2020 - Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - Events

Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

2020

CES is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years - the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

Show Episodes

CES 2020 Pre-Show - Episode 547

2020-01-05

This week, we discuss our predictions for CES 2020, changes to the TPN live show, and memories of past CES broadcasts.

Lumen - PLUGHITZ Live Presents (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-14

PLUGHITZ Live Presents awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to Lumen.

Lumen is a breath analyzer, but with a different purpose from what you may be thinking. Rather than being used to analyze whether or not you are drunk, Lumen is used to determine information about your metabolism. The company claims that with a single breath they can give you information about the effectiveness of exercise and more. They do this by determining whether you are currently burning carbs or fat based on a CO2 sensor and flow meter.

The science behind the device is not new. A similar process has been in use in hospitals and sports facilities for years. Lumen is bringing the concept to consumers for the first time. Whether you are actively trying to lose weight or just looking to improve your nutrition, Lumen can help.

To get started, you use the sensor to determine your metabolism throughout your day. This allows the system to determine how you are affected by activity, sleep, and more. Based on your readings, the connected app can give you a recommended meal plan, including when to eat. Before you workout, you can also use the sensor to determine whether you are in a good position to exercise or if you need to fuel up first. When you're done with your workout, run another test to see how your body was affected. This will allow you and the app to help optimize future workouts and meals to be the most effective.

All of this data combines together to form your Lumen Flex Score. This score indicates how effective your metabolism is for your lifestyle and health. Keeping an eye on this score will allow you to track your success and help with sustaining results.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Lumen is available now. The regular retail is $349, but the company is currently running a New Year Sale for $299.

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Voiceitt - The Tech Ranch (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-14

The Tech Ranch awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to Voiceitt.

Over the past few years, we have seen a variety of products that provide language translation services. These products are great for traveling abroad or if you find yourself in a situation where you don't speak the language. Most of these products require communication within a very limited set of parameters in which even strong accents can be a problem.

But what if you communicate in a non-traditional way? How can you easily communicate with people who are not used to your style? Millions of people have vocal disabilities, due to stroke, cerebral palsy, and other causes. That is where Voiceitt comes in - it provides a way to verbalize communication for people of all abilities. The product is based on the idea that verbal communication is an essential human need, whether you're ordering food or telling someone "I love you." For those who have limited speech capabilities, the limitations are difficult to overcome.

Voiceitt is designed specifically to understand and respond to non-standard and dysarthric speech. This is accomplished through a mobile application, which is currently in a closed beta phase. It allows for face-to-face, real-time communication with friends, family, and people around you. This can bring an aspect of everyday life for most that was previously unavailable, helping to build stronger and more meaningful connections.

If you are one of more than 10 million people in the United States or Europe who suffer from speech disabilities or are the caretaker of one of the 8 percent of children with a temporary or consistent communication disorder and would like to join the beta program, you can apply to join on their website.

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MicroVision - The Gadget Professor (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-15

The Gadget Professor awards his TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to MicroVision.

Over the past few years, the cost of projection technology has come down significantly. That has been paired with the size of the technology getting smaller. On Black Friday 2019, we saw pico projectors being offered for less than $100. However, these devices don't provide a lot of value for most consumers. That's because the way we interact with our computing technology has changed, as well.

Most people expect the screens in their life to be touch. Nearly all laptops, definitely all phones and tablets, and even a lot of desktop (all-in-one) computers offer touch input. Projection screens, however, still require external input - that is until now. MicroVision has developed the Interactive Projection Engine - a very small hardware array that allows developers to produce devices with touch-enabled projection.

The demo device we got to see allowed for nearly any standard video input and computing output to connect to a device. We saw the projector connected to a phone with impressive touch recognition capabilities. But, the possibilities are endless, especially when connected to a computer. Even in our portable broadcast studio, this projector would make traveling easier, because it would eliminate the need for monitors.

Imagine being a business traveler, maybe you're a salesperson. You don't know what your client might have in a conference room. You don't want to pack a full projector, but the pico projectors tend to be too dim. This technology, however, is laser-powered, making it possible to use it in standard lighting. We even saw it on our wall in the studio with our lighting and the light of the convention center.

The demo device is available for developers through an application. The company is working with manufacturers to produce commercial products based on the technology.

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URGONight - Talking Sound (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-15

The Talking Sound awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to URGONight.

Have you ever had a period of time where you just couldn't sleep at night? Maybe a week leading up to a big event like CES. Maybe you've got a big project at work that you're worried about. Maybe you can't figure out what's going on, you just can't sleep. That's where URGONight comes in. Their product is a training device for your brain that helps you learn to get into the right state to sleep.

Rather than the common scenario of wearing a device while you sleep, which can negatively affect your sleep, URGONight is worn during the day. Even better, it is worn for only a few minutes per day. It does this using an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor combined with brain exercises on the connected app. The device is based on existing technology that was previously only available to those who took the time and expense to go to a sleep clinic.

Early testers seem to love the device. The fact that it doesn't require wearing the device to bed is seemingly the most popular feature. The fact that it doesn't use any wave emissions or sounds is a big deal, too, though. Because it doesn't try to make any changes through the device itself, it can create ease of mind for the user. And, even without any electronic stimulation, users could see lasting results, thanks to the guided exercises. Those exercises are recommended based on the readings of the device with the intention to help you sleep faster and better.

URGONight is not currently publicly available, but it is coming. If you want more information about the company, the product, or want to sign up for updates, you can check out the company's website.

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Wonder Painter - Tech Podcasts Network Best of CES 2020 Award

2020-01-15

The Tech Podcasts Network team awards its TPN Best of CES 2020 Award to Wonder Painter.

As a kid, almost everyone imagined themselves as the protagonist in their favorite stories. Heck, most adults do it when they read. However, those picture books never actually feature your face, right? Wonder Painter has created a technology that can directly bring any drawing or photo to life. The technology can allow publishers to use the reader's drawing or photo as an integral part of their storytelling experience.

Imagine a story about two kids going on an adventure - it's a fairly standard kids book concept. However, using Wonder Painter's technology, that story can feature you and your best friend as the kids going on said adventure. During the story, the two of you need a horse to get across a large field. Simply draw your own horse and the drawing comes to life as your transportation. This is nearly every kid's dream scenario and it is now a possibility.

The company has published a few demo apps to the Apple App Store to show off the basics of what their technology can do. While these demos are a ton of fun, the really important part is the technology. It is available in a platform-agnostic way, making it possible to build for the web, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and more. The company licenses this technology to content creators to allow them to make their own products and services more interactive. They are currently working with LG, Baidu, Alibaba, and more to make interactive applications a reality.

If you want to see the technology in action, check out the Wonder Painter apps in the App Store or the company's website. You can also learn about the SDK, Cloud service, and ask for a private demo of the development tech.

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Intel's New NUC Direction - Episode 214

2020-01-26

This week, Avram Piltch talks about the Intel NUC and the future direction of the product line. In the past, the company has released a limited array of models and configuration options to correspond with its processor upgrades. While the line has never been incredibly popular, it has been consistently stable.

This year, the company announced a change of direction, but one that is also familiar. The next generation of NUC will no longer be just an Intel-branded product. Instead, it will become a product standard, powered by the Intel NUC Compute Element - a self-contained computing card. These cards will plug into a daughterboard for power and provide the essentials of the computer. The manufacturers, including Razer and Adata, will provide both fully built and bare-bones models that customers can customize.

These systems can be upgraded, unlike previous models. They support discrete graphics cards for the first time. There are also upgradable RAM and SSD. The biggest upgradable component, though, is the Compute Element itself. When you need more power, you can simply replace the Compute Element and the system is upgraded.

If this idea sounds familiar, it's because it is. The concept is very similar to Intel's Compute Card, right down to the name. The Compute Card was designed to power embedded devices, such as smart TVs. The idea was that, rather than replacing the television, you could simply replace the Card. This would, theoretically, avoid the situation where Hulu and Netflix recently stopped supporting older smart TVs.

Like the Computer Card, the NUC Compute Element sounds like it is a solution looking for a problem. The price is higher than a regular PC while being only slightly smaller and being powered by laptop hardware. The video cards may be desktop quality, but the processors are not. Intel is going to have trouble finding an audience for this product.

RoboSense: Autonomous Driving With LiDAR Technology @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

CES was back this year with some amazing innovations, advanced technologies, and determination to make the world a better place through technology. Every year thousands of people make their way to this amazing event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association.

CES has always been one of the most prominent platforms where tech companies can showcase their new and innovative products. This year was no different. The trade show was held from 7th January to 10th January and saw tech companies from all over the world participate in the event.

We heard from many different companies at the event. One of the companies that got our attention was RoboSense. We sat with their representative, Dr. Leilei Shinohara, at CES 2020 to know more about their company and their innovative product.

Robosense's LiDAR technology


RoboSense was founded in 2014 and since then the company has been working on bringing high levels of innovation in autonomous driving. The company was promoting its new sensor with LiDAR technology at CES 2020.

For those of you who are not aware of LiDAR technology, the concept is all about reflecting light off an object and then using a sensor to measure the distance or range.

The project for RoboSense's latest sensor started three years and is still in the testing phase. Their LiDAR technology allows autonomous cars to detect other cars and objects from a long distance. Dr. Shinohara also shared that the technology is equally as effective in real-time.

Human organs, like the eyes and brain, are very complex. However, human errors can sometimes cause accidents. RoboSense sensors, once installed in an autonomous car, can help reduce the number of accidents on the road.

How does the RoboSense sensor work?


RoboSense sensors work on LiDAR technology combined with artificial intelligence. This means that if your vehicle has RoboSense sensors installed, then it will not only measure the distance from other vehicles, it will take into account the environment, weather, time of day, and many other similar factors. LiDAR technology helps in saving the vehicle from any type of collision by measuring the distance between the vehicle and the other body. The Artificial Intelligence aspect, on the other hand, helps in making the vehicle learn more about the surroundings. The artificial intelligence technology that RoboSense uses is very well trained and tends to learn more with the collection of more data.

How is RoboSense different from other companies out there?


There are many companies in the market that offer technology for autonomous vehicles, so we were inclined to ask about any competitive advantage that RoboSense has over its competitors. Dr. Shinohara told us that there are many companies that focus on LiDAR sensor hardware. RoboSense, on the other hand, offers a complete package. It is not just about the hardware but the AI program as well. RoboSense LiDAR technology is also paired with artificial intelligence which optimizes the functionality of the sensor.

RoboSense technology is still in its testing stage. They have partnered with different autonomous vehicle companies in China who are testing their product and continuously helping them improve their LiDAR sensor. It is speculated that autonomous vehicles will become very common in the coming years and innovative companies like RoboSense are going to enjoy a very prominent place in the market.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.
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Nuheara unites quality audio with hearing aid technology @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

David Cannington is the CEO of Nuheara, a "smart hearing" company, whose potentially life-changing audio enhancement device combines the benefits of a premium headset with many of the benefits of a hearing aid. One of every six people has some degree of mild to moderate hearing loss. says Cannington, and Nuheara can provide customized relief along with a high-quality listening experience for people experiencing the early stages of hearing challenges.

With Nuheara, you can refine your listening - and hearing - experience with a companion assessment app, that automatically calibrates the earbuds to your personal hearing profile. Additionally, the device allows you to further customize your hearing experience with respect to location or situation, including speech and noise control, EQ frequency, directional focus and more. On the audiophile side, the headsets provide high fidelity, Siri and Google Assist, hands-free calling, and all the benefits you expect from a premium headset.

While not technically a hearing aid, nor FDA approved as a medical device, Nuheara is classified as a "smart hearing device". It utilizes a proprietary hearing personalization system called Ear ID to customize solutions for mild to moderate hearing loss challenges in common situations like crowded places. Where background noise - the "cocktail effect", or the "pub deafness challenge" in Cannington's native Australia - may be an issue, Nuheara employs Speech and Noise Control that process the sound aggregated through each of the earbuds three microphones, drops the background noise and amplifies speech. Additionally, the earbuds have a directional focus that zeroes in on audio directly in front of the listener.

The key to the Nuheara experience, Ear ID, is a tonal hearing assessment application that employs a standardized hearing assessment algorithm commonly used by audiologists. The initial assessment takes 8 to 10 minutes, and the results are used to calibrate the earbuds for each user. Nuheara earbuds are conveniently stored in a charging station, and at full charge can provide five hours of Bluetooth streaming, eight hours of hearing processing if used as a hearing product. The charging station storage case, fully charged, can provide three hours of charging time for an on-the-go total of 20 hours Bluetooth streaming and 32 hours of hearing processing.

While not intended to replace hearing aids, Cannington believes Nuheara has a role to play in making hearing health more accessible and affordable particularly for those in the early stages of hearing challenges. Nuheara earbuds retail for $399 a pair. Visit the company's website to learn more.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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WhiteFox Defense's DroneFox is protecting your airspace @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

As drones and other multi-rotor flying devices have become more common, so have the problems that come along with them. Privacy and security have both taken a hit because of the ability for these devices to enter areas that are supposed to be private because of their ability to go above fences and walls. WhiteFox Defense is looking to help solve that problem with DroneFox.

What is DroneFox?


WhiteFox Defense has created a product called DroneFox, whose purpose is to protect your private airspace. This could be used to create a virtual detection dome around an office building, the Super Bowl stadium, a prison, or even a military facility. DroneFox looks for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and reports them to the appropriate people. This is accomplished by pinging the air for the unique RF signature of each UAS.

Who is DroneFox for?


Take, for example, the airspace around and above a prison. In the past, it would have been difficult to violate that space and even harder to use it to deliver contraband, such as drugs or even weapons. Today, however, using commercially available drones, the process is almost offensively easy. This obviously causes issues for the facility, including in the safety and security of both inmates and staff. But, by using the DroneFox system, the issue can be minimized.

How is DroneFox used?


The prison can use the technology to help them detect objects flying in their airspace that should not be there. If an unauthorized device is detected, someone on staff will receive an alert. From there, they can determine how to respond to the threat. They could meet it outside or they might want to use a jammer to disable the drone in the air. In the case of a more secure location, like a military facility, they might even want to shoot the drone out of the air.

To learn more about DroneFox, check out the WhiteFox Defense website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.
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Drinkworks - Geek News Central (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-14

Geek News Central awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to Drinkworks by Keurig.

Nearly everyone knows who Keurig is. Their pod-based coffee makers changed the way homes and offices make coffee. You can purchase Pods directly from the company, or from a variety of companies who all make Pods for their own style of coffee. No longer do people have to portion out the right amount of grounds for a single cup of coffee, or even worse, make a full pot.

Last year, the company announced a new product with a similar goal - Drinkmaker from Drinkworks. Rather than focusing on coffee, like the standard Keurig devices do, Drinkmaker is a pod-based bartender. The Pods that you purchase won't come with coffee grounds, but will instead come with all of the ingredients to make an alcoholic drink. The variety of drinks available is already impressive, with everything from a Cosmopolitan and White Russian to Peach Sangria available on their website.

Like the standard Keurig product, you simply place a Pod of your choice into the machine, press the start button, and it will produce the drink. The biggest benefit of the device is that the drink will always be properly proportioned with quality ingredients without any work on your part. It's perfect for when you have friends or family over and don't want to spend your time bartending but instead socializing.

At CES 2020, the company showed off the final product and announced general availability. Drinkmaker is available now for $299 with free shipping. Because of certain restrictions, shipping is only available to certain states, but the company is working to expand its availability as quickly as possible. Drink Pods are available now starting at $9.99 and ranging to $15.99.

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THE BOX reinvents shipping to save the environment @ CES 2020

2020-02-19

Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, LivingPackets designed THE BOX to reduce the amount of waste we all know shipping can produce. THE BOX is a reusable and smart packaging solution that can be used as an alternative to cardboard boxes in the shipping process. Whereas a normal cardboard box has a single life between warehouse and destination, THE BOX can be used and shipped up to 1000 times. At the end of its life cycle, LivingPackets will make repairs and refurbish it so that it could be used an additional 1000 times. This environmentally-friendly alternative also saves up to 90% of carbon dioxide emissions.

THE BOX can hold up to 25 liters of material, equivalent to approximately two shoe boxes. It can also fold to send smaller items such as paper documents and laptops. THE BOX is equipped with a holding mechanism inside that eliminates the alternative toxic filling materials (such as paper, plastic, styrofoam, and air-filled bubbles, both large and small) used in traditional packaging. A temperature sensor, shock sensor, and a weight scale are featured inside THE BOX to ensure that the quality is maintained and it is within weight.

Alexander Cotte, co-founder and CEO of LivingPackets, claims that THE BOX optimizes existing shipping processes. All you do is place your item inside, close it, and enter the address of its destination. You can then track your package in real-time from point A to point B using their app on your smart device. Labels are also a thing of the past; the E Ink display replaces the printed label and updates per traveling destination. It can also be used to show instructions once the package has arrived at its destination.

After four years in development and 37 patents, THE BOX is an affordable, environmentally friendly, and innovative solution that will not cost more than traditional packaging. No more breaking down cardboard boxes to throw out or, if you're up for it, recycling.

THE BOX is currently in beta testing with the company's partners. For more information on the product or the company, please visit the LivingPackets website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Hiber: IoT connectivity in the furthest corners of the globe @ CES 2020

2020-02-19

Hiber is a Dutch company that works to provide IoT - Internet of Things - connectivity in remote and rural areas. Only 10% of the world has connectivity right now, says Erik Wienk, Managing Director, which is about 90% of the people. But the remaining 90% of the world needs to use satellite communications technology. IoT is expensive and power-hungry, though, so Hiber has combined terrestrial and satellite communications into a satellite network with the power consumption and cost-saving levels of land-based communications. They have their own satellite network, with two satellites currently in orbit and two more planned.

Hiber systems are used in agricultural technology, logistics and supply chain systems, and mining environments. Industry sensors connect to Hiber modems and antennae to transmit data like soil moisture or temperature via satellite. The company hopes to be a solution to the big challenges we have today in situations like food waste, due to poor monitoring of production or transportation. Hiber technology can be used to monitor beehives, 70 million of which are in remote areas, with a mortality rate of 40% in unmonitored areas. With monitoring, mortality rates can be reduced by 10%, with a commensurate positive impact on crops.

The company currently has about 70 pilot projects underway, with a major focus on agricultural monitoring and transportation logistics, as well as smart energy. Hiber has been nominated as a National Icon by the Dutch Government and attended CES as part of the Dutch Innovation booth. The experience has provided them with new ways to look at things, like connected beehives, that they might not have fully considered previously. As they solve problems at the edge, and others learn how Hiber solves connectivity issues with 4G and with LoRa (Long Range low power wireless communications technology), and it hopes to become the standard globally. To learn more, visit the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Minnow helps you find TV shows across all of your services @ CES 2020

2020-02-19

With all of the many ways we can watch television these days, between broadcast, cable, and streaming, there are a ton of shows to watch. Some will premiere a new episode every week on the same day, while others will drop an entire season at one time. This can make following what you're watching more difficult. Fortunately, Minnow is here to help you keep track.

Using the Minnow platform, which is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, and Android TV, you can track the shows that you are currently watching and get ideas for other shows to watch. By entering which streaming services you use, you can get a single interface to browse and track the shows that are available on your services. When you find a show you want to watch, the app will open the correct service and, if you are currently in progress, will return you to where you left off.

The idea of a single place to find out where a show or movie is available to stream has existed before, but with Minnow flipping the script, you get a new and exciting way to browse what you already use. Being able to see only the shows that are on the services you subscribe to, but in a single interface, can eliminate the process of opening Netflix and scrolling, then opening Hulu and doing it all over again, only to decide you want to watch something on Amazon Prime Video (don't lie - you do it, too).

Minnow is available now for free on mobile, Apple TV, and Android TV, with new platforms, like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, web, and smart TVs, coming in the near future. To find out more about Minnow, or to download the app today, check out the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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LOVO makes computer voices sound natural and emotional @ CES 2020

2020-02-20

Whether it's for videogames, e-learning, or nearly any other sort of media, the best way to make it engaging is with speech. But, getting access to a talented voice actor can be difficult and, if you're making something in your home, expensive. And computer voices just don't have the same level of engagement, as there is usually no emotion to their voice. That might be changing, however, with LOVO.

This new platform uses artificial intelligence to create realistic computer-powered voices that can read any script. Most importantly, they can read the script with inflections and emotions that traditional computer-generated voices simply cannot. When you hear the voices, which you can in the interview, you'll be as surprised as we were that they were not recorded by a human.

LOVO offers over 50 unique voices, categorized by voice tone, age range, and where they are most likely to be used, such as audiobooks, advertisements, and videogames. This gives you the ability to find the right voice for the right purpose without having to listen to each one, similar to how stock photos or music are arranged. To make it even better, the company can clone a voice, allowing you to have scripts read by a particular person even when they are unavailable to read.

In addition to the traditional interface, LOVO also offers an API. This allows developers to integrate the company's world-class voice services directly into their applications, without having to pre-render all of the content. Imagine a newsreader that can read articles from an RSS feed in a human voice. But, the platform doesn't have to record voices for every article that is published but can instead generate the audio the first time someone wants to hear it.

LOVO is available now, with a free demo plan for personal use, and various other offerings starting at $19.99 per month. To learn more about LOVO, check out the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Bebefit infant carrier - comfortable for baby and caregiver @ CES 2020

2020-02-20

Monit Bebefit is an ergonomic smart baby carrier designed to reduce stress on the back and joints of parents and caregivers. The infant carrier was developed by Monit CEO Tony Park after he suffered a back injury that required a 10-day hospital stay as a result of carrying his own infant daughter.

While he found a variety of infant carriers on the market, he didn't see any that were as uniquely adjustable with respect to weight distribution as the carrier he ultimately created. The Bebefit carrier can support up to 100 lbs., providing redundancy of safety for the average baby. The carrier can be adjusted in multiple ways, from one-handed opening and closing of the hip seat to one-button switching of weight-bearing from the shoulders to the back. The carrier also includes a Key Weight Shift Mechanism that equally distributes weight to the shoulders as the baby's center of gravity moves downward while being carried. Additionally, the carrier is made of non-abrasive and hypo-allergenic materials that are safe for babies and those who care for them.

The Bebefit infant carrier is made of water-resistant, quick-drying 100% polypropylene fabric with a low thermal conductivity that makes it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The fabric is 40% lighter than cotton, anti-microbial & odor resistant. The carrier comes in three colors, Navy, Pink and Gray, and is sleekly designed to complement everything from casual clothing to business suits, and has an expandable side pocket for storing personal items. It also folds compactly for storage between uses.

Bebefit is recognized as "hip-healthy" for babies by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. The carrier retails for $169 online and comes with a variety of accessories including warmers, teething pads, and extra inserts. For more information, visit the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Time-C is a beautiful Swiss watch with a lot of smarts @ CES 2020

2020-02-20

During CES, wearable technology is all the rage. Across the show, you'll find the standard fare, like smartwatches, fitness bands, sleep trackers and the like. However, every once in a while you encounter something truly unique - something that doesn't quite fit into another category. That is exactly what we found with the Time-C from IEVA.

The Time-C is, by its very nature, fashion-forward. At first glance, it is a beautiful watch that could easily go with casual and formal attire. It's a Swiss-made watch, meaning it is going to be a quality timepiece. However, this watch is far more than meets the eye. It is smart, but not in the way you might initially predict. It doesn't show notifications or allow you to interact with the apps on your phone. Instead, Time-C is designed to improve your health and lifestyle, as well as your fashion sense.

The watch features a myriad of sensors, ranging from temperature and humidity to pollution and noise. These sensors are specifically chosen and designed to detect environmental stressors around you. It also measures your physical activity, heart rate, etc., which can also be environmental stressors. Once the readings are collected, the platform translates all of that data into recommendations to improve your beauty, wellness, lifestyle, and nutrition.

Within the app, you will see a beauty regiment, programs for nutrition, etc. These rituals will adjust over time as the device gathers more information about your daily life - your activity, environment, and other factors. All of the recommendations that are made can be fulfilled entirely within the platform, making it a one-stop process.

The Time-C follows the Twin-C, which they refer to as a connected jewel. This product is similar in intention, without the watch face. It is designed to be worn in a variety of ways, such as a broach, bracelet, attached to a scarf, etc. From a fashion perspective, it is more versatile, while the Time-C is more day-to-day practical for many.

The Twin-C is available now and ranges from $150 to $270. The Time-C is expected to hit the market around the end of Quarter 2 (around June 2020) and will retail somewhere in the range of $1000. For more information about the company and its products, check out their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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The EcoFlow DELTA brings power to a dark situation @ CES 2020

2020-02-21

If you live in a place where the weather gets dangerous, like the Gulf Coast, you know just how important having a backup for power can be. Following a hurricane a few years ago, several of our team were without any power for over a week. In Florida, that means more than just food in the freezer spoiling - it can also mean health issues from the heat. Standard battery systems are too small, and generators require gasoline and maintenance. But, the EcoFlow DELTA is a product that finds the best of both worlds.

EcoFlow DELTA Basics


The EcoFlow DELTA is a large rechargeable battery designed specifically for those powerless situations. Unlike small packs, the DELTA is designed to be able to run your lights, refrigerator, CPAP machine, and more when the need arises. The DELTA is for more than just emergencies, however. You can use it to bring power along on a camping trip, without the need for the noisy generator, or running your car battery down.

EcoFlow DELTA Specs


The battery features a capacity of 1300Wh and an output of 1800W. The battery can charge from completely dead to 80 percent in only an hour. When combined with solar panels, through the universal solar input port, you can even keep the battery itself charging while it is also keeping your home running. On one side of the system is a panel of standard electrical outlets to power your appliances and necessities. On the other side is a panel of USB ports to keep your electronics, like phones and tablets, powered. You can even use it to give a small charge to an electric vehicle.

The EcoFlow DELTA is available now in several configurations. You can but it on its own for $1399, or in bundles with portable solar panels. To find out more about the products or to place an order, check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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MONIT Adult Diaper Sensor reduces elder health risks @ CES 2020

2020-02-21

While baby care technology is a popular category, one area that seems to be missed is elder care. All elder care facilities have certain common issues, with one of the most common being incontinence. As we get older, it is fairly common to have problems controlling our body, but for a care facility, managing this for multiple patients can be a real challenge. Luckily, MONIT Adult Diaper Sensor is designed to help.

Smart Adult Diaper Sensor


The technology is designed to help care facilities manage and monitor the diaper status of their patients. Currently, facilities either expect the patients to report when their diaper is soiled, which is not always possible, or check during their rounds. This is time-consuming and takes the caregivers away from other tasks. It can also waste resources by unnecessarily changing a diaper. By using MONIT's system, they can get alerts, care of the sensing technology built into the device.

More important than any of the resource issues are the medical problems produced by improper diaper changes. Patients can suffer from any number of issues, ranging from skin rashes to urinary tract infections. These health issues pose both discomfort for the patient and cost for the family and caregivers. The Adult Diaper Sensor reduces these risks while giving everyone involved a new peace of mind.

Other sensing benefits


The sensor does more than just alert to a soiled diaper, however. It includes temperature, humidity, and accelerometer sensors as well. This can make staff aware of other issues, including a skin temperature spike or drop, or even a fall. It can also notify if the patient hasn't been moving at all, which can be an indication of a severe issue.

To find out about all of the Adult Diaper Sensor's features or to contact the company, check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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Alpha-Stim wants to treat your pain without addictive drugs @ CES 2020

2020-02-21

While our medical industry tends to try and solve problems with drugs, there can be many other ways to solve the same problem. For example, many people are incapable of taking medication for insomnia because of work obligations. There is also the possibility of side effects, like more serious health conditions or even addiction. To help overcome these issues is Alpha-Stim.

How does Alpha-Stim work?


Rather than medication, the Alpha-Stim system works by using electrical impulses. The reasoning behind the method is that 98 percent of the human nervous system is electrical, not chemical. By using the cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device, people have the potential to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, and physical pain.

The device is in two pieces: the control pack and the ear clips. Together, they look like an MP3 player and earbuds. While the most common usage will be in the privacy of your home, if you were to use it in public, you'll look like you're just listening to music. A session takes 20 minutes and involves incredibly low power - so small that most people never consciously feel it.

Why choose Alpha-Stim?


While there are other entrants in the personal electrotherapy market, most are not backed by empirical evidence. Alpha-Stim, on the other hand, is. The company provides various studies of the technology showing how it can be effective for various pain management scenarios, as well as insomnia and depression.

It is important to note that our staff have not tested the device and cannot speak to personal experiences with it. However, published scientific and clinical studies certainly help alleviate some of the concerns generated by late-night infomercial products making unbelievable claims.

Alpha-Stim has two models available ranging from $795 to $1195. You can also get more detailed information about the products and read some of the studies on their website, as well.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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Sure Feed Microchip Pet Feeder makes feeding time easy @ CES 2020

2020-02-25

If you have ever had a pet, you know that most of them would eat 24/7 if given the opportunity. They are also known for stealing food from one another when they're not looking. Dogs get into the cat's food and vice versa. Even my dog suffers from food theft when at my parents' house during CES. Sure Petcare has a solution for some of these problems with the Sure Feed Microchip Pet Feeder.

How does the Microchip Pet Feeder work?


The Microchip Pet Feeder works by tracking your pet using the microchip that many pets already have. Once registered to the feeder, the device has the ability to track your pet's eating behaviors and help regulate those activities. The bowl stays covered until the pet crosses through the archway over the bowl. The feeder then determines whether or not this pet is allowed to have food.

There are several conditions that may apply to the availability of food for the pet. For example, you may only want them eating during a certain time of day. This could prevent your cat from throwing up in the living room in the middle of the night. Or, perhaps they are only allowed to eat a certain amount of food. By including a weight sensor under the bowl, the feeder can determine when they've had enough.

Who is the Microchip Pet Feeder for?


In addition to limiting your pet's eating habits, the Microchip Pet Feeder can still provide value. For example, if you have two pets, each can have their own feeding station locked to their unique microchip. This can prevent my mother's dog from eating my dog's food while he is staying there. It also means that they don't have to stay in different rooms while they eat.

It also gives the ability to track your pet's eating habits. When are they eating the most? How much do they eat each day? You can use that information to determine if something is wrong when they are eating too much or too little, or see if they are changing their habits as they age.

The Microchip Pet Feeder is available starting at $149, with the Microchip Pet Feeder Connect available for $180. For more information on the product line, check the Sure Petcare website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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Mat Luschek discusses his experiences at past shows @ CES 2020

2020-02-25

Sometimes during CES we get an opportunity to speak with a member of our own team or a colleague at the show. That is what happened when Mat Luschek visited our studio at the end of Todd's Day 1 block. Mat has worked with the Tech Podcasts Team in the past, particularly on Todd's floor team, to cover CES. This year, he was exploring the show as a freelancer who lives in Las Vegas.

He and Todd talked about what has quickly become some of the most anticipated parts of the show floor - Eureka Park. This piece of the show is directly below our studio on the first floor of The Sands Expo. This section features new companies and startups, often in the very early stages of their corporate journey. In the time that TPN has covered the show, we have seen this part of the show grow from a couple of dozen booths to most of the first floor of the expo hall.

Todd describes Eureka Park by saying, "The guy that's in the booth, that's maxed out his credit card and is showing whatever he can show to try and get some traction. Try and get a business deal going." And that is exactly what it is like - one of two people with a dream and mounting debt hoping that CES will be the show that turns their dreams into reality.

The pair then talk about the things you don't usually get to see - our technological mistakes. For example, Todd brought the wrong tripod for his camera, having left the other one at home because why would he possibly need that? We've all done it, and it often leads to things that are a little less than ideal, like the product shot we used early in the week.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Monster IlluminEssence and the smart future of the brand @ CES 2020

2020-02-25

After the initial announcement of the IlluminEssence lighting product line from Monster at CES 2019, the reception has been mixed. Some of what has been missing from the line has been true customization, such as custom patterns and proper color picking. The original line was controlled by a small remote control, but this new generation, known as the Smart IlluminEssence, is different

The Smart IlluminEssence line, which will be launching in the coming months, gives greater control over the products by introducing smartphone control. This means the ability to pick a color and get back to that exact color again. It also introduces custom moods, so you can create patterns in addition to the existing ones.

Most importantly, the Smart IlluminEssence line will have a variety of new and unique products. Our favorite new product is a glowing ball, dubbed The Orb. This "magic ball" is waterproof, making them perfect for use outdoors. At CEO Noel Lee's insistence, the designers are working to make them float upright so that they can be used in a pool. To make the product even more compelling, The Orb is battery-powered and features all of the capabilities above, all for $29.99.

Our next favorite products are the wall panels. There are two sets of these panels: Digit and Prism. While the Digit line looks like the individual segments of an LCD number panel, Prism is a triangle. The pieces of each set are designed to connect to one another, making unique patterns and designs. These sets are designed to be used for creative projects without breaking the bank. Digit ships with three panels for $59, while Prism sells for $69.

The most surprising product in the line is the waterproof LED strip. Unlike normal LED strips, this strip has a custom diffuser. That means that you cannot see the individual pixels on the strips, but instead, you get a single, uniformed light. In addition, this can be used outdoors because of the waterproofing. The long strip will sell for $39, with a smaller unit being available as well.

These products will be released over the coming months through "A major national retailer" at the price points listed. As information is made available, it will be at the Monster Store.

Disclosure: Since Thanksgiving 2019, our team has spent a lot of time with the Monster IlluminEssence product line because of a defect with the first generation non-smart products. Our interview at CES 2020 was to help show what a different manufacturer can do with the brand.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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LEYTON helps sustainable startups to exhibit their tech @ CES 2020

2020-02-26

For some companies, the dream of attending CES can be completely outside the realm of possibilities. Maybe it's because of finances, the distance, or something else. Because of this, we have seen organizations across the globe run contests to help those companies get to and exhibit at CES. This year, one of those contests was the LEYTON Sustainable Start-up Challenge.

This program allowed five startups from around the world to exhibit in Eureka Park. To qualify, the companies had to originate in one of nine countries, and have a positive impact on sustainability. It must also fit into one of the official CES marketplaces, which are varied and numerous, offering 32 options. The company must also fit within the CES Eureka Park criteria. From the more than 200 entries, they then narrowed it down to the five winners.

One of the winners, GroPod, was in a growing category of startups that offer indoor vegetable grow cabinets. They often look like a standard appliance, usually fitting into a refrigerator gap in a kitchen. We have featured several over the years at CES and Collision. Another winner, RetroLabs, offers a camera that goes into your refrigerator to help identify and manage expiration dates on your food. This can help reduce food waste, as well as over-buying, as you can see the contents from the store.

Skriware sets itself apart as an educational platform that teaches through 3D printing and hands-on activities. For example, you can build and program a robot almost entirely with parts and pieces you print yourself. As robotics programs are growing in popularity in schools, this can help start that program. Wiseair allows you to test and determine the air quality of a home, including during the buying process. This is done through local sensors and wider air quality data. Finally, BeFC is a paper-based biofuel cell system that doesn't use traditional and expensive catalytic conversions.

To find out more about the LEYTON Sustainable Start-up Challenge, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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OrCam MyEye 2 brings independence to the visually impaired @ CES 2020

2020-02-26

It should be no surprise that vision is an important part of modern society. For those with impaired, limited, or no vision, getting through the day can be incredibly difficult. From reading signs and menus to identifying other people in a room, the things most of us take for granted are often unavailable. With the help of the OrCam MyEye 2, some of those capabilities can be replicated.

The device is a small rectangle that attaches to a pair of glasses. Through the device, the wearer can get a lot of information about their surroundings. We got to see the device in action as it read aloud the text on a flyer in the studio. Of course, as with so many live demonstrations, it didn't work perfectly, but the CES environment is not normal life. However, what we saw was still impressive. The ability to control what is verbalized via voice controls makes it far easier to learn how to use it.

In addition to the ability to read text, the MyEye 2 can also identify faces. Once taught, the device can announce verbally when someone in your close circle is in the vicinity. Obviously, knowing who is in the room with you is an important part of socializing, and one that is often lost with visual impairment. Normally, it would require you to wait for them to introduce themselves as being there.

The best part of MyEye 2 is that it does not require an internet connection. Because all of the AI technology is built directly into the product, there is no need for an internet connection. This means that it will continue to work no matter where you are or whether or not you've got a viable cellular connection.

For more information about the OrCam MyEye 2, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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MicroEJ makes developing smart devices less expensive @ CES 2020

2020-02-26

When it comes to connected devices, one of the more complicated aspects is deciding upon an integrated platform. We've seen Google promote that there are millions of smart devices on the market that run on Android, but Android has a large footprint that requires onboard storage and RAM, both of which add additional cost to the production of each device. A significantly smaller platform called MicroEJ gives hardware developers all of the features they need while limiting the memory needs significantly.

The goal of MicroEJ is to help companies bring smart features to devices, in categories from smartwatches to electric meters, printers to lighting, in a faster and less expensive process. They accomplish this in part with their software platform, which is 0.1% the size of Android, which means that the system requirements are lower than they would be if they were using Android on their devices. It also means that, with smaller processors, comes less electrical requirements.

Power efficiency can be the difference between a product being viable in certain marketplaces and being more of a hassle. With lower power requirements comes the ability to run for a longer period on a battery. For example, consider a GPS transceiver on a shipping container. There's the possibility that the container will be in the dark for an entire shipment, either on boat or train and cannot charge via solar. Better battery efficiency could mean that the tracking could last longer on a smaller battery.

In addition, the platform allows hardware developers to allow software developers to deploy additional apps with new capabilities to the devices. With this ability comes a branded app marketplace, similar to what we see on Windows, iOS, and Android. This makes for the ability to allow integrations that the manufacturer might never have thought of.

For more information about MicroEJ, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Octobo is a learning plush toy to make learning fun @ CES 2020

2020-02-27

Current studies all point to the importance of play for the development of a child's brain, especially early in life. Interacting with physical things, like toys and stuffed animals, can also have a profound effect on childhood development. But children want to interact with the things their older siblings and family members have - screens. Octobo by Thinker-Tinker allows these kids to have the best of both worlds.

Octobo is a large stuffed animal with a cutout in its face for both an eye and a mouth. By placing an iPad, Fire tablet, or Android tablet into Octobo, the character turns from a standard stuffed animal into one that can be interacted with in many ways. The first and most obvious is the ability for Octobo to respond to interaction with appropriate emotions. This is done through sensors throughout the body which allows for live feedback to touch.

Another great feature is the ability for interactive storytelling. We all remember how much fun choose your own adventure books were when we were older. Unfortunately, that kind of interaction used to require being able to read. However, with Octobo, kids who are pre-reading ability can still interact with a story without being able to read. This is accomplished through an RFID reader built into the base of the stuffed animal and plush RFID chips. By placing the chips on the reader, the child is able to interact and adjust a story from a growing library of storybooks and other content.

Octobo is intended to learn and grow with the child, making it a long-term purchase for parents and a long-term friend for kids. You can purchase a standard Octobo for $149 and the advanced pack for $199 directly from Thinker-Tinker, or get the advanced pack on Amazon for $179. For more information on Octobo or to purchase, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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RoomMe creates a personalized smarthome for everyone @ CES 2020

2020-02-27

Two decades ago, Bill Gates surprised the world with the incredible technology built into his home in Seattle. One of the most interesting aspects of the house was the ability of rooms to change and adjust to the people in the room. For example, digital artwork on screens throughout the home would change based on who was there, with Gates himself overriding anyone else. The technology was so impressive that it was used as a plot-point in the movie Antitrust. Now, RoomMe by Intellithings is bringing this concept into modern technology.

Gates' home required people to wear special lapel pins that would be sensed by readers throughout the building. Today, most people actually carry these devices with them all the time, built into their smartphones. This means that, with the RoomMe sensor, a smarthome setup can detect people in a room without motion sensors. This is an important step for several reasons.

The most important benefit is known to anyone who has ever been around a motion-sensing light - its tendency to turn off. If you are still for too long, perhaps working at a computer, a motion sensor will think you're not there anymore. But, if you are using a RoomMe instead, it is able to detect that your phone is in the room and can make more appropriate decisions.

The second, and most powerful feature, is the ability to make decisions based on WHO is in the room, not just that ANYONE is there. For example, maybe Marlo likes the lights to be at 50% brightness in the control room when he's working, but Michele prefers 90% brightness. By detecting which of the two is in the control room, RoomMe can dim or raise the lights to the correct level, and turn them off when they leave.

The platform currently works with a large collection of partners, including Philips Hue, Insteon, HomeKit, and more, and are available for $69. To find out more about RoomMe, check out the Intellithings website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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LiBEST's flexible battery could power next-gen wearables @ CES 2020

2020-02-27

When dealing with small electronics, especially wearable technology, one of the biggest limiting factors have consistently been battery technology. Watches and fitness bands are the size, shape, and weight that they are almost entirely because of the batteries that are included. Some companies have tried to distribute the batteries, with limited success. For example, Microsoft put half of the battery system in the clasp of the Microsoft Band, but that simply made it thick in two places. LiBEST has a new design that could change all of that.

This new battery technology is both thin and flexible, making it far more versatile for wearable devices. If this battery had been available for the Microsoft Band, the distributed battery could have been placed within the band itself, rather than in the clasp. That would mean that the clasp wouldn't have been so large, the screen could have stayed thin, and the battery life could have been as good, or better than it was in production.

In addition to wearable bands, there are other places where a flexible battery could be a benefit. Take, for example, a full-cup Bluetooth headset. By using the existing headband, which is usually empty, as housing for these LiBEST flexible batteries, you could add additional battery life to the product. Imagine not having to charge your headphones for an entire trip, as opposed to every couple of days.

The most exciting development that can come from LiBEST technology is in products that haven't been thought of before. Often, our minds limit themselves to the confines that we know of, such as the rigidity of batteries. By removing that limitation, a whole new generation of technologies could be created, such as completely flexible devices.

To find out more about the LiBEST flexible battery technology, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Silent Beacon makes safety and security more affordable @ CES 2020

2020-02-28

It's no secret that America is aging, and technology is mostly leaving them behind. However, some companies are looking out for our aging population. One of the companies working to make life safer for older people is Silent Beacon.

The concept is fairly simple. It's a panic button for those times when you can't easily make a call. I think we're all familiar with the concept from what might be the world best known commercial - "I've fallen and I can't get up." Silent Beacon sets itself apart from its competitors, like Life Alert, by dealing with the most limiting factor: price. While many of the services charge a monthly service fee, Silent Beacon does not. They accomplish this by not having their own monitoring center. Instead, the system calls the important numbers in your life.

For example, let's say you're in the shower and you fall. I don't keep my phone anywhere near the shower because it's an expensive device. But, I can hit the Silent Beacon button. What it does is it either calls or texts the numbers I have pre-determined. As part of the message, it also sends your location information. This can be especially important if the number being called is 911 (not all areas let you auto-dial 911).

The big difference here is that it is your numbers being contacted in an emergency situation, rather than calling a stranger in a call center. The people in your life, or the direct connection to local emergency services, means there is no middle man and no need for those monthly charges. This makes the product approachable for a wider range of customers, giving peace of mind to both the wearer and their support circle.

You can get the Silent Beacon for $99 from the company or from Amazon. For more information, check out the Silent Beacon website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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ohsnap is the mobile phone holder that doesn't stick @ CES 2020

2020-02-28

As phones have gotten bigger, the desire for a device to make holding your phones easier has become a common one. One product has stormed the industry, but it leaves a lot to be desired. To address the limitations of the PopSocket, the team at ohsnap has created a new phone holder that is versatile enough for everyone.

If you have ever had a PopSocket on your phone, you know that you immediately lose the ability to use wireless chargers. For those of us who use them in our homes, offices, and cars, that is an unacceptable loss. With the ohsnap phone grip, though, that is no longer a problem. The main portion of the holder is removable, making it small enough to work with most, if not all, Qi plates.

As far as standard operation, the ohsnap holder is far more pleasant while in use and while collapsed. While closed, the ohsnap is about a third the depth of a PopSocket. That makes it far easier to keep in a pocket, especially if you keep it in your back pocket. When in use, it is also far better. The outsides come together to create a ring, which can be put around your finger. This usage is far more comfortable than wrapping your fingers around a big circle. The ring can be closed so that it won't fall off. The center iece is also rotatable, making it useful in portrait and landscape mode.

When not using it as a standard holder, you can also use the ohsnap with the included magnetic plate. The plate has micro suction cups on the back, so it can stick to just about any smooth surface. The phone holder then connects magnetically to the plate so it can be used just about anywhere. If you have another magnetic surface, such as your refrigerator or microwave, you can also stick it directly to that.

The ohsnap is available now for $19 with additional accessories available as well. For more information on the products or to order one for yourself, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Mindtech Global takes the hassle and bias out of AI training @ CES 2020

2020-02-28

Anyone who has done any work with artificial intelligence can tell you that collecting enough data to train the AI can be as difficult as building the neural networks themselves. There are some decent libraries for standard data sets but say you needed to train an AI to identify a particular model of a product category. Finding the right images to train the system could be near impossible. To help solve this problem is Mindtech Global.

The company specializes in creating synthetic training data to help take an artificial intelligence system from concept to knowledgable. There are all sorts of scenarios where real-world data is not possible. Take, for example, drone data. An airport isn't going to allow an AI creator to fly a drone in their airspace to train what a good or bad drone might look like. By using synthetic data from Mindtech Global, you can still train your system without the need to inconvenience the airport.

In addition to difficult or impossible scenarios, there is also a bias in training data. When Project Natal, which became Xbox Kinect, was first demonstrated in 2009, it was done entirely with light-skinned people on stage. This is because the detection algorithms were not able to detect people with darker skin tones. Artificial intelligence systems face similar bias issues because of their training data. Humans tend to teach based on our experiences, which drives an AI to miss things. With the synthetic datasets, we eliminate humanity's tendency towards unconscious bias.

Currently, a lot of the bias is detected and solved by humans. For example, if a data scientist notices that systems have issues detecting people wearing backpacks, they will ensure that the dataset will include more images of people wearing backpacks. That means that future training sessions will have improved identification of people with backpacks.

To learn more about the Mindtech Global technology or engage their services, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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BenjiLock is bringing their biometrics to new locks @ CES 2020

2020-03-01

If ever there was a poster company for CES Eureka Park success story, it would be BenjiLock. Since we first met founder Robbie Cabral at his first CES several years ago, he has gone on to huge success. After taking his prototype to Shark Tank, Robbie and his Shark Tank investor Kevin O'Leary, took the brand to the team at Hampton Products because of their expertise in security products. Today, the company has grown its product line in new and exciting ways.

The original product in the line, the biometric padlock, has been improved, with new colors being added to the category. The closest companion, the luggage lock, has also seen improvements in the last year. The most important addition is the soft lock, which is a common feature of luggage locks.

2020 is going to see a new collection of devices from the company, however. The most prominent will be the BenjiLock Deadbolt. This product is the perfect pairing of the technology of BenjiLock and the knowhow of Hampton Products. This lock has everything you could possibly want from a connected deadbolt, and more. In addition to the biometrics that BenjiLock is known for, the lock features a physical key plus keypad. The lock also works with the Array platform, making it not just a connected deadbolt, but a smart one, too.

Other new products for 2020 include a bike lock and a drawer lock. The bike lock will feature two lengths, and all of what we expect from BenjiLock, including a physical key - the hallmark of the product line. The drawer lock will allow you to turn nearly any standard drawer into a locked one. This can be good if you have a questionable roommate, or if you are just trying to protect valuables. The new products will premiere as the year goes on.

For more information on the current BenjiLock products, to make a purchase, or to follow the company's development, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Array by Hampton is making your home smart and secure @ CES 2020

2020-03-01

In addition to the upcoming BenjiLock deadbolt, the Array by Hampton smarthome platform is growing and making a name for itself. We saw the beginnings of the platform in 2018, and all of the excitement from that CES is coming together at this CES.

But, the crown jewel for the year is the BenjiLock deadbolt. The technology that Robbie created being implemented into a deadbolt is exciting enough, but the depth of the product offing is more than just that. The technology works in extreme weather conditions, which was an important piece of the puzzle for CEO Kim Kelley. They also focused on battery life, so that the lock maintains its convenience longterm, rather than having to charge or change a battery on a regular basis. Mr. Kelley says that it's the difference between a technology company trying to figure out how to make a lock, and a security company adding technology into their existing line.

But, what makes the BenjiLock deadbolt extra exciting is its integration into the Array smarthome platform. Kim Kelley differentiates smarthome from connected home by saying that a smarthome does what you want when you want. That's an important line because it sets the expectations for what Array is capable of. This smarthome platform ranges from indoor lights and cameras to the outdoor coach lights and garage door opener.

One of the key features of Array is Lockdown Mode. This is the sweep you make at night to make sure your lights are off, the doors are closed and locked, the garage door is down, and the thermostat is set to the right temperature. Through the Array platform, you can make this sweep virtually, from the comfort of your bed or the relative comfort of a hotel room across the country.

To beef up the security credentials of the system is the coach lights. We saw these in action in 2018, and they are truly impressive. They look like a traditional outdoor light, intended to be part of your home - not like a traditional security light with a giant camera attached. But, they do offer a security camera with impressive quality, and the ability to send triggers into the system based on motion by people. This is always an important distinction because a traditional motion light turns on if someone drives too close to your house in their car. There is also a tethered light so that one on each side can come on, dim, and turn off together, without having to have a camera on each light.

The Array by Hampton line of products will be releasing throughout the year. For more information on the products available, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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GENNY by Watergen creates drinking water from the air @ CES 2020

2020-03-01

For many people in the world, including here in the United States, drinking water can be a challenge. Some people won't drink tap water, either because it isn't clean or there is a belief that it isn't. Many people, either at home or work, have water delivered, which adds a monthly cost to their budget. But, delivered water comes with an environmental hit, as well. GENNY by Watergen gives you the ability to have that clean water without the negatives.

The company makes a product that allows you to create water out of the air. The Watergen product, known as GENNY, looks like a standard water cooler, but without the bottle on the top. The GENNY is able to generate 8 gallons of water per day with nothing more than a connection to power. The system also uses a series of filtration to ensure that the water is clean and tastes good, which is an important aspect.

In addition to enhancing the daily lives of many people, the GENNY can also be used as part of an emergency scenario. For those of us who live in an area where storms take down our utilities, fresh drinking water can be a problem. Before a hurricane, we always fill our bathtubs with water, in the event that we lose water (which happens). And, because the device runs on standard power, it can be hooked up to solar power to produce water even if the power is out.

Combining the solar and electric into a single setup also allows the GENNY to be used in parts of the world where drinking water is always a problem. In third world areas, the GENNY can be used to augment the lack of available water.

The GENNY is available now. To learn more about the product and the rest of the line, check out the Watergen website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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FaceMe from CyberLink helps create custom IoT experiences @ CES 2020

2020-03-01

Sometimes CES introduces us to a new aspect of a company that we think we know well. A great example of that at this show was CyberLink. If you have ever used a Windows computer, which of course you have, you've used the company's technology. They are responsible for much of the computer's video capabilities, from DVD playback to online streaming. But, this year, the company is showing off FaceMe, an AI platform for facial recognition.

Now, this type of facial recognition isn't like what has been in the news lately. FaceMe is a closed-loop system designed to allow companies to offer you customizations on Internet of Things products. For example, maybe a company that makes a home medication dispensing product could use the system to pick out the different members of the family and dispense the correct medication, without the person having to identify themselves. This would make using the device easier for older people who might not be comfortable with technology.

The history of the product is unique, in that it wasn't meant to be a product. CyberLink helped create a product for virtual makeup called YouCam Makeup. For that product, they created a technology for recognizing and identifying faces. Because of the success of both the product and the technology, the company saw the value of the system and turned it into FaceMe.

FaceMe is designed to work on just about any platform so that it can enhance products varying from smart mirrors to robotics. The technology is already being used in products on the market, and CyberLink is looking to partner with more companies to help their customers customize their products.

If you are working on a project and would like to learn more about the FaceMe platform, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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GaN Systems is making big laptop chargers history @ CES 2020

2020-03-01

Anyone who owns a laptop knows just how unwieldy the power supplies can be. They are so big and heavy that the common term is "power brick." That term makes it very clear what the devices are all about. However, it turns out that it doesn't have to be like this. GaN Systems has designed a chip that makes these chargers far smaller.

The size and weight of the laptop charger that CEO Jim Witham brought with him, using the Gan Systems technology, were surprising. Rather than being large and heavy, this charger was about the size and weight of a cellular charger. Despite the significant reduction in size and weight, the charger is able to produce the same amount of power as the bulky charger that your current laptop uses. This could make both daily life and travel life easier for many people.

But, it is not only usable in laptop chargers. The chip can be used to miniaturize power conversion systems for all types of devices. Take, for example, the electric vehicle industry. By the year 2040, it is expected that there will be 65 million electric vehicles sold. Those vehicles are all going to need specialized chargers and reducing the footprint of those chargers in your garage is going to be a benefit to many EV owners.

The GaN Systems technology is available in products today. The chips are also available to purchase by anyone developing a product. Often, we see components like this available only in bulk, or from the manufacturer, but GaN Systems wants the chips used, so they are available from suppliers like Mouser. The company also has reference designs and kits available to get you started.

For more information on the GaN Systems technology and the ways it can be used, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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OxiCool has a wonderful solution to keep your home cool @ CES 2020

2020-03-02

Climate change certainly is quite a hot topic this century and the debates around it have been heating up exponentially in recent years. A good amount of people have taken notice and want to do what they can to aid in the solution to this ever-increasing world problem. And whether directly related to that or not, there are also a lot of businesses that are adding their solutions to the debate. Every year now, there are significant contributions to the technology in areas like recycling, electric vehicles and solar and wind power solutions.

OxiCool, based in the United States, is one of these companies that want to make a difference and has decided to take it head-on with an impressive new use of technology. Air conditioning has become more and more prevalent as the temperatures throughout this county have risen. There are states in the northern section of the country that, in the past, residents have never even needed to have air conditioners in their homes. And even those that eventually felt the need to had a little assistance with cooling only used a window unit or two in key spots of the house. This is quickly changing to where more and more residents in these areas are beginning to add central A/C units to cover the same square footage as the heating in their home. Not only are the emissions, in general, from air conditioning bad for the environment, but traditional air conditioning units account for almost one half of the electricity used in homes during the summer. This is where OxiCool is breezing in with a cool solution.

The company claims to have a simple solution for a problem that has puzzled the cooling and air conditioning industry for over 100 years. By using only natural elements (i.e. earth, water, air, and fire), OxiCool produces zero emissions from its refrigerant and therefore reduces the ever-increasing demand that is placed on the aging power grids throughout the country. As a bonus and equally important to some, the system is incredibly silent. So you not only get to save money but also relax in total comfort while also helping to save the planet. Per their website, OxiCool is the only air conditioning system in the world that uses no toxic substances of any kind and produces zero emissions from its refrigerant, as it uses only pure water as the only refrigerant.

So, how does all of this work? Excellent question. Without getting into all of the technical information that you can learn by watching the full interview in combination with visiting their website, OxiCool is powered by what they have coined, OciCell, which are inside of a closed-loop. Therefore they are maintenance-free, molecular sieve cells that are manufactured in a cleanroom. And when complete, not even a single water molecule can escape through the life of the system. So low maintenance that you never even have to add or change the water, or the molecular sieves inside.

On to what I'm sure is everybody's next question... Price. One would expect that such new and cutting edge technology would come at a price. And we have to say that we were pleasantly surprised to learn that, although these units are not cheap by any means, they aren't that much more than replacing with a standard unit, when you consider how new it is and all that is involved with its creation. Per the website, a 20,000 BTU/hr system with four in-home heat exchangers is estimated to be about $10,000. They are currently available on their website for pre-order with a fully refundable down payment of only $100. The units are being manufactured in the order as each is received.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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NightWatch armband can detect epileptic seizures at night @ CES 2020

2020-03-05

Sixty million people suffer from epilepsy across the world, and 50 to 100,000 people die in their sleep as a result of epilepsy, according to the CEO, Jeroen van den Hout. To reduce the amount of deaths due to epileptic seizures at night, a group of neurologists in the Netherlands developed the NightWatch, a wireless armband, through a collaboration between Kempenhaeghe and SEIN epilepsy centers, the University Medical Centre (UMC) Utrecht, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Epilepsiefonds (Epilepsy Foundation), and patient representatives. This partnership resulted in a company named LivAssured.

The NightWatch is worn on the upper arm during sleep. It measures the person's heart rate and monitors their movement, and it can detect tonic, tonic-clonic, hyper motor, and clustered myoclonic seizures. Any abnormalities in the heart rate or movement are immediately detected and sent to the base station via an audio and visual alert. The signal can also be forwarded to mobile telephones and call systems as well if the NightWatch wearer lives independently. Up to 5 telephone numbers can be called in the event of an emergency. The wearer can also opt to click the emergency button if they need immediate attention. This base station can be monitored by parents or the caregiver so that the person suffering from an epileptic seizure can be attended to quickly. Data collected by the NightWatch can be analyzed via the NightWatch portal. One can use this portal to understand what occurred during the night and why the signal was sent.

The NightWatch, launched about a year and a half ago, is clinically proven to be effective and a certified medical device. It is proven to detect up to 96% of the most dangerous seizures. Approximately 1000 devices have been sold and have received positive feedback. Currently, it is available only in Europe. For more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Ebb Sleep make sleepless nights a thing of the past @ CES 2020

2020-03-05

Oh, that ever-elusive "good night's sleep." Who among us doesn't have a problem with falling and/or staying asleep? And even those lucky few who don't have some kind of sleep disorder are most certainly surrounded by family and friends that share stories. So either way, it's just exhausting! For the sleepless who are looking for a solution, there's Ebb.

Many of the people who experience sleeplessness do so because they find themselves with a "racing mind." This means that, while they lay in bed, they experience thoughts that they cannot control. These thoughts, or possibly the attempt to grab ahold of those thoughts and make sense of them, can prevent someone from finding the rest they seek. Years worth of studies have pointed to various causes, but brain-imaging studies have suggested that a cooler frontal cortex can ease or eliminate this restless mind scenario.

Ebb's sleep technology addresses this issue in particular, by cooling the front of the brain. It does this through a fairly simple looking sleep band that sits across the forehead. The band regulates the temperature of your frontal cortex, which lies directly behind the forehead, hopefully resulting in a calmer mind and a night of more restful sleep.

Because the band is designed to be used while you sleep, it has some special elements to ensure that it is comfortable to sleep with. The back of the band, where the cooling process takes place, does so through a series of cushions. That makes it both comfortable to wear and effective in its goal. It's natural to be wary of technology of this nature. Because of this, the company offers a number of studies showing the effectiveness of the product.

For more information on Ebb and to read the case studies, check out the product website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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EyeQue allows you to monitor your vision and order glasses @ CES 2020

2020-03-05

If you wear glasses, you know that the process of getting new ones can be a real pain. You can go and get new ones made with your existing prescription, but that isn't necessarily a great idea. What if your vision has changed significantly? You don't want to get stuck with the wrong lenses for the life of your glasses. But, getting your eyes tested requires getting an appointment, going to the doctor, waiting on the prescription. But, there is a better way thanks to EyeQue.

EyeQue is a personal vision tracking system. Using the system, you can track your sight, order glasses, and all with a guarantee. Here's how it works: A small microscope attaches to your smartphone. Using this scope, the accompanying app is able to test your eyesight and determine your vision capabilities. Using those results, you can then order glasses online that match your vision. If you don't like the results of your order, either the quality of your vision or the glasses themselves, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The best part of the whole system is that it does not require all of the overhead of the normal process. The device can be purchased for home use, meaning that you can go through the entire process without ever leaving the house. It also means that the entire family can get their eyes tested whenever they feel that something isn't right with just a single scope. And, because it is a personal device, it means that you can track your own vision over time, and see changes for better or worse.

The EyeQue system is available now, with vision monitoring kits starting at $69 and ranging to $159. To learn more about the service and the test kits, check out the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Hoop Home is a security camera designed to be your helper @ CES 2020

2020-03-06

One of the most common product categories at CES is security cameras. There are so many on the floor, and very few of them stand out in the crowd. However, every once in a while we encounter a camera that is truly different, and that certainly describes Hoop Home. This camera is designed by a company that knows cameras, as parent company C+A Global also owns the Ritz Camera retail chain.

But, what makes Hoop Home special? Let's start with the physical aspects of the product line. The standard camera is designed to be very small and is available in interesting colors. While most security cameras come in white or black, the Hoop Home line is available in red, blue, and green, in addition to grey and white. The Hoop Plus has all of this, plus the ability to pan 350 degrees and tilt 90 degrees. This makes it a very versatile camera that can be used in a lot of places.

However, it is the software that makes the Hoop Home line truly special. Of course, it has all of the features that you would expect from a security camera. However, it also has a number of unique learning capabilities. By using facial recognition, it can identify the people who are regularly in your home and learn their patterns. This makes it so that the device can let you know when something is out of the ordinary.

For example, if your kids are supposed to come home at 3 pm and they don't, you can get a notification. Or, you can also get a notification if they come home with friends when they are not supposed to. It also means that you never have to worry about getting a warning because a cat is in the driveway.

To learn more about the Hoop Home line of cameras and how they work, check out the product website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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BeHear is enhanced hearing that looks like headphones @ CES 2020

2020-03-06

There are millions of Americans that need hearing enhancement but won't get it. For a lot of people, it can be a fact of cost, but for others, it has to do with "feeling old." That's because the look and feel of hearing aids have always looked a certain way, and that look is associated with older people. Luckily, BeHear by Wear & Hear has an advanced hearing device that doesn't look like a standard hearing aid.

The BeHear device looks more like a pair of sports Bluetooth headphones than it does a hearing aid. That will make it attractive to a lot of people, especially younger people. It also has the ability to raise awareness about the wider range of options available to people with hearing difficulties today.

But, looks are only part of the equation. The most important part of a hearing device is its ability to enhance the wearer's hearing. The company that makes the products, Alango Technologies, has a long history in the hearing space. Their software and algorithms are used in millions of devices across the industry. The company's software is focused on more than just strict volume, but also on focus.

As Don Baine mentions, his biggest personal issue with hearing aids is not the volume, but the clarity. Many traditional devices amplify the volume, but that causes problems in a crowded space. In a scenario like CES, he hears more background noise than active conversations. But, the technology built into the BeHear device is able to minimize the impact of noise and enhance the voices of people around you.

The BeHear hearing device is available now starting at $249, far below the general price of a hearing device. To learn more about the product line and purchase a device for yourself, head to the company website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Sensoria Health is making health devices all about you @ CES 2020

2020-03-06

We have had the pleasure of following Sensoria Health since our first trip to Collision in 2015. Even then, the company's technology was impressive, and it has come a long way in the past 5 years, certainly outgrowing our catchphrase of the week, "robot socks." Today, the company offers what they refer to as "Internet of Me" technology, with artificial intelligence solutions for health and aging scenarios.

But, it all comes back to the robot socks. In reality, the product is a pair of socks with various sensors built-in to monitor the health of your feet. This is important because your feet are literally the base of your body and often have the ability to detect and predict other health issues throughout the body.

The most obvious thing that can be detected is your gate or the way you walk and run. If your gate changes over time, it can indicate pain somewhere in the body. Often times, you might not even notice the pain consciously, though subconsciously you respond to it by taking pressure off of that part of the body. It ends up reporting as a difference in the way you walk and run.

The device can also be incredibly useful in the rehabilitation process. Rather than having to come into a rehab facility and endure regular testing of your gate, doctors can use the data produced by the Sensoria Health sock. It also gives those doctors the ability to see a true progression, as opposed to just small bits of data out of context. More data means better decisions, which in healthcare can be the difference between finding a rehab issue early and not being able to fully recover.

To learn more about Sensoria Health, the Internet of Me, and the connected sock, check out the company website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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DFree uses ultrasound to help maintain bladder control @ CES 2020

2020-03-07

As we age, a lack of bladder control is something that many people suffer. For years, the only way to deal with it has been with medication or adult diapers. The first only works for a short while for some people, and diapers carry with them a social stigma. For most people, if they could simply know a little earlier when they needed to go, it would make a world of difference. That's where DFree comes in.

DFree is a small wearable device that is able to give the wearer that early warning sign that they need to be able to use the bathroom before an accident happens. This, of course, allows the wearer to maintain a significantly higher level of normal life activity than medication or diapers usually would.

One of the best aspects of the DFree device is that it is non-invasive. That means that the entire device is external to the body, so no expensive medical procedures. It also means that people who are squeamish about medical stuff can use it without having to address their concerns. Instead, the device uses ultrasound to monitor your bladder all day. That data is constantly analyzed to detect when you need to use the bathroom and gives you an alert through your phone or tablet before it is too late.

The product comes in two varieties: one for personal use and one for professional use. The first is designed for those who are aging in place or people who are trying to live a more independent life. The second is designed to be used in hospitals and assisted living facilities where more than just the wearer can get alerts.

The DFree system is available now to rent or own. To learn more about the product, check out the company's website.

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Ausounds shows a true wireless earbud with great sound @ CES 2020

2020-03-07

Our team is always on the lookout for great audio products. While there are a lot of speaker and headphone companies on the market, very few of them actually focus on producing a product that reproduces music the way it was intended. One of those companies is Ausounds, which produces headphones and earphones.

Joined by Marcus Sanchez, the company's marketing director, we were introduced to the AU-Stream Hybrid true wireless earbuds. These earbuds manage to have hybrid noise cancellation, true audio replication care of titanium drivers, and an extremely attractive design, all while keeping their price under $200.

Even more impressively, the AU-Stream Hybrid earbuds pack incredible power capabilities. The earbuds themselves can run for 9 hours, which is nearly unheard of in true wireless earbuds. When combined with the battery capacity built into the case, it is extended to 25 hours worth of use, meaning the case can charge the earbuds nearly 2 full charges. In addition, the charging case supports rapid wireless charging, meaning that you can simply place it on a Qi charging pad and let it go. It also sports a USB-C port for charging when you don't have Qi available.

On top of all of these features, the earbuds are IPX5 waterproof. That means that they will reject water projected from a nozzle, making them more than ideal for working out. That is an aspect that many earbuds, even those in the upper tier of products, miss. True wireless earbuds are so often used for exercise, and they need to be able to handle that activity, as well as sound good.

The AU-Stream Hybrid earbuds are available in four colors: black, dark grey, red, and gold, and retail for $189.95. Their smaller cousin, the AU-Stream, is available in four colors: white, dark grey, red, and gold, and retails for $99.95. More information and purchasing options can be found at the Ausounds website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Blockchain Router brings privacy and security to the web @ CES 2020

2020-03-07

The internet is an increasingly dangerous and overly regulated place. Much of what we originally loved about the internet is quickly disappearing into memory. A lot of the blame is because of the infrastructure of the internet. While it was originally billed as a global network, it does still require a centralized planning committee (ICANN). But, there is another internet - the decentralized internet, which the Blockchain Router aims to make more accessible.

Normally, access to the decentralized internet is a bit complicated. It requires special software, system settings, and more. But, the new Blockchain Router takes away all of the difficulty of accessing the network by placing all of the specialized software and settings into special hardware. The device sits between your modem and computers, where your existing router lives, and gives access to your entire network.

The content on the decentralized web, whose domains end in .eth, are accessible only within the context of this network. While it is easy for governments, schools, and more to block certain domains and content on the web, it is nearly impossible to do the same on the decentralized web. This means that sites that run inside the network aren't subject to censorship and can be used to promote prohibited content, such as democracy.

In addition to accessing content that is not available on the traditional, public internet, the Blockchain Router also helps to obfuscate your browsing of the standard internet. This is important because people are tracking you and collecting your personal information all over the web. Think of the Blockchain Router as your internet bodyguard, protecting your information and browsing.

While the router runs on blockchain technology, it is important to note that it has absolutely nothing to do with cryptocurrency or virtual tokens. The blockchain aspect of the product is about the decentralization of data, not about rewarding the verification of audit logs.

The Blockchain Router is available for pre-order now on the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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The Tactigon makes computer input a natural motion @ CES 2020

2020-03-11

One of the biggest issues with virtual reality experiences is the controllers. Too many of them require knowledge of the controller design, which is difficult when your face is covered with a headset. The ideal scenario is motion controllers, but they usually require additional sensors, like the PlayStation Eye. However, an intriguing new device, The Tactigon, is looking to fix that problem.

The Tactigon is a wearable controller that fits over the hand. Using only internal sensors, like accelerometers and gyroscopes, the device is able to detect motion. Developers and users are then able to build commands based on gestures reported by the device. For example, a developer could build circle, push and pull, etc., into their products and respond to those motions. They could also use direct input, such as for a driving simulator.

But, The Tactigon is more than just a VR controller. The device can be used for a large variety of computer and mobile products. One that was especially intriguing was for robotics. Using the direct input features of the device, you could create direct control of a robotic device. This could be a fascinating new input method for FIRST robotics teams, though likely not legal during competition.

Another interesting robotics application is for programming cobots. These robotic helpers are designed to be programmed to assist in repetitive tasks. Think of the robotic arms you've seen in videos from car factories, but often on a smaller scale. Normally, these robots have to be programmed through a painfully detailed series of steps. However, by using the input from The Tactigon, you could program the cobot simply by moving your arm and the robotic arm would follow your motion. Then, by saving the macro, the arm can replicate the motion unendingly.

To learn more about The Tactigon, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Concha Labs makes custom hearing solutions affordable @ CES 2020

2020-03-11

Most of us consider hearing loss to be mostly confined to older people, but it affects people of all ages. One of those people is Amy Li, a dedicated member of the hearing industry who personally has hearing loss. She was approached after coming forward about her own hearing issues by others who felt that dealing with their hearing was too expensive. The result was Concha Labs.

The company's goal is to bring affordable hearing devices to people while improving the quality of the technology. The company's main focus is on software, designed to allow the wearer to conform the device to their own hearing profile. But, in addition to a standard profile, the software is able to adjust to various environmental scenarios, such as the noise of a convention center. This is a major change from standard hearing devices, which are tuned for the wearer, but not for the environment.

The tuning process is also very different. The normal process is to go into a doctor's office and perform an audio equivalent of an eye test. When the profile is created, it is usually wrong, causing the wearer to have to go back into the office to have it fine-tuned after a few days. With Concha Labs, you can perform your own test, which is more similar to an audio version of a full eye exam. This test is more detailed than the traditional test and creates a more accurate profile. It also prevents the need for the doctor's visits. And, because the profile is completely your own, you can make adjustments on the fly from your mobile device. So, if you are at a party, the symphony, or a convention center, you can use altered versions of your default profile to enhance your experience in these unique situations.

The Concha Labs technology is currently in beta in the company's Hearing Pods. As part of the beta test, a member can get the Hearing Pods for $800 (as opposed to the average of $5000 for traditional hearing aids), and $25 per month for the service, which includes the tuning, profiles, as well as replacement parts, such as batteries and ear tips. To join the beta or learn more about the company's technology, check out their website.

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BTU Protocol rewards you for traveling with cryptocurrency @ CES 2020

2020-03-11

Traveling can be expensive, coronavirus panic not included. Various websites have come about to try and make the process less expensive, even offering rewards. However, these rewards tend to be very restricting, both in the way they are earned and how they can be redeemed. For example, the service that we have used for years doesn't allow rewards to be redeemed on all types of rooms. Luckily, there's a new platform, BTU Protocol, which has a new way.

By using the of blockchain and cryptocurrency, BTU Protocol is able to minimize the cost of listings for the retailers, while providing better rewards for users. The company is currently focused on hotel and rental car listings but plans to bring other types of partners onboard in the future. Currently, they offer rentals from every major car company and hotel listings from many brands. In searching for hotels in Las Vegas, we found many of the major brands, as well as some of the Strip brands.

By limiting the cost of listing rooms and cars, the companies are able to maintain a higher margin while offering the same or lower prices as other platforms. In addition, the companies are able to offer rewards on each rental through the platform's cryptocurrency. Searching in Orlando for this weekend, most hotel rooms offer a 5% return in BTU. Those coins can be used to purchase products and services, including gift cards. They can also be traded among wallets.

In time, the company plans to allow you to also use your coins to make purchases within the platform, applying your rewards toward your rental costs. The platform is available now for iOS and Android and is free to use and to collect rewards. To learn more about the platform or to download the app, check out the company's website.

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b-hyve by Orbit is a smart timer to save water and money @ CES 2020

2020-03-13

For years, the expression "set it and forget it" was a bad thing when it came to home sprinkler controls. Owners would often turn them on at the beginning of the season and off at the end and leave them alone. This behavior led to overwatering by about 50%. That's because basic timers aren't able to take environmental conditions, weather patterns , or other factors into consideration. All they could do was start and stop at a pre-determined time. But the b-hyve by Orbit has brought a whole new level of control to your yard.

The b-hyve line of products offers Wi-Fi-connected sprinkler controls that add smarts to your yard. These controllers are able to do things like watch the weather to make sure that you aren't watering right before, during, or after a rainstorm. This is obviously a huge waste of water, plus it can be bad for your plants to give them too much water. There are also areas that are often under watering restrictions, and it might be illegal to water within a certain range of a storm. The newest model adds new, longer-range network connectivity, allowing it to control equipment wirelessly, rather than needing to have everything run manually through the controller.

Because the b-hyve is connected to the internet, it gives you the ability to monitor the activities even when you're away. When you're traveling, you can still see how much water is being used, when schedules are being skipped because of weather, and even see future schedules based on expected weather. If you need, you can change the manual schedule remotely, and get real-time updates. The app is available for iOS and Android, plus has support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

The b-hyve products are available from Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe's. To learn more about the product line, check out the company's website.

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Wonder Painter brings your drawings and photos to life @ CES 2020

2020-03-13

As a kid, almost everyone imagined themselves as the protagonist in their favorite stories. Heck, most adults do it when they read. However, those picture books never actually feature your face, right? Wonder Painter has created a technology that can directly bring any drawing or photo to life. The technology can allow publishers to use the reader's drawing or photo as an integral part of their storytelling experience.

Imagine a story about two kids going on an adventure - it's a fairly standard kids book concept. However, using Wonder Painter's technology, that story can feature you and your best friend as the kids going on said adventure. During the story, the two of you need a horse to get across a large field. Simply draw your own horse and the drawing comes to life as your transportation. This is nearly every kid's dream scenario and it is now a possibility.

The company has published a few demo apps to the Apple App Store to show off the basics of what their technology can do. While these demos are a ton of fun, the really important part is the technology. It is available in a platform-agnostic way, making it possible to build for the web, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and more. The company licenses this technology to content creators to allow them to make their own products and services more interactive. They are currently working with LG, Baidu, Alibaba, and more to make interactive applications a reality.

If you want to see the technology in action, check out the Wonder Painter apps in the App Store or interactive demo on the company's website. You can also learn about the SDK, Cloud service, and ask for a private demo of the development tech if you're working on a project that can use it.

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Sketchboard Pro is a digital artist's new best friend @ CES 2020

2020-03-13

If you have ever tried to do any form of artwork on a traditional tablet, you know that it can be physically exhausting. That's because of the general design of a consumer tablet. A small bezel around the screen is nice and convenient when you're reading, browsing Facebook, or playing a videogame, but it isn't great when drawing. Even when sketching our studio design before CES, the design of our tablet was uncomfortable. But, for those who work on tablets regularly, the Sketchboard Pro will make it a better experience.

The Sketchboard Pro looks fairly simple at first glance. It's a flat board with a handle and a gap for an iPad. But, in reality, it is a significantly more advanced product than that. The size and shape are designed to make drawing on the tablet more like drawing on a drafting board. The wide border around the screen gives you somewhere to lean on while you draw or write, meaning you don't have to hover your arm in the air. It also offers feet on all four corners, allowing you to raise it for landscape or portrait mode.

The actual iPad gap is incredibly well thought out as well. There is a small hole at the bottom which is designed to allow you to plug the iPad in while you are using it. You can run the power from the bottom through the hole and into the tablet. The Sketchboard Pro also has magnets in the gap to hold the iPad in place. That way you can pick up the Sketchboard and walk around with it, without worrying about your expensive tablet ejecting itself.

The Sketchboard Pro is available for pre-order on Indiegogo InDemand. To pre-order the product or learn more about its uses and features, check out the company's website.

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BuddyPhones protect kids' hearing while listening to music @ CES 2020

2020-03-14

Kids have an ever-growing collection of electronic devices. From portable gaming devices to phones and tablets, many of these electronics offer the ability for kids to use headphones. However, kids tend to not understand the lasting effects of misusing headphones, especially the effects of loud music and sounds. Fortunately, BuddyPhones has taken the task of protecting these kids' hearing into consideration when building their headphones.

The company offers a wide range of products designed specifically for the sensitive and developing ears of children. The headphones have attenuation built into them, meaning that no matter how loud the wearer turns up the volume on their device, the headphones will max out at a certain volume. This will protect the child's hearing, keeping them from having hearing problems later in life.

For years, BuddyPhones have been available as standard headphones in a variety of styles and designs. The company has characters, like robots and unicorns, on their headphones to make kids more interested in wearing the product. In addition to the volume limiting, they also focus on the headphones being rugged because kids can be hard on their devices. This year, the company is showing off a few new products, including gaming headphones that include a microphone, which can be removed and used as regular headphones.

The headphones range in price, starting at $15 for standard headphones and running through $89 for Bluetooth headphones. In addition, the range offers waterproof, active noise canceling (ANC), and more. All of the products offer the smart volume limiter feature. The products are available at retailers worldwide, including Amazon. To learn more about the company's products, technology, and goals, and to see the entire line of products, listed by age range, head over to the company's website.

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KODAK Smart Home offers quality and privacy for your family @ CES 2020

2020-03-14

The home is getting smarter as we add sensors and controllers to nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Some of these devices are simply connected, requiring you to make decisions, while others make decisions on their own. Both types of products require a particular level of trust in the company, as you are sharing data about the inside of your home with them. Not all of the companies involved can be trusted, but one brand that has always been associated with family activities and trust is Kodak, which is now offering the KODAK Smart Home line of products.

One of the first products from the KODAK Smart Home is a baby monitor. This plays into the history and knowledgebase of Kodak, in that it combines the company's decades of family relationships with the long-standing focus on cameras. The cameras and receivers are wireless, so there is no need to run cables. They come paired out of the box, so there is no real setup required. And, because the company knows that wireless reception can be a real pain because of things like walls, they also have pre-paired range extenders. Both sides have rechargeable batteries so that you can take the whole setup with you.

The KODAK Smart Home also offers security cameras, again leaning into their camera legacy. These cameras are also wireless, two-way audio, and can be monitored remotely. All of the current models are full HD (1080p), meaning that the video quality will far more useful than most security products. They can also record locally to SD cards rather than streaming to the outside world. They also offer the ability to be used with 9 other security cameras, so you can build a full-home system.

To learn more about the KODAK Smart Home product line, check out their website.

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CrazyCap purifies your water on the go in just 60 seconds @ CES 2020

2020-03-14

For a lot of people, clean water can be incredibly difficult or expensive. Having water delivered to your home, special devices in the kitchen or on the roof, or even purchasing bottled water, can be out of the question. The idea of cleaning existing water is as old as humanity itself and is constantly improving. But, for the most part, the idea has not been portable - until recently. CrazyCap has taken the idea of treating water and put it in the palm of your hand - or, more accurately, on the top of your bottle.

The CrazyCap is an accessory that screws onto the top of many popular water bottles and allows you to kill the bacteria that might be in it. It does this in just 60 seconds, thanks to the integrated deep UV LED light. That light can more than just kill, but instead destroy, microorganisms in the water.

The product has up to a 7-day battery charge, depending on how much it is used. Charging the cap is easy, by attaching a wireless charger to the top. The decision was made to go wireless instead of a standard USB-C plug because they wanted to ensure that the entire product is waterproof. Waterproofing the product makes it more usable for people who are outdoor enthusiasts, like hikers and kayakers.

While the product is designed for water cleaning, it can clean other items as well. If you power it on and hold it a few inches above the surface, you can clean phones and tablets, desks and counters, and a whole lot more. During the COVID-19 coronavirus panic, this could be a huge bonus for people.

The CrazyCap 2 is available now for $59 on its own, or with a reusable bottle for $69. To learn more about CrazyCap, check out their website.

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EZCast bridges the casting gap at both work and play @ CES 2020

2020-03-19

Michael Liggett, Product Manager, North America, for EZCast shared some of the impressive features of the EZCast line at CES 2020. EZCast makes a wide range of products for the consumer and corporate market for digital casting from a variety of devices.

EZCast Pro lets consumers cast 4K, 60 Hz, from the EZCast app, AirPlay, Chromecast and others. It interconnects with systems like Google Home, with a straightforward plug and play puck. EZCast is device agnostic, allowing Android users and Apple users to be friends, says Liggett. Additionally, you can stream to a non-smart device, or a previously unavailable device, like a hotel room TV.

The EZCast Beam J2 is a portable mini projector that uses the latest DLP technology and combines HDMI, USB and Wi-Fi interfaces to support screen mirroring from iOS, Android, Windows and Mac smart devices. It also doubles as a power bank. It has similar capabilities to the other wireless capabilities of the Pro, so you can piggyback onto the larger network. The projector can also be turned sideways, putting it into portrait mode. It comes with a remote, tripod mount and easy, accessible controls.

The Pro AV line also includes 4K technology and is good for app-based projects, operating as a collaborative server that allows users to annotate over streamed or projected content, including a shared whiteboard. The ProCast app allows a one-to-many cast function. The devices also provide for AirPlay. The Pro line utilizes dual-band RF technology and ethernet.

EZ Cast's Quatro Pod System provides even more functionality with wireless HDMI. It includes a mini display port and POE Ethernet port, allowing for collaborative presentations from a podium or conference space.
MSRP ranges from $70 for the EZCast Pro up to $1099 for the QuatroPod package, with a range of costs in between for individual units.

Visit EZCast or EZCast Pro for more information.

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AirPix aerial cameras take selfies to a whole new level @ CES 2020

2020-03-19

Greg Appelhof joined us at CES 2020, to tell us about AirPix, an HD aerial camera. AirSelfie aerial cameras are essentially little drones that can be tossed in the air or launched with an app and remotely operated to take photos from their aerial vantage points. The devices use facial recognition to take a photo and then return to the person it took a photo of.

AirSelfie launched in June 2019 on crowdfunding platforms and generated over $2 million in sales globally, with about 18,000 units sold across 105 countries. Appelhof shared some new products since its earlier launch: AirPix Plus and AIrDuo.

AirPix Plus with a curvilinear design, with stronger thrust from brushless motors. The lens on the AirPix Plus can pivot for a wider range of photographic angles. The AirDuo is more advanced with higher picture quality. It features a front parallel path camera, as well as an electronic switching camera on the bottom, for the bird's eye view image. It also has a sensor at the top to help it avoid hitting the ceiling or anything else above it.

Each of the cameras comes with a power bank. The cameras each take 10 to 15 minutes of video and hundreds of photos. Autonomously, the camera takes only a single photo, but via the app, users can shoot as many photos as they'd like, and have more control over composition. Autonomously, however, the camera can recognize certain hand gestures to know whether to take a video or photo and when to return to the operator.

The cameras retail at $180 for the AirPix Plus and $220 for the Air Duo. You can see the full AirPix line at their website.

Post-event note: AirPix delivery on Kickstarter and Indiegogo has been slow and customers have been expressed frustration. Always do your own research before purchasing new products.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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SPYDERISK provides risk assessment, saving time & money @ CES 2020

2020-03-19

Dr. Stephen C. Phillips is the founder and CEO of SPYDERISK, a new company that launched at CES that specializes in providing automated risk assessment for enterprise IT systems. SPYDERISK combines a comprehensive system model with an innovative machine reasoning capabilities and a detailed knowledge base of threats and control strategies to create a comprehensive view of the risks to a system.

SPYDERISK is aimed at larger companies that already have cybersecurity expertise embedded or cybersecurity consultancies who can use the tool when they're employed by other companies, with the goal of making it faster and better for those with the expertise to identify vulnerabilities. The tool is deployed online so customers can do their own automated risk assessment. It identifies issues and provides information on how to control or mitigate problems, and outputs reports for compliance audits and other uses. The reports suggest areas of concern for your network, including software products with known vulnerabilities. It then gives recommendations on potential next steps to mitigate those risks.

While it doesn't provide penetration testing, SPYDERISK assesses an entire system and can advise if testing at that level is indicated. Users can then identify which actions they're able or interested in taking to bring down their risk levels. Risks are automatically recalculated following control implementation, allowing customers to focus on the biggest risks to their systems.

One of the greatest benefits of the SPYDERISK assessment tool is the wealth of documentation it provides for compliance audits. Automating and speeding up assessment saves time and potentially money. In Europe, a company can be fined 4% of their revenue for a data breach, which can be a huge hit. SPYDERISK can help prevent those kinds of losses by helping companies stay vigilant.

For more information about the company, visit their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Nutricco takes the guesswork out of nutritional supplements @ CES 2020

2020-03-22

Pirogovsky, CEO of Nutricco, joined us at CES 2020 to share his solution for simple tools to help people with decision making about healthy diets, taking the guesswork of the nutritional supplement game.

There are 40,000 food tracking apps available, says, Pirogovsky, and while people download them, they don't really follow the recommendations they provide. Nutricco seeks to overcome that challenge by providing a way for subscribers to get the nutrients they need through a personalized mix of supplements relevant to where they are when they need it, and the amount they need at that time.

Nutricco has a three-part system that includes an app that guides and tracks your diet, an algorithm that provides personalized recommendations for the user's diet, and a dispensary that provides a personalized mix of supplements for the program subscriber.

Currently, says Pirogovsky, the supplement market is driven by budget. About 50% of the U.S. population uses supplements, he says - about 160 million daily users - with 30% of consumers - 55 million people - using three or more supplements daily. Most people don't understand what they're using or why, but rather make decisions on supplement use based on advertising. The problem isn't the supplement, he says, but getting the right supplement at the right time, when you need it.

Nutricco's subscription, with runs $399 per dispensing device and then $50 per month, includes the app, the supplements and the service for their device, a smart dispenser and a supplement supplier that assures clients an auto-renewable supply of essential daily nutrients. Nutricco's Smart Dispensing Machine holds up to 10 different types of dietary supplements stored in original bottles, providing the world's first all-in-one compliant and adherent connected home nutrient dispenser The app takes into consideration lifestyle and dietary habits. It balances nutritional supplement intake with appropriate times for supplements so that they don't interfere with one another on intake.

For more information on Nutrocco, check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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FANUC brings collaborative robotics to small manufacturers @ CES 2020

2020-03-22

Claude Dinsmore, General Manager of FANUC America joined us at CES 2020 to share the latest on robotics technology at FANUC. This was their first time exhibiting at CES, where they took the opportunity to bring together achievements in robotics consumer technology with industrial applications. As CES, FANUC found a great environment for participating in the discovery of new solutions for new product development among small manufacturers.

FANUC America Corporation, headquartered in Rochester Hills, MI is the leading supplier of robots, CNC systems and factory automation in the US. Founded in 1982, the company has over 1,500 employees in the Americas and provides customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, IT, logistics, operations, manufacturing, product development, sales & marketing, and training in the industrial robotics field.

At CES, FANUC showcased collaborative robots, or cobots, industrial robots that workers can safely work with or near. FANUC has specialized in machine vision for 35 years and now brings that technology to the forefront of the collaborative robotics movement, including touch sensing, force, higher-level software, integration with web and cloud technologies and more. The company also carries IoT products and Edge-based technologies.

Dinsmore sees fewer home applications than integration with companies and products that touch the home consumer, with companies like Kohler and Google. Specifically, FANUC helps companies like Kohler with the automation that goes into the final product, like bathtubs, where robots apply the porcelain and provide other tedious and potentially dangerous automation solutions. Their goal in attending CES is to help introduce people to what's happening on the industrial side and to hear what's going on in the consumer side. FANUC wants to help participate with new ideas coming out of the industry showcase and to listen and hear what's needed on the consumer side.

Visit their website to learn more about the hardcore industrial technologies available to everyone from FANUC.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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ARWall brings affordable high quality AR to filmmakers @ CES 2020

2020-03-22

Eric Narvette, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ARWall, was at CES 2020 to showcase the company's spatial imaging technology.

ARWall is the first and only solution that can deliver effectively zero-latency, with prior rigs built for TV broadcast delivering 4-12 frames of latency. With software and solutions built from the ground up for the average filmmaker, the result is a much more affordable solution with less hardware and headache.

ARWall got its start doing augmented reality special effects for film and television. The company created a solution that eliminated the need for greenscreen on productions, by updating rear projections, providing virtual environments that the actors could see, with more reactive lighting to sets, with true parallax.

The challenge that ARWall overcame was the locked camera issue, creating a smart software system providing six degrees of freedom for the camera itself, enabling filmmakers to get in close to the actor, use hand-held equipment, use a camera dolly or anything else, and the image behind the scene remains responsive to the point of view of the camera.

The next step was making the system accessible and interactive for the average consumer. The company addressed the consumer challenge by utilizing camera arrays, computer vision, and a variety of methods to help determine where the user is standing, essentially making the user the camera. Now, wherever the user looks or stands, the system responds as if there's a window that's been cut into the virtual space and allows them to move around inside that tracked volume.

The end goal is to create customer service kiosks at a store threshold, digital showrooms to display a large catalog, social activations with AR photo booths and games, interactive promotional signage, and much more. ARwall Interactive won "Best AR Experience" at CES 2020 DreamlandXR.

Learn more about ARWall at their website.

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Vasco Mini Translator connects speakers across languages @ CES 2020

2020-03-24

Maciek Goralski, of Vasco Electronics, was at CES sharing their translation devices and took some time to show us the Vasco Mini and talk about some of their other devices.

Vasco is a 10-year-old company specializing in language translators. Their translators, including the Mini, can translate more than 50 languages with an accuracy rate of more than 90%. The devices require no setup and can be used right out of the box. Users simply select their language and the language they want to translate, press the button, and speak. Vasco Mini immediately recognizes what is being said, translates it, and pronounce it out loud, like a native speaker.

A few things set the Vasco Translator apart. Where most translators need to be connected to a phone or wi-fi, the Vasco Translator utilizes a free, lifetime and unlimited sim card. As a result, the device can be be used in 150 countries and includes free updates. Because the devices have a screen that allows users to see the text of what the device hears, they're also able to make any corrections for a listener in real-time. Battery life is about 3-5 days, depending on the frequency of use.

Vasco Mini is the only translator in the world that can connect to five different translation engines and choose the best one depending on the language pair. It connects to servers in five continents to provide immediate translation, with support from Vasco's customer service team in each user's local language and country.

Other Vasco translators allow up to 100 people speaking different languages to connect in a chat room style setting for shared communications or to record a presentation or speech, transfer it to text, translate it to any language and then send the translated document through email.

The Vasco Mini 2 retails for $249. Visit the company's website to learn more.

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Real Graphene USA is making batteries faster and stronger @ CES 2020

2020-03-24

As we continue to carry more and more electronic devices with us on a regular basis, from phones and tablets to headphones and watches, power is continually the challenge. Between the amount of time required to charge these devices to the lifespan of their batteries, we all seem to be challenged by our batteries. While some companies, like Samsung, have worked to address some of these charging issues, companies like Apple are known for constant battery problems. Luckily, work on battery science has led to Real Graphene USA, a company with enhanced battery technology.

By using graphene batteries, a user's experience with their devices can be completely changed. When used in a smartphone, a standard lithium-ion battery takes about 90 minutes to charge. In comparison, a battery from Real Graphene USA takes about 20 minutes to charge. While other companies have offered quick charging for phones, the biggest downfall is the heat produced. However, because the graphene batteries are designed for quick charging, they are able to accomplish the goal without producing all of the heat.

Another problem with traditional batteries is their lifespan. Anyone who owns an Apple device knows the struggle of having to carry an external battery charger for the inevitable death of a device. The company's graphene-based batteries, despite their fast charge time, manage to have a longer battery life than lithium-ion batteries in the same device.

While we see new battery technology show up at CES every year, the batteries from Real Graphene USA are different. The technology is far beyond conceptual, as they are already integrated into products. One of those products is a portable charger, which is about the size of a regular portable battery but has the ability to charge up to 105 watts at once.

To learn more about Real Graphene USA or purchase one of their products, check out the company's website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Goal Zero is making solar power more accessible for home @ CES 2020

2020-03-24

Solar charging has become a hot topic in recent years. As the technology has continued to improve, companies have found new and exciting ways to enhance our daily lives using solar power. At CES 2015, we had the opportunity to speak with Goal Zero about their smaller consumer devices, such as their portable camping chargers and lights. But this year, Goal Zero joined us on the live show to talk about their line of larger solar solutions.

Many people have used a solar-powered calculator, maybe a radio, or even a battery charger, but the idea of whole-home solar power is gaining traction. This growth is thanks in part to creative new implementations of the technology, paired with large capacity battery systems. While most people think of solar as a single piece of technology - the panels on the house - the other essential aspect of the setup is a way to store that power for when the sun is gone.

The newest version of the Goal Zero home product, which was introduced and demoed at CES 2020, allows for 6000 watt-hours. An average home in Louisiana uses 42,000 watt-hours per day, while a home in Hawaii uses about 17,000 watt-hours per day. Depending on your usage, a single unit could power your home for as much as 8 hours, or as little as 3.5 hours, depending on where in the country you live.

But, these units are capable of being installed inline, which means that you can increase your overall capacity. With just a few units, you could power your whole home for days with no external. The most important part of the setup, however, is the solar charging, which allows you to charge the units off the grid. For those who live in places like Florida or Texas, where hurricane season can regularly leave you without power, this system can change your experience.

For more information about Goal Zero and their full line pf solar-based power products, check out the company's website and their products on Amazon.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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The Sandman Clock 2 is here to wake you up in the morning @ CES 2020

2020-03-28

While most of the house has seen big technological upgrades over the past couple of years, the bedroom has been mostly ignored. Sure, there are smart bulbs and speakers, but those are not bedroom specific. One of the bedroom devices that has been ready for a makeover is the alarm clock. We've seen some companies take a crack at it, but most come across as trying too hard. But the new Sandman Clock 2 from Palo Alto Innovation has found the sweet spot.

The Sandman Clock doesn't look out of place, because it looks like an alarm clock. However, the product features a number of hidden enhancements to make the product better. First, the screen features 1.8" red LED numbers. The red was chosen specifically because it will not negatively affect your night vision in the way that blue light would. The brightness of the screen is adjustable, and can also adjust automatically based on the ambient light in the room. Of course, the most important part of the clock is the alarm, which is configurable through the companion app.

What really makes the Sandman Clock modern is the array of charging capabilities. Across the back are 4 USB charging ports. There are two USB-A and two USB-C ports, so you can plug in any cable you have. Because of the growing interest in Qi wireless charging, the company also offers a compatible Qi charging plate that can be plugged into one of the ports.

This is not the only home enhancing product from Palo Alto Innovation. The Node-ify Axon is a unique product that allows you to build a custom sensor array depending on your needs. The components connect together using magnets and can be used to verify that your fridge is the correct temperature, your garage door is closed, or your clothes are ready for the dryer.

The original Sandman Clock is available now, and the Sandman Clock 2 will be available later in the year. The Node-ify Axon is in active development. To learn more about the company and its products, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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The LUMINI Home mirror takes skincare to a whole new level @ CES 2020

2020-03-28

Heejin Eom of lululab was back at CES 2020 to talk about the latest developments in their intelligent skincare analysis products. When we first spoke with the Korean company at CES 2019, they were debuting LUMINI, a facial skincare system utilizing artificial intelligence via a handheld scanner to detect and make recommendations for treating different types of skin conditions.

The LUMINI is a professional level device intended for use by dermatologists, med spas, salons, and high-end department stores, but the company was already planning a more consumer-friendly version. This year, that's just what they have: a smart mirror called LUMINI Home, bringing some of the professional-level skincare analysis in the LUMINI scanner to the home consumer. The mirror solves the challenges of the small scanning device and sophisticated level of knowledge required to use it, by incorporating the technology of the scanner into a more familiar and easily usable mirror.

The mirror works along the same lines as the scanner. It captures an image of the user's face, then analyzes the facial conditions across six categories. It looks at wrinkles, pigment, redness, oiliness, pore conditions and acne, and then provides a recommended course of treatment for current conditions.

The smart mirror can be placed on a table or counter to work as a regular mirror, but utilizes some IoT and artificial intelligence capabilities for an additional level of interaction with the user. The mirror can greet the user, share basic daily information on weather conditions, including UV index and humidity, and then makes skincare recommendations based on those conditions, like advising the use of sunscreen or moisturizers. It will also recommend particular product lines.

The mirror will be available in the summer of 2020, first in Korea before being released worldwide. You can learn more on the company's website. The company was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Nominee.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Cambridge Consultants is designing a hospital of the future @ CES 2020

2020-03-28

Obviously, the majority of the companies we have on the show are either product companies or research and development firms. One exhibitor type that we don't often get to talk with is consultancies. These companies are often integral to the process of bringing a new product to the market. They can help with early-stage design, funding, marketing, and more. This year, we got the opportunity to speak with Jaquie Finn from Cambridge Consultants about the company's work in the industry.

Consultancies like Cambridge Consultants are the unsung heroes of the product world, often living behind the scenes, creating products for others, or spinning off divisions as they are created. While you may never hear their name, you might very well know their products. In the case of Cambridge Consultants, they have been involved in products ranging from the first wireless pacemaker to the Bluetooth stack in most devices, which became part of Qualcomm, from air traffic control systems to the push-to-talk satellite technology for Iridium, they've done it all.

At CES this year, the company was talking about the evolution of personal sensor technology. Today, most monitoring is done with wearable technologies - from smartwatches to headbands. But, wearable technologies have limitations that prevent proper compliance. There are gaps in the data because of device charging or swapping of hardware. There are communication glitches because of interference and middle technologies, like phones. And, there are inconsistencies between brands and models.

In a design for a hospital of the future, Cambridge Consultants ran a three-month test of a contactless monitoring solution aimed at helping to eliminate some of these issues. The test got data on heart rate, temperature, respiration, and consciousness simply through cameras, with no need for wearable technologies. In a hospital, this would make monitoring easier, with no wearables to clean, no batteries to charge. Nurses could focus on the results as opposed to the technology.

For more information about the projects that Cambridge has done, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Tapplock takes a different approach to biometric locks @ CES 2020

2020-03-29

Biometric padlocks have become a popular product category since one brand appeared on Shark Tank. While many companies have done nothing to innovate in the space, the team at Tapplock has found a way to set themselves apart in an increasingly crowded field. Their approach is to focus not just on the individual, but on the enterprise.

Using the company's enterprise software, a company can manage a fleet of padlocks and users. First, the lock is enrolled in the system so that the account can manage the device. This is no different from the normal individual signup process, where you pair the lock to your account. However, enrollment of a user is unique, as it doesn't take place on the lock, but on a more centralized reader. Once the user is enrolled in the system, they can be assigned to any or all of the locks in the collection.

Take, for example, Best Buy - a retailer that has dozens of secure displays throughout the store, as well as a large number of employees. By using the Tapplock enterprise system, the store can easily manage which employees have access to each locked case and, more importantly, when. Steve, who works in housewares, would likely not have access to unlock the case holding laptops, and the system can enforce that. Diane, who works in electronics, does have the ability to unlock the laptops to be able to help her customers. However, she should not have access to the case after 10 pm when the store closes. All of this is possible using the Tapplock enterprise platform.

One feature is missing from the Tapplock padlocks - support for a physical key. The company says that they did this to prevent an obvious point of physical attack, but many prefer to have the traditional key as a backup for when the battery dies and you need immediate access. This is an important piece of information to know before making a buying decision.

The Tapplock products are available ranging from $39 to $99. To find out more about the company, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Dell is bringing beautiful design to the workplace @ CES 2020

2020-03-29

When it comes to computers, there are few brands in the same realm as Dell. The company's XPS 13 laptop is one of the top choices for small form laptops by Laptop Magazine and Tom's Hardware. Avram Piltch even featured the newest model on a recent episode of the Piltch Point, in which he showed off the improved design.

At CES this year, the company showed off a lot of new devices, including the Latitude 9510. This sleekly designed laptop has the styling of a consumer device but is intended for the business world. That was part of the company's focus for the show this year - the marriage of business-class capabilities with consumer class styling. This move is important for companies who are trying to attract younger workers, who are used to attractive and high-end technology in their daily lives, and they don't want to sacrifice any of that in their business lives. It features a touch screen with stylus support, as well as a 180-degree rotatable screen, turning it into a tablet.

While the design is important, specs can be king, and this laptop has impressive specs. The Latitude 9510 sports over 30 hours of battery life, meaning you can literally use it all day without fear. It also has 4G and 5G connectivity, in addition to Wi-Fi, so you should be able to use it anywhere you are. They even worked to ensure that the teleconferencing capabilities are enterprise-grade. A few weeks ago, this might have been an important feature, but right now it is essential, with so many people working from home.

They manage to pack all of this into the lightest 15-inch laptop, weighing in at only 3.2 pounds. The Latitude 9510 is coming soon. For more information on this and all of Dell's other laptops, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Giftapart takes the stress out of group gift giving @ CES 2020

2020-03-29

Everyone has been in a situation where you're having trouble coming up with a gift you want to get for a friend or family member. Some people have a smaller number of interests, and the things they want are more expensive. Being able to shop together with others, and each person purchase contribute part of the gift, has never been particularly easy. Fortunately, there is a new platform call Giftapart, which is aimed at making that experience pleasant.

Imagine your niece, Christina, is graduating from high school and headed off to college. She is likely to need a laptop, but no individual family member is able to pay for the device. What she can do is go onto Giftapart and register for the device that she really wants. Then, family and friends can go to her registry and contribute to the purchase. When the laptop is fully funded, Christina gets the laptop, and everyone gets credit for their part.

For anyone who has ever been the one to foot the bill for a group gift and never been paid back, this service is aimed at you. No longer does one person have to pay for the whole thing and hope that everyone else pays their share. Instead, all of the money is held individually until the purchase is ready to be made.

This is a perfect option for not only graduates but wedding registries, housewarming gifts, and more. Now people can register for the items they really want, regardless of the overall price. The platform currently offers over 25 million products, ranging from a Kitchenaid stand mixer to a Microsoft Surface Book, and everything in between. If there is an item you want to register for, it is probably available on the platform.

For more information on the Giftapart platform, check out their corporate website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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MicroVision has a touching new prototype projector @ CES 2020

2020-03-31

Over the past few years, the cost of projection technology has come down significantly. That has been paired with the size of the technology getting smaller. On Black Friday 2019, we saw pico projectors being offered for less than $100. However, these devices don't provide a lot of value for most consumers. That's because the way we interact with our computing technology has changed, as well.

Most people expect the screens in their life to be touch. Nearly all laptops, definitely all phones and tablets, and even a lot of desktop (all-in-one) computers offer touch input. Projection screens, however, still require external input - that is until now. MicroVision has developed the Interactive Projection Engine - a very small hardware array that allows developers to produce devices with touch-enabled projection.

The demo device we got to see allowed for nearly any standard video input and computing output to connect to a device. We saw the projector connected to a phone with impressive touch recognition capabilities. But, the possibilities are endless, especially when connected to a computer. Even in our portable broadcast studio, this projector would make traveling easier, because it would eliminate the need for monitors.

Imagine being a business traveler, maybe you're a salesperson. You don't know what your client might have in a conference room. You don't want to pack a full projector, but the pico projectors tend to be too dim. This technology, however, is laser-powered, making it possible to use it in standard lighting. We even saw it on our wall in the studio with our lighting and the light of the convention center.

The demo device is available for developers through an application. The company is working with manufacturers to produce commercial products based on the technology. For more information, check out the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Manta5 hydrofoil bikes allow you to ride on the water @ CES 2020

2020-03-31

In the past few years, the popularity of bicycles has grown quickly. We've seen new styles of bikes, including electric and hybrid bikes. However, there is one common thread that ties them all together - the surface on which you ride. That is not a limiting factor for the hydrofoil bikes made by Manta5, though, as their bikes are designed to be ridden on the water.

If that sentence surprised you, you are not alone. Even our host Don Baine was surprised when he was told. When you think about it, though, the concept starts to make more sense. Kayaking has also grown in popularity over the past few years, for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is the ability to go to places and see aspects of nature that you might normally miss. The Manta5 hydrofoil bikes allow for the same opportunities for exploration and beautiful views, but with a different workout. While a kayak will give your arms a workout, the hydrofoil bikes will give your legs a workout.

These hydrofoil bikes don't look like a traditional bicycle. When in the water, they look similar to a stationary bike, with the pedals attached to a solid center section. It also doesn't have wheels, as they wouldn't help a lot in the water. Instead, when you take it out of the water, you can see that it has a propeller on the back above a tail fin. In the front are another fin and a leveling bar. While this may seem like a small detail, it is important to note that the bike also sits upright when out of the water, making it easy to store and transport.

The Manta5 hydrofoil bikes are available for pre-order now, with a retail price of $7,490. You can pre-order yours and learn more about the product on their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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TROVA protects your privacy with a beautiful lockbox @ CES 2020

2020-03-31

These days, privacy and security are an important topic. Whether you're trying to keep your phone physically secured, or hiding away a flash drive, there are few ways to do it while maintaining an appealing visual. Safes and lockboxes tend to be functional without any regard to the look and feel of the products. But, we still want our homes and offices to look good, and not like the center of a bank. This is where TROVA comes in.

The company's products are designed to not only protect valuables and important items from prying eyes, but they do it while looking good. The boxes have a nice diamond cut to them, with a small peak on the top. Having the box look attractive is more than just a feature of aesthetics, though. It also means that it can disguise itself as a decorative item, allowing you to hide important items in plain sight. Unless someone is aware of the TROVA products, they would likely look right past it on a table, dresser, or desk.

Discretion is not its only security feature, though. These boxes are secured lockboxes, protected thorough biometrics and paired Bluetooth. You must have the correct, paired device in your possession to begin the process of unlocking the TROVA boxes. You must also use the app and your device's built-in biometrics to verify your identity before it will open up.

With the TROVA GO, you can even take the privacy and protection with you. This is a great option for travelers who want to keep their medications and other private items protected while going through security, the airport in general, and in a hotel or rental property.

The TROVA GO is available now for $249, and the TROVA HOME is available for pre-order at $699. You can learn more and purchase your device at the TROVA website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Lyf Board is the digital dashboard for the family @ CES 2020

2020-04-01

Trying to maintain a household can be difficult, and the more people in it, the more difficult it becomes. What night is soccer? When are we visiting the grandparents? What date does the school year end? Trying to keep all of these dates and times in your head can be a challenge, and holding it on your phone means only one person has the full schedule. In the past, families have used the fridge, but there's a lot more going on now. The Lyf Board is intended to help alleviate those issues.

Billed as "the dashboard for your family life," the Lyf Board is a smart screen that keeps track of everyone's activities. It shows a schedule of events, as well as the aspects of the world that might impact those events, such as weather. The information is presented in a way that is both informative and fun, looking somewhere between an 8-bit style and a Lite Bright.

In addition to scheduling information, the Lyf Board can also give other family-related details. For example, you can have it sync to your FitBit account and show off how everyone is doing towards their daily and weekly step goals. This creates a fun atmosphere of family competition, encouraging everyone to do a little better every day. As time goes on, the company promises even more integrations to help tie more of the family experience together on one screen.

The Lyf Board is currently in the final development stage, with test devices in the wild today. The company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign once they are confident with the production schedule, and are offering a 40 percent discount for those who sign-up for notifications now. To sign up for an alert when the Kickstarter goes live and to find more information about Lyf Board, check out the website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Kwikset wants to make entering your house a breeze @ CES 2020

2020-04-01

When most people think of companies like Kwikset, they think of home security. This is likely because of the fact that they are the largest maker of consumer door locks in the world. What they might not think of is consumer electronics, but that is changing, as many products in the home are becoming connected devices. Locks are no exception - in fact, they are one of the leaders in the trend.

The company's connected locks are designed to make managing your home's security an easy process. Using the existing Halo lock, you can manage who can and cannot unlock the door, and when those permissions are in place. You can also see who has come and gone and when, making sure that people who are supposed to be in your home at certain times, such as your kids, really are. You can also assign temporary access for house guests, contractors, or even rental properties. All of this is done with a direct Wi-Fi connection, meaning there is no hub required. Of course, all of this is backed up by a traditional key.

The upcoming Halo Touch will maintain most of these features and add in the increasingly popular biometrics feature. It replaces the keypad on the standard Halo with a fingerprint sensor. Using the same technology that powers the fingerprint ID unlocking capabilities on your phone will allow you to unlock your front door. The lock allows you to enroll up to 50 users on the biometric feature, with up to two fingerprints per user. This would be enough to even secure a small office, church, and the like.

The Kwikset Halo is available now in several looks and finishes. The sets are priced in the $200 price range. The Halo Touch is coming soon. For more information on the company's connected locks, check out their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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SureCall enhances your signal strength in rough situations @ CES 2020

2020-04-01

If there is one experience that everyone in the developed world can come together on is the low quality of wireless signal strength in the house. The technology is so questionable that phone companies have worked out ways to offload some or all of the load to Wi-Fi connections when you are in a known location. But, Wi-Fi is not always an option, so sometimes you just need to improve your cellular signal. Thankfully, SureCall makes that easy.

Whether you're trying to boost the signal quality in your home, office, or even an RV, a signal booster or repeater from SureCall can help. If you've ever used a signal enhancer for a television antenna, then the concept will be familiar to you. On the outside of the structure, you place an antenna. Depending on your needs, the antenna may be small, like an old car phone, or larger, like a digital TV antenna. Than antenna runs inside to a signal enhancer, and then to a repeater. That repeater broadcasts as if it were its own cellular antenna, and your phone will connect like normal.

In addition to personal use, this can be a nice feature to add to a commercial property. For businesses that invite the public in, such as retail or grocery, where metal roofs and strong steel structures can inhibit signal strength, offering a signal booster can make the experience better. This is especially important for a business where making a call or texting is a normal part of the process, such as in retail.

The company offers a wide variety of product options, ranging from small and portable setups for trucks and RVs that supports a few devices, up through large commercial options that can support large quantities of devices. To learn more about the company's product offerings, check out their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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PantryOn helps track your food usage in your closets @ CES 2020

2020-04-03

Managing your groceries can be a real challenge, especially when there are multiple people in your household. We've all reached into the pantry to grab an ingredient we need and it is empty or almost empty. That's always a difficult situation, especially when you're halfway into cooking something and can't run out to replace it. It would be way better if you knew before you started cooking or, even better, when you were last at the grocery store, that you needed more. That is precisely the situation that PantryOn is here to help solve.

PantryOn is a shelf liner with individual spots for each item in your pantry or closet. Each spot has a scale built-in to determine the current weight of each item. You place a fresh container of each item on the slots and tell the connected app what is on that spot. Then, as people use the product, the weight will decrease. When the weight hits a particular threshold, the app will alert you to the current state. It can also automatically add the item to the shopping list built into the companion app.

There are a few important technological pieces to know about the PantryOn. The first is that it obviously requires electricity to work. That means that you will need to have power available in the pantry or closet in which you plan to use it. Because it is a connected device, you will also need availability for Wi-Fi. Depending on the setup of your home, you may need to test the Wi-Fi signal strength in your kitchen to ensure the cabinets won't cause too much of an issue.

The PantryOn is priced like an appliance, with each unit running between $500 and $700. To learn more, check out the company's website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Smardii is helping reduce the strain in elder care @ CES 2020

2020-04-03

The world is experiencing a pair of population changes that, when combined, creates a big problem. First, the percentage of elderly people in the population is rising. As we age, we need extra time and care. However, the second change is the lowering number of nurses per capita. Together, a growing population in need of a shrinking amount of support means a bigger need for ways to maximize nurses' time. One great way to do this is with Smardii smart diapers.

While there have been other connected diaper technologies, Smardii sets itself apart in a really unique way. The company has managed to develop a sensor array that is so small and inexpensive that it can be embedded in disposable diapers without changing the price of the product by more than a penny or two. Then, connected to the outside of the diaper is a reusable and rechargeable communication puck, that is able to power the sensors as well as communicate the readings back to the system.

The sensor array is able to detect a variety of metrics, including humidity, temperature, position, and motion. These metrics can then be used to determine the state of the diaper, making it easier for caretakers to keep track of patients without having to add extra work to their rounds. But, the device can also provide a lot more information for medical professionals. With the position sensing, they can determine if someone has not moved in an extended period of time. This could indicate unreported pain, and detecting it early can prevent bedsores. The motion tracking can detect if the patient has fallen or moved in an unusual way and alert staff.

To learn more about the Smardii platform and how it might help your healthcare experience and to contact the company, check out their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Immoshoot is a global real estate research platform @ CES 2020

2020-04-03

Whether you are looking to buy or rent, finding the right property can be a challenge. It seems like getting useful information can be difficult, and comparing a property to its surroundings can feel impossible. A new real estate community portal, Immoshoot, is trying to solve this problem by bringing together different sets of data, as well as access to real estate professionals.

One of the biggest decisions that can be made in life is the purchase or leasing of a property. The best way to make an informed decision is to have all the pertinent information. When you are out and find a property that interests you, simply take a photo of the marketing material. This could be a for sale or lease sign, simply take a photo and upload it to the platform. Using the information in the photo, the platform will find the information about the property. This includes traditional listing data, along with community information, such as lifestyle and cultural data. Once a shoot is created, it is stored in your profile. You can easily return to the listing and even share it with others.

The shoots are also maintained on a collaborative map. Everyone on the platform can explore the listings around them, including the listing and community information. This allows you to see properties that are currently available, but it also allows for a unique way to get to know your surroundings. It can be helpful as a potential buyer or leaser, but it can also be interesting as a new member of the community. You can get an idea of the state of the area around you and explore the local area.

To learn more about Immoshoot and to try out the platform for yourself, head over to their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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MaxPro Fitness is a workout companion for home and travel @ CES 2020

2020-04-04

One of the fields in the consumer electronics industry that is often overlooked is the health and wellness space. Sure, a lot of attention is placed on measurement, through wearables and other technology, but very little focus is placed on the actual activity. For myself, I know very little about what I need to do to try and get into shape and have even less capacity to execute, especially at home or on the road. Luckily, we've got MaxPro Fitness to help out the exercise challenged.

On the surface, the MaxPro Fitness is a small portable workout machine. And, of course, that's what it is - but it does it in a unique way. It can easily and effectively be used at home, but it is designed to collapse into a small and portable body. It's small enough to be carried in a backpack or shoulder bag, making it ideal for travel. Even better, it requires nothing special in terms of usage, meaning that every exercise you can do at home can be done on the go.

We got a unique demo of the product during the interview, showing off the fully adjustable resistance system. You can use it standing up in an upward pull, across the top of a door in a downward pull, or in a sitting position for a row.

But, this is CES - how is this a consumer technology product? As part of the system, there is a companion app, that can help you learn how to use the machine and maximize your workout. Depending on your fitness goals, you might need to do a different set of exercises, or possibly do the same ones in a different order. The MaxPro Fitness app can help you with all of those distinctions, as it behaves as a virtual trainer.

The MaxPro Fitness is available now starting at $529, with additional accessories available as well. The companion app will be available soon.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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CarePredict helps seniors age in place with peace of mind @ CES 20202

2020-04-04

As the senior population grows, one way that we can minimize the impact on the healthcare industry is by allowing capable people to age at home. It's better for many people to be able to stay in their own homes for various reasons: it prevents unnecessary diseases, allows better socialization preventing isolation, and it maintains a level of normalcy in later life. But, there are some dangers to aging in place, and CarePredict is trying to decrease the likelihood of those dangers.

CarePredict is a pairing of a wearable device, known as the Tempo Series 3, for seniors and a connected platform, whose intention is to monitor the daily routine and activity of the wearer. The device itself pays attention to the general motions of the wearer and looks for patterns. Once the patterns are determined, the system is able to report exceptions to the patterns. In that collection of behaviors that it is looking for changes in are missed meals, staying in bed, inconsistent sleep, and more.

Once an exception is detected, the person's carer is notified. This could be a family member, a close neighbor, or anyone that is chosen. Unlike other solutions to similar problems, the CarePredict system adds the ability to communicate directly with the wearer. This is done through built-in two-way communication in the Tempo device. So long as the device is on, the wearer and the carer are able to communicate in case there is a problem. The device even has a button on it that allows the wearer to initiate communication even if the device doesn't detect an issue.

The Tempo Series 3 is available with a regular retail price of $449. The monitoring service is available for $69 per month or $699 per year for an individual, or $99 per month or $999 per year for a couple. To learn more or purchase the Tempo, check out their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Plott Carta is augmented reality for large home projects @ CES 2020

2020-04-04

One of the main reasons people fail to complete home renovation projects is because they don't go as planned. I think most of us have had the experience of trying to hang a collection of photos or paintings and none of the items line up. Having a failure like that can be really discouraging and can prevent people from trying other projects in the future. With the help of Plott, anyone can achieve their home project goals.

The company currently has two main products. The first is the Cubit, which is a digital, augmented reality measuring tape. You can learn more about the Cubit in a future episode. The other product is the Carta, which is a large, digital measuring wheel. In addition to the traditional feature of a measuring wheel - measuring distance - the Carta is able to track the full route and place it on a map. This is great for mapping out a new garden, a deck, a pool, and more.

Once you have the path mapped out, you can make educated decisions about the project. Whether you need to purchase boundary materials for a garden or wood for a deck, having proper measurements will allow you to know exactly what materials you're going to need. You can also annotate the map, including marking points of interest, such as large rocks, and make notes about the project. Once your map is together, you can share your project files with someone else to help.

The really exciting part of the product is the ability to take the digital world and place it back in the real world. Using an existing map, you can place the Carta in a starting position and it will allow you to re-walk the same path, so you can place your frame for your desk, the boundary for your garden, etc.

The Plott Carta is available now for $199, and the Plott Cubit is available for $119.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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The WaterSwitch protects your whole house from leaks @ CES 2020

2020-04-05

For any homeowner, one of the biggest stresses is around water. Pipes can burst, joints can leak, and fixtures can drip. All of these issues can be annoying, but some of them can be devastating. And, on top of it all, they all cost money in expanded water bills. It's difficult to prevent these issues because many of them happen in a place where you can't see - in walls, under cabinets, or inside of appliances. However, through the WaterSwitch, homeowners can prevent the damage created by water issues.

The WaterSwitch is a small connected device that goes on the main incoming water line for your home or business. The device pays attention to water flow, based on draw through the system. Using its knowledge about water usage, it is able to determine when something unusual is happening. Unusual water usage is usually an indicator of a leak somewhere in the system. When that is detected, it alerts the owner of what it has detected. This helps prevent a small problem from becoming a large one.

Another interesting aspect of the WaterSwitch is the way it conserves water. Rather than being reactive, and trying to turn the water off when something goes wrong, the valve lives in the off position. The valve is only opened when the system detects a normal water request, such as turning on a sink or shower. The original model took a moment to pressurize the plumbing and provide water, the newest model maintains pressure. This is important because it makes the usage of water feel like there is nothing different in the plumbing.

The WaterSwitch is available now for $495. To learn more about the product and to order one for yourself, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Hachi Infinite M1 brings a projector to the Android world @ CES 2020

2020-04-05

There are many aspects of a smartphone or tablet that make them an attractive device. However, the small size of the screen can take some of the shine off of the excitement. For running a presentation, looking at photos, or reading the news, a larger screen can make the experience far better. The Hachi Infinite M1 from Puppy Robot is designed to combine the best of both worlds into a single device.

The device is a DLP projector with an Android device built-in. This Android computer is capable of running any Android apps and projecting them on nearly any surface. The feature that makes this a standout product is that the projection screen is fully touch-capable. This means that you lose no features of Android by going to the big screen. The projector has an auto-focus system included, so you never have to worry about adjusting the lens manually.

During the interview, Marlo got the opportunity to try it out and was incredibly impressed. While reaching over the projector from behind caused problems for the sensors, Marlo's interaction from the side produced expected results. He was able to look at photos, play a video, and more. The part that was most impressive was when he opened Microsoft Word and tried out the on-screen keyboard. The touch is powered by an artificial intelligence system and paired with a system called AnyTouch, which makes the touch function on any surface.

In addition to the built-in computer, the device offers the ability to use the projector for external devices. That means you could plug in a computer and use the projector as a traditional projector. This capability extends the already impressive usefulness of the product.

The Hachi Infinite M1 is coming soon. To learn more about the product and find out when it becomes available, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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AURA Devices helps maintain healthy hydration during sports @ CES 2020

2020-04-08

One of the issues that face athletes is proper hydration. Each person's body is different, and that means that there are no general rules that work across the board. It also varies greatly by what you are doing. Some sports are more involved and produce more sweat on a regular basis, while others are "start and stop", making the exertion different. Then there's the variation between seasons, where people tend to sweat more during the summer than in the winter. The best way to determine the right process for hydration is through AURA Devices sensors.

While most people know that under hydrating is dangerous, what most people don't know is that over-hydrating can be just as dangerous. It dilutes important substances in your blood, which prevents the proper behavior of the body. By using the AURA Strap or AURA Band from AURA Devices, you can get an accurate idea of your body's current needs. The Strap is a band for your Apple Watch that adds a sensor on the backside of your wrist. The Band is similar but is a standalone device that doesn't require the Apple Watch. The sensor itself detects hydration and body mass index (BMI) on-demand, meaning that it will run the test when you ask it to.

The best way to use it is to run a test before you begin your activity to determine your hydration level and then do it regularly throughout your activity. This gives the system the ability to determine the change in your body during your workout process and make recommendations to correct your current situation.

The AURA Band is available now for $179 and the AURA Strap is available for preorder for $99. To learn more about the system or purchase a device, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Become a data JEDAI through your business's mobile app @ CES 2020

2020-04-08

One of the most important insights for a business is the ability to look into the needs and wants of its potential customers. To be able to see the likes and dislikes, as well as track moments in their individual experience is almost worth more than gold. It is in those moments where a brand is best able to engage with those customers and offer its product or service to complement or help repair the situation. Anagog is the service that provides that clarity.

By using artificial intelligence and phone sensors, like GPS, the platform, known as JEDAI, is able to determine what a customer needs at a particular moment. This is done by creating a virtual persona of the person, which is a generalization of the person's interests and habits. With that persona, a business can engage with their customers in a direct and meaningful way.

The service is implemented within a company's own app through an ADK (software development kit) and is intended specifically to learn about the customer within the context of that business. Take, for example, a department store. Every store has its own app that allows you to browse the product line and make purchases. But, they also make recommendations, based on the products you have explored. If you have only ever looked at women's clothing, then it would make no sense to recommend kids' toys.

Now, imagine if the app was able to do the same thing, but while you are in the store. It can see the sections of the store that you frequent to improve recommendations. Maybe, every time you go to the store, you stop by the board games. That would be an indicator that board games are an interest, even though you have never looked at them in the app.

Most importantly, the system is designed for personal privacy. While most analytics services transmit their persona data to a server for analysis, the JEDAI system is able to do all of the analysis and recommendations on the device. This means that your data remains on your device and, therefore, in your control. It is a seismic shift in the data market.

JEDAI is available now for both Android and iOS. To learn more about how the platform can help, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Speech Morphing makes custom virtual voices sound real @ CES 2020

2020-04-08

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that computerized voices are horrible. Some systems do a decent job of blending real voice with digital, such as Cortana, but Jen can't live in the studio recording every possible outcome. What we usually get is something slightly better than the bizarre pseudo-human voices you hear in telephone trees that always sound happy, or always sound flat. But, with the help of Speech Morphing, that could be a thing of the past.

The Smorph system is capable of taking any voice and digitizing it. This gives brands the ability to use a real person and the digital representation in different scenarios. Imagine if a retailer had a famous spokesperson for their television and radio ads, but their customer support number and their digital app were able to speak to you in the same voice, all while being able to customize the words that are said on the fly.

The company's Smorph on-demand voice system is powered by artificial intelligence and is able to produce emotional inflections in the voice. More importantly, it is able to determine the right times in which to change the tone. Let's use the example of a phone tree. If you were speaking to a real operator, their tone would not sound like they just attended a party while discussing issues with billing or internet outages. A digital voice, however, usually doesn't care about your situation or the context of your conversation. Smorph's virtual voices do, however, making it a more natural interaction.

The Smorph system is also able to adapt to a business domain. The tech world has a lot of bizarre words, as does the medical industry. Digital voices are never able to get the right pronunciation of these words, but with the customization available through this system, you can get the pronunciation right so your digital agent can sound even more natural.

The Smorph system from Speech Morphing is available now. For more information, check out their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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The Atmos from Ao Air is a breathing mask for unclean air @ CES 2020

2020-04-09

It's no secret that even before the COVID-19 problems began, breathing devices were a big part of everyday life in parts of the world. Most people remember the images of citizens in Beijing before and after the Olympics wearing masks every day because of the quality of the air. Even during CES, we see people from all over the world wearing masks as they walk around Las Vegas. While the passive masks that many people wear for personal respiration are helpful, there are ways to make the experience far better. Enter Aō Air, a company dedicated to making active personal respiration masks.

The company's mask, the Atmōs, is very different from the ones you see on a regular basis. Rather than being worn in physical contact with the face, which gets hot an uncomfortable quickly, the Atmōs masks look similar to a Microsoft HoloLens and are worn in front of the mouth, resting on the nose like a pair of glasses. The gap space allows for proper airflow and ventilation. And, while it may sound like that is the opposite of the concept, the airflow is a key aspect of the device's engineering.

These masks use the airflow to produce a wall of air around the face, which creates a high level of air pressure. That pressure prevents air on the outside of the mask from getting past the wall. Then, the mask pushes clean air into the void between your face and the air wall, ensuring that the air that you breathe is of high quality. That air goes through a filtration and sanitation process between being pulled into the device and being provided to you.

The first units of the Atmōs masks are expected to ship in July 2020, and pre-orders are available now. The deposit is $70 and the full retail is $350. To find out more about the company and to preorder your unit, check out the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Bzigo is eliminating mosquitoes from your life one by one @ CES 2020

2020-04-09

In some parts of the world, such as Florida, mosquitoes are an annoyance that we all have to deal with. In other parts of the world, mosquitoes carry harmful and dangerous diseases. Whether you're hiding from a nuisance or preventing the spread of disease, the first step is always in identifying and locating the problem. In the case of a mosquito, that can be difficult for human eyes because they are small and maneuverable. Luckily, Bzigo has a new way to get it done.

The Bzigo looks similar to a webcam or a home security camera and functions similarly. Using the integrated camera and machine vision algorithms, it is able to locate mosquitoes in a room. It does this not just by looking at the image from the camera, but by identifying motion patterns. This is important because a mosquito is obviously tiny and is easily missed. But, by identifying the motion of the tiny spec in the image, the system can separate the insect from dust and other small items.

Once the mosquito is found, it pushes an alert to your mobile device. This allows you to go to where the Bzigo is located. Once there, you will see a laser pointer circling the location of the mosquito. Now you can eliminate the problem on your own in the manner that best suits you, or that is the most fun. My family enjoys using those tennis racket looking hand zappers but to each their own. In the future, it is possible that the system would be able to deal with the pest on its own, but for safety reasons, identifying and marking is a great start.

The Bzigo is available for preorder now, with a reserve price of $9. The expected retail price will be $169. To learn more or preorder your device, head over to their website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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These Young Innovators are some of the ones to watch @ CES 2020

2020-04-09

At PLUGHITZ Live, we have a lot of opportunities to work with the best and brightest students from around the world. While we might not have hosted FIRST Looks, CES managed to provide yet another opportunity to show off some of the amazing students who were showcasing their innovating solutions to some of the world's problems. These students were invited as winners of The Young Innovators Awards for 2020.

The first student we got to talk with was Alishba Imran, a 16-year-old student from Arizona. Her product is called Honestblocks, and solves an issue that many people are unaware of: counterfeit medication. At least 10 percent of the global medication supply is counterfeit, which can easily lead to massive problems. Archer brought the issue to the attention of many, but the solution isn't as obvious, at least to us. However, by using blockchain, Honestblocks is able to track and maintain an accurate and unalterable supply chain record to protect people's health. You can learn more about the Honestblocks project on the project website.

The second student we spoke with was Stanley Liu, another 16-year-old student. His project centers around improving the process and accuracy of blood tests. His solution is called the Immuno Essense Chip, and it is an integrated device for blood plasma separation and multiplexing immunoassay detection. By improving the process, he is able to improve the turnaround time and the cost of testing. Rather than traditional tests, which can take up to a week, these tests can be run in under 3 minutes and cost less than $2. To learn more about the project, you can check out the project website.

To find out more about The Young Innovators Awards and this year's other award winners, head over to the award program's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Zero Mass Water is a solar-powered home water farm @ CES 2020

2020-04-10

For many people around the world, drinking water is a concern. For some, there is no infrastructure to provide water clean enough to drink. For others, the infrastructure isn't maintained or has purposely been let to degrade. No matter the scenario, an improved drinking source can make life better and more convenient. The most efficient way to accomplish this is by using an integrated hydro panel from Zero Mass Water.

The company offers two different solutions. The consumer product is called Rexi and looks just like a standard solar panel, and are installed on top of the house. These panels use the electricity generated by the solar panel on top to produce water directly out of the air. The water is then stored and made available inside the house through its own, unique plumbing. The standard installation runs the water to a separate faucet in the kitchen in one of the accessory slots.

But, producing water isn't the same as producing clean, drinkable water. Normally, drinking water has certain minerals in it, which is what gives it a taste. Admit it - you've got your favorite brand of bottled water. That's because each brand has its own mineral makeup. Rexi is no different, as the system integrates a mineral mix after the water is cleaned. It makes the water taste great, even for people who normally don't enjoy drinking water.

In addition to the Rexi, Zero Mass Water also produces systems for entire communities. They call these large arrays Fields, and can be built in varying sizes. At CES, we saw a small implementation of 10 panels installed in the courtyard in front of the Central Hall and got to taste the water, as well.

For more information about Zero Mass Water's hydro panels, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Toucan Smart Home makes security cameras easy and exciting @ CES 2020

2020-04-10

When competing in a crowded market, you must do something to set yourself apart. Right now, one of the more crowded markets in the consumer electronics industry is connected cameras. A new entrant in the market is Toucan Smart Home, who has found a unique way to separate itself from the pack.

The company's most distinct product is its wireless outdoor security camera. The camera offers all of the features you expect from a security camera. It's got a PIR sensor for motion detection, night vision, and a weatherproof body. The video is transmitted in full 1080p, allows for two-way audio, and local recording. However, the camera also offers some capabilities that not all cameras do. It offers 24-hour rolling online backups of the video, pre-recorded audio messages, and siren.

Where the outdoor security camera really sets itself apart is its installation and maintenance. The camera mounts with a single screw through the base into a wall, ceiling, or any other surface. The camera then snaps onto the base using a powerful magnet. In addition to easy installation, the magnetic mount allows for a huge range of motion, so you can adjust it to nearly any angle. Because it is a completely wireless camera, it means it runs on rechargeable batteries. The magnetic mount also allows the camera to be removed when it needs to be charged.

In addition to the security camera is a wireless video doorbell. It offers most of the features of the security camera, except for the magnetic mount. In its place, it adds the wireless doorbell receiver, button, and 180-degree field of view. While it may not have the same magnetic mount as the security camera, it is still incredibly easy to install and maintain.

The wireless security camera is availble for $79.99 and the wireless doorbell is available for $89.99. To learn more about the products, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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SmartGuide provides guided tours through your phone @ CES 2020

2020-04-10

When we travel, one of the things we always struggle with is figuring out what to do. We don't know the area at all, and we don't know people from the area to ask. So, we always end up on one of those "25 things to do in Las Velas for under $25" lists on travel blogs. But, there is a new way to travel, through a platform called SmartGuide.

This travel platform gives the ability to virtually hire local tour guides on-demand. The best part is that it recommends points of interest and local tours that might appeal to your personal interests. It does this based on places that you have been before, other tours you have taken, and other interest data. So, in the city of Las Vegas, one person might get recommendations for the best art galleries, with guided audio tours, while someone else might get a history of the mob in Vegas, also complete with a guided audio tour.

The tours on the app are provided by local experts and tour guides. While it might seem like the guides would be competing against themselves, in reality, it can be a huge benefit. Because of their business model, it is very difficult for a tour guide to scale to more people. At some point, the group size is too large for everyone to get something meaningful form the experience. But, by virtualizing their tour, the guides have the ability to be in two places at once, giving a meaningful experience to more than one person or group at a time, while still providing the quality they always have.

The SmartGuide app is available for iOS and Android, with tours available in many of the biggest travel destinations across the globe. To learn more about the platform, what cities it currently supports, or to apply to be a guide, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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HeartHero can help you save the life of family and friends @ CES 2020

2020-04-11

During a cardiac event, the first few minutes are the most critical. The difference between intervention in the first three minutes versus after that line is significant, with only a 7 percent survivability rate if nothing is done until paramedics arrive, but a 74 percent survivability rate if action is taken within the first three minutes. But, AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, are not commonplace. And, even if you happen to be in a place with one, we've all been taught not to mess with them because they can be dangerous and difficult to use. So, what is someone to do when a friend or family member is having a cardiac event? You use a HeartHero.

This device is an incredibly small implementation of an AED. The device is no bigger than a traditional first aid kit, but it does so much more. When the need arises, you take out the pack and pull off the paddles. As soon as this is done, the machine goes into action, with voice prompts explaining to you the proper procedure to use the device. It also shows you exactly where the paddles should be placed on the body. Once everything is in place, the device is able to give a shock to attempt to keep the heart going. If everything is not in place, the device cannot te the shock, protecting the user.

In addition, the HeartHero has an active cellular connection. This is used to call 911 in the event of use. The added benefit of an automated 911 call means that if you're alone with the person in trouble, you don't have to try and make a decision on what to do, or split your attention between them and emergency services. You also get to avoid the active tracking of your cell phone after the call.

The HeartHero is currently in the process of being approved for sale. To learn more about the HeartHero device and find out when it becomes available, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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The CTA is working to improve the technology industries @ CES 2020

2020-04-11

While CES has become a household name over the past few years, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is less known. The CTA is the organization that owns and puts on CES every year, but they are a lot more than that. They work on consumer advocacy projects, help to write and maintain standards, and work to improve the state of the industry.

The most visible aspect of the CTA is CES. The show is the largest and most influential tech show in the world. While the numbers are not officially released, the show floor expanded to its largest-ever footprint and likely attracted the most people in the show's history. And, our favorite part of the show - Eureka Park - had the most number of exhibitors. All of this is in preparation for CES 2021, which should be the inaugural event in the new expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In addition to CES, the CTA is working hard to make the industry better for everyone. The organization continues to work within state capitals and Washington DC to prevent laws being passed to inhibit the innovation that the country is known for. They also in sectors of the industry to encourage improvements for consumers. This ranges from privacy protections to improved product specs.

Of the major outreach programs of the organization, the standards group is the most important. Many companies (we're looking at you Apple and Sony) have been known for avoiding standards at the expense of their customers. In the past, this behavior was far more common. The cables you used for surround sound varied from brand to brand. To use a Sony receiver and TV, you had to have a special cable. Today, that behavior is mostly limited to just Apple, and even they are coming around. That is, in large part, because of the work done by the CTA.

Check out the organization's websites to learn more about CES or the CTA.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Inovelli is making LED strips that bend to your designs @ CES 2020

2020-04-11

When it comes to LED light strips, there are a lot of choices. Most of them are very similar in capabilities and even in look. Many of you may be watching this video because of our feature on another model of LED strips. However, some companies look to find ways to make using their strips better. Inovelli has one of the most unique takes on the product yet.

One of the biggest issues with the product category is the waste inherent in the design. You purchase a strip that comes in a 16-foot roll, but you only need 13 feet. So, you cut the last three feet off, install the lights and are left with 3 feet of nothing. To put it to use, you have to solder and purchase additional pieces. But where can you even use three feet of LED strip? That's why Inovelli has decided to design a modular system.

This modular design allows you to purchase strips in 1-foot increments and clip them together in nearly any design. There are standard clips that make a straight line. There are T-connectors, which allow you to branch a line off of the main feed. You can also get a cross allowing you to go off in all four directions. For consumers, this could open up all sorts of new abilities. Think about installing LED Strips around the top of your kitchen cabinets. You can easily take corners without any work.

The real benefit, however, is for professionals. Lighting designers, exhibit booth builders, corporate event managers, and more can easily create new displays without difficulty. And, more importantly, they could even re-use the strips in new designs - all without waste.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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MIRRI reflects the future of autonomous concierge services @ CES 2020

2020-04-12

At CES 2020, we spoke with Olya Osokina, co-founder of MIRRI, an artificial intelligence product that brings together business and social impact, providing customized solutions for business to enhance CAC, LTV and RR.

MIRRI, explained Osokina, is like a general mirror that can be employed in malls, retail shops, banks, hotels or other locations, where it functions as a concierge service. It greets guests, initiates conversations and interacts with users about the business in which they're interested. It can detect gender, emotion and the degree of interest of the person interacting with it.

It can communicate with people on any topic, recognize faces and emotions, answer questions, show various materials on its display and integrate with third-party devices and systems simultaneously analyzing customer profile, reactions, behavioral patterns and runs A/B testing. As a business analysis tool, it can evaluate reports and make recommendations for improving sales and other business metrics based on user interactions.

The social impact aspect stems from MIRRI research on applied AI for children with autism. They experimented with both a robot and a mirror, utilizing the same AI interface, and discovered that children interacted more comfortably with a mirror than a robot After that they performed similar studies testing robots and mirrors in retail settings and got similar results. Interactions with the AI mirror generated increased sales over the robot, from which people tended to hurry away from. Over 90% of people would interact with the mirror.

With a foot print no larger than that of any mirror on a wall, and no special skills needed to install and deploy, the company says MIRRI will: reduce labor costs, improve quality of service, improve the mood and loyalty of the customers, make the company stand out from its competitors, and positively influence the financial performance of the company.

Other applications may include nursing homes, pharmacy consultations and more. MIRRI starts at $5000 and includes both hardware and software. Visit their website to learn more.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Everyone makes Progress brings your health data together @ CES 2020

2020-04-12

Over the past few years, fitness data that each person generates has increased significantly. With smartwatches, fitness bands, and the sensors in our phones, we have a ton of information. Add to that blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose meters, body mass indicators scales, and more, some users have a lot of information. But, none of that information is made readily available for your use in one place that you control. That is until Everyone makes Progress (EmP Fitness) came along.

The company's service allows you to connect your divergent health data, from sources like Apple Health, Withings, and Fitbit, and import them into the EmP Fitness platform. Once there, the data is yours to do with as you please. Some of it you might need to share with medical professionals. Some you might want to share with a personal trainer that you see once a week who wants to check on you the rest of the week. Some you might even want to share with your company for corporate wellness programs. But, the shared data is all that can be accessed - nothing more.

In addition, this data exchange allows you to monetize your data. You can share it with your healthcare provider for a cheaper rate on health insurance. Maybe a medical study needs data and is willing to pay for it. All of this is supported by the system and is achieved by using blockchain technology. The data is securely stored on the chain and cannot be altered or viewed without appropriate security keys. That keeps your data safe and secure, while still making it available to those who you deem appropriate. It also means that EmP Fitness doesn't have access to the data, so it is yours and yours alone.

To learn more about Everyone Makes Progress (EmP Fitness), check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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RooSense integrated fabric sensor helps athletes improve @ CES 2020

2020-04-12

Chelsea Monty-Bromer, is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of RooSense, LLC. She joined us at CES 2020 to tell us about their health tech solution to help athletes "sweat smarter."

RooSense, LLC - so named because it's a start-up company based on research from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Akron (Go Roos!) - is an integrated fabric sensor that can analyze an athlete's sweat in real time and provide personalized hydration recommendations based on the data. The biggest problem athletes face, said Monty-Bromer, is the challenge of having to guess what their actual hydration needs are and to hydrate accordingly.

Because sports drinks are so popular, it is also possible over-hydrate by diluting the sodium in your body too much. With RooSense, there's no guessing. The fabric sensor analyses the components of an athlete's sweat - specifically sodium ion concentrations - and provides real-time, precise recommendations through the accompanying app to ensure proper hydration, leading to better performance, health and competitive success.

Data from the app can be transmitted to a smart watch or phone, and can be monitored by coaches of teams as well as by individual athletes. Currently the fabric is embroidered into compression sleeves worn on the forearm. But it can also be utilized in a patch, sewn into a t-shirt, deployed in shoe inserts, stitched into a headband or whatever an athlete is comfortable wearing. Right now, it transmits via Bluetooth, but will eventually work with wifi or RF. There are obvious applications of the technology for use in things like Hazmat suits and firefighter gear, in which temperatures can soar, leaving emergency personnel at serious risk of dehydration.

The product is coming to market in 2021, and is currently seeking partners and investors. You can learn more at their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Phonak Virto pairs clear audio with stylish convenience @ CES 2020

2020-04-14

New audio technologies are paving the way for improved hearing aids, and Rachel Bishop, an audiologist with the Phonak company, was at CES 2020 to share the Phonak Virto Black.

Shaped like an earbud, Phonak hearing aids aim to bust the stigma of hearing loss, and close the seven-year gap - the average time between when people realize they're having hearing problems and when they actually decide to do something about it.

The hearing aids employ Binaural VoiceStream Technology that streams the full audio bandwidth in real time and bidirectionally, tackling challenging listening situations by simulating what the brain does with sounds from both ears. Linking the two hearing aids ensures that wearers can benefit from hearing speech in both ears, especially in a noisy environment, on the phone or when the hearing aid wearer can't face the speaker.

Marvel hearing aids also feature RogerDirect an auxiliary device that be placed between speakers wearing the Phonak Virto hearing aid, canceling noise and enabling the speakers to hear one another better. The puck can also be worn around the neck. The device has an accelerometer that points the microphone directly towards the speaker. When paired with the Phonak Virto Marvel aids, it enables people with hearing loss to be able to hear up to 10x better in a crowded room, than someone with normal hearing, in the same conditions.

The hearing aids connect directly to either your iOS or Android smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled devices and can be used for hands-free calls, TV, music, e-books, podcasts and more. The hearing aid batteries have a six-year lifespan and can be used all day without recharging.

Phonak sells to audiologists and audiologists service costs are bundled into the device, typically for the life of the hearing aid, and range in price from $4000 to $6000.

Learning more about Phonak Virto Marvel hearing aids at the company website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Awarables brings the sleep clinic to your bedroom @ CES 2020

2020-04-14

Insomnia is common for many people, and most people never seek help. They look to sound machines and light therapy, but they never do anything to learn what their problem is and what the best course of action is to correct it. Part of the reason for this is because of the cost, both in money and time, that must be dedicated to sleep studies. But, Awarables is looking to help reduce the friction.

With all of the wearable devices and smartwatches, getting information about your sleep is easy, but getting actionable insights into what you can do to improve your sleep is far more difficult. Awarables has taken a different approach, working to bring the quality of data available through sleep studies to your own bedroom. This goal is accomplished through a combination of hardware and software. The company's Sleep Recorder tracks more than just movement - it records every heartbeat using a clinical-grade EKG. It even listens to audio, looking for snoring and other breathing abnormalities.

The data is then combined using advanced analytics based on the same science that powers sleep clinics. The connected app, called Sleep Help, then makes recommendations, creating an adaptive behavioral therapy program to help teach you how to sleep. Through these recommendations, you should be able to adjust your habits and behaviors in order to improve your sleep quality and schedule. With time, the adjustments become more natural and become part of your normal day. As that happens, the Sleep Recorder will recognize the changes and ease back on its recommendations moving forward.

The Awarables Sleep Recorder and the Sleep Help connected platform will be available in late 2020. To learn more about the offering and be notified when it becomes available, check out the company's website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Lumicharge is charging up the bedroom & bringing the beats @ CES 2020

2020-04-14

There are some products that are perfect for evolution through connected technology, and then there are some we usually skip over. One of those products we usually skip over is the humble desk lamp, but fortunately, the team at Lumicharge don't feel the same way, as they continue to bring cool new features to lamps.

Last year they brought us the original Lumicharge lamp. This year, in addition to improving the existing model with Qi wireless charging, we get a whole new model: the Lumicharge-LD. This new product is more of a low-profile design. It is designed to be short, versus the original product, which is tall and thin. But, it features the best of the original - the universal charging wheel. On this wheel are three plugs: Apple's Lightning, micro USB-B (commonly known as microUSB), and USB-C. These plugs will allow you to charge any phone made in the last *+ years. It also features the 10 watt Qi charger on the top.

However, the LD model sets itself apart in a number of ways. First, the light is not on a stick in the air. Instead, it radiates from the center of the device, above the controls but below the charging. This is a very different take on the light design from its sister product. It also allows for color customization, meaning you are not stuck with the VERY white light of the other product, making it a much better option for a bedroom.

The new LD also features a Bluetooth speaker, again making it a perfect bedside companion. With this one device, you have a clock, a color-changeable light, a dual phone charger, and a Bluetooth speaker - all in a compact body.

The new Lumicharge-LD is available for preorder now and will be shipping soon. To learn more or preorder yours, head over to their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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360Rize's Penguin is making VR action video a reality @ CES 2020

2020-04-15

Over the past few years, we've seen a large increase in virtual reality adoption. But, like any media type, it can only be a success if there is content to support it. Videogames have been the go-to content type for virtual reality, but developing VR games is not inexpensive. VR has also had its costs, both in monetary investment, as well as in the size of gear. If you wanted to produce anything of quality, you needed a large camera. But, 360Rize is trying to change that.

The company's new Penguin camera is smaller than a smartphone and can produce some impressive results. The front and back each have a lens, which sits off the body of the camera. This is done because each lens has a field of vision beyond 180 degrees. With this wider field of view, the camera has more room to create a healthy stitch without an incredibly visible seam - a common problem with small 360 cameras.

The camera's small size also gives it the ability to record in places that would normally be prohibitive, including in residential settings. Imagine being near the water and being able to take the Penguin out on a boat with you. You could capture a full, immersive recording of your experience. Using the 360Rize's streaming capabilities, you might even be able to let people experience the journey with you live, from their browser or VR headset. With these capabilities and the small size of the camera, VR and 360-degree videography are finally hitting a point where it could become mainstream.

The 360Rize Penguin camera is available now on Amazon starting at $149, and in bundles of varying price. To learn more about the product or the camera bundles, check out the company's website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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BeBop Sensors brings natural motion into virtual reality @ CES 2020

2020-04-15

In the world of virtual reality and augmented reality, one of the most difficult aspects of the technologies has been controls. Most platforms have leaned into the concept of a more traditional videogame controller, or something in the arena of a Wii Remote. However, this takes a lot of the reality out of the virtual or augmented realities. It also prevents usage for a wide variety of high precision purposes. The team at BeBop Sensors has developed a control system that opens up those uses in VR and AR.

The product itself is called Forte Data Gloves, and, as the name suggests are essentially gloves, with a strong focus on virtual reality. Like many controllers, it has positioning sensors, motion sensors, and command capabilities. Where the gloves really get exciting is in the extreme precision of the control. Each finger is able to be tracked individually, allowing for motions such as grabbing and picking up items. It also allows for interacting with virtual displays.

Within the gloves is haptic a feedback system, designed to give the wearer physical information about their virtual interactions. Imagine performing a virtual surgery on a patient during training. As you pick up a scalpel, you can feel a little response. As you put the knife to work, you can feel a little motion to simulate the resistance of the skin.

In addition to VR or AR interactions, the Forte Data Gloves can also be used to control physical devices. They can be used to move or train a robotic arm or even a drone. You can even navigate through a 3D map with just your hands.

To learn more about the Forte Data Gloves, explore the product's capabilities, or to contact the company, check out the BeBop Sensors website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Canatu is bringing the heat with carbon nanotube technology @ CES 2020

2020-04-15

When it comes to materials design, carbon nanotubes are a big area of experimentation and design. Think of them as very small pasta and, under the right conditions, can be pulled and molded into nearly any shape. Then can be woven together like thread to form fabrics. But, these fabrics are incredibly strong and lightweight. We've seen them used to lighten heavy parts of planes, boats, and more. But Canatu is using them in a new way.

One aspect of carbon nanotubes is that they can be great electrical conductors. That means that you can run power across them. But, any time you run electricity, you create heat - sometimes a small amount, sometimes a large amount. In the case of carbon nanotubes, the heat produced is slight, but useful. When combined with certain existing products, that heat can be used to make the products better.

Take, for example, the sensor in your car that determines if the roads are safe enough to use cruise control in the cold. Those sensors can freeze over themselves and produce a false reading. But, if you include the carbon nanotubes into the sensor's design, or as a covering over the top of the electronics, you can keep the sensor from icing over, protecting your driving.

Another great use is on airplanes. The leading edge of the wing can also ice over, causing unexpected behavior. Currently, planes have various ways to deal with the problem, but all of them add weight to the plane, which equates to more fuel usage per flight. But, the lightweight nature of the carbon nanotube fabrics means that, by covering the leading edge of the wing, you can keep it ice-free with minimal additional weight.

To learn more about how Canatu is using carbon nanotubes and other materials, check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Aquark Technologies is miniaturizing the quantum realm @ CES 2020

2020-04-16

The next big arena in computing is quantum computing. Some of the most publicized innovations and even some of the best recent science fiction projects have centered around quantum computing. That's because the technology promises a seismic shift in the way we think about computers and the way they are able to make calculations. Those changes will lead to faster and more powerful computers, which can improve our lives through improved scientific research, and more. The beginning of this revolution, however, is small, thanks to Aquark Technologies.

The company, which is a startup spun out of the University of Southampton, is focused on shrinking a core component of the quantum computing ecosystem. They have accomplished this by creating a miniaturized cold atom system, which is integral to the quantum computer. While the traditional system would have required a large amount of space and several qualified engineers to operate, the version developed by Aquark Technologies is comparable to the size of a matchbox.

By shrinking this singular component, a quantum computing system can now be tiny. We were treated to a non-functional prototype of one of these quantum computers. The reason for the non-functional prototype was not because a functioning version doesn't exist, but because it would have been too difficult to bring into the country. It was smaller than the size of a shoebox and its working companion is able to calculate and keep time to the same quantum accuracy as the official atomic clock in Paris, France.

While this could easily be a revolutionary device in the quantum realm, it is still in an early stage. The company was founded only a few months ago, building on the doctoral thesis of its founder, Physicist Dr. Andrei Dragomir. To learn more about the project and follow its development, check out Future Worlds.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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GJS Robot's Ganker is a fighting robot that doesn't die @ CES 2020

2020-04-16

Robotics competitions are a lot of fun. So much so, that we've dedicated an entire show to them. But, building a competition-ready robot from scratch is not possible for everyone. That's why pre-built machines and kits are available. One of the most impressive kits that we've ever encountered is from Chinese company GJS Robot.

These machines, known as Ganker, are impressive for a number of reasons. The first is its control system. Rather than having a traditional controller to make them move, it looks and functions more like fingers. You put your hands into the controls and your motions are translated fairly directly into the motion of the robot. This direct translation makes it really easy to learn. Todd took to the controls like a fish to water.

Another thing he learned was just how maneuverable these robots truly are. He touched the controller and it leaped forward, nearly launching off of the table. He then was able to make it move far slower within moments. This showed us the range of speeds that the Ganker is capable of.

But competitions are not all about speed - they require a way to compete. These robots are able to be customized with various "weapons," but unlike something like BattleBots, these are not intended to destroy or incapacitate one another. Instead, the game is played more along the lines of a karate competition. There are sensors throughout the body that, when triggered, score points for the opposing robot. Score enough points and you win the match, while both competitors live to fight another day.

The GJS Robot Ganker is available now for $499, while its smaller companion, the Geio, is available for $199. You can learn more about the products from the company's Amazon store or their official website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Wi-Charge wants to make wireless power mainstream @ CES 2020

2020-04-16

Wireless electricity has been a dream since the days of Nikola Tesla, but it's never really come to pass. There's the Qi and Ki standards for wireless power, but that's not quite the same thing. There have been some developments in the past few years, but none of them are really commercially viable, for various reasons. But, a new technology standard has been created, called Wi-Charge, that avoids the pitfalls of the others.

The Wi-Charge technology, which they call AirCord, uses infrared to transfer power wirelessly. The biggest advantage of infrared is that it doesn't lose strength over normal distances. The power transmitter could easily be installed on the ceiling and a device on a table could receive the full strength of the signal. This differs from the RF-powered systems that we've seen in previous years, where the amount of power available degrades quickly over short distances, making it a fairly ineffective concept.

Of course, like with any infrared technology, it is very focused and directional. But, with the proper work, the transmitters can push power in more of a fan design, rather than a straight line. That can make it perfect for powering all of the devices on a table, like lamps or phones, or a group of electronics in a collection on a wall, like security and safety devices.

The company is looking to work with product manufacturers to integrate AirCord technology into their products, such as phones. The goal is to have a small army of products with "Powered by Wi-Charge" on their packaging available for purchase, creating an active ecosystem to encourage adoption. It is a similar approach to the Qi Certified products that have made that standard a success.

To learn more about the technology and see the current lineup of products that are compatible, head to their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Feedme allows you to take control over the news you see @ CES 2020

2020-04-18

It's no secret that there is a ton of information available, with more added every minute. The problem is that it is very difficult to control what you see. Publications cover a wide range of topics, so subscribing to a single publication can inundate you with things that you're not interested in. A customizable feed aggregator is exactly what you need, and exactly what you get in Feedme.

In our research for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, we have long used RSS feeds to find topics. Subscribing to publications that focus on topics in our area of interest has been a big part of our show research. However, as the industry has changed, so have the content of those feeds. For example, tech sites cover automotive technology more today than ever before. As the show does not cover automotive technology, this is clutter in our process.

This is exactly the problem that Feedme is looking to solve. Rather than subscribing to publications and weeding through the topics that you're not interested in, Feedme allows you a finer granularity of control in your feed. By creating topic-based feeds, you can see articles about that topic, whether or not you have ever interacted with that publication before. This level of discovery means that you can get a wider view of your topic than from just the publications in your existing circle.

Feedme has taken the best behaviors from a good RSS reader and integrated them into the platform. Rather than trying to render each piece of content in a unified way (a task that even Microsoft and Apple have failed to do well), Feedme focuses on discovery and then directs the viewer to the original content. This ensures that content creators continue to generate revenue without having to work directly with Feedme to generate specialized content.

The Feedme app is available now for both iOS and Android, and is free to use. To learn more about the platform or to download the app, head to their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Jim Harris gives his favorite finds from the show floor @ CES 2020

2020-04-18

From our perch atop the Sands Expo, we have a great view of the show floor for the show, but we don't get the fidelity of exploring the exhibits. Even being on the floor doesn't give a full, detailed view of everything on display. It is always a pleasure to get a report on how other professionals see the show. This year, we are joined by Jim Harris, a social media influencer who is always at the top of the CES charts.

As you can tell, Jim takes detailed notes about his experiences, including during our conversation. This detail is how he is able to retain information about the vast number of booths and exhibits he sees. Among his favorite finds on the show floor are some of our guests, including MicroEJ, a platform for embedded devices that allows for on-device apps without the large footprint of Android.

During Media Days, which happen just before CES opens officially, he was intrigued by a concept from Intel which allows a near real-time 3D scanning of an active sports arena. This scanning creates the concept of virtual cameras, allowing a viewer to experience and collection of moments of a game from any angle. Imagine watching a football game and wanting to experience a play from the perspective of the leading edge of the football. This technology gives you that ability without having to change the aerodynamics of the ball by adding a camera. You could also watch the play from any other angle on or off the field - all virtually.

Another impressive technology he encountered was from Bosch, a company known for unique solutions at CES. They have taken the concept of adjustable glass opacity and applied to it car windshields. Using cameras and eye-tracking, the system is able to determine where the sun is in relation to your height and eye-line, and block out a small section of the windshield to improve your vision. It is a much better solution to the problem of sunlight while driving than a fixed sun visor.

To learn more about Jim Harris's experiences, his books, or his career, check out his website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Plott Cubit takes the guesswork out of physical design @ CES 2020

2020-04-18

Augmented reality has a lot of uses in the real world. From videogames like Pokemon GO to a HoloLens-powered piano tutor, adding virtual data to the real world is a great way to enhance an experience or task. One of the more unique implementations of augmented reality has been the Cubit, built for the maker and design communities from a company called Plott.

Earlier in the week, we got to speak to the company about their Carta product, which allows someone to create a virtual landmark mapping. But, that technology is designed for a larger scale. For those of us who work in smaller scales - wall art, TV studios, and the like, another augmented reality tool exists - the Cubit. This device looks similar to a tape measure, and serves an equally similar purpose, while working differently.

You use the connected app to mark out your space. Let's assume you're working on hanging a number of pictures on a hallway wall. You would make out the wall's dimensions using the camera on your phone. Once you have that, you photograph the pieces you want to incorporate into your design and ensure their proper dimensions and location of hanging points. Now you can virtually place these pieces onto your wall and see what they will look like in augmented reality.

While that is impressive in itself, the real magic comes when Cubit is added to the mix. Once your wall's layout is complete, placing Cubit on the wall will act as a GPS for your nails. The Cubit screen will point you to the correct location to place a nail or screw to hang each individual item on that wall. In our example, each photo frame will have a hanging point and Cubit will direct you to the exact location to hang that frame.

The Plott Cubit is available now for $99. To learn more about Plott and their product line, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Motwani Jadeja Foundation is creating an Indian presence @ CES 2020

2020-04-19

One of the most impressive parts of the show floor at CES over the past few years has been Eureka Park. Startups from around the world come together to show off the amazing projects that they are working on. As you walk around the exhibit area, you can see companies representing many of the big tech countries, each with an area of the floor dedicated to them. There is one country that has been conspicuously missing: India. This year, the Motwani Jadeja Foundation has worked to change that.

The foundation was created by Rajeev Motwani, the original Google advisor and creator of the initial Google algorithm, and his wife, Asha Jadeja Motwani. The organization's purpose is to help startups move from concept to change-makers. During CES 2019, Motwani noticed what the rest of us had noticed, a lack of representation from India. So, she spoke with the teams who put together some of the other pavilions, in particular the large French pavilion, about what it took to accomplish their large presence.

After deciding to take on the challenge, the foundation set about to create the India pavilion for CES 2020. They managed to accomplish just that, bringing a small contingency of exhibitors to the show for the first time. The India pavilion is represented by seven startups, and their presence is entirely funded by the foundation, making it easier for a small company to travel to the other side of the world. Her goal is to expand the country's representation in the future, as the new Prime Minister believes that India can and should be a major player in the tech marketplace.

To learn more about the Motwani Jadeja Foundation and its extensive programs, check out the organization's website.

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zLight prevents you from waking up to check the time @ CES 2020

2020-04-19

We have all experienced waking up in the middle of the night and not knowing what time it is. While it's not essential to know the time, we all want to. If we only have 15 minutes until we need to be up, it's not necessarily worth the effort to try and fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, the act of checking the time usually makes it more difficult to sleep, but now we have zLight to fix the problem.

When we wake up and check the time, we tend to do it with a screen. Either a digital display clock or more likely the clock on our phones. But, the bright light of the screen has its drawbacks - the blue light telling our brains to wake up, and even the act of having to focus to discern the time can make falling back to sleep more difficult. The zLight takes a different approach, not telling the time but instead giving you an idea of where in your sleep cycle you are.

The technology was originally developed by Mark Zuckerberg for his wife. The zLight builds on the concept, making it customizable and beautiful. The wood-grained box gives off a very faint light, the color of which changes as the night goes on. Imagine starting it on red and ending it on green, by looking briefly at the color of the light, you can determine how long you have to sleep based on the color of the light and where it is in the gradient cycle between red and green.

You can pre-order a zLight now in white, light, and dark wood colors. You can also get a model with a Qi charger on the top, making it an even better bedside companion. The retail price will be $79, while the preorder price is currently $39. Learn more or pre-order your device at the company's website.

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Chois Technology Image Pointer frees presenters to move @ CES 2020

2020-04-19

Joycelin Roh joined us at CES 2020 to share the Image Pointer, the latest image-based wireless presentation device from Chois Technology. Chois Technology is a South Korean company that's focused on developing Radio Frequency (RF) interface devices such as RF Presenter and RF PC remote controller. Their X-Pointer brand of laser presentation tools delivered the world's first wireless presenter in 2002, and the devices have been refined considerably since.

The Image Pointer that Roh showcased at CES is an RF powered 2.4GHz presentation device that overcomes the challenges of basic red or green laser pointers and the limited range of motion and screen proximity required by traditional presentation pointers. The Image Pointer makes it easy to highlight portions of a presentation with easily visible large circles or to even customize the "pointer" with brand specific icons and logos. You can also black out the screen entirely, "spotlight" a particular area on a presentation with a brightened circle, or turn the pointer into a magnifier, to expand an area of view. The Image Pointer can also pull a screen shot out for highlighting separately, with the pointer becoming a drawing tool to physically circle or underline material without deprecating the presentation file.

Because the devices use RF rather than Bluetooth, the pointers aren't restricted by distance, and users have full range of motion allowing them to walk around and talk with their audience. The pointer is comfortably ergonomic, and also operates as an "air mouse", allowing seamless transition between a presentation, a keynote, video, or moving content around on the computer.

Retail cost for the rechargeable model is $160 . For the casual user, a $60 model is available, that operates on 2 AAA batteries.

Visit the Chois Technology website to learn more about their wide array of devices, including healthcare and mobile accessories.

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Delta Sound Labs Stream makes big textures from small sounds @ CES 2020

2020-04-21

Richard Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Delta Sound Labs, was at CES 2020 with the company's latest offering, Stream, a granular sampler audio effects plug-in that helps musicians and audio techs create big textures from very small sound samples.

Delta Sound Labs is a U.S. based audio technology company focused on bridging analog and digital domains to create new instruments for the music, film, and gaming industries. Stream does that in a powerful, but user-friendly way, employing the concept of live looping - capturing audio on the fly, then repeating it to create larger, grander textures.

Stream is a plug-and-play virtual mixer employing time-domain processing that provides an immediacy of results not found in spectral or frequency granulators. It can manage very small samples of sound, down to 20 milliseconds, and layer it up to 16 voices. While most looping systems allow for a short burst to be repeated on end (think KT Tunstall's Black Horse and the Cherry Tree), Stream is designed for integrating very small sections of audio as well as longer loops.

The system also boasts a very low latency, making it ideal for live performance. The software is designed for people who like to perform solo with conventional instruments like the guitar, voice, or even brass, and want to record themselves as they play and use that as a pedal point to launch from, to solo or play melodies. From a live performance standpoint, there is something very special about a single performer acting as their own full band. The sounds can also be paired to a MIDI controller, allowing you to play the recordings back almost like notes on a piano.

Stream also works within Unity as an audio mixer plugin, providing a tool for environmental audio for video games. This kind of granular audio processing could make for smaller audio installations for games, while also widening the capabilities of the game. Opening a door in a horror game could have a screeching sound that is customized to the length of the action.

The software retails for $49. Visit the company's website to learn more about Stream and see other Delta Sound Labs products.

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Lumen tracks your metabolism to improve your performance @ CES 2020

2020-04-21

Lumen is a breath analyzer, but with a different purpose from what you may be thinking. Rather than being used to analyze whether or not you are drunk, Lumen is used to determine information about your metabolism. The company claims that with a single breath they can give you information about the effectiveness of exercise and more. They do this by determining whether you are currently burning carbs or fat based on a CO2 sensor and flow meter.

The science behind the device is not new. A similar process has been in use in hospitals and sports facilities for years. Lumen is bringing the concept to consumers for the first time. Whether you are actively trying to lose weight or just looking to improve your nutrition, Lumen can help.

To get started, you use the sensor to determine your metabolism throughout your day. This allows the system to determine how you are affected by activity, sleep, and more. Based on your readings, the connected app can give you a recommended meal plan, including when to eat. Before you workout, you can also use the sensor to determine whether you are in a good position to exercise or if you need to fuel up first. When you're done with your workout, run another test to see how your body was affected. This will allow you and the app to help optimize future workouts and meals to be the most effective.

All of this data combines together to form your Lumen Flex Score. This score indicates how effective your metabolism is for your lifestyle and health. Keeping an eye on this score will allow you to track your success and help with sustaining results.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Lumen is available now. The regular retail is $349, but the company is currently running a sale for $299.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Disney Codeillusion is a magical way to learn to code @ CES 2020

2020-04-22

There is a growing movement to teach kids and young adults to code. The problem with this movement is that coding in itself is neither worthwhile nor interesting. Without a goal or a purpose that is intriguing to the student, the task is often abandoned without a feeling of completion. One company has found a way to combine the fun and magical worlds of Disney with software education to develop Disney Codeillusion.

For some, the excitement of knowing that you have forced a computer to do what you asked can be enough to drive the educational process. For others, applying that knowledge to building an app or a website can be satisfying. Using code skills to control a robot is a motivating factor for others. But, for some people, gaming is the best way to make the educational process stick, and that is exactly what Disney Codeillusion is all about.

This product uses Disney characters and worlds to create an interactive role playing game (RPG) in which the player is challenged with programming tasks to continue the gameplay. Because the courses are presented in the context of a game, it means that the learning process is completely paced by the student. Self-paced learning can help a lot of students to gain and retain information.

Another aspect of the game is that, when you're stuck, you have your in-game friends to help. Since your friends are all Disney characters, they tend to possess special powers. In this case, those powers can help you out of a sticky situation by leading you toward the answer (but not giving it to you).

The complete course comes with a storybook and the online learning platform and is available for purchase now. The retail price is $1,999 on the company's website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch and Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Digital Health Summit features the best of health tech @ CES 2020

2020-04-22

One of the most interesting aspects of CES is the fact that it is not just a single conference, but really a collection of conferences all within Las Vegas at once. Our floor interviews come from some other events, such as ShowStoppers. One of the larger events to take place during the show is the Digital Health Summit @ CES, a two-day partner event that showcases some of the big, upcoming advancements in health tech.

The conference is hosted by Living in Digital Times, who we also spoke to about The Young Innovators Awards. The conference draws large exhibitors like Philips and Johnson & Johnson, and startups alike.

This year's conference showed the growing popularity of a more personalized approach to healthcare and wellness. Products like Lumen, who received our TPN Pick award, is a great example of a personalized approach to wellness. While we've had wearables and trackers for a while, we're just starting to see the promise of taking those data points and applying them to reality. Another great example of this is EyeQue, a company that allows you to administer your own eye exams without the need for a doctor's visit.

Another big trend for this year was sleep science. We had the pleasure of speaking with several companies that were approaching sleep technology from various angles, ranging from a way to know about what time it is based on the color of a box to devices designed to help train you to get better sleep based on your experiences. At the Digital Health Summit, they had keynote speakers from companies like Sleep Number, whose newest models all offer sleep tracking and training built into the bed itself.

The Digital Health Summit happens every year during CES. To learn more about the conference and see videos from 2020, head over to their website.

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UpStream Articles

Your favorite Disney characters can teach you to code for free

posted Sunday Apr 26, 2020 by Daniele Mendez

Your favorite Disney characters can teach you to code for free

Disney Codeillusion is a learning package, which we met at CES 2020, that focuses their attention on teaching students of all ages how to code using HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Processing alongside your beloved Disney characters right there with you. Disney Codeillusion makes a note of recent school closures as well as the importance of motivating students to continue to learn and will be offering free online lessons to students, teachers, and schools for 14 days. This opportunity is a way to learn a new skill or sharpen existing skills with programming practice in a fun and exciting way with help from characters in your favorite Disney Movies.

Check out the press release after the break.

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