PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Native Realities: Everything You Love About Being a Nerd, All in One Place

2017-06-10

After conducting this interview, the crew and myself had to add a new word to our vocabulary: Indiginerd; a lover of indigenous nerd and pop culture.

Created out of a love for comics, all things pop culture and the belief that there was not a substantial or accurate representation of Native and indigenous people, Native Realities was born. Their goal? To entertain, and educate adults and children alike. The company publishes several books, available in print or digitally, from Native creators and starring Native and Indigenous characters with future plans to branch out into games and animated projects. This interview was a breath of fresh air for me. Being an avid comic reader, I was always disheartened with the knowledge that there were only a handful of books that had actual Native characters in them. However, for every one that was written in a real and believable way, there were two that were basically joke characters. It warms my heart to see something like this exist in today's world.

In addition to the many things this company has coming down its respective pipeline, they are also gearing up for their second Indigenous Comic Con which will be held on November 10th through 12th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Please check these guys out, and to find out more about this great company, or to just go and let your Indiginerd flag fly, you can find them here.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Love Story Time? Here's a Fantastic Solution So You Never Have to Miss It

2017-06-10

One of the most wonderful things in this world to do is to read to a child. Nothing can match seeing their sweet faces light up as they enjoy the stories and learn more and more about the world around them. It's a very special bonding time for both the adult and the child.

Some are in a situation where their work keeps them traveling. Or sometimes Grandma lives far away and wishes she could be there for more story times. Luckily, Caribu came along to offer an amazing solution. Caribu is a mobile app that brings story time to you no matter where you are. They have wonderful picture books from the best children's publishers that are just one click away in their bookshop. They make it so easy to be engaged and enchanted anywhere, at any time by incorporating a video chat along with the pages of the book so the kids can follow along when you are reading, pictures and all, just like at home. And they have fun learning and coloring activities that you can do together, as well.

Our team is super excited about this ingenious tech and we can't wait to use it with our own family members. Find out more and download the app, which is available for iOS and Android, here.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

For The Love Of That Little, Independent Coffee Spot

2017-06-10

Coffee in an important part of the day for a lot of us. And although some are content with making a quick pot at home, so many more love grabbing a cup from a coffee shop. Whether it's through the drive thru or going inside where they can smell the fresh ground beans and bakery items and to feel the camaraderie of their java partners in crime, they love it all. Sometimes the bigger chains don't offer the best brew or experience, but it's not always easy to find a really good independent coffee shop and even harder to get the perks that come with the big chains. Well, JoJo is aiming to make it a lot easier.

JoJo is an app that allows you to search for great independent coffee shops in your area. They also take suggestions to be added to the app if your favorite spot hasn't yet made the list. It also allows you to order ahead and pay through the app. Not only that... you can earn perks. Earn 2 Beans for every dollar you spend on JoJo, collect 120 Beans and get a $5 JoJo Reward. You'll get a great cup of Jo from a barista that is passionate about their craft, great perks, and patron some of the best mom and pop establishments around.

The app is currently available at the Apple App Store, and is coming soon on Google Play. Sign up now and get your first $5 perk.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Best Color Choices When Makeup is Your Everything

2017-06-09

We are inspired by the colors and styles that are around us every day. They help us express who we are. Mime is the company that can help you discover the shades that you want just by downloading their new app, Flawless Makeup. Mime did their homework so that all you need to do is take a picture of a desired color whether it's a shade on a flower, a color of a wall, or even the makeup on the model in your favorite magazine. Flawless Makeup lets you select the shade you want in the image and then matches it with the same color from 26 thousand sources of inventory found in 150 different brands.

Mime wants to get the chance to get to know your personal style and they do this by asking a few personality and preference questions upon starting the app so that they can give you recommendations based on what you like. They also give you the opportunity to filter through different categories, brands, and prices. You can find the best trends by browsing the app categorized by special occasions like weddings, girl's night out, staying in, etc. There are even collaborations with celebrity makeup artists to show off the latest trends, styles, brands, and colors.

You can download Flawless Makeup now through iOS and Android. Learn more about Mime and their vision for beauty by going to their website.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Fascinate Your Customers by Introducing them to Awesome VR

2017-06-09

The world of tech is enhancing our lives on a daily basis. Businesses are able to attract customers in new ways, while at the same time making it easier for them to browse through and purchase their products. And now, the design and architecture industries are also able to jump on the tech bandwagon to attract and amaze their clients.

Morfus is an enterprise solution VR company for interior designers and architects. They transform 3D models and 2D floor plans into a VR showcase for mobile phones. Bringing this technology to existing phones makes it available to many more firms, as well as their clients, as they will not have to invest in expensive hardware in order to view the designs. Once rendered, they can be viewed on any smart phone. Also, each project generates its own unique mobile app, so the firm's customers can download the apps on their own devices as well.

It opens up so many possibilities as clients will be able to virtually walk through the designs. This provides a much better sense of the space available with heights and dimension, the ability to go from room to room, even see the landscaping and views. They bring the plans to life so much more than a model or 360˚ photo. They also make is simple to use. Although they are compatible with Google Cardboard, they also have their own system for moving around the showcase that will work with any Bluetooth controller for Android or iOS.

As the company expands, they are looking forward to introducing their own design apps for interior decorating that include allowing users to create their own rooms and incorporating furniture and other home goods stores in the process. So you'll be able to drag and drop actual pieces into the design and purchase the items right from the app.

To learn more, check out their website for demos and contact information.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

You Can Earn Free Travel While You are Sleeping!

2017-06-09

Everyone loves to travel. Now you can travel for free with WishPoints. It is an app that allows you to upload your travel photos as a postcard and recommendations for cool places to visit or restaurants to enjoy. You then share them with your friends and they respond to your postcards. The better you are at recommending places, the faster you get your points.

It is like Tinder for travel. You swipe right for "yes", and left , meaning "been there, left there" and swipe down for "not now." As the swipes add up that you get, the possibility of discounts from airlines. The Reward Points are listed in four categories. First is the Experience points which is something or somewhere that you have seen or been to. The second one is Discovery points which is the number of places you upload. The third one is Influence points, which is the number of places your friends want to go because of your recommendations. The fourth is Trust points which are key words that you put in that people agree with.

The app is up and running now. It is also free to sign up.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Astonishing Advertising That Can Morph With the Weather

2017-06-08

The advertising world has remained mostly u changed for a long time. While outdoor advertising has added digital billboards, in addition to traditional, and screens now line sidewalks and bus stops in cities like New York and London, what we see on these screens is mostly static images that rotate. Liveposter is looking to change that, however.

This creative company creates advertising that is capable of adjusting itself to external factors. For example, a department store might want to sell swimsuits and towels on a bright and sunny day, but coats and umbrellas on rainy days. By incorporating weather data into the advertising platform, Liveposter is capable of creating advertising to accomplish that exact goal. They can also use machine vision to identify people or object, like a car's make and model, to adjust marketing to a particular brand's owner.

The company has a few offices in strategic cities to have maximum efficiency for their clients. To find out more about the company, check out their website.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Swap is an Awesome and Easy Way to Connect on Social Media

2017-06-08

Social media accounts have become part of everyday life. And many of us tend to use multiple apps, like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. So when we meet new people, it can be a bit of a hassle to connect with them on every platform.

Swap is a new app that aims to solve this problem for us. When joining Swap, users set up a profile that consists of how to connect with all of their social media accounts, as well as email addresses and phone numbers. When you meet someone new, you choose which specific platforms to share with that person and then generate a Swap Code, which is a QR Code that they scan to instantly connect with you on all of your media accounts at once. Not only is this great when making new friends, but even more valuable in a networking sense. A Swap Code can be added to business cards, web sites, storefront windows, promotional items and so much more.

Swap is also a social media platform in itself. The app can pull in recent posts from Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to compile into Swap Stories. There is also a preview feature which allows you to see an entire feed from a social media account.

Download the app now from the Apple App Store and start Swapping.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tech Barriers are Becoming a Thing of the Past for Translators

2017-06-08

If you're an American company trying to launch your product or service in Japan, chances are that you don't speak their language. That's the purpose of Lingoly. It provides a website platform for translators to have a successful online business with those in need of being able to communicate with people of other countries without working for a third party.

For users, the templates are mobile-ready. If you have an HTML background, you can upload images and typeface and customize it. For the customer, there are marketing strategies available to help them market their website. It is available for 60 languages. Customers can translate different kinds of things such as legal and medical documents and even audio. Their rates are very competitive with the monthly fee starting at $12.00.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Engage Your Employees Easily with MeetingPulse

2017-06-07

It's important for employees to feel involved in the company they work for. Usually the decision-making is left up to the powers that be and the employees feel inadequate and left out. MeetingPulse is there to help the employees be more engaged in the meeting itself.

The premise is to have a pre-meeting to a web-based URL . The people on the team receive the link and can take a poll regarding perhaps some things that were discussed at the last meeting. Some of these can be discussing points made at the previous meeting or questions they may have. This is to pre-engage them for the upcoming meeting. Their answers can be hidden until they come into the meeting, or they can see the answers to the poll in advance. The information received through these polls can change the entire flow or reason for the meeting in the first place.

This is available now and has several different models, starting with a trial plan for a week to see if this fits in with your business all the way up to a large-based plan for large companies that meet with several hundred people at the same time. These larger plans have more developed features. This service is easy to use and very convenient for your phone. Base price starts at $79.00 a month.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

AI, Robotics and Augmented Reality Collide in the Amazing New Game Chancellor of the Universe!

2017-06-07

Are you a fan of table top games? Do you love video games? Are you a robot enthusiast? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then Chancellor of the Universe is the game for you!

Brought to life by the minds of Brave New World, Chancellor of the Universe is the first game to combine robotics, AI and board games. You play as a new hire who works for the Chancellor, but you aren't just set on staying in your meager position, no, you have bigger dreams, dreams like overthrowing the Chancellor (and anyone else standing in your way) so that you can be the one true Chancellor of the Universe! The game comes with a game board and mini robot that will move around the board, give out tasks, and even berate the players on occasion. The only thing you need to do after that is to download the app to any phone or tablet, and you'll be ready to go. Currently still in the Alpha stage (looking for a 2018 release) the game boast from one to four players, with future plans of extending that number to eight. The company also plans to create different shells for the robot, so other AI games can be played using the AI interface as well.

All in all, if you are a fan of Sci-Fi, games or gadgets this is the game for you. So you can play solo, play as a team, or double cross everyone else at the table so you become the sole, and one true Chancellor of the Universe!

For more info, visit their website.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tech Education from CodeCrew is Uplifting for Minorities

2017-06-07

A major problem in the under-represented groups in cities is not being exposed to technology in any form. CodeCrew is a non-profit out of Memphis that teaches children to write software. What started as a summer camp in 2015, has grown to educating kids in middle school and high school with after school and in-school programs having 200 kids a week attend.

The in-school offers programs 4-5 days a week and a grade is earned as an elective class. The after-school program is once a week for 90 minutes a week on a semester basis. Some of the exciting things for them to learn are mobile apps, websites, programming drones and video game development. In middle school there is a comprehensive introduction to computer science with a focus on web development with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The high school level teaches JavaScript and Python for a semester each. The idea in reaching the under-represented groups will create diversity in businesses, and having that, will be 35% more financially beneficial. Businesses need diversity.

The programs are currently offered in Memphis and have hopes to expand to New Orleans.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

TechGirl Leads Young Women to Be A Powerful Force in Technology

2017-06-06

Imagine being a young female with a lot of great ideas for starting up a company and you cannot get someone to listen to you because of who you are-a female. Enter TechGirl, whose mission it is to connect those young females, those technology entrepreneurs, with a network of specialty advisers and mentorships to help them launch their start-up companies. Its founder, Jennifer DeReyes, shared a story about how her passion for this company was formed. She was at an IBM conference with her 8 year old daughter and upon being asked what she noticed about the room filled with 20,000 people, her daughter replied "Where are the women? I see all men." TechGirl wants to change that gender gap.

They have a network of internal resources that include advisers in finance, marketing, and development who are looking for girls who have the biggest and brightest ideas to help to bring them into the STEM Pipeline. The best way is to get them early, as young as elementary school and expose them to STEM and into the pipeline and then into the Incubation Lab that they can successfully launch their product. During this process they work with advisers and mentors in finance and marketing for about a year to help bring their product or service to fruition. In doing this, they will come out on the other end ready to manage a company, a benefit not available without TechGirl. You can be a mentor or a mentee.

This service is based in Philadelphia and California. The app will launch in November 2017.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Exciting New Way to Share Your Experiences with Trupe

2017-06-06

Trupe is a new social media app for sharing pics, experiences and comments. What could possibly be different about this new app to set it apart from all of the others, you ask? Well, this one actually has a unique component that is pretty cool.

Trupe is a narrowcasting network. It uses an open platform and links users within a certain proximity of each other. It's a great way to share certain experiences with others around you, to expand upon and enhance them with added photos, videos, comments and suggestions that are shared by those who are in the same 100 meter zone. And those zones are fluid, as users move around so do the zones. Each group is knows as a Trupe.

For example, the creators of the app started a Trupe right there at the convention center. Anybody in the area with the app could join the Trupe and share content. As users move around, the app will concentrate on those who are sharing the most content. So in this case, as attendees went to social events after hours, the content continued on to those locations. If you end up out of range, you will become a Snuper, which allows you to still view the content and make comments, but not upload pictures, until you are back in range. The Trupes will stay active as long as least two members are in the same proximity. When there are no longer two Trupers sharing the same zone, that session will end and the content within will stay active for 24 hours, giving everyone involved the chance to save the pictures and videos that they want to keep.

We thought this app was a lot of fun and came up with countless ideas for both the open groups, which are free to use, and the private groups that are available at a premium. Trupes can be opened at office settings, colleges, conventions, sporting events, concerts, weddings and even during vacations.

Trupe is currently available for iOS and will be coming soon for Android.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Your Time is Important to theCut

2017-06-06

In this age, we are all busy. When a man wants to get a haircut, he usually walks into a barbershop and sits down and waits to be called. With theCut, he can book an appointment, pay for it and even tip at the touch of a button. This is a mobile app made for barbers and barbershops. It eliminates the need for carrying cash and the frustration of not being allowed to use your card or having to make a run to the ATM.

Since barbershops have evolved into a total grooming centers, they do more than just cut hair and shave your face. This app allows the business to list all of their services available to their clients and promote those that they specialize in, such as fades or shaves. In turn, the customer can search for a specific barber that offers the specialty service that they are needing, and thereby filtering out those that don't offer what they want. There is also the capability for the client to leave reviews.

This app is currently being marketed to New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland and Los Angeles. It is ready to go now for barbers nationwide.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Seeking a Real Love Match? Engage Your Entourage for the Best!

2017-06-04

It's getting to the point where dating apps are almost a dime a dozen anymore. But if you are looking for an app that completely sets itself apart from the rest, look no further than The Set-up.

What makes this dating app different, you ask? It's really quite simple. The Set-up incorporates a Sounding Board into the decision making process. Everyone on the site will have the Sounding Board of their choosing, which consists of 2-5 people. So you can have your best friend, a cousin, co-worker, parent or even your adult children involved in the decision making process. There are also added security features built in. These features include background checks, actual camera photos (not just some stock photo from 10 years ago) and even video chats so that you can get to know the person somewhat before that first date and know more of who to expect.

The way this works is that when two daters choose each other, their information is then sent to each others Sounding Board, who votes yay or nay... and majority rules. So if your board doesn't agree that it would be a good match, no connection is made. This gives each match the unique perspective that only those who know you best can provide.

The app is scheduled to launch in August of this year and will be available on iOS, Android and on the web. The basic app will be free with some features available for a premium. We find this to be such a cool and fresh approach to typical and stale online dating and we are looking forward to keeping track of their progress as it hits the market.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Convenient Fitness Right At Your Fingertips with upace

2017-06-04

Sometimes attending the gym on a normal basis can add some unnecessary stress when you don't want to deal with a crowded workout with the equipment taken. Luckily, the new application, upace has the answer for that very issue! upace allows you to find the right time to go to the gym by informing you on occupancy levels in real time per gym to see which gyms are crowded. You can also use this app to book a reservation with your friends for a group fitness class or using machine cardio equipment that you could feel committed to.

upace is great for the average gym goer but is also useful for the fitness facilities, as well. The admin side of this app involves tools to help the facility engage, communicate, and receive data from the members. Rec centers can easily bring in more traffic and use this gathered data to see the busiest hours, equipment used and checked out, and gain insight to efficiency in the facility. upace also provides different member app platforms depending on the needs of the center.

Keep rec centers connected to the members by downloading upace on iOS. Pricing includes an annual licensing fee that is custom to the facility. Find out more by going to their website.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

It's Fascinating How TRAVOD Gets Language From Here to There

2017-06-04

Travod, a global translations and localization company, helps their clients reach a broader market, and grow by providing language services for any specific need. They assist with any type of content or platform that the client requires. They know first hand that it's not just translating from language to language, but also how important it is to keep the context and cultural nuances in mind.

With a staff of over 25,000 translators worldwide, each with a minimum of 5 years of experience in their particular field (legal, IT, medical, etc.), they offer better accuracy at an affordable rate. Anything thing from websites to contracts, technical documents to spec sheets. And they can handle your project from end to end. So if you need, say, a pamphlet or brochure translated into another language for distribution in that country, they will not only translate it but also complete the set up in the same format.

They currently have proficiency in over 100 languages and have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer a response time of 20 minutes, no matter what time of day or night you contact them.

You can get more information, or a quote by visiting their website here.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Get the Most in and out of Your Important Links with BudUrl

2017-06-04

Here at PLuGHiTz Live, we generate a lot of links for our various articles, interviews, events and shows. It's how we get our viewers additional information and purchase opportunities in a simple, concise manner. Journalists, bloggers and businesses create these links everyday.

BudUrl is taking these links to the next level by creating intelligent links with their unique and sophisticated link management system. They ingrain valuable insights into every link. Things like the topic, participants, locations and more. Not only does it give the recipients all of this information, but the originator can then get important statistics back. This creates important audience insights to help better understand not only how many clicks are generated, but which links performed the best.

Features include branded short links, advanced analytics, dynamic optimization and also support in an easy to use and secure platform. You are also able to customize and integrate your favorite platforms.

Check out this interview, as well as their website for more specifics.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Innovative New Tech Assists with Safety on the Road

2017-06-04

Sometimes when we interview a new start up, we can't help but get a sense of wow as we learn the technical aspects of the new tech they are implementing. We definitely got that sense when we spoke to Steven with BlyncSync.

BlyncSync is a wearable system that combines smart glasses, smart watches and your smart phone to help solve a huge problem within the transportation industry... fatigue. The glasses, which can be retrofitted to include your prescription or transition lenses, measures blink rate and head tilt while the watch tracks sleep stage data. The focus here is on prevention. As the devices learn your specific mannerisms, users will be informed of the best times and durations for driving. And the notifications can be customized and received via the watch, phone, tablet or even notify, say, a drivers manager. This system can also be used as a liability defense mechanism as it will incorporate the various laws and regulations that the transportation industry has in place.

This new innovation in IoT is very intriguing and has possibilities well beyond the range of truck drivers. All drivers could have a use for this. Especially teens, taxi/limo/ride share companies, etc. We are really excited to see how this idea that came from a college project will be received as it hits the market.

The developers are currently collecting data for integration into the system. They are planning on getting to the beta stage later this year with a projected product availability in 2018. To learn more, visit their web site here or find them on social media.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Your Business Can Benefit from Enterprise Solutions

2017-06-04

If you want your small business to have all of the same Human Resources opportunities that enterprise level software provides to large companies, HR Cloud has the answer for you. Their new app, Workmates, creates an internal social network for you and your employees with features that can help to drive your organization from a cultural standpoint.

The platform is able to easily integrate with information from other, existing environments that you are already using like Google, Microsoft Office, ADP and more to make your business more robust. Just think of the possibilities as you increase engagement, recognition & productivity and all in an intuitive format that your employees will love.

Additional features are available as you need them. For example, there is an employee recognition product called Kudos, as well as features for new hire on boarding and Human Resources functionalities. The Workmates app is free and the cost of the additions are priced in monthly packages by the number of employees in the company.

The app is available on iOS and Android and you can find out more about HR Cloud here.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

All Your Food Cravings Can Be Satisfied in a Jiffy with Menuver

2017-06-02

Have you ever walked in to a restaurant, sat down and while looking at the menu, realized there was nothing there that you wanted? By that time it's too late to leave. Or imagine driving around and getting a craving for a certain food. If you had the Menuver app, all that hassle could be avoided.

Menuver is a food app for restaurants to publish their menu for your convenience. You can plan ahead what you want to eat, order it and pay for it before you even sit down at the restaurant. You also have the ability to pay for your own food separate from your friends, as it is an app on your phone. There is also there ability to search for specific foods and where to find them. For example, if Nakia is looking for lobster mac & cheese bisque, he would be able to find it!

Currently, Menuver is available only in the Philippines, and hoping to hit 20 countries in 5 years. This free app will be available for iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Helpful Networking in College is Now a Little More Sympl

2017-06-02

Higher education is always promoted to be an important highlight of your life that can make you or break you in the "real world" but it is also a difficult time frame to adjust to new study habits. Being a college student means tackling multiple challenging classes a semester with assignments and exams constantly approaching and it could be hard to find the time, resources, and patience to study as much as you should. The new application, Sympl is here to help you out! Sympl is a mobile app geared towards students in higher education to connect them to classmates taking the same courses. The app prompts the user for their semester schedule and compiles lists of other users with similar schedules to easily communicate with.

Let's say you have a huge test coming up and you're at Starbucks trying to cram. With Sympl, you can pick up your phone and find study groups in your area for the same class with the given duration of the study group and the number of students participating. You can ask to join at the click of a button and wait to be accepted. Sympl also sends push notifications for major upcoming assignments and study groups for your classes in the area.

It is important to stay socialized because networking is a huge advantage at this time in your life and Sympl encourages sharing your schedule and going out to study with new people. The app is now available at Michigan State University and will be available in the fall for Arizona State University and University of Austin, Texas in iOS and Android. Stay updated for when Sympl is coming to your area by going to their website.

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Play and Learn Like a Baller

2017-06-02

So, you wanna be a baller? Who doesn't, right? Well now you can game like one. Sports Digital Entertainment is an international company that is in the process of developing a mobile gaming app that puts players up against the best of the best in professional sports. The game is called Ballers Life. It's a role-play game that allows player to manage the finances of fictional and non fictional sports celebrities.

Through the game, you will earn, spend, invest and donate, just like a real baller. Players will have full control of their finances and the end game is to learn how best to manage money through the types of real life scenarios that the rich and famous encounter. So now everyone will be able to live vicariously through their favorite sports celebrity. In the game, there are rewards for good business moves, and pitfalls for poor management.

So do you have what it takes to be a real baller? Check out the Baller's Life website for updates as to when the game will be available and to pick up some cool gear.

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Missing a Flight Is Now Financially Saved

2017-06-01

Traveling nowadays much of the time is dependent on using the airlines for making deadlines and time management. Many times we find ourselves unable to make a flight, either due to a business schedule or illness or an airline back-up maybe due to weather. This is where Refly has the perfect solution.

Refly is a platform to sell your ticket at a discount and at least get some of your money back so it isn't a total loss for the travelers. You simply register with Refly and provide them the necessary information, such as airline, dates, confirmation number and destination. After there is a buyer you have to make a name change through the airline and you receive a new confirmation number. You then contact Refly to complete the sale. They are a media between the seller and the buyer.

The target market is the younger person who has less responsibilities and the freedom to travel at a shorter notice. It is also a great site to purchase cheap flights. Their website is in Spanish and English as the company is based in Mexico. It should be available for iOS and Android in the near future.

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Freedom Desi Can Empower Your Shopping Experience

2017-06-01

Sometimes we don't have a lot of extra time to walk around malls looking for specific items when we are shopping. Enter Freedom Desi, a smart retail company created to empower the offline retail shopper. It is an app for providing those shoppers, who are becoming much smarter, the freedom to use real digital tools.

The app has the ability to notify businesses of a potential customer who is looking for a certain item and it connects them. It also provides a navigation system for malls so that your time is better spent in the business rather than looking for it. It also gives you a rating system for the retailers so you are able to make a smart choice.

The app is free and is currently available in India, where it was created. In 5 years they hope to be in 20 countries.

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Children Learning the Value of Money with LittleEarners

2017-06-01

It's never too soon to teach young minds about the value of money and how to budget for what they want. With LittleEarners your children have the ability to set financial goals and plan how to reach them. Within the app, kids decide what things they want to spend their money on, and enter the money that they earn towards those goals.

For parents, in the grocery store when kids ask for those impulse items, they can check the app themselves and decide whether they want to take money from one of their objectives. This is the time when they learn about their priorities and it will teach kids about smart money behavior. Parents can have more than one child on an app.

LittleEarners will be available for Andrioid and iOS and a web app. While it is free to participate in the beta, future costs are unknown.

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Amazing Solutions by Capturing The Science of Behavior

2017-05-31

Emotions play a big part in our lives. How we react to the various social and environmental fluctuations that occur throughout the day can have a major impact on our temperament and decision making processes. The folks at DNA Behavior wanted to know how these factors translate over to making decisions in the world of finance and business. So they took this concept to the next level by coming up with a process for discovering and understanding these triggers, along with their corresponding prescriptive behavior.

The company provides behavior analytics through various tailor-made questionnaires. Their basic questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete and can get to the core behavior of an individual. This process goes beyond simply providing a personality profile and gets into predictive behavior to assist financial planners in learning to interact on a more personal level with their clients. Soon, they will be able to identify their clients' propensity for risk, biases and conditions that impact their decisions. This is also very useful in Business and Human Resources as it allows companies to find the perfect candidates as well as make their current teams more cohesive and productive.

There are several packages available, depending upon the level of insight required by the company. There are also questionnaires available for individuals. Visit their website to learn more and to take one of their demo questionnaires.

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Girl Geeks are 'Sweet' on Sugar Gamers

2017-05-31

The technology world has, for the most part until recently, has been dominated by "dudes." Sugar Gamers is an advocacy organization for the under-represented or under-serviced demographics in video games, geek culture and technology. There is a need for good representation because these markets are unbalanced. Sugar Gamers is reaching out to females of all colors and the LGBT community.

Sugar Gamers puts together events and ways to connect young people in networking that have no direction. It helps to inspire youth to get involved in technology and not just to focus on the idea of celebrity and super-athletic worship.

Sugar Gamers is encouraging kids to get involved in coding and programming. They also want to connect a community of girl gamers and help them become passionate in an ever-changing techie world, not just for the now technology, but the new technology. For more information on Sugar Gamers, check out their website.

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You Can 'Face' Your Cookies with A New Innovative Idea from Selffee

2017-05-31

Imagine being able to have cookies with a picture of you or someone of your choice on them. That is what Selffee is all about. You can now have photos printed on cookies or even coffee for parties such as a Sweet 16, baby's birthdays or a Bat Mitzvah as a take-away favors. They are very beneficial at trade shows as a give-away for advertising.

The printing is inward facing, meaning that you have to physically be at the event to submit a photo for printing. The process is done through special hardware and uses 6-colors of FDA-certified completely edible, water-based ink. The coffee printing is done on a layer of foam or whipped cream much like a latte. You can take your own selfie or send it to them to be printed. They have 6 printers now and more are on the way. One of the more unusual items they have printed faces on was a pizza. As it is water-based, unlike a frosting, it is colorless and tasteless.

For Selffee to come to your event, prices vary based on several factors, such as the number of guests, the location of the event, and the amount of hours. They are currently based in Long Island, NY and will soon be in Los Angeles. To book them for your event, check out their website.

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Easily Find Quality Food Vendors on The Move

2017-05-30

Food Moves is an application designed to make mobile food easier to find and to create an overall better experience for the vendors and consumers. They are focused on helping the mobile food industry including food trucks, farmers markets, and food stands. The Food Moves app allows you to find any mobile vendor in your area and to search for your favorites to find where they are at any given moment.

The vendor side of the app provides helpful tools to help these businesses market efficiently to the consumers and provides clarity to everyone involved. Food Moves is also working with multiple supplying companies like battery providers that focus on replacing loud, unconventional generators with solar powered batteries to improve the food truck business even further!

You can join Food Moves now on iOS and Android to connect with 180 food vendors in New York, Austin, and Philadelphia. You can learn more about this app by going to their website.

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Find a Great Personal Trainer That's Right for You

2017-05-30

Vent Up is a platform that is created for personal trainers, clients and gyms. It's like the "ride sharing" of personal trainers and combines features found in apps like Yelp with others found in apps like Instagram for things like videos, photos's and certifications.

Vent Up, through it's mobile app V-Training, provides personal trainers a proper database of clients, and makes it easy for clients to find the gym/trainer that is right for them. Features include an in app messaging system as well as access to native emails with PDF's and Videos and push notifications are also available.

Currently available in 10 US cities including LA, San Diego and DC, the company is experiencing a growth rate of about 20% per month in their areas and looking forward to growing into other cities but also with extra features. They are slowly moving towards fashion, so clients can purchase the specific looks that the trainers include in the app and they are also eventually planning on being able to calculate macros from photos that clients snap of their food intake and upload into the app to assist with not only training but also health issues such as diabetes.

The app is available in the App Store and Google Play and you can get more information by visiting their website here.

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Yoga Wake Up Will Make Your Morning Positive and Healthy

2017-05-30

Sometimes waking up to your normal alarm can leave your morning with you feeling irritated and groggy. The Yoga Wake Up app plans to change your morning routine to create a healthy mindfulness that will radiate throughout your day. This app provides a 5 - 15 minute audio wakeup sequence with peaceful music to wake you up in the morning that includes breathing exercises, light stretches, and a self-intention to have a great day.

Yoga Wake Up allows you to set your alarm for any given morning by scheduling what routine you would like to wake up to out of the free or premium choices. There are 17 yoga instructors and 65 different sequences to choose from, each with different intentions. The app also has the ability to send you notifications to let you know when you should be going to sleep the night before your alarm and during the night, will send your recorded sleep data to Apple's Health Kit and sleep tracker.

You can download the Yoga Wake Up app today on iOS. They are currently working on an android version to be released at the end of the year. You can use the app for free with limited wake up sequences or you could get the premium subscription for $1.99 per month. Find out more about Yoga Wake Up by visiting their website.

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Aclima Makes Sense of the World Around Us

2017-05-29

Aclima was founded on the premise that planetary health and human health are interconnected. That our environment effects the way do things. They are bridging the gap between ourselves and the natural world in order to create a new awareness and environmental intelligence. To accomplish this, they perform large scale environment sensor networks in buildings and cities.

We now know that the environment around us contributes to our cognitive function. Things like the increased rate of CO2, light, sound, etc., around us can have a significant impact on how we process information and interact with others. Aclima measures these levels in buildings to give companies an idea of where they stand and an understanding of how this impacts human emotion and ultimately even the bottom line.

Our own PLuGHiTz staff found it fascinating to learn how the environment in the convention center changed with increased activity and we were able to directly correlate that to our own moods and interactions as the day progressed. Find out more about this fascinating process in this interview and to learn even more, check out their website.

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Filegear is the New Way to Store and Access Files

2017-05-29

Do you ever have issues storing all your vacation pictures and 4K videos from years of memories along with documents from work and school? It all adds up and can take up a ton of storage and can really cost you. Filegear has one goal in mind and that is to fix the economics of storage while still offering the accessibility of an online cloud service. Filegear is the better alternative to using multiple hard drives by managing files online and offline without pay the ridiculous prices like most online storage services. You can store all of your content onto one device and you can access it wherever you are from your phone or computer.

This little box is built like a personal cloud storage system with CPU memory, an operating system, and a file sharing management system. It also comes equipped with many different ports where you have the ability to plug in other drives, SD cards, and USB devices for convenience and speed. One of the ports is a network port that connect you to the world.

Free up your space on all of your devices just by purchasing the Filegear device at a onetime price of $300 or you could pay $50 a year and receive a free box. Filegear is expected to launch in October so keep an eye out for their Kickstarter for promotions. Get more information about Filegear by going to their website.

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Now You Can Your Donate Money with Democracy in Mind

2017-05-29

Ultimatum Inc is a new and completely fascinating crowd funding platform for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The founders looked outside of the norm and realized that by joining funds from multiple, like minded sources, the idea of donating becomes simple and quite lucrative. These "micro donations" are based upon real world events and create an atmosphere where people want to commit to an idea and achieve goals together.

The power of grassroots is massive and the majority who have little can combine together and do more than the few who have a lot. Their web and mobile platforms allow users to make automated donations by choosing exactly which events will trigger the donation to the charity of their choice. They can then boost the reach of the donation by sharing with friends and family on social media. And at the very essence of this process is democracy. We all have the opportunity to put our money where our mouths are and make positive changes in our own government.

This company exist for those who want to move the bar. They exist for Democracy. Get involved! Check out their Indiegogo campaign today.

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Viewing a Home Doesn't Have to be a Dreary Experience

2017-05-28

Real estate tends to be a very restrictive industry that has been doing things the same way for years. Even though there are new websites that allow purchasers to search for and view available listings, there is no consistency in the types or quality of the photos/videos within those listings. Visually Home has set out to be the next dynamic shift in the real estate market.

Visually Home is the only App-based Visual Real Estate Marketing service in the world. They offer professional photography, aerial video and photography footage and matterport 3D rendering, along with the newest thing... virtual staging. Other services include brochures, flyers, mailers, yard signs, window perfs, and vehicle wraps.

Pricing for the photography services are greatly reduced per listing and are combined with a monthly subscription that is based upon each agent's specific needs. This gives independent agents all the clout of the larger brokers and teams. They are able to customize their individual package while offering consistency and the best quality visual package to every seller, regardless of the listing price. They also offer packages to the "for sale by owner" sellers.

You can learn more about their services by visiting their website

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The Struggle of Finding Live Video is Overcome with StreamSearch

2017-05-28

If you're looking for live video on the internet today, there is no way to find it. Nothing like Google or Bing existed until now; enter StreamSearch LIVE. Unlike traditional search engines, streamers provide data to StreamSearch in order to be found.

With the system, you can search for the content you're looking for and watch on the native platform. For example, if the live video is on Facebook Live, you will be taken to their platform to watch. If you're a broadcaster you can purchase the rights to the video right through the system, allowing you to rebroadcast the content without having to negotiate with the broadcaster, possibly missing the window.

The system is not available yet, but the sharing SDK should be coming soon.

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An Exciting New Anti-Virus for GPS

2017-05-28

Just in the last few years there has been an increase in the problem of GPS jammers. Personal privacy is the main reason jammers are used but they create a lot of collateral damage. GPSdome has been created to nullify the jammer.

GPSdome is easy to assemble and use. It attaches between the receiver and the 2 antennas, which are set 4" apart and pointed in any direction away from the ground. In essence, you "set it and forget it". It also overcomes spoofers.

This isn't made or available for the phone but it may be within 3 years. The cost right now is just under $2000. and will eventually be reduced to $400-$600.

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THATSpace Can Be Your Amazing Space Out of Your Office

2017-05-27

Sometimes co-working spaces absolutely don't work because much of the time it is too expensive and not very efficient hence the formation of THATSpace. It is an extension of the co-working space created for maximum productivity of your business in a space that is adequate and attractive. One of the services that this business provides is an update of your Wi-Fi.

This platform is very beneficial for restaurants, coffee shops and hotel lobbies. It allows the business owner to utilize their space at a time when he is not open for business and still possibly increasing his revenue or at least break even. The client in turn, will become a remote worker, and enable his business to continue when he isn't in his office.

THATSpace is now operating in Malta in its testing phase. It has plans to expand to London by the end of 2017 and eventually into the US. The cost of this service varies, depending greatly on the location and services provided for the time the space is used.

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CyberCentric Keeps Sensitive Data is Safe and Secure

2017-05-27

CyberCentric is a data visualization platform that enables organizations to map out exactly where there most sensitive data lives within their network, who has access to it and how it's being used.

The platform simplifies the process of ensuring proper authorization is met for use of a companies sensitive data. Their AI engine, named Hector, learns the normal behavior for your network and then searches for optimal solutions to ensure none of the data is compromised by allowing access to those without proper authorization. They have reached an impressive near 99 percent accuracy rate in detecting anomalous behavior that leads to unauthorized access.

It offers the amazing ability to visualize an entire cyber security while knowing who is online and what they are able to access at all times. Their easy to use platform prevents unauthorized access, offers insider threat detection, leak detection and 24/7 customer support. They also help your organization stay compliant with PCI, HIPAA, GDPR EU, and other complex data privacy regulations.

Although still a relatively new company, they are already becoming a major player with Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit their website and request a demonstration.

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You and Fido Will Love The Dollar Pet Club

2017-05-27

If you want to show your sweet fur babies all of your love, it's time to start thinking inside the box. But don't settle for just any box. Choose the one that is easily customizable and won't break the bank. The Dollar Pet Club has made it their "doody" to help you out by delivering boxes full of goodies right to your front door.

The DPC offers only the best for your fur babies. The boxes contain natural treats and high quality toys that are all hand picked and tested for quality assurance. They even go so far as to research which treats aren't a good choice for your pet, based upon breed. Not to mention, they are super easy to order and have choices to fit any budget. You can start off with a $1.00 box that includes a dispenser and a month's worth of free poop bags, and then work your way up to the pre-selected boxes that are designed for cats, small breed dogs and large breed dogs with prices starting at $22.95. Or you can get a custom box and choose each item that goes inside. Right now the site offers choices for cats and dogs, but if are in need of a box for a different type of pet, no problem, just give them a call and let them know what you'd like. They'll get you hooked up.

Another thing we love about this company is their commitment to giving back. They are currently involved with animal shelters in Louisiana where they sponsor a pet monthly and when that animal gets adopted, they cover the adoption fees for the new owner. They are also looking forward to hopefully working with the V.A. in the future to assist with service dogs for Vets with PTSD.

To order your own box or to get more information, visit their website. Check them out soon to take advantage of their Collision Special of 20% off by using the coupon code Collision2017.

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The Ultimate in Social Media Reach with IceBr8kr

2017-05-26

My bubble or yours? Now you can take social media encounters to the next level with the new IceBr8kr app. This app definitely brings the social aspect back to social media. It monitors a 100 yard bubble around you at all times, allowing you to see and interact with others on the app who are in your same proximity. Thus giving you a chance to break the ice with those you'd like to meet without that blind and awkward first hello.

It makes it so much easier to meet new people as you are able to send messages to each other through the app. However the goal is not to just be another platform for text chatting, it's to actually meet and interact with new friends. To encourage this human interaction, the app allows 8 "volleys" within the app itself before it times you out with that individual for an hour.

The app also contains various features to allow you to customize your visibility and experience at any given time. Settings include notification preferences, and three different "pins" to show varying degrees of anonymity. So you can interact with others on your own terms based upon your mood at that time. And don't worry, you can even block the users that you may no longer want to interact with.

The developers are currently gearing up and getting people on and acquainted with the app, which is perfect for university settings, conferences and festival settings. And they have multiple ideas for future updates that may include networking features and possibly even interactions with businesses to offer special deals and discounts while users are interacting within the stores, and so much more. The possibilities are truly exciting and we are looking forward to watching this app take off.

You can download the app on Apple Store and Google Play and for more information, check out their website.

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Hunt Down New, Unreleased Music Like a Hipster

2017-05-26

In an attempt to revive the genre of music we all know and love, HipsterBait has one goal in mind: bringing back rock n roll, one hipster at a time. Their new app engages listeners in a new and exciting way involving a real life treasure hunt to find fresh, unreleased music out in the world. This music discovery game is like a combination of geocaching and Pokémon GO with its full AR experience.

Hipster Bait works by launching the application and viewing the map of your surrounding area. The app provides clues to help you find physical and virtual cassette tapes holding recordings of unreleased rock n roll songs from new artists. Your job is to collect the cassettes, download the music, then rehide what you found, whether virtual or analog. The tapes are originally hidden in major cities around North America.

The Hipster Bait app is looking to launch at the end of the Summer on iOS and Android. Learn more about Hipster Bait by going to their website.

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DopaApp is a Welcomed and Innovative Addition to Rehab

2017-05-26

Drug addiction is a constant and growing problem that has reached epidemic levels in the United States. Statistics show that the total number of drug rehab patients outnumber the amount of available inpatient rehab beds by staggering ratios. The founders of DopaApp are working hard to not only take a huge strain off of the traditional rehab industry but also make the therapy easier and more accessible to the patients as well as the care providers.

The app, which is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play, combines traditional addiction therapy with a social platform to empower patients, families/support and care facilities by offering increased functionality in a flexible and intuitive format. It's a virtual treatment center that connects addicts with authorized caregivers. The founders like to consider DopaApp the "13th Step" in the traditional program because of the added support and capabilities that it offers. Features include complete patient profiles, text and video chat, knowledge resources, relapse indicator and more. Patients are able to receive all of this assistance while still maintaining full anonymity by utilizing avatars as well as emotion detection technology for all face to face encounters.

Phase 1 of their operations is focused on getting the app to care facilities for use in conjunction with their current treatment plans to offer to patients as part of their initial and ongoing therapy. Phase 2 will then focus on reaching more new patients to help connect them to authorized care providers.

We found this venture to be fascinating and applaud their efforts to bring technology to help fight the ongoing battle of drug addiction. One of our favorite features is the functionality that allows patients to have a 24/7 life support line with former addicts who have been sober for 10 years or more.

You can get more information about this groundbreaking app on their website.

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Get Excited for a New World of Data Analytics with Corterix

2017-05-25

Large sums of data can be difficult to gather, store, and decipher. Luckily, Corterix is fit to do that for you. The big data market isn't providing usable data to it's customers so Corterix is determined to store all forms of unstructured data into a SQL database and transform it into usable, structured data without being disruptive to the industry.

Traditional formats were built on a search platform, not a big data platform. Current versions have merely been pieced together over time which has created more of a work around environment than a unified and easy to use platform. This is where Corterix is different because they are built on a new and radically different concept. The platform has been engineered from scratch to swiftly ingest data of all types as well as index, compress and load it into a single, easily accessible SQL database.

And the storage capacity is amazing. Corterix is able to store up to 64 terabytes of data in a single cell of a database and can also store other formats such as videos. Data is constantly growing and as it gets larger, it needs larger databases to query and Corterix can provide that service.

Check out their website here for more information.

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A Smart New Way to Monitor Your Nutrition

2017-05-25

Getting the most nutritional benefit from our foods and vitamins is a common goal in today's health plan. Sustainabody does just that. It is a smart nutrition tracking app that goes beyond calorie and diet tracking. It tells you not only what you are getting from your food, but also what you should be eating so you can get the most vitamins from your food choices.

It fits in with any diet plan and is especially beneficial for vegans or someone who is lactose intolerant. Body builders also find this helpful because they are very aware of their vitamin E intake and how important it is for their muscle growth and over all health.

There is a free, ad-supported version, and an ad-free version for $1.99 available for iOS, with Android coming in the near future. It is not only a fun app but it is very easy to use.

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Businesses Get a Boost with Belay Solutions

2017-05-25

In the world of mountain climbing and repelling, the best friend you can have is called a belay. They assist the climber and enable him or her to climb higher. That, in essence, is what Belay Solutions does for small and large businesses alike.

Through remote workers, Belay Solutions is able to provide outsourced "virtual assistants." These assistants can provide a number of functions including copy writing, web design and bookkeeping. This is particularly helpful to startups who often have only one or two employees.

They work with their clients so that they get the best placement of a VA by looking at their hard and soft skills. This service is wonderful for travelers, who themselves are actually VAs . They don't really need someone in their office for a 40 hour work week. Belay Solutions have also been very helpful to pastors, speakers, coaches and authors, taking them from being individuals to a fully functioning company.

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Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Wimbify Provides Safe and Secure Travel for the LGBT Community

2017-05-24

More than 50% of LGBT travelers do so all alone and that isn't always safe nowadays. Now there is a mobile platform created for travel sharing called Wimbify. It allows you to find other people to become travel mates for safety.

In addition to traveling, you can be a Local Hero in your own city. These heroes are available to provide local tours for just a few hours or a couple of days. Wimbify has a recommended fee but the hero is allowed to set their own price. When you book a tour you pay a small booking fee and that is how they make their revenue. The Local Heroes are rated by the travelers who have used their services in order to be able to find the best match for you.

After being in business for 2 years the service is currently available in Milan, Italy and San Francisco, California with the next planned city being Berlin, Germany. The app is free and is available now for iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

TripHobo Lets You Explore the World Like a King

2017-05-24

Planning your trip or vacation is getting a big boost with an app called TripHobo. It is essentially a detail planner that helps you to see all the famous and important things you always heard about. It can also lead you to a lot of unknown venues and special places not as well-known, that may very well turn out to be the pinnacle of your trip.

If you don't care to pre-plan the trip yourself, there are literally millions of published itineraries just waiting for you to use as there are over a million trip plans for over 90,000 cities. These itineraries are available now and they are free to use. The planner is available on the web and the companion app is available for iOS and Android.

This innovative company has been around for 2½ years and is a very exciting addition to the travel planning experience because it connects 2 groups of people: travelers who don't know and venues who need you to know.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Fantastic Visuals Made From Hidden Data with Cinchapi

2017-05-24

Data, data everywhere but not a drop of reason.

As small and large business owners alike are looking to capitalize on the increasing amount of data that is available to them from multiple sources, it becomes increasingly difficult to properly analyze the figures to actually increase profitability. Let's face it, it's sometimes difficult enough to even try to figure out the raw data, much less turn it into something useable. The Cinchapi Data Platform has found a way to, as they put it, take your data "from cluster to clarity" by combining machine learning with human intelligence. Their approach makes it easy and intuitive to work with real time or conventional data for maximum results.

The software is able to decipher data from any source (including IoT) and quickly does the hard work of transforming it into usable information for your team to review without delay, while those conditions still exist. This enables businesses to make changes in design and process at the right times. In other words, strike while the iron is hot rather than resort to using dated information when it's too late to capitalize on those conditions.

Cinchapi streams, examines, and stores definitive data generated in real-time, as well as from conventional, legacy, and proprietary databases and sources. Other features include a context aware, conversational interface; customized visualizations, data prep reduction and more.

For more information, visit their website at Cinchapi.com

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Simple Grace of a Stingray in an Awesome Drone

2017-02-20

In adventures as well as in life, we progress. If not, we stand still. And for the robotic company, PowerVision, standing still is simply not an option. Their mission is to "innovate the future". They are doing just that by bringing useful and fun robotic devices to the marketplace and making them as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. Their products range from smart drones, data visualization and forecasting, virtual reality and augmented reality.

On our last day at CES 2017, right about that time when pure exhaustion was about to set in and we weren't sure if there was anything left original enough to showcase, we came upon the PowerVision booth and became instantly energized while speaking with Senior Director of Sales, Merlin B. Love.

We definitely enjoyed getting a closer look at their line of drones, especially the Power Egg with it's unique and brilliant design and Maestro gesture based remote control. But what really captured our attention was the new and one of a kind Power Ray. This amazing underwater drone has been designed to be the next best thing in fishing with its onboard, and removable, sonar based fish finder that tracks back to the app. This will give you the topography of the body of water as well as the relative size and position of nearby fish. And better than just locating the fish, you'll be able to drive right over to them and engage with the remote precision bait drop that allows you to connect the fishing line from your pole to catch the fish, all while directing and watching it live from the brilliant 4K camera. The camera also allows you to scout out the area as you try to avoid the little nibbles while going for the biggest catch of the day. How could they possibly top this, you ask? How about being able to accessorize your Power Ray with a VR headset that also includes Maestro technology so you will be able to dive right into the experience and also drive the Power Ray by turning your head and "swimming" along in first person view, all in real time.

Even though the design was originally inspired to take fishing to a whole other depth, they are also really excited to see the various fun and original ways that consumers will end up using this technology. And so are we. From adventures in snorkeling and scuba diving to family vacations at the lake or the beach, the footage captured via the beautiful 4K camera is certain to be wonderful. The folks at PowerVision can't wait to see what types of footage starts popping up with the hashtag #PowerRay. The creative capabilities are uncharted and basically limitless.

Pricing has not yet been determined for the Power Ray, but check out their website as pre-orders will begin on February 27th. Also, you can purchase the Power Egg drone now on Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Game Like a Professional with DXRacer Chairs

2017-02-19

Long term comfort is really hard to come by when looking for office and gaming chairs but DXRacer has made sure that it's no longer a problem. 2017 brings new office chairs that can help your performance in the workplace and DXRacer calls it the Elite Series. DXRacer is known for making desk experiences better by giving their customers 3D adjustable armrests and a small, convenient lumbar pillow for long lasting comfort and productivity. Colors include red, black, brown, white, and silver.

The DXRacer CES booth this year focused on gaming and Twitch streaming. They had a large table filled with sponsored Overwatch teams that came out to Las Vegas to support DXRacer's gaming chairs. DXRacer live streamed through their Twitch channel: twitch.tv/dxracer. Subscribe to join in on their gaming shenanigans.

You can purchase the Elite Series now for $299 at Amazon. Find the chair that suits your needs for gaming, office, performance or entertainment with DXRacer.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Ultimate Noise Cancelling Headphone with the Best Sound

2017-02-19

The products at Blue's CES booth never disappoint. This year they are unveiling a prototype noise cancelling headphone. But it's truly like no other pair you have ever seen before. The plan for these is to create the new benchmark in sound for modern listening experiences.

Blue's Satellite headphones are being built with an audiophile grade amp to ensure listeners get a true Hi-Fi experience, even from a headphone. The active noise cancellation has been completely kicked up to a new level. Instead of one driver per ear cup, like all other sets have, they have two. One that is dedicated to cancelling noise and one that uses the audiophile amp to deliver the highest quality sound without interfering with the noise cancellation in any way. The also feature the latest Bluetooth wireless technology, onboard controls for intuitive operation, sophisticated design for superior performance, sound isolation and have comfort foldable construction for easy portability and storage.

Pricing and availability are still to be determined, but you can check them out and add yourself to the mailing list from their website.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Great Mic for On The Go Recording

2017-02-19

Gamers and podcasters who livestream or record their sessions love Blue's series of plug and play microphones for their great sound and ease of use. At CES 2017 we got to see their newest addition to the line up and, based upon our line of work, we were very excited to learn more.

The Blue Raspberry is a podcaster's best friend on the road as it was specifically designed to help you sound your best, no matter where you are. Transporting it with your other gear is no problem with the included soft suede carrying pouch and there is no complicated set up process as the integrated stand and plug-and-play design allow you to start creating immediately. It boasts pristine 24-bit audio that lets you record and stream professional projects. Blue's own custom condenser is included for the same rich sound that you have with their studio mics and there is also the newly patented Internal Acoustic Diffusion. This is a great addition because you don't always have the quietest of settings while broadcasting when you are out and about. It's like having studio baffling built in to help defuse the background noise and pick up what is being recorded directionally into the mic.

Other features include an adjustable gain with color coded alerts if the surrounding noise interferes with your broadcast, allowing you to adjust in real time. There is also direct monitoring, allowing you to connect your headphones right into Raspberry for real-time, no latency monitoring of your recording. And there's no need to worry about which format you are using as it is compatible Garage Band, Audacity, YouTube, Skype and other podcasting software. You can even use it on the video recorder of your iPhone.

With a price of $199, you can grab yours at Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Razer's Attractive New Project Will Blow Your Mind

2017-02-18

CES 2017 had many new promising products but there was an exciting announcement made at the Razer booth. A new concept that we are hoping to see on the market is Project Valerie. Valerie is the world's first triple display automated, fully integrated laptop. Many people prefer a multiple monitor experience but Razer made that possible in a portable notebook chassis. It is designed to give you the desktop experience anywhere you go.

Project Valerie is a nicely packed laptop that can operate solely on one screen depending on preference and is automated to deploy the additional screens at a touch of a button or program. When viewing the hardware specifics, it is important to note that they are subject to change because Valerie is in its prototyping stages of development. What we have seen so far is fantastic. It has three 4K 17 inch panels with 100 percent adobe RGBT color accuracy and it is G sync enabled. The closed unit is approximately 1.3 inches thick.

Razer is currently gathering feedback from CES and the community feedback to help perfect the product before releasing it to the market. You can read more about Project Valerie by visiting Razer's website here.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Next Gen of FLIR has Amazingly Superior Upgrades

2017-02-18

FLIR is known for their line of thermal imaging products, including a couple of really cool cameras. The cameras have many practical purposes and are used by contractors and electricians as well as the occasional ghost hunter. The FLIR ONE connects to your smartphone and turns it into a thermal imaging camera. This year at CES, they have announced the next generation of one of their most popular items.

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 has all of the features that you loved about its predecessor with the addition of the ONEFIT Adjustable Connector. This allows you to use the camera even with your rugged phone case. Previously, you would have needed to add a cable or extra connector, or remove the rugged case all together, which isn't always easy to accomplish. But now you just turn the dial and you can adjust the connector to the exact size that will give you a custom fit for your case. This is extremely helpful on a job site where the rugged cases are required equipment.

The FLIR ONE PRO has four times the thermal resolution, as well as the best of FLIR Vivid IR. It's perfect for the professional who wants the best possible thermal image quality they can get. Other features include multiple spot meters so the operator can call out the temp in multiple places and images can be uploaded to the FLIR Cloud where there are tools to assist in quickly generating custom reports.

Both of these units will be shipping in the middle of 2017 with prices starting at $199. Explore the options on their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

It's Fascinating Tech When Thermal Takes Flight

2017-02-18

Drones have been captivating us for years. They now come in all shapes and sizes and we just can't seem to get enough of them. We love flying the consumer models and learning about the large commercial and military grade versions. When video cameras were added they became not only more popular but much more useful, especially for business applications. For companies like realtors and insurance companies, and even for police departments, video equipped drones have made many jobs easier. The folks at FLIR realized that adding thermal imaging into the mix could increase effectiveness in many ways.

These highly cooled cameras that are super sensitive to any thermal radiation and can take regular video to a whole new level. Large scale equipment can be inspected easily to see if either heat or cold is escaping, and they can also be used at night for various search and rescue situations. The FLIR DUO is a compact, lightweight, dual-sensor thermal and visible light imager that is designed for drones. It has the same size and shape as the most popular action cameras for easy adaptation to existing drone accessories. Duo's features include on-board recording and real-time remote control of camera functions over PWM - plus MSX multi-spectral imaging enhancement. There is also a second model called the FLIR DUO R which comes with a fully radiometric variant and delivers accurate, calibrated temperature measurements in every pixel.

Both models can be operated either separately or on a drone and power up through the USB port. And the mobile app and built in Bluetooth make setup a breeze. They are great units for drone manufacturers to add into their lineups and are also the perfect way for consumers to start playing with thermal imaging on their own drones.

Both versions are available now with prices starting at $999.99 from the FLIR website. Also, don't forget to check out some of their other great products on Amazon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Battle for Wireless Charging is Over and the Winner is Qi

2017-02-17

It's always a pleasure to speak with John at the Wireless Power Consortium booth and see the advancements that Qi wireless technology is making year over year. We've been fond of this technology from the very beginning and it's been great watching it take off right in front of our eyes.

The consortium is proud to say that Qi has now been adopted into the mainstream of technology. It's available in hotel rooms and lobbies worldwide, as well as fast food restaurants and stadiums. Consumer adoption has been quite impressive with over 60 million new users per year and over 200 million phones in the last 12 months that include wireless charging. There are many new players coming into the market with over 900 registered products for numerous different applications.

One of the most impressive areas of growth has been in the auto industry. The number of cars with wireless technology went from 15 last year to over 60 currently. Most major car companies have included Qi wireless charging as either standard equipment or as an option. This technology in vehicles has almost limitless possibilities. We look forward to the day that we adjust our personal settings in the Qi app and when we enter our vehicle and insert our phone into the charging station, everything gets automatically set to our preferences, such as seat position, lighting, music and so much more. We can also be automatically connected to the most important features on our phones without removing them from the charger through either the car's steering wheel or via voice command. It's so exciting to know that this type of synergy exists between our phones and our electronics with bigger and better applications on the horizon.

Check out some of our favorite Qi Wireless products at Amazon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Safe, Simple and Inexpensive Smart Home System

2017-02-17

Smart home systems have taken the country by storm, and every year there are more and more companies entering the arena. It gets to the point that you start to feel that if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But Geeni by Merkury Innovations made us do a double take for sure.

Their smart home components are much simpler to use and compared to most other systems out there as they do not require hubs and they don't break the bank. They are the perfect way to enter into this type of technology. You can get started with one or a few of pieces or you can build an entire system for your home. Either way, you access the components via one easy to use app and control everything from your smartphone or even with the Amazon Echo.

The product line starts with single wall plugs that fit into your standard wall outlets that allow you to turn your existing appliances on/off remotely. There are also surge protectors that allow each plug to be controlled independently. All you have to do is plug these in and they will quickly and automatically connect to your home's Wi-Fi and be available on the app. Next up are the line of smart lights that have all of the energy saving features of current LED bulbs with the added bonus of smart connectivity through the app. The bulbs range in size to easily replace all of the bulbs that you currently use and come in white or fun changeable colors.

Another amazing addition is the line of home security cameras. Color choices are white and grey and come in both 720P or 1080P High Definition models that all record to SD cards. Monitoring is a breeze with the sharp and clear images. You'll also get alerts to your phone whenever any motion is captured on the cameras. You can access the Geeni app and live stream whatever is happening in the home at any time of the day or night. And you can set the sensitivity to fit the specific needs of your household. The app offers snapshots on a timeline so you can easily choose the scenes that you want to watch without having to sort through hours of footage. Set up is easy as well. You can place cameras anywhere in a room: flat surfaces, the wall, or even the ceiling. Multiple cameras can be added and they will all work together on the same Geeni app.

We're really excited to see where this company goes from here. The products will begin rolling out at the end of the 1st quarter with some coming in the 2nd. Prices for the light bulbs range from $25 to $35, the plugs range from $25 to $20 and the cameras start at $69.99. To get more information and to purchase, visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Future of Electric Vehicles is Advanced and Luxurious

2017-02-17

Coming into CES 2017, one of the most anticipated companies on the floor was Faraday Future, the electric car company that had, until the show, not displayed their production model, the FF 91. There was a lot of talk about how important the show was going to be for the company, who had seen executive shake-ups and pauses in production.

All of the questions were put to rest when the company showed off the production model at a press conference before the event. The car's design is unique and fascinating, but it set itself apart immediately when it raced live at the conference, beating a number of performance-focused cars. Clearly, the car is being compared with its most obvious competitor, Tesla, but the FF 91 seems to sit in a class by itself. While the Tesla models might be comparable to a Toyota, the FF 91 is more like the Lexus, a luxury-focused vehicle.

One of the first things we noticed when we approached the vehicle was the lack of handles, locks and other seemingly traditional car features. All of those physical points of failure have been replaced with more tech-focused security features, such as proximity verification and iris sensors. That seemingly simple attribute is actually a sign of the incredible things to expect from Faraday Future in its own future.

There is currently no firm release date for the vehicle, but with the great collection of features and technology, you might just want to reserve yours now anyway.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Make Your Home More Awesome with Griffin

2017-02-16

Griffin is widely known for their lines of cases, cables, adapters and mounts for Apple and Samsung smart devices. We love their style and the many conveniences that they offer. We also rely upon their quality and look forward to new additions to the product lines. Their latest tech, however, is not so much about them just supporting our smart devices. It's more about them diving right into the tech itself and in a really interesting way.

Introducing Griffin Home, a new line of smart, app powered appliances that are designed to help simplify and enhance our everyday routines. We can all use a little extra help to make our mornings run a more smoothly, especially those of us with very active families. And we all have our own preferences that so many times do not match the preference of anyone in the house. That's where Griffin is coming onto the scene. Their new app is designed to not only remember everyone's specific preferences but also assist in the follow through.

The most impressive piece in the lineup is their Connected Mirror. This item will make a great addition to anybody's morning. It has a digital display built in and will offer information that can help us get our day started, such as the time and weather. It can easily be customized with the Griffin Home App and also connects to your Wi-Fi network to allow the notifications from your phone to appear in the digital display. You'll be able to stay connected to the things that you find most important without disrupting your morning routine.

And that's not all: they have also developed Connected appliances, including a toaster and coffee machine. Using the same phone app, everyone in the home can create a profile to customize their personal toast and coffee preferences. This way, you always get your items cooked exactly the way you like them, without having to worry about who may have changed the settings on the appliances to their favorites. You will also get notifications on your cell phone when your toast and coffee are ready. And in case you were wondering, yes these notifications will also appear on the Connected Mirror. Other additions to the Griffin Home line are the PowerBlock Beacon and the PowerJolt Beacon which remind users to plug in and charge before they run out of power.

The Blocks and Appliances will be available in Q2 with prices ranging from $29.99 to $99.99. The Connected Mirror will run $999.99 and be available in late 2017. Find out more and sign up for launch updates on their website.

You can also check out their line of accessories on Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Love the All New Intelligent and Electric Smart Car

2017-02-16

Mercedes-Benz has been selling the smart car here in the U.S. for some time now, yet our jaws still tend to drop when we encounter one of the little guys out on the road. Their fun and European design has captivated an entire group of energy conscious drivers who love the extremely low gas mileage.

As their popularity grows, so now will their energy efficiency, as later this year a couple of new models will be added to the line. These new intelligent cars have everything you need, and nothing you don't, in a cute little package. You'll love the addition of the sensors and software upgrades which offer amenities like radar based recuperation and lane keep assist. And the new connected car services will also be available through their new app. These services include trunk delivery and car sharing with friends, coworkers or neighbors. Charge time is also improved to 7-8 hours via a regular wall outlet or 90 minutes with the optional 3 phase wall box.

The new Coupe and the ForFour will be available this summer with the jazzy convertible coming later in the year. You can get more information at your local Mercedes dealership or by visit the smart website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Blocks Make a Huge Breakthrough for Vehicle Production

2017-02-16

Cars have basically been manufactured the same way for more than 100 years. The process is extremely expensive, especially considering that there are multi million dollar facilities that basically manufacturer one type of vehicle. Not to mention the process of how so many different parts are also expensively manufactured and then purchased and shipped from vendors all over the world. Everything in the process is costly and not environmentally friendly. In this day and age, we have so much technology, it doesn't make sense to still be building cars that same old way. It's time to bring the car manufacturing process into the 21st century.

A group of technologists, auto engineers and environmentalists got together and not only came to the same conclusion, but figured out an incredible, high tech way to do it. Divergent 3D is the result, and it's amazing. They developed a process to 3D print great looking and fully functional vehicles.

To begin, the looks and features are designed with software and then fined tuned to verify all industry and safety specs are in compliance. Then the printing process begins, not an entire car from the ground up in a single print, but by printing the building blocks that will later be assembled to form vehicles such as electric cars and motorcycles. The final products are as amazing as the process itself. They presented the Blade Supercar as well as a really hot sports motorcycle at their booth and they are both breath taking.

It is also very impressive how this technique is just downright better for the environment. The cars are greener due to the reduced manufacturing process, lighter and safer due to the materials used, and best of all they can be made locally with smaller and more cost effective teams.

We found these vehicles to be extraordinary and can't wait to watch their progress as this concept takes off. You can learn more by visiting the company's website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Bringing Back the Community Feel in a Big Way

2017-02-15

Not everyone loves the hustle and bustle kind of lifestyle that urban sprawl has created. More and more modern communities are starting to follow suit with places like Brooklyn, Palo Alto and the many gated communities in Florida. The folks at Eli Electric Vehicles are excited about this change in urbanization and have developed a small electric vehicle that they feel aids in bringing people together in a community-like fashion.

The Eli Zero is a wonderful little vehicle that is a combination of a car and a golf cart. This new concept of urban and neighborhood vehicle drives with the comfort and convenience of a car but also the fun of a golf cart. It is street legal under the rules of LSEV (low speed electric vehicle) with a top speed per regulation of 25 miles per hour. It's perfect for driving short distances. The interior of this two-seater is simple and has been reimagined to remove the items on the dashboard that are not really necessary for this type of driving. There is a steering wheel, a radio and even heating and air conditioning. There is also a trunk that can fit a couple pieces small luggage or one large suitcase. It has two driving modes: Easy Mode will drive just like a golf cart with just one pedal the you press to go and release pressure to stop, and Traditional Mode which drives like a car with the pedal and brake.

Available later in 2017, there will be a model with a range of 40 miles and one with a range of 75 miles. Both have a sleek and modern design that have the look, experience and feel of a modern community that everybody can enjoy. Prices will start at about $10,000. Keep an eye on their production progress on their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Expand Your Sound with The Power of the 70's

2017-02-15

Cerwin Vega Mobile, the oldest running car audio company in the world right now, has brought back a blast from the past. Their latest creation is a new version of an old woofer that was designed in the early 70's. It's sole original purpose was specifically for movie theaters and pro audio. Known as a Stroker, it was exclusively used for the movie Earthquake for a sound process called Sound Surround. It even won an Academy Award.

This sound was as big as you could get and some people had the crazy idea of integrating them into their car stereo systems. This sparked a cult like environment of people who would have SPL (Sound Pressure Level) contests to see how loud they could play. The company stopped production about 20 years ago. Gone but not forgotten, they decided to bring it back and into the 21st century, totally redesigned but based upon that original 1972 version.

Weighing in at 97 pounds, the range is over 170 decibels in a car. It's made in 15" and 18" sizes with prices start at $1,499.99. Get yours at Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
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Boost up the Stereo and Enjoy the Original Functionality

2017-02-15

Cars and trucks don't just get us from point a to point b anymore. Modern vehicles also have really great tech packages included, as well. Car interiors have come a long way too. The look and function of the dashboards and touch screens are a selling feature all of their own. And even though the radios are much improved over models from the past, there are still those who simply love creating their own sound systems to customize their vehicles. That, however, has become more difficult because once you remove the factory amplifier, you loose the functionality that was built into the display, and nobody wants that.

Kenwood now has a solution to this problem. Their new ADS Maestro line allows you to keep the functionality of your great looking dash and upgrade the stereo system both. With Maestro AR, you are able to take that factory signal that is built into the amp and convert it so that you can use their new amp as well as the all of the pre-existing functions in the vehicle's touch screen.

Don't let the process scare you. Although this type of installation use to include a lot of very complex wiring, Maestro has simplified it with their T Harness for an easy connection. There is also a phone app that makes setup a breeze. And in typical Kenwood fashion, the specs are tight with 75 watts by 6 rms, 6 channels of amplification and 4 channels of pre-outs that allow you to add additional amps.

They offer all of this at a price that is far below the competition for a system of this level. The amp is $800, the Maestro AR is $129 and the T Harnesses are $40. For more information, check them out on their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Improving Smart Device Cases with the Best Accessories

2017-02-14

People absolutely swear by their OtterBox cases, and with good reason. They are the number one selling protective case brand for cell phones because of their durability. They have expanded their line over the years to offer slimmer models and have added colors and fun designs. So what have they come up with this year?

We were delighted to see their newest series, the uniVERSE Case System. This is their take on the modular phone case system and it's wonderful. On the back of the case, there is a removable accent plate that reveals a cool docking system that allows the addition of various modules. At any given time, you can remove the plate to add cool accessories such as a wallet, battery pack, microphone, additional storage, camera lens and even a card reader. When you have finished with the accessory, you simply remove it and replace the accent plate. It couldn't be more simple.

This line is currently available for iPhone and will be expanding into other platforms in the future. You can order yours now from Amazon, and check out the accessories.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Demand Your Life Stay Rugged on the Go with LifeProof

2017-02-14

Wouldn't it be great if everything in life was shockproof and waterproof? Well, at least our smartphones can be, with LifeProof.

LifeProof is a name that stands out that over the years we have come to know and respect. Life moves quickly and we all enjoy getting out and experiencing all that is has to offer. We also love to bring our phones along as they have become an extension of us. Especially nowadays, phones have so many great features that help us enjoy our day to day living as well as our extracurricular activities. Worrying about scratching or completely busting our phones while we're out enjoying our adventures is not fun. Luckily, LifeProof made it their mission to take that stress off of us by putting more emphasis on having their cases match our increasingly rugged lifestyles.

New to their lineup this year for iPhone 7 is the Nude Series. It was created for those people who do not want anything to cover their screen at all. Similar to the windshield of a car in how you have a plate of glass with a nice tight seal across the frame. They offer a clear view of the face of your phone with no obstructions at all. Like their other cases, it is thin and lightweight and comes in two pieces that quickly and easily snap together for a tight fit. The back is also clear so you can show off the phone's color and the logo.

They still have their flagship line, called the Free Series. This line has models available for multiple phones, including iPhone and Android. It also comes in two pieces that snap together and give all of the piece of mind that we love for our phones. They showed this model off to us on the Google Pixel and noted that they are the only waterproof case available on the market today for this model.

Pricing starts at $79 and you can get some great discounts right now on some of the models in the line by going to Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Take Your Car to the Fantastic Future with OverDryve

2017-02-14

With many cars today without touch screen dash boards, or review cameras, Rand McNally has created OverDryve, an attachable touch screen that takes your old car to the future. OverDryve is a 7-inch touch screen that carries similar functions to many modern cars. One of the benefits of OverDryve is that it can easily be attached to any car and can be upgraded with many different useful functions. A majority of the operations do not need a Wi-Fi or 4G internet because it can connect with your phone via Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth connection with your phone also allows you to use voice to text to connect quickly and easily send and receive safe text messages. OverDryve can also use the phone to play music, including through Pandora and Spotify, both of which are accessible by the screen. The device can sync your audio and play from your car's speakers or the OverDryve's speaker.

The OverDryve screen is not the only product available. In addition, they have optional attachments, like a back-up camera and a tire pressure gauge. The wireless back-up camera attaches to the back of your car and records the drive while it gives a live feed of what is behind you. Rand McNally also has tire pressure gauges that screw onto the tire and can inform the driver if air pressure falls below optimal levels. With Rand McNally OverDryve drivers are able to take advantage of the technology available now and use it to make driving safe for everyone.

The OverDryve Car Tablet is available for $399.99, the Wireless Backup Camera runs $129.99 and Tire Pressure Monitoring System is available for $149.99.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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The Best In-Car Viewing Makes for Happy Traveling Families

2017-02-13

Car entertainment systems are the best thing to come along since sliced bread. No family trip should have to endure the unending heartbreak of not having one. The folks at Beuler understand this and have produced the most advanced flip down screen in the world.

This new unit has a high resolution HD screen with a really great viewing angle that allows full viewing even from the side. It's also boasts a very low profile so as not to take up too much space. This model has a motorized screen that is accessible from the touch of a button and parents can also control the unit from the front seat of the vehicle.

It's capable of playing any HD movie through the SD slot. And in bringing car viewing up to date, you can even use Wi-Fi to stream your favorite content from sources like Netflix and YouTube. There is also an HDMI input if you want to wire into your other devices. It's sleek, simple to use and offers a wide array of entertainment choices for the whole family.

Also at the Beuler booth, we got to take a look at another new little product. And when we say little, we aren't kidding. They have made the smallest cell phone in the world. It's actually one tenth the size of the average cell phone today. It's a complete and fully functioning GSM cell phone with an LED display and working manual key buttons. It takes a micro SIM card and can make and receive calls with its own unique phone number. Also, it can be paired to your regular smartphone via Bluetooth. It's perfect for a "backup phone" that can be used when jogging, biking or anytime you don't want to carry your bulky smartphone.

Both products, as well as their other product line, can be found at their website. The flip screen retails for $695, while the miniature GMS cell phone is just $89.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Amazing Solar Charge and Other Benefits All In One

2017-02-13

We all have our favorites when it comes to our cellular devices. Whether you prefer your cell phone to be Windows, Android or Apple, and regardless of your favorite apps and phone cases, there is one thing that we can all agree upon. We all want to have a charger handy at all times. Now, if that charger is also multifunctional and helps to save money and the environment, then show us where to get it

Accele Electronics is currently working on a new solar charger to add to their product line. We were intrigued to learn what they had to offer in this arena, especially since solar chargers haven't really taken off due to things like their extremely slow charge times. But we have to say, we were quite impressed with their adaptation of the technology.

First and foremost, we liked the design. It comes in the form of a small, compact case that open up to take the charge. It only takes six hours to fully charge the unit, but even with being charged for only an hour, it can jump start a car. Yes, you read that correctly: it can jump start a car that has a dead battery. When tested on a full charge, it jumped started an SUV and then charged four cell phones that each had dead batteries. It doesn't get much more impressive than that. All from a solar charged battery.

The unit comes with the car jumper cables, has an A/C plug along with a USB port and even an onboard flashlight making this the perfect charger to keep stored in your vehicle. It also comes with the a/c power cable and a car adapter, making it capable of conveniently charging up more quickly if necessary while on the go.

This nifty, energy saving product is available now and we can't wait to get our hands on it. Priced at $298, you can get yours by visiting their affiliate, Beuler's website.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Best and Most Affordable Cases Ever for Your Devices

2017-02-13

Active lifestyles and mobile devices don't really go together. But none of us want to leave our tech behind while we are out enjoying our favorite activities. When we bring them with us, it's stressful to find a good safe place to keep, not to mention the fact that we want to be able to text, take pictures and engage in social media while we're out having fun.

There are some shock and water resistant cases out there but they tend to be bulky and you can't always hear your calls and content very well. Enter Catalyst Cases. The owners/creators have very adventurous lives and they ran into the same problems as the rest of us while trying to protect their mobile phones, watches and tablets. So they set out to design cases that would fit perfectly into their adventures and they achieved just that.

Catalyst cases can now boast to be the finest all around 360° protection for your devices. They offer total protection in a simple, yet rugged design. They are slim and lightweight with basic color schemes. The backs are clear to showcase the design of the device itself. The phone cases are waterproof to 33 feet and the watch cases are waterproof to 133 feet. They have also been military tested drop proof to 6.6 feet. So you're free to go enjoy the activities that you love and stay connected at the same time.

They didn't stop with designing with the look, feel and toughness of these cases. They also engineered them for great sound. Because what good is a phone that you can't hear through? The cases are designed with airtight waterproof acoustic membranes that use True Sound Acoustics technology for the best possible sound clearly. As for ease of use, you have full access to all of the buttons, sensors, cameras, flash and the Touch ID.

The Catalyst cases are available for iPhone 6 models and up, as well as for the Apple Watch, the iPad Pro and Mini 4. One of the best features is that the prices are very reasonable and start at just 59.99. Pick one out for yourself at Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Killer Keyboards Make Your Tablets Incredibly Useful

2017-02-12

In recent years, tablets have been integrated into most of our daily lives. Some people use them for watching movies, some people use them to keep up with their social media antics, and some people even use them for selfies. However, there are some people, like myself, who have a tablet specifically to be a workstation; using it for media is just a convenient bonus.

What is not convenient though, is the keyboard market for these tablets. Most of them claim to turn your tablet into a laptop or aim towards turning your system into a workstation. Honestly, this market has been sorely lacking. Most keyboards designed for tablets don't seem to be designed for the device itself.

Brydge aims to change all of that. Their Bluetooth iPad keyboard has been on the market for a bit and is seeing revisions this year, but at CES 2017, Brydge was pleased to show off their new model designed for the Surface Pro 3 & Pro 4 systems.

Brydge 12.3 won the Innovation Award for CES 2017, and for good reason. First, the keyboard is designed specifically for the system. Just like the Brydge 7.9 and 9.7 (designed for the iPad mini and iPad Pro respectively), when attached to the Surface Pro, it truly converts your tablet into a laptop. The connections are secure so you don't have to worry about the system slipping off of the keyboard, and the brackets that secure the system onto the keyboard are very stiff, in a good way! This allows you to tilt the screen at any degree you desire. You can even fold the pair beyond 180°. What sets this model apart from the iPad keyboards is it also comes with a touchpad on the keyboard.

Here's the most exciting feature of this device: for the Surface Keyboard, there is a model that offers added storage to your device. 128GB of high speed SSD storage to be exact. The keyboard is also rechargeable and each charge can last up to 3 months.

Brydge is also currently building a partnership with OtterBox to create full-body protection for the system while docked on the keyboard. In true OtterBox form, the design is both attractive and protective. For now, cases are only available at for the iPad 2 and iPad Pro 9.7.

Due to arrive in the Spring, Brydge is offering $20 off of pre-orders for Surface Pro 3 & Pro 4. For iPad users, Brydge has a plethora of keyboards for every iPad model that are currently available.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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From Podcaster to Professional, Neat Mic is as Sweet as Honey

2017-02-12

One of our most favorite stops at CES every year is at the Gibson Brands booth. This year, while rocking out to the live music on stage, we got a chance to catch up with Aljon and learn more about the line of Neat Microphones. It really doesn't get any better than this!

We started off the lineup with the Beehive. This CES Innovation Award Winner is a headphone amplifier that is designed to improve your overall listening experience for both music and recordings. It features tube integration, solid state bass and we love the nifty industrial design.

In the microphone line, we start off with the King Bee. This mic is all about reproduction with its large-condenser diaphragm design. It's perfect for situations where you need low noise and high sensitivity and is great for vocals and most all instruments. The large gold diaphragm ensures that the output equals the input. Next we have the Worker Bee. This medium-sized diaphragm microphone and Class A discrete electronics are suited for high sound pressure levels with a wide frequency and dynamic range. It's perfect for recording big sound like live recordings, guitar amps, brass and drums while at the same time still retains a level of detail that brings out the vocal nuances and subtleties of string instruments. Both mics come with a perfectly placed honeycomb pop filter as well as a shock mount.

There is also a series of USB, plug-and-play, podcaster mics that deliver great quality sound. With three models to choose from, you'll be able to pick out the one that is perfect for you. The Bumble Bee is a great basic model with a built in stand. It gives you the ability to control what you want to pop out, has headphone output and it's great for basic podcasting and Skype calls. Then we have the Bee Caster, which is great for the professional podcaster or narrator. It has four separate capsules so you can capture mono, stereo, wide stereo and focused stereo. Other features include fully integrated headphone monitoring with volume control, mic gain control, adjustable boom arm, built in pop filter and much more.

Next is the fun and whimsical line of podcaster mics that are known as Widgets. These simple mics have internally shock mounted capsules and offer fantastic sound. They are designed for that spunky podcaster who is looking for something that stands out and are also great for things like YouTube videos.

All of these products are available now and pricing ranges from $99 to $249. Check them out, as well as available accessories at Amazon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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So Lost In Love with Music at Gibson

2017-02-12

Gibson is known for their prestige quality and innovation. They are constantly trying to impress their customers with the newest high quality sounding equipment that will set them aside from the rest. In the past year, Gibson has noticed that vintage guitars have a noticeably more comfortable feel and higher sound quality so they have teamed up with science to provide a 2017 guitar line up that focuses on new age vintage hollow body electric guitars.

Many players find themselves obsessed with the jazz guitars but might be focusing on something newer. The Electric Spanish (ES) 275 Jazz Guitar has the look of a classic, older jazz guitar but is integrated with a smaller, more compact design. This guitar plays beautifully clean jazz chords with clarity but still fits the modern player's needs. The next guitar in the line is the ES 335. The 375 has a visual flare from its modern style finish and is destined to be played by the flashier guitar player that wants to stand out on stage. They also have the Vintage Style 375 that is modeled after the 1958 style with aged hardware and body binding and a thicker neck design.

Gibson takes pride in their new Premier line this year, too. This exclusive line of guitars is special because Gibson takes out a portion of the building process to bake the center block of maple wood to age the wood into what a vintage guitar should be. This process transforms the guitar into a lighter body with a more resonant sound.

Learn more about these guitars and find the guitar that speaks to you at Gibson's website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Monster Digital Brings Your Adventures to Life

2017-02-11

Monster Digital is coming out with a new line of action sports cameras that will certainly meet your needs. Whether you are a beginner photographer or a professional, Monster Digital can help you out. This line includes 4 HD cameras: the Vison HD 720p, Vision HD Plus 1080p, Vision 360, and the Vision VR.

If you're an adventurer that likes to document the action along the way, you need to look at the Vision and the Vision Plus to help you do just that. The Vision 720p is a camera made for the new, casual photographers that want to photograph everything from a hike through the mountains to a family get together. The next step up would be the Vision Plus 1080p made to turn you into a professional with better shots. Both sports cameras come bundled with absolutely everything you need like a micro SD card, waterproof case, battery, charger, and all the mounts you could ever want. This bundle includes 15 accessories that are included in the price.

Some people crave the 360 experience and Monster Digital covers that, too. The Vision 360 is a 360º action sport camera that can take your experiences from 2D pictures to 360 horizontal by 220 degrees vertical masterpiece. The last camera in the line can bring the picture to life using a real virtual reality. The Vision VR is a camera that can record your adventures and can allow you to truly relive them in a new and exciting way! Just record what you want and use Digital Monster's exclusive app to download the content to your phone. From there you can attach your phone to a Monster Vision VR Headset.

Find the right Monster Digital camera for you. The Vision HD is $79.99, Vision HD Plus is $129.99, Vision 360 is $149.99, and the Vision VR is $249.99. Get the Monster Vision VR Headset for $39.99 and the Monster Vision Headset with Integrated Headphones for $99.99.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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The Power of Pure Rock & Roll in the Best Style

2017-02-11

One of our most favorite things to do at CES is meet really interesting people from all over the world, and especially when they are well connected in the entertainment industry (check out Shavo in the video). We got to do just that with British audio company, Meters Music.

Their new line of headphones by are the latest creation from Ashdown Engineering. For the last 20 years they have had the legitimate claim of being the world's foremost expert on bass performance by creating bass guitar amps for many of the worlds best performers and bands. They have brought this expertise to a new line of headphones that combine both lifestyle and audiophile aspirations in one incredible package.

These new headphones are beautifully crafted with amazing detail for a cool "in studio" style. As a matter of fact, they are so "in studio" that they even come equipped with Active Visual Monitoring. That's right, there are VU meters featured on the left and right ears of the headphones with a line-level signal indicator to give them a dynamic look. Those around you can see the level of your music while you are listening, just like in the studio on a professional mixing board.

These headphones look great, sound great and boast a better noise cancellation than some major brands. And they're built to even impress professional rock stars with a lightweight alloy frame, breathable protein leather, as well as audio and USB inputs. Available in the UK and on their website in both black and tan for £269 British Pounds. The company is currently searching for distributors in the US and we hope to see them here soon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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More Simplicity for your Tech Life with Hitachi and Roku

2017-02-11

We all search for the best picture quality when looking to purchase a new TV, but now there is so much more that we want included in our sets. And Hitachi brings it with their line of 4k TVs with Roku built in. They bring together Hitachi's hardware with Roku's software for a truly amazing viewing experience.

The sets are currently available in three sizes: 50", 55" and everybody's favorite, the 65". The line will be expanding to ten by the end of the year with sizes ranging from 43" to 65" with three different packages available. This gives everybody, regardless of room size or budget, the chance to own a TV with amazing picture quality and the luxury of all that Roku has to offer. That luxury, by the way, consists of over 400 channels and 450,000 movies and shows with a user interface that is extremely easy to operate. The basic package will come with a small and simple remote control for ease of use, while the next two tiers will include full size, advanced remotes, some of which include a headphone jack to make your lives so much easier when you are watching your favorite show and realize that somebody else in the room needs some quiet time.

You can find the Hitachi line of 4K Televisions at Sam's Club and other major retailers. There are numerous price points available depending upon which set you choose and from where. We found a nice selection starting at about $300 from Amazon, check them out and choose your favorite.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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The Best Innovations will Empower Parents and Inspire Kids

2017-02-10

It's really nice when we find companies that are out there working to make a positive difference in the lives of kids. Especially when it's in one of the areas that we find extremely important: education. Epik Learning is doing just that with their line of computer products that are just for kids.

For many years, when parents wanted to get their kids engaged with computers or tablets, they would just go out and find a low cost, entry level device to purchase and let them use. But this type of computer is not really good for kids. They do not have the right software built in to help the kids learn and grow into the next levels of education and some of them can barely handle the rigors that an adult can put them through, much less be built tough enough for a child. That's where Epik Learning came onto the scene. They started with a line of tablets made specifically for very small children with educational games and apps that are fun and create a good environment for learning. Kids finally had something of their own that wasn't just a plastic toy but an actual device that functions.

Here at CES 2017, they are unveiling their new line of kid's laptops. The TEQNIO line expands their base from small children to those that are a bit older and are ready to venture more into the world of Microsoft applications. The line consists of an ultra slim laptop and a convertible laptop that is also a tablet. Both are built with family use in mind. From doing homework to business applications to streaming movies, you will feel good about this investment in your child's education. These devices are a great addition to their overall lineup and really bridge the way from early childhood learning to teen development to adulthood.

Overall pricing starts at $69 and goes up to $249, depending upon the model. You can purchase yours at Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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This Superior 360° Camera Will Blow Your Mind

2017-02-10

Panono started off developing a spherical 360° degree camera that could be thrown up in the air and at its highest point, would snap a picture. And although the camera can still do that, the endeavor has turned into so much more. Panono is now proud to boast that their 360° camera has the best resolution of any other on the market today, at an impressive 16k by 8k. The resulting photos are amazingly sharp, even when zoomed in.

Inside, there are a total of 36 camera modules, each with 3 megapixels. After the images are captured, they are blended together, seamlessly in their cloud. The resulting pictures can then be shared on social media, to your own website or even used on VR headsets. And although they are great for the avid traveler and picture taker, they are also perfect for commercial applications. Retailers or restaurants can take a picture of their locations to be added to their websites and to show up in web searches. They are perfect for real estate agents for adding great, multi room shots of their listings. Even the construction and insurance industries would have great use for an exceptional camera such as this. The 360° shot will draw customers in and the crisp detail will make the sale.

The camera is about the size of a grapefruit and weighs approximately one pound. It retails for $1,999 from their website and comes with the case. There are also add on accessories available, including a messenger bag and selfie stick, with a tripod coming soon. And don't forget to check out their featured images from some of users who choose to make their photos public.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Home Security that is Easy and Affordable

2017-02-10

Polaroid is very well known for their fun point and shoot cameras that instantly print out the pictures. Nowadays, this company is so much more than that. The latest creation to be introduced is their new home security camera. The Hoop is a wireless 1080p intelligent home camera with a cool, funky design, just like the name suggests. Two way audio is built in, so through the accompanying app, you are able to speak with the people (or pets) that are in view. They are also weatherproof making them perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Other features include night vision, motion detection and you can pair as many units together as you would like. The auto pairing is very simple via the app and your Wi-Fi connection.

The Hoop really gives everybody the chance to add security cameras to their home. They could not be more simple to use. Set up takes just three easy steps: 1) turn the camera on, 2) download the app, 3) pair the camera to the app. And there's no tricky wiring and mounting process. They can sit on a shelf or table, or be quickly attached to the wall with the two prongs on the base. The battery packs last approximately 5-6 months, depending upon actually recording time, and only takes six hours to charge back up.

Want to personalize your settings for your specific household needs? No problem. The settings are easy to adjust and you can even set up several "zones" inside of one camera angle. This allows you to customize the recording based upon the dynamics in your home. For example, if you want the camera to record when the door opens, you can also set the specific zone that will still allow your pets to move around the house freely without triggering the camera to record. And let's not forget the smart features. They actually learn your ways and patterns and adapt to ensure you get the performance from them that you want. To top it all off, they will sort the recorded files based upon the type of setting or activity in them so that you won't have to sift through hours and hours of video to find something specific. They are also compatible with all other smart home devices. For instance, if you already have Alexa in your home, you don't need to worry about having to change anything out or add a second system to the mix.

The Hoop will be available at retailers in the spring with an expected price of $199.99. For more information and to check out their other great products, you can visit their website here.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Get the Exercise You Want with the Excitement of an Electric Bike

2017-02-09

Some things in life are pure genius. Combining a mountain bike and an electric bike is one of them.

Jetson Bike introduced the Jetson Adventure, their new electric mountain bike for 2017. It comes in six great colors and has a very lightweight aluminum frame. Having enough power to get through the trails or the city is no problem with the 250 watt motor in the rear. The integrated 36 volt lithium ion battery is strategically hidden in the down tube. There are 21 different gears with 9 levels of pedal assist in each gear. This ensures that whatever effort you exert, you will get back. We were also impressed with the 20mph top speed. The battery will last about 40 miles on a full charge and it recharges from a standard wall outlet in 4-5 hours.

One of the best features on this 26 inch frame is the built in display screen. Mounted right in the center, the display shows battery level, speedometer, odometer and the level of pedal assist being used. If you are in a place where you need a little more help, just click on the pedal assist button on the side.

These cool bikes are available now at your favorite retailer for $1799 and you can check out their entire product line on their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Crosley: Spinning Vinyl Back to the Fun of the Juke Box

2017-02-09

We stop into the Crosley booth year after year and once again, they did not disappoint. There is always something fun and new that grabs our attention. And this year, that something new is technically something old: a jukebox that plays vinyl records.

That's right, this is the world's only vinyl jukebox that is in currently in production. They are fantastic machines that are hand built with great care to last a lifetime. The craftsmanship is simply fantastic with the wood, metal and chrome finishes. And it's so cool how you can see the mechanics inside when the arm exchanges records and plays them. Each unit holds 70 vinyl records for a selection of 140 songs. It's such a great way to listen to music especially since vinyl has been making such a huge comeback in the last few years. The old school feel of pushing the buttons to have your tunes retrieved has such a good feel, but you won't be limited to just the vinyl inside. There are many modern features on them as well, such as Bluetooth connectivity and a full remote control to bring us the conveniences that we love. You can even print your own labels with the printing system that they provide for download. These jukeboxes are built in the UK and shipped all over the world through exclusive distributors and can also be found at famous retailers such as Harrods. Whether it's for an upscale recreation room, man cave or commercial location, you are going to love the look and sound of this jukebox.

We expect to start seeing them for distribution soon at a price point of $12,000. Visit the Crosley website for more information and don't forget to check out their other product line on Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Make Your Outdoor Adventures Better with the New GoPro HERO5

2017-02-09

The product category of action cameras has never been more popular, and the company that started it all is GoPro. This year, the company is showing off a greatly enhanced set of products in their popular Hero line. Both cameras in the line offer UHD, or 4k, video recording, and are both waterproof out of the box. That means no more need for additional cases to make them waterproof. They also offer built-in stabilization, as well as voice control, so you can ensure there is no jitter to your recordings when you first begin.

Where the HERO5 Black separates itself from the HERO5 Session is a touchscreen on the back. That means that you can get full camera control without having to use the basic controls. You also get GPS, meaning that your photos and videos are tagged with location so you know exactly where you were during a recording.

The HERO5 Session is available for $299, while the HERO5 Black is available for $399. Like all GoPro cameras, there are also tons of accessories like batteries, cases, stands and more available.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Gaming with Fatal1ty and Monster is Amazingly Brilliant

2017-02-08

It just doesn't get any better than Monster Products! Until you combine them with Fatal1ty, that is.

That's right: Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel is one of the Brand Ambassadors at Monster Products. The combination of gaming with the best quality headsets is incredible and something that both brands can be proud of. This great partnership has created the Fatal1ty by Monster FXM Series Headphones. Lightweight, flexible and durable, these headphones are a gamer's dream as they are engineered for great sound and long wear. Specs include custom built drivers for maximum detail, in-line audio controls for listening to music and taking calls, tangle free cable AND a detachable noise cancelling microphone - I mean come on! All of this with two versions available and price points under $100. We've definitely got these babies on our gift wishlist. Pick yours up here.

Also being featured by Fatal1ty at CES this year is the ASRock Motherboard. While the processor might be the brain of the computer, the motherboard is what connects all of the pieces together. If you cheap out on that, you lose performance on everything else. That's where Fatal1ty's partnership with ASRock comes in. He has designed a series of motherboards that focus on the connection between components in a way that gives as much power to your games as possible. Several models are available at Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Now Kids Can Print All of the Things They Want with Polaroid

2017-02-08

When it comes right down to it, we're really just big kids here at PLuGHiTz Live. Some of the products that we encounter are so much fun. So of course we had a blast at the Polaroid booth this year at CES. Some of the fun that is being unveiled this year are the 3D Pens and Printers.

The 3D Pens, designed for kids 13 and up, have a very lightweight and comfortable ergonomic design that make them very easy to use, especially with the precision nozzles and variable speed controls. There is also an automatic feed feature that is perfect for extended use. Safety features include an automatic shut off and ceramic tip, as well as other heat reducing features. The DRW100 is corded, while the DRW101 is the cordless version. There are various types and colors of filament available so your kids can create toys, animals, jewelry: anything their imagination can envision. There are also multiple stencils available to download from their website.

The 3D Printers are perfect for kids who are creative and industrious. They are all-in-one home printers with simple LCD controls and work with a mobile app. Kids can search for designs on from their phones and tablets and have them automatically sent to the printers to print out. Parents don't have to worry about any little ones getting into the printers and getting hurt as they have a safety lock that requires a code to open the unit, also the printed items cool down right away so they can be used or played with as soon as printing has finished. Printing times vary depending upon the size of the project, and the possibilities are endless. From school and art projects to the fun of designing your own figurines, kids will have hours of fun creating on their own 3D printer.

All of these items can be preordered from their website. Pricing for the Pens start at $129 and the Printer is $399. The filament is also available online and the prices range from $14 to $34.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

More Powerful Washer & Dryer = More Time for Fun in your Life

2017-02-08

Some of the products presented at CES are so inventive that they receive special recognition at the show. This year Samsung received a CES Innovation Award for their new FlexWash & FlexDry washer/dryer set.

You might think, "OK, a new washer and dryer, what could be so special about that?" Well, Samsung has been a real trailblazer in this area for a few years now. And the Flex Series is no exception. The FlexWash is two independent washers in one. The upper washer is one cubic foot and is perfect for those smaller loads. The lower washer is the largest in the market at five cubic feet which can tackle extra large comforters, etc. without a problem. But that's not all, other features include Super Speed, which cuts the wash time by 45% without cutting any of the wash performance. This enables you to run a full load of laundry in just 30 minutes.

The FlexDry isn't any less impressive. There is an upper unit for drying delicate items and the regular large tumble dryer below for everyday items. FlexDry also has MultiSteam technology with customizable temperature zones built in to assist with taking care of those wrinkles and also refreshing/sanitizing.

The Flex Series is expected to be available for purchase in the first half of 2017. The pricing is still yet to be determined. You can get more information and even sign up for updates on their website.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Intel Merges VR and AR in the Best Way

2017-02-07

We are all fascinated by Virtual Reality. There are numerous versions out there these days with varying degrees of sophistication, depending upon the price point. Always on the cutting edge of technology, Intel is working to create the ultimate experience. They have done just that with Project Alloy.

By merging VR and AR technology, the user experience is enhanced with this cool, all in one mounted display where the computer is built into the headset itself. There is also a set of cameras that can see what's happening in front of you and put it in the scene with you. So you'll be immersed in VR with the benefit of the addition of augmented pieces that create a merged reality. This will help you see where you are going as you'll be getting feedback inserted into the scenery when picked up by the cameras.

Intel loves developing these concepts and taking them to the next level. So many of their partners are producing content that is amazing and immersive. Although Project Alloy is currently a reference platform today, they anticipate their industry partners bringing it to market within the next couple of years. As for power and specs, they believe the customer will be able to customize their unit based upon the things that are most important to them, just like when purchasing a new computer.

They are also excited about the commercial applications that will be available with this type of technology. They anticipate uses in healthcare, automotive, education, retail and more.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Embrace Your Little Monster Like Fitness Expert Nicole Chaplin

2017-02-07

Watch out! Nicole Chaplin, The Fitness Rockstar is the new Monster Products Ambassador for fitness-wear and she is seriously dedicated to her new role. Nicole took the world by storm as a fitness enthusiast through social media and was later featured in Sheen Magazine, Women's Health Magazine, Essence, and was even awarded Leading Lady in her field of Health and Fitness. Nicole fell in love with Monster's products early in her career and Monster knew that they needed her and her vibrant energy to join their team right away.

Nicole Chaplin is all about quality music that stays in her ear during vigorous training and that's why she's promoting Monster's new line of iSport headphones: in-ear and over-ear. Nicole lives in New York City and never leaves home without her iSport ear buds. They are light weight and she uses them around the house, while traveling, and training. Monster's number one focus is to bring you the sound quality that you deserve.

Nicole also swears by the new-age boom box, the Monster Blaster. This new addition to the Monster line is a high quality portable stereo that will knock your socks off. Nicole uses hers at the park, the beach, and as background music for speaking engagements. This cool new boombox celebrates the old classic but with a cool modern design and all the latest wireless technology. And we have to say is: the sound will blow you away.

The iSport Headphones have a starting price point of $59.95 and the Monster Blaster is $399.95 and you can get more information and purchase them at here.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Brilliant New TCL TVs are Amazingly Irresistible

2017-02-07

TCL is a company that manufactures an assortment of tech products across the world, such as phones, major appliances, air conditioners and more. Here in the U.S., they are the fastest growing TV company and they are set to continue with their momentum.

Their new lineup for 2017 is really exciting. For starters, the C Series brings style and design back to televisions. The series is available from moderate screen sizes all the way up to a giant 75 inch model. What sets this series apart from other televisions on the market today is the beautiful contemporary, European design and fantastic picture quality. They have full metal frames and metal legs, so the sets look good an fit into the room even when they are off. These high dynamic range sets have front firing speakers and the latest LED technology with advanced phosphors and Dolby Vision. And let's not forget the included Roku interface with 4,500+ channels and 450,000 shows that are available to download and stream in an amazingly advanced and simple to use format.

Also new in 2017 is the P Series. This is their performance line. This is for that customer who wants a nice looking TV but performance comes first. This line includes all of the amazing tech of the C Series with the additions of contrast control zones that can control up to 72 individual zones. This offers the blackest blacks and the whitest whites on the screen at the same time. Screen sizes range from 50 inches to 65.

Both series will be available in the second quarter of 2017 and although the exact pricing has not yet been determined, prices are expected to start below $500. Once released, they will be available online here from Amazon, along with current models.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Turn the Tables on Silence with Monster's Rockin' Roller 3 and GLO Speaker

2017-02-06

Around the corner from the primary Monster Products booth we encountered My Monster Audio, home to some of the most unique Monster speakers available.

First up was the Rockin' Roller 3, a truly multi-purpose device. This 100-watt speaker offers an internal battery, which allows for portability and 100 hours of playtime, NOAA weather radio for when you're using it while camping or during a storm and IPX4 water resistance. Here's where things get really interesting: it also has microphone and guitar inputs, making this a Monster-branded guitar amp. All of this makes the speaker a little heavy, but fortunately it comes on wheels.

Finally, we saw the GLO, a lantern-inspired outdoor speaker. On two sides of this speaker are LED panels, keeping the lantern functionality, while on the other 2 sides are speakers. A combined 20-watts, the GLO has 8 hours of battery life and is IPX5 dust and water resistant. This makes it perfect for regular outdoor usage, which is exactly where you want a lantern. It also offers the ability to sync up to 8 speakers, both GLO and others, together to fill a large area, like around a pool, with music.

The Rockin' Roller 3 is available at Sam's Club for $179, and the GLO will be available in March for $129.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Straight Out of the Future: Replace Your PC with Android

2017-02-06

We do just about everything nowadays on our cell phones. We love our apps, from games and social media to email and shopping. It seems like everything that we need or want to do, we can take care of with an app on our phones. But there are those times when we need to move to our PC's to get certain things accomplished, even when there is an app for it on our phones, because it's easier to type on an actual keyboard and so much easier to see on our computer monitor. If only there was a way to use the apps on your phone with your computer monitor and keyboard. Well, now there is.

Jide has created Remix OS, the perfect device that allows you to use everything you love on your Android phone with your full size keyboard, monitor or even television. It's basically a merger between your mobile phone and your desktop. You are able to open up multiple apps at once on your large screen and also use many of the keyboard shortcuts that you are already use to using. This creates a really great user experience because even though you are using your Android, it feels familiar in a desktop mode with multiple window multitasking, screen capture and even a task bar.

You won't need to worry about your phone being able to keep with everything that you are doing. Mobile components are almost as powerful as PC components. Also, the Remix OS uses 90-95% less power than the traditional desktop PC. It's not only energy efficient but also very affordable at just $69.99.

For more information on the Remix OS and their upcoming units, Remix IO and Mini, check out their website. You can also still pre order the new Remix IO from Kickstarter.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Vivitar's Line of Smart Home Products are Creative and Fun

2017-02-06

When we think Vivitar, the first thing that comes to mind are the point and shoot cameras that we all know and love. Like many other successful tech companies, they have evolved. And in a really great way.

This year at CES they have unveiled fun new additions to their line of smart home products. First up is their hero product, the Vivi Voice Assistant which works in conjunction with all of their other smart home products. This speaker has a sleek, metallic design that will fit into virtually any décor. It features Amazon Alexa technology and offers 360 degree sound with a rich bass. And it's priced to compete with the Echo at $99.

They have also added smart home security cameras to the mix. And we have to say, they are quite clever. All offer Wi-Fi and are controllable from both iOS and Android. There is a ceiling/wall mounted 360 degree camera that is uniquely designed to look like a smoke detector that will retail for approx. $149.99. Also doorbell cameras that offers night vision and the ability to speak directly through the unit that will also retail for approx. $149.99. A less conspicuous model is the new IP Camera that come in a fun rain drop shape and cool colors that offer live video streaming so you can monitor any room of the house anytime. These will retail for approx. $99.

Last but not least, there's our personal favorite here at PLuGHiTz Live: The RoboCams. There are two models that again are controlled via iOS and Android devices which act as rover cams. The higher end model offers a telescoping camera with an articulating eye. Pricing is expected to start at $200.

We love how this new camera line intertwines practicality and just plain fun. These products are expected to be available in Q2 and you'll be able to check them all out on their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Truly Wireless Earbuds That are Fun and Affordable

2017-02-05

Music is such an important aspect of our lives. We listen to our favorite tunes everywhere we go. And now it's easier than ever with Altec Lansing's truly wireless earbuds.

These new earbuds differentiate themselves from the competition by being extremely lightweight and comfortable enough to easily wear for hours. And rest assured, they also remain firmly in place during all of your activities. They have an impressive 6 hour battery life and come with a case that not only can charge them but also holds the equivalence of 2 additional charges so you'll actually have three full charges when you set out for the day. You can also charge them independently and charge time is about 4 hours. They come in the same great colors as the rest of the headphone line, so you'll also be able to express yourself with your favorite color.

The wireless earbuds will be available in the 2nd quarter at big box stores, just in time for spring break and summer activities and will retail for $149.99. For more information, check out their website at www.alteclansing.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Fantastic Waterproof Speaker Can Pair Up to 50 Devices

2017-02-05

In a world of ever-advancing technology, everyone is looking for the next best thing. Some crave the newest and best video capture devices while others want the most innovative smartphone tech. If you're one who desires top of the line audio speakers, look no further than Altec Lansing's new Bluetooth speaker. With this waterproof lightweight device one is able to keep the party going for up to fifty hours at a time.

If you like your tech to be multi-functional, you're in luck with this speaker. It boasts two A/C outlets as well as three smartphone chargers, so it will definitely be the center of attention. Due to the hundred foot range, feel free to pair your device and mingle as you please. If you really feel like turning it up a notch, this speaker is able to connect with up to fifty other speakers with little to no latency between them.

With a reasonable price point of $249.99 this innovative product will be coming soon. Look for it in all of the big box retailers this spring break. For other products, questions or information, visit www.alteclansing.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Blast Your Way to Fantastic New Sound with DJ Clue?

2017-02-05

This year Monster Products has outdone themselves with their new ambassadors. DJ Clue?, a mixtape DJ and founder of Desert Storm Records, has stepped up, and has joined forces with Monster Products to create the new Clue Radio Blasters. These Blasters are based on the existing Monster Blaster and come in a brilliant gold color that will add energy and excitement to any party to turn up the fun and music. The new Blasters have linking abilities so that you can link two or more together, creating a Monster party with quality sound.

That is not the only thing that DJ Clue? has to tell. He is launching his own app: Clue Radio. This app allows people to live-stream songs and station, with exclusive curated content by DJ Clue? himself, Monster Products, Rick Ross, Future and others. Another perk to this app is that songs can be downloaded to phones, and then played without using up any service or data. This app comes with its own videos, chat forums and media platforms. This makes it easy for customers to enjoy and talk with other music enthusiasts.

The Clue Radio Blaster is coming soon. Clue Radio is free to download but additional features are in-app purchases. This app is currently available for iOS and will be coming to Android in the future.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Better Way to Store, Access and Utilize Your Digital Photos

2017-02-04

Pictures not only capture our memories and the things that we find beautiful in the world, but they have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. From the casual selfie taker who uses their pics to paint a story on social media and capture fun and important moments with friends and family, to the avid photographer who makes a living with their camera.

As much as we love taking and sharing pictures, storing them can be a real pain. We run out of space on our mobile devices and computers. And a lot of the cloud storage services can get costly without any real benefits, plus they tend to modify or compress the photos so you can't get them back in the original format in which they were taken. If you are looking for a better smart photo management service, look no further than Keenai.

Keenai elegantly and effortlessly keeps your memories safe and organized. You can automatically backup unlimited original resolution photos, including RAW, and have them automatically sync on all of your devices for you. There is also automatic image recognition and smart tagging for easy and fast photo searches. And if sharing is your thing, you can transform your pictures, videos and 360 degree images into gorgeous albums to share.

The service is just $5 per month or $50 per year for unlimited storage. Get more information and try it for free at Keenai.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Superior Wow Factor in the Look of These Headphones

2017-02-04

Just when we thought that we had seen every possible cool set of headphones, we stumbled across the new Heritage Headphone series while we were at the Klipsch booth checking out the inspiring speaker line by the same name. Once again, we couldn't help but fall in love.

Just like the speakers, these headphones were designed with a lot of character. For this line, Klipsch took on the specific challenge of making sure that none of the surfaces were plastic. Each pair is finely designed with a craft made look. They took the time to focus on the individual materials: the leather, the real wood, metal, copper and steel.

And, just like the speakers, don't think that these headphones are just a pretty package alone, because that couldn't be further from the truth. They are definitely engineered for function as well as style. They boast superior sound quality with new leading edge driver technology. They offer an open, airy sound that is very natural. There is no added bass or effects because they truly believe that music is art and their goal is to recreate the musical experience as the artist intended.

There is a large assortment in both style and aesthetic in the Heritage series. You can choose from open and closed ear models accompanied by either oak, ebony or walnut finishes. There are options in the closed ear models that also include features like Bluetooth and ambient noise cancellation technology.

Series pricing goes from $399 to $999 and you can get more information from their website at Klipsch.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Speakers with Wonderful Retro Feel and Cool New Tech

2017-02-04

If there's one thing we love here at PLuGHiTz Live, it's great audio. It was so refreshing to visit the Klipsch booth this year at CES 2017. Having been in business for 71 years, they know how to rely upon tried and true sound technology while mixing in our favorite modern features.

We also love sleek, shiny new tech, however there's something to be said for old school craftsmanship, especially when it comes to speakers. Klipsch agrees: that's why their new Heritage line of speakers are a throwback to the 30's, 40's and 50's with nice wood grain cases, legs with modern and retro stylings combined with copper spun knobs and switches. They are a real nod to history with the feel, look and touch that can blend into your home design. But they don't just look good. You're getting pure Klipsch sound in every speaker from a company that is famous for engineering their own drivers and horns.

Even though these speakers are a great throwback to many years of listening to stereo and hi-fi systems, you don't have to worry about missing out on hip new amenities. You're also getting great modern features like Bluetooth, various inputs and wireless capabilities for semi portable use around the house.

The Heritage line has multiple speakers in varying size and capabilities. From the newly launched Demi which is a basic, entry level model that is the perfect size to sit on a desk or table for streaming music wirelessly, to the Heritage Wireless 1, 2 and 3 that each have better sound and features than the last. Then to the more traditional looking speakers, the Heritage Wireless 6's which are a pair of wireless speakers that are amplified with superior sound quality. Last but not least, the big boys that will debut later this year... the Heritage Wireless 15's. They are the ultimate throwback speakers that are truly reminiscent of our old stereo system speakers, but with even more impressive specs and sound.

Pricing starts out at $199 and you can get more information by visiting their website at Klipsch.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Fantastic Technology Moving to the Forefront in Digital Security

2017-02-03

Biometric technology is increasingly becoming an accepted form of identity authentication. EyeLock is on the cutting edge of furthering this technology and is set to be an industry leader as advancements continue.

Most of us have now become accustom to using our fingerprints to unlock our phone or computer and to gain access to buildings. Fingerprint technology has proven useful, but this kind of identity verification can really only take us so far as we venture more and more into the digital world. We want to know that we are secure when using an ATM or our mobile banking apps. And on a larger scale, many businesses would benefit from a less cumbersome and much more secure way to allow employees entry than key cards.

That's where EyeLock comes in. They have been working on biometric identity authentication, specifically with iris detection, for the last 10 years. Statistically, iris detection is the 2nd best way to confirm identity, with DNA being first. Their current product uses iris identity detection for projects like ATM's. Announcements are also forthcoming in places like banking centers and stadiums and the possibilities go on from there. There is a real and necessary use for this type of technology in places like hospitals, for example, which will not only aid in overall security of patients, staff and facility but also in helping to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. And just think of how the user experience would improve if this technology becomes available when you are going through customs.

The stage has definitely been set for the next level of biometrics. This technology will not only bring about better user experiences for the consumer but will also add new business and revenue models to the OEM's. The way business is conducted all over the world will be changed and new streams of revenue will be created, all while increasing safety for consumers and businesses alike.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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For Tech in the Home, Innovation is Energized to the Next Level

2017-02-03

digitalSTROM is the brains behind home innovation. They are an innovative force behind software that makes various pieces of smart home technology work together. The home is actually way behind when it comes to technology, as opposed to things like automobiles. Automation in the home started many years ago with something as simple as the coffee machine and until recently, really hasn't advanced much further from there. And although we are seeing more an more in the way of products for the smart home, for the most part they are just individual components that assist with one or two functions in the home.

digitalSTROM envisions a digital transformation in the home where everything works together and with everyone in the home, no matter their age. They want to make every device smart so that they have access to cognitive services and can learn and adapt with the users. The modern day digital home started in the living room with audio and televisions and then moved to things like lighting and now refrigerators. The next step is moving into other rooms of the house but they need companies to create devices and everyday items to work for digital operation.

They are currently working on making the software work with the young and elderly and to work with what different people may want.

digitalSTROM started in Europe and Asia and are only now moving to North and South America. This company is encouraging tech companies to create and upgrade current and future devices and machines for the future.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Learn How to Code with the Avengers in This Awesome New Toy

2017-02-03

Ozobot is a fun programming robot for kids 6+. It features three different program styles: color, block coding and line coding. Each style can be accessed as the kids progress through the achievement levels in the Ozobot Evo app.

Kids can even communicate with other kids through their program and send custom emojis, called "Zojis," that the Evos can act out when received. All you need to start are colored markers (black, red, blue, and green) and the Ozobot Evo app. Kids can learn to program at their own speed and control the Evo. They come in a variety of colors and characters, including Marvel's Avengers.

Charging the Evo takes about 20 minutes over USB and runs for approximately 60 minutes. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store. Evos are available now at Amazon, Target, and their online store starting at $99 for just an Evo, $129 for an Avo and a skin, and for just a skin is $29.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Choose the Best Security with BenjiLock: The Hybrid Padlock of the Future

2017-02-02

Begin to live in the future without giving up the comfort of the past. BenjiLock is the high tech padlock that gives you the power to open your lock with fingerprint technology and with a physical. This stainless steel lock is ready for anything, its rechargeable battery can last on one charge a year and even if you do forget to charge it or need someone else to open your lock the set of keys that come with BenjiLock will save you from any hassle.

This is a lock without limits whether you want new technology in every part of your life without the worry of battery life or trying to get your elders an into to the technology world. There is no need to worry about making a choice of your security. This padlock is for everyday use whether for the gym, a bike, or a gate this stainless steel lock will keep everything safe.

The founder of BenjiLock, Robbie Cabral, is a self-made entrepreneur who has put his heart into this product and truly has made a solution to an everyday problem. Never again worry if you forgot or lost your key BenjiLock will let you in with just the swipe of your finger.

Coming out in late 2017 with the price around 75 dollars, look for this product in the future. To sign up for the mailing list, check out their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

You Will Treasure These Futuristic, Intelligent Headphones

2017-02-02

Everybody is searching for the perfect pair of headphones that have great sound and a personality of their own. Inspero Inc has done just that with Vinci, the first intelligent headphones that truly understand you. Vinci is considered an all-in-one device and that's because you have the option to listen to music or content without connecting to your phone or tablet at all. These headphones have local storage that can connect to your Spotify, SoundCloud, or Amazon accounts, 3G Wi-Fi capability, and Bluetooth.

Vinci over-ear headphones are very attractive to the eye with a colorful touch screen that allows you to select your music, speak to Alexa, view your health data, and even just show off cool visuals while you're listening. They come equipped with GPS sensors and a heart rate sensor.

Vinci is certainly a device that will grow with you the longer you have it. It will learn what you listen to when you feel different emotions or do different activities, will keep a track-record of those moments, and will recommend music that is tailored for you.

Find yours at Vinci.im or find them on Indiegogo (30% off) at the retail price of $149 for the Regular or $299 for the Pro. Get them as early as April!

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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At Last: A Fantastic Stroke Forward to Empower Swimming Technology

2017-02-02

Competitive swimmers train continually to improve their stokes and lap times. And now there is a product that can help them improve while swimming without having to stop to get the current stats. Introducing the Marlin, a small swim meter that attaches to your swim goggles providing real time stats that you can hear through the built in bone conduction headset.

This nifty little device works great while swimming in a pool as it provides lap times and stroke counts. It's also great while swimming in open water due to the built in GPS which not only tracks your distance and speed but also helps to keep you on track. The audio feedback is perfect to give you all of the pertinent information without you having to look up out of the water or stop swimming all together.

The unit cost will be $150 and can be purchased from Platysens website where they are currently offering a preorder discount. There is also a version available online that does not include the open water option.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Make Stunning, Exciting Music With Your Hands with Specktr

2017-02-01

Modern DJs spend a lot of their time on a laptop keyboard and a small amount of their time on digital turntables. Unfortunately, this means that very little of their time is spent actually engaging with the music itself, and even less time engaging with their audience. Watching a DJ can be about as much fun as watching someone work in Excel.

Here to change that scenario is the Specktr, a Bluetooth glove that is able to control nearly any music application using a MIDI interface. Rather than a keyboard, mouse and scratchpads, an artist uses the motion of their hands in 3D space to raise and lower volume, transition between tracks and even insert samples. The whole experience is similar to watching Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, and it is truly wonderful for both the artist and the audience.

There are currently two different Specktr models: Specktr Play and Specktr Pro. Specktr Play is for beginners and music enthusiast. The Play model allows easy connection to applications and music software to learn, play and interact with your own music in a simple, and fun matter. On the other hand, Specktr Pro is designed for musicians and professional artists. The Pro model can create custom gestures for a unique performance. This unique and fun product looks to be a way to revolutionize music performances by adding more interaction between artist and art.

The models are available from the company's online store. The Play model runs $194 for a single and $355 for a pair. The Pro models runs $302 for a single and $485 for a pair.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tech Breakthrough: 3D Printed Violin That Will Blow You Away

2017-02-01

Music speaks to us all in different ways. The same can be said for the science of design.

This year at CES 2017, we were fortunate to meet up with Laurent with 3Dvarius who is both a violinist and a mechanical engineer. He wanted to combine his two passions, so four years ago, he decided to experiment with building his own violin. It took him three years to achieve his goal. The result: he designed, developed and brought to life an amazing electric, 3D printed violin. They have been for sale in Europe for the last year and have sold about 100 units. They are now looking to expand to the US market.

The violin is printed in one piece using an epoxy resin, which makes it light weight and also offers the best sound quality as the sound is able to flow from the strings directly through the body without being impeded. Not only does it sound great, but the design is beautiful. The head has been removed and those components moved towards the bottom of the violin. There are 30,000 layers and after it comes off the printer, it goes through 20 days of sanding, varnishing, addition of settings, etc. until it is perfect.

The company will be expanding the product line into other types of violins and possibly even guitars and wind instruments in the future. The price of the current model $7000. If you would like more information or have any questions, please visit the website where you can request to speak with the makers directly.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Empowering Kids to Be Awesome by Coding and Building Circuits

2017-02-01

If there is one toy that is fundamental to a child's early development, it would be the building block. LightUp has found a perfect way to help direct that type of play into a love for technical learning with their building kits.

LightUp makes products to help kids learn science and engineering. And one of their main goals is to teach them that learning from their mistakes is just as crucial as the content itself and that is what is really at the core of being a scientist. They offer kits of circuit blocks that teach kids how to build circuits and also to program.

The blocks click together magnetically with each one designed for a specific purpose. There's a battery block and other pieces that enable kids to build things like an alarm, thermometer and even a music box.
Through trial and error, the kids are able to try different configurations and learn how to make current flow and also how voltage works. There is also an app that uses the camera on your tablet to tutor them through the process. So rather than just giving them the pieces and a step by step list of instructions, the kids actually learn the science behind it through experimentation.

Future kits are in development that will provide more projects and games and include magnetism and physics in the mix. Sign up for their mailing list to find out when new kits become available.

The Edison Kit is available for $48.95 and the Tesla Kit is available for $85.34.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Surge Kids' Knowledge and Exploration with This Great Toy

2017-01-31

Little ones are spending more and more time in front of monitors these days. In an effort to not only get them out exploring but also learning about the universe in which they are a part, Another Circus is developing an interactive smart toy named Neil the Little Explorer.

Neil is for children between the ages of 3 to 8 and is designed to teach through play and direct interaction. He does this by playing music and sound wiki's that impart knowledge about the world. Neil will also suggest various activities like going for a walk to keep your kids engaged and away from screens for as long as possible. There are five buttons on Neil's chest to keep the kids engaged and the "like" button helps him grow with your child's interests. Parents are able to stay up to date on the topics that the kids are most excited about and they can even insert content of their own. And you don't need to worry about the kids outgrowing him too soon because Neil is able to grow with your child with specific content for ages 3-5 and upgraded content and more grown up voice for kids 6-8.

Neil comes with a little planet that acts as his docking station, charger and router. If the kids haven't played with him in a while, he will levitate and/or play music to get their attention. It's like having a little superhero toy of their very own.

Neil the Little Explorer is still in the prototype stage. The developers are currently securing funding and hope to bring him to the market in about a year.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Push Your Interactive Abilities to the Limit with Hello

2017-01-31

As technology grows, we are expecting bigger, better, and greater ways to communicate. Solaborate will meet all of your expectations and more with their new high end device, Hello. You can easily transform any television set into a video conference center, wireless sharing device, live broadcast hub, and home security surveillance.

Solaborate made a convenient cross platform application that allows you to push voice calls, video calls, text messages, live broadcasts, or any other compatible streaming content to your TV by just a swipe on your phone or tablet. If you would prefer to start Hello hands-free you're in luck because it is installed with Alexa integration and is working with the community to provide options of your platform preference.

Purchase your Hello today for a limited offer of $189 from Indiegogo and get lifetime support. When Solaborate goes live, Hello will retail for $249.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Kids Get Strong Tech and Coding Start with Plezmo

2017-01-31

Kids love finding new interactive toys, especially when they are combined with an app. When these new toys allow them to take their creativity to the next level and even jumpstart them into the world of STEM without them even realizing it, you know you have found something very special. Plezmo is a platform of building blocks that are full of electronics and logic, designed for kids ages 9 and up. The kids are able to design their own creations and even build onto existing toys while including technology and coding in the mix.

These building blocks provide so many amazing project opportunities in areas such as art, music, science, robotics, and more. Kids can create an alarm system for a dollhouse, invent their own games, build wearable tech, and so much more. They are compatible with existing toys and building sets, or can be used with standalone accessories. Plezmo elements work with LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Wedo, Sphero and more all in one program!

Each element is wirelessly programmable, using an app on your tablet, with a very easy to use drag and drop Visual Programming interface which allows both simple and more complex logic to be programmed. The app even has a built in simulator that allows the programmer to test the various programs right on the screen for completeness and accuracy prior to using the elements themselves.

There are currently 11 different sensors and actuators available, along with 6 separate accessories with more currently in development. They are currently on Kickstarter with a few different kits available starting at $109. Check out their Kickstarter campaign for more details.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Brushies is the Perfect Device for Your Kid's Dental Health

2017-01-31

No matter how hard we try, it's next to impossible to get your kids to brush their teeth for the proper amount of time, if at all. The folks at Brushies found a totally cool solution to this little dilemma.

Brushies is a little adapter that is attached to any toothbrush so that your kids can still use their favorite brand and characters. It has Bluetooth, an accelerometer and a gyroscope built inside that interacts with an app on your tablet or phone with built in games aimed at not only teaching your kids the proper way to brush their teeth, but also have fun in process. You can start off with very simple activities with your kids to get them use to brushing and become more advanced as they grow into playing games such as races, blowing up balloons and more. They get rewarded in the app with things like gems with the goal of increasing the numbers and ultimately their streak of days in a row of proper brushing. There are even games that can be played along with friends to add a level of fun and competition to the mix. There is a separate app for the parents that provide progress reports and even notifications to let you know when they have brushed their teeth. These results can be then shared with your dentist who can see their progress and set up a rewards program there in the office for added pride and incentive.

The company is continually updating the apps with improved and new content to assist parents and keep the kids engaged. And as the company continues to grow, they are hoping to partner with the American Dental Association to provide real-world data to them for research purposes and future guidelines.

The starting price point is $30 from their online store and that includes the app and the games that are currently available. More games and rewards will also be available soon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A New Soundbar with Beautiful, Crisp Sound

2017-01-31

It seems every time you turn around nowadays, there are new TV's and new sound bars being unveiled. Each boasting of the newest features and cutting edge technology. So when we tell you that we ran across another new sound bar at CES this year you'll probably think, "No big deal, right?" Well, in this case you'd be wrong. ZVOX Audio came up with a solution for millions of viewers who have a hard time differentiating the dialog from the rest of the soundtrack in their shows.

In speaking with CEO Tom Hannah, we discovered that there is an epidemic in this country of people who can't understand what is being said on tv. This is due to a few factors. First, sound mixing technology has changed with the emphasis being on drama, not voice quality. Second, television sets keep slimming down leaving no room for good speakers. Third, there are 95 million baby boomers in this country who listened to their fair share of loud music at concerts and through headphones.

The ZVOX AccuVoice speaker has hearing aid technology built in, making it much easier to understand what's being said. Even at low volumes, the technology brings the voices forward without affecting the rest of the soundtrack. Customer reviews include high ratings and kudos for meeting expectations in sound quality.

The AccuVoice speaker is currently available for $249 from ZVOX and Best Buy.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Captivation of Creativity, Now on the Go

2017-01-31

Looking for a versatile and powerful tablet that is dedicated to your artwork and all that entails? Look no further. Wacom has topped themselves again with the new MobileStudio Pro.

This new tablets launched in October 2016 and allow an artist to take their studio with them everywhere they go. Limitations you ask? There are none. It allows you to host all of your creative software applications on it. It comes with the new Pro Pen 2, which is four times more sensitive than the previous pen. This makes all of your pen strokes super sensitive and super accurate. With this new tablet, you are able to do everything that you can do with pen and paper and so much more, making this an artist's dream. If you are an artist who has been thinking about making the switch to digital, do yourself a favor and check out this amazing tablet.

The MobileStudio Pro comes in a variety of configurations in both a 13 and 16 inch model so you can customize it to fit your exact needs. Speed is not an issue as you can choose between an i5 and an i7 processor. And you'll love the new etched glass and optical bonding process that reduces the lag significantly.

Various configurations are available from Wacom direct or Amazon, with pricing starting at $1,499.95.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Handwritten to Digital Note Taking is The Bomb

2017-01-29

Wacom is well known in the industry for their creative line of computer and tablet products that are designed to facilitate the imagination and creativity of artists all over the world. From drawing, design, editing, idea capturing and art education, Wacom perfectly combines technology with performance while maintaining an artist and user friendly platform for ideas to come to life.

Having a few artists on our team, we really enjoyed meeting up with them at CES 2017 to take a look at their new products for this year. Among the items being revealed are the Bamboo Smartpads. This line is designed for a different type of user than they typically target as the purpose is for note taking. Whether it be a college student or the professional in an office who regularly takes notes, the Bamboo line allows for handwritten notes to automatically be converted to text on a computer, tablet or phone.

There are a few different sizes/styles from the Spark to the Slate to the Folio, depending upon your exact need. Notes are taken on it traditionally with a pen and paper. You can use any type of paper, although they will initially ship with a Wacom Notebook to start. The units store up to 100 pages of data onboard to later be automatically converted to digital text which can then be edited, saved, emailed and printed. The handwriting converter is amazingly precise and also work with several languages.

Even though this line was intended for the knowledge notetaker in mind, the artist in us all can still come out and we can have our doodles and sketches converted to digital as well.

The Spark and Slate are available now and the Folio is coming soon, with prices ranging from $129 to $199.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Make Remarkable Music and Own Your Sound with Synthstrom

2017-01-29

It's fun to make your own electronic music but having to be tied to a computer all day and night for work and play gets exhausting and frustrating. Here's a great alternative: Synthstrom Deluge, the entirely portable workstation that is everything you need to make incredible music anywhere the mood strikes you.

We had the best time hanging out with Ian with this year at CES 2017. Ian is part of Synthstrom Audible, which is a boutique electronics manufacturer in New Zealand. They began their journey 3 years ago to create the ultimate portable music making machine that encompasses a synthesizer, sequencer and sampler. Their first production included about 15 initial units that they sold to friends and local musicians so that they could get feedback and an understanding of how it was working for them, what they liked and didn't.

This lead the way to the current model, the Deluge, which will be rolling out in March of 2017. This unit boasts of versatility, and rightly so. It is extremely lightweight and goes from fully wireless to plugging in your way with multiple outputs on the back. But don't let its ease of use fool you, it is a sturdy unit and quite tactile with a labyrinth of buttons and knobs. And let's not forget the ability to customize almost everything about it, from the color scheme to changing up the presets in any manner you'd like.

The possibilities are endless. You can lay down multiple rows and combine them into your tracts. You will find yourself just getting lost in the waves for hours upon end. Allante said it best when showing off Ian's abilities. This man's got the beats right here!

The company provides details and tutorials that better explain the intricacies of the product line. Their pre-orders have concluded, however you can sign up for their newsletter and waiting list for the next availability.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Fire Up an Amazing Light Show with Tittle Light

2017-01-29

Sometimes you walk by a product on a shelf and immediately say to yourself, "I totally want that!" That is exactly what happened when we stumbled across the amazing little light box that is the Tittle Light.

This stylish little gadget is actually quite versatile with multiple modes and functions that make it entertaining and interactive. You can Start off with a simple lamp, changing the colors to match your room or mood. Or maybe utilize the built in clock and calendar settings. There are preset animations, like a dancing fire or rain storm and even emoji's. You can even create your own personal animations with simple programming. The settings are controlled through a simple to use phone app and the animations can even be sent to friend's lights. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Each cube is made of tempered glass and has 512 RGB LEDs, each independently programmable. The bases are made of aluminum and come in three color options: black, silver and copper.

The lights are currently in production and should be available in the spring/summer of 2017 at their online store, with prices starting at $369. The company is currently working on enabling the lights to sync together for larger and moving animations and may look into other sizes in the future, as well.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Full and Vibrant Theater Sound from Your Tablet

2017-01-28

The most amazing sound can come from this seemingly simple little accessory for your tablet. That's right, with Amp by OIO, you will get a full theater experience while watching movies on your mobile device. This case offers a sense of surround sound by separating the left and right channels just like in the theaters.

Even though it appears to be a simple case with speakers, it's the tech involved that makes it so extraordinary. The front is made of a honeycomb fiberboard so the whole surface creates the sound. And the circular disks on the back are electromagnets that pushes the whole front panel. This combined with the holes in the honeycomb allows the movement of air that creates a deep and encompassing sound that can fill an entire room. This listening experience is the result of over two years of research and development by experimenting with everything from drums, guitars and even cardboard boxes until they got it just right.

The case itself has 10 hinges like a laptop that allows it to be folded in different configurations and even with the speakers to the back of the stand to use in situations where headphones are a must, like on an airplane. The current design is made to fit the iPad Air 1 & 2 as well as the iPad Pro 9.7, however it connects via Bluetooth, so you can actually use any tablet or even a cell phone and still get the full theater sound. Also, upcoming models will include holders for other devices.

The units will be available in a couple of months starting at $249. Check out their Indiegogo InDemand for preorders and a 20% discount. This is something that you truly need to experience to believe. Our team was blown away by the sound when we fired it up at the booth and we can't wait to get our hands on it.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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HumaX Delivers a Friend for Your Children

2017-01-28

HumaX Technology has produced a new friend for kids 5-10 years old: Arimoto. He is an alien friend robot who takes friends in the real life and makes them online friends. You touch the two robots together and they exchange information.

He is able to speak to you in different languages and can store an unlimited number of friends. You can play games on it and watch cartoons. You are able to take videos and find someone on a map.

It will be available in the US in June and can be purchased on Amazon. The price point is uncertain but thought to be around $200.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Films Come True with Advertising Through Massive Holograms from Kino-Mo

2017-01-28

Print ads, billboards, neon signs: been there, done that! We are all use to seeing these standard advertising mediums when we are out and about. Businesses will now be able to have their advertising soar above the status quo. Kino-Mo brings their ads to life with holographic images that allows the projecting of floating 3D images and video in the air.

Kino-Mo got their start in 2012, working on various projects which paved the way to the floating holograms. Two years ago they started a project with McDonalds that has allowed them to perfect this technology and take it to numerous other advertisers. The possibilities are limitless as the businesses are able to configure the amount and size of the units needed for any given project and they are perfect for larger companies who can install the units in multiple areas around the world and run the programming simultaneously.

The company boasts having more clear images and lighter units that use much less wattage than their competitors. They currently have one size available for resale with pricing starting at $2,750 per unit, with custom programming included. They are also working on two larger models, one of which will be scaled for large venues and stadiums.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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Mikme: Great Sound in a Small Package

2017-01-27

Mikme is a new product that is a not only a wireless mike but an audio recorder. It produces studio quality sound with a 16GB storage. It can be a stand-alone mike or stream to your phone via Bluetooth. There is a potential for 2-3 synched microphones in the near future.

It as originally made with musicians in mind but quickly became a product for all users, whether bloggers or YouTubers or video bloggers. They have their own app which they call ''prodigal'' to prevent lost and found files. The mixer software is a bit Instagram-inspired, making it very visual and easy to use.

It is available on their website . The cost is $399 and will be available in the spring of 2017.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Hardware Breakthrough Makes Controllers a Dinosaur in VR

2017-01-27

If virtual reality wasn't already futuristic enough, along comes uSens, a piece of virtual reality hardware that makes it possible to have interaction with your hands, something that wasn't available before now. It is meant mostly to be used socially rather than for gaming.

The tracking device has 2 infrared cameras and 3 LEDs and uses advanced algorithms to determine the position of your hands in 3D space. This simple approach makes it inexpensive and accurate, a big draw for many consumers. It is very easily installed for headphones and sensors are embedded rather than added-on for accuracy. This makes hand tracking and room tracking a thing very close to reality.

This product is mainly made for developers of headsets at a cost of $100. and will be available in a few weeks.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Capture the Beauty of the Universe and Keep it in Your Pocket with Tiny1

2017-01-27

The nighttime sky... so beautiful and awe inspiring. If only there were a simple way to capture the beauty of the universe to keep forever and share with friends without lugging around huge, expensive equipment. Well, now there is with the Tiny1 camera by TinyMOS.

Tiny1 is the world's smallest, smartest, social astronomy camera. It's the smallest camera that is specifically designed to capture the night sky. It will actually fit into your pocket and sports a touchscreen back, high speed Wi-Fi and augmented reality star maps to help effortlessly guide you to the stars and constellations.

It is compatible with all lenses and even telescopes. You can connect seamlessly with your smartphone and posting online could not be easier as it allows direct sharing to your favorite social media. There's even a companion app that will update you on the latest celestial events and local star parties.

Don't let its small size fool you, though. Specs include 2.5K Ultra HD resolution, GPS/GLONASS, 3 Axis Gyro/Accelerometer, Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core 1.8GHz processor, and much more.

Currently the only way to get the Tiny1 is to pre-order at Indiegogo. The Indiegogo campaign goes live on June 6th 2016. Sign-up on their mailing list for the latest updates. The launch price will be below $500 USD, though the exact price will be revealed during the Indiegogo launch.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Want to Dive Straight into Your Music? Now You Can with OSSIC 3D Headphones.

2017-01-26

Over the years, we've all had a chance to listen to music on various brands of headphones. We love this one for the noise cancellation and that one for the best bass. Well, it's time to add another set to the repertoire. OSSIC 3D Headphones are now on the scene to bring your music and gaming into the future.

These are the first 3D Headphones with built in technology to instantly auto calibrate to the listener's ear. By pairing advanced algorithms with calibration for head tracking and individual anatomy, you will have the sensation of being right in the middle of the music.

These headphones utilize a powerful DSP that sense your head size and ear geometry. This creates a unique spacial experience for your listening that is unparalleled by adding a sense of height and depth that lets you feel the music all around you. The sensation acoustically recreates the way you experience regular sounds around you in the real world everyday. You are able to turn your head in the direction of sounds effect and virtually catch up to it.

And they aren't just for enjoying music. You will now also be able to immerse yourself in the audio as well as the video of virtual reality and gaming. OSSIC is currently working with FMOD and Unity to bring this amazing technology to life in upcoming video games.

You can preorder OSSIC now and save $200, with delivery expected in March 2017.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Mega Tiny Corporation is Huge in Innovative Technology

2017-01-26

Technology is full of fun and interesting products. Some companies focus on a single product category, where Mega Tiny Corporation focuses on innovation in general. One idea is a cell phone case designed to stick to any smooth surface allowing hands-free freedom. It will not stick to clothes or purses. There are different attachments available, allowing it to be used as a mirror or with a wallet backing. Another option is a bottle opener for the party person. When a new phone is purchased, you can re-use the accessories so you don't need to purchase a new specialty case.

Another innovative idea is the PowerBulb. This is a source of power for your mobile accessories. There is a charging station in the base of the LED bulb . The lamp is always on for power, but you can turn off the bulb and still have the necessary power for your needs.

The cell phone case can be purchased individually or in a mega-pack. They are available now for $29.95 from the website. The PowerBulb sells for $39.99.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Your New Best Friend for Laundry Day: FoldiMate

2017-01-26

The part of doing laundry you most dread has a solution: FoldiMate. While you may not want to fold your laundry, FoldiMate loves to. It is a robotic laundry folder that takes over this chore. It is simple to use and has several bonus features. It also allows you to add a de-wrinkler or fabric softener to your pre-folded clothes.

Think of it as a best friend who loves to help with laundry. Just hand the items to the machine and it will do the rest. The order in which you give the item to it doesn't matter. It knows what the item is and folds it accordingly.

The product will launch at a price point around $700-$850. for the base unit. Other optional bonus features will cost more.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Fall in Love with Your Futuristic Kitchen from Gourmia

2017-01-25

The future has come to the kitchen! Gourmia has launched a line of products that make our lives easier and more fun. First is the air fryer which allows you to "fry" without the fat, and unlike other air fryers, can be done with bone-in meats. It has an 8 quart capacity with plenty of room for your foods. The price point for the air fryer is $249.

The next one is a coffee pot with Alexa integration. You can literally tell it to have your coffee ready and it will. It is sleekly designed so you want to leave it out. This cost ranges from $139.

The teapot of the future is here. It produces a perfect cup of tea in minutes and looks very modern on your counter. This teapot also incorporates Alex integration, allowing you to start it from your bedroom and have tea ready for you when you come out. The cost for the teapot is $149.

The last item is a small appliance that turns any stock pot to a sous-vide cooker. This allows you to use cheaper cuts of meats for full flavor and succulence. The cost is between $119 and $199.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Home Entry is Always Safe and Reliable with Amadas

2017-01-25

The future of home security is available now in Amadas, the smart lock. It hooks up with your Bluetooth and is powered by 2 AA batteries, which last for one year. The design lends itself to many different home styles and is very sleekly made.

After one year, you can use the flashlight in your cell phone for a quick 20 second charge which will get you in the door. In the event of a dead phone, you can use the numeric keypad to gain entry.

It will be available in June starting at a cost of $400, depending on your specs.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Make Your Work Day Happier and More Productive with Klaxoon

2017-01-25

So many of us are engaged in one form of social media or another. It's the way we stay in touch with family and friends as well as share projects, recipes and ideas. It's also the new and increasingly most popular means for obtaining our news, weather and technology updates. But this world of collective sharing via social media has been limited to our personal lives... until now.

Klaxoon is bringing the world of social media sharing into the workplace. Using a web based platform, an employer can connect with their employees through a social media app of their own. This enables an environment of open sharing, project management and direct feedback from the boss down to the employees and back up in a way that allows all to participate. Ideas not only get exchanged, but saved. This ensures that no brainstorming idea gets lost in a notebook somewhere or accidentally erased from the white board. And it's all done in a manner which is familiar and comfortable for the employees.

This resource can be custom tailored to a variety of situations in the workplace, whether it be for a specific project that includes ten employees or a platform for the entire company. Employers will benefit not only from the open flow of information, but also by being engaged with the team on an ongoing basis so that nobody feels they have been lost in the shuffle. It transforms the way the company presents, teaches and collaborates.

The unit price starts at $49.99 and is customized for the needs of each business.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Failing Energy is Ramped with Ampd Energy

2017-01-24

In this modern western world we are spoiled by having a luxury of going up to a light switch and pretty much knowing it will turn on when we touch it. There are many densely populated and developing places where they do not. Ampd Energy provides that reliable energy for hospitals, airports, data and call centers and other mission-critical applications around the world in the form of the Silo.

This product is silent, energy-efficient and low maintenance. It charges and stores energy in the Silo indefinitely. It helps provide life-saving energy when the power grid fails and the Silo takes over. There are two ways for the Silo to operate, depending on the facility's needs.

This wonderful product launched a few weeks ago and is available through distributors globally. The Silo is marketed at $8,800.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Safety and Confidence in a Wearable Ring: muse ring

2017-01-24

Picture if you will, a wearable product that can be both fashionable and extremely smart in your daily life. Muse ring is just that. It is a ring that comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes that is also a fitness tracker and an emergency beacon. It is basically a wearable computer that fits into your lifestyle.

The design lends itself to being discreet about receiving texts or calls and you can respond with a touch of your finger. Runners and students on campus can use this ring with confidence that if they need emergency response, the call is easy to make. There are multiple chargers, one which is portable and fits into your pocket like a lighter. It talks one hour to charge, which will last for 24 hours.

Although not available right now, you can be put on a list to be alerted when it is available.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Proof: the Wearable Warning System for Mind-Free Partying

2017-01-24

Imagine a product that not only monitors your alcohol intake but also lets you know when it will wear off. Proof does just that and is packaged in a smart little bracelet that no one would suspect its function. This product is a wearable alcohol detection system. It is based on a dime-sized sensor on the back of the bracelet.

Proof is designed to be synced with your iOS and Android phone. It measures a number of chemicals coming through your skin, and is able to deduce your blood alcohol based on those readings. Once the application has that data, it will combine it with your height and weight to determine when you'll be below the threshold you entered.

Proof will be available through crowdfunding soon at a pricepoint of $100-$150.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Organics and Healthy Eating from Natufia

2017-01-23

It seems that a lot of people are going organic these days. With everyone becoming so health-conscious it seems the market for these products is literally bursting at the seams. It is a costly endeavor and can be fairly prohibitive for many. Enter Natufia, the self-contained hydroponic growing system meant for home use. It uses ultra-violet light and comes with starter seeds.

The clear box is designed to hold a watering and fertilization system. It is fairly small and can produce up to 2 salads a day. It hooks up to your water like your dishwasher, which allows for "water in, water out." The tray at the bottom of the unit holds your starter seedlings and the also balances the pH of your water.

At present, the delivery is running at about 4 months with a pricetag of $13,500, with a down payment of
$1,500.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Digital or Vinyl? Have the Best of Both Worlds with Yes It Is.

2017-01-23

The digital age took us all by storm. We went from listening to our music on record players while at home and on cassette players while out and about to the all digital and mystical Compact Disk. Before you knew it everybody was getting rid of their large, component-style stereo systems for the sleek and clear sound of this new digital medium. This ground breaking technology soon paved the way to the digital downloading and streaming that we all know and love today.

But in recent years, there has been a resurgence in the music industry. Those "old school" audiophiles who endured quite a bit of ribbing and ridicule over the years for keeping their classic turntables are now laughing at those who are coming back around to the pure sound, and feel, of vinyl. Many music lovers are kicking themselves for disposing of their old equipment and rummaging through the basements and attics of their parents and older siblings in the hopes of the ultimate find... a forgotten turntable and stash of records. Others are thrilled to see that there are companies who are making newly updated styles of record players that fit in with any personality and room decor. That's right, vinyl albums are making a huge comeback. And you don't have to settle for purchasing your albums from garage sales and flea markets. Many artists are now publishing on vinyl again and there are even sections in large book stores that are dedicated once again to records.

And now, to make it even more exciting... Yes It Is, a brand new French startup, has taken the concept of vinyl record albums into the digital age by combining them with a chip that can be read by the NFC reader on your cell phone to bring listening to music into the universe of social media. The albums are traditional. providing that classic sound while playing on your record player, but they also do so much more. By reading the chip onto your cell phone, you open up a whole world of exclusive online content on the cloud. The VIP content includes things like special interviews, upcoming concert dates and events, backstage pics and videos, as well as access to merchandise. It's really like becoming part of a new, special and exclusive fan club for each artist.

With the company being in its infancy, they are currently in negotiations with various European music labels and are working on getting their product off the ground. They hope to someday bring this amazing technology to the United States, as well. And we here at PLuGHiTz Live certainly cannot wait! We'll be keeping an eye on this fun and innovative company and will provide updates as they grow.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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Prepare to Stand Out of the Crowd with the Spectra Skateboard

2017-01-23

Ride effortlessly with the new stylish Spectra skateboard from Walnut Tech. Being more than just a skateboard, the Spectra is the smallest and lightest portable powered vehicle on the market. This board is a fully automated way of transportation and fun that operates like a Segway or Hoverboard.

No need to be a pro skater because the Spectra is built for any experience level. It is safe and easy to learn in under 10 minutes. It will stop moving if you step off of it to be safe for both the rider and the board. You could also drive in your own style with LED display and customizable deck.

The price of the Spectra will range from $500 to $900 and will be available for purchase from the company's website. Keep an eye out for them on Kickstarter later this year.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Emora Spans the Distance for Love

2017-01-22

The human species possesses something that others do not: expressing emotions. We want the important people in our life to know how we feel about them; hence the Emora was conceived. The wearable Emora is a bracelet that transmits our deepest feelings when we are too far away to express them.

The device lets users choose the color of the light bar, expressing and sharing feelings to those who are most important to us. It uses Bluetooth communication to your phone to share that information. Your feelings can be shared with up to 3 pre-selected people at one time.

It will be available on January 24, 2017 through Indiegogo for $150.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Protect Yourself from Danger with the Nimb Panic Ring

2017-01-22

We are unfortunately living in a world where we are not as safe as we once were. We have to be aware of our surroundings all the time. There is a new product out called Nimb designed to alleviate the stress of being out alone at night, walking across a dark campus or being in a deserted parking garage. Nimb is a ring designed to be able to call for emergency help or someone on your pre-existing call list.

The trigger button is cleverly concealed on the base of the ring and, if the person feels threatened, can be pushed for 3 seconds to summon help. If the receiving person has the Nimb app, they can automatically get your location, while someone without the app gets a text message. The ring comes in 2 colors, black and white and the sizes range from 3-12, fitting both men and women.

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, you can pre-order Nimb in either color for $129.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Safe And Secure While Playing Sports with In&motion

2017-01-21

Every once in a while a product comes along that really catches your eye for a very good reason: and the reason here is safety. In&motion is a wearable airbag that is designed to keep you safe while pursuing your favorite hobby or sport such as skiing, horseback riding, or motorcycle riding. It is based on sensors that fit in and around the vest worn by the user whose purpose is to inflate the vest during times of danger but before impact.

The interesting thing about this airbag is that you can tell it if you are a novice or an experienced sportsman and what sport you are participating in. Different sports require different movements and the sensors pick up on that. There are several configurations for the airbag making it adjustable for various sports and allows it to be available for men, women and children.

In&motion is available in parts of Europe now and will be coming to the US when the demand is high enough.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Barnes & Noble @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

When you think of electronics and robotics, Barnes & Noble might not be the first name to come into your head, but it might be time to change your way of thinking. Similar to how libraries are changing the type of knowledge they contain, so has Barnes & Noble. Today, in addition to the books and periodicals you would expect, the store also carries electronic kits, robots and more.

Elizabeth Dunn from the Saint Petersburg store talks with us about the change in culture and products for the company. Today, each store has its own social media accounts so that they can interact properly with the local community. Each store holds events - some of which are in conjunction with corporate, while others are entirely local. One of the more surprising events is a Mini Maker Faire taking place at all locations on November 5th.

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Hellview Cemetery @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

For many, Halloween is a favorite holiday. It gives us the ability to pretend to be someone else for a day and exist in an altered reality. We can even explore our fears in a safe and controlled environment through haunted houses and attractions.

Mark Muncy is the creator and casting director for Hellview Cemetery, a haunted attraction in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Taking over parts of his property for the last 2 weeks of October, this attraction started as a personal project for a few former scare actors from Tampa and Orlando who wanted to venture out on their own. With time, people offered them money for what they did, and they turned it into a charity event, supporting two separate charities.

Unfortunately, since this interview was conducted, it was announced that a new neighbor had forced Muncy to get a new type of permit for the event, which the city would not grant, meaning that Hellview will not happen this year. Hopefully the charity event will return in 2017.

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Noble Valerian @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

Artistry is a skill that, for most is inherent. While many require formal training to hone those skills, others are self-taught and can accomplish great things. Noble Valerian is one of those self-taught artists with a tremendous amount of skill. Picking up the skill while helping a friend, he found he had a knack for it and continued to pursue it. Today, he lives in the Tampa area and is responsible for graphics including the new branding for this year's Pinellas Comic and Maker Con.

In addition to 2D graphics, he has also been working on an indie game, which he hopes to release before the end of the year. The game is based on research conducted from potential players via survey. As it is his first game, he plans to release it for free, with the hopes of getting more feedback from players. To follow along with his journey, check out his blog.

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Your Day Bouquets & More @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

Modern maker events are an evolution of what was once craft fairs, so it is no surprise that maker events often feature unique crafts such as jewelry and blades. Vicky McGriff of Your Day Bouquets & More is one of those artisans.

Together with her husband, they create hand-crafted knives from lawnmower blades and more. In addition, Vicky creates jewelry from unusual things like Scrabble tiles. She also makes more traditional looking items, but often featuring charms and items from popular culture, such as super heroes.

Vicki also takes custom orders for her jewelry through her email, which is shown in the video and not here for anti-spam purposes.

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HackerBoxes.com @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

While the maker community is large and varied, the most notable sector right now is the electronic. With boards and kits like Arduino, Raspberry Pi and mCookie, there are lots of ways to learn and build a variety of electronic projects. Unfortunately for many, getting into this area of building can be a it difficult.

Joseph Long, the founder of HackerBoxes.com, spoke with us about his company and the product and services they provide. Think of it like Loot Crate, except instead of receiving t-shirts and Funko Pop figurines, you receive electronic parts and kits. Each kit is themed and comes with instructions for various projects. The online community includes additional projects to repurpose previous parts for new builds.

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eSmart Recycling @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

In the US, we have a lot of electronic waste. If you need an example, take a look at what is happening with the Samsung Galaxy Note7. More universally, though, as people upgrade their computers, older models need to go somewhere - but where?

Tony Selvaggio spoke with us about his company, eSmart Recycling, which takes those old electronics off your hands and finds new uses for them. Some may have zero value, but others have great value to developing countries. What we consider to be an antique laptop is far better than what is used in some schools in other countries. Tony's company takes those computers, as well as the revenue from scrapping other devices, and fund computer labs around the globe.

If you have older electronics that can be recycled, you can contact eSmart Recycling through their website.

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Lucienne Diver @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

Lucienne Diver is an author who takes from her anthropology and Latin language background to write her adult Latter-Day Olympians series, which features "Greek gods running around modern day LA with murder, myth and mayhem." The series is 5 books deep, plus a free prequel novella to get you into the series, and has been running for 5 years.

Her other series, Vamped, is a young adult series that is "Clueless meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Vamped currently has 4 books and has been running for about 9 years. Next year she plans to release a 5th installment, plus a reissue of the others, all with new covers.

The 5 books of Latter-Day Olympics and 4 books of Vamped are available now.

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Gamers on The Edge @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

The idea of being able to do what you love and use it to do good in your community is the ultimate good feeling. That is exactly what Gamers on the Edge is able to do, playing games, both video and physical, and raising money for charity while doing it.

Angel Miranda, the founder of the group, talked to us about how the group got started and how they raise money. Start with one part walkathon and add in a 24-hour marathon of gaming and you've got Gamers on the Edge.

In addition to the charity events, the group also runs game rooms at evens such as Pinellas Comic and Maker Con, MetroCon and more. To find out more about the group, checkout their website.

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The Narrows Nature Center @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

One of the most interesting aspects of this event is that you never know who might be in attendance. For example, The Narrows Nature Center, a city park in Largo, Florida. Theresa Ribalcava, a bird handler at the park, came by to talk about the experiences available.

First, the park has a surprisingly large collection of raptors, including a bald eagle. In addition to normal park interactions, the birds are used as a part of a PTSD therapy program, which has helped Theresa herself. There are also nature trails, a turtle pond and even a discovery playground where kids can dig up hidden objects.

The Narrows Nature Center is open from dusk until dawn everyday.

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TARDIS Riders In Pinellas @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

Have you ever been such a fan of something that you wanted to talk about it with people, but you just couldn't find the right people? Sometimes the best way to deal with it is to create your own group. That is exactly what Greg Plantamura did with TARDIS Riders In Pinellas.

This group is a fan group for Dr. Who, the ultra popular British sci-fi series. Members meet monthly for themed get togethers where they can discuss the series and sometimes just spend social time with people that share their interests. It is an open group that welcomes all Dr. Who fans through their Facebook page and website.

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Tangible Labs @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

Everyone has, at one point or another, had an idea for a t-shirt that simply doesn't exist. A mashup between Space Invaders and Star Wars, or a Pokémon GO joke, there are always ideas bouncing around. What most of us never do is take those ideas and actually produce them.

Mo Eppley from Tangible Labs speaks with us about how she and her husband took those ideas that all of us have and added them to their existing 3D printing business. In the past she has shown us NerdTags, and the t-shirts and vinyl stickers are a perfect addition to the lineup.

She also discusses her other business, FreeFab 3D, a local company that produces and sells 3D printers. The company's first sale was to Saint Petersburg College, the host of this event. Since our initial interview with the company, they have launched a new model, which is larger and can self-level.

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FRC 79 Krunch @ Pinellas Comic and Maker Con

2016-09-10

There are a few groups that we tend to see everywhere we go. One of those groups is FIRST Robotics Competition team 79 Krunch. This team has been around since the early days of the FIRST Robotics programs and has consistently done well both on and off the field.

Henry Sloan, a member of the team's scouting sub-team, talked with us about his team's experience in the past season's game, Stronghold. This was a very different game from what we've seen in the past, and it provided all-new challenges for older teams. He also discussed the many outreach events that the team participates in, talking with the public about robotics and FIRST.

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Terri Willingham @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

For any community to thrive, you need to have some people who help promote the activities. In the case of the maker community in Tampa we have the Eureka! Factory. We speak with Terri Willingham, a creative partner with the Eureka! Factory, who organizes Gulf Coast MakerCon, ROBOTICON Tampa Bay, and other local events that help promote and recognize the makers in the area.

Terri has also been involved with youth robotics for many years, helping to found a FIRST Tech Challenge team and serving as Regional Director for Central Florida. In these roles, she has continued to emphasize the maker spirit while adding educational resources as well.

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SciChic @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

We get really excited when the everyday items that we love so much get a cool science makeover. And we were very excited to meet Erin Winick with SciChic. Erin and partner Emily Huber are students in the College of Engineering at University of Florida who have taken their love of science and technology to add a twist to their jewelry creations. They are not only awesome designers, they're also committed to getting kids excited about STEM. As a matter of fact, the idea for their company came from student outreach programs in which they participated.

SciChic makes customizable science and engineering inspired jewelry and accessories utilizing advanced technologies like 3D printing and laser cutting. They design their pieces on computer aided design software and 3D print them in everything from plastic to stainless steel or even gold. They have two main goals with their jewelry. First is to allow people to better customize their jewelry to exactly what they want in an easy way ranging from size to material to color. Secondly, they hope that by using science as an inspiration for all of their pieces, they will be helping to promote science literacy and the beauty in science.

The designs range from Atoms and Solar Systems to Computer Chips and Gaming Joysticks and are available at multiple price points. You can order from their current line or choose your own custom science jewelry now! Check out their store and send them an email at scichiccontact@gmail.com!

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IN10DID @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Wayne Rasanen, President of the Tampa Bay Inventor's Council has invented a 10 digit interface device that allows any user to text or type without looking. This new gadget is called the DecaTxt! It has the full functionality of any keyboard with just 10 buttons and one hand. The DecaTxt is Bluetooth compatible with any Android, iOS, and Windows 10 device.

This invention has been in development for about 10 years and was just completed at the end of 2015. The DecaTxt is user-friendly and is helpful for all different types of people. The device's battery life lasts for up to 1 week and can charge fully in about 4 hours with a Mini USB charging cable. Order your DecaTxt now for $125.

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Armada Games @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

What's a Con without games? Luckily we didn't have to find out, thanks to Michael Fortino from Armada Games stopping by to show off a few games. Armada Games is located in Temple Terrace on 56th Street in the USF Area. They have been open for almost 10 years and have all types of games, including Miniatures, Board Games, Card Games and Role Playing Games. And let's not forget the Dice. The store also has space for gameplay with 13 tables and a maximum capacity of 90 people.

Michael, like most gamers, started playing DND in middle school and moved on to the other style games as he got older. He noted that Board Games have become really popular in the last few years with very interesting themes. You can catch Armada Games at various Cons in the area. Don't miss them at MetroCon this year where they will be featuring a 14 foot version of the Tsuro board game.

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Tampa Hackerspace @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

It's always nice to see Jon Adair with Tampa Hackerspace and find out all of the new things they have in the works. Jon is one of the founding members of the group and serves as the Director of Operations. They are a nonprofit that has been open for a little over three years now, and they continue to grow. Tampa Hackerspace offers various maker events and classes as well as their monthly memberships for $50/month. Their equipment includes 3D Printers, Milling Machines, Lathes, Soldering equipment, Sewing Machines, Paper Cutters, Vinyl Cutters and more.

Since last year's MakerCon, Tampa Hackerspace has built out a new woodshop as well as a metal shop. They spent $10k on a complete build out of the woodshop and were even able to donate their old equipment to St Pete Makers. They are proud to be building up a community network where the various maker spaces interact and help each other with ideas and allocation of donations.

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SeedRegion1 @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

One of the best things about covering GCMC is having the opportunity to see all of the new ideas that these wonderfully creative artists/crafters/entrepreneurs come up with. There are new and exciting ideas every single year. Kyle Nurminen from #SeedRegion1 not only recognizes how inspiring this creativity can be, but has come up with a way take it to the next level by involving the local community and businesses and then to attract larger companies to invest and potentially even come to the area.

He noticed that more and more people were becoming intrigued by the idea of these maker spaces and wanted to explore what they have to offer, but did not know where to find them. So, they started off by developing a web site to map out all of the maker spaces in the area and highlighting the unique vibes with each space. But they didn’t stop there.

Their concept is meant to showcase talent and demonstrate to larger companies that we indeed have a community that not only supports their business, but also has the ability to strengthen it. Building upon the Maker Space atmosphere, SeedRegion1 is creating a platform for makers to connect with the resources they need to turn their visions into reality.

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MakerVenture @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

As the maker community continues to grow, in both size and diversity, one of the most needed support issues is equipment. Many people are not capable of owning the equipment needed because of space and cost. Because of this we have seen a sharp rise in the number of makerspaces in the community. Makerspaces give people the ability to use equipment that they would otherwise be incapable of interacting with in a common location. Many have CNC machines, drill presses and other large machines that would be cumbersome at home or in a small workshop.

We talk with Brandon Mead of MakerVenture, a very new makerspace project in North Tampa. This new space is working on building their space, acquiring the equipment and starting classes. Right now the classes are taking shape, and the MakerSpace and Maker's Market are coming soon.

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Electrathon of Tampa Bay @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Thanks to companies like Tesla, electric vehicles have become part of the popular culture once again. Whenever something becomes that popular, it is inevitable that it will become a popular part of the maker community as well. We speak with Nick Brothers from Electrathon of Tampa Bay about how their organization fits in. This group produces races for 3 and 4 wheel electric vehicles that are produced by small teams.

Unlike some other engineering clubs, Electrathon vehicles are relatively inexpensive, meaning that the barrier to entry is lower to create a new team. Teams do not have a lot of limitations, meaning just about anyone can participate. The largest challenge posed by the competition is energy efficiency, since batteries are pre-determined and vehicles must survive an entire hour of racing.

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Fireblade Comics & Suncoast Ghostbusters @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

We always have so much fun when we get to speak with Jason Rawley of Fireblade Comics and Suncoast Ghostbusters. He brings his witty, fun and energetic nature to everything he does. This is his 3rd GCMC and we’ve been lucky enough to catch up with him again this year.

He and his team are having a good time not only displaying but playing with the various movie props they brought along with them. They really enjoy an event like this to be able to fire things up and show them off. When asked about how they come up with their designs, Jason explained that they use just about anything and mostly junk. They look at things in a different way, seeing basic shapes and then breaking them down and turning them into something new. It’s the finishing touches that really bring them to life, from the paint job to the weathering and final details. And sometimes, the dirtier the better, when it comes to these types of props.

Of course we had to discuss the much anticipated upcoming release of the new Ghostbusters movie. Like us, he is reserving his initial opinions regarding what he has seen about the film so far, as he wants to see the film first. They are also waiting to start on any prop replicas until they get a chance to take it all in, and in context. We look forward to meeting with him again to see the new items they come up with and discuss this new take on this classic fan favorite.

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USF Students in STEAM @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

The University of South Florida is becoming a popular location for engineering students of all types. From mechanical engineering to software engineering, the university has a program to fit many needs. Representatives from USF Students in STEAM brought some of their engineering projects to show off.

First, Kaitlin Lostroscio, a senior in mechanical engineering, showed off an asteroid chipper. As part of a NASA challenge, she and her team built the device to chip part of an asteroid and collect it in an isolated container. This allows for collection without cross contamination.

Second, Kevin Martinez, a senior in mechanical engineering, showed off a custom-built treasure chest from The Legend of Zelda. Inside is a sensor which detects when it is opened, and the machine determines the color and type of rupee, which is then displayed on a screen on the front, along with a tally of your total collection.

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Edgar Allan Ohms (FRC 5276) @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

FIRST Looks isn't the only time we get to talk to FIRST Robotics Competition teams. As students who create robots, they are definitely a big part of the maker community, in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. Phoebe Mitchell from Edgar Allan Ohms (FRC 5276) spoke to us about her team, her role on the team and how it has inspired her.

Most FIRST students whose career decisions are made because of the program tend to consider mathematics, engineering and the like. In this case, her career goals are in medicine because of an experience through the program where she helped someone who was hurt and felt positive about what she had done.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tampa Drones @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Remote controlled quadcopters and drones have become one of the biggest trends over the past few years. Whether you're a hobbyist who purchases one at your local toy store, or a maker who has built one from scratch, there is a lot about both quadcopters and drones to keep people interested.

Joshua Newby is the organizer of Tampa Drones, a group that gets together specifically to challenge and inspire one another with their technology. He showed us several pieces of hardware, including a custom quadcopter built using 3D printing and carrying a Polaroid Cube. In addition, it has a first person camera that transmits to a pair of flying goggles.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Eureka! Factory @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Several of the events we are involved in every year are organized or sponsored by the Eureka! Factory, including this one. Chuck Stephens works with the organization in putting on these events, as well as other activities, such as library makerspace projects and training.

In addition, Chuck helps to mentor a FIRST Robotics Competition team, the Edgar Allan Ohms. Based in Land O' Lakes, the team is the first and only known library FRC team in the country. This has provided unique challenges for Chuck and the team, but has also given them unique capabilities, as well.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Marcus Torres @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

A newcomer to GCMC this year caught our eye with his artistic talent and fresh take on fan art.

By mixing techniques such as charcoal, colored pencils, water colors and acrylic paints, Marc's artwork comes to life right off the page. His portraits are so much more than a simple profile. They capture the emotion and essence of the subject. Marc believes that the artwork that he creates is relatable to his audience. He is influenced by the human condition and his more personal pieces reflect the extreme side of emotion.

Another aspect of his growing portfolio is Fan Art. Whether it's a cute and whimsical cartoon character, or a detailed and imaginative action hero, his Fan Art exhibits his true love of comics, movies and anime. He is able to take the pure enjoyment he gets out of these mediums and relate them directly into fantastic renditions for others to enjoy. He is also venturing out and creating his own original characters, as well as contributing his artwork to other artists to use within their own mediums, as we saw with fellow artist, Barbara Lancaster with Sir Bentley Freckles and Associate.

As Marc is getting his name out there and developing an increasing fan base of his own, he is excited to enter into the world of Cons & Fairs to be able to exhibit his unique take on the art of illustration. This year's GCMC was only the beginning for him. He's looking forward to many more conventions in the future.

Check out Marc's artwork on Instagram @Marcustorresart13 and feel free to reach out to request an existing or newly commissioned piece.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Sir Bentley Freckles & Associate @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Funky, Cool and Unique, Creative... Sir Bentley Freckles & Associate is all of this and more.

Brand new to the exhibit scene is Barbara Sapp Lancaster with Sir Bentley Freckles & Associate. Barbara (aka: The Dali Baba) takes her love and appreciation of musical instruments, along with her passion for art and combines it all into treasures that are truly one of a kind.

Barbara creates her pieces using assorted materials to decorate objects that she finds interesting. She finds it amusing, therapeutic and very fulfilling to make something fun and unique out of ordinary items such as beads, paper, glue and recycled items.

"I love art and cannot even draw a stick figure," she says. "I like being creative and making something that will last, be interesting, unique and colorful." Her artwork appeals to those out there that like something cute, a little quirky and different. Lately, she has been fascinated with Steampunk and is looking forward to expanding into this genre.

Barbara gets her inspiration from her surroundings and those around her. Ideas flow from seeing pictures, objects and from meeting new people.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Mentagy @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

Challenge Yourself with a Game of Mentagy!

Allyn Kahn has invented a new, award winning letter-based puzzle game called Mentagy. This game challenges your critical thinking skills by making you think ahead to complete a puzzle board. Kahn taught college mathematics, philosophy, and critical thinking/logic and later coached afterschool chess. He realized that the complexity in chess can really test the patience of people of all ages and he decided to create a game that can challenge people in the same way.

Mentagy is a puzzle for all ages and is easy to learn! It can be described as a letter version of Sudoku and can even be compared to the old-school game, Snake because the completed solution wraps around in a similar way. In this interview, Kahn demonstrates how to play on a physical peg board but an activity book version is also available for purchase. The activity book has multiple levels of difficulty inside and the completed solution in the back.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tampa Music School @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016

2016-04-09

One of the best parts of the Tampa Bay maker community is that many people are very active. Because of that, we've gotten to know them well. One such recurring member of the community is Maestro Matthew Maines of the Tampa Music School. He first appeared with us at Roboticon 2015, and since then has expanded his Show Steelers program.

Show Steelers is a youth steel pan band, housed at the Tampa Music School. The students, including Ayden Weil, learn to play the instruments, as well as learning to work with other players. This is important because players switch out on the same station, sometimes between songs and sometimes during. The Show Steelers were at the event playing hourly.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Philips Introduces an Inexpensive Trio of Headphones

2016-01-09

Philips is set on keeping their customers satisfied with new products this year. They are targeting different consumer needs from a durable active-wear to high quality fashion headphones.

Philips is making an active lifestyle easier and more convenient for customers by creating their new sports headphones, Wireless Freedom. This product is purely Bluetooth and gives the user a sense of running freely without feeling like they are wearing headphones at all. While being light weight, they are still extremely heavy duty and robust. Wireless Freedom has a long lasting battery life that lasts up to 4 and a half hours of playtime. Philips cares about the health and fitness of their customers and wants them to perform their best while working hard.
Philips is also targeting people who want to look glamourous while listening to their music and they can with the new Everlite Headphones. It says it right on the box, "Streamlined to shine, clear and crisp." They are quality sounding headphones, made with a convenient built in microphone. The Everlite comes in an attractive rose gold color while looking great and sitting comfortable. They are even compact and easy to put away.

If you are more into listening to music with no distractions, the Active Shield Pro is for you. Philips took noise cancellation by storm with a new and unique headset that eliminates 99% of background noise. The Active Shield Pro offers a no pollution, clean sound without having to crank up the volume to distract yourself from the outside world. You can enjoy them wireless or not with the ability to use the Bluetooth capability. Without a wire, the battery life can last up to 15 hours with Bluetooth and noise cancellation but also comes with a wire to plug into if the battery is too low so the music continues to play.

These products are already available for purchase at Philips.com with the Wireless Freedom on sale for $69.99, the Everlite for $49.99, and the Active Shield Pro for $169.99.

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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tuning It Up a Notch with Gibson 2016 Guitars

2016-01-09

Gibson Guitars is excited to release their new High Performance Series based out of Nashville, Tennessee with the most innovative electric guitar they have ever made. This series has generated a lot of excitement and interest at CES. New features from this series include a unique contoured neck heel called the Soloist Neck. The Soloist Neck allows players to hit the highest notes on the neck board comfortably. This series also includes a height adjustable titanium nut that gives the player access to adjust how high they want their strings.

Gibson has also updated their G Force self-tuning system with the ability for alternate tuning. The updated system is faster and more accurate than ever before. You could tune a guitar with just the press of a button and a strum of the strings. It is also the first time that Gibson has released a self-tuning acoustic guitar in the Progressive Series due to the feedback from acoustic players who also want to use the easy access G Force system. These acoustic guitars are hand crafted in Bozeman, Montana and are made of solid wood.

These guitars are available for purchase now at any local Gibson authorized dealer like Guitar Center, Sam Ash, or Amazon. The High Performance Series starts at $1099.99 or if you aren't interested in the self-tuning system, you could purchase an electric guitar from the Traditional series starting at $739.99. The Progressive Series acoustic guitars starts at $1499.99.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Eton Makes Camping and Emergencies More Fun in 2016

2016-01-08

If you have ever lived through a hurricane in Florida, you know that there are 2 things that happen. People lock themselves in their homes with the prepared items, or flee the area entirely. But before that, they party. There is a lot of stuff that won't survive the possible power outage, so meats, cheeses and other perishables are consumed in quantity. These parties can also happen after the power goes out, while the weather is calm.

Eton, the company that made technology an integral part of emergency preparedness, has enhanced their products to make those times more enjoyable. For example, several of their radios now come equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you to play your own music instead of what little might be on the radio. They have also added large solar cells to power the radio, as well as the phone, in the absence of power. Of course, no Eton device is quite complete without the hand crank, so you can still keep powered even when the sun is gone.

Eton's extensive range of camping and emergency radios are available now.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

AwoX Makes the IoT a Little Easier to Use

2016-01-08

The Internet of Things has created a fascinating collection of new connected devices. For most, though, smart lightbulbs are the first connected device they encounter. This is because the cost of ownership is far lower, and the installation far easier, than a thermostat or security system.

The problem with these bulbs is, to interact with most of their interesting features, you either need to have your phone or tablet out, or you need a voice control system. AwoX has a product that allows you to control your light without either of these devices - instead with a gesture controller.

This controller will be available this year from the company and their retail partners.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Wireless Power Consortium Shows Us The Evolution of Qi

2016-01-08

If there is one thing that Scott looks forward to, it's visiting the Wireless Power Consortium. Last year, he and co-host Daniele were so impressed with what they saw, they awarded them a TPN Pick for the 1 kilowatt transfer standard.

This year, we saw a version of the standard that sits between the models available today and the prototype we saw last year. With the new 15 watt charging pad, some new things are possible. For standard electronics, you can charge them faster than the current models. More importantly, though, it enables larger devices to charge, like tablets and possibly even netbooks and laptops in the future.

In addition, we saw one of the features Scott has so longed to see: longer throw distances. Using these new coils, you can place the charging pad further below the surface of a desk, table or counter without having to drill and sand perfect holes. The drawback is that the chargers are less efficient, but that could change with additional time.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Wireless Power Consortium Begins Showing New Features Possible Because of Qi

2016-01-08

If there is one thing that Scott looks forward to, it's visiting the Wireless Power Consortium. Last year, he and co-host Daniele were so impressed with what they saw, they awarded them a TPN Pick for the 1 kilowatt transfer standard.

This year the company showed us some of the new technologies and features that are made possible because of the existing Qi standard. Included in these technologies are the customizations of a room, a desk, a car and more.

While these technologies are possible right now, they have a problem: they require a lot of power from your phone. By integrating those features with the Qi standard, the power problem is no longer existent, and instead these features become simple.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Pioneer Steers to the Future with New Automotive Technology

2016-01-07

Pioneer gave a glimpse of its automotive vision for the future at CES with an interactive demo of its In-Vehicle Contextual Awareness Cockpit.

Product specialist David Novack was on-hand to show off the idea's many features, which included a heads-up display for navigation, a main display with related information, a touch-pad on the steering wheel and a dashboard that hosted three different rear cameras. The rearview mirror, meanwhile, is equipped with a sensor, allowing it to adjust to the driver accordingly.

The demo took the driver through a handful of scenarios, including one where the car shoots a scent into the air to wake a driver who is detected to have a low heart rate. It also showed off lane detection as well as warnings for both a driver who had been cut off by another vehicle as well as one for a pedestrian crossing the street.

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Interview by Aylee Nielsen of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Crosley Breaks From Tradition with Component-Style Turntables

2016-01-07

In 2016 it may seem strange to be reading about turntables, but the interest in vinyl has been growing in popularity the past few years. With that trend, it's good to be a company like Crosley who has specialized in turntables since they were founded.

The company has been known for their self-contained turntable systems, occasionally featured in movies, but as the industry reemerges, there is demand from customers for a traditional component-style turntable. This year, they are showing off several, including one prototype for a future model.

The C10 belt-driven table is available for $399, the C100 belt-driven table is available for $199, the C200 direct drive table is available for $279, and the C20 prototype is hoping for a 2017 release.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Altec Lansing Enhances Both Looks and Features of Their Speakers

2016-01-07

Everyone loves to bring their music on the go and Altec Lansing's latest take on its Boomjacket model is combining a great look with a ton of options.

The standard Boomjacket has a fabric finish in a variety of colors and features multi-point paring so users can put together their own surround sound setup. Consumers can mount the device if they choose, an option that comes right out of the box, and it offers 50 hours of battery life while also having the ability to charge another device. However, the Boomjacket is versatile as well and can be used in almost any type of setting seeing as it is largely element proof and also floats, making it truly water proof.

The Boomjacket retails at $199, but Altec Lansing also will offer a mini version that prices at $99 and has 16 hours of battery life. Those needing a little more than the standard can grab the Sonic Boomjacket for $300. That model has 60 hours of battery life with a 100 foot wireless range. All three options are expected to be available in the second quarter of the year.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Altec Lansing Adds Video Recording to Its DJ Headphones

2016-01-07

In today's headphone market, it is getting harder and harder to differentiate yourself. There are really 2 ways to do it: price and features. Altec Lansing, in their 2016 lineup, have decided to go both ways.

First, they have introduced a line of colorful Bluetooth headphones that come in at an astoundingly low price: $39.99. The company didn't skimp on the quality to accomplish this price, either. These headphones will be great for people looking for inexpensive headphones.

On the other hand, they have introduced some headphones and earbuds with some really cool features. For example, waterproof individual earbuds that contain GPS so if you lose one or both, you can easily track it down to its last known location.

Additionally, there is the DVR DJ headphone. These headphones contain an HD camera which allows you to record point-of-view video right from your headphones. This is great for DJs, skateboarders and more. These are coming soon for $199.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

360fly Makes Immersive Video Available to Consumers

2016-01-07

The proliferation of virtual reality and augmented reality devices is great, but there is not nearly enough content available to make it worth considering for most. The reason standard Internet video on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo has become so popular is because there is a lot of content, and it can be created by anyone.

360fly has created a camera that allows people to record fully-immersive video as easily as you currently record standard video. Slightly larger than a GoPro, this camera can record full 360 degrees horizontally and 240 degrees vertically. This means that your skateboarding, snowboarding or other videos can be seen with a VR headset as if you were there.

Adding even more to the platform, the company has announced a partnership that will bring the camera, in a slightly different body, to helmets to prevent the added bump that can get caught. The normal camera is available now exclusively at Best Buy for $399.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Toast Brings a Natural Touch to Your Electronics

2016-01-07

Outside of brands like Lumia, one of the things that is most bland about modern technology is the black, white and silver conformity of devices of all types. Matias Brecher founded Toast as a way to allow people to add some natural look to their electronics.

Starting with mobile phones, the company created real wood wraps in 4 different finishes. Since launch they added some laptops and tablets to heir lineup. This year, though, they are getting into the living room with wood wraps for your Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for only $29.99. You can even customize your wrapping with your logo, gamertag and more.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

DreamGear Marries Classic and Modern Gaming

2016-01-07

We've all encountered the plug-and-play classic videogame consoles in the mall or electronics stores. They usually show up around the holidays and bring classic games from Atari, Nintendo and more to a new generation, not to mention those who grew up with these games, by plugging directly into your television and having all of the games internal.

This year, dreamGEAR, who has made these types of devices for years, is bringing the concept to the mobile world. Instead of requiring a television to play, these new consoles resemble previous handheld devices or even miniature arcade cabinets, and are capable of playing hundreds of games on the go.

Some of these consoles are available now with more to come in the near future.

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Interview by Nakia Mann of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Charge Your Devices and Organize Your Desk with ChargeHub

2016-01-07

If you are anything like me, you've got lots of battery-powered devices that you use every day: phones, headphones, tablets, keyboards and more. This scenario creates two big problems, though: too many cords plugged into outlets everywhere and devices al over your desk. That is where ChargeHub comes in, helping to solve both of these problems.

The product is theoretically simple: a single place to charge all of your devices. The promise, however, comes from the implementation. A very small device with a lot of power and even more ports allows you to plug the single device into the wall and charge multiple devices. The original puck, available now in multiple colors, charges 7 devices at once, but that is not for everyone.

This year, the company is announcing two smaller versions which charge 3 and 5 devices instead of the 7. These new devices allow for a variety of price points, with $20 for the 3 port, $40 for the 5 port and $60 for the existing 7 port. The new devices should be available in March 2016 directly from the company as well as physical and online retail.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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Waterproof, Drop-Proof, Extended Battery Life? Oh My!

2016-01-07

Life Proof is starting off strong this year with their FRE POWER battery case made for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. This case provides a waterproof and drop-proof design with a new extended built-in battery pack. The case is waterproof under 6.6 feet submerged and can last up to an hour. It is also drop proof for up to 6.6 feet.

The new extended battery feature offers a quick and simple design. To charge your phone, simply flip it over and press a button for double the battery capacity. This is the first time ever for Life Proof to be selling a battery extending case for plus sized phones.

Life Proof is also selling their new active-wear called LifeActiv. LifeActiv is made for all phones as long as you apply the quick mount adapter on the back of your case. This adapter works with Life Proof's arm band, bike mount and suction cup car mount and allows easy access to your phone or device at all times. Just snap on your device to attach and to remove it, turn your device 90 degrees.

LifeActiv products are available now. The retail value for the accessories range between $40 and $50. You could also find the new regular sized phone case for $129.99. The Plus sized version is expected to come out at the end of the quarter for $149.99.

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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Capture Moments of Extreme Sporting with the Panasonic A1 Adventure Cam

2016-01-06

Participating in any sort of extreme sport or race is often a grueling task with the ultimate reward sometimes being the ability to simply finish the event. But other than maybe a few snapshots of the finish line, they can often be very hard to document. Unless, of course, you have the Panasonic A1 Adventure cam.

The A1, displayed at CES, is a super light, wearable HD camera, coming in at just 1.6 ounces and 3.3 inches. That leaves little burden on the wearer as they hit the slopes, the mud or the waves. With that in mind, the camera is water, shock, dust and freeze proof and has a built-in wi-fi connection for uploading the data. The device can record for up to an hour or at 2 hours and 45 minutes with an extended battery accessory.

The camera does include mounts and a night vision IR lens. It retails for $199 and is available now.

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Interview by Nakia Mann of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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Athletes Take Their Training to the Next Level with Vert

2016-01-06

Today's athlete isn't just a naturally gifted human specimen getting by on talent alone. Lets face it, Babe Ruth would look pretty out of place in today's locker rooms. Instead, the modern athlete is both gifted and engineered, learning how to squeeze every ounce of effort out of their body.

That is where technology like Vert steps in. The on-the-rise wearable offers real-time analytics that can be not only displayed to give fans an in-depth look at an athletes performance, but that data can also be managed to prevent injuries. Specializing in jump technology, founder and president Martin Matak said at CES that the device is adding intensity measurements and that data is already being used to enhance viewing experience by putting the information up on jumbotrons while also being incorporated into broadcasts. Vert already has some key partners in the NBA's Miami Heat and USA Volleyball.

The device retails at $125 and has a free companion app. It is wireless and bluetooth enhanced, and those interested for more information on the broadcast side of things can visit MyVert online.

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Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The Internet of Everything Goes Modular with Nexpaq

2016-01-06

Almost everyone, at one time or another, has searched for a new cell phone case and said, “I wish there was one that did this.” Well now, there is! Nexpaq is the first smartphone case that allows users to customize and enhance their smartphone case with modular inserts that perform a variety of functions that make your phone convertible with super powers. From simple modules like an extra battery or a better speaker, to modules that are equipped with specific sensing abilities like temperature readings or even a blood-glucose meter. There's also a programmable hotkey to customize so you can easily access your favorite existing phone function.

Each module is like a building block, allowing them to be interchangeable. Get the ones you want and go crazy. You can have a different handset every day, customized to that day's activities. The modules are interchangeable between platforms and are even social, allowing you to bring up an interactive map to let you know of others in the area who also have modules that can be shared.

And let's not forget the Developer Kit. Nexpaq wants to help take their module concept to the limits of our imaginations by allowing everybody to develop their own ideas into modules. The sky is the limit and they fully expect there to be thousands of modules available in the next few years. What's better than that is they will actually help by assisting with the standardization and distribution of the feasible and cost effective ideas. Nexpaq has also created Hackathons to connect developers with engineers to get the creative juices flowing and help to bring these ideas to fruition.

Phone cases are available now and start at $99 with various prices for the modules ranging from $4.90 to $44.90. The Developer Kits are also available for $299.

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Lego: Not just Building Blocks, Building Futures.

2016-01-06

We all know and love Lego blocks and building sets. But few of us realize that the Lego Education Division has been around for 35 years, interacting with educators, communities and families across the world. They pride themselves upon opening up a new world for kids through discovery, open ended problem solving and creativity.

At CES 2016, Lego Education introduced WeDo 2.0, an elementary STEM and Science Solution that brings science to life through Lego Robotics. With WeDo 2.0, kids can build a number of different Lego models that explore a variety of science concepts from earth science to life science to physical science. They believe that age appropriate technology is key to learning and development and that it’s never too early to start. WeDo 2.0 has been developed for elementary age students.

With WeDo, kids will learn the basics of coding and programming by working with motors and sensors as well as exploring science in general. The software interface is easy for both students and teachers with graphical and colorful icon based, drag and drop software that is used to interact with the Lego models to bring them to life. And this technology paves the way for the kids to move into more advanced robotics, such as Lego Mindstorms for middle school students and beyond.

And Lego Education makes it easy for teachers, mentors and parents to get involved and assist the kids throughout the process, even they you don’t have a lot of tech experience or background. The interactive sets and lessons are great in the classroom, as they help with ingenuity and teamwork, and also perfect for extracurricular activities such as FIRST Lego League Jr.

Find out more at the Lego Education website, with sets starting at about $160 for the core set, which has capabilities for several different projects as well as software access.

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Intel Combines RealSense and Robots with Segway Robot

2016-01-06

There is always the fear that one day machines will become so powerful and self-aware that they will take over mankind, which in turn will then need Arnold Schwarzenegger to emerge as a savior. That being said, there is nothing intimidating about the Segway Robot powered by Intel RealSense.

The personal robot assistant uses a RealSense camera for depth sensing and 3D mapping, allowing for self-navigation, object tracking and recognition. The user can both ride the device and turn it into the robot, which also utilizes some voice recognition commands as well as programmable robotic arms. It can also connect to smart hardware so you can monitor the feed.

Platform architect Han Heng Juen said at CES that the expected launch of the platform to makes and developers is set for the second half of this year.

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Panasonic's Business Devices are More Rugged and Tougher Than Ever

2016-01-06

Panasonic had a number of high-quality products on display at CES in Las Vegas, ranging from mobile handhelds to a 12-inch semi-rugged tablet.

One product we got a good look at was the rugged Toughbook 20. The highly-durable device has a built in keyboard along with a detachable tablet and also features an optional second battery, allowing for up to 20 hours of battery life. The FZ-Q1 Toughpad, meanwhile, is a 12-inch semi-rugged tablet with a little less durability, but that simplicity allows for a better price point.

Also on display was a unique-looking 4K Toughpad. This device is best served for those wishing to show off high-end display graphics thanks to a 20-inch LCD screen. Despite its large size, the Toughpad is very light and portable.

These devices are available now through retailers and more information on the products can be found on Panasonic's Business portal.

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QNX's Infotainment Platform Lives in Over 40 Different Automakers

2016-01-06

If you have driven an automobile, chances are you have used some of QNX's technology without even realizing it. However at CES the BlackBerry subsidiary had some much more visible features on display.

Not only does QNX provide software found in nearly all automobiles, but the its presence within an actual vehicle is growing. That fact was front and center in Las Vegas with a sleek-looking demo vehicle that showed off numerous components. That included a fully-loaded reference platform with such features as couch to destination navigation. Through this application, a user can start the navigation on their phone and get directions to their vehicle, where the nav will then jump directly into the car. And looking to make touch screens even safer and easier to use, the reference platform had the ability to play and pause music anywhere on the screen and integrated gestures to control the audio as well.

The cluster system certainly looked straight out of the future despite already being available for preview. Utilizing an augmented reality HUD, a driver can see their destination glowing green or floating street markers right on a windshield display. That also included custom navigation display and more information can be found at QNX's website.

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Nvidia's Announces Supercomputer for Self-Driving Vehicles, the Drive PX2

2016-01-06

When I was a college student, I often found commuting by train versus car much more enjoyable, offering opportunities for studying or a quick nap as opposed to traffic and trips to the gas station. While a nap probably isn't recommended, the idea of self-driving cars is certainly an interesting one and Nvidia shook the landscape of that area at CES.

Announced at the event was Nvidia's Drive PX2 platform, a supercomputer for self-driving automobiles. Senior manager of automotive integration Dave Anderson said at CES the platform has the power of 150 MacBook Pros. That allows for the integration of a number of different sensor types fused into information that can be calculated by the platform. That is overlaid with other information and map data to guide the vehicle.

Even more exciting is that this type of technology isn't too far off. Anderson noted that Nvidia has partnered with Volvo, which will equip 100 vehicles with Drive PX 2 for a trial in 2017.

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Denso Looks to Bring a Fully Connected, Smart City to Reality

2016-01-06

Denso International America set up shop at the 2016 CES with an eye towards tomorrow. The global automotive supplier was on hand to discuss a smarter city for the future built around connectivity among, for example, automobiles, infrastructure and people.

Denso's booth included displays for a smart city in which the company's core automotive technology would be applied to other industries. There also is a focus on a smarter automated vehicle and Denso had a virtual reality display set up that allowed those in attendance to experience a connected world with 360 degree awareness.

More information on Denso's vision can be found at its North American website.

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Toyota Shows Off Future Tech with FCV, the Future Concept Vehicle

2016-01-06

One of the biggest questions asked during a majority of events at CES was "when can I get this product?" But at the Toyota booth, the automobile giant hyped up one of its products for the future.

On display was the FCV Plus, Toyota's concept vehicle designed around fuel cell technology. According to product specialist Maggie Clark, the idea for the car is that it will generate enough electricity to wirelessly charge an electric vehicle that is alongside of it, or it could be used to power up to 10 homes on a single block. The FCV is essentially a mobile and stable source of electric power and Clark added that the fuel cell stack can be removed and continued to be put to use even after the life of the vehicle has expired.

Of course, Clark said that this type of product isn't expected to be ready until 2030, but she did add that Toyota does currently have available (in California and Japan) the first fuel celled vehicle on the market in the Mirai. It retails for $57,500.

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Microphones Really are Neat, Especially at Neat

2016-01-06

A wide variety of high quality and unique looking microphones were shown off by Neat at CES, with options for both the causal and professional users.

Neat product manager Clayton Harrison had a number of mics on display, including the Bumblebee and Beecaster. The high-end USB mics feature great quality without the need for additional equipment or interfaces. The former is more for the voice and speech user, while the Beecaster has added stereo capability for musicians. Both come with a headphone output and headphone amplifier that allows for the ability to do direct monitoring without having to deal with latency issues.

The Worker Bee and King Bee, meanwhile, are designed for professionals who already have a rig or interface, while the Widget takes the unique look to the next level. The flashy mics are made to be an additional visual piece to a setup, an ideal look for video streams such as Youtubers or Twitchers.

All the microphones are currently available, while Neat's Beehive, a digital audio convertor and headphone amplifier should be out by the end of the current quarter. More information can be found on the company website.

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Philips Gets Rid of Wires with New E6 Wireless Speakers

2016-01-06

Even the most advanced handyman has plenty of other things to do than run wire after wire to complete an epic surround sound setup. Philips is presenting a solution to that problem with its upcoming Fidelio E6 wireless speakers.

Designed with the idea of a neat and tidy option for ultimate sound, the Fidelio E6 features the usual set of front speakers, but those also combine to create the center sound. On top of each is a detachable, wireless speaker that can be placed anywhere the user desires to complete the setup. They run on a wi-fi direct and charge while sitting on top of the front speakers, gaining full charge in two hours while supplying 10 hours of life.

And the unit isn't just for watching movies either. Philips added Google Cast and Spotify Connect and the rear units can also become independent to transform into portable speakers to enjoy music on. The Fidelio E6 is expected to be available by the summer and will retail for $799.

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Guitar Lovers Everywhere are Going to Love Playing on the Jamstik

2016-01-06

Whether you're just learning to play the guitar or you want to be able to record songs on the go, this is a product you won't be able to resist.

Jamstik is a portable, smart enabled digital guitar designed to teach you how to play, using an apps that provide interactive lessons. The built-in sensors track your finger movements with real time feedback to your tablet or computer. It's wireless technology makes learning the guitar portable and intuitive and features a real fret board and strings.

Not only is Jamstik the perfect guitar teacher, but it's great for seasoned players as well. Take it along with you anywhere to practice or record songs. It's lightweight, compact design makes it easily fit into any carry along bag so you always have it with you when inspiration strikes. Using a MIDI output, you can connect via USB, Bluetooth (+ model) and WiFi, the signal is put in the format of CORE-MIDI and is compatible with a variety of MIDI apps on iOS and PC devices.

The Jamstik is available now for $299. A variety of accessories are also available.

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The Most Convenient Thermometer for Your Family and Home

2016-01-06

Let's face it, it's not always easy to take our little one's temperature, especially when they are sick. Trying to keep the thermometer in place for the specified amount of time with all of the squirming and fussiness can certainly be a trick.
Those worries are a thing of the past with Thermo. This smart thermometer not only makes taking their temperature as simple as hovering it over the child's forehead, it also sends the information directly to an app on your smartphone for easy tracking with a detailed chart that can also be sent straight to your doctor.

Of course Thermo is not only for kids. It's great for taking/tracking temperatures for adults as well and it's also perfect for that hopeful soon-to-be mother to track ovulation. And that's not all: Thermo can take the temperature of any object, such as food and water, as well as the ambient temperature in a room.

The phone app also keeps track of local hospitals and pharmacies, and in a pinch, can get you step by step directions via Google Maps. You'll also love the conversion rates, charts and alarm within the app.

Thermo is perfect for any household and will be available in the second quarter of 2016 on their website with an expected price of $59.

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CogniToys Introduces a Connected Device for Kids

2016-01-06

Connected devices are an interesting idea for kids. Many parents will give their kids a tablet or smartphone with educational games and videos, but there is a problem with that: these devices are designed for fully developed adults.

CogniToys is a new connected toy designed especially for growing kids. Powered by IBM Watson, this toy can listen for questions and commands and respond with answers, stories, jokes and more. Using Watson's machine learning, the toy is able to learn and grow along with the child. Most importantly, it is designed specifically to help the child learn, with vocabulary, math and more.

CogniToys are available for preorder for $119 right now.

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No Reception is No Excuse for No Communication Thanks to goTenna

2016-01-06

If you've ever been to CES, you know the pain of limited or no reception in one of the halls. That certainly makes it difficult to communicate with the rest of your team to keep your agendas synced. This is also a common issue at music festivals, camping and more.

goTenna is a product that allows you to communicate in a peer-to-peer method without the need for cellular connectivity. Simply carry a goTenna with you and let it communicate with other users of the device. You can do much of what you can do with a cellular connection, only limited to the broadcast radius of the goTenna and the other users.

goTenna is available now for $199 for a pair.

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Know Just How Much Time You Spend With Your Friends With Concepter

2016-01-06

Have you ever had a friend or significant other who complained that you didn't spend enough time with them? How about a friend you feel you spend too much time with? Most of us have been in these situations, and so were the creators of Concepter.

This little devices allows you to keep track of exactly how much time you spend around others who also have one of these devices. Now you and your significant other have actual evidence that you spend a lot of time together, or you have proof that you really do spend too much time with your friend.

You can get one of these devices soon for $29.

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A New Fashionable Twist on Wireless Earbuds

2016-01-06

Are you tired of constantly untangling your headphones after getting them out of their case, possibly breaking them in the process? The Helix Cuff is made for you.

The Helix Cuff is the first wearable bracelet that can easily transform into Bluetooth earbuds on the go without the usual tangled mess. Put it back in its original form for convenient storage and a fashionable bracelet. No need to lose your headphones in your bag or purse any longer. As a Bluetooth device, it can connect to two separate devices at one time.

The product will ship in March so go order yours now. The Black and White Helix Cuff is selling for $199. If you are more into a flashier red version, the 24 Gold Plated Edition is selling for $299.

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Tech Meets Tennis with Tennibot

2016-01-06

Cool new tech is always fun, but when it marries two of your favorite things... it's love at first sighte. That's exactly what this new robot did for our very own Daniele Mendez. In the last 4-5 years, she has spent countless hours on both the tennis courts as well as working alongside her robotics team, so she absolutely could not resist this product.

Tennibot is a smart robotic tennis ball collector that scoots around the tennis court, picking up all of your practice tennis balls. Not only does it take the grunt work out of picking up the balls by hand so you have more time to practice, but it also looks cool in the process. With the price point starting at $399 for the personal version and up to $1,699 for the larger club version, they are looking forward to being able to ship by the end of 2016.

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iOttie is Taking Wireless Charging to the Next Level and Winning Awards in 2016

2016-01-06

Each year, we love to see the new advancements with wireless Qi technology, and this year did not disappoint. Our resident college student, Daniele, was on the hunt for new cell phone accessories and enjoyed speaking with Andrew from iOtte.

Of particular interest was their iON phone case which brings wireless charging capabilities to the iPhone 6 and 6s. Its sturdy design includes easy access to the headphone jack and data port while allowing wireless charging on any Qi enabled surface. Another new product is their innovative charging desk pad that simultaneously charges a power bank that can be taken along with you on the go, to charge any of your devices.

One of our favorite products this year is a new car mount that offers one touch lock and release technology for easy and convenient wireless charging in the car. This combines their already popular window mount with the ease of wireless charging.

Prices begin at $49.95 for the iON phone case and $69.95 for the Easy One Touch Qi Standard Car Mount Charger. Look for the new deck pad to be available in Spring 2016.

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Oasis Introduces Unique Headphones Without any Headphones

2016-01-06

Do you have a pair of earbuds that you really like the sound of, but wish they had active noise cancelation as well? Oasis is the product that allows you to use your earbuds into over-the-ear headphones with active noise cancelation.

The headphones themselves allow you to run your existing earbuds through the body, plug into the body and turn into Bluetooth headphones. The lighting in the ear cups can indicate whether or not noise cancelation is turned on and whether or not the headphones are on.

The case provides charging capability for both the headphones and external devices, such as a phone, and is sturdy enough to ship the product in directly. It even includes an E Ink display that can be customized with logo, name, etc.

The Oasis will be launching on Kickstarter soon.

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Let Your Smartphone by Your Guide with Latitude

2016-01-06

While traveling, one of the most interesting things you can do is hire a tour guide. Guides know a lot about their areas and can introduce you to areas of a city or venues you might not have known about on your own. You can even get to see non-tourist parts of the area.

Unfortunately, finding one of those tour guides can be difficult because they can only be in one place at a time. With Latitude, tour guides can create virtual tours, allowing them to be in more than one place at a time. Tourists can even create their own tours by combining individual venues from different guides into a single trip.

Latitude is currently curating tours and will be launching soon for iOS and Android.

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Solar Cooking Inspired by Water Heaters: The GoSun Stove

2016-01-06

When you're installing solar water heaters and it's time for lunch, you start getting ideas about how you can cook. GoSun Stove was created originally using the solar pipes installed on roofs and can cook a meal without anything other than the sun. The popularity for campers has created a problem, though: how do you feed a family?

This year the company has introduced a larger model which can cook 4 meals and even includes the ability to cook off of stored electricity, either wall or solar-based, for cooking at night. The new GoSun Grill is available for pre-order now for $599 with summer 2016 availability.

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Don't Get Caught in the Rain with Oombrella

2016-01-06

If you live in a place like Florida, it is not unusual to get caught in a rain storm you had no idea was coming. In this case, your only options are always carry an umbrella for those random storms or risk getting wet in the middle of the day.

Oombrella is here to make those situations a thing of the past. Using embedded circuitry, this umbrella can detect atmospheric changes and recommend that you bring the umbrella with you to prevent these issues. To enhance this feature, the device communicates with Wezzoo's existing weather service, adding additional data points to the prediction.

If you've ever left your umbrella behind, Oombrella will alert you when it loses connection to your smartphone. Then you can return to the restaurant or wherever you were, to get your umbrella back.

A Kickstarter will begin soon with expected general availability in the fall of 2016.

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Meet SunPort, the World's First Smart Grid Solar Delivery Device

2016-01-06

Amid the bright lights of Las Vegas, SunPort offers a way for consumers to be much more energy conscience with how they use their devices.

SunPort is a tiny box that plugs into your outlet and measures the amount of energy that goes through it. That information is then tracked and matched with solar energy purchased from solar farms by usage. This allows for the application of solar energy without the need for installing panels or having sufficient land. SunPort director of information systems Nick Williams compared the method to depositing money into a bank and then withdrawing it from an ATM.

The device is portable, of course, meaning it can be used in any outlet so you can use your solar energy on the go. It can be preordered now and is expected to cost $80 per year for both the plug-in and the energy.

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Your Pan Now Knows What It's Cooking with SmartyPans

2016-01-06

The evolving smart household has reached the stove-top with the introduction of SmartyPans. The app-enhanced cookware offers both nutritional information as well as assists users in the cooking of their food.

SmartyPans uses built-in temperature and weight sensors to help compute nutrition as you cook. Use the app to tell the pan the ingredient you are adding to efficiently track information about your meal in real time. Users can either add ingredients on the fly or pull recipes from the app, which also can assist you in properly preparing the food. The pan is dishwasher safe and detaches to also serve as a serving dish.

Co-founder and CEO Prachi Baxi said at CES that the product should be available for mass retail by the end of the year and is expected to be priced at $289. More information can be found on the company's website.

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Immerse Yourself in a Complete 3D Sound Experience with 3D Sound One Headphones

2016-01-06

3D Sound Labs is looking to combine state-of-the-art 3D audio sound with the comfort and style of the other name-brand headphones on the market.

The company showed off its 3D Sound One headphones at CES as it tries to reproduce real-life audio into a personal and portable home theater. The headphones combine surround-sound quality with 9 axis motion sensors that lock the audio into position -- centered sound stays centered regardless of movement. 3D Sound Labs is hoping this provides the ultimate real-life audio experience to media ranging from movies to gaming to virtual reality. The headphones are bluetooth smart and charge through a USB port.

3D Sound One headphones are available for purchase at their website and retail for $299.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Stay Plugged Into Your Car with Akolyt

2016-01-06

Everybody could use a little help maintaining their car and that is a role that Drust's Akolyt is looking to fill.

The Akolyt is a device that plugs directly into a car's dashboard and provides real-time information and support to one's smart phone via a free app. The device assists in several areas of maintaining a vehicle, from feedback on how you drive the car to upcoming maintenance alerts. That includes such things as wear on tires, breaks and oil. The Akolyt can also help to get a driver assistance should a breakdown or accident occur and CEO Michael Fernandez said at CES that the device provides performance tips that could lead to up to 20-to-30 percent in gas savings.

Of course, in an increasingly social world, users can also measure their performance against other drivers and accrue points to level up and earn badges.

The Akolyt has started to become available in Europe and Fernandez said the company has an eye towards a release in the United States at a later time.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Ampy Charges Up Your Devices Just by You Moving Around

2016-01-06

AMPY MOVE has found a unique way to help find the energy to keep your smart phone powered throughout the day: your body.

AMPY MOVE is a motion charger that captures kinetic energy from your motion and transforms it into battery power. Co-founder Alex Smith said at CES that one hour of exercise could supply up to five hours of extra smart phone standby battery life. The form-fitting device features an 1800mAH Li-Ion battery and can also be charged from a wall outlet. A second USB port allows the user to charge their smart device from the portable charger.

The product is already available for purchase at getampy.com and retails for $99.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Spun Puts a New Spin on the Way You Eat with Food-Tracking Utensils

2016-01-06

Fitness and healthy eating are on the mind of many people around the globe, with technology a major player in helping those to reach personal goals. Spun utensils are just the latest tool aiming to assist consumers in tracking what they are putting into their bodies.

Spun utensils are designed to take calorie-counting apps to the next level. After taking a picture and identifying the food on your plate, the smart utensil tracks calories and nutrients with each bite rather than just calculating the whole meal. This means you can cut your portion short should you reach your calorie limit before the plate is cleared. The app also allows for things such as monitoring seconds between bites and you can even select profiles that will offer tailored recommendations towards reaching your personal goals.

For an expected retail of $74.99, a Spun starter pack will come with the intelligence handle along with two different spoon size plug-ins as well as a fork attachment. A stylish carrying case is also included with the product. Founder Umar Bakhsh said the utensils will launch in beta form in March of this year with a hopeful release in June.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Somabar Combines Alcohol and Robots to Mix You the Perfect Drink

2016-01-06

Not all of the technology being shown off at CES is designed to give consumers convenient and faster access to the latest forms of information and entertainment. Some of it is created with the idea of making certain tasks just a little bit easier.

That's the thought behind Somabar, a fully robotic bartender that can create and mix a beverage without so much as the unscrewing of a cap. The app-controlled drink mixer uses six different pods to blend together over 300 different cocktails, or the user can program their own creation into the app. Following feedback from its Kickstarter campaign, Somabar also comes with a full water-flushing system for automatic cleaning.

Inspired by CEO Dylan Purcell-Lowe's travels to Japan, where he witnessed prepackaged rum and Cokes being served from a machine, Somabar is set to be released in July and will retail at $449. The robotic bartender can be purchased at http://www.somabarkickstarter.com.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Skreens Brings Your Favorite Content Together on One Screen

2016-01-06

As consumers continue to absorb content and entertainment in a variety of different ways, Skreens is aiming to bring all those options together on one screen.

Funded through a successful Kickstarter program, Skreens allows its users to connect multiple devices through HDMI inputs and put them all on one screen simultaneously with total control over the layout. This allows users a variety of options, such as playing a console video game while watching the news and streaming a sporting event all at the same time. Advanced versions of the hardware allow for streaming and have a built in audio mixer, while Skreens also makes use of a flexible hardware platform that enables the device to be updated on the fly.

With the ability to offer a variety of streaming options to one location, Skreens is looking to become the central hub to the new, smart interactive homes. The device has both a Plus2 and Plus4 model, with each also being offered in a Pro version. No final price has been set for the devices and founder and CEO Marc Todd aims to have them available for retail by the second half of 2016.

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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Get the Best Sleep Possible with the New IT Bed from Sleep Number

2016-01-05

Keeping up with sleep wasn't an easy thing to do here at CES, until we found the Sleep Number booth and its new IT bed.

Coupled with Sleep Number's Sleep IQ technology and application, the IT bed has sensors built right into the mattress that track things like heart rate, breathing rate and movement. All that information is compiled and the user is given a sleep score while also being offered recommendations and insight on how your daily activities, tracked through your app profile, affect your sleep. The mattress also comes with active comfort technology, giving each sleep partner their own ideal sleep number.

Expected to launch in the Summer of 2016, the IT bed will retail for around $1000. Senior product manager Kelley Parker said at CES that the mattress can be ordered online, delivered and set up in about 15 minutes. More information can be found at sleepnumber.com.

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Interview by Nakia Mann of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

With Interchangeable Parts, Ztylus is a More Than Just a Phone Case

2016-01-05

One booth that caught the eye of many observers here at the 2016 CES was Ztylus Innovation's multifunctional smartphone case.

The case offers full body protection with a removable disc in the back. Once removed, a number of function utility attachments can be added to enhance the use of your phone. Among those on display at CES included a vent clip kit that can serve as additional leverage for holding onto the phone, a kickstand to prop up the phone or to clip to the device for easy viewing. A revolver kit was also at the booth and contains a number of different and quickly-accessible camera lenses.

Adding the attachments is as simple as popping it into the disc port and rotating to secure. Some of the parts are already on the market, with more coming by the end of the year.

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Interview by Nakia Mann of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

StereoLabs Unveils New ZED 3D Sensory Camera

2016-01-05

StereoLabs took advantage of the high-profile CES event to show off its ZED camera, a high-definition 3D camera for depth sensing.

Using synchronized left and right video streams, the camera outputs high resolution video on USB 3.0. The image is processed in real time using the ZED SDK and a an external host computer, with StereoLabs partnering with Nvidia for graphics processing units. This particular camera is meant for developers according to product manager Marc Beudet and is ideal in both indoor and outdoor settings. Beudet cited two of the main markets for the ZED being autonomous navigation and augmented reality.

The ZED camera can be purchased at stereolabs.com and retails for $449.

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Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Innovation Lab [Makerspace @ SPC] @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

We like to end our coverage with the event director, and for Pinellas Comic and Maker Con that person is Chad Mairn. During the day he is a librarian for St. Petersburg College in Seminole and also runs the school's Innovation Lab. During his free time, though, he plans and builds incredible community events.

Last year, the event's initial year, he originally planned for 600 attendees and received 3,400 instead. While a good problem to have, it almost got the event shut down by the fire marshal. This year, however, the event grew to take over rooms all over the campus. A rough estimate puts this year's attendance at around 5,000.

Chad discusses some of the problems he has faced in bringing this event to reality, as well as how the school did everything in their power to make it easier for him to expand.

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Massive Merchandise @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

In the world of collectables there are two types: replicas and limited or custom built items. Garrett Bostwick from Massive Merchandise came by to talk about the latter. He makes custom items, like the Magic: The Gathering custom card box he brought with him. These items are made entirely from scratch, including the box and the laser engraving.

Bostwick doesn't just focus on comic and geek-related events, though. He also participates in biker events, which he says drives about half of his business. For those events he creates similar types of items, but with different intents and different engravings.

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NerdTag.me @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

In our local community there are some people who are so active we have the pleasure of seeing them all the time. Mo Eppley of NerdTag.me is one of those people. From maker events to MetroCon, she seems to be everywhere we go. That's a good plan for her and her company, because they sell custom printed dog tags and other 3D printer items.

The tags feature characters and symbols such as the Minions and super hero icons and self for between $10 and $15, depending on colors. As Nick shows off, he has had 2 of their tags on his keys since we first met over a year ago, and they look today as they did the day he got them.

One of the most interesting aspects of the tags is that they are printed on a 3D printer designed and built by the company, called FreeFab 3D. When we first met them, they had just sold their first unit and today the company is taking pre-orders for their second model, which is enclosed.

Nick and Daniele spoke with Mo about the changes in the company, including their moving out of her office and into their own facility.

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Gypsy's Weavings @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

One of the best parts about attending events like Pinellas Comic and Maker Con is getting to experience local artists and their work. For us, getting to continue covering these types of events means we get to watch those artists progress over time.

We first met Anakhet, a local chain mail artist who operates Gypsy's Weavings, at Gulf Coast MakerCon this year, where Daniele and Scott fell in love with her work. Since then, like any good artist, she has continued to perfect her style and expand her capabilities.

Nick and Daniele spoke to her about where she started, what is new since April and what we can expect from her in the future.

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HAD Studios @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

Dealing with the troubles of coming back from war can be difficult for a soldier. Luckily for Greg Plaisted, he found art as a way to express himself. In fact, he found a group of artists who challenged one another to produce works that help both with expression and with the ability to find calm and quiet.

In his time drawing, he has created some truly impressive works. He shows off a few, including a zombie Pikachu, which was a response to one of his artistic challenges, and chosen because his son is a fan of the character. While he may be new to the convention scene, because of the crowds, he is excited about the very positive response to his work and is likely to be seen around again.

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Real Tampa Bay Ghostbusters @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

While the 501st Legion brings a tilt of space battle to an event, the Real Tampa Bay Ghostbusters bring the paranormal. This cosplay group brings the same kind of dedication tot heir craft as our previous guests, while focusing on another franchise which is also getting a new lease on life.

Using their skills and incredibly detailed costumes, the group travels to children's hospitals and the like to cheer up sick kids and their families. The team has had several memorable moments, but Patrick Creel recounts one of his favorites, which led to a kid getting to watch the movie for the first time.

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Mjolnir Hammers @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

Whether a cosplayer, collector or a fan of a franchise, detailed props are really popular. Douglas Moody of Mjolnir Hammers stopped by the studio to show off some of his work. His Thor hammer was impressive, with incredible weight and detail. Written in proper style is his name, guaranteeing that his props are always unique and identifiable. He even had someone at a con able to read the text.

Moody also told us the history of his getting into the work, which involved cancer, a miracle and a second chance. It is a story that nearly brought our hosts to tears. It is a story and some really cool products, all worth your time.

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Pami Designs @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

One local maker we have gotten to see grow her business over time is Pam French. Her product is the Pami Pocket, a small shoulder bag designed to carry a cell phone and other little items such as a driver's license or credit card.

Initially created as a personal solution, she ended up bringing it to market because she had a lot of interest in hers and could not find anything else like it. Originally available only direct, she expanded into selling in some boutiques. Since we last met she has also secured retail space in some local Walgreens stores, with hopes to enter more.

Nick and Daniele discuss with Pam where the company came from, where it has been and where it is going.

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Ni-cola Entertainment @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

Local artists come in all types, and we had the opportunity to speak with Niicola Cuti, a local comic book artist. He has been involved with projects for Marvel and DC, as well as a couple of books of his own. In fact, at the moment he is working on stories featuring his character Moonie, who has had a long run.

We were then joined by Moonie herself, who came to talk about who she is and her stories, Her newest story was just released as part of the convention and is available now. Next for Moonie and Cuti is film production of a previous Moonie story. You can find out about all of Moonie's adventures at Moonie Productions.

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Echo Bridge Pictures @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

When you think of animation studios you are likely to think of Los Angeles our New York; you are unlikely to think of the Tampa Bay area. St. Petersburg-based Echo Bridge Pictures is trying to change that through their work.

From a show that aired on Nick Toons to their own internal projects, this studio is making a name for themselves as well as providing employment opportunities for artists in the community. Their current internal film is in the early stages of production, but they hope to have it on the festival circuit sometime in 2016.

Nick and Daniele spoke with Esteban Valdez about the origins of the studio, why he opened in Florida and where they are headed in the future.

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501st Legion @ Pinellas Comic & Maker Con

2015-10-17

In the past few years cosplay has gone from a niche term known mostly within the convention realm to a widely known concept with TV shows dedicated to the topic. A lot of people in the community, like the 3000 Brigade are dedicated to their craft, few are as dedicated as the 501st Legion. This group of Star Wars enthusiasts don't just dedicate their time to making their costumes, they also dedicate their time to charity.

Their costumes are incredibly detailed, needing to conform to the specifications of Lucasfilm and Disney. This is because their members from across the country are invited to march in the Star Wars Weekends parades at Disney's Hollywood Studios - the perfect thing to do in the summer in Florida. During the rest f the year, though, they take their custom costumes to children's hospitals and the like to entertain the kids. It is a great way of combining their own love of the franchise with the ability to cheer up sick kids.

Nick and Daniele spoke with Dylan Scott about the organization, what they do and what it would take for you to get involved.

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Eureka! Factory @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

As always, we end our coverage with our good friend Terri Willingham. Terri is known in the community not for sitting around talking about what might be possible, but instead for getting things done. Because of this, there are a lot of really exciting programs in the Tampa area to help promote education, engineering and the maker culture.

Between ROBOTICON, Gulf Coast MakerCon, TEDxTampaRiverwalk and a myriad of programs based in libraries. She has also been involved in building makerspaces in libraries and even co-authored a book on the topic and trains library staff on the culture.

In addition to all of this, Terri is also Regional Director of FIRST in Central Florida. She sat down with us to talk about this event, future FIRST events in the area, including the upcoming Orlando FRC Regional, and her other events, including TEDxYouth@TampaRiverwalk in November and the next Gulf Coast MakerCon in April.

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FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

While competitions run because of volunteers, the organization itself is pushed forward with the help of AmeriCorps VISTAs. The organizationm's goal is to help nonprofits with building capacity, which in terms of FIRST means helping to build new and sustainable teams, whether they be FLL, FTC or FRC.

In the past we have spoken to former VISTA Joel Croteau. This year we sat down to talk to our current local VISTA, Rebecca Hannaford about what AmeriCorps is, why they are around, and what she does to help build FIRST programs in the area. She also discusses what it takes to join the program yourself.

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Robotic Bacon Eating Narwhals (FTC 10204) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

Sometimes it can be hard being the new kid in town. You have to learn your way around, you have to learn the rules of the area and get to know people, all in a short period of time. When you add engineering into the equation it only gets more difficult.

That isn't slowing down rookie FTC team Robotic Bacon Eating Narwhals. This team, the first we have seen with a 5 digit team number, is confident about their capabilities and even brought a fully functional robot to the scrimmage, while many established teams did not.

Despite some of the difficulties of this year's game, the kids are excited about aprticipating, and believe they can be competitive at the local and state levels. We spoke with Picabo Lesh about why she got involved with FIRST, her experiences so far and how the team is doing thus far.

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Renaissance Robotics (FTC 5937) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

One of the interesting aspects of the way FIRST leagues are designed is that when you graduate from one, there is another, more challenging league waiting for you. FTC Renaissance Robotics is a team comprised of members who graduated from two separate FLL teams. In fact, before they graduated, they began researching their next challenge in FTC.

Now in their 4th season with FTC, the team has matured and grown into a truly competitive team. In the last season they earned a spot in the State and Super Regional competitions, both through on-field and off-field accomplishments.

We spoke with Adam Turransky about his time with the team, what he has learned from FIRST and what he wants to do after school.

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Horsepower (FRC 801) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

Dating back to 2002, FRC Horsepower has been around for a long time. Over 13 seasons, they have seen a lot of game styles come and go and a lot of changes to FIRST. They have also seen their share of the best and worst of competition. After seeing their robot destroyed the night before competition in 2013, they were able to reconstruct it with the help of the entire FIRST community.

Very few competitive organizations foster the idea of community to the point where Gracious Professionalism comes before personal gain, and competitors come together to help their competition. Horsepower, however, can speak to the benefits of that environment.

We spoke with John Wells, team safety captain, about his time on the team and what he plans on doing after school.

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Team Duct Tape (FTC 2845) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

While a lot of teams have been around for a number of years, few in the area have been around as long as FTC Team Duct Tape. Founded in 2008, the team has participated in State, Super Regional and World competitions on many occasions.

Our host Daniele is an alumni of Team Duct Tape, and her experiences on the team led her to pursue a career in software engineering. We spoke with Marissa Schiereck, a senior on the team and the team's business lead, about her experiences over the years she has been on the team, how it has affected her and what her plans are after graduation.

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TechnoKnights (FTC 7263) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

FIRST events run thanks to the kindness of volunteers. Between judges, referees, coaches, pit crews and more, almost everyone involved is a volunteer. While parents, alumni and community members make up a large percentage of the volunteers, some teams get involved in volunteering as well.

In the Tampa area, the TechnoKnights are well-known for their volunteer time. Their coach is a referee, their students help out at almost all events, and they even offer their school for competitions. Around all of the volunteering, they still find time to run a successful FTC team that is one of the most spirited around.

We spoke with team captain Alana Lindie about her role on the team, her experiences with FIRST and her plans after school.

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Suncoast FLL @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

Within the realm of FIRST there are 4 leagues: Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL), FIRST Lego League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Each league has its own structures and program directors. For FLL, the new Affiliate Partner for the area is Desh Bagley.

Her main goal is to help develop new, sustainable teams within her region. Since taking the role she has made great strides, but sees places where new teams are needed and has begun to try to help some new teams get started.

In addition to her responsibilities with FLL, Desh also works for the Hillsborough Community College and also owns a company call TechPlayzone, which provides hands-on workshops for young people in the tech world, including Lego robotics programs.

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Florida Polytechnic University @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

One of the most important part of FIRST is supporting students after graduation. One of the ways they accomplish this is by creating relationships with colleges and universities. One of the sponsors for ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is a fairly new university in the area: Florida Polytechnic University.

Splintered from the University of South Florida, the new school has a different take on the educational process. Rather than forcing students to fulfill all of their basic requirements before taking classes in their chosen field, students get to take classes almost immediately. The setup of the school has even attracted our own Daniele.

We spoke with Holly Pafford, who works as a tour guide for the admissions department, about the unique aspects of the school.

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Edgar Allan Ohms (FRC 5276) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

One of the initial teams we interviewed when we started covering FIRST events was a rookie FRC team, Edgar Allan Ohms. The team was founded as the first FRC team based in a library, and the library took on the challenge because it was the biggest and hardest. What they didn't necessarily expect was the cost.

The team has now been around for a few seasons and has gone from a rookie to a well-known team. They spend a lot of time doing outreach in the community, including at the event that introduced Maestro Maines to the organization. They have also helped the library to introduce a makerspace which will be opening in the near future.

We spoke with Vishal Vellody, a member of the team, about his experiences with FRC and his plans after school.

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Robotic Bears (FLL 10531) @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

This year we did things a little differently from the past and broadcast on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. In addition to being able to experience entertainment, we got to speak with teams we wouldn't normally get to speak to. For example, we got to speak with our first FIRST Lego League team, Robotic Bears (FLL 10531).

The team is made up of 10 middle school students, and is based in their school. While the team has only been around a short while, the kids involved are incredibly passionate about both the program and this year's challenges, which are all centered around recycling.

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Maestro Maines @ ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2015

2015-10-10

One of the most interesting aspects of ROBOTICON Tampa Bay every year is the inclusion of external entertainment. For all 3 years we have had the pleasure of DJ Jake Dela Cruz, a local teenage DJ. This year we were pleased to be introduced to Maestro Maines Studio, which has a local steel pan band called Show Steelers.

The group of youth performed a Star Wars-inspired musical show on Sunday, adding to the entertainment. This was the group's first public performance, and the attendees enjoyed it greatly. Before that, though, we spoke to the director, Matthew Maines, about where the band came from and where they are headed.

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Laud Social @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

One of the newest trends in marketing is called "content marketing." The idea is that, as a brand, you share content that is relevant to your ideal customer on your social media to help establish yourself as an expert in the area in question. That way, when people think about their particular topic, they think of you.

It is an interesting idea that has spawned social ranking tools like Klout, which shows how much of an expert you are on particular topics. While that is great, how do you source content if you want to be one of those experts? You use a platform like Laud Social. The platform is designed to help you source content that is appropriate for your target audience, helping to establish yourself as the expert you want to be.

Laud Social is available now to submit content, and in private beta for curators.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

ToYourDoor24 @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

I cannot tell you how many time I have been working at 2 in the morning and wanted something to eat. The problem is there is nothing in the house, I don't want to go out and pick something up, and the only thing being delivered is pizza. What would really like is to get something from the grocery store: maybe popcorn or ice cream or something. That, of course, is not an option.

ToYourDoor24 is a platform, based in Barcelona, that delivers items from your local grocery store directly to your home. The service is available whether the store is open or not, any time of day. The best part is, the delivery is within an hour, though is often far shorter.

ToYourDoor24 is available on the web, Windows Phone and android, with iOS coming soon. The company also plans to expand their delivery areas with time.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Sessions @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Live event interaction is a difficult thing. Over the years, we have used several different products that have never quite worked out. Either they don't support multiple users, they are difficult to use, they don't embed well on websites, etc. We have always assumed we weren't the only ones to have these issues.

Because we clearly are not the only ones, there is Sessions, a new platform designed to take the annoyances out of live coverage. Whether it be about a news story, live event, videogame tournament or other topic, you can host a live conversation through the system.

Even more importantly, as a reader, finding content will be far easier. No longer do you have to sift through Twitter hashtags hoping to find the right one, and hoping that it is not hijacked. You have a simple, one-stop shop for live content on your mobile phone.

Sessions is currently in beta with an expected release in the near future.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

peercisely @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Hiring is a painful process - nearly anyone who has to do it regularly will tell you the same. It is especially painful when it is not what you are trained for. You have to read resumes, sometimes in the hundreds, before you find a single candidate that could fit. After several interviews, you pick someone and hope that they are a fit.

There is a saying, "People are hired for their skills and fired for their habits." What if you could find out more information about habits early in the process instead of after it is complete? That is where peercisely comes in. Their idea is to make hiring a personal experience. Unlike normal job sites where a company posts a job and you submit your resume, peercisely asks for recommendations for the job.

This alteration to the normal process is intended to make the initial seeking phase more effective. Those who know the candidates are the ones who can speak most to their behaviors, helping to identify those who will fit, rather than those who can do the job.

peercisely is available to the public for job posters and referrers now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Redtree Robotics @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Robotics is the next area for true innovation. At several of our special events we have had the opportunity to speak to middle and high school students who get to learn it as a sport. One of the current issues is in transitioning from small-scale to large-scale robotics is in the controller. When learning, you can use something like a LEGO NXT, but when you go larger, you're forced to build your own platform of sorts.

That is, until now. Redtree Robotics has developed the first advanced computer platform for robotics: Hydra. The controller is designed more like the NXT than an Arduino, meaning that connecting is incredibly easy. It also has a powerful processor, allowing for live sensor processing of many sensors. The controller is also configured to communicate with other controllers, meaning they can process together and create a robot swarm. With enough computing power to run high-end sensors and ease of connecting those sensors, this device is definitely positioned to be a great controller.

The Hydra is available for pre-order now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Printoo @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Some business models work with only a single type of business, while others appear to be universal. Advertiser-based products and services seems to be one of those more universal business models. It has been successful across print, radio, television, and web. It powered the initial success of companies like Vistaprint.

Taking on this business model is Printoo, a Mexican company that is providing digital photo printing at no charge to consumers. In exchange for the free printing, the photos are printed with advertisements on the back. This is similar to Vistaprint's free business card promotion from years past, except the ads won't be for Printoo's services themselves, but instead for partner businesses. Included in those advertisers is fellow Collision attendee Bebe2go.

Printoo is available to addresses in Mexico for free now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Price Patrol @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

I hate shopping for things, especially technology. Prices shift constantly, and by the time you get to the point where you can make the purchase, the price is back to normal. Hitting a mobbing target is all frustration without any real positive.

With Price Patrol, the process is simplified, and with a twist. The app uses your physical location to check the prices and inventories of stores around you and alerts you if they match your criteria. Looking for a specific television and want it at a certain price? Price Patrol is there to provide exactly that, all without the hassle of shipping.

Price Patrol is available now for iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

GiveToken @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Sharing an experience can be an incredibly complicated process. Pictures and video don't tell the whole story. It could take forever to write enough information to tell the story. And once you have it all written, who would be able to take the time to read the whole thing, even if they were completely interested in the topic?

GiveToken is a platform designed to make the process far easier. You can combine nearly any media type, including text, photos, video and music, to create an engaging Token that can truly tell the story. Once created, it can be embedded onto a website, shared on social media, email, etc.

The first phase of GiveToken is available now, with more features coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Shapie Me @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

3D printing is becoming a huge part of the world. One interesting aspect of the 3D printing phenomenon is printing people. Our partners at the Eureka! Factory even printed a team member from a scan made of him. There are so many different ways to create and use 3D scans, the next great platform will bring these two together.

Shapie Me is that platform. Designed to collect and store all of your personal body scans, the platform then becomes the connector between the scanner and the printer. Printing isn't the only usage of these scans, though. They can be used for medical purposes to examine a patient across the country, or across the world.

Shapie Me is finalizing development and will be publicly available June 15, 2015.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Split @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

One of the worst things about eating out with a group is splitting the check. When you're with a group the size of the 3000 Brigade, often in the 20+ range, splitting the check can take upwards of an hour if the server isn't entirely prepared. This is definitely a process that needs to be solved.

Split is a new mobile platform that facilitates this often horrible process. If the restaurant supports the platform, you can view the check and split it on your own time. You can even pay your portion of the bill right through the platform, allowing people to leave when they need to, not wait around for everyone to finish, or the bill to be split.

Split is available now for iOS with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Zoobe @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

In the beginning there was text and it was... good, though not exactly personal. Then came emojis, which added a little bit of personal flair, but not enough. The next logical step was being able to customize those emojis, but how do you do that?

Zoobe is the product that makes it possible. Simply speak into the app, choose a character and an animated version of the character speaking your words will be generated. Once you have the video generated, you can share it via email, social media or even text.

Zoobe is available now for iOS and Android, and is integrated into other platforms as well.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Call Levels @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

In the stock market, information is king. Once you have the stock you're interested in and a price point you want to act upon, how do you track that? If you're like me, you don't have a trading terminal or a personal trader at my fingertips, so it is all up to me to regularly track.

To help people like me track out targets we have Call Levels, a simple mobile application that alerts you at your target price. Simply choose a stock, set a price and wait for a message - it is that easy. When your stock hits the price, you get a push notification and you can act on it however you wish.

Call Levels is available for free on iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

ClipCard @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Cloud storage is more than just what it sounds like. While it is easy to lose data between OneDrive and Dropbox, there are a lot of other places on the web where data can get lost. For example, as a developer, how do you track data across both OneDrive and Bitbucket?

ClipCard is here to combine the ability of searching your standard cloud storage with non-traditional storage locations. Do you have files stored in Trello? GitHub? Evernote? ClipCard makes it easy to search all of these locations in a single interface.

ClipCard is available now for free signup.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Bebe2go.com @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

While many of us might consider the world a global marketplace, it currently doesn't work that way for everyone. For example, in Latin America, getting some of the baby products that we take for granted are not readily available for a variety of reasons. That problem goes both ways, too. If someone immigrates from Latin America to the United States, for example, there will be favored products that are left behind.

Since inception, Bebe2go.com has worked hard to solve this first problem. Having succeeded in bringing outside products to Latin American audiences, they are now trying to solve the other side, bringing products from Latin America to North American audiences. This will help new and established families incorporate their family traditions into their lives.

Bebe2go.com is available now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Blackwolf Tactical @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

One of the more surprising companies that we encountered at the event was Blackwolf Tactical. This company has had the opportunity to pivot their focus several times without having to sacrifice their original mission, which is not something most companies can say. Coming from a background of live-action gaming, the company was approached to use their facility to create an adaptive learning environment for police officers.

Using their facility they can create nearly any scenario and have the environment adjust to the decisions of the officers. Rather than simply failing when you make a mistake, in this facility the environment can adjust to punish participants. For example, if an officer leaves his partner, he may be forced to face an assailant in the dark, or even have a weapon jam.

Never being content with the status quo, even if they are driving it, the company is adding even more interesting aspects. As the facility can track participants to a matter of inches, and knows direction and weapon movement, they have begun to put that data to use after the training. By importing the data into Unity, a 3D gaming engine, they can replay a scenario from any angle. Also, by introducing Unity, the original idea of a gaming facility could very well be on its way back

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

import.io @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

The web is an interesting technology. It was never meant to be programmable, and is often difficult to interact with for both sides: users and developers. The one thing it has always been good at was what it was originally designed for: lists of data. However, this data has never been particularly good for computers themselves.

That is where import.io comes in. The platform makes reading these lists of data from the web possible for computers who can then use that data for other purposes. For example, being able to read product information from a website can help to create better live comparison shopping products, so you're not forced to believe Google's shopping results which are not usually accurate due to paid results.

import.io is available to use now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Chui @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

It seems the trend right now is for household items to become smart, with integrated technologies and connections to one another for overall system monitoring. One of the normal items in your home you might not have thought about upgrading is your doorbell, but Chui might just change your mind.

Designed to work on a standard doorbell transformer, this device will easily slide in to replace an existing doorbell, but does so much more. With its integrated camera you can easily pair it to Wi-Fi using only a QR code. Once it is online, the system can use facial recognition to allow it to trigger actions depending on who is at the door. Want to unlock the door, turn on the lights and start playing music? No problem - just create the triggers and Chui can do the rest.

Chui is available for pre-order now for $199.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Heddoko @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

While we may have encountered a lot of fitness tracking technology at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show, we certainly didn't encounter anything quite like this one. Heddoko has taken its cues from the gaming and motion capture world, creating a full-body suit that is capable of tracking your every movement and compare it to known data.

For example, if your trainer tells to do an exercise a particular way, the system is capable of telling whether or not you were able to accomplish that goal. If you were not, the system can also tell you where you might have missed and make recommendations on how to improve on subsequent attempts. This helps with strength, balance and, even more importantly, properly balanced training.

Heddoko is currently in its initial production run for sports teams and other professionals, but will be available to the public in the future.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FeedMe @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Food is a passion for many. If you need proof, check out the statistics on how many of Instagram's photos are of food. But, while a photo may be worth a thousand words, that doesn't mean they tell the whole story. To augment this, we have FeedMe, a mobile social network for foodies.

With FeedMe, you can share a whole Moment, including text, photos and video. Your moments could represent an event, such as a food truck rally, or could represent something more personal, like cooking something new in your own kitchen. Anything food-related that you want to share with the world you can.

FeedMe is available now for iOS with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Dished @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

I think we all know that finding places to eat can be a challenge, whether you are at home or in a new city. Google Places was a disaster, map services are offensively out of date, and Yelp never seems to return the content you search for. While we were in Vegas, we were victims of Yelp's incorrect information about the menu of a restaurant.

Luckily we're not the only ones who have been burned by this issue. Because of that there is Dished, a platform designed to focus on the contents of the restaurant: the menu. Ratings, reviews and photos are all centered on dishes as opposed to the restaurant as a whole, meaning you can get a far better picture of whether or not this is a place you are interested in going. A 4.5 rating on 950 reviews means nothing if the place is lousy at the thing you're looking for, right?

Dished is available now for iOS with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Evrybit @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

There are many different types of storytelling. Whether you are at an event like Collision and want to share the story of your experiences or are creating a fiction story, producing and publishing that content can be difficult. Evrybit is a platform to help make that process easier.

Combining some capabilities of services like CoveritLive with narration and illustration, this proudly mobile-first platform is designed to engage your audience in a new way. The platform is free for the basic set of features, with other capabilities available at a small charge.

Evrybit is available now for iOS with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tinggly.com @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

Whether it be whitewater rafting in Zimbabwe or walking with a monk in Nepal, a unique experience is one of the best gifts you can give someone. Of course, there is always the issue of finding these experiences. Also, once you do, how do you know it is the type of experience the recipient will enjoy?

Tinggly.com is the answer to both of these questions. Providing a catalog of truly unique and exciting adventures all over the world, the site allows you to purchase an experience as a gift for anyone. Then, when the person receives their gift, they get the opportunity to choose from the catalog themselves, meaning you can never disappoint with your choice - the trip is up to them.

Even better than any of this is the price. The currently available selection is all available for the unbelievably reasonable price of $125 US. So, whether you might enjoy a "carnivore dinner experience" in Nairobi or James Bond island sightseeing in Thailand, this can be had for only $125. Obviously getting to these destinations is up to the recipient, but for the worldly adventurer, finding an experience in a planned destination should not be an issue.

Tinggly.com is available now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

451 Degrees @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

For content producers, one of the hardest things to do it keep up with comments. User engagement can help direct your content, letting you know what types of information your readers/listeners/viewers are interested in, and the angle they are looking for in that content. The problem is, how do you keep track of every comment and interpret the meaning?

Fortunately 451 Degrees is here to help with Graffiti, their content optimization platform. The system is designed to monitor user generated content, specifically comments, and recommend alterations to the content to enhance SEO, engagement and even advertising sales. You can also use the information to plan future content around what your users want.

Graffiti is available now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

CloudExchange @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

One of the best ways to make a new software platform successful is to make it extensible. The problem with this is, once you add the ability to allow other developers to add capabilities to your platform, you also have to give them a way to distribute those abilities. But building a marketplace is complicated.

That is why CloudExchange is here to make life easier. Integrate their technology into your platform and you have a ready-built extension marketplace for your platform. No need to worry about how to enable payments, recursion, etc. CloudExchange makes all of that simple. It is even entirely white labeled, meaning even your developers don't need to know it's an outside company.

CloudExchange is available now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Invictus.mx @ Collision 2015

2015-05-06

While some of us take for granted the benefits of smart power technology, in other parts of the world the upgrades have not yet taken hold. For example, the people of Mexico do not have access to true energy management technologies. If the power companies are not prepared to provide this information, someone else will step in, right?

Correct. Invictus.mx is a platform that is designed to help residents of Mexico understand how they use electricity and find places and times of the year to make changes. You can see your consumption, compare it to your neighborhood and find reductions to save power and money.

Invictus.mx is currently available in certain areas.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Audienti @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Maintaining an active, open dialog with your customers on social networks can be a difficult task. It is made even more difficult because much of your time is spent engaging the wrong people in conversations that will lead nowhere. So, how do you find the right market without wasting anyone's time or money?

Audienti is the cure to those ills. Designed specifically for marketers looking to engage their hyper-targeted audience with little to no waste is exactly what the platform was designed for. Using the system you can find existing conversations being had online, find the people who are active and design campaigns specifically for those people.

Audienti is currently in private release.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Biko @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Urban traffic in places like Columbia can be so bad that it can take hours to go just a few blocks. One of the best ways to avoid this traffic is to switch to a bike, but this switch is not as common as you might expect. Biko, a Columbian startup, has found a way to encourage people to make the switch and make it safer at the same time.

Through a rewards system, participants receive coupons to places like Taco Bell just for riding their bikes. While using the application, data is collected about routes and times of day, allowing local governments to see when and where support for increased bike usage is needed. For example, adding bike lanes or additional police can happen because of the data gained.

Biko is available now for iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Igloohome @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

As the popularity of services like Airbnb continue to grow, both for hosts and travelers, the need to make the process of staying in these locations easier increases. One of the worst parts of the Airbnb experience is keys - whether it is acquiring them from the owner or ensuring the property is secure after someone leaves, it really is a problem.

Igloohome is an automation platform designed specifically for these hosts, or managers of other rental properties, to make the experience better. The system can eliminate physical keys, replacing them with PINs or NFC from a phone, meaning the host can deauthorize access whenever they need - namely at the end of your stay.

Through the system, you can also automate other aspects of the property, such as air conditioning, lights, pools, etc. By automating these high costs, hosts can minimize their expenses, meaning they can make the same amount of money while charging clients less. That is a win for everyone involved.

Igloohome is currently in beta testing, with a full launch coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Congo.io @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

For the average person, getting ahold of a lawyer for a simple question can be incredibly difficult. There are minimum time limits, retainers and that is assuming you find someone who is willing and able to talk to you about your topic. Willy Ogorzaly, founder of Congo.io, experienced this exact problem and set out to solve it for others.

The service allows people to book an appointment with a lawyer online and speak to them via phone or the Internet. By eliminating overhead like rent, the service can book an attorney for far less than the average meeting. In fact, it often turns out to be a free consultation, as opposed to the $275 average cost of a meeting.

Congo.io is currently available in Colorado, with plans to expand into other states in the near future.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

TenderScout @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you've ever been involved in the sales cycle for a technology product you know it can be difficult to maintain an open, honest dialog between the people who are developing the product, or those who know what the product is and does, and those who are on the front lines selling it. Messages can get crossed, promises can get made that cannot be kept and reputations tarnished.

Because of exactly that experience, TenderScout was born. Designed to help facilitate communication between those who know and those who sell, the product helps to bridge the gap between trying to sell and actually selling. It accomplishes this by crowdsourcing information from the organization about the product or sale in process.

TenderScout is currently available in Europe with expansion plans for North America in the works.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

SameGrain @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Matchmaking services always seem to focus on dating, but not everyone is looking to date. What if you're looking for a traveling roommate. Most of the time you have to resort to limited information, often resulting in a bad match.

SameGrain is the platform that makes matches for non-dating purposes. Looking for a travel companion? How about someone that enjoys playing the same board games as you? What about a workout buddy to keep you motivated? SameGrain can help accomplish all of this. Matching is based on a series of complex criteria, which becomes more accurate the more time you spend teaching it about yourself.

SameGrain is available now for iOS with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

PinkLion @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

As the Maker Movement increases its momentum, the sheer volume of products available on handmade-focused marketplaces makes navigating them nearly impossible. More importantly, it is difficult to find designs and products that are of a quality that is worth purchasing.

Enter PinkLion, a curated marketplace of modern design products. Before being listed, all products are vetted by staff to ensure their quality and worth, and only the best of the best will be listed. Categorized into 6 sections, there are products available for anybody. From clothes and jewelry to home and gadgets, there's a little bit of everything.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Steady Budget @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Wading into the world of pay-per-click advertising can be quite a minefield. If you're not careful, your ads can show up at inappropriate times and you can burn through your budget without ever seeing a return. When you are managing more than one campaign it gets even more complex, having to make sure budgets are being appropriately used across multiple platforms.

Steady Budget is a platform designed to automate the reporting process for these campaigns on Bing, Yahoo and Google. Based on these reports, you can act directly within the system, allowing you to start and stop campaigns, expand and contract spending, etc.

Steady Budget is available now starting at $50 per month with free sign-up.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

PingMe @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

I can never figure out what to do when I'm bored, which usually ends up with me sitting at home binging Adult Swim shows on Hulu. While Sealab 2021 is funny, it isn't exactly rewarding. PingMe is a new service from Seven Islands Holding Company that is specifically intended to help people like me find things to do.

Using the system you can find people and events based on interests. Broadcasts announce information based on location and interest and Pings allow local users to respond and meet up or even find new hobbies.

PingMe is available on iOS now, with other platforms coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

markr @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Branding is difficult, especially when you have a tam of people managing your public face. From time to time bad ideas get published to the world, which is easy when access to social media is granted so easily. The team behind markr has a product, which they are currently calling Brand Commander, which allows brand owners to maintain the integrity of their social messages. Using this platform, a large company like McDonald's can monitor and maintain the message from their franchise owners, keeping all aspects of the brand on the same message.

The main product, markr, allows for creating visual hashtags and connecting people to brands. You could also use the platform to make event messaging more interesting by combining markr and Brand Commander to allow attendees to post to the event stream, but only with approval. That allows the event to maintain their image and attendees to feel more connected.

markr is available on iOS now and Brand Commander is in private beta testing.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Forthscale @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Anytime management tries to become actively involved in the development process, overhead is always introduced that makes productivity more difficult. The latest trend in trying to combat this is DevOps. But, with any collection of rules comes room for efficiencies.

Forthscale has identified a number of these efficiencies and has helped development teams automate a number of the common tasks. For example, using their Heili platform, they are capable of managing cloud infrastructure automatically. The system can turn on and off cloud servers as needed or on a schedule to save money, or can monitor and alert on system failures and crashes.

Heili is available now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

MeetKali.com @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

The only thing I hate more than meetings is scheduling those meetings. The more people involved, the more difficult the process is. How do you determine a time that works for everyone? Emails fly around with the organizer having to sort through a bunch of potential times to make a determination.

Luckily MeetKali.com is here to make the process far less painful. Simply include Kali, your new scheduling assistant, in the email chain and give her a command. For example, "Kali, can you schedule a conference call next week?" Then Kali will interact with those included on the email and find a time that will work and send out the final invite.

Kali is available now in preview for free, with a final paid service coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Sensoria Fitness @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Wearables are certainly becoming quite a hot commodity, but what if you want data that isn't the norm. for example, let's say you're a runner and you need to know more about your gait or pressure impact on your feet than you do heart rate? You're not going to get that from your Fitbit, so where do you turn?

Sensoria Fitness has your solution with their smart sock. Using integrated sensors, the sock can collect and record data about many of the physical aspects of running. Using this data, the Sensoria Virtual Coach can help you find issues in your running and suggest ways to correct them.

While the sensors are integrated, the data collection mechanism is not, meaning when you inevitably wear the sock out, you don't have to replace the portion of the system that connects to your phone, only the sock itself. This also means that the ecosystem could be larger than just the sock, giving you the potential to be fully robotic.

The robot sock bundle is available now for $199, with other products in the ecosystem available as well.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Surfaccounts.com @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you're an independent contractor or small business owner, you know how difficult keeping track of your accounting can be. Between logging hours, managing projects and clients and sending/receiving invoices, you can lose a full day per week to this endeavor.

Surfaccounts.com has created a system designed to manage all of this information in a single place with as little friction as possible. Manage your contacts and sales activities, invoices, accounts and accountants all in one place from wherever you are. You can even get complete reports based on the data in the system to help manage your business.

The system is available now starting at $16.95 per month, with a free 30 day trial.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Traces @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

With all the talk about the Microsoft HoloLens in the news, augmented reality has become a hot topic once again. We've seen some interesting uses, including Aurasma, who took a marketing approach, and Nokia's partnership with Oreo, Oreo Skies. The latter allowed you to explore the stars and leave messages for friends written in the sky.

Taking that concept to a new and far more interesting level is Traces, a mobile app that allows you to leave messages for your friends in the real world. This is very similar to geocaching, in which a physical item is left in a location with coordinates for retrieval. In Traces' case, however, the content is always secure with no chance of being lost or stolen.

When you are within range of a trace, the app displays a directional arrow. If you follow the arrow, you will discover a bubble in the air; hovering on the bubble will reveal the content. It is a really fun and interesting way to make an area more interactive. For example, this could be used by a park to include a walking tour without the need for special hardware.

Traces is currently available for iOS, with other platform support coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Horyou @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you spend time on Facebook or Twitter, you probably notice a lot of people complaining about a lot of nonsense. What you don't see a lot of, perhaps aside from the Ice Bucket Challenge, is positivity and actions with a purpose. Horyou wants to make social engagement more positive.

Organizations can leverage the power of their members and celebrities to help promote themselves and their missions through the system. This is done by promoting positive actions and content posted by interested parties. Members can show others what they are doing to help promote the goals of their favorite organizations.

The service is available now with free membership.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Petcube @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you travel as often as we do, one of the things you probably miss is your pet. More importantly, your pet misses you, your voice and interacting with you. Petcube is an IP camera designed specifically to allow you to feel a little closer to your pet when you are across the street or across the world.

Like many IP cameras, you can login from your phone, computer or tablet and view a live shot from the camera, you can talk back through the camera to the room and you can grab a frame from the feed. You even have the ability to give others access to the camera so friends or family can look in on your pet.

Where Petcube varies is in its pet-specific features. For example, you can take that screen grab and share it through the mobile app to others interested in seeing your photos. You can also interact directly with your pet using the integrated laser pointer. This is definitely a game changer for anyone who has a pet like mine who loses their mind over lasers.

Petcube is available now for $199 from the company's website.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Cloudfinity @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you have multiple cloud storage accounts, you know how incredibly difficult it can be to manage where files exist. Did you upload that Word document to OneDrive or Dropbox? Where does your phone automatically upload photos?

If you have ever encountered this issue, then Cloudfinity is for you. This application gives you a single access point for all of your cloud storage accounts. With the unified UI you can search all platforms to find the file you need. More importantly, the system can learn your habits and will automatically save files to the system you choose. For example, if you always save Excel documents to OneDrive, Cloudfinity will continue that action.

The platform is available for pre-order now at an introductory price of $5 per month with an expected launch this summer.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Megavenues.com @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

If you have ever tried to host an event, you know how difficult it can be to find the right venue. There are so many different sizes, with different types of services and amenities, it's hard to figure out which one will work for you. That is after hunting down a list of potential venues to begin with, which can be a pain on its own.

Megavenues.com is the solution to this problem. This venue catalog allows you to find and compare different types of venues categorized by intent, such as birthday party, wedding reception or convention. The marketplace opened in 2013 in India and has since expanded to 4 countries and 20+ cities.

The company is currently on expanding into the United States in cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City. They plan to enter other South-Eastern states in the near future.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Campsited @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

While some people may prefer a hotel room and air-conditioning on a vacation, others prefer a view of a stream or forest. For the latter, booking camp sites can be a real pain, especially if you want to do it on your schedule online. A comprehensive list of camp sites with the ability to research, compare and book does not exist.

That is, until now. Campsited is here to make the process of finding and booking a site with your specific amenities, or none at all, possible. Started in Ireland to help solve the founder's personal pain, the company is now looking to expand to help others in Europe find and book these same types of experiences.

The site is available now in Ireland, with other European countries coming soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

InsightMedi @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

When talking about photo sharing, the medical field is not traditionally a place we go. However, being able to share information between doctors and other healthcare professionals can be an essential step in diagnosing and solving problems that might otherwise be outside of a doctor's normal expertise. A human being can only read so many medical papers, after all.

InsightMedi is the platform on which doctors can rely to trade images safely and securely. All images are classified for easy searching, and de-identified to protect the patients. In fact, before an image is available on the platform, one of the company's experts reviews it to ensure there is no identifying information available.

The platform is available today to medical professionals on iOS and Android.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

HedgeChatter @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

Whether you are a professional trader or just learning the stock market, how can you separate yourself from the rest of the traders? Everyone has access to MSN Money, professionals all have a Bloomberg terminal on their desk - what can you do to see trends before they become a reality?

The best way is to find and analyze additional data sources. HedgeChatter believes that one important source of information that can predict the market is social media. Using their machine learning system, the company is able to watch conversations online and try to make predictions about upcoming actions before the news happens.

The platform is available today for $29.95 per month.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

StockJock @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

The stock market is a big, complex system with many mechanisms that are outside of the reach of most people. If you are new to the idea of stock trading, what can you do to learn? You can play a traditional simulator game, but that requires the same expertise that you would need to trade in real life.

StockJock is here to help initiate the uninitiated with games and challenges that can introduce you to the intricacies of the market. The game is a bit of a cross between a traditional simulator and a fantasy sports league with all the excitement and none of the risk. Best of all is the chance to win real money!

The platform is currently in development with a preview game being played via email now.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

showd.me @ Collision 2015

2015-05-05

One of the problems companies of all sizes have is training. How do you know if someone within the organization knows about a particular topic and, if they do, how can others find out about it? This is the problem that showd.me is looking to solve.

They provide tools for organizations to have employees list areas of expertise so other employees in need of said expertise can find and connect to those employees. They even provide capabilities to share that knowledge across the company with chat, file sharing and video - all within their ecosystem.

The service is available now starting at $49 with a 30 free trial period.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Eureka! Factory @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

A great maker community deserves a great advocate in the wider community. In the Tampa Bay Area, we have the Eureka! Factory. This organization is responsible for events like Gulf Coast MakerCon, Roboticon Tampa Bay and others. They are also responsible for helping libraries create their makerspaces - sometimes by taking surveys and group chats, sometimes by designing the actual space.

Terri Willingham, a Creative Partner, came by near the end of the event to talk about the success of the event. We talked about the diversity of the event, the responses from the early attendees and what we can look forward to in the future.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FreeFab 3D @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

With the proliferation of makerspaces, such as Tampa Hackerspace, Makerspace @ SPC and Faulhaber FAB LAB, one of the items that is in high demand is 3D printers. Sometimes these things can cost thousands of dollars in entry, with extra cost in printing supplies and part maintenance.

That is where FreeFab 3D comes in. Joel Porter came by to talk about the company's existing and upcoming models, which are far less expensive than many other models on the market. In addition, much of the machine is built with 3D printing techniques itself, meaning that you could theoretically print your own replacement parts if something goes wrong.

One of the great things about buying a FreeFab 3D printer is that included with the purchase comes 2 hours of training. This allows the company to pass on its communal knowledge, such as do not use the printer in front of an open window or under an air-conditioning vent.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Suncoast Science / Faulhaber FAB LAB @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

As the maker movement continues to grow, places for these new makers to bring their visions to life is increasingly important. We have seen libraries take on this challenge at a quick rate, but not every library has the foresight or budget to bring their own visions to fruition.

Located in Sarasota, the Suncoast Science / Faulhaber FAB LAB is a makerspace with the benefit of being part of a science center. Jennifer Holt came by to talk about the facility, which features many tools that are common to makerspaces, such as 3D printers, soldering irons, etc. In addition, this facility offers lesser-known or less available tools, such as laser etchers and CNC machines.

The facility event offers open house events to allow the outside world experience the wonders of the space and learn about the tools and learning opportunities available.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Pad Go Round @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

When tablet makers design their next generation, it often involves making them thinner and lighter. While that design process might make things better me, who travels with at least 3 in my computer bag, it doesn't necessarily make it more usable for others.

For example, as people age, holding a thinner tablet might actually become less convenient. Because of this issue, Roseanne Clementi has created the Pad Go Round. This product serves as a tablet case, while also providing handles on the sides to make holding it far easier. It also allows for wearing the device around your neck, both providing an easy carrying option, but also serving as an extra level of protection in case it falls.

The Pad Go Round is currently in a prototype phase, but is working on a release to the world through a crowdfunding campaign

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Scrap On Spot @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

Electronic waste is a huge problem. With computers, phones and tablets replaced at a fairly rapid rate, lots of electronics end up needing to be disposed of. Unfortunately, lots of people simply throw this stuff away. Electronics have all kinds of toxins in them which, when disposed of improperly, can end up in drinking water.

Tony Selvaggio from Scrap On Spot came by to talk to us about their Destruction Zone at Gulf Coast MakerCon, as well as the company's recycling program. The company takes in old electronics and, working with partners, breaks them down for their hazardous and reusable pieces. Many precious metals, such as gold, are common on circuit boards, and some rare elements, such as neodymium magnets, can be reused in other products.

In addition to their display at MakerCon, the company also help raise money for organizations, such as churches, youth groups and robotics clubs, through their recycling drives. It is definitely a pleasure to see a company help protect the environment and give back to their community.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Flap Top Comforter @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

At a maker event, you never know what you might get to see. One of the surprising products we were introduced to is the Flap Top Comforter. Created by Minda Cameron, this product is designed to help make the process of making the bed easier and less cumbersome.

A full bed set has a comforter with decorative pillows, sheets and sleeping pillows. The problem is always what to do with the pillows and comforter, which you don't want in the bed while sleeping. The Flap Top Comforter solves this problem by turning your regular pillows into a more decorative pillow during the day.

While this might not immediately seem like a problem that modern adults have, consider your last stay in a hotel. Chances are there were a number of pieces on the bed that you had to find new homes for - usually the floor. This product eliminates the need to search for that at home.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Innovation Lab [Makerspace @ SPC] @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

A common trend in libraries is adding makerspaces. In the Tampa Bay Area, the best-known is likely The Hive at John F. Germany Library, but many other libraries are involved in the community. One such space is Innovation Lab (Makerspace @ SPC), located at the Seminole campus of Saint Petersburg College. Chad Mairn came to speak to us about this space, which is used in conjunction with classes, but also holds non-class events as well.

Although the space may not be as large as some of their neighbors, they pack a lot of activity into the space. They have 3D printers, electronics tools and more. They focus on workshops and collaborative learning, which makes sense for a library at a college. There are activities happening all the time, keeping the maker community in Pinellas County engaged.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Pami Pocket @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

"Innovation comes from things that suck" brought us another product: the Pami Pocket. Created by Pam French, this product is designed to give women the ability to carry their phones and essentials without needing a full purse. This can come in handy especially at the beach, theme parks, etc.

Designed with a smartphone in mind first, these pockets give small, simple portable storage. Coming complete with either blank or designed front pockets, these pockets are currently available directly or through several retailers in the Tampa Bay area, including some Walgreens. Pam says her ultimate goal for the product is to license Disney character designs.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

StoreHitch @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

Our theory of "innovation comes from things that suck" was proven once again with the StoreHitch by Terry Nehring. This product is designed to help you store the pieces of a hitch for a camper. The pieces are large, difficult to manage and often dirty from being outside and attached to moving vehicles. Because of this, storage can be difficult. This device gives you a secure mount for the vehicle which holds the pieces and locks them into place, guaranteeing they don't fall off or get stolen.

The idea for the product, which seems simple in hindsight, came about because Terry tore up the floor of his brand new camper while trying to store the hitch elements. After that, he set out to solve that problem forever, which he did. Recently, due to a change in his life, he decided it was finally time to bring it to market. After searching for other similar products and finding none, he patented the design and is working to bring it to stores soon.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Athletes Performance Gear @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

A popular expression around our studio is "innovation comes from things that suck." As an example of this theory in practice we have John Hobbs of Athletes Performance Gear, who has created a dual-purpose water bottle for runners and walkers called iHydroRun. The bottle holds enough water for a normal run, but is shaped to double as a runner's weight.

This double usage gives you the ability to run with weights without the need to carry an extra bottle or pouch of water. Holding the water in your hands as you run helps improve balance and strength, the same as any other weight, but also has the added benefit of getting a little lighter as your workout progresses.

Worried about the bottles being too light? John has thought of that, too, and will offer add-on weights that snap onto the bottom to add more resistance when you need it. The weights are even stackable, meaning you can add multiple together to get just the weight you want. The bottles will be available soon through direct sales channels.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

The New Music Conflagration @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

Music is a big part of all of our lives - you can't do almost anything without being exposed to some sort of music. From movies and television to elevator rides, music is used to improve the experience. How much do we know about our music, though? For many of us the answer is very little.

The New Music Conflagration know this fact and is here to help teach the how and, maybe more importantly, the why of music. As a concert pianist Elizabeth Baker works with the non-profit to help expose people to music of all kinds. As a demonstration of this, she brought with her a Theremin, which may have a Sci-Fi sound, but is becoming a popular instrument.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Team Duct Tape @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

Our newest host, Daniele Mendez, joined the PLuGHTz Live broadcast team because of her participation in the FIRST Tech Challenge, a middle and high school robotics competition. Joshua Francis, a fellow member of her team, Team Duct Tape, joined us to discuss his experiences with the program.

Having spent several years on the team, he has found a focused passion in engineering which he plans to pursue in college. Daniele also discovered through her time on the team that she has a passion for software engineering, which she will be pursuing in college. The two discuss their favorite parts of the program, as well as their various roles on their team, and which they enjoy best.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Tampa Hackerspace @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

Jon Adair, a member of the board of Tampa Hackerspace, came to speak with us about the improvements they have made in the year since we last spoke. The group has grown in numbers as well as in complexity. Recently receiving a gift of several large, expensive tools, the group is always looking for people who know how to use them that can help teach others.

Membership in the group is reasonable for those who are really interested in building things but don't want to own their own large tools, or have the space to store them. For $50 per month you get unlimited, 24-hour access to the facility and tools (after certification, of course), as well as the ability to collaborate with other members.

Collaboration is one of the best parts of these makerspaces. You might have an idea, but are not sure how to implement it, and a fellow member can lend guidance. Or, you might have a very clear idea, but another member might have experience on the path you are on and can help prevent wasted time.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Electrathon of Tampa Bay @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

On the isle next to our studio, robots (including FIRST teams) were battling their way to dominance, while outside another competition was taking place: Electrathon of Tampa Bay. As Fredi Beck explained, this competition, like FIRST, is designed to encourage kids and adults to learn the skills required for building electronics. Unlike FIRST, however, the competition is not game-based. Instead, this competition is based on the efficiency of the machine built.

The Electrathon is a battery-powered car "race," but not focused on the vehicle that makes it around the track the fastest. Instead, it is about the vehicle that runs the longest on the track. This requires a lot of consideration on the design of the machine. Light-weight is definitely better than heavy, and less pressure on the motors can also provide extended battery performance.

As our electronics become more powerful, making them power-efficient is becoming even more important. Large companies like Samsung are incapable of making their flagship smartphone last longer on a charge than some of their far smaller competitors. This competition might just help us fix that issue.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Gypsy's Weavings @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

One of the great things about Gulf Coast MakerCon is the wide variety of makers showing off their passions. Starting off our show this year was Bethany (Anakhet) Blascoe from Gyspy's Weavings, who makes chainmail items. She wore several of her jewelry designs on-air with us, showing off the complexity and beauty of this work.

Beginning her work in the Renaissance Fair community as a child, she has moved on from making actual armor to focusing on making more modern-usable items. She has improved her craft by attending workshops on other types of weaving, including crochet, which turns out to have a lot in common with chainmail.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Fireblade Comics @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

First introduced at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, our friend Jason Rawley of Fireblade Comics came by to show off some of the really cool prop replicas and inspired works he has produced in the past year. Many of his props are focused on the Ghostbusters universe, as he is part of a group of people who travel around and visit children, etc. as the Ghostbusters.

However, Jason creates props from other universes as well. He often will start with an existing base, such as a Nerf weapon, and make adjustments and modifications, and then paint to transform the piece into something completely different. One of the interesting things we learned this year is that after MakerCon last year, he took home printers that the battle robots had destroyed and showed us a piece he made using elements from one of the printers.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

E-nabling The Future @ Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015

2015-04-18

We were fortunate to have our good friend Laird Popkin on the show once again. Laird works with the organization E-nabling The Future, which provides 3D printed prosthetic hands and arms to people in need. This is accomplished through a system which pairs those who need the prosthetic with those with 3D printers who are capable of producing it.

Currently the organization has provided over 5,000 printed prosthetics that they know of. All of the technology used, including the 3D models, instructions for assembly, etc. are provided for free to the world, which means there very well could be thousands of these limbs in the world.

The group focuses their efforts on children, as the price of a child's prosthetic can be more than a standard car, but will be grown out of within months. This makes helping these kids difficult through regular medical devices. With the use of this technology, however, the prosthetic costs only about a tank of gas, which is far more manageable.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Greg King - Alumni, FIRST Ambassdor

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Greg King, alumni for FRC Team 180, S.P.A.M. They discuss his experiences with FIRST, her roles on the team and his experiences since graduation.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Libby Kamen - United Therapeutics Corporation

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Libby Kamen, FIRST Partner Associate with United Therapeutics Corporation. Libby is the niece of FIRST founder Dean Kamen, and works with United Therapeutics Corporation to help bring partnerships and funding to teams near the company's offices. The three discuss Libby's participation in FIRST events since childhood, including attending early International finals at Disney's EPCOT Center in Orlando. She also discusses her experiences on a team throughout high school and her responsibilities today.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 5646 - Spiderbots

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Felix Chapman from FRC Team 5646, Spiderbots. They discuss his experiences with FIRST, his role on the team and plans for the future. They also discuss the team's experiences with the program and at the Orlando Regional.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 2425 - Hydra

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Sydney Cabana from FRC Team 2425, Hydra. They discuss her experiences with FIRST, her role on the team and plans for the future. They also discuss the team's experiences with the program and at the Orlando Regional.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 5283 - Torque

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Kash Davis and Samantha Rockwell from FRC Team 5283, Torque. They discuss their experiences with FIRST, their roles on the team and plans for the future. They also discuss the team's experiences with the program and at the Orlando Regional.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 180 - S.P.A.M.

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Aleksandra Orlovic and Jade Zsiros from FRC Team 180, S.P.A.M. They discuss their experiences with FIRST, their roles on the team and plans for the future. They also discuss the team's experiences with the program and at the Orlando Regional.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 1251 - TechTigers

2015-03-13

Scott and Mark speak with Isabel Coto from FRC Team 1251, TechTigers. They discuss Isabel's experiences with FIRST, her role on the team and her plans for the future. They also discuss the team's experiences with the program and at the Orlando Regional.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Kodak: Kickin' Up the Selfie 360 Degrees

2015-01-10

Kodak's new PixPro SP360 brings the world around us right into our pictures and videos. Whether capturing sporting events, extreme adventures, vacations or your nephew's first birthday party, this 360 Degree camera will capture your fun like no other. Weighing about pound, this go anywhere camera offers features such as Full HD 1080p video, 10 MP Pictures, Boost Shooting, Time Lapse Mode and Wi-Fi/NFC Connectivity, among others.

Control the camera wirelessly and view/edit with iOS and Android devices.

There are various mounting kits available for every kind of adventure and prices run from $349 to $399.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

D-Link's Sci-Fi, Incredibly Advanced Wi-Fi Router [Live]

2015-01-10

As we approach 10 billion Wi-Fi devices, it is more important than ever for our wireless networks to be well-designed and well-built. D-Link announced a new wireless router, the AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router.

This product is no amateur device - it means serious business. It is a tri-band router with a huge array of antennas running in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums. It is capable of taking advantage of all 3 arrays to provide the best possible speed and quality, up to 3.2 Gb/s.

It also uses a technology to focus the antennas in the physical direction in which it is most needed. Therefore, if a group of people are in one room, it can focus the strength of the array to accommodate.

The AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router is available now for around $300.

Interview by
Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Audio and Video Products on a Budget [Live]

2015-01-10

Bringing a variety of products to market, Kinivo has audio products including headsets and speakers, some of which support Bluetooth. All competitively priced, like the Kinivo ZX100 Mini Portable Speaker, which retails for $18.99. Their Bluetooth sports headphones, Kinivo BTH360S retails for $59.99.

In addition to their audio products, they also offer some video support. Included in the lineup is an HDMI switcher which offers 4 inputs and 2 outputs for under $65.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Bluetooth Headset and Smart Battery Built-In to a Case [Live]

2015-01-10

iPhone battery cases are not an uncommon product category, but when you add in a Bluetooth headset and smart battery management you end up with a truly unique product. The On3 PowerCliq is just such a product. Featuring a 2,700 mAh battery built-in to a protective case for the iPhone, this case is a great start, but there's more.

Adding a Bluetooth 4.0 headset that holsters directly into the case makes this double trouble. Protecting a Bluetooth headset, or even just carrying it, can be a real pain, so having somewhere attached to the phone makes it convenient. When you combine it with the connected app, the case can actually determine when is the best time to charge the battery to protect its longevity.

The PowerCliq was available on Kickstarter for $88 and will be available soon.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Monitor Your Home Security Yourself with iSmartAlarm [Live]

2015-01-10

One of the common problems with technology in a crowded market like home automation is not trying to solve a real problem. iSmartAlarm identified a problem and has attempted to solve it: home security.

With a monitored security system, the monthly fee can be exorbitant. In addition, most alerts that are triggered are false alarms, creating more hassle than benefit. The iSmartAlarm takes a different approach, making an expandable system around the CubeOne, the system's central hub. You can add cameras, motion detectors, magnetic switches and power switches, plus everything is wireless.

Alerts are sent via email, text or push to a smartphone. From there, you can view cameras remotely and call 911 if necessary. The Preferred Package is available now for $199.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Individual Fitness Bluetooth Earbuds from FreeWavz [Live]

2015-01-10

Bluetooth headsets are everywhere at CES, and many of them are nearly identical. FreeWavz sets itself apart in this industry by making the two individual earpieces exactly that: individual. There is no cable or band running between the headsets, which means nothing the get caught or tangled on anything.

These earbuds are designed for the fitness enthusiast, taking a very Jabra approach to holding them in place. In addition to the sound aspect, these earbuds also double as fitness bands, as they can measure heart rate from the ear.

The FreeWavz will be available in summer and can be pre-ordered now for $219 with an MSRP of $249.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Jack Ellis Talks of Test Flights and More [Live]

2015-01-10

One of my all-time favorite people in the world, Jack Ellis serves as the TPN studio director at CES every year. While you may never see him on camera, you can always see his work - he is responsible for everything that you see on the live stream.

This year, we convinced him to leave the controls and sit down with Don and talk. He is a retired pilot and test pilot, having flown all sort of interesting planes over the years. He talks about his experiences with planes that are now on display, but didn't tell us anything about what might not have worked correctly.

Video by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor and Jack Ellis for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Bluetooth Headphones from Sennheiser [Live]

2015-01-10

Sennheiser is one of the most loved names in professional and prosumer audio products. Their headphones are used in studios and on the road, by professionals and consumers alike. This year they show off the Momentum Wireless, a Bluetooth upgrade to their existing Momentum On-Ear headphones.

The headphones offer active noise cancelation, to keep environmental noise at a minimum; a must for a product designed to be on the go. It also has an integrated microphone for use with a phone, as well as improved earcups to make long-term listening more enjoyable.

The headphones are available now for $499.95 in white and black.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Time Lapse and Live Stream from the New Brinno [Live]

2015-01-10

Over the years, TPN has used time lapse cameras in the studio to give viewers a different vantage point on the show. No single person could sit and watch a normal speed camera for the 6 days that the studio is setup, but you can watch the insanity unfold in a 15 minute super speed.

One of the best cameras on the market for time lapse videography is Brinno, a company who specializes in this type of camera. This year they debuted a brand new product on the show, the TLC120, and updated and smaller version of their TLC200 Pro model, which is available now. Adding Wi-Fi to the camera allows you to live stream the video directly onto a smartphone, making setup and angling easy. You can even turn the camera directly from the app, so if the angle isn't what you want, it is easy to fix.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Selfie Stick from an Expert in Mounts [Live]

2015-01-10

While the selfie sticks might have seen a lot of time on the show floor this year, they didn't receive the same coverage in the studio. For us, a product has to stand out for it to be featured live, which is why it took a lot of searching to find the iStabilizer selfie stick.

Now, this is not your normal product. Known for their stabilization products, the company thought about usability and comfort while holding the device, as well as ease of access to the controls. Featuring a Bluetooth button at one end, positioned directly under the thumb, this stick is the easiest way to take an Ellen-style selfie.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Record Professional Audio on the iPhone Care of Marshall Electronics [Live]

2015-01-10

The quality of video recording might be getting better on smartphones, but the quality of the audio is not. It is unfortunate for small content producers who would like to use a Lumia 1020 and its amazing camera to film an interview, but can't trust that the audio will be usable.

Marshall Electronics, long known for pro audio and video products, is trying to fill in that gap. Announcing a line of iPhone accessories to allow professional gear to plug into the phone, you can now use the above average camera with truly professional sound.

Highlighted is the 4 channel, battery-powered pocket mixer which can connect via USB to a computer or into Apple's camera connector to record audio directly and digitally right onto the phone. The mixer will be available later this year for around $249.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Connecting the Home with Bluetooth [Live]

2015-01-10

Ah, the Internet of Things: the promise of a connected world. But, how many of these connected devices work together? What if you buy a light bulb that is not part of your home system? It's completely useless, except on its own.

What if everything communicated via Bluetooth? Then you could choose what system you wanted to use and wouldn't have to worry about compatibility. That is the future that Oort sees. To get you started, they offer a starter kit for $350, which includes the Bluetooth connected hub, light bulbs, sockets and even a tracker beacon.

Through the smartphone app you can keep track of the status of devices, like whether a light is turned on or whether the garage door is open, and you can change them if needed.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Improve Your Time on the Court with the Babolat Play Racket [Live]

2015-01-10

After a brief product demo on the show floor, we invited Babolat Play to bring their connected tennis racket to the studio and give the viewers a more in-depth demonstration. Ranging from $299 to $349, these rackets allow you to track your swing and get help to improve your game.

Connected to a smartphone or tablet, the application is capable of analyzing your swing for power, impact position, type and number of strokes, spin type and a lot more. It even has a 6 hour battery, allowing you to play all day. The best part is that it can be treated like a normal racket, with restringing, etc.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Thermal Imaging for the Masses from Flir One

2015-01-10

You don't have to enlist in the military or fly a police helicopter to make use of infrared thermal imaging. FLIR Systems produces an add-on for iOS and Android devices that will make you see red. Infrared that is.

Thermal imaging has been used by military, law enforcement and the private industrial sector for years, but just 20 years ago a thermal vision camera was as big as toaster and cost more than 10 times as much as they do today.

FLIR Systems is debuting their next gen sensor which will be released later this year. They haven't decided on a price point yet, but the previous generation sold for $249.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Wi-Fi Aware Looks to Challenge Beacons in 2015 [Live]

2015-01-10

While Wi-Fi technology is only about 15 years old, this year will mark the 10 BILLIONTH Wi-Fi certified device shipping to market. In our collection in the office we have PCMCIA cards dating back that far which added the wireless capability to laptops that did not yet have it built-in. Who could have predicted that the technology would come so far so quickly?

This year, the standard welcomes a new member: Wi-Fi Aware, which gathers local information and displays it. This is similar to Bluetooth Beacons, which allow you to receive information based on proximity to transmitters. Wi-Fi Aware will have a more global appeal, however, as seemingly all devices support Wi-Fi.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Ditch the Cord with the 911 Boost Portable Battery

2015-01-10

Why is it that your phone hits 2% about 15 minutes before you know you're going to have access to power? It's almost as if the phone knows that you will be out of touch for a while. You can carry a large battery with you all the time, but that is inconvenient, especially if you don't have a laptop bag with you.

911 Boost offers a solution to this problem: a small backup battery that can clip directly onto your keys. About the size of a keyfob, this battery can recharge your phone without the need for cables or wall outlets, while not weighing you down. It is available now for $24.99.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Oomi Makes the Smart Home a Reality [Live]

2015-01-10

The future of a connected home is one where the house is able to manage itself, from lighting to air conditioning. One of the problems with some of the technology out there is that they are designed for technology people, which doesn't necessarily make them easy to use. But not everyone wants to trouble themselves with setup - they just want it to work.

Oomi creates a smarthome product that not only automates the house, but makes setting it up a lot easier. In fact, the process is so easy that it is demonstrated in the video. If you are looking for a way to make your home life easier, then Oomi might be the first step.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Element Case Teams-Up with Scheider Optics for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

2015-01-10

They say you take the most pictures with the camera you carry with you. These days you rarely see people lugging around a full size SLR. Why should you? Camera phones are super convenient for the average snap-o-holic and the quality is easily as good as a mid-range dedicated digital camera was a few years ago. Maybe the only drawback is the lack of interchangeable lenses.

Element Case aims to solve that problem by partnering with Schneider Optics to produce iPhone cases especially for the uncontrollable photophile.

The cases will be released for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus later this year. Price point is still undetermined.

To learn more check out our interview with Schneider Optics.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Monoprice Brings New Electronics to Their Catalog [Live]

2015-01-10

Monoprice has been a leader in online retail for years now, offering a selection of house-branded electronics, cables and accessories for prices that seem impossibly low. This year the company is showing off all new products in their lineup that continue the trend of budget friendly.

First up is a multitouch, pressure-sensitive, 22" HD screen, designed to make working in the design industry easier. Competing in the same space as Wacom, this screen is compatible with both Windows and Mac, making it the perfect design accessory.

In addition, the company showed off an HD actin camera with 24-bit color and 30 frames per second record time. It is obviously designed for outdoor and sport usage, but with a mounting twist: it can be mounted back to 270-degrees, giving it a truly unique view.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Connected Hub for Presentations Without the Wires [Live]

2015-01-10

First announced on F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Eric Palonen stopped by the studio again to show off what Denon Professional has to offer. Entering an interesting and useful space, Denon is showing the KUDO, a multi-platform video streaming hub.

You can connect almost any device to this hub, whether it be Miracast, DLNA or AirPlay. This means Windows, Android and even Apple devices can all connect to the hub without any wires or adapters, and mirror their screens to a television or projector. Never again will you fumble for adapters or cables to do your presentation.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Living In Digital Times Talks Health Products [Live]

2015-01-10

One of the staples of TPN's live coverage is Living In Digital Times, an organization that produces a showcase of technology solving real problems. This year, LIDT is focused on the increased pace of innovation in the health and wellness spaces.

The Digital Health marketplace at CES has grown faster than almost any other, with the exception of maybe the iLounge, but is also the most focused on solving problems that real people have in the real world. As health technology gets better, so does the overall quality of life for all of us.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Protect Your Car Tires with FOBO Tire Sensors [Live]

2015-01-10

If you are anything like me, you have trouble making sure your tires are the right pressure. It seems like every time I see my father he is telling me that one of my tires is low. Unfortunately my car does not have tire pressure sensors built-in, so what am I to do?

FOBO Tire is my solution. Simply place the sensors on your tire valves and you can get individual readings from each tire over Bluetooth. It also includes an in-vehicle monitoring system so even if the paired phone is not in the car, you can still get information about your tires.

The unit is available now for $179.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Marantz Professional Personal Recorder [Live]

2015-01-10

First announced on F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Eric Palonen stopped by the studio again to show off what Marantz has to offer. Sticking with their wheelhouse of journalistic and court recording, they have brought the Marantz PMD-901V personal recorder.

While there are a number of new personal recorders on the market this year, this one stands out in its dedication to its cause. The camera records GPS positions to track the activity, and prevents the wearer from accessing data or removing the memory. This ensures the integrity of the video, which is important for industries like law enforcement or other first responders.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Dr. Who Takes Over Your Desk with Bluetooth Speakers [Live]

2015-01-10

Portable speakers are everywhere, and many of them look alike: black, white or grey boxes with a grill or mesh on the front. But what if you want your desk to represent you better than that? That's where Massive Audio's unique speakers come in.

Designed to look like the TARDIS or Dalek from the long-running British Sci-Fi show Dr. Who, these speakers will certainly set you apart from the other people at the office. These speakers even include built-in sounds from the show. If you're not really a speaker person, you can also get the designs in headphones.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Snail Games Readies New Hardware for Gaming at Home and Mobiole [Live]

2015-01-10

Snail Games is a game company you may not have heard of yet, but that is okay. They were the first 3D online game developer in Chila and have been pioneers in the industry for the past decade. With a team of over 3,000 and recognized as one of the world's top game developers, Snail Games is ready to move outside of China.

With a line of products poised to hit the market, the company prides itself in its global approach. They partner with international companies and continue to win awards. Their free-to-play games, on mobile and their new home console, are and will be hits with markets worldwide.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

XOEye Talks Augmented Reality in the Real World [Live]

2015-01-10

While Google may have recently ended its Google Glass Explorer program, the concept of augmented reality is not gone. On the contrary - with products like Microsoft's HoloLens coming to market soon, it is proof that the industry is just getting started. A big name in the AR wearable world is XOEye, a brand that Avrma Piltch has spoken on The Piltch Point about.

XOEye sees a future for them in the industrial and manufacturing spaces, as opposed to selling directly to consumers. They imagine a world where a floor foreman can view a layout of their warehouse, or a repair technician can see live instructions on fixing an issue, all through AR.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Burg Enhances Their Standalone Smartwatches [Live]

2015-01-10

The Galaxy Gear, LG G Watch and the like might be nice, but they all have one flaw in common: they require a phone to work. But, before the trend of smartwatches even got going, Burg was making smartwatches that required no additional phone to work.

Perfect for events where a phone would get in the way, get broken or stolen, these watches have cellular radios built-in, and require nothing more than an active SIM card to get going. With Burg, you don't even have to sacrifice any capabilities to go completely wireless: music, email, texts and more are all available directly on your wrist.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Create a Virtual Set with Datavideo [Live]

2015-01-10

If you are a video producer and have tried to build and maintain a physical set like ours, you know that it is neither an easy nor inexpensive feat. Because of that, many producers, both recorded and live, are switching to virtual studios. One of the bigger companies to produce technology to make this easier is Datavideo.

For a single camera input, the company offers the TVS-1000 Virtual Studio, which retails for $5,995 and is aimed at the educational market. For larger scale projects, the HS-2200 Studio in a Box offers 2 HDMI and 6 HD-SDI inputs for $7,000.

If neither of these fit your needs, the company offers a wide variety of alternatives and add-ons for these units as well.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Valeo is Bringing the Driverless Car Closer to Reality [Live]

2015-01-10

We keep hearing that driverless cars are 5-10 years away, but how is the technology that powers these vehicles being developed and, more importantly, by whom? Companies like Valeo are at the forefront of this wave with their innovative man-machine technology.

The company has 3 parts to their tech philosophy: he autonomous car, saving drivers time to do other tasks, and the man-machine interface. While the initial concept might be a little Sci-Fi for most people, Valeo believes that once the technology is in the market, people will enjoy the ability to do other things while transportation happens for them.

As for safety, Valeo VP Guillaume Devauchelle says that automated vehicles are safer than human drivers because they do not become distracted by their immediate or extended surroundings. This leaves the computer free to focus on driving.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Merge Your Cards into One with Plastc

2015-01-10

While mobile payments are just getting started in the US, the idea of eliminating all of your cards is definitely an appealing one. Luckily, until the concept of mobile payments becomes more convenient than carrying a physical card, Plastc is here to lighten the burden.

Combining all of your cards into a single, programmable device, Plastc means you can carry only this card and nothing else. On the front is an eInk touchscreen and EMV chip, while on the back is a programmable mag stripe. Once the Plastc knows about your debit, credit or even rewards card, it is capable of replicating the stripe or chip to match, while the display shows the details of the card being cloned.

Plastc is available for preorder at $155, with expected delivery in Summer.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Building a Large Scale SMART Wireless Network with Boingo [Live]

2015-01-10

Building a large-scale Wi-Fi network isn't the same as making sure your house has good coverage. By that I mean you can't just add repeaters throughout the building to ensure network coverage - you have to have a network capable of handling the capacity that the users will be drawing.

One of the best-known players in this market is Boingo. You will most likely recognize their name from airports and coffee shops, where they have set up lots of high profile networks. Their "SMART" network philosophy incorporates Secure, Multiple devices and models, Analytics, Responsiveness and Tiered services to accomplish this goal.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Zolt, the World's Smallest Laptop Charger

2015-01-10

Love the idea of being able to charge your laptop on the go, but don't want to be stuck lugging around a big, bulky charger? Zolt is the perfect solution. Roughly the size of a roll of quarters, Zolt is the world's smallest laptop charger. But don't let its size fool you. Zolt packs a punch. Using Smart Charge technology, it can supply you with all the power you need to charge your laptop while simultaneously charging two additional mobile devices via USB. This gadget caught the attention of more than one team. Chris Davis got the inside scoop on this mighty little charger as did Nicholas DiMeo. Zolt will be available in early summer for $99.99, but can be pre-ordered now for $79.99 at www.gozolt.com.

Interview by Chris Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Stream UHD Movies and Television with MGO [Live]

2015-01-10

After the 3D craze ended, the UHD trend got under way. Just like 3D, however, its biggest challenge for acceptance is available content. Unlike 3D, however, the ability to film and stream content in 4K is far less expensive and more practical. That means that content for UHD televisions is already starting to show up.

Once such content provider is MGO. From this service, you can rent and stream movies and television shows in UHD. The service is available on a wide variety of platforms, including all major web browsers and many smart TVs and set-top boxes.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Ventev Shows Off Accessories for Your Mobile Life [Live]

2015-01-10

Ventev manufactures a variety of products to make your mobile experience easier. From battery packs to cables, they brought them all to the studio to show off. Some products, like the USB battery packs and audio cables, are universal, some of their products are targeted at Apple products with Lightning connectors. Battery packs range from $39.99 to $99.99.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A 3D Printer Designed for Every Home [Live]

2015-01-10

The possibility of a 3D printer in every home is a reality that might not make sense to all, but it does make sense to the team at New Matter. They have worked hard to produce a 3D printer, the MOD-t, that is affordable enough to be a home accessory. To show off the abilities of their printer, they brought in some printed items to show.

For a 3D printer in the home to be possible, it is important to be able to produce models without any experience. To help with this process, the company offers an online store with pre-made models that can be printed as-is - some for free and others for a fee. All major formats are supported, meaning you can use any designer to make your own models.

The only setback is that it is a single head printer, meaning that only a single color can be printed at a time. Of course, you can change the color mid-run, so there are ways around it. It just means that complex designs either cannot be accomplished, or must be single-color. The MOD-t will be available this summer for $400.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Kodak Launches a Phone for Baby Boomers

2015-01-10

Polaroid wasn't the only iconic camera brand to show off a smartphone at CES. Kodak also showed off its new IM5 smartphone.

The phone has a bit of a different focus: baby boomers. It is an affordable Android phone that is easy to use and designed to make browsing and sharing photos quick and easy. It features a 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera, and offers between 8 and 32GB of internal storage. It also supports dual SIM cards for international traveling.

Interview by Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Diverse Battery Line in a Crowded Market [Live]

2015-01-10

How does a manufacturer of USB batteries separate themselves in an incredibly crowded market? Powerocks has taken a two-way approach. First, the company has made the batteries stylish with a leather body. This is a nice divergence from the normal shiny black plastic.

In addition, the company offers a line of batteries with unique features. For instance, their Jump Starter unit has emergency features such as an LED signal light, a flashlight, an alarm, a glass-breaker and vehicle jump starter all with a 10 mAh battery.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Secure Your Passwords With Biometrics [Live]

2015-01-10

Maintaining passwords can be a real chore. Some of us have hundreds of accounts to deal with, and some of them change passwords on a regular basis. You could have a piece of software on your computer that maintains your usernames and passwords, but what happens when you're not at that computer? You could sync them to your phone, but that means you have to trust the publisher.

A great alternative is IDKEY, a portable device designed for storing passwords. The company's M-Series offers a small screen, biometric sensor and 16GB of encrypted storage. To unlock the device, simply touch the sensor and the device can pass the info to compatible software. If the device gets lost and is opened up, the device will self destruct, protecting your data.

The IDKEY is availble now for pre-order for $279.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Slingbox Enhances Its Line with Two New Models [Live]

2015-01-10

While Sling TV may have gotten a lot of press at the show this year, the company most sysonymous with the term "sling" is SlingMedia, makers of the Slingbox. The original technology for physically-shifted television watching. Unlike Aereo, it does require you to maintain your own hardware, but it has kept the company above-board.

The company introduced 2 models to the lineup this year. Starting with the Slingbox M1, this $149 entry-level model allows you to connect directly to Wi-Fi to stream your content. The second model is more advanced; dubbed the Slingbox 500 / SlingTV, this unfortunately confusingly named product adds the ability to browse content information within the Slingbox interface. Both devices are available now.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Celestron Allows You to Control Your Telescope from Your Phone [Live]

2015-01-10

There is a lot of really interesting stuff going on in the sky. More people are getting interested in seeing farther into space, and Celestron is constantly making that easier. While mobile technology continues improving, Celestron keeps pace with those enhancement.

Scott spoke with Celestron on the floor about the newest features of their telescopes, and the live team also got a chance to see it up close and personal. Including a built-in battery to allow you to use it on the go and the ability to explore a digital representation of the sky and automatically see it in reality, this telescope has a huge collection of cool features.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Upgrade Your Car to Keep Up with Your Phone [Live]

2015-01-10

Consumers often upgrade their phones biennially, or even more often with modern wireless plans. Cars, however, do not get upgraded as often, meaning that the built-in technology can get out of date. This leads to features of modern phones not being able to be used while connected to older cars.

AAMP of America provides a wide variety of aftermarket automotive technologies. Available at over 4,000 dealers nationwide, their offerings include rearview cameras, parking assistance, Bluetooth remotes and infotainment systems.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Ultrasound Brings a New Way to Interact with Your Phone [Live]

2015-01-10

Touchscreen technology has been around for over 50 years, but it came to the public's attention with products like 3M's Palm Pilot, and the products it spawned. It has become synonymous with mobile technology over the past decade, though it is not always the best way to interact with a device.

The current trend in alternative interfaces is voice, with technologies like Cortana changing the way we interact with phones and soon computers. Elliptic Labs is adding ultrasound gestures to the mix, though. Creating a field around device, the sensor can detect the position and motion of a hand around the device, which can be converted into gestures.

The technology is currently in prototype phase, being pitched to manufacturers. Elliptic Labs hopes to see the technology in products in the next year or two.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

A Smartphone Case that Supports Camera Lenses [Live]

2015-01-10

For the last few years, we have seen a growing collection of external lenses for smartphones, like the iPhone and Galaxy S lines. The biggest problem with these lenses comes from the issue that they cannot be used at the same time as a case.

Schneider Optics have created a case that solves exactly this problem. The iPro Case is capable of both protecting the phone and attaching external lenses. The best part of this is that Schneider is known for top-quality lenses, meaning that you will get better pictures than with an unnamed lens.

The iPro Lens is available now for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S and Galaxy S4. The iPhone 6 and 6S will be available soon.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Corning Shows Gorilla Glass 4 and Fiber Optic Cables [Live]

2015-01-10

Corning is a brand known for their glass-related products. In the past, the face of the company was kitchen equipment, but today things have changed. Today the best-known product out of the company is probably the Gorilla Glass brand. Gorilla Glass is used on most smartphones today, as it is incredibly strong and resilient.

The newest version, Gorilla Glass 4, is even more resilient than previous versions. Smartphone developers can alternately choose to use a 0.4mm thickness while still retaining the protection of Gorilla Glass 3 at 0.55mm thickness.

Another usage of glass in the modern technological world is fiber optic cables, which the company also produces. Creating fiber optic versions of USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt cables, Corning is able to make significantly longer cables than is normally possible without some sort of inline amplifier, ranging up to 50 meters. Those cables are available now starting at $109.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Never Drive Drunk with Floome [Live]

2015-01-10

Driving drunk is never a good idea, as alcohol significantly slows down your reaction times. If you do need to drive after drinking a small amount, it is best to know exactly how affected you are. That is where the Floome breathalyzer comes in.

Floome is a small device, capable of fitting in the palm of your hand. As you breathe into the device, it transfers analysis date to a smartphone to display blood alcohol concentration information. Rather than using Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone, it connects through the headphone jack, giving it the capability to transmit data at a significantly faster rate.

If you are above the legal limit, the app can help you deal with your impairment, including giving information about local taxi services, or it can even create custom "come get me" messages over top of photos.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Program a Button to Control Your Phone [Live]

2015-01-10

Sometimes a product we find on the floor is so impressive, we feel we need to share it with our live audience. The programmable mobile button Flic is one of those products. After being interviewed on the floor by Nicholas DiMeo and Chris Davis, Pranav Kosuri came to the studio.

The device can be paired to a smartphone and programmed to perform just about any task. Including launching applications, playing music and transferring GPS coordinates, the Flic is a versatile device for many uses.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Holster Your Headset Instead of Wearing It All Day [Live]

2015-01-10

It might have been cool to wear a Bluetooth headset everywhere, all the time in 2005, but today we need a safe place to keep that headset when we're not using it. You can put it in your pocket, but that doesn't make it easy to get to when the phone rings.

BluBen has a solution to his problem, creating a Bluetooth holster. It fits on your hip and gives you a safe and convenient place to store your headset when inactive. Then, when the phone rings, you can easily access it again and pop the headset back in your ear.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Lock and Unlock Your Door with Your Phone [Live]

2015-01-10

Smart locks have been on the precipice for years, but they have finally arrived, thanks in part to UniKey. The company has developed technology to enable doors to be locked or unlocked without a metal key. Instead, you can use your smartphone to authenticate yourself to the physical lock.

Of course, the first place you might think about is your personal front door. Wouldn't it be nice to walk up to your front door and have it unlock for you, so you don't have to put down groceries to fumble for keys? However, there are commercial uses as well.

Think about being able to authorize and deauthorize your phone to unlock a hotel room, instead of having to carry a plastic card that will, inevitably get lost or confused. In our CES experience, the keys to our block of rooms were easily confused with one another, especially when carrying equipment late at night.

A Kwikset lock using UniKey's technology is available now for $219.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Hold Your GoPro Like a Pro [Live]

2015-01-10

While a lot of the usage of GoPro is wearable, sometimes you just need to hold the camera. Unfortunately, the thing is so small, it can be difficult to hold on its own. Luckily, Gripix has a product to make this easier.

The new Wi-Fi Trigger Handle allows you to turn the GoPro into a more normal video camera. Adding to the ability to actually hold the tiny camera conveniently, the Handle also gives you the ability to activate the camera from the handle.

In addition, the system is expandable. The company offers a full, two-hand stabilizing system, complete with lighting and microphone. You can also mount the camera to a selfie-stick style pole, more likely for seeing over the top of a group. The mounting products retail from between $99.95 and $149.95.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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