products to elevate the health, comfort, and efficiency of the dental operatory.  For more information, please visit www.dentalez.com.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Air Techniques Spectra - Digital Caries Detection in Action and Restoration with the Lightwalker Er:YAG Laser

The diagnostic armamentarium of dentistry is changing. Several dental schools are no longer teaching the "sharp explorer diagnosis" and are using other more advanced diagnostic protocols. I've been fortunate enough to have studied and used digital caries detection devices for several years now. I've found them to be reliable, accurate, and of great benefit to my patients.

In the last 4 years or so, we've seen the evolution of caries detection to what I now am referring to as "visual diagnostics". The devcies use CCD's (digital camera chips, also called Charged Couple Devices) to take photos of teeth using certain colors of light that help reveal decay at stages where it is much more difficult to find using conventional methods.

The real advantage of visual diagnostic devcies is that, by finding problem areas in the early stages, the doctor can decide whether to attempt to remineralize the areas using a combination of techniques & products or if the tooth requires a restoration. By taking and saving these images, areas can be monitored and compared to see if areas are improving, worsening, or staying the same. The more data the doctor has, the more accurate the treatment can be.

What follows is an example of monitoring a tooth over time with the Air Techniqes Spectra device. The Spectra takes a photo of the tooth and applies a special algorithm to the data it detects. This algorithm allows the areas of concern to be clearly shown on the tooth surface. The "overlay" has the appearance of Doppler weather radar.

 
 
Molar Image 3.jpg
 
18 months ago, this tooth shows an area in blue that indicates very early breakdown of the enamel matrix. Many of these areas can be remineralized, however others continue to progress. The area is not detectable using standard visual inspection or the traditional sharp explorer. The colors along the side are due to the soft tissue and are not indicative of any type of breakdown of the tooth.
 
Molar 2.jpg
 
8 months ago, this image shows that the initial breakdown of the enamel has continued to progress. The area now has progressed to a small area of red that is indicative of actual decay in the enamel. Based on data such as the patients DMF rate and other factors this area might be slated for a restoration or remineralization therapy and monitored further. It now begins to appear suspicious when viewed under 4.8x magnification, but does not provide any type of tactile indication of breakdown with a sharp explorer.
 
Molar 1.jpg
 
One month ago, the area of red has expanded and now has a center of orange which indicates the decay has now passed the DEJ. At this point it was decided to intervene surgically. The area of decay was removed using the Lightwalker laser, an Er:YAG hard tissue laser, which means we could remove the decay without using anesthetic. It was restored conservatively using a flowable composite. The area appears extremely suspicious when viewed under 4.8x magnification and now began to exhibit a very "slight" stick with a sharp explorer. When excavation was complete, this area was 6-7mm deep yet provided such slight tactile feedback from the explorer that it might have been considered a "watch" area even though the DEJ had been exceeded and the lesion had shown continual growth over an 18 month period of monitoring. Even though the lesion had progressed to this point, it was still removed painlessly by using the Lightwalker laser.
 
This is just one example of how visual diagnostic devices are helping to provide more and better data that allow us to make better decisions. In this case a small restoration was placed with no anesthetic which allowed more of the patient's natural tooth structure to be preserved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ultradent Announces UltraSeal XT Hydro!

ultraseal_xt_hydro_syringe_prevent_12_refl.jpg
 
You've got to hand it to Ultradent.  The company is always working to find the better mousetrap, the outside the box product, or the product that just flat out makes dentistry easier!
 
Well, they've done it again!  The newest product is UltraSeal XT hydro.  A truly hydrophilic sealant that makes placement easier for both the operator as well as the patient.
 
The product was just announced last week and we already have some in the office and are putting it to use as of today.
 
Curious?  I thought you might be.  Here is all the info direct from Ultradent:
 

Product Details

A simplified procedure.

With so many sealants on the market, it can be difficult to choose which sealant is right for your patients. With over a decade of leadership, the name UltraSeal has proven it can be trusted.

 

UltraSeal XT® plus has been THE leader in sealants since 1998,1 and has consistently demonstrated high retention rates.2  Reality states "It's simply the best."3

 

With such a history, we're excited to introduce a new option from the UltraSeal family: UltraSeal XT® hydro.

 

Based on the proven UltraSeal XT plus chemistry, UltraSeal XT hydro is an evolution of UltraSeal XT plus. Its hydrophilic chemistry eliminates the need to pretreat the tooth with PrimaDry, so you can give your patients effective treatments even faster.

 

UltraSeal XT hydro also offers many other unique benefits:

  • New! Hydrophilic chemistry
  • New! Advanced adhesive technology
  • New! Fluorescent properties
  • Two Shades: Opaque White and Natural
  • Thixotropic/ideal viscosity
  • BPA-free formula
  • Syringe and Inspiral® Brush tip delivery
  • Highly filled resin (53%)
  • Fluoride release
  • Radiopaque

 

See the evolution of the trusted UltraSeal name with UltraSeal XT hydro. And start seeing the difference the evolved chemistry can make for you and your patients.

 

Visibility at every visit.

After placing a sealant, it is often difficult to check margins and retention. UltraSeal XT hydro addresses that difficulty with added fluorescent properties. Fully viewable under a black light, the sealant's fluorescence allows you to check the integrity of the sealant at the time of placement AND at subsequent visits, so you can literally see the retention.

 

Incredible bond strength.

The new hydrophilic and adhesive qualtities UltraSeal XT hydro offer exceptional results. The hydrophilic chemistry eliminates the need to pretreat the tooth with PrimaDry--simplifying the procedure without compromising quality. Additionally, when combined with the characteristic thixotropic nature, the hydrophilic chemistry chases moisture (that in hydrophobic sealants can cause sealant failure) deep into the pits and fissures on a microscopic level. Once there, the advanced adhesive technology securely bonds the sealant to the enamel, increasing marginal retention and reducing microleakage.

 

Ultradent has never used BPA in its dental sealants.  Ultradent is aware of the risks associated with BPA.  An independent third-party laboratory tested UltraSeal XT plus and UltraSeal XT hydro and found levels of less than 0.00000% BPA in each product. 

 

1 Reality Ratings. Reality. Reality Publishing Company. 1998 - 2011. http://www.realityesthetics.com.

2 Boksman L, Carson B. Two year retention and caries rates of UltraSeal XT and FluoroShield light-cured pit and fissure sealants. Gen Dent 1998 March-April;46(2):184-187.

3 UltraSeal XT plus. Reality. Reality Publishing Company, 16 May 2011. http://www.realityesthetics.com.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Is Google Attempting to Improve Gmail on iOS Devices? It's Starting to Appear that Way...

 

Gmail logo.jpeg

If you have any iOS device *and* you have a Gmail account,  you may have been less then pleased with the experience.  I mean, it's better than having to access your Gmail account through the browser, but not a whole lot better.

 

Now comes news. that an improvement in the user experience may not be too far away.

 

The company Sparrow has been around since February 2011 and has made quite a name for itself by creating email programs for both OS X (the main Mac OS) and iOS (which runs the portable Apple devcies).  While not a company that has been around a long time, Sparrow still built quite a following rather quickly.  The real buzz for Google users is that Google purchased Sparrow on Friday.

 

What does this mean?  Well obviously it's speculation at this point in time, but Google purchasing a company that has made a tremendous impact in the realm of email for Macs looks like the Gmail for iOS interface is due for a tremendous upgrade.

 

If you area  current Sparrow user on your iPhone, you might be interested in this tidbit I found in the App Store today: "Sparrow has been acquired by Google.  As the team works on new projects, there will be  no new features released for the Sparrow apps, other than minor maintenance and bug fixes."

 

Personally I'm looking forward to my Gmail upgrade.  If I'm already a Sparrow user, well I might be a bit bummed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DentalEZ® Group Announces Winner in “Hands-On” Contest for Dental Students


 

 

Malvern, PA (July 18, 2012) – DentalEZ® Group, a supplier of innovative products and services for dental health professionals worldwide, is pleased to announce the winner of its Hands-On social media contest.  Eric Navok, a 4th year dental student at the University of Connecticut, submitted the winning photo that earned him the grand prize in DentalEZ’s latest campaign for dental students.  The winning image features Navok placing a dental implant.   

 

Navok will receive a DentalEZ “All Access Pass” to the 2012 ADA Annual Session.  This includes flight, transportation, 2-night hotel stay, show registration, a “meet and greet” at the DentalEZ booth, plus the benefit of admittance to the complimentary CE courses at the show.  In addition, Navok will be presented with a personally engraved, StarDental® Starter Kit containing 1 high-speed handpiece, 1 low-speed motor, 1 swivel + 2 attachments at the Annual Session. 

 

Navok is a life-long resident of Stamford, Connecticut.  He graduated from Case Western Reserve University and worked for 2 years as a chemist for Duracell before changing careers to dentistry.  He is involved in many student organizations such as ASDA, the General Dentistry Interest Group, and the Jewish Student Group.  He also works as a liaison to the CSDA and Hartford Dental Society.  Navok recently did his first pulpectomies during a dental mission trip in Honduras.  

 

Dental students who participated in the Hands-On Campaign were asked to simply capture a photograph of a “hands-on” moment in their daily lives that they are passionate about, in or out of the oral healthcare arena, and then submit the image to DentalEZ Group via its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DentalEZGroup.  DentalEZ Group then choose the top photo that generated the most attention and votes from viewers.   

 

Each student who participated automatically received a coupon from DentalEZ for a FREE swivel with the purchase of any StarDental handpiece.  StarDental also engraved the handpiece with the student’s name.  

 

For additional information on all DentalEZ promotions and products, please call 866-DTE-INFO or visit www.DentalEZ.com.    

 

About DentalEZ® Group

 

DentalEZ® Group is committed to advancing the practice of dentistry through innovative products and services.  Encompassing six distinct product brands — StarDental®, DentalEZ®, CustomAir®, RAMVAC®,NevinLabs, and Columbia Dentoform® — DentalEZ® Group manufactures everything in the operatory, from handpieces to chairs to vacuum systems to dental simulation models, creating a complete line of products to elevate the health, comfort, and efficiency of the dental operatory.  For more information, please visit www.dentalez.com.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For Back Health… Get on the Ball! Available from CrystalMark!

Terri on ball.jpg
 
Back health is really important in dentistry.  Heck, a healthy back is really important in any type of human existence.  However, in dentistry, with our posture and the need to be able to perform necessary tasks while keeping the patient comfortable, back health is a necessity.
 
There are several different devices and ways to help promote back health in my profession.  One of them, Anteriorest was a subject of an evaluation in my office.  However, different devices offer different benefits and affect different anatomical areas.
 
The "ball stool" above is currently being used in my office by one of my hygienists.  It's being modeled in the photo above by my main gal and right hand dental assistant Terri.  For those of you who know her, you know that if a camera is involved she'll trample over anyone else (and anything for that matter) to get in front of it.  Hence her  appearance in this photo instead of hygienist Nikki.
 
We got this "ball" for Nikki as she had been experiencing pain in her legs for a while and we were thinking it had to do with her posture while seeing patients.  Nikki has never been known as a "picture of dental ergonomics" when it came to operator positioning.  She often looked more like a pretzel than a hygienist because Nikki would sacrifice her own comfort in order to make sure her patients were comfortable.  That's just how much she cares!
 
Utilizing the ball has helped her get more into a neutral position instead of static muscle contractions that were affecting her lower back and legs.  The ball forces you to be more balanced.  Since she's been "on the ball" which has been for over a year now, she's cut the pain in her legs and works with much less fatigue.
 
The device can be ordered from CrystalMark dental.  The company makes industry leading air abrasion equipment, but they also sell these amazing stools for only $139!
 
While not currently appearing on their website, they are in stock and can be ordered.  See the website for contact info and while you're there, you can explore the air abrasion devices they also sell.
 
This ergonomic operator system is highly recommended!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sprint Launches 4G LTE in Limited Markets

My hometown carrier and my personal wireless carrier has officially launched their 4G LTE network.

 

While Sprint has featured a 4G connection for some time now, up until this point it has been on the older (and slower) WiMax and HSPA+  protocols.  Now with 4G LTE, the speeds will be blazing.

 

4G LTE is capable of about 75mbps upload speeds and 300mbps download speeds.  That's right, blazing fast.  Of course that speed depends on your device and the strength of your connection.  Just like any wireless connection, the weaker the signal, the slower the speed.

 

Oh, and you are probably wondering where the new bandwidth is being deployed.  So far, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Huntsville, San Antonio, Waco, and Granbury in the great state of Texas… Atlanta, Rome, Newnan, Athens, Carrollton, and Calhoun in Georgia… and Kansas City and St. Joseph in Missouri.

 

Look for more markets to be added soon...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pandigital Handheld Scanner is a Winner!!!

Pandigital Handheld Scanner.jpg
 
Back on July 5th, I created a post about the Pandigital Handheld Scanner that I had received as a gift.
 
The idea was to help me decrease my clutter by allowing me to scan all the extra odds & ends paper in my life.  That way it could be stored and cataloged on my Mac… making it totally portable and in many cases stored on The Cloud.
 
Well, after a couple of weeks, I've got to call this experiment a complete and unparalleled success.  Clutter is down immensely and my reading and follow-up have increased, better than I had hoped.
 
The best part is that the scanner is so incredibly portable.  It fits easily into my laptop bag which ensures that I will take it everywhere I go.  This means that even when I'm on the road lecturing, as I was on Friday at the Dentrix Business of Dentistry Conference, I am capable of scanning quickly and easily.
 
I've got to tell you that this is working out even better than I had hoped.  All you have to do is lay a page on a hard surface and then roll the scanner over it.  The images are saved on a Micro SD card.  The scanner comes with a SD converter that holds the Micro SD card so whenever I get a chance, I simply put the Micro in the SD converter and then slide the SD converter card into the SD slot on my MacBook Pro.  The card is immediately available to be accessed by the Mac and I can then copy the images to wherever I need them.
 
By storing them in The Cloud, I can then access them with my iPhone, iPad, or Xoom Android tablet.
 
This is quick, easy, and efficient.  I can't imagine going back to the way it was before.  The difference in organization is that profound.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nintendo Announces Next Gen Wii Gaming Console - Dubbed Wii U - Is Coming Before the End of 2012

Nintendo Wii U.jpg
 
While it's still the middle of the summer here north of the equator, most companies that deal with retail sales are already thinking about and preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season.  So, needless to say I had to get my geek on when I recently learned that Nintendo is ready to roll with the second generation Wii gaming console which will be called Wii U.
 
While it's always good news when one of The Big 3 (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) announces anything that even slightly resembles an update to a gaming console, the announcement of a *new* gaming console is always the best.
 
It's even better when I can get a firm date on launch… but no such luck this time.  The best I can do is tell you that the company is promising it will be available for the holiday shopping season.  Rumors are that the device will be available for a retail price under $400.
 
Here are the specs and features from the Nintendo website and they are followed by a video the company has released to support the launch:
 

Technical Specs

Launches

Holiday 2012.

 
  • Size

    Approximately 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long.

  • Weight

    Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).

  • Wii U™ GamePad

    The Wii U GamePad™ controller removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. It incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen, as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. Inputs include a +Control Pad, L/R sticks, L/R stick buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons, ZL/ZR buttons, Power button, HOME button, -/SELECT button, +/START button, and TV CONTROL button. The GamePad also includes motion control (powered by an accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor), a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, an included stylus and support for Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and weighs approximately 1.1 pounds (500 g).

  • Other Controllers

    The Wii U console is capable of supporting two Wii U GamePad controllers, up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers or Wii U Pro Controllers, and Wii accessories such as the Nunchuk, Classic Controller and Wii Balance Board.

  • Video Output

    Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, Wii D-Terminal, Wii Component Video, Wii RGB, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV.

  • Appearance

    The new console features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any home entertainment setup.

  • CPU

    IBM PowerⓇ-based multi-core processor.

  • GPU

    AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU.

  • Storage

    Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.

  • Media

    Wii U and Wii optical discs.

  • Networking

    Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors – two in the front and two in the rear – that support Wii LAN Adapters.

  • Wii Compatibility

    Nearly all Wii software and accessories can be used with Wii U.

  • Audio Output

    Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI® connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector.

 

Wii U Features

In addition to introducing new ways to play, Wii U also offers users a variety of non-gaming features to enhance the overall experience.

  • Miiverse: Miiverse is a brand-new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii character, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community.
  • TV Remote: The Wii U GamePad controller may also function as an infrared TV remote, whether users are watching TV or playing a game.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC): The Wii U GamePad has the ability to communicate wirelessly with objects that are held above it. This allows for a variety of interesting new possibilities for games and activities.
  • Nintendo eShop: The digital storefront for Wii U will be available at launch and offer a variety of content for people to download and enjoy. Consumers will also be able to purchase and download select games that are also available at retail stores.
  • Video Entertainment: Nintendo is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience. Additional details will be released at a later time.
  • Video Chat: Using the built-in camera of the Wii U GamePad, people can communicate with other Wii U owners in real time.
  • Internet Browser: Wii U comes with a browser that lets people with a wireless Internet connection surf the Internet from the comfort of their couches.