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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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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Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

Sponsored by:
Whether you're programming a robot, playing a game or doing homework, the Microsoft Surface is the tablet that can replace your laptop. Get yours at the Microsoft Store.

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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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Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

Interview by Aylee Nielsen of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Interview by Aylee Nielsen of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Aylee Nielsen of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Nakia Mann of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Daniele Mendez of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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

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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

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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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Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
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Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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From Surface Pro 4 to Surface Book, Windows 10 and Xbox One, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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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From Surface Pro 4 to Surface Book, Windows 10 and Xbox One, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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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From Surface Pro 4 to Surface Book, Windows 10 and Xbox One, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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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From Surface Pro 4 to Surface Book, Windows 10 and Xbox One, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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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From Surface Pro 4 to Surface Book, Windows 10 and Xbox One, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.

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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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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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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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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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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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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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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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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.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Octa Gives You the Ability to Mount Your Tablet Anywhere [Live]

2015-01-10

Though sales might be slipping, tablets appear to be everywhere. While they are generally light weight and convenient on their own, that is not always enough. For some circumstances, an accessory might be required, like a unique mount or holder.

Octa makes a collection of unique mounts and holders for just this purpose. With options like c-clamps, suction cups and even flexible poles, chances are if you need to mount a tablet somewhere, chances are Octa has a product that will work for you. Mounts are available now and range from $39.99 to $99.99.

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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Tuning Your Guitar with Your Smartphone [Live]

2015-01-10

An out of tune guitar is never acceptable, but not everyone has a Gibson Guitar that can tune itself. For the rest of the guitar-playing world, there is Roadie Tuner, a Bluetooth-driven guitar tuner.

All you have to do is place the tuner over top of your guitar pegs and the tuner takes it from there, with the help of its connected app. It analyzes the sound from the guitar and automatically turns the pegs accordingly. The Roadie Tuner is available now for $99.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Body-Worn Camera Mounts for the GoPro and More [Live]

2015-01-10

The thing that GoPro did best was designing their cameras to be mounted on a variety of body mounts. By doing this, they created a news type of videos on the Internet, and a new market for mounts.

ProGearX is a company that specializes in body mounts for GoPro and other body cameras. CEO and Founder, Noah Rasheta, wore one of the company's products to the studio - a shoulder/torso harness for mounting up to 2 cameras. He also showed off a selfie-stick type arm: a product category that was in abundance this year.

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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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Crowdfunding Pioneer Slava Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Indiegogo

2015-01-10

There's a new wave of entrepreneurial spirit being fueled by crowdfunding, the latest in creative capitalism. This is evident while walking the halls of the Sands during CES and engaging with the many young companies that are using crowdfunding to raise capital and more. More? In this interview Slava points out that these companies get much more from crowd funding than money. Among the many benefits are market validation, the creation of customer relationships and the generation of a feeling of being part of something for the early adopters/investors. Even TPN has even used Indiegogo to raise money for CES coverage. Prepare to be inspired.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Jamie Davis, The Podmedic by the Tech Podcast Network.

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Ford Shows the Changes in Its BlackBerry-Powered SYNC 3

2015-01-10

Shortly before CES this year, Ford announced that they would be abandoning Microsoft's technology in favor of BlackBerry's QNX technology in their next generation of Ford SYNC. At CES, Todd got to see the QNX-powered Ford SYNC 3 in action.

This generation, the company is focusing on safety with its infotainment system. As part of the redesign process, Ford invited customers to their offices to experience the operating system and give feedback. Large hit boxes makes interacting with the system easier, keeping your eyes on the road while driving, while voice commands allow you to not have to physically interact at all.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central of the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Smart Case for Smart Phone

2015-01-10

As everyone knows, cell phone speakers are pretty good for talking on the phone and not much else. Even the at their best they're not great for jamming to your favorite tunes or watching a movie. Have you ever cupped the back of the phone to hear better? I know I have.

PERI has an App for that. Well, more than just an App. The App connects to their PERI Duo Speaker Case for the iPhone. This Wi-Fi enabled speaker case also includes a 2500 mAh battery that can fully recharge an iPhone with juice to spare, or it can blast soothing sound waves for up to 4 hours.

One of the coolest features is that you can create a massively-parallel speaker system with your friends. Imagine everyone at a party has the Duo Speaker Case. One party goer can be setup as the DJ and everyone else, up to 64 other cases, can be part of the sound system. Fun for hours.

The PERI Duo will be available for iPhone 5, 5s, 6 and iPod Touch for around $139, but you can pre-order now for $99 at Indiegogo.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central by the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Duplicate Your Hard Drives Care of Aleratec [Live]

2015-01-10

Everyone knows of the concept of a CD or DVD duplicator, but most people may never have considered a hard drive duplicator. That could be because it is far more difficult to determine the purpose of such a device. As an IT manager, though, you can see the benefit of duplicating a drive to flash new computers, etc.

For those who can use the benefits of a hard drive duplicator, Aleratec has you covered. Their 1-to-5 HDD Copy Dock Advanced gives you the ability to take one source drive and duplicate it onto up to 5 drives at once. The device can support 3.5" and 2.5" drives, meaning that you can use standard desktop, laptop or even SSD drives.

Impressively, the source and destination drives do not have to be the same size. If the source drive is larger than the destination, the only requirement for it to work is that there be enough drive space for the content on the destination. The company also offers larger duplicators for larger organizations, supporting 24 drives at once. You can also perform a secure drive wipe, actually destroying the content of the drive as opposed to just hiding it.

The 5-1 duplicator will be available soon for $899.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Creative Aerial Video Unleashed

2015-01-10

When I was a kid you could buy an RC helicopter. With a great deal of patience and a lot of money to replace shattered rotor blades, you could probably acquire the skill to fly it. Flying one was dangerous because of the fast spinny things on top and the leaded gasoline required by the little engine. Obviously such a "toy" required attentive adult supervision.

Oh brother have times have changed! Today low altitude flight is dominated by small drones that, in some cases, literally fly themselves. The AirDog is just such a device. The AirDog is tethered to it's "pilot" by a controller wristband the company calls AirLeash. The aerial vehicle positions itself relative to the wristband based on parameters entered into the controller, such as height and distance. Max speed is about 45MPH and max distance is about 1000 feet.

Last but not least, the AirDog is designed to accept either a GoPro or Sony Action Cam. Now you can be the pilot, cameraman and star of your own action movie!

AirDog is taking pre-orders at about $1,300, but the product will be generally available for around $1,500 later in 2015.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central of the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Audio-Technica Shows New Headphones for Sports and Quality [Live]

2015-01-10

Audio-Technica is a brand known for its high-end audio products, but it also offers a line of more consumer friendly products as well. The SonicSport line of headphones is one such brand, used by athletes and Olympians worldwide. This year, the company is adding to the line-up with a collection of different ways of keeping the earbuds in your ears. Everyone's ears are different, and the way they exercise varies, making for a very unique attachment problem. The SonicSport earbuds start at $35.

In addition to their sports headphones, the company showed off their newest audiophile headphones. Available soon for $249, these headphones are designed to provide lossless music replication in a comfortable, over-ear format.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Perfect Your Tennis Swing

2015-01-10

Practice makes perfect, or so they say. But what if you practice the wrong thing, the wrong movements or the wrong grip? Consider the German version of the saying, "PERFECT practice makes perfect." If you're trying to perfect your tennis swing, the Babolat Play might be the perfect practice racket for you.

The Babolat Play racket has sensors integrated into the frame that inform the player of volumes of information such as power lever, ball impact position and type and number of swings. The player can access the information via an app on his Apple or Android device.

The racket will go on sale in March for $349.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central of the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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4k 360 Degree Camera Redefines Immersion

2015-01-10

Imagine a conference room with a single camera in the center that can see everyone at once, or a single ultra-HD security camera that can surveil a whole room with no seems or blind spots. The applications for the IC Real Tech Allie Camera are limited only by the imagination.

IC Realtech offers the Allie in three models; pro, home and play for $399, $599 and $1100 respectively. All three models will be available by the end of the first quarter.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central of the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Protect Your Mac from Malicious Code with MacKeeper [Live]

2015-01-10

In the past there was a belief that Macs were safer than PCs because "they don't get viruses." That belief came from the fact that malicious software is only built for platforms that people use - particularly gullible people. When Apple was only able to give their computers away to schools, there was no money to be had in writing malicious code for Macs.

Today, an increasingly gullible population is switching from PC to Mac, partially because of a misconception that the platform is easier to use and partially because of the security belief. Because of this, more and more malicious code is being written to take advantage of those unprotected computers.

If you have made the switch to Mac without knowing the actual threats to the platform, then you definitely need MacKeeper. It helps keep those Macs safe from the onslaught of software designed to compromise those machines.

In addition, the software adds capabilities for security and optimization. The drive can be wiped, the computer can be located, etc. It also allows you to control the computer's boot and run time, by allowing you to turn off startup applications. Get it now for as low as $9.99 per month.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Girl Scout Cookies Go Online for Easier Sales

2015-01-10

The Girls Scouts are probably best known for their cookies, sold either door-to-door or in front of local stores. Of course, while this does help promote the organization, it is not necessarily the best way to sell your product and raise funds. In a day where more and more shopping is done online rather than in person, a lack of online sales could certainly be limiting availability.

I, for one, have never had a Girl Scout come by to sell cookies, nor would it be likely to encounter them selling at 9PM on Tuesday at the local grocery store. Therefore, having access to the cookies online would make it far more likely for me to purchase. The good news is that now you can purchase Girl Scout cookies online, and your local troupe will still get the proceeds.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Keep Track of Your Baby's Health and Whereabouts with Pacif-i

2015-01-10

The Pacif-i Smart Pacifier by BlueMaestro makes keeping track of your baby easier. Its main purpose is to monitor your baby's temperature, passing the data via Bluetooth Low Energy to your smartphone. It allows you to get an alert if the temperature raises beyond safe levels.

Because it uses BLE to connect to your phone, the device is also capable of alerting you if the pacifier leaves range. That means that if the baby is crawling around the house and gets away from you, or you walk too far away without realizing it, your phone will also go off.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Wine Tastes Better When Properly Chilled

2015-01-10

The Kelvin Duo, a wireless wine thermometer, might be a must have for serious wine drinkers. According to experts various wines are to be served at different temperatures for the best taste. But how does a conscientious host ensure she is serving tonight's selection at a perfect 53 degrees? The answer is the Kelvin Duo.

The Duo consists of a temperature sensing band that wraps around the bottle. A magnified Bluetooth enabled screen attaches to the outside of the fridge. Simply wrap the band around the bottle, select the type of wine and wait until the screen glows green indicating the wine is ready to serve.

The Kelvin Duo is available in the UK for 39.99 and is coming to the US soon in the $70-80 range.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central of the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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A Wearable Hard Drive That Lasts All Day

2015-01-10

Solid state storage has created an interesting new collection of products. In addition to speeding up computers, and requiring less power, we have seen manufacturers come up with unique usages.

The Link Band is one of those truly unique products that couldn't have been possible before solid state. The device is a bracelet that doubles as a wireless hard drive. You can access the drive via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or even NFC. It will even switch to the best communication style based on speed. It can even connect to 20 devices and stream to 7 at a time.

Obviously the product requires power, but that is a well-considered issue. The drive is capable of streaming HD video for 12 hours straight, making it more than capable of surviving a full day of use. The drive is available in 128GB ($199), 256GB ($279), 512GB ($449) and even 1TB ($799) models during pre-order.

Interview by Chris Davis of Health Tech Weekly by the Tech Podcast Network.

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MobileHealth Keeps Seniors Connected to Health and Safety Services

2015-01-10

The concept of connected pendants for seniors is not a new one - we've all heard the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial. The capabilities have continued to increase over the years, with the addition of features like cellular connectivity for usage anywhere.

In the past, MobileHelp has even added sensors to their pendant to detect falls on its own, so it can call for help even if the wearer is unable to press the button. This year, the company has added a new feature to its base station: Bluetooth low energy. This gives the system the ability to monitor other connected devices, like blood pressure monitors, blood sugar glucometers, scales, etc.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic of the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Shortcut Labs Magic Button, Flic

2015-01-10

Sometimes a product is so catchy that more than one team checks it out. While Nicholas DiMeo checked out Shortcut Labs Flic button, so did Chris Davis.

The Flic is a wearable magic button. It allows you to control aspects of your phone without ever having to take it out of your pocket. You can use it to control Spotify, get directions to your house or even a custom macro. A single button cell battery can last up to 60,000 clicks, which could be over 15 years at 10 clicks per day.

The Flic is available for preorder now for $99 for 5 buttons.

Interview by Chris Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Keep Your Eyes on the Road with a Heads Up Display

2015-01-10

As our phones are used more in the car, finding a way to make the process safer is essential. One of the best ways of doing this is to allow you to keep your eyes on the road and still have the benefits of the phone. While technologies like Cortana have made large portions of the phone easier, what about visually important applications?

RoadEyesCams shows off their M6 HUD, a small extra screen and mirror set that allows you to project the screen of your phone onto your windshield. The screen connects to your phone via Wi-Fi and allows you to see navigation information, etc. without taking your eyes off the road.

The M6 HUD will be available soon for $299.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Manage Your Passwords on All Your Devices with StickyPassword

2015-01-10

As security breaches become more common every day, the need to maintain a catalog of impossibly complex passwords is more important. The team at StickyPassword, a group of former AVG employees, have created a cross-platform product to allow you to do just that.

Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Amazon platforms, StickyPassword Premium allows you to maintain a single list of passwords across all of your devices. Of course, a syncing password manager would require high security, and with AES256 encryption, you can rest easily. You can even use the biometric sensor on the iPhone to secure your data.

The premium version is available for $19.99 per year, and the free version is available without syncing.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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The Size and Price of Lidar Technology are Both Getting Smaller [Live]

2015-01-10

Lidar is a version of radar that uses lasers instead of radio waves to determine distance. The technology has been around for 50 years, but has become popular in recent years because of its use in early driverless car prototypes. The technology is used to create a 3D map of the area surrounding the car to determine where it is safe to drive.

Velodyne LiDAR is a leader in the technology, and has been working on making the technology smaller. Just a few years ago, the technology was so large that it required the entire top of a car for its mount; today the technology is small enough that it can fit in your hand. In addition to size, they have worked on pricing. As the sensors got smaller, so did the cost - originally costing $80,000, you can now get one of the smaller units for $8,000.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Power Your Devices with Hydrogen [Live]

2015-01-10

Portable batteries are all over CES ever year, but they have one major drawback: what do you do if the battery is dead? You have to find an outlet or some other way to charge the battery back up. But what if you could have the power you need without the need to charge the device?

Intelligent Energy has a product especially for that - Upp. The product is a hydrogen fuel cell, using a micro generator to produce power using reusable fuel cartridges. A single cartridge can charge a phone up to five times, and has a shelf life of nine years. Because of the shelf life, this is a perfect product for getting ready for emergencies.

The Upp is available in the UK for £149, which includes a single cartridge. Additional cartridges are £49 and recharges are £5.95. The Upp will launch in the US later in the year.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Analyze Your Basketball Shots with ShotTracker [Live]

2015-01-10

When it comes to connected sports gear, some sports are well-represented, like football, running and cycling. Other sports are just beginning to see inroads, like tennis. One sport that has not seen a lot attention in the connected device market is basketball, but ShotTracker is here to change that.

The system exists in 3 parts: a wrist sensor, a net sensor and the ShotTracker app. The two sensors work together to determine attempt and success rate, keeping track of when the ball is thrown with the wrist sensor and when it makes it with the net sensor. They then communicate back to the app via Bluetooth to track the activity.

Once the app has the data, it is capable of displaying statistics on attempts, successes and failures. It also gives workout suggestions based on on-court weaknesses. Using a coaching version of the app, multiple devices can aggregate their data together and give full team statistics as well.

The starter kit is available now for $149.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Amtel Shows How Their Microcontrollers Work in the Wild [Live]

2015-01-10

Atmel is a company that you may not be familiar with. The company makes microcontroller technology, meaning that their boards are likely in products that you own. They were at CES this year to show off their products, along with some of the cool things that they are powering.

Their "Powered by Atmel" zone was all about their core competency: microcontrollers. From here they were showing products from their partners and customers, all being run with Atmel technology. Their maker zone went the other way, showing the hardware out of context, inspiring makers to come up with their own ideas.

In their automatic zone, they were showing off their car-specific products. The jewel in the crown is AvantCar: a curved touchscreen infotainment system. Their IoT zone showed the different ways in which connected devices can use their technology.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
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Add Gesture Control to Many Devices in Your House with singlecue [Live]

2015-01-10

Gesture-based interfaces are becoming more and more popular, thanks in large part to the work done by Microsoft with the two versions of the Kinect. Over the past couple of years, we have seen other companies try to launch hardware in this category, but they tend to lack purpose.

A company known as eyeSight is trying to fix that with their new singlecue. Building on the gesture concept found in the Xbox, singlecue allows you to assign gestures to actions on devices in your home. For example, making a hushing gesture could mute your television.

The signals are sent out using infrared, meaning nearly all devices with a remote can be controlled from the hub. For those that do not support IR, the singlecue also supports Wi-Fi, allowing you to control devices such as Google's Nest thermostats or Philips' Hue light bulbs.

The device is available for pre-order now at $129, and will retail for $199 this Spring when it launches to the public.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Ion Audio Shows Some Fun New Speaker Products With a Twist [Live]

2015-01-10

One of the most interesting companies that visits our studio every year is Ion Audio. The company always has unique audio and DJ equipment. This year is no exception, as the company brought some unique products to show.

First we have a 50 watt PA speaker, named Block Party Live, is the upgraded version of the Party Rocker Live. Both units have a light on the top that can project a light show, making it a truly unique product. The Block Party also offers a battery for true wireless DJing.

Next is a product less for DJs and more for the adventurous music lover. The Sound Shine is a hybrid wireless speaker and light bulb. It screws into a standard lamp socket and streams music through Bluetooth. It can be used as a solo, mono speaker, or can be paired with another unit for stereo sound. They will be available soon for $69 each, or $129 for a pair.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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JamStik Makes Learning the Guitar Easy and Portable [Live]

2015-01-10

Playing a great guitar is always the goal, but how do you get there? You can take lessons from a professional, but not everyone can afford that, or not everyone has access to training.

Luckily, JamStik is here to help, with a 16" lightweight guitar neck. It's able to connect wirelessly to an Apple device and give you guitar lessons through their JamTutor app. Once you have learned to play, you can continue using the device as a MIDI controller.

The device works by using infrared to detect your hands' position in real time. It scans the fretboard to detect where your fingers are long before you ever get close to a string. The JamStik is available now for $299.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Liquid Image Enhances Their Ego with XLTE

2015-01-10

At one time, the action camera market had only a single player: GoPro. When that happens, innovation stagnates, and products get boring and predictable. Luckily, the market has new players almost every day, and those companies bring new ideas.

Todd talked to Liquid Image, a company well-known for their line of cameras. Last year, they added Verizon LTE to their products. This year, enhancing the Ego series, the company has announced the Ego LS, which improves the LTE to XLTE. The body has been reconsidered - now shaped more like a traditional camera in a significantly smaller form factor. This change will make mounting the camera more convenient. The good news is, everything we already love about the Ego series is still there: LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Low Frequency RF. The camera will be available in quarter 1 for $399.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Griffin Powers and Stores Your Devices in a convenient Place

2015-01-10

One of the great things about the Hub It is the ability to power and connect multiple devices to a single computer. One of its failings, however, is the lack of accommodation for those devices themselves. What if your intention is to charge 5 devices from the hub - where will you put those devices so they are not sprawled all over your desk?

Griffin thought of exactly that with their new PowerDock Pro. This upgrade to their PowerDock Dual and PowerDock 5, this device is capable of charging up to 5 devices, while providing a convenient way to store those charging devices. It also provides cable management in its base, giving a convenient way to charge and store devices without wires hanging all over the place, and without retractable cords to get tangled up. The device will be available in Q3 for $130.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Preventing Head Injuries, One Player at a Time

2015-01-10

Reported sports injuries are on the rise. Most notably is the increase in the reports and repercussions of concussions. Trying to help with this problem is BlackBox Biometrics with their Linx IAS.

The device is about the size of a USB flash drive and is worn under a helmet, headband or skullcap. The device detects hard forces that can cause these concussions. It then sends that data via Bluetooth to a tablet or smartphone, which can show information to field medics or coaches to determine if injury has occurred. If out of range, the device will store the information until reconnected with its smart device. The Linx will be available in the first quarter for $199.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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OmniMount's New Products and Take on CES [Live]

2015-01-10

Our good friends at OmniMount, stopped by the show to talk about what they have been doing differently and to discuss their newest products. The company took a new approach to their booth this year, laying it out like an Ikea, with products displayed in categories of use.

The first of the company's new products is the WorkSpace Wall Organiser - a collapsible desk, the works similar to a Murphy bed. It gives the ability for a room to be converted into an office when needed, and space cleared back out when not. It retails for $399.95.

Next up is a built-in television wall mount. This mount is capable of holding a television almost flush to a wall, and supports screens up to 80". When mounted, it makes the television look more like a mounted picture frame than a television. It is available now for $349.95.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor for the Tech Podcast Network.

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An Atomic Clock-Powered Digital/Analog Converter [Live]

2015-01-10

When Justin Timberlake, Rhianna and Stevie Wonder are your customers, you know you've got a good audio product. Antelope audio, in addition to being well-loved by these celebrities, is also well known in the industry. Their new Zodiac Platinum Digital/Audio Converter can live at the center of any audiophile's home system.

The DAC is designed to keep audio as close to what was recorded as possible. It features support for DSD128, also known as Double-DSD and full 24-bit audio at 384 kHz. It even has the ability to upsample to DSD256, far above what CDs can create.

The DAC is available now from audiophile retailers.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Improve Your Baking with Perfect Bake [Live]

2015-01-10

With the Internet of Things, it turns out that cooking has never been easier. You can program your oven with NFC straight from a digital recipe, and with the help of Perfect Bake, now you can even weigh your ingredients with the guide of a digital recipe.

Using a mic-jack connected scale and an accompanying app, Perfect Bake is intended to help bakers regulate and perfect the amount of each ingredient they use. Included in the app are hundreds of existing recipes, with instructional videos and step-by-step instructions. You can even add an oven thermometer to ensure everything is going smoothly.

The app is available from both Google Play and the App Store, and the scale is available for $69.99.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the Tech Podcast Network.

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OWC Shows Some New Mac Products [Live]

2015-01-10

One of the companies that always seems to find their way to our coverage is Other World Computing. The company is known for their Apple products and accessories, and this year they certainly did not disappoint.

Among their offering this year is a 240GB SSD, with a twist: it is designed to work like a USB 3.0 flash drive. The concept is not a new one, with hard drives in small USB form factors, but OWC has built the product to match their customer base. It has a brushed aluminum body and retails for $199. A 480GB companion will be available soon.

In addition to the drive, OWC showed off a laptop docking station. Unlike most docks, this device runs on Thunderbolt 2 instead of USB. It offers two Thunderbolt 2 ports, five USB 3.0 ports, as well as FireWire 800, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet and audio in/out. Other than Thunderbolt support, there is nothing particularly unique about this device, except for the $299 price point.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Siemens Enhances Its Line of Bluetooth Hearing Aids

2015-01-10

Last year, we got a look at the MiniTek hearing aids from Siemens, a Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid. This year, Siemens is back with a new hearing aid product: Binex. The Binex uses signal processing, similar to what audio editors use, to determine background noises and filter them out, especially in difficult environments.

An accompanying device, the easyTek is the device that allows the hearing aids to connect to Bluetooth. This gives the ability to listen to music from a phone or tablet, or to answer calls - all with the same signal processing in the hearing aids. You can also use your phone to control settings on the device, like equalizer settings, volume levels as well as microphone directions.

The Binex and easyTek are available now from a hearing professional for around $1,500 - $2,000.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Diabetes Tracking Tools to Improve Life

2015-01-10

Diabetes is a chronic disease that 350 million people live with, but for most of its run, the disease is treatable. The use of insulin pumps and pens can greatly increase the normalcy of life for people living with the illness.

Vigilant has a line of products to make the process of managing your treatment easier. Bee Insulin is their award-winning dose tracking device, which connects to most pens and tracks insulin doses through its accompanying smartphone application. The Bee is available now and more products are coming soon.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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A Unique and Convenient Way to Carry Electronics

2015-01-10

The Tech Podcast team doesn't often cover products in the cases and carriers category, so when we do, it is certainly something special. Techslinger is definitely special, giving people an easy way to carry electronic gadgets that are larger than you could put into a pocket or purse.

Worn as suspenders, the Techslinger functions on a similar concept to a harness gun holster, allowing you to conceal your tablet or small laptop under your jacket or coat. It frees up your hands to do other things, and allows you to not have to carry an external laptop bag or backpack. The Techslinger is available now.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Pain Relief Without the Medication

2015-01-10

Dealing with chronic musculoskeletal pain is something that millions of Americans have to do daily. Treating that pain can be just as difficult as the pain itself, as usually it involves major pharmaceuticals, most of which are highly addictive.

Neurometrix is releasing a new product, Quell, to help solve just that problem. A band that is worn on the calf, this FDA-approved device sends electrical pulses to the leg to distract the brain from the pain it is experiencing elsewhere. If you suffer from this problem, the Quell will be available this Spring for around $250.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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myCharge Shows Off a Range of Power Products

2015-01-10

If you regularly check our reviews section, you are probably familiar with myCharge. They produce a product called EnergyShot, a small portable power supply for phones. While that product may not have had a lot to recommend it, the company does have a large collection of products, many of which are popular among tech enthusiasts.

In fact, Jamie Davis, The Podmedic is a big fan of their products and shows off some of what they have this year. With products of all sizes, with all kinds of features, myCharge likely has a product to fit your needs. Included in that lineup are batteries that have folding plugs built right in, meaning you can charge the device without needing a USB cable, but instead plug into a wall outlet.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Monitor Your Infant's Sleep with Monbaby

2015-01-10

The Monbaby infant monitoring device takes an interesting approach to the idea of a wearable: infants. This device is designed to ensure an infant's safety during sleep by tracking their position relative to the crib.

Connected to a smartphone or tablet, the device can alert parents and guardians if the baby rolls on its stomach, allowing you to go in and roll them onto their back. This is a great way to prevent Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is often associated with sleeping on the stomach. It will also alert you if the baby becomes restless, indicating that they have woken up.

The device is available for pre-order on the company's website, and will retail for $169 when it launches.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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MakerBot's Influences and Participation in the Medical World

2015-01-10

When we encountered 3D printed arms this year at Roboticon, we knew it was just a matter of time before the concept caught on big. The idea is that, with a 3D printer, someone can print all of the parts to produce a functioning prosthetic arm. The group we spoke to, Enabling The Future, paired up people with printers with people who needed the limbs.

This year at CES, MakerBot Director of Public Relations Jenifer Howard talked about her experience with the Robohand project, who similarly built a prosthetic hand for someone with 3D printed parts. She also talked about MakerBot's other implementations in the medical industry, where physicians are using printers every day to create unique parts and pieces for patients all over the world.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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How an Olympian Uses Technology to Train

2015-01-10

No one knows about physical training like an Olympic medalist. U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Dotsie Bausch uses a number of connected devices in her workout to help her get the most out of every moment. The devices she uses are Masimo.

Well known and renowned in the medical world, Masimo makes some of the best blood gas and oxygen monitoring tools in the industry. Recently they have branched out into the consumer world, bringing their quality to the home fitness user. Dotsie talks about how she uses their products, which are available now.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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A Health Tracker That Lasts Long Enough to Use Daily

2015-01-10

Wearable technology is obviously designed to be worn. Many of these devices offer features like sleep tracking, which we have seen in devices for several years now. The problem with this is, if you are to wear the device to get the benefits, what do you do about the battery? Normally we charge our devices while sleeping, but that kills the sleep tracking capabilities.

Luckily LifeTrak, the company that builds the heart rate monitor that is used in many brands of gym equipment, decided to tackle this problem for us. Their line of wearable devices offer all of the normal features, like sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, etc., but the batteries are capable of running for up to a year.

Designed to be worn all day, every day, the devices are waterproof up to 30 meters. They are available now for $60 to $120, depending on the device and its capabilities.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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A Device Hub for Connecting Health Devices Without a Smartphone

2015-01-10

Many connected devices could provide a lot of important information about older people, but there is a problem with this idea: the smartphone. Most of these devices require a connection, at least occasional, to a smartphone or tablet to provide any usefulness. That usefulness is certainly cut out when the person interacting with the device has no smart device.

Because of this issue, iHealth has announced Discover, a connected hub which allows people without a smart device to connect their devices to the hub instead. From the hub, your data is synced to their system, allowing access from any web browser - no smartphone required. From there, data can be shared with family members or doctors. The Discover should be available before the end of 2015.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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A Portable Way to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder Effects

2015-01-10

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), frequent traveling and depression have a common thread: a lack of natural sunlight. This lack of light produces melatonin in the brain, which is the hormone that makes people tired. Luckily there is a treatment known as photo-therapy.

This treatment can now be tried at your convenience with a product called Luminette. Already widely used in Europe, this device is headed to the US soon, and can help reset your day cycle and reduce melatonin production. Worn like sunglasses, this device allows you to keep working, unlike many other devices in the product category.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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iSwimband Helps Keep Kids Safe Around Water

2015-01-10

One of the leading causes of death in young children is drowning. Because of this, iSwimband has arrived to help parents and guardians know when kids might be in danger. The device clips to a child's goggles or swimsuit and sends alerts when something is wrong.

The alerts can be customized depending on the age of the child and their swimming capabilities. For a younger child, you can have the device alert as soon as it comes into contact with any water at all. For older children, or kids that are good swimmers, you can have it wait up to 60 seconds before alerting.

The product is available now for $79.99.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Keeping You Hydrated with Technology

2015-01-10

H2O-Pal is an interesting little gadget designed to help keep you hydrated throughout the day. The device, invented by Penn State University student Matej Marjanovic, keeps track of how much water you drink throughout the day. If you don't drink enough, it will remind you when it is time.

The nicest thing about this device is that it is not an entire water bottle. Many of us have bottles that we like, and don't want to have to switch just to get the features of a gadget. H2O-Pal actually connects to your existing bottle and tracks your usage.

Using an app on your phone, the platform can even learn your habits and show you how close to a perfect day you've had. There is even a gamification aspect, designed to make drinking water fun, because we all know drinking water can be uninteresting on its own.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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GrandCare Attempts to Help Older People Stay in Touch

2015-01-10

As our world becomes increasingly connected through technology, the unintended side effect is an increasingly isolated elderly population. A population that has had little to no access to or need for connected devices is finding it harder to keep in touch with loved ones or even their doctors.

An increasing number of devices are being created to try and solve this problem, but most of them struggle to make the system easy enough to use with no on-screen clutter. A new entry into this market is GrandCare, which runs on an all-in-one PC. The product is intended to make connecting to personal and medical caregivers easier.

One of the benefits of the system is its ability to connect a collection of medical devices for monitoring of things like weight and blood pressure. The biggest thing the company will have to overcome is the incredibly cluttered screen. The various colors and gradient icons will make it significantly harder for older people with visual problems to see. The inclusion of unrelated information, such as date, time and temperature, can overwhelm those who are already not inclined to use the computer.

While the concept is a good one, it might be better to wait for an update that makes the system more usable or another company to get the UI right.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Access a Personal Trainer Directly from Your Phone

2015-01-10

Having someone work with you during a workout can be really important, especially if you are like me and know little to nothing about the exercises and equipment. Unfortunately, not everyone has direct access to live personal trainers, and don't have access to a product like Xbox Fitness, or would prefer working with a human.

Fitnet has found the righty way to add connectivity to the workout experience, helping those who can't work with a trainer in person. Connecting you with real personal trainers, you can get the benefits of a personal trainer like encouragement, exercise suggestions and posture and style adjustments. The feature is available now in the company's app.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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A Thermometer That Helps Prevent the Spread of Disease

2015-01-10

Digital thermometers are nothing new - they have been around for years now. Even connected thermometers aren't a new concept, connecting your thermometer to your phone or tablet. These devices all have something in common, though: they all have to touch the person to get a reading.

By touching a sick person, the thermometer potentially becomes part of the infection process. If the thermometer is not cleaned completely, it could become a petri dish, spreading illness to the next user. Enter the ThermoFlash from BeWell. This connected thermometer can take an FDA-approved temperature reading without needing to touch the person.

The consumer device will be available in the near future for $100, and will come with the same FDA-approved sensor quality. It will also have the ability to connect to a smartphone for logging of data.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Consumers are Open to Sharing Sensor Data with Doctors

2015-01-10

Many people in and around the tech world have had conversations about the viability, safety and interest in sharing consumer health information. The Federal Trade Commission seems concerned about the practice, while the Food and Drug Administration doesn't. The group that is always left out of these discussions, however, is the consumers themselves.

AND Medical, a manufacturer of consumer health and wellness monitors, such as blood pressure monitors and scales, recently surveyed average consumers to find out their take on sharing health information collected with consumer monitoring devices. They discovered that people were surprisingly open to the possibility, especially if the data is shared with healthcare professionals in a secure environment.

This is a diversion from the generally accepted belief in the health community that consumers are privacy focused. The massive success of both Facebook and Twitter could have also clued the industry in to the fact that people will share everything with anyone.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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CES 2015 TPN Picks - Awards Ceremony [Live]

2015-01-10

Our teams wander the show floor and see a variety of products from hundreds of vendors. Each team is looking for something different and brings a unique perspective to the show coverage. Because of this, we award our TPN Picks based on team, allowing a diverse selection of products to be shown and honored. This year we offer 10 awards to TPN's favorite brands.

- Techslinger (Jamie Davis, The Podmedic)
- ThermoFlash (Jamie Davis, The Podmedic)
- Kelvin Duo (Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central)
- Link (Chris Davis of Health Tech Weekly)
- Qi Power, Cordless Kitchen (Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology)
- Schneider Optics Case (Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central)
- Boosted Boards (Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch)
- OnKol (Todd Aune of The Elder Divide)
- Intelligent Energy, Hydrogen Fuel Cell (Jamie Davis, The Podmedic)
- LiFi, Internet Through Light (Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch)

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CES 2015 TPN Picks - Day 3 [Live]

2015-01-10

Today we award our day 3 TPN Daily Picks. Here are our picks.

Picks by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic, Todd Aune of The Elder Divide and Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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CES 2015 TPN Picks - Day 2 [Live]

2015-01-10

Today we award our day 2 TPN Daily Picks. Here are our picks.

Picks by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic, Chris Davis of Health Tech Weekly and Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the Tech Podcast Network.

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CES 2015 TPN Picks - Day 1 [Live]

2015-01-10

Today we award our first 3 TPN Daily Picks. Here are our first picks.

Picks by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central, Don Baine, The Gadget Professor and Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Polar Electro Makes a Fitness Tracker that Doesn't Stand Out

2015-01-10

Current wearable technology seems to have a focus on health and fitness tracking, and the Polar Electro A-300 is no exception. While some sensors track just one or two areas, the A-300 records almost everything. Keeping track of steps, sleep, heart rate, etc., this wearable manages to cover a number of areas that some other sensors have trouble doing effectively.

Another place this device shines is in its design. While other fitness trackers look like a cheap bracelet, this one looks like an ordinary watch. If you're looking for a fitness tracker that doesn't make you stand out as someone wearing a tracker, the A-300 is one to check out.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Temp Traq Makes Having a Sick Child Easier

2015-01-10

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is having a sick child. It can be nearly impossible to focus on anything while worrying how they are doing and whether they are suffering a fever. A new product, Temp Traq, takes a lot of the worrying out of the situation.

The product is a temperature sensor that attaches to the child like a bandage. It allows the child to sleep comfortably while alerting the parent to fever spikes. The sensor send its data to any iOS or Android device to track temperatures, current and past.

Obviously, there is nothing about the technology that makes it child-parent specific. In fact, Jamie Davie, who is the TPN health correspondent, forsees a future where doctors could monitor patients in a health center like a hospital with the technology.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Humanscale Integrates Health Tracking Software Into Office Furniture

2015-01-10

When you think of office furniture, health and wellness tracking might not be a feature you consider. The team at Humanscale is hoping to change that with a line of smart furniture that can track your activities and help you stay active and healthy. The furniture can track you while working, both sitting and standing, and let you know when you should switch positions or just get up and move around.

The trend of integrating health and wellness programs into the workplace has been growing in recent years. In fact, the practice has even been featured on sitcoms like The Office, where the branches competed to lose weight. With office furniture like this in offices, it could greatly increase the effectiveness of these programs. More importantly, it could greatly improve the health of employees.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Wireless Charging From the Inside Out

2015-01-09

As you probably already know, we are big fans of the Qi wireless power standard. One of the biggest Qi partners is NXP Semiconductors, a company that makes devices connectable.

The company demoed a set of custom Qi-powered devices, and talked about their involvement in the industry. The demo included custom chargers, built directly into a table. They pulsed when nothing was on them and went solid to indicate they were charging a device.

While the demoed charging plates are not for sale, they do show that a plate can be a lot more interesting than what Nokia and others have built. They can compliment, or even enhance, furnishings instead of being generic black plates that sit on top of a desk or table.

In addition, we got to see some retrofitted phones; devices that were not shipped with Qi support, but had it added aftermarket. Some can be done simply, with small adhesive plates that stick to the back, or under a battery cover or case, and plug into the USB port. Others had been opened up, and the insides altered to add native support to the device. This is a hobbyist's dream come true.

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NFC Helps Automate Your Cooking Routine

2015-01-09

When you think of NFC technology, you might not immediately think of usages for an oven. That is why NXP Semiconductors employs some smart people to think about new usages for their technology. In an oven, it turns out there are some great usages, both for consumers and repair.

As a consumer, the idea of being able to use a recipe app on your phone, like MSN Food & Drink, you could not only plan your meal, but program your oven. In fact, you could program various levels, and automate temperature variances all with the tap of a phone.

As for maintaining your appliance, think of the possibilities of an oven that could tell you what was wrong. With NFC, the chip receives power from the receiver, not from the device that programs it. That means, even if the oven's power supply has failed, the NFC chip could still pass along its final readings. That could prevent a lot of guess work for technicians, and end up costing you a lot less.

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A Near Field for Your Car Lock

2015-01-09

NXP Semiconductors might not be a brand you're familiar with, but in a day of connectivity, they are a company you've likely interacted with. Formerly part of Philips, the company makes a lot of the connectivity technology that makes your gadgets work.

In a demo, the company showed us a Near Field Communication prototype that allows you to open your car with your phone. The phone communicates with the car via NFC, and can have various activities at various distances. In the demo, we saw the dome lights turn on as the phone approached the car, and the doors unlock closer.

The technology is not limited to vehicles, either. It could be used on a home door, or as part of a unified system, like Nexia Home Intelligence. You could even use it within the home to turn on lights as you enter a room. The technology is in the world today, and could make it into vehicles in the near future.

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Gibson Brands + Blue Microphones = Some Neat Products

2015-01-09

People the world over know the brand Blue Microphones. From recording studios to radio, podcasters and even videogame streamers use their line of cost effective products every day. When their founder, Skipper Wise, left the company to retire, Gibson approached him to create a new for them.

Enter Neat Microphones, designed by Skipper Wise and his microphone dream team, they aim to create a line of microphones to make recordings sound better. Currently offering the King Bee and Worker Bee, the line will be 6 strong by year's end.

All of the products in the line, as well as their accessories, are named after and colored to resemble bees. The distinctive yellow and black markings, as well as the accompanying bee figurines, make this line visually distinctive. Even the knobs fit into the branding, designed after a bee's stringer, and known as "stinger knobs."

The line, in addition to the microphones and headphone amp, has a small collection of accessories. Included in the accessories is a pop shield, shock mount and XLR cables. All are priced to be more than competitive, and could feel right at home in any studio.

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Gibson Enhances the Studio with Les Paul Monitors

2015-01-09

For his 100th birthday, Gibson is celebrating with new products in the Les Paul product line. Adding to the existing guitars and new headphones comes a set of studio monitor speakers. Like the headphones, using the same wood as the guitars, these speakers are styled to match both the guitars and headphones perfectly.

At the base of the speaker is a lighted Gibson logo. That logo, a seemingly simple detail, serves as the power indicator. When on, the logo is lighted; when off, it pulses. These are the types of details that make Gibson a great, professional design brand.

The monitors come in 3 sizes: 4", 6" and 8". This sizing describes the cones of the woofers, which are custom designed to create a perfect audio reference for a studio. You can get the speakers in cherry, cherry burst and tobacco burst. You can pick up your own set for %599, $799 or $999 righyt now.

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Gibson Adds Headphones to Their Iconic Line

2015-01-09

Gibson may be best known for their guitars, but that is not all the company has up their sleeves. This year, the brand is introducing a line of headphones, filling all of the same levels their guitars do.

At the top of the line is the Les Paul headphones. Styled to match the look of the classic Les Paul guitars, these headphones are made with the same wood as the rest of the Les Paul line. To ensure that the headphones are properly protected, they come in a specially designed hard-body case.

As you would expect from a Gibson product, the sound quality is amazing. The cones are tuned to produce sound exactly as it is being played. This, along with its other features, makes the headphones a perfect on-stage or in-studio companion for any serious musician.

Along with the Les Pauls, there are other models being released, both smaller and less expensive. The headphones come with a variety of features, including standard 1/8", Bluetooth and Thunderbolt. You can get a version with a microphone, to be used with your phone, and some models can even be fully customized, like Gibson Guitars.

If you are a Gibson fan, and want a high-end sound, these headphones are for you.

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Gibson Talks About Their 2015 Guitars and Features

2015-01-09

Whether you play guitar or not, you almost certainly know Gibson. The company is best known for carrying on the tradition of Les Paul, who was the creator of one of the first, and certainly best-known, solid-body electric guitars. The Les Paul line of guitars carries on in the visual tradition, making them incredibly distinctive.

This year, which would have been his 100th birthday, the company is celebrating by enhancing his legacy through enhanced and additional products. For example, his signature, as well as the number "100" in his handwriting, has been added to each guitar. There is also a hologram of what is believed to be the final photo of Les Paul on the back.

In the technology of the guitar, the company has made their robot guitar smaller, and will include it with every Gibson USA guitar this year. For those who do not know, this feature allows you to choose a tuning, and the guitar tunes itself. It requires no wood be removed form the guitar; instead, it sits at the top behind the tuning knobs.

As Daniele is a big fan of Gibson, and is really into their guitars, she was curious which Gibson guitar a beginner should own. Check out all of the cool new features of the Gibson guitars.

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BLU Products Talks About Their Windows Phones Devices

2015-01-09

Yezz wasn't the only company showing off Windows Phones; Miami, Florida-based BLU Products also had a pair of Windows Phone handsets on display. These devices have been available through the Microsoft Store for a little while now, but we wanted to get a better idea of why BLU decided to join the Microsoft family, how they have been doing and what the future holds.

The two current handsets are the BLU Win Jr ($89) and the BLU Win HD ($179). In BLU tradition, the handsets are all done in wonderfully crazy colors, and available unlocked for better than reasonable prices. More importantly, the specs manage to keep pace with the better-known brands.

Apparently, this combination is enough to keep the phones on the move. The company says that the Microsoft Store has big demand for the handsets. In fact, while discussing the current handsets, we had the opportunity to discuss the company's future in the Microsoft ecosystem. Luckily, we will see new handsets added to the lineup, likely to coincide with the release of Windows 10 for Phones.

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DXRacer Showcases Six Unique Chair Designs, Tailored to You

2015-01-08

The most comfortable interview of the International CES found us at the DXRacer booth, talking about their recent line of gaming and productivity chairs. Before making DXRacer chairs, the company's roots were in manufacturing high-level racing seats, which is where the attention to quality, comfort and detail came from for these chairs. The company also owns its own factory and has some of the oldest patents for a style of chair that they create.

There are six different series of chairs, starting with the Formula series, then the Drifting series, the Racing series, the Max series, the Universal series and lastly the King series. With so many choices, DXRacer goes above and beyond to understand their customers and tries to tailor the purchase to the body type of the customer and the use of the chair. Because a premium chair like this is an investment, it's important to make sure you get the right one that fits your needs.

DXRacer has also partnered with Major League Gaming and debuted the design for the MLG chair at CES. The company is diversifying its reach by getting involved in a new line of desks, to create a whole home office solution. After this interview, it was hard to get to the next one because after five minutes in the chair, Nick did not want to get up.

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Can I WeMo That? Yes, I Can

2015-01-08

Home automation is a growing and popular category of tech, but the problem still persists that most of the products out right now are fragmented, in that they don't speak to each other or to one universal system. There are only a handful of solutions doing that, and we can now add WeMo to that list.

WeMo is a home automation system under the Belkin umbrella. With over 25 products under its belt already, ranging from switches to lighting to sensors and coffee makers, you can absolutely WeMo anything. The difference with WeMo is that you don't need an overly-expensive kit to get started. You can simply begin with the devices that you want and grow from there.

Beyond the simple light switch turning on and off, WeMo is scalable so that if you want your electricity, temperature and even water being monitored and controlled by WeMo, it can all be achieved, giving you a fully smart home.

All of the products live in the same WeMo app. By partnering with top manufacturers in several categories, WeMo can make the smart features for the product, while companies like Osram Sylvania can continue to make the best lights, which is what they're good at. It doesn't stop there, as appliances like coffee makers, crock pots, heaters and air purifiers can now all be smart with the help of WeMo.

Unlike most systems, WeMo uses if this then that (IFTTT) technology, which it will be rolling out to almost all of its devices throughout the year. Using IFTTT, WeMo's Insight Switch allows you to monitor energy usage, which can be activated based on different events, like it being too hot outside.

Lastly, WeMo Water is a device that installs easily under your kitchen sink without any professionals required. It monitors your water usage from one single point in your home, including all your sinks, toilets and even sprinklers. WeMo Water can also detect leaks, which is especially useful while a user might be away from their house and not have the ability to get home right away. Home automation is not only convenient, but it keeps you safe.

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Beam Adds a Real Human Touch to an Otherwise Robotic Interaction

2015-01-08

If you want a unique and totally different interview, you have one right here. Nick stands with a Beam, a product by Suitable Tech that brings real human interaction to a robot. Beams are controlled by pilots, which are simply people who control the Beam. Standing at about five feet tall, a full, crystal-clear display sits on top of the Beam, along with 360-degree cameras (even one at the bottom of the Beam) and two microphones, allowing the pilot to see and hear everything going on at the Beam's location.

Beam is easy to use. Simply grab a laptop and connect to your Beam via WiFi, then all you have to do is control the device with your arrow keys. The Beam also has many uses. If you simply want to not be tired while roaming the show floor at CES, the Beam is perfect for you. Or, if you're needing to always monitor activity at your grandmother's house, the Beam can move around with her as she goes about her daily routine. While some may be okay with having Facetime or Skype on their phones, the mobility and personality of a Beam is what makes it so special.

Battery life on a Beam is about eight to ten hours, and comes with a docking station that it moves into to charge. While charging, the Beam is fully functional and communications can still take place. A hefty price tag of $19,995 will get you a Beam+ and allow you to teleport wherever you decide to ship it to.

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Stern Pinball Reinvents the Internals of the Pinball Machine

2015-01-08

Pinball is as American as apple pie and baseball cards. Sure, it might have originated in England, but there's nothing like visiting an old school arcade and seeing a classic Stern Pinball machine sitting in the corner, waiting for you to put a quarter in. Since 1986, Stern Pinball has been constantly coming out with new and exciting tables and at CES this year, the goal was to show off the latest innovations in pinball games.

In the past, pinball machines could be a diaster to fix. If something went wrong, and you weren't an expert, that machine was never going to get fixed. The old systems had a motherboard, and a bunch of wiring that ran through the entire game. The units were extremely heavy and plus, there was always this old, dusty LCD display that never really "popped" into today's world.

Now, with Stern's new technology, the machines feature a bus system, eliminating the giant wiring harnesses. There's also all LED lights, a much lighter power supply and it's now easier to maintain. Moreover, you can have a multi-colored LED display to really brighten a room, making the machine more noticeable. New machines even come equipped with WiFi, allowing multiple machines to sync up and communicate with one another for a more multiplayer experience. As you can see, with Stern's new innovations to an old classic, pinball is back with a new facelift and is ready to win over the minds and heart of the next generation of gamers.

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Razer Looks Sharp in the Living Room with New Gaming Devices

2015-01-08

Razer, the hardcore gamer's favorite peripheral company, has leapt from just the standard mouse and keyboard and is moving into the living room for your entertainment. Whether casual or enthusiast, Razer has something lined up for both of those gamers with their latest products.

Razer's mission was to bring PC gaming into the living room without needing an expensive and high-end computer. Razer's newest product, the Forge TV, an Android TV-powered microconsole that allows games, music, movies and PC gaming all from the device. For the skeptics out there, what's different about the Forge TV's Android box is the buy-in from developers. Razer is working with top-level game studios to have popular and well-known titles show up on the Forge in order to entice gamers to try out the platform.

Further enhancing the living room experience for gamers is Razer's PC game-streaming technology, called Cortex Stream. Coming later this year, you'll be able to stream desktop PC games to the Forge TV at only $99.

Lastly, Razer introduced their newest peripheral, made for the living room, called the Turret. The wireless mouse and keyboard combo will run you $129, and really makes living room gaming comfortable. The lapboard features a magnetic mousepad to keep the mouse from falling to the floor, and the keyboard has anti-ghosting technology to keep your keystrokes sharp and intentional.

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Xi3 Stands Tall Even with its Small Form Factors

2015-01-08

Xi3 has grown exponentially in the past few years. Shaking up International CES 2011 when the company debuted with an incredibly tiny computer, Xi3 won the Innovation Award that year for the Xi3 Modular Computer that only took 20 watts to operate. Three years later and the company has expanded to more form factors and styles to fit the needs of a broader market. And outside of the micro-computer, the Xi3 is launching a gaming console and a server this year as well.

For the computers, Xi3 showed off some new hardware as CES. The latest box features an AMD quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, up to 1TB of storage and can come pre-loaded with Windows or Linux. On the Intel side of things, Xi3 is working with the NUC line of hardware, allowing i3 and i5 Broadwell chips to live inside a unique and fully-powered case.

The X7A runs you $839 at the base model, up to $1,900 for all the features and power you need. For the NUC series, the Leon starts at $569, the Lear costs $599 and the Elli costs $469, all for the base unit of the computer.

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Gaming Gets Real, and Physical, with the Omni

2015-01-08

There's been a push in the gaming industry lately for a more immersive experience while you play. Sure, the Kinect does a great job and the 3DS makes looking at games a little more enticing, but what if you could get your whole body into it? Well, get ready to "enter a new world" with Omni.

Omni is an omni-directional treadmill-like device that allows a player to run, jump and walk in 360-degree virtual environments. With active sensors attached to the bottom of a pair of specially-designed shoes, the software and hardware detect what the player is doing, and based on how fast they move, it reflects that in the game. The player is also secured to an Omni Harness, which allows the user to stay within the confines of the walking surface.

The experience is further enhanced by a virtual reality headset, like the Oculus Rift. The Omni, however, is not tied down to one VR device, and instead can work with many of the devices currently in the market.

Out of the box, two games that were both developed in-house comes with the Omni. One of them is a training simulator, not only prepping you to take on the real baddies in Omni's Shadow Ops game, but also teaching you how to actually use the hardware. Popular games also work with the device, as the Omni is just a game controller. It only takes ten minutes to put the handful of pieces together and you can be off and running, literally, in no time.

The Omni is currently available for pre-order at $699 and comes with everything you need to get started. All you have to do is enter shoe and harness size and the Omni, upon release, will be delivered to your doorstep.

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A Unique Smartphone Makes Snail Games a Group to Keep an Eye on

2015-01-08

Snail Games first started in 2000 in China as a software developer that made several popular games. With the popularity of mobile, it made sense for the company to also get into the mobile space, becoming a telecom in China as well. Snail then bought a hardware manufacturer to round out the trifecta of logical endeavors to make a platform in which to have their games play on their own phones, all on their own network. Snail's focus at International CES was to spread its reach into Europe and naturally, the United States.

Snail's mobile device, the W3D, has four shoulder buttons, four face buttons, dual analog sticks - everything a normal gamer would expect to have on a controller. This takes mobile gaming to a new level, by building the controls into the phone and not requiring add-ons to play while on-the-go.

Moving into the home console, Snail Games also is launching an Android-powered gaming system. The company already has interest from a large number of developers and publishers to set the console up for success. With the console launching in China this year, Snail looks to bring its device to the US as soon as they can.

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Vysk Makes Your Smartphone a Secure Phone

2015-01-08

As expected, one of the tech trends this year revolves around the topic of security. Be it computers, the Internet and of course, our personal cell phones. In line with that, Vysk, a smartphone security company, is on a mission to make sure that everyone can have access to privacy. A smartphone case paired with an app makes this all possible.

Vysk introduced three different levels at CES. The entry-level option gives users private text messaging, private photos and a shutter for their camera, all within the case. The next level gives consumers all of those features, along with 120 percent extra battery life, to give you that extra juice you need. The final selection, the QS1, stands to be the world's most secure form of voice communication. Sliding a switch sends you into privacy mode so that someone cannot listen in on conversations, like in a private business meeting.

What's really unique about Vysk's encrypted photo gallery is its combination of three codes. The first code opens up one gallery, the second another, and then the third initiates a self-destruct process, destroying the contents of your photo gallery. A last resort indeed, but definitely a good option to keep in your back pocket.

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Qualcomm Flies Into Robotics with New Snapdragon Processor

2015-01-08

Qualcomm has been involved with robotics quite a lot over the past few years. A key reason the company set up their own mini-booth in the South Hall at CES was to show off how the Snapdragon processor is the perfect SoC for the robotics space. On display and demonstration was the Snapdragon Cargo - a robot that could fly, drive, pick up objects and see the world in 3D.

The processor is small enough yet still packs a huge punch, all while being extremely lightweight, which is important for robots, especially flying ones. We saw some interesting technologies specifically demonstrated by Qualcomm. One of them was depth-from-stereo, taking stereo cameras and creating a depth map, allowing the robot to see its world. It also knows where it is in 3D space. Based on these maps it draws, it can fly autonomously without crashing into objects. This is perfect for the drones that have been popular as of late. The range can essentially be as long as you wish, all based off of how far apart you space the cameras.

Another demonstration included a robot that could pick up toys and sort them into appropriate bins, all by looking at the color, shape and density of the toy. The bins could be placed anywhere in the room and the robot was able to find them without problem.

More information can be found at Qualcomm's Robotics website.

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Yezz Announces a New Windows Phone and Firefox Device

2015-01-08

While CES might see a lot of talk about Android, Yezz took the opportunity to speak about 2 other platforms: Windows Phone and Firefox OS.

The company currently offers a pair of Windows Phone devices: the Billy 4 and Billy 4.7. This year, they announced a new member of the family: the Billy 5S. This is their first LTE device in the Billy line, as well as the first to sport a 13MP rear camera, and a 5" IPS screen. It also sports dual SIM capability and a 1.2GHz quad-core processor.

In addition to the Billy 5S, Yezz also announced a new line of handsets: the Foxy, a line of Firefox OS handsets. As with most Firefox OS handsets, the specs are not traditionally spectacular, but are enough for the target demographic. A 1GHz single-core processor, 4GB of internal memory and 2MP rear facing camera are the common capabilities of the 2 new handsets. The Foxy 3.5 offers a 3.5" HVGA LCD screen, while the Foxy 4 offers a 4" HVGA TFT LCD screen.

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TazTag Creates a Physically Secure Android Device and Service

2015-01-08

Security was a big topic at this year's CES. From watches to USB keys, there were all sorts of products trying to solve the problem of security, in physical and virtual world.

TazTag has a new smartphone designed to ensure secure communications between devices. The devices have a combination of hardware and software security, helping to guarantee the person you are trying to communicate with is the person on the other end.

Using biometric sensors, the phone requires a physical unlock before any of the secured applications can be accessed. Currently, the system supports secure chat, email, SMS and others. Also available is an encrypted voice service, available between compatible devices. The company also provides a secure, private application marketplace.

The hardware of the phone is also secured, preventing a thief from simply flashing the firmware and getting around its security. Without the right configuration, the hardware will be come useless.

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Sketchers Adds a Matching Game to Kids Shoes

2015-01-08

One of the fun things about CES is getting to see companies who seem like they don't fit, and seeing what idea they bring to the table. This year, one of the companies that surprised us by showing off a truly interesting product was Sketchers, the shoe company.

This year, the company is releasing a line of shoes with a lighted matching game built directly into the side. Playing similar to the game Simon, kids get 8 rounds of increasing pattern to match. If they match all 8 rounds, they are treated to a light show from their feet.

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Qi Extends Its Capabilities, Powers Kitchen Equipment

2015-01-08

Fulton Innovation introduced us to the Wireless Power Consortium in 2012, and since then, our team has become big supporters of the Qi wireless power standard. Since its beginnings as an inductive charger for mobile phones, the technology has continued to improve.

Today, the standard supports higher amounts of power transmitted over longer distances than ever before. The Wireless Power Consortium is not complete, though. They showed us a prototype of an enhanced coil that supports 1 kilowatt and can be transferred through a kitchen counter. The same coil will be able to support over 2 kilowatts in the near future.

That type of power is obviously not designed for charging phones and tablets, but instead for powering real-life devices. In their prototype, they use a food processor being entirely powered through the countertop. They even show off controlled amperage levels, which increase and decrease as different modes are chosen, or as the distance from the coil is increased.

The prototype gained the Wireless Power Consortium F5 Live: Refreshing Technology's TPN Pick Award.

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Plantronics Shows Off a Line of Gaming Headsets

2015-01-08

In addition to their well-known phone products and their music headphones, Plantronics also offers a line of gaming headphones and accessories.

Plantronics RIG is a gaming headset which also offers a desktop mixer. You can bring in 2 audio sources so you can listen to the game and also bring in external sound. If you want to add your own music, you can; if you want to chat on Skype while you play a game on Origin you can. Plantronics has even heard of people using the external audio to bring in audio from a baby monitor - the options are pretty limitless.

Using the mixer, which supports line-in or fiber optic in, the headphones can be used with nearly any platform, including Xbox, PC and PlayStation. With dual microphones, the headset can also allow you to game chat and use the phone at the same time. They are available now for $129.99.

To focus on the PC, an altered version of the headset is also available specifically for PC gamers. Offering a shorter cord for desktop use, plus 7.1 surround sound, PC gamers get a bit of an advantage over their competitors. The mixer does not include fiber optic support or Xbox headset, like its multi-platform partner does. It is available now for $99.99.

Finally comes the simpler RIG Flex. It plugs in directly with a standard 3.5mm plug, meaning you can plug it in directly to a computer, Wii or mobile device. It has lost the mixer, making it ideal for mobile. What it doesn't lose is the sound quality, build quality and, of course, comfort. It is available now for $79.99.

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Plantronics Brings Their Bluetooth Know-How to Music Headphones

2015-01-08

When you think of Plantronics, you might think of headphones, but you probably go right to phone products. What you might not know is that, in addition to their phone/voice products, Plantronics offers a line of music centric devices as well.

The BackBeat GO 2 is a set of fairly standard-looking Bluetooth earbuds, but with a couple of traditional Plantronics features. Included with the earbuds is a charging case, which can add 2 full charges, so when you are away from power for long periods of time, you can keep them charged without a wall. They are available now for $99.99.

The BackBeat Fit is a set of Bluetooth earbuds that is unique enough to have earned them a CES Innovation Award because of its design. The material is designed to be completely flexible, while still preventing them from being tangled or kinked. Along with the headset is a matching case, which turns into an armband. To ensure outdoor safety, the surface of both are reflective, and the earbuds do not block outside sound. They are available now for $129.99.

Straying from earbuds, the company also offers the BackBeat Pro, an over-the-head set of Bluetooth headphones designed more for sound quality than for sports activity. It offers active noise cancelation and 24 hours of playtime. What sets this apart is the sensors - it allows the headphones to automatically pause your music when you take the headphones off, similar to how many Plantronics voice headphones work.

They also offer external mics, so you can turn on or off outside sound. If you're on an airplane and the flight attendant comes up, you can hit a button and hear what they are saying instead of having to move them off of your ears and shift them back. You can also use the headphones without Bluetooth if the battery dies or you're in a place where Bluetooth won't get the job done. They are available now for $249.99.

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Nexia Shows Off a Lot of New Connected Devices

2015-01-08

We first met Nexia Home Intelligence at CES 2012, and were immediately impressed with their system. Allowing you to control and automate your home, either local or away, through a single connected dashboard.

Since our first meeting, the company has added new partners and new products, and this year the company is showing a whole collection of new products compatible with the system. Ranging from home security to home automation, there is a little bit of everything available in the system.

Some of the products shown off include:
- First Alert smoke detector ($49.99)
- Linear Siren & Strobe ($69.99)
- Linear LED Bulb ($54.99)

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MEElectronics Brings Some Unique Capabilities to Bluetooth

2015-01-08

MEElectronics may not be a brand you've heard of, but if you are a fan of Bluetooth, you might want to add them to your list of brands to watch. At CES this year, they showed off a collection of new devices, all with price points that make them incredibly attractive.

First is an over-the-head headphone, called the Air-Fi Touch. Other than the single power/command button, this Bluetooth headset is controlled entirely with touch gestures on one of the ears. It can run over a day on a single charge while still being incredibly light weight. They are available now for $99.99.

Next is the Bluetooth upgrade to the company's Sport M6 earbuds, dubbed the X7. The headphones are sweatproof and also fit snugly in the ear, allowing for continuous sports use. They also have controls for volume and command on the cord, so you can keep your phone safe while working out. They will be available soon for $99.99.

In addition to headphones, the company also showed off a Bluetooth transmitter, which allows you to add Bluetooth capability to systems that do not have it. The thing that is really nice is that it can pair up to 2 separate headphones at once. It also has line in or fiber optic in, allows you to keep a digital signal from end-to-end. The device is expected to release end of second quarter.

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GoldKey Makes Us All Feel Like a Secret Agent

2015-01-08

At one point or another, everyone has fantasized about being James Bond, Dick Tracy or Maxwell Smart. GoldKey, a company known for security products, has added a new product to make you feel like one of your favorite secret agents.

The GoldKey Communicator is a smartwatch that is an independent phone. While there are other products that match that description, where the Communicator stands apart is in its security features. Offering secure email, text, data, voice and payment, the Communicator allows for completely safe communication with other GoldKey users.

To ensure you feel like Bond, you are assigned a 007 area code phone number that allows you to communicate with other 007 GoldKey voice customers for the secure communications. That ensures that everyone knows when you are or are not speaking over encrypted VoIP service.

In addition to the huge collection of security features comes the capabilities of full Android 4.4 KitKat. Rather than Android Wear, you get the full Android Marketplace. You also get a camera for 5MP stills or HD video. The GoldKey Communicator is available now for $299.95.

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Goal Zero's Line of Travel and Emergency Power Products Expands

2015-01-08

At CES, portable power is essential; in the real world, it can be just important. Goal Zero knows this, which is why they are constantly trying to improve and enhance their line of emergency and travel products.

This year they added the new Venture 30: a 7800mAh charger for phones and tablets. That equates to 3 charges on a phone, with the ability to charge up to 2.4amps on each of the 2 USB ports. The charger comes complete with built-in flexible cables for charging the device and a product. To ensure it is protected, it is rated at IPX6.

In addition to the charger, is a solar flashlight. While that might seem insane, the Torch 250 is extremely useful. While camping, or even at home, you can charge the flashlight during the day and use it at night. You can also charge it via USB, or even with a crank, or use the battery to charge your other devices, making it double as a solar charger. You can get one right now for $79.99.

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Eton Improves Its Line of Emergency Radios

2015-01-08

Eton is well-known for their emergency products, which they are always wanting to improve. This year the company has improved their famous emergency radios. Their larger radio has changed the solar panel to allow for more charging capability and has the largest battery, and added an ambient light. It also includes SAME weather alerts, to let you know of weather issues coming your way.

All of the radios also come with flashlight capability, solar charging, USB charging for other devices and the well-known hand crank. The two larger models are available now with the smaller radio coming this Spring, ranging from $49.99 to $129.99.

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Ericsson Changes the Way We Think About Cloud Security

2015-01-07

With the cloud becoming an ever-expanding, highly-vulnerable space, there comes a time where businesses need to start caring about their customers' data. That time is now, and many companies are working towards building better infrastructure to put customers' minds at ease. One of those companies is Ericsson, one of the world's largest mobile infrastructure groups.

Ericsson is taking the charge to make the cloud more safe and secure. By 2020, Ericsson estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices, and a majority of those devices will live in an industrialized cloud system. The problem is that the cloud isn't secure nor efficient enough to sustain those devices.

Because of this, Ericsson is working on a platform that is highly programmable, highly accessible, highly governable, and controllable, but above all else is secure. The hope is that this work will change the way businesses think about security and the cloud, and the easiest way to explain the concept is to say that we need to build a bigger wall around our data.

Ericsson is just starting with its mission to roll out a better way to authenticate, validate and confirm your data and its transmissions. The ability to forensically prove your data during a breach and after a breach becomes crucial to understanding the severity of the breach, and Ericsson has made a series of acquisitions and partnerships to start to make this possible. If the infrastructure contains governed policies and profiles, the end users can feel safer knowing their data is authentic.

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Denon Professional Unveils a Dozen New Products at CES 2015

2015-01-07

A trip to CES is never complete without visiting our good friend Eric Palonen. Now spear-heading Denon Professional, a high-end audio product company, Eric is responsible for showing more people some of the company's great products. At CES 2015, Denon Professional debuted 12 new and exciting products, all launching in the spring.

Denon Professional showed off the Solution Series, designed for the A/V integrator or consultant. They're little boxes made for very specific tasks. For instance, the DN-2000BR is a Bluetooth receiver with balanced audio outputs. For someone who's upgrading a building, you no longer need to buy all new equipment to outfit the space with the latest tech. Other products in the Solution Series handle things like AirPlay, DLNA, audio routing without drilling holes, and Android mini-computers.

Denon Professional also demonstrated the Envoi. It's a portable and powerful PA system perfect for places where a user might not have access to a large bank of power but need sound reinforcement. With the Envoi, you get a 360-watt speaker with a myriad of functionality and inputs. You can stream music from your smartphone, off an SD card, Bluetooth or even plug in your audio mixer. You can then unplug it and operate it for up to 12 hours on a single charge. Even better, there's a built-in wireless microphone. Envoi will retail for $599.

We also got to take a look at the DN-300Z. It's a poly-media player, so it'll play almost anything you can think of. Slot-loaded CDs, USB, SD card reader, Bluetooth and AM/FM radio all come in a concise 1U device and perfect for clubs, places or worships or other larger venues. $399 gets you a DN-300Z.

Lastly, Eric showed us another Solution Series device, taking a page out of the on-the-desk KUDO device, with a covert presentation manager. Typically mounted under a table or in a rack, it supports Bluetooth, DLNA, MiraCast, Airplay and is 4K-ready.

All these devices, and more, can be found at Denon Professional's website and it's definitely a place you'll want to check out to see the entire line-up.

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Crosley Mixes Old School and Today with New Line of Turntables

2015-01-07

The retro-style record players are coming back with a bit of flare, all thanks to Crosley, a name that has been around since the 1920s. During the '20s through '40s, it was pretty much the household brand when it came to spinning some vinyl. The brand was then sold and brought back as a retro radio company, and now has started to join in on the resurgence of vinyl in the new millennium.

At CES 2015, Crosley launched a couple of new products aimed at getting people back into records again. First, the Cruiser turntable will make it easy for someone who wants a plug-and-play way to enjoy their favorite records. No longer do you have to buy components and piece them all together. The Cruiser comes in dozens of colors and styles, and some even feature your favorite cartoon characters or TV shows. The turntable will generally run you about $69 and is available at all major retailers, including specialty stores.

For those who want more added functionality or features, Crosley has launched a myriad of different turntables to fit different needs and styles. Things like Bluetooth, CD players, nicer speakers, wood housing and more can all be found in several different product lines from the company. Prices range depending on the flavor, but typically run between $150 and $400. All of the products can be found at Crosley's website.

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Canon Continues Camera Excellence with New Line of HFR Camcorders

2015-01-07

As avid Canon fans and users of the company's cameras for our coverage and shows, we always make the Canon booth a yearly visit at the International CES. This year did not disappoint as Canon has continued to improve upon their "bridge" grade of video camera, the level between beginner and advanced amateur.

This year, Canon showed off a trio of Vixia HFR series cameras: the 62, the 60 and the 600. The only differences in these are internal memory storage. 32GB comes with the HFR62, along with WiFi and NFC. The HFR60 comes with 8GB and the same features, while the HFR600 comes in either black or white and contains no internal storage at all. All the cameras come with a 3" touch panel, 57x advanced zoom and image stabilization, in a small and compact body.

The WiFi and NFC features are the key components to the new line of cameras, which compliment Canon's other new product, the Connect Station CS100. Just by touching the R60 or R62 to the station, you can wirelessly share and send your videos. You can also use the SD card slot to transfer the videos as well.

The HFR62 will be $449, the HFR60 will be priced at $399 and the HFR600 will run $299, all launching in March.

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Celestron Makes Stargazing Easier and Educational

2015-01-07

As astronauts get to see farther into the universe through their equipment, those of us bound to Earth have the same desire. Celestron's telescopes make that easier for everyone. Their newest addition to the lineup provides for ease of use away from the city, where you can get the best views without all of the city lights.

The telescope is self-powered, allowing you to use it without the need for a high amperage 12-volt inverter. You can use it away from your car, or without having to lug around a huge battery and power technology. It even offers the ability to plug in other devices, though it will, of course, limit the runtime of the telescope.

In addition to the portable power capabilities, it also integrates Wi-Fi right into the telescope. Using the Wi-Fi, you can use your smart device to control the telescope. View the night sky through your screen, point at an area and the telescope will position itself so you can see the sky through the lens.

The app can also help you learn the positions of objects in the sky by allowing you to tap on an area and get information about what you are seeing. If you're looking at a galaxy far off in the distance, the app can explain distances, etc.

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The Race to Challenge the Surface is On

2015-01-07

In terms of Windows tablets, Microsoft's Surface series is definitely the one to challenge if you are a manufacturer. Manufacturers seem to agree, as this CES showed us a collection of tablets trying to enter that space.

One of the brands throwing their hat into that ring is Southern Telecom, a company that usually builds products under licensed brands, but has their own tablet for the market. Running an Intel Atom processor and 32GB of internal storage, this guy isn't headed for the Pro 3's territory, but it could certainly do some damage in the abandoned Surface RT space.

With the ability to run full applications, which the RT models were not, it makes this computer far more usable. With a price point of $249, with the keyboard included, it even undercuts the RT models by more than half. Unfortunately, what the Surface has going for it is the easily removable and attachable keyboard, while this keyboard is not nearly as easy to attach or remove. For some users, however, this won't be a killer. Take a look and decide for yourself.

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Polaroid Brand to Release a Set of Android Handsets

2015-01-07

Polaroid is obviously a company known for their camera technology. As standalone cameras have become a smaller market, it was time for Polaroid to find new outlets for their cameras. As most people tend to use their phone as their primary camera, this was a natural place to explore.

The new Polaroid Android phones, shown off at CES 2015, might not revolutionize the industry, but they could certainly carve out a nice niche for themselves. Both handsets offer a 5.5" screen and claim stock Android. Included on the handsets is a Polaroid photo app that simulates the experience of using a Polaroid Instant camera of days gone by.

The Selfie, which has an octa-core processor and a 13MP camera, has the ability to flip the camera around, allowing you to take a selfie or use Skype with the full power of the camera. The Flip, the lower-priced handset of the pair, is a quad-core phone with an 8MP camera that does not, as the name would suggest, offer the flip camera.

Both handsets will be available this Spring unlocked for $199 and $179 respectively from various retailers.

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A 3D Projection that Can Scale to Huge Heights

2015-01-07

We often find products at CES that are newsworthy, but it is not often that we find a display technology that is worth talking about. The technology behind the display at the Altec Lansing booth, presented by PM Screen was certainly an exception to that rule. In fact, it was their display that caused us to stop and interview Altec Lansing in the first place.

The display featured 3 of the company's new Bluetooth speakers being emphasized by fire and water, showing off the speaker's fireproof and waterproof capabilities. What was interesting about the display, however, is that it was all created with 3D projections.

In addition to the small screen presented at CES, the company's technology is capable of scaling to large surfaces, too. In fact, they were responsible for a 12 projector setup on the ice hockey rink at the ice hockey world championship opening ceremony, whose video is available on their website. This is a truly interesting technology with wonderful potential. I look forward to seeing the places they find to implement it in the US and abroad.

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Businessfriend - A Business-Oriented Social Network with a Purpose

2015-01-07

When it comes to the world of social networks, purpose is not necessarily a requirement. LinkedIn is good for finding a job, I guess. Facebook is good for... I'm really not sure what. But, in recent months, that trend is changing. Ello was created to rebel against advertising, but that isn't exactly a purpose, at least not for the user.

Businessfriend is a social network with a true purpose, though. Created to help people collaborate with their colleagues and favorite brands, Businessfriend offers a number of personal and business-related features missing from any single platform.

For example, their Instant feature is a chat platform that allows you to keep your content private. No message boxes popping up when a new message comes in, making your private business public. There's also the DigiDex, an organized contact list filled with your direct contacts and the companies you are connected to.

In addition to the unique takes on common features, Businessfriend also offers cloud features. You can share files through the system in a way that is controllable. You can revoke access to files and folders at will, and know that the content has been secured. You can also organize your content into Notebooks, making it easier to find.

It is definitely a platform worth trying out, currently available on web, iOS and Android, with Windows Phone currently in development.

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Altec Lansing Creates a Range of Almost Indestructible Bluetooth Speakers

2015-01-07

Altec Lansing has long been known for their mid- to high-end audio products, but recently the company has been expanding their product lineup, bringing their brand and quality to consumer products. This year, the company is expanding their lineup of Bluetooth speakers.

The products, mostly known for their "Jacket" branding, are waterproof, shockproof, and in some cases bulletproof, fireproof and bombproof. The product line ranges from $39 to $149 and many are available today.

In addition to physical quality, these speakers also offer Altec Lansing's well-known sound quality. Even the small speaker, at only $39, sounds great and can still withstand quite a beating.

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Intel Shrinks Down the PC with New NUC Line

2015-01-06

In a screening at Intel's suite, the company showed off their latest Next Unit of Computing devices, or NUCs. These super tiny PCs feature the latest Core i3, i5 and i7 Broadwell processors, with some of them even running Braswell chips, all within a 4-by-4 design.

This latest series of NUC has ditches the mSATA storage interface and moved into M.2, allowing for lightning fast read and write speeds to the disk. USB 2.0 ports are also a thing of the past, and the NUCs all feature USB 3.0 ports only. Some of the higher-end models also feature a mini-DisplayPort v1.2 output, giving the ability to connect three monitors to this mini PC. All of this power packed into such a small frame means that it can not only replace your home theater PC, but could easily replace most users' desktop PCs.

There are three distinct enclosures for the NUC, depending on which processor you select. The two that will be commonly sold are 115mm x 111mm wide and are either 29.8mm or 48.5mm tall. Your differentiator there is going to be whether or not you want to fit a 2.5" SSD inside the NUC.

What I found most intriguing was the customizable lids that can be interchanged on the NUC. One of the prototypes on display was a Hauppauge TV tuner that was attached to the top of one of the NUCs, allowing full TV capture and playback, built right into the top of the PC. There was also a NUC that wore a lid that had NFC capability built into it, and Intel said there would be another dozen or so lids to choose from in the near future, with hopes that more partners will join in to create other lid styles.

One surprise was saved for the end, and that was the Intel Compute Stick. Donning Windows 8.1 with Bing, 32GB of storage, 2GB RAM and a Baytrail processor all within a device that can fit in your pocket, the Compute Stick can plug into any TV or monitor. Intel looks to sell this extremely compact computer for only $149.

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Kiband Helps Keep Your Child Close to You

2015-01-06

A trip through Eureka Park at any CES is always bound to lead to new and exciting products and individuals who are passionate about those products. That's the exact case with Kiband, a company that formed around a direct necessity and problem that impacted its CEO.

Kiband started with its CEO that lost his child at a 4th of July event for about 15-20 minutes. After trying leash solutions and other methods that really didn't work out for him, he created his own company to try a change up the market.

The key with Kiband is prevention and less of informing you of when your child actually gets lost. Using the parent's phone, the Kiband sets up a local geofence around the smartphone, and as the child approaches the perimeter set by the parent, the Kiband will first vibrate. If they then venture outside of the proximity, the device will then use an audible tone to alert the parent.

The distance is totally customizable by the parent and allows them to give the child as much leeway as they deem safe. The Kiband is also easy to set up, as it instantly connects to the phone and the app is made for those who are less tech savvy.

Still in research and development, the kids who have tested the device have really taken a liking to it and didn't want to remove it because it looked cool and was minimally invasive. Pricing will be around $100 to $120, with pre-orders available through an Indiegogo campaign, and delivery estimated to be in the summer.

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Meccano Introduces Your Favorite Robotic Pal, the Meccanoid

2015-01-06

Robots are something we all know and love, regardless of age or experience with technology. They're just one of those things that you want to play with and learn more about. Luckily, Meccano is looking to make all of that possible by introducing a robotic friend that can be fully programmed to do a variety of things through a multitude of input methods.

For those familiar with the Erector Sets of the past, you may have already been familiar with Meccano, just under a different name. But now, Meccano will be bringing its name, along with its flagship product the Meccanoid, to stores across the world, beginning in August of 2015.

The Meccanoid stands four feet tall and comes in a simple-to-build kit. Once built, you can use different ways to tell the companion what to do. The easiest is the "mirror" method, where you press the record button on the robot and move its limbs around. Upon pressing the play button, the robot will do what you made it do, along with playing back any audio it recorded along the way. You can also program it via a smartphone that you connect to the Meccanoid via Bluetooth, or with a computer connected with USB. There's even the possibility of hooking up a Kinect or similar device, and having the robot follow your every move using tracking, which is really cool.

The Meccanoid can be built into a bunch of different forms, from a normal robot friend to an automated trash retriever, to anything else you can think of. With the ability to fully code the bot, the combinations of forms and functions are practically endless.

Meccano also won the Last Gadget Standing event at CES 2015 with its Meccanoid product.

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Zolt Proves That Great Things Come in Small Packages

2015-01-06

It's no secret: Everyone, at least once in their life has forgotten a charger or brought the wrong one on a business trip or vacation. What if there was one charger that you could bring that could handle 2 devices and a laptop? And what if the charger automatically knew what voltage and wattage to deliver to the devices? Meet Zolt.

The world's smallest laptop charger was a 2015 International CES Innovation Award Honoree. Zolt's ability to charger a laptop and two other devices at the same time is what makes it so unique and truly a product that stands out from the pack.

Zolt comes with a 6-foot proprietary cable that's the same color as the charger, which comes in an assortment of flavors. It also features the a bunch of different laptop tips that charge almost every device on the market today. Your Lenovo laptop, Apple iPad and any micro-USB device are all on the list of the hundreds of devices in total that can work with Zolt.

Weighing in at only 3 ounces, and available for a special pre-order price of $79, or $99 when launched, Zolt looks to makes its debut sometime in Spring 2015.

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A Glasses-Free 3DTV and Gaming Experience with Ultra-D

2015-01-06

One of the things that were considered a "sleeper pick" in this year's CES trends was 3DTV and gaming combining on the big screen in your living room. Up until now, the implementation hasn't really been great and the technology used has caused eye strain for many who have used it. Luckily StreamTV Networks' Ultra-D product looks to alleviate all of that with their latest announcement.

Introducing a glasses-free 3DTV experience for gamers and TV-watchers alike. For the TV, standing in a certain spot isn't required. The 4K TV's cones overlap, giving 140-degrees of viewing angle, and comes in different sizes all the way up to 89". You can also set the depth of the 3D, so for sports you can tune down the 3D effect but can turn it up when you want to. This is one of the few on the show floor where my eyes different hurt when I was viewing the TV.

For gamers, the company has partnered up with a bunch of different game developers in order to create a gaming experience unlike any other. On that list of dev studios is Epic Games, who you may know as the creators of the Unreal Engine. The company also wants to target any developer who wants to use the Unreal or Unity engine and also wants to add in a 3D experience via the SDK. All five companies that have partnered with Ultra-D so far had the 3D up and running in 25 hours or less.

The key here is the zero-latency method that is used in order to not frustrate gamers, especially those who play first-person shooters or other "twitchy" game titles. Game developers, like you, also hate lag. So to make 3D work, it's all done through algorithms that create a real-time depth map of the camera that is already in place, leaving essentially no extra work for the developer. This conversion process causes 4 milliseconds of lag, however, the SDK eliminates the lag entirely. It just needs a little bit of information from the video game and puts little stress on the GPU in order to make that happen.

If you're a developer and want to get a hold of this, you can visit www.movebeyond3d.com. They are also working on launching some hardware in a style similar to the Oculus Rift, just to get it out there and get people to use it.

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Shortcut Labs Announces the Flic, a Programmable Button to Simplify Your Life

2015-01-06

Lots of talk surrounded the Shortcut Labs booth at Eureka Park this year at CES. The company had taken to Indiegogo to launch a new product, Flic, that is set to make life easier with the literal touch of a button.

This Bluetooth-enabled, programmable button has three different ways to press it, and each of those can be programmed for a specific task using the Flic app. Whether you want to select a certain playlist on Spotify, navigate to a destination on your GPS app or create your own command, all of that can be done with Flic.

A 6-pack was going for $99 on Indiegogo during CES, and Shortcut Labs managed to blow past their goal reaching over $700,000 in funding, 801% of their goal. That's a truly impressive feat for something so unique, and it's simplicity is what wins over consumers.

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Monster DNA Headphones Get Customized with Chris Nunez from Ink Master

2015-01-06

Something we like about the Monster DNA headphones, aside from the Pure Monster Sound of course, is the fact that they really do come in all different sizes and styles. The DNA On-Ear headphones have over 50 different color combinations, and sometimes, a style will be completely done by an artist.

In this case, it's tattoo artist Chris Nunez, from the hit show Ink Master that created a unique design so popular, that it crashed the Monster website when it released. Chris attended CES this year to take in the show floor, meet his fans, and talk about Monster DNA headphones.

His passion for music is as equal as his passion for tattooing and the two have combined under the Monster brand. Whether you need something for the studio or on-the-go, the Monster DNAs are an excellent choice and are made for long periods of listening.

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AspectSolar Brings the Power, in Several Different Form Factors

2015-01-06

When it comes to solar power, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. However, if you're looking for a company that makes a broad range of products to fit your varying needs, then you may want to give AspectSolar a bit more attention.

AspectSolar had several interesting things to show off at the International CES. First, the company's turnkey solution and entry to solar is the DuoFlex 2. It's a 13-watt panel that is flexible and made with monocrystalline silicone. What that means is that if one panel breaks, the unit will keep working, only at less power. The unique design of the DuoFlex 2 is what makes it special. Several zippers and loops allow you to configure the device however you want. And for $179, you can pick up a DuoFlex 2 and a 10,000 MaH battery today.

The other product that has me excited is the Power Rack. Its batteries are not the standard lithium-polymer and instead use LiPO4, making the unit weigh almost 40% lighter than its competitors, under 60 pounds. The batteries, of which there are five, are all 300 watt-hours, pushing a total output of 1000 watts in order to replicate the most natural A/C output possible. You can also pair it with two slave units to be up to 4,500 watt-hours total. The Power Rack will launch later this year at $2,500.

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Zofie Aims to Personalize Your Workout Equipment Quickly and Easily

2015-01-06

Keeping to a fitness routine that works can be hard; the only thing harder is starting a new routine. I never know what I should be doing, and know almost nothing about how a particular machine works, or how best to take advantage of it. That is where the Zofie system comes in.

Using fuzzy logic and Kinect sensors, the machines can recognize you and provide a workout based on you. It even takes into account your activities at any given moment, and tailors the experience accordingly. The given example, on a treadmill, the track came move faster or slower, as well as change the incline, based on your heart rate. It can even suggest alterations to your posture if you move too far out of a safe zone.

The technology is currently being implemented in fitness equipment, so expect to see it showing up in a fitness center near you.

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Voiceboard Brings Gesture and Intuitive Speech Controls to Presentations

2015-01-06

Being involved with TEDxTampaRiverwalk, one things I can say for sure - controlling a presentation is difficult. Whether it be an inability or unwillingness to know the presentation, fumbling with the buttons on a controller, or needing to move around more than just a slide at a time, presentation software and hardware are not friendly.

Enter Voiceboard, a new way to think about presentations. With Kinect-style voice controls and a ring-powered gesture system, a presenter can focus less on the slides and more on their presentation. You can skip through slides with the wave of a hand or even go to particular slides using your voice. No more hoping the button advanced to the right slide, or peering back over your shoulder to see if you're in the right place.

If you are a regular presenter, either in a conference room or on a stage, Voiceboard is certainly something to consider adding to your presentation kit. It is available now for $599 and comes with the software, gesture ring and headset for voice control.

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Vievu's Prosumer Wearable Camera, Squared

2015-01-06

Vievu may be known for their wearable first responder cameras, but recently the company discovered that other markets are interested in the same general capabilities, without the need for the security features. That is where their new camera, Viewvu Squared comes in.

Perfect for bus drivers, construction workers, etc., this camera can record video up to 1080p, stream live via Wi-Fi and even transfer the videos directly to a phone, which allows you to share them without needing to plug it into a full computer.

The camera is available now for around $349, or if you need to order in quantity, you can do that directly from Vievu.

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TREWGrip Shows QWERTY Can be Portable

2015-01-06

One of the major problems with small, portable keyboards is that creators keep trying to reinvent the keyboard layout. We've seen this type of keyboard at Gulf Coast MakerCon, but it will be difficult to convince people to learn a new keyboard paradigm.

TREWGrip has figured out a way to provide small portability, without the need to retrain your brain. A portable Bluetooth, QWERTY keyboard that holds your phone, phablet or mini tablet, this device has split and rotated the keys on a traditional keyboard to allow touch typists to transition quickly, while giving the ability for visual typists to see what they are doing.

Finally, a mobile keyboard for a mobile workforce that works for anyone. Launching this Spring, you can pre-order yours today at Prelaunch.

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SmartSafe Brings Security to Your Wrist

2015-01-06

Digital and physical security has become quite a major topic, especially with issues like the Sony Pictures and iCloud hacks. So, how do you ensure security in a time when the rest of the world wants in?

SmartSafe believes they can help with their combination physical and biometric security watch. The watch is activated via biometric scan and can then be used to unlock computers, doors or any other system capable of accepting the watch's commands.

One of the big problems with physical password keys, such as USB managers, is that once they leave the possession of the owner, the security is breached. With SmartSafe, however, once the watchband is broken, the authorization is broken as well and has to be reauthenticated via biometrics. The watch also ensures that the watch is being worn and the wearer is alive, meaning that you can't steal the watch through other means.

The watch will hopefully hit the market this year, with a varying pricepoint based on number purchased, as it is not intended directly to consumer.

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Phonotonic - A Strangely Shaped Digital Musical Instrument

2015-01-06

At CES, there are a few categories that products fall into, like productivity or wearables. One of my personal favorites, however, is the truly odd and wonderful, which describes Phonotonic. This product is a honeycomb-shaped object that, when paired with a phone, allows you to create music.

With a single item, you are able to create lead. By adding a second item, you can add rhythm. It is all accomplished through motion sensors, like accelerometers, paired with an app that is able to translate those motions into sounds. Softer motions produce softer sounds; harder motions create more intense sounds.

After seeing the product from a distance, I was skeptical. Nicolas Rasamimanana, founder and CEO demonstrated their usage, however, and completely changed my mind. The product is currently available only in France for 80 euros, but will be coming to the rest of the world soon.

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OIO Brings the Amp to Protect Your Ears and Tablet

2015-01-06

If you are concerned about the safety of your tablet and the quality of your audio, then OIO might just have a case for you: the Amp. One part tablet case, two parts Bluetooth speaker, the Amp can turn any room into a party while maintaining stereo audio separation.

The internal battery gives up to 7 hours of playtime, allowing you to work through the day or watch several movies or television episodes. In addition to the speakers, the case includes a stand designed for 2 different angles: a high angle for watching video and a low angle for onscreen typing.

While the case is not available yet, you can pre-order now.

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Juiceboxx is Here to Save Your Expensive Macbook Power Supply

2015-01-06

Apple fans and haters alike can agree on one thing: the MacBook power block is a disaster. Almost everyone who owns a MacBook, or knows someone with out, has witnessed the untimely death of one of these powerblocks because of fraying or breaking. Luckily, Juiceboxx is here to rescue you!

The product is a cover of sorts for your MacBook power supply, which uses a trumpet design to keep the power cable from bending over sideways in your bag; the most common cause of the problem. In addition, the case gives you the ability to customize your block to match your computer bag, your outfit or your personality.

Estimated to ship in early February, you can preorder your Juiceboxx right now for only $19.99 in one of 6 colors, available for 3 different models. If you have a MacBook, this is a must have for you.

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iSet - The Connected Counter for Tennis

2015-01-06

Keeping score and tracking stats is one of the least fun parts of playing a sport. If you're not careful, arguments can break out (we've all been there, right?). Luckily, if you play tennis, iSet is the watch to solve that problem.

The watch can pair with another watch, allowing each competitor to track their score and sync up with the other player's watch. If only one player has the watch, no problem, you can still control the counter yourself for both sides.

In addition to pairing with one another, you can also pair with a phone, allowing you to share your score live with the accompanying app. If you are not at the field, you can follow along remotely with the app on your own phone. Players can use the data to keep track of their stats, comparing scores against the same competitor, on certain dates, etc. Coming later this year, this is the watch for serious tennis enthusiasts.

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Gaming Gets Bigger With the Immersis Projector

2015-01-06

One of the problems with gaming is how easy it is to lose your sense of immersion. When your television is across the room, no matter the size, it is easy to get distracted by other things in the room. That is the problem Catopsys is trying to solve with Immersis.

This 180 degree projector can scan your room and turn half of it into a fully immersive video experience. Any game can be easily adapted to passively support the wrap-around projection, but that is just the beginning. If the product catches on, developers can begin to take advantage of the extended real estate for extending the gameplay, not just the environment.

The product is not yet available, though they are running a Kickstarter campaign where you can get quite a discount on the MSRP. If you are a game developer or a really hardcore gamer, this might be the next gaming accessory you need.

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Connected Cycle Keep Track of Your Bike, Whether You Are on It or Not

2015-01-06

Connected Cycle is a bike pedal that connects to an existing bicycle that helps you keep track of the location of your bike. If you are riding it, it will keep track of your path and let you know things like distance traveled and calories burned. If you are not with the bike, it will alert you that the bike is in motion and allow you to keep track of where it has gone.

With a built-in internet connection, you never have to worry that it will be too far out of range to alert you of position. You can even bike without your phone and still log your route. It is especially important for keeping track of theft.

One of the really great things about the pedal is that it never needs to be externally charged. Using the motion produced by biking, the pedal is able to charge itself whenever it is in motion. The product is not yet available, but they will be launching a crowd funding campaign in the coming months.

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Child-Angel - A GPS Tracking Bracelet Your Kid Will Want to Wear

2015-01-06

Many products come from a personal problem, and Child-Angel is no exception. When the creator's child was lost for a short while in a shopping center, it got his mind going. He gathered a tech team and a design team to put together his idea to protect other families from the same panic he experienced.

Running on traditional GPS, Wi-Fi location and GSM, Child-Angel keeps track of your kid at all times. You can also setup geofences to alert you when they have gone somewhere they aren't supposed to go. More importantly, the kid can trigger an alert if they are uncomfortable, simply by opening up the back part of the band.

The problem with many trackers is that they are not something that kids want to wear. Child-Angel solves this problem by making it more like a bracelet, with customizable covers that can be snapped on at will without exposing the electronics. Now, when they wake up, they can choose to wear a princess, racecar driver, or anything in between.

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aiFi Stackable Bluetooth Induction-Based Speakers

2015-01-06

There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers on the market, which is why it was refreshing to see the unique things aiFi is doing with theirs. Not only can you use a single one like a traditional speaker, but you can combine them to add functionality.

Whether you are looking for portability, music or television, there is a configuration for you. Odd numbers of speakers act like a soundbar, adding virtualized surround, while even numbers add depth through enhanced bass. Stack them speakers into both configurations to get both capabilities. The added range is endless.

Using induction and an internal computer system, the speakers can determine their position and configuration, and even pass the sound from the main speaker to its partners; no need to any wires or special connectors.

The speakers are not available retail yet, but you can pick them up on Indiegogo right now, or wait for them to hit store shelves this may.

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Monster Teams Up with Adidas to Launch New Line of Athletic Headphones

2015-01-05

You can always count on the International CES to be a monsterous event. This is especially true when Monster announces big news, along with big celebrities.

The pairing of Adidas and Monster seems to be a natural fit, and together they've launched a new line of headphones and earbuds tailored to the active and athletic lifestyle. What stands out is the wireless Bluetooth in-ear buds that pack a Pure Monster Sound in a compact footprint.

Johan from Adidas and Kevin from Monster both spoke on the finer points of each of the new products coming from Monster, all the way up to the full over-the-ear headphones. Moreover, the headphones connect to the Micoach smartwatch that Adidas has launched.

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beZilch - A New Way to Buy and Sell Online [Live]

2015-01-05

If you're trying to sell an electronic item you own, there are a lot of ways to do it. However, if you have ever tried, you know that it is incredibly easy to get lost in the mass of listings, and you have to do it the way the marketplace wants you to.

Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide talk with beZilch, where you can decide how you want to sell. If you are more interested in getting a good price, you can post a listing, but if speed is more important, you can browse listings of people looking to buy your item.

On the buying side, obviously you have the same capabilities: if you care about price, you can list that you are interested in buying, including your price. If you are interested in speed, you can browse listings for people who are currently trying to sell one.

Even better, you have the ability, as both a seller and buyer, to limit your activity to your local area or national. So, why trade your device in for, at best, 50% of its value when you could sell on beZilch for a price of your choosing?

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FoneBud Smart Power Bank [Live]

2015-01-05

Don Baine, The Gadget Professor speaks to FoneBud about their multipurpose power bank. To call it that, however, is an understatement, as the device can do so much more. In addition to providing power to your devices, it is a Bluetooth handset, allowing you to talk on the phone while it is charging without getting all caught up in cables. It is a selfie button, which can trigger your phone's camera feature via Bluetooth. It can alert you when you have gotten too far away from your phone. It even has a self-contained flashlight.

While it is not available today, the FoneBud should be available during the first quarter, meaning you won't have to wait long to find out just how useful this little device could be.

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!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Brilens Portable Laser Projector [Live]

2015-01-05

Over the past few years, portable projectors have become more popular, but most of them run on small LEDs, not capable of producing enough light to make them useful. Brilens changes that, with the first Laser-powered portable projector.

Don Baine, The Gadget Professor talks with the team about this projector, which offers 50,000 hours of life on a Texas Instrument DLP display with up to 3800 lumens of power. While the output is 720p, the image quality seemed to take full advantage of every pixel. You can feed video into the projector with almost any consumer connector, making it easy to use with most devices. You can pick up one of these projectors right now for $999.

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!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

HearNotes Shows Off Truly Wireless Earbuds

2015-01-05

In addition to their experience with us on the show floor, wireless earbud brand HearNotes visited the live show to go into detail about their product with Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide.

Using Kleer® wireless technology, HearNotes is capable of producing sound quality above that of standard Bluetooth headphones while removing the connecting wire between ears.

"We're cutting all the wires - not just from your earbuds to your device, but also from ear to ear," said Patrick Donohue, Founder and CEO, HearNotes. "The revolutionary technology and design enhances your music, your way: the songs you love, wirefree, streaming in crystal clear high fidelity with a new standard of mobility and freedom so you can finally cut loose."

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide 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!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

HearNotes Dives into Wireless Earbud Details [Live]

2015-01-05

While wireless earbuds are not a new concept, they traditionally have a cable that runs between left and right, making them not truly wireless. Fortunately, HearNotes is here to fix that problem, without sacrificing sound quality.

Jamie Davis, The Podmedic, spoke with founder and CEO Patrick Donohue about what inspired the product and what sets these earbuds apart from others on the market. When they release this spring, HearNotes will bring a serious challenge to the wireless headphone market.

Interview by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic 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!
Follow TPN on Twitter: Techpodcasts; Facebook: TPNTV; Google+: TPNTV

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Terri Willingham @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Terri Willingham is always our favorite interview at these events, because she represents so many sides of the tech and educational world, and she does it with a passion that is difficult to match. As a creative partner for Eureka! Factory, she was instrumental in creating Roboticon Tampa Bay. As the Regional Director of FIRST in Central Florida, she helps new and existing teams start and maintain their programs. She is also part of the FRC Orlando Regional planning committee.

Terri is also responsible for our participation in Robocon Tampa Bay 2013, the FRC Orlando Regional 2014 and Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, and of course Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014. We look forward to seeing where she takes us next.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Dan Swando @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Dan Swando, from The RoboShow and alumni, talks about his participation in the FIRST Robotics program and why he continues to participate in the program. Through the show, Dan and team hope to bring more attention to the program and educate people on the benefits, all through sports-style coverage.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

DJ Jake Dela Cruz @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

DJ Jake Dela Cruz, a 13-year-old local Tampa, Florida DJ talks about his year since we last spoke with him and some of the incredible things he has been working on. From his own show on a local radio station to DJing events all over Florida, he is doing it all.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Ninjineers @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

FRC Team 2383, The Ninjineers, Drive Team Coach Mayuri Viswanathan and Driver Andrey Gubanov talk about their team and this past season. Both members, who are seniors, also discuss their experiences with FIRST and their plans after graduation.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Daniel Fischman @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Daniel Fischman, Captain of FRC Team 180, S.P.A.M. talks about his team, their past season, their interactions with Roboticon and how they have done in the past. He also discusses his personal experiences in FIRST, his favorite game and what he plans to do after graduation.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Hernando Torrealba @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Hernando Torrealba from FRC Team 5276, Edgar Allan Ohms, talks about the team and their host, the Pasco County Library System. He also talks about his experiences in creating the team, how they market membership and how the team has grown for the second season.

The team, now in their second year, is the first ever library-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition team in the country, hopefully showing other libraries that they can and should host a team.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Paul Stonebridge @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Paul Stonebridge from the Pasco County Library System talks about the team they sponsor, FRC Team 5276, Edgar Allan Ohms, and why it is important to the library. The team, now in their second year, is the first ever library-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition team in the country, hopefully showing other libraries that they can and should host a team.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

E-nabling The Future @ Roboticon Tampa Bay 2014

2014-10-12

Laird Popkin and Toni Moore, representatives of E-nabling The Future, talk with the team about the organization and its interesting mission. Pairing up people with 3D printers with those who are in need of inexpensive artificial hands, the organization is able to help give more natural mobility to those with the need.

Providing schematics, sizing and plans, all a provider need do is print and assemble a 3D printed hand and arrange delivery. The printed parts in total cost only between $30 and $50, depending on the size and style, meaning someone could enhance their lives for very little money.

Scott and Nick host a two-hour broadcast live from Roboticon Tampa Bay, an off-season FIRST Robotics competition at the University of Tampa, hosted by Eureka! Factory.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Watson - PitStop Meetup - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-04

In this second part of a two-part PitStop Meetup, we move to Watson, IBM's deep learning and cognitive reasoning technology. The experts discuss several different fields where Watson could improve life. This is the tech that not only has solved problems in the healthcare and finance industries, but has given us amazing food concoctions out of the by using cognitive cooking.

Related reading on deep learning

Part 1 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events

Watch Part 1 on YouTube.
Watch Part 2 on YouTube.

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Internet of Things - PitStop Meetup - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-04

In this first part of a two-part PitStop Meetup, the Internet of things was the point of conversation. From the estimated 20 billion possible connected devices to how to actually use the data these devices are giving you, it was definitely an interesting discussion. Where are we now? What is the future of our data and devices? All of that is talked about in this segment.

Part 1 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events

Watch Part 1 on YouTube.
Watch Part 2 on YouTube.

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Attendee Reactions - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-04

In this short video from IBM Innovate 2014, we wanted to ask a few attendees what they thought about the convention and what they learned or hoped to take away from it. For Nick, while there was no 3D printer to take away, there is butternut squash BBQ sauce on the horizon!

Watch it on YouTube.

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Part 3 - Internet of Things Discussion - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Ryan Boyles, Michael Rowe and Veronica Belmont sit down to have a quick, free-form discussion about the Internet of things. They dissect the "creepy vs. magic" factor about a lot of the technologies they follow for both their jobs and their sheer love for technology and gadgets. Drones, connected cars and Disney's ever-watching eye are all topics of conversation in this three-part discussion.

This is Part 3
Watch Part 1 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events
Watch Part 2 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events

Watch Part 1 on YouTube.
Watch Part 2 on YouTube.
Watch Part 3 on YouTube.

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Part 2 - Internet of Things Discussion - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Ryan Boyles, Michael Rowe and Veronica Belmont sit down to have a quick, free-form discussion about the Internet of things. They dissect the "creepy vs. magic" factor about a lot of the technologies they follow for both their jobs and their sheer love for technology and gadgets. Drones, connected cars and Disney's ever-watching eye are all topics of conversation in this three-part discussion.

This is Part 2.
Watch Part 1 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events
Watch Part 3 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events

Watch Part 1 on YouTube.
Watch Part 2 on YouTube.
Watch Part 3 on YouTube.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Part 1 - Internet of Things Discussion - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Ryan Boyles, Michael Rowe and Veronica Belmont sit down to have a quick, free-form discussion about the Internet of things. They dissect the "creepy vs. magic" factor about a lot of the technologies they follow for both their jobs and their sheer love for technology and gadgets. Drones, connected cars and Disney's ever-watching eye are all topics of conversation in this three-part discussion.

This is Part 1.
Watch Part 2 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events
Watch Part 3 on PLuGHiTz Live Special Events

Watch Part 1 on YouTube.
Watch Part 2 on YouTube.
Watch Part 3 on YouTube.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

FRC Team 1649 EMS - PitStop Meetup - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Long standing fans of our shows and events will know that seeing a FIRST team at IBM Innovate 2014 was quite refreshing for Nick! FRC Team 1649 EMS was the center of attention for a PitStop Meetup hosted by Veronica Belmont. The team discussed its recent successes in the past two seasons of FIRST competitions and some of the members talked about their plans after high school, which include wanting to become an engineer. There is a lot of crossover between robotics and software development, and that point is really driven home by this panel.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Sky Matthews - Connected Car, Jaguar F-Type - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

A seat in a custom Jaguar F-Type led us to speaking with Sky Matthews about the connected car and the Internet of things. Expanding beyond just a buzzword from a few years ago, Matthews digs deep into what the future could hold for all connected devices around the planet. He also talks about the Jaguar and the potential of what it can do. From advanced notifications about traffic and weather conditions, to giving you real-time information about things happening inside your house or place of work, your car could have the potential to be just one of many devices providing you with useful information at all times.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Clinton Bonner - topcoder - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

topcoder has been around longer than most "Top" shows you might have seen on TV and in fact, has over 600,000 people signed up to the site from all over the world. Their mission? To compete in challenges in different aspects of software design. The site also has a community aspect where members improve their skills, demonstrate and gain reward for their expertise, and provide the industry with objective insight on new and emerging technologies.

One of the cool things about topcoder is that the site launches challenges that require an extremely fast turnaround. So fast that they actually launched one during IBM Innovate 2014 that lasted only 22 hours. The task was to work with a Twitter data scraper to create beautiful and useful experience. Developers everywhere took this challenge head-on and the results of their efforts were very impressive!

Clinton Bonner from topcoder talks about all of that, as well as some really cool things the site's members have created.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Gene Kim - The Phoenix Project - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Gene Kim, former CTO of Tripwire, and author and researcher of "The Phoenix Project" was gracious enough to talk with us at IBM Innovate 2014, where he was a special guest and keynote speaker. Kim dives into a few different points of his reasons for being at Innovate, along with a couple of funny anecdotes and comparisons.

Kim also touches on the principles of developer operations and says that his passion is to turn horses into unicorns, something you have to listen to in order to understand what he means.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Meg Swanson - BlueMix Overview - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-03

Meg Swanson, Marketing Director with IBM's BlueMix cloud-based development platform, talks with us before the show floor opens for the day about BlueMix as a whole. She gives a brief overview and then gives a call to action for developers who might be interested to try out the software. In this segment, Swanson says that BlueMix has been really well received by almost everyone who has tried it, with IBM's support team rapidly making requested features and changes available to developers based on dev feedback.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Cloud Discussion - PitStop Meetup - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-02

At IBM Innovate 2014 in Orlando, FL, the crew sits in and records a quick panel on some information regarding cloud computing and the IBM platforms.

A team of experts discuss different aspects of the cloud, including things like security and deployment. The panel was hosted by celebrity tech enthusiast Veronica Belmont.

Watch it on YouTube

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Tom Banks - Liberty Speedway and RC Cars - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-02

In this interview, Nick talks to Tom Banks, the Technical Evangelist for WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile. Tom might have the coolest job, as he tries to find new and innovative ways to show off IBM technologies to the masses and has done so with a car that can be driven via your smartphone.

The car has sensors to prevent it from crashing, speed limiters and more, and it is all run off of Raspberry Pi. The application is so compact that it only takes up a small percentage of the resources of the mini-computer.

Watch it on YouTube.

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Sanjay Joshi - Cloud Development with BlueMix - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-02

Nick talks with Sanjay Joshi with jStart Cloud Projects and Client Outreach - Emerging Technologies Software Group IBM. In this discussion, Joshi speaks on designing secure applications in IBM's new platform-as-a-service, BlueMix.

Sanjay also touches upon some interesting projects he's working on and things to watch for.

Watch on YouTube.

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Veronica Belmont - Cloud PitStop - IBM Innovate 2014, Orlando, FL

2014-06-02

At IBM Innovate 2014 in Orlando, FL, the crew sits in and records a quick panel on some information regarding cloud computing and the IBM platforms.

A team of experts discuss different aspects of the cloud, including things like security and deployment. The panel was hosted by celebrity tech enthusiast Veronica Belmont.

Watch it on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Jason Michael Paul - rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes - Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, FL

2014-04-19

Scott Ertz from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology sat down with Jason Michael Paul, executive producer of rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, a live-orchestrated video game symphony. The show made its North American premiere at historic Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL, performed by the Florida Orchestra. The two discuss Paul's beginnings, his influences and how this wonderful show came together. For more information or to see if rePLAY is playing in a town near you, visit replay-symphony.com.

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Wayne Rasenen - Tampa Bay Inventors' Council - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Wayne Rasenen of the Tampa Bay Inventors' Council. He talks about the organizations goals and participation in the local maker community. He also shows off his own invention, a new keyboard which only requires 10 keys, designed for mobile use. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Teresa Emmons - Bait Dipper - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Teresa Emmons of Bait Dipper. She discusses the features of her invention, which is a bait bucket that makes it easier to get to your bait without getting your hands all wet. She also talks about the process by which she developed her idea into a product. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Brian Johnson - Johnson Arms Props - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Brian Johnson of Johnson Arms Props. He discusses his replica props, his process and how the details can make the prop come to life. Brian's focus in the prop world is painting, which he says can make the difference between okay and great. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Jason Rawley - Fireblade Comics - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Jason Rawley of Fireblade Comics. He discusses his replica props, his process and how new technology like 3D printers have changed the game. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Bryan Gallo - USF Robotics Interest Group - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Bryan Gallo from the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group. He talks about the various aspects of robotics, including the Battlebot competition that was run here at MakerCon. #omgrobots #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Chuck Stephens - Local Maker - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Chuck Stephens, a local maker. Chuck is a true tinkerer and he talks about the maker movement, what he enjoys in the space and why makers are so important. Chuck also dives into the collaboration aspect of making and the local drive to bring people together. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Lance Eppley - Free Fab 3D - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Lance Eppley of Free Fab 3D. Lance talks about the company and why it's so interesting. Free Fab 3D made a 3D printer, from a 3D printer. In fact, the printer can make gears, adjustable wrenches and even parts for the 3D printer. The crew at F5 said they wanted to leave Gulf Coast MakerCon with a 3D printer and Free Fab 3D actually brought one to their table. Will they walk away with it? #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Mo Eppley - NerdTag.Me - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Mo Eppley of NerdTag.me. Mo discusses what NerdTag.Me is all about and how it came to be. The company makes various pop culture items. Each tag is custom-designed and printed by a 3D printing robot. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Marissa Scheireck - FTC Team 2845 Team Duct Tape - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Marissa Scheireck of FTC Team 2845 - Team Duct Tape. Marissa discusses how she got into FIRST, starting with Lego League, and working her way into the FIRST Tech Challenge, and her team's season. She also discusses her other group, the ASCII Warriors, a programming club currently competing in the Microsoft Imagine Cup. #gcmakers #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

F5 Live Event Experiences - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology discuss their combined experiences at the event. When one room can hold robots, replica props and digital music, there is likely to be a lot of great experiences to discuss. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Kanad Sarkar - FTC Teacm 6433 Neutrinos - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Kanad Sarkar of FTC Team 6433 - Neutrinos. He discusses his time in the FIRST Robotics organization, his team's season so far and his plans post-season. #gcmakers #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Jon Adair - Tampa Hacker Space - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Jon Adair of the Tampa Hacker Space. The organization is designed to give makers of all kinds an opportunity to use equipment that they might not be able to afford on their own, while fostering the ideals of the maker movement. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Cameron Eckelberry - The Digital Berry-Bot - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Cameron Eckelberry, a digital artist who goes by the name The Digital Berry-Bot. He discusses how he got into music, why he does it and his inspirations. He also talks about his entertaining live performance style. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Teresa Morales - Sarasota Scientific Instruments - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Teresa Morales of Sarasota Scientific Instruments. A certified teacher, Teresa works with schools, home schooling and educational organizations to help bring science to life by bringing equipment and experiments to them. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

Terri Willingham - Life Unlimited - Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014

2014-04-05

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Terri Willingham, Event Coordinator for Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014. Her organization, Life Unlimited, organized the event to help promote the growing maker movement within Tampa, Florida. The 3rd annual event has grown in popularity each year, with 2014 being the first 2-day event, also moving to the Fairgrounds. Terri discusses why the maker movement is so important to Tampa. #gcmakers

watch on YouTube

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FTC Team 7477 Super 7 - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Nikhil Chittaluru and Varadha Anandakumar of FTC Team 7477 - Super 7. They discuss their experiences in FLL (FIRST Lego League), their transition to FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) and their reactions to FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Terri Willingham - FIRST in Central Florida - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Terri Willingham, Regional Director of FIRST in Central Florida. They discuss her involvement in and the state of the FIRST program, both in Florida and worldwide. They also discuss how anyone who is interested in getting involved in the program can, whether an alumni or not. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Michael Holman - Team 1902 Exploding Bacon - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Michael Holman, Mentor for FRC Team 1902 - Exploding Bacon and Electronic Arts employee. They discuss EA's participation in FIRST, including their sponsorship of his kids' team. They also talk about the team, its challenges and their odd and wonderful dedication to their brand, as well as the overall feeling of FIRST and why it is so important for the program to be well-funded and well-received. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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F5 Live Competition Reactions - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology discuss their combined reactions to the competition, the game and the coverage so far. Drawing on 15+ years of reference material, Scott speaks about the differences between the game then and now, while Nicholas talks about the interesting differences between FRC and FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge). #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Griff Pattrock - Team 4024 Jokers - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Griff Pattrock, Captain of FRC Team 4024 - Jokers. They discuss the beginning of the team, including him, as a sophomore, being the oldest member of the rookie season, as well as how season 3, this year, has been compared to their first season. They also discuss how the build process differs when you do and do not have mentors and sponsors, as well as the decision process for building this season's robot for the game. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Joseph Hoot Coachman - Team 21 ComBBAT - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Joseph Hoot Coachman, Team Member of FRC Team 21 - ComBBAT. They discuss some of the team's long-standing history, along with comparing the team number to other FRC teams in the competition. They also talk about Hoot's love for robotics, how he got started and the roles and responsibilities he has on the team. Finally, Hoot tells the crew about some of the crazier things he's seen in the competition so far. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Adam Behar - Team 2383 Ninjineers - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Adam Behar, Mascot of FRC Team 2383 - Ninjineers. They discuss how the Ninjineers helped out the PLuGHiTz crew at RoboCon, why team spirit and enthusiasm matter so much in the competition and some of the challenges the team has faced so far. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Nicholas DiMeo - Competition Reactions - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talks about his experiences with the FIRST organization over the past 6 months. Having not grown up with the program, most of the wonders of FIRST are completely new. FRC in particular can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, but he is able to handle it like a champ! #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Joel Croteau - Team 5276 Edgar Allan Ohms - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Joel Croteau, Mentor of FRC Team 5276 - Edgar Allan Ohms. They discuss the nation's first known public library-based FRC team, their rookie season and the challenges of a large group spread out over large distance. They also discuss Joel's other role within FIRST, as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where he helps spread the FIRST program to low income schools. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Ivy Bennett Ford - Team 2425 Hydra - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Ivy Bennett Ford, Vice President of FRC Team 2425 - Hydra, as well as the Hillsborough High School Robotics Club. They discuss the school's incredible focus on robotics, with 7 separate robotics teams, including 3 FTC teams, in addition to the FRC program. They also talk about FIRST's offerings after high school. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Jason Bernstein - Team 79 Krunch - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Jason Bernstein, Vice President of FRC Team 79 - Krunch. They discuss the team's origins, early years and how this competition is going. They also talk about FIRST's offerings after high school. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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Greg Hale - Walt Disney Parks & Resorts - FIRST FRC Orlando Regional 2014

2014-03-14

Scott Ertz and Nicholas DiMeo from F5 Live: Refreshing Technology talk with Greg Hale, Chief Safety Officer for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and a member of the FIRST Robotics game design team. They discuss the founding of the FIRST organization, Disney's participation in the early days of the competition and why it is still incredibly important to the company. They also talk about the New Fantasyland at Disney World Orlando, the Disney Engineering YouTube channel and the Disney accelerator program. #omgrobots

watch on YouTube

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FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Hands-On

2014-02-16

The team from FLIR brought their product to the live show, but we wanted a closer look at the technology, so we sent Chris Miller out to put his hands on this unique case.

This iPhone case has the ability to take infrared thermal imagery and combine it with standard photos to create a unique and incredibly useful picture, right on your phone.

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Interview by Chris Miller (IdoNotes) of Spiked Studios.

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Canon EOS 70D - A DSLR Designed for Video

2014-02-08

Until now, no professional videographer would have considered recording video using a DSLR. The focus has never been designed for it, and the lenses and sensors are all designed to take perfect stills, with video added in as an after thought.

Canon has come out with the EOS 70D, which they describe as a game-changing DSLR. This is because it is the first time a DSLR has been designed with video as an integral feature, as opposed to added in because you can string still frames together.

Canon has released special Stepping Motor lenses and the "dual-pixel CMOS AF" sensor, both designed specifically to capture video, as opposed to stills.

Finally, the first DSLR a professional videographer can be proud to use.

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Interview by Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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Military Grade Wearable Camera from VIEVU [Live]

2014-02-03

VIEVU is a company that manufactures heavy duty, wearable cameras. Their general target market is military and law enforcement. In fact, over 3,000 agencies in 16 markets are already using their cameras.

The acceptance rate is because of its incredibly rugged design, waterproof aluminum housing and incredible light weight. Their current models have the ability to record for 2.5 hours on a charge, rechargeable through mini USB. You can also send photos and video directly to a smartphone or upload them to a computer through the USB connection.

Just because the devices are targeted for law enforcement doesn't mean you might not be interested. Pick up a VIEVU PRO right now for around $270.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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uPnP Forum - Connecting Devices Through Standards [Live]

2014-02-03

The Universal Plug and Play forum is meant for those networking devices together, but consumers have to know that there is someone out there working on their behalf. As more devices are being networked together, from cameras to phones and even door locks, the universal ability to use those devices is important.

uPnP came by to talk about their work to ensure when you buy a wireless device, it will work with what you already have. We all know there are companies out there, such as Apple, who refuse to follow standards for as long as they can, or until the consumer revolution comes, but uPnP is trying to make it more difficult for that to happen.

Find out about all the great work the uPnP does for technology standards on their website.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and [tondonbaine" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Tomorrowish Layered Screen Social DVR [Live]

2014-02-03

Most people have friends and social media contacts that post about a television show or movie as they watch it. It is so common that people who watch programs later end up disconnecting from social media for a while to prevent finding out about things ahead of time. For example, Nicholas DiMeo will go into a full social media blackout when the Giants play during the show.

But, just because you don't want to know ahead of time doesn't mean you want to miss the social engagement live viewers enjoy. That is what Tomorrowish comes in with the social media DVR. Now, you can enjoy a replay of social media as you watch pre-recorded content as if you were watching live, through a curated experience.

This layered DVR experience currently works with Hulu, TruTV and others. For more information on the technology, head over to their website and try it out.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Siemens MiniTek Hearing Aids [Live]

2014-02-03

First discovered on the showfloor, Siemens brings their MiniTek hearing aids to the live show. As Jeffrey says, Siemens has made the hearing aid cool.

With directional microphones, Bluetooth and external audio sources, this hearing aid can, in addition to the normal case, be used as a hands-free headset for a phone and also listening to music while exercising.

If you are in need of hearing aids, this device is one to talk to your hearing specialist about.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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Scanbuy Helps People Get the Information They Need [Live]

2014-02-03

Scanbuy is a mobile engagement company who, through QR codes, Microsoft Tags, NFC and object recognition, helps people find information about the products they want. Once the information is presented, the company can use the information gathered to help manufacturers better target their products.

For example, if a particular product is consistently scanned by phones with a Spanish language option, but the product is only available in English, the manufacturer can then create a Spanish-language product or packaging option.

The company currently receives an average of 40 data points per scan, meaning there is a lot of information that the product makers can access to make their products better for consumers.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Roocase Tablet Cases [Live]

2014-02-03

One of our more interesting interviews, Roocase showed up with a mascot - one of their Roo Girls. The company manufactures cases for electronics tablets and smartphones.

One of the useful features of the case shown off at the top of the interview is the rotating center for portrait and landscape. The rotating piece is removable, as well, allowing you to strap it to your arm for presentations or broadcasts.

In addition, we got to see an executive style portfolio case, which also features the rotating center piece. The case is removable from portfolio, again allowing for presentations, etc.

These cases are available right now, along with all of their other products.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and [tondonbaine" class="UpStreamLink">.

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QardioArm and QardioCore - Maintaining Heart Health [Live]

2014-01-31

Qardio is a series of digital health products designed to help people get a handle on their heart health. Currently there are two products in the line, demonstrated live on the show.

The QardioCore, available in June for $449, is a sensor that wraps around your chest and can provide clear, comprehensible data that assists your doctor with clinical assessment leading to optimal heart-health. This can prevent constant visits to the doctor if you are having issues with your heart, while the doctor can get all of the data that is required to keep you healthy.

The QardioArm, available for $99 pre-order, is an advanced blood pressure monitoring system. The device provides accurate, trackable information on your systolic and diastolic blood pressure right on your smartphone screen.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Don Baine, The Gadget Professor with assistance from Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Polaroid Joins Tradition with Technology [Live]

2014-01-31

Everyone knows Polaroid for the original instant print cameras, but in a world of digital cameras, Polaroid has found trouble remaining the company we all know and love. Luckily, there is hope.

The Polaroid Z2300 is a new entry in the Socialmatic line of cameras which combines the tradition of instant printing with digital photography. Either printing directly from the 10MP camera or printing over Wi-Fi from another device, you can enjoy and share your physical photos immediately.

They have also gotten into the action camera game with the Polaroid XS100, a 16MP waterproof camera that can connect to and be controlled by your smartphone.

Both of these cameras are available right now.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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Brinno Time-Lapse Cameras [Live]

2014-01-30

Brinno is an HDR lime-lapse camera that has the ability to record in multiple framerates, giving the ability to record all sorts of environments. From sunrise and sunset, to conference or construction projects, whatever you want to record, this little camera can do it.

Brinno runs on only 2 AA batteries and can run up to an entire day on a single set of batteries. You can even replace the lenses to ensure you get the perfect shot.

You can pick up the Brinno TLC200 right now, and check out the other cameras the company offers.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Pelican Vault - Whole Device Protection [Live]

2014-01-30

Pelican, a company long known for their electronics cases, has introduced a new line of mobile cases, the Vault. These cases fully enclose the device and protect it using military spec in drop tests up to 6 feet.

These full-enclosure cases are available for the iPhone and iPad mini and Air, with planned expansion into the Samsung Galaxy S5 soon. They include a built-in screen protector and also offer water, dust and shock resistance to the device.

If you live in a world, such as fire, medical, industrial, etc. where a highly protected device is essential, you can pick one of these Vault cases right now.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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OKIDOKEYS - Your phone becomes your key [Live]

2014-01-30

The race for the smart home is heating up, and OKIDOKEYS has a product to help eliminate the standard metal key. Their smart lock allows you to unlock your door with any phone using easily creatable and easily revocable keys.

This easy-to-install lock fits on top of any existing standard deadbolt, meaning there is no need to disassemble your existing lock, leaving you with the ability to still enter with your regular key. You can even add on NFC wristbands and keycards, increasing the versatility of this lock.

Whether you are a home owner, a timeshare manager or even run a pool, this lock could be for you and it is available now.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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Nixplay Eases Transition to Digital Frames [Live]

2014-01-30

We all have someone in our lives we would love to share our digital photos with, but who is just not ready for or interested in a computer. The NixPlay Cloud Frame is designed to help with that scenario, allowing you to upload photos to it remotely.

Another interesting usage is at a wedding reception. You could grant access to people from their smartphones and, as the night goes on, the frame, or frames, could constantly be receiving a stream of new photos that all can see.

One of the unique and really cool features is, if no one is in the room, the frame will turn itself off, preserving both the screen and power consumption. You can pick up one of the NixPlay Cloud frames, available now.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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News Republic - Smart News on All Platforms [Live]

2014-01-30

With over 800 publishers and availability on all major platforms, News Republic is a news application that everyone should check out. The UI is very attractive and focused on providing information that the user wants to read.

The company, Mobiles Republic, was at CES to show off the app and to attract new publishers. Using an advertising revenue sharing model, publishers might want to consider publishing through News Republic. If you are a content publisher, check out the video and contact the company. If you are a reader, download the app on whatever platform you have.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Netatmo June - Protecting You from the Sun [Live]

2014-01-29

While it may look like a plain bracelet, that is part of the plan. Not all wearable technology needs to scream "I'm wearing technology" and the Netatmo June will keep it quiet. This device does something unique in the wearable world, too: it helps protect you from sun exposure.

Using a Bluetooth LE connection to a smartphone and a metal alloy face that looks like a crystal cut, this device can track your sun exposure and alert you to dangerous levels. The charm can also be removed from the bracelet and attached to the body or worn on a chain, as long as it has normal sun exposure.

This is great for a day at the beach, an amusement park or any vacation, when we usually forget about how long we are outside, but can be worn every day to prevent normal over exposure. June will be out just before summer, so presumably in time for June.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Keeping Truck Drivers Healthy with Technology [Live]

2014-01-27

When you think fitness product, your probably don't go immediately to truck drivers, though perhaps it should. National surveys suggest that 86% of drivers are overweight and 57% are obese. This makes sense considering the incredibly long stints that truck drivers take on, almost entirely sitting and laying down.

An employee for Prime Inc., a trucking company, came up with his solution to the problem after personally gaining 15 pounds joining the company. The product measures small, incremental changes in the drivers and alerts them to things they need to change to maintain or improve their health.

This product is so impactful on the health of truck drivers that they received a Digital Health Award because of the average 25 pound loss per driver.

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Live segment by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Amps & Watts - Speakers and Batteries for Mobile Phones [Live]

2014-01-27

One of the big ideas inside of our company is that where things suck is where the opportunity for products exists. One thing that sucks is playing music out and about on your smartphone and having the phone die.

Obviously, using the phone constantly is going to drain the battery faster, and as more music moves to streaming with services like Xbox Music, that requires even more power. How can you solve this problem at the park, for example?

Amps & Watts is the answer to this question. Producing a Bluetooth speaker that also powers your phone, Amps & Watts has certainly taken the problem on head-first. And, if portability isn't your issue, they offer products in a more Hi-Fi range for home or office.

While this might not be a problem everyone has, it is common and this is the perfect solution.

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Live segment by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Chug Plug Powers Your Macbook for 4 Extra Hours [Live]

2014-01-27

One of the products that we found on the floor that we felt the need to bring on the live show was Lenmar's Chug Plug, the only external battery for the MacBook Air and Pro. Lenmar made a very smart move deciding to display at CES because a large percentage of their target market was on-site for the event. Because it is so relevant to the CES croud, we awarded them a TPN.tv Innovator Pick.

So, how does it work? The battery is designed and certified by Apple to connect to the magnetic power connectors on the MacBook series and can add an extra 4 hours of power to the machine. That means when you're at a coffee shop writing your "big screenplay" or your next novel, you can power your computer all day without having to wait for a power outlet to open up.

You'll be able to pick up one of these batteries for $159 when they become available.

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Live segment by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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HeartMath Makes Handling Stress Easier with iOS [Live]

2014-01-27

Managing stress can be incredibly difficult in a modern world full of pressures. When you have HeartMath, however, managing stress becomes significantly easier. This biosensor plugs into the headphone jack on an iPhone and clips to your ear and communicates with the paired app.

Combining blood oxygenation level with pulse rate, using a special algorithm, the app is able to determine your stress level. From there, directed by an interactive on-screen dial, the app gives suggestions on breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you level out your emotional stress response.

If you have trouble handling stress, pick up a HeartMath sensor, available now for $99.

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Live segment by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Chris Miller (IdoNotes) of Spiked Studios.

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FYI Watches - A Designer Smartwatch [Live]

2014-01-27

Geneva Watch Group, one of the largest designers of watches in the world, was frustrated with the lack of visual design involved in the emerging smartwatch market. Where there is something that sucks comes the inspiration for a product, and so the FYI Watch line was born.

The FYI started with visual design, creating a stunning looking watch; something for which Geneva is known. Offering several faces, bands and colors there is an attractive FYI for anyone. But, behind the beauty is a full-featured Bluetooth enabled smartwatch. Text, call and email alerts, plus a proximity alarm to let you know you are leaving your phone behind all make this smartwatch, available now, a perfect balance.

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Live segment by Jamie Davis, The Podmedic and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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Neat Scans Your Important Files to the Cloud [Live]

2014-01-27

Scanning paper documents is a great way to keep receipts, contracts, etc. organized and Neat has long been associated with document scanning and organizing. In fact, their product is easy enough to use that we've been using one for years.

Where do the documents get stored, though? Usually somewhere on your hard drive, meaning if the computer goes away because of theft, damage, etc. your documents go with it. You could set the Neat to scan to a OneDrive folder, but what if it could handle all of that for you?

Neat Connect: Direct to Cloud, a document scanner that scans directly to the cloud. Able to handle 15 business cards or receipts or 50 pages of regular documentation at a time, this scanner can certainly simply your home or office life.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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My ithlete Helps Determine How to Exercise [Live]

2014-01-27

Finding out how long to exercise is a challenge, even for the professionals. The team at ithlete have created a product to help you determine when you should exercise and for how long to maximize results.

For example, if you haven't slept well, an exercise session might not be as effective. Adding in the My ithlete finger sensor can even tell you what types of exercises are good at the moment. A green light suggests intense workout, red indicates more recovery time is needed.

The sensor, co-developed by the University of Sydney, and app are available now for $85.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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World Wide Web Consortium Celebrates 25 Years of the Web [Live]

2014-01-27

It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first standards for what would become the World Wide Web. In the time since March 12, 1989 the rules have changed a little and the industry has changed a lot.

The W3C is now in charge of the standards that are supposed to be followed on the Web, despite their incapability to enforce those standards. In the next 25 years, as music, healthcare, media content and more go online, the W3C expects to be involved in more of the world. As more software moves to native apps, however, the Web itself is on its way out.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Chris Montera, The Geeky Medic.

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MXL: Enhancing Mobile Phone Sound Recording [Live]

2014-01-27

MXL's Mobile Media microphones are designed to enhance the sound of videos recorded on a smartphone. Perry Goldstein said,

People will put up with grainy video, put up with shaky video - not centered. As soon as they can't hear, they shut it off.

It's true, too. Any time I see a video with terrible audio, I move on. This device, which plugs into the microphone jack on any phone, allows you to mount the phone and hold it with a mounted external microphone. You can also monitor the audio as it is recording.

When combined with a top-quality camera phone, like the Lumia 1020, this could be an excellent replacement for a larger consumer video camera.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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Mobile Help: The Panic Button Enhanced [Live]

2014-01-27

We've all seen the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial, and gag, enough times to know what it is about. We've probably also all thought, "What if she had been knocked unconscious?" The answer, of course, is that she would have just laid there and no one would have known.

That is why Mobile Help is here to change the panic alert. Instead of just hitting a button when you need help, this pendant uses sensors to know if the wearer has fallen and can alert EMTs to the location of the incident.

In addition, this pendant is cellular-enabled and had a GPS tracker included, which means it will work just about anywhere you might go. This is a nice change from the ones that are tethered to your home phone.

The complete system is available now for $40 per month.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Daniel J. Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast.

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SANUS iPad Mount and Stand [Live]

2014-01-27

SANUS, a company known for its home theater mounts, is venturing into the mobile space with the VTM1 iPad stand. This stand allows you to set the iPad upright at an angle that makes the device useful or allows you to mount the device.

Combined with the Magfit case, you can mount the iPad on a wall or under a cabinet. The stand/mount is available now at a suggested price of $119.

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Live segment by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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