The International CES is the industry's largest educational forum to help companies expand their businesses and understand new technology. Approximately 200 sessions and 500 expert speakers encompass International CES conference tracks and SuperSessions to discuss hot industry trends and topics. Keynote addresses feature executives from the world's largest and most successful companies and result in remarkable media coverage for the speakers. CEOs rank the CES as one of their top 10 most desired speaking opportunities, according to a Burson-Marsteller Most Valued Podium survey.
This week, we're back in Vegas and ready to talk tech! Eric Palonen from Denon Professional and Marantz Professional premieres two products: a business body camera and a multi-platform screen streaming platform.
This week, Avram Piltch discusses some of his favorite experiences from CES 2015. Whether it be a watch that can help you secure your computer and property to a mini computer from Intel, Avram saw it all.
While wireless earbuds are not a new concept, they traditionally have a cable that runs between left and right, making them not truly wireless. Fortunately, HearNotes is here to fix that problem, without sacrificing sound quality.
Jamie Davis, The Podmedic, spoke with founder and CEO Patrick Donohue about what inspired the product and what sets these earbuds apart from others on the market. When they release this spring, HearNotes will bring a serious challenge to the wireless headphone market.
Using Kleer® wireless technology, HearNotes is capable of producing sound quality above that of standard Bluetooth headphones while removing the connecting wire between ears.
"We're cutting all the wires - not just from your earbuds to your device, but also from ear to ear," said Patrick Donohue, Founder and CEO, HearNotes. "The revolutionary technology and design enhances your music, your way: the songs you love, wirefree, streaming in crystal clear high fidelity with a new standard of mobility and freedom so you can finally cut loose."
Over the past few years, portable projectors have become more popular, but most of them run on small LEDs, not capable of producing enough light to make them useful. Brilens changes that, with the first Laser-powered portable projector.
Don Baine, The Gadget Professor talks with the team about this projector, which offers 50,000 hours of life on a Texas Instrument DLP display with up to 3800 lumens of power. While the output is 720p, the image quality seemed to take full advantage of every pixel. You can feed video into the projector with almost any consumer connector, making it easy to use with most devices. You can pick up one of these projectors right now for $999.
Don Baine, The Gadget Professor speaks to FoneBud about their multipurpose power bank. To call it that, however, is an understatement, as the device can do so much more. In addition to providing power to your devices, it is a Bluetooth handset, allowing you to talk on the phone while it is charging without getting all caught up in cables. It is a selfie button, which can trigger your phone's camera feature via Bluetooth. It can alert you when you have gotten too far away from your phone. It even has a self-contained flashlight.
While it is not available today, the FoneBud should be available during the first quarter, meaning you won't have to wait long to find out just how useful this little device could be.
If you're trying to sell an electronic item you own, there are a lot of ways to do it. However, if you have ever tried, you know that it is incredibly easy to get lost in the mass of listings, and you have to do it the way the marketplace wants you to.
On the buying side, obviously you have the same capabilities: if you care about price, you can list that you are interested in buying, including your price. If you are interested in speed, you can browse listings for people who are currently trying to sell one.
Even better, you have the ability, as both a seller and buyer, to limit your activity to your local area or national. So, why trade your device in for, at best, 50% of its value when you could sell on beZilch for a price of your choosing?
There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers on the market, which is why it was refreshing to see the unique things aiFi is doing with theirs. Not only can you use a single one like a traditional speaker, but you can combine them to add functionality.
Whether you are looking for portability, music or television, there is a configuration for you. Odd numbers of speakers act like a soundbar, adding virtualized surround, while even numbers add depth through enhanced bass. Stack them speakers into both configurations to get both capabilities. The added range is endless.
Using induction and an internal computer system, the speakers can determine their position and configuration, and even pass the sound from the main speaker to its partners; no need to any wires or special connectors.
The speakers are not available retail yet, but you can pick them up on Indiegogo right now, or wait for them to hit store shelves this may.
Child-Angel - A GPS Tracking Bracelet Your Kid Will Want to Wear
Many products come from a personal problem, and Child-Angel is no exception. When the creator's child was lost for a short while in a shopping center, it got his mind going. He gathered a tech team and a design team to put together his idea to protect other families from the same panic he experienced.
Running on traditional GPS, Wi-Fi location and GSM, Child-Angel keeps track of your kid at all times. You can also setup geofences to alert you when they have gone somewhere they aren't supposed to go. More importantly, the kid can trigger an alert if they are uncomfortable, simply by opening up the back part of the band.
The problem with many trackers is that they are not something that kids want to wear. Child-Angel solves this problem by making it more like a bracelet, with customizable covers that can be snapped on at will without exposing the electronics. Now, when they wake up, they can choose to wear a princess, racecar driver, or anything in between.
Connected Cycle Keep Track of Your Bike, Whether You Are on It or Not
Connected Cycle is a bike pedal that connects to an existing bicycle that helps you keep track of the location of your bike. If you are riding it, it will keep track of your path and let you know things like distance traveled and calories burned. If you are not with the bike, it will alert you that the bike is in motion and allow you to keep track of where it has gone.
With a built-in internet connection, you never have to worry that it will be too far out of range to alert you of position. You can even bike without your phone and still log your route. It is especially important for keeping track of theft.
One of the really great things about the pedal is that it never needs to be externally charged. Using the motion produced by biking, the pedal is able to charge itself whenever it is in motion. The product is not yet available, but they will be launching a crowd funding campaign in the coming months.
One of the problems with gaming is how easy it is to lose your sense of immersion. When your television is across the room, no matter the size, it is easy to get distracted by other things in the room. That is the problem Catopsys is trying to solve with Immersis.
This 180 degree projector can scan your room and turn half of it into a fully immersive video experience. Any game can be easily adapted to passively support the wrap-around projection, but that is just the beginning. If the product catches on, developers can begin to take advantage of the extended real estate for extending the gameplay, not just the environment.
The product is not yet available, though they are running a Kickstarter campaign where you can get quite a discount on the MSRP. If you are a game developer or a really hardcore gamer, this might be the next gaming accessory you need.
Keeping score and tracking stats is one of the least fun parts of playing a sport. If you're not careful, arguments can break out (we've all been there, right?). Luckily, if you play tennis, iSet is the watch to solve that problem.
The watch can pair with another watch, allowing each competitor to track their score and sync up with the other player's watch. If only one player has the watch, no problem, you can still control the counter yourself for both sides.
In addition to pairing with one another, you can also pair with a phone, allowing you to share your score live with the accompanying app. If you are not at the field, you can follow along remotely with the app on your own phone. Players can use the data to keep track of their stats, comparing scores against the same competitor, on certain dates, etc. Coming later this year, this is the watch for serious tennis enthusiasts.
Juiceboxx is Here to Save Your Expensive Macbook Power Supply
Apple fans and haters alike can agree on one thing: the MacBook power block is a disaster. Almost everyone who owns a MacBook, or knows someone with out, has witnessed the untimely death of one of these powerblocks because of fraying or breaking. Luckily, Juiceboxx is here to rescue you!
The product is a cover of sorts for your MacBook power supply, which uses a trumpet design to keep the power cable from bending over sideways in your bag; the most common cause of the problem. In addition, the case gives you the ability to customize your block to match your computer bag, your outfit or your personality.
Estimated to ship in early February, you can preorder your Juiceboxx right now for only $19.99 in one of 6 colors, available for 3 different models. If you have a MacBook, this is a must have for you.
OIO Brings the Amp to Protect Your Ears and Tablet
If you are concerned about the safety of your tablet and the quality of your audio, then OIO might just have a case for you: the Amp. One part tablet case, two parts Bluetooth speaker, the Amp can turn any room into a party while maintaining stereo audio separation.
The internal battery gives up to 7 hours of playtime, allowing you to work through the day or watch several movies or television episodes. In addition to the speakers, the case includes a stand designed for 2 different angles: a high angle for watching video and a low angle for onscreen typing.
Phonotonic - A Strangely Shaped Digital Musical Instrument
At CES, there are a few categories that products fall into, like productivity or wearables. One of my personal favorites, however, is the truly odd and wonderful, which describes Phonotonic. This product is a honeycomb-shaped object that, when paired with a phone, allows you to create music.
With a single item, you are able to create lead. By adding a second item, you can add rhythm. It is all accomplished through motion sensors, like accelerometers, paired with an app that is able to translate those motions into sounds. Softer motions produce softer sounds; harder motions create more intense sounds.
After seeing the product from a distance, I was skeptical. Nicolas Rasamimanana, founder and CEO demonstrated their usage, however, and completely changed my mind. The product is currently available only in France for 80 euros, but will be coming to the rest of the world soon.
Digital and physical security has become quite a major topic, especially with issues like the Sony Pictures and iCloud hacks. So, how do you ensure security in a time when the rest of the world wants in?
SmartSafe believes they can help with their combination physical and biometric security watch. The watch is activated via biometric scan and can then be used to unlock computers, doors or any other system capable of accepting the watch's commands.
One of the big problems with physical password keys, such as USB managers, is that once they leave the possession of the owner, the security is breached. With SmartSafe, however, once the watchband is broken, the authorization is broken as well and has to be reauthenticated via biometrics. The watch also ensures that the watch is being worn and the wearer is alive, meaning that you can't steal the watch through other means.
The watch will hopefully hit the market this year, with a varying pricepoint based on number purchased, as it is not intended directly to consumer.
One of the major problems with small, portable keyboards is that creators keep trying to reinvent the keyboard layout. We've seen this type of keyboard at Gulf Coast MakerCon, but it will be difficult to convince people to learn a new keyboard paradigm.
TREWGrip has figured out a way to provide small portability, without the need to retrain your brain. A portable Bluetooth, QWERTY keyboard that holds your phone, phablet or mini tablet, this device has split and rotated the keys on a traditional keyboard to allow touch typists to transition quickly, while giving the ability for visual typists to see what they are doing.
Finally, a mobile keyboard for a mobile workforce that works for anyone. Launching this Spring, you can pre-order yours today at Prelaunch.
Vievu may be known for their wearable first responder cameras, but recently the company discovered that other markets are interested in the same general capabilities, without the need for the security features. That is where their new camera, Viewvu Squared comes in.
Perfect for bus drivers, construction workers, etc., this camera can record video up to 1080p, stream live via Wi-Fi and even transfer the videos directly to a phone, which allows you to share them without needing to plug it into a full computer.
Voiceboard Brings Gesture and Intuitive Speech Controls to Presentations
Being involved with TEDxTampaRiverwalk, one things I can say for sure - controlling a presentation is difficult. Whether it be an inability or unwillingness to know the presentation, fumbling with the buttons on a controller, or needing to move around more than just a slide at a time, presentation software and hardware are not friendly.
Enter Voiceboard, a new way to think about presentations. With Kinect-style voice controls and a ring-powered gesture system, a presenter can focus less on the slides and more on their presentation. You can skip through slides with the wave of a hand or even go to particular slides using your voice. No more hoping the button advanced to the right slide, or peering back over your shoulder to see if you're in the right place.
If you are a regular presenter, either in a conference room or on a stage, Voiceboard is certainly something to consider adding to your presentation kit. It is available now for $599 and comes with the software, gesture ring and headset for voice control.
Zofie Aims to Personalize Your Workout Equipment Quickly and Easily
Keeping to a fitness routine that works can be hard; the only thing harder is starting a new routine. I never know what I should be doing, and know almost nothing about how a particular machine works, or how best to take advantage of it. That is where the Zofie system comes in.
Using fuzzy logic and Kinect sensors, the machines can recognize you and provide a workout based on you. It even takes into account your activities at any given moment, and tailors the experience accordingly. The given example, on a treadmill, the track came move faster or slower, as well as change the incline, based on your heart rate. It can even suggest alterations to your posture if you move too far out of a safe zone.
The technology is currently being implemented in fitness equipment, so expect to see it showing up in a fitness center near you.
Altec Lansing Creates a Range of Almost Indestructible Bluetooth Speakers
Altec Lansing has long been known for their mid- to high-end audio products, but recently the company has been expanding their product lineup, bringing their brand and quality to consumer products. This year, the company is expanding their lineup of Bluetooth speakers.
The products, mostly known for their "Jacket" branding, are waterproof, shockproof, and in some cases bulletproof, fireproof and bombproof. The product line ranges from $39 to $149 and many are available today.
In addition to physical quality, these speakers also offer Altec Lansing's well-known sound quality. Even the small speaker, at only $39, sounds great and can still withstand quite a beating.
Businessfriend - A Business-Oriented Social Network with a Purpose
When it comes to the world of social networks, purpose is not necessarily a requirement. LinkedIn is good for finding a job, I guess. Facebook is good for... I'm really not sure what. But, in recent months, that trend is changing. Ello was created to rebel against advertising, but that isn't exactly a purpose, at least not for the user.
Businessfriend is a social network with a true purpose, though. Created to help people collaborate with their colleagues and favorite brands, Businessfriend offers a number of personal and business-related features missing from any single platform.
For example, their Instant feature is a chat platform that allows you to keep your content private. No message boxes popping up when a new message comes in, making your private business public. There's also the DigiDex, an organized contact list filled with your direct contacts and the companies you are connected to.
In addition to the unique takes on common features, Businessfriend also offers cloud features. You can share files through the system in a way that is controllable. You can revoke access to files and folders at will, and know that the content has been secured. You can also organize your content into Notebooks, making it easier to find.
It is definitely a platform worth trying out, currently available on web, iOS and Android, with Windows Phone currently in development.
We often find products at CES that are newsworthy, but it is not often that we find a display technology that is worth talking about. The technology behind the display at the Altec Lansing booth, presented by PM Screen was certainly an exception to that rule. In fact, it was their display that caused us to stop and interview Altec Lansing in the first place.
The display featured 3 of the company's new Bluetooth speakers being emphasized by fire and water, showing off the speaker's fireproof and waterproof capabilities. What was interesting about the display, however, is that it was all created with 3D projections.
In addition to the small screen presented at CES, the company's technology is capable of scaling to large surfaces, too. In fact, they were responsible for a 12 projector setup on the ice hockey rink at the ice hockey world championship opening ceremony, whose video is available on their website. This is a truly interesting technology with wonderful potential. I look forward to seeing the places they find to implement it in the US and abroad.
Polaroid Brand to Release a Set of Android Handsets
Polaroid is obviously a company known for their camera technology. As standalone cameras have become a smaller market, it was time for Polaroid to find new outlets for their cameras. As most people tend to use their phone as their primary camera, this was a natural place to explore.
The new Polaroid Android phones, shown off at CES 2015, might not revolutionize the industry, but they could certainly carve out a nice niche for themselves. Both handsets offer a 5.5" screen and claim stock Android. Included on the handsets is a Polaroid photo app that simulates the experience of using a Polaroid Instant camera of days gone by.
The Selfie, which has an octa-core processor and a 13MP camera, has the ability to flip the camera around, allowing you to take a selfie or use Skype with the full power of the camera. The Flip, the lower-priced handset of the pair, is a quad-core phone with an 8MP camera that does not, as the name would suggest, offer the flip camera.
Both handsets will be available this Spring unlocked for $199 and $179 respectively from various retailers.
In terms of Windows tablets, Microsoft's Surface series is definitely the one to challenge if you are a manufacturer. Manufacturers seem to agree, as this CES showed us a collection of tablets trying to enter that space.
One of the brands throwing their hat into that ring is Southern Telecom, a company that usually builds products under licensed brands, but has their own tablet for the market. Running an Intel Atom processor and 32GB of internal storage, this guy isn't headed for the Pro 3's territory, but it could certainly do some damage in the abandoned Surface RT space.
With the ability to run full applications, which the RT models were not, it makes this computer far more usable. With a price point of $249, with the keyboard included, it even undercuts the RT models by more than half. Unfortunately, what the Surface has going for it is the easily removable and attachable keyboard, while this keyboard is not nearly as easy to attach or remove. For some users, however, this won't be a killer. Take a look and decide for yourself.
AspectSolar Brings the Power, in Several Different Form Factors
When it comes to solar power, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. However, if you're looking for a company that makes a broad range of products to fit your varying needs, then you may want to give AspectSolar a bit more attention.
AspectSolar had several interesting things to show off at the International CES. First, the company's turnkey solution and entry to solar is the DuoFlex 2. It's a 13-watt panel that is flexible and made with monocrystalline silicone. What that means is that if one panel breaks, the unit will keep working, only at less power. The unique design of the DuoFlex 2 is what makes it special. Several zippers and loops allow you to configure the device however you want. And for $179, you can pick up a DuoFlex 2 and a 10,000 MaH battery today.
The other product that has me excited is the Power Rack. Its batteries are not the standard lithium-polymer and instead use LiPO4, making the unit weigh almost 40% lighter than its competitors, under 60 pounds. The batteries, of which there are five, are all 300 watt-hours, pushing a total output of 1000 watts in order to replicate the most natural A/C output possible. You can also pair it with two slave units to be up to 4,500 watt-hours total. The Power Rack will launch later this year at $2,500.