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Star Wars merchandise is big business. So big, in fact, that the films' stewards are streaming an unboxing marathon for all of the Force Awakens toys coming out on "Force Friday" tomorrow. We weren't going to pay much interest, but two items in particular have grabbed our attention: a remote-controlled Millennium Falcon and X-Wing starfighter. With minimal assembly, you'll be able to launch and fly both of these legendary spacecraft in your living room, pestering family members or reliving the final battle from Return of the Jedi. The Millennium Falcon is basically a quadcopter drone -- it has four tiny propellors built into the body, and is built from a "high density foam" to ensure it can take the odd knock and TIE fighter attack. Both the X-Wing fighter and Millennium Falcon are being manufactured by Air Hogs, a company with plenty of experience in remote controlled vehicles -- when we hear anything concrete around pricing and stockists, we'll be sure to let you know.

Barnes & Noble's partnership with Samsung continues with the Galaxy Tab S2 Nook. And, as you've probably guessed, it's simply Samsung's recently announced Galaxy Tab S2 jam-packed with Nook apps. The 8-inch tablet hits Barnes & Noble stores today for $400, though if you've got a B&N membership you can also knock another 10 percent off that price. It's still sad to see the book seller move away from its own tablet hardware, but you could do a lot worse than the Tab S2. It's an incredibly thin and light tablet with a bright quad HD screen (our full review is coming soon). The Tab S2 Nook fills a premium slot for Barnes & Noble, whereas last year's Tab 4 Nooks are more budget-friendly at $150 and $250. You won't really gain much with the Tab S2 Nook variant -- you get three free books from a selection of 20 titles, along with three free magazines and $5 worth of credit. But really, it's a tablet meant for people who are more used to strolling around B&N stores than comparing Android tablets online.

Do you still prefer the feel of pen on paper but need an easy way to catalog your handwritten notes digitally? Wacom's Bamboo Spark will do just what. The product is something the company calls a "smart folio" that uses its digital pen technology to capture the scribbles of a real ink pen on A5 paper (5.83 x 8.27 inches). How does it work exactly? With the help of the Bamboo Spark app on an Android or iOS device, the folio's Electro-Magnetic Resonance board and Bluetooth beam your pen strokes to that trusty mobile device at the push of a button. The Spark can hold up to 100 pages, even while it's in offline mode, and claims up to 8 hours of use before needing to recharge via USB.

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Ricoh Theta S

Ricoh's Theta camera was a novel, but pricey experiment: a stick-shaped camera that took completely spherical stills (and later, video.) There was also the unfortunate problem of spreading a typical point-and-shoot camera resolution over a understandably bigger 360-degree digital canvas, meaning that images were often noisy and low on detail. Ricoh's Theta S camera, which launches globally next month, looks like it'll improve on its predecessor in those areas and more. The new camera roughly doubles the resolution of images it can take over the last Theta camera, and an upgraded f2.0 lens (like the optics found on high-end smartphones) ensuring more light and meaning less noise and less blur. (The results of the last model were often lacking when there wasn't a strong light source.)

In the midst of IFA's volley of tech hardware news, Google Maps has announced a spin-off Street View app that allows you to upload your own spherical photos. Yes, you're now a human Street View car. The app not only lets you shoot photo spheres from your phone but also connect directly to spherical cameras, like Ricoh's Theta camera series. The announcement came alongside the latest Theta camera, which is of course compatible with the new feature. It sounds like Street View will turn into a combination of Google's own photography and crowdsourced spheres.​ Charles Armstrong, Google Maps Product Manager, said the new app will allow "people all over the world to explore user contributions, Google's own imagery, and their own published photo spheres through a seamless world map of landscapes, landmarks, business interiors and more."

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The stethoscope, invented 200 years ago because a French doctor was too embarrassed to put his ear directly against a woman's chest, is finally getting a digital upgrade. A device called the Eko Core, which attaches to a regular stethoscope, has just been approved for medical use by the US FDA. It amplifies and records the sound signals transmitted by the ubiquitous medical devices, then sends the sound waves wirelessly to an iPhone app. From there, doctors can record the waveform and either listen to it later or compare it to a future visit to test the effects of a treatment. It will also be handy as a teaching too for medical students.

NASA has successfully completed a series of tests making sure that the X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT) aircraft can withstand flights up to 130 knots in speed. See, the X-56A isn't your typical aircraft: it's a remote-controlled test model the space agency's using for the development of flexible flight tech, which will be used for lightweight, eco-friendly planes. NASA needs to test the technology extensively, since planes with pliable wings are typically more susceptible to strong winds and vibrations. In fact, this recent round of testing only completed all of the agency's "stiff wing objectives." X-56A 2.0 -- yes, this is the second version, as developer Lockheed Martin already put the first one through the wringer in 2013 and 2014 -- doesn't have its flexible wings yet. Those special airfoils will be attached in the next few months before the aircraft takes off for its first flexi-wing flight in early 2016.

Today on In Case You Missed It: A new golf cart that can drive itself has been designed, complete with a tool to let people schedule pickups and drop-offs. Like *cough* Uber *cough*. A Canadian inventor is showcasing his water hoverboard that we all now want. And we get to toss in a reference to the person who says he just caught a fish with a drone, which is really the point here, friends. Also, motorized tricycles for adults are a thing and a pretty fun looking one at that.

The last year or so has seen Airbnb put a major focus behind design, from its company logo and identity to new apps for phones and tablets. Now, it's putting its attention towards a new platform: wearables. Starting today, the iOS Airbnb app is compatible with the Apple Watch. Fortunately, Airbnb put a lot of thought into what features would make the most sense living on your wrist rather than try and cram the entire experience onto the smallest screen in your life. To that end, the first iteration of Airbnb's Watch app will focus primarily on messaging, so hosts and guests can stay in touch quickly.

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Back when Disney released the first trailer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the characters that caught most people's eye was BB-8. And for good reason: it's an adorable rolling droid. Now, Disney is bringing it to everyone through Sphero, the company known for its connected robotic toys. Meet BB-8 by Sphero, a toy version of the ball-shaped personality you'll see in the next Star Wars episode, which opens in theaters December 18th. Although this droid comes on a smaller scale than the prop introduced at the Star Wars Celebration a few months ago, it is as close to the real thing as you're going to get. Best of all, it is arguably one of the best (and cutest) Star Wars toys to date -- and that's saying a lot.

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As sales of satellite navigation units slowly dry up, TomTom is making the gentle transition into a fitness and wearables company. That's why the firm decided to smash up its existing range of bulky running watches in favor of a ground-up rebuild. The result is that TomTom is launching the Spark, which look pretty much like the previous generation of devices, albeit after a very good diet. The most notable addition to the range this year is Bluetooth music playback, although that's made matters a little more confusing than in previous years.

It won't change your life, but oh boy is this a good time waster. If you scoot across to the Google homepage and type in "fun facts," the search engine will present you with a new type of answer box filled with a curious tidbit or two. The source of that particular knowledge will be listed below, followed by a blue bar with the option to "ask another question." Click that and you'll be presented with yet another random piece of information, with the classic "I'm feeling curious" query in the search field. Is this a new frontier in online productivity? No, but it's an amusing little addition to Google's search engine, and might distract you from the new logo on the homepage (we're still not used to it just yet).

Getting anyone at all interested in a new portable Bluetooth keyboard is quite the feat, but LG has just about managed it with its new, quirky roll-up peripheral. The Rolly, as it's inventively named, is intended for those who want to be a bit more productive with their tablet time, and I've had a brief tinker with it here at IFA. The benefit of having a keyboard that rolls up around its battery, of course, is that it takes up the least amount of space in your backpack. And neat, the Rolly certainly is. The magnets that run down either side of the key grid are no weaklings, keeping the thing tightly wound and generating a satisfying snap as you roll it up.

Okay, what we're seeing here (probably) isn't a bizarre ant ritual passed down from generation to generation, hailing the iPhone as their new queen and overlord. The video's description on YouTube claims the insects acted that way, because they were affected by the "electromagnetic wave of an incoming call." University of New England associate professor Nigel Andrew agrees: "[They] have magnetic receptors in their antennae. If they're travelling long distances they use magnetic cues from the earth to know if they are going north, east, south or west."

The idea behind Philips' Hue Lightstrips was pretty neat: a line of LEDs that change color according to your whims, but suffered in the execution. After all, the hardware couldn't offer white light, so you were forced to shut them down if you weren't in the mood for a splash of color. Then there was the fact that the strips were only two meters long, making it pricey to run them down your dramatic entrance hall or under your kitchen cabinets. That's why the firm has spent the last year working on an upgrade, so please be upstanding for the new Philips Hue Lightstrip... Plus.

Today Samsung is the first company to announce an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, taking the lead in 4K and HDR video. Following up on its big Ultra HD push at CES and the movie streaming/download tech that has arrived in the months since, Samsung is ready to push super high resolution movies (four times the resolution of Blu-ray, and 64 times as many colors) on discs too. There's not much detail available on its new player, although we expect it will cost less than the $1,000 price its first Blu-ray player commanded nearly a decade ago and it should launch early next year. Joining the tech company on its IFA 2015 stage are Fox execs, with president Mike Dunn proclaiming the studio is committed to releasing its slate of upcoming movies in Ultra HD with HDR day-and-date with the Blu-ray and Digital HD releases. That includes Fantastic Four, Maze Runner, Kingsman: The Secret Service and more.

Samsung has just revealed its take on the sleep tracking concept with a new device called SleepSense. Rather than making you wear something on your wrist at night (which is a non-starter for a lot of folks), Samsung proposes that you slip the flat, disk-like device under your mattress, like similar devices from Withings and Misfit. It will then monitor your heart rate, breathing and movement during sleep with a claimed 97 percent accuracy. That information is transmitted to a smartphone app, which gives you an "individual sleep score" based on seven factors, including total sleep time, the number of times you awoke and the percentage of REM sleep.

The next generation of SmartThings hardware is now available after a lengthy delay. Samsung purchased the home automation company just over a year ago, but was optimistic when it said the next-gen hardware would arrive in April. The hub, sensors and app (available on iOS and Android) are now good to go, however, along with developer tools to get other companies on board. The new hub improves on the last version in a couple of key ways. It no longer needs an internet cloud connection to function, and can run autonomously for 10 hours on a battery if the power is cut.

Phantom 3

DJI pleased Phantom owners recently when it announced that much-needed autopilot features would be coming to its most popular series of quadcopters, and the Inspire 1. Today, we learn when (September 7th) and how (via a good ole' firmware update). The new flight features include Waypoints (map out a path in advance, and the quad will follow it), Point of Interest (the quad flies around a set object with the camera remaining fixed on it) and Follow Me (you can guess what that does -- only coming to Phantom 3, not Inspire 1). There are also two features specific for the Phantom 3 Standard which make it easier to fly the quadcopter back to you should you lose your orientation -- these are already available on DJI's other craft. Finally, Phantom 3 Advance owners get a nice bonus, with the addition of a 2.7K (2704x1520) camera recording option -- a solid bump up from 1080p.

Samsung presumably has spilled the beans on its new Galaxy Note phones already. And it has a new smartwatch. And a new tablet. But there's a hall full of baying tech journalists. We're sure Samsung has more to tell us. You can watch it all go down right here. The show starts here in an hour at 11AM CEST here in Berlin, which translates to an early bird 5AM ET. Get your Nespresso or Keurig pod at the ready, because it's Samsung and it likely has an Internet of Things to talk about. You'll be able to watch on UStream or Samsung's YouTube channel.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.