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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, Avram Piltch discusses some of the most influential technology of the past decade. While some products produce a short-term change to an industry, others have long-lasting effects. In the past decade, there have been several massive moves that will likely never be reverted.
One of the most influential products of the decade was the AMD Ryzen 1800X processor. The product stood head and shoulders above what Intel was producing and, in grand AMD fashion, was far less expensive than what Intel was offering. The processor offered 8 cores and 16 threads, as opposed to the common 4 core processor being offered by Intel. It also ushered in the architecture that made it possible for AMD to produce the first 7nm chips, something that Intel still has not accomplished.
Another influential product in the 2010s, especially for Avram, has been the Raspberry Pi. This single-board computer has changed the way we think about computing. It also changed the way we think about what a computer can be, and what it is capable of doing. For so long, a computer was thought to be a larger, more powerful system that could do anything. With the Raspberry Pi, we can now think about a computer as a single-purpose device, whether that be to power a robot or a security camera. It also helped evolve the craft community into the maker movement.
For Scott, however, one of the most influential technologies of the decade has been virtualization. Without it, there would be no Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud. There would be no Project xCloud or Google Stadia. More importantly, there would be no blossoming startup community. The ability to create virtual networks in Azure and the like and scale them up and down at will, without having to purchase hardware, lease physical space to store them, provide power and internet, etc. And, none of it is a capital expense. Awesome.
This week, Sony's changing the controller, Cox is paying for your piracy, and Sling is charging more for TV.
For those who purchased the Monster IlluminEssence LED Strip on Black Friday from Walmart, you probably got left with a defective unit. Over the past month, we have been trying to come up with a solution, working with both Monster and the factory that produces the products to identify and solve the issue. However, it's Christmas and we're tired of waiting, and we're sure you are, as well. The good news is that there is a solution!
A new batch of product has been produced and shipped to Walmart stores across the country. We've tested quite a few of the new units and they have all been a success. If you have not installed your strip, simply swap them out at your local store. If you have already installed the strip, purchase a new one at your local store, swap the control units, and return the defective one. The key is that you need to look at the bottom of the box for the new batch number (1929A) and on the control unit for the new batch number (1906).
Good luck and Happy Holidays!
This week, Avram Piltch talks about technology that he has been interested in for decades: alternate typing tech. Imagine you are at a trade show, waiting in line for a presentation, and you want to get some work done. Sure, you can use your phone and try and type something of consequence, but that's going to be infuriating (we've tried it). You could bring a tablet, but you still might have issues with a content system that requires a desktop. You could bring a laptop, but they're big and unwieldy, especially when you're in tight quarters. Avram has always believed there has to be another way, and there is.
The first option is DecaTxt, a small Bluetooth keyboard with only 10 buttons. By pressing the buttons in various combinations you can type a full keyboard worth of characters. The creator has been tweaking the device for years, always looking for ways to improve on his design. One of the key drawbacks to the concept is the learning curve. It can take some people a long time to wrap your head around the key combinations, making typing slow. For some, however, the typing will be as easy as the old T9 on flip phones.
If learning about a new key structure isn't in your wheelhouse, maybe a virtual keyboard will work. The Tap Strap is an input device that wraps around your fingers and senses movement, translating the movements into inputs. This can be used as standard key entry, but can also be used to replace a mouse, controller, presentation clicker, and more.
In addition to typing, these devices could be a brilliant addition to a virtual or augmented reality setup. And, as VR and AR hardware get closer to daily use technology, the more important innovations like the DecaTxt and Tap Strap will become.
This week, Google's up for a Chat, Microsoft's making a tower, and Hulu's not bingeing on ads.
This week, Avram Piltch discusses the ups and downs between buying a pre-made PC from a vendor or building your own from components. It's the age-old question in computing - do you save the time and buy a PC, or save the money and build it yourself? As it turns out, the price differential between a pre-made and a custom-made PC is not as great today as it once was. In fact, in Avram's research, there is only about $100 between the two options.
However, there is more to consider than just the price. On the side of buying a PC, there is definitely the time savings. Under a lot of circumstances, you have the ability to customize some of the components of your PC, without having to physically touch the machine. That can save a lot of time and effort in the process, not to mention frustration. But, you do not usually get the ability to choose every option, such as the brand and model of RAM or storage. Those components can make a huge difference to performance, but they are usually out of your hands.
On the other hand, building your own PC comes with the ability to handpick everything, from the make and model of components to the specific batch number, if you feel so inclined. This level of customization comes with the ability to fine-tune your machine to the exact specification you want, but it also means a lot of time investment, both in researching the components and the actual build process.
So, since cost is not the factor that it used to be, the real differentiator is your purpose. If you are looking for a PC for standard usage, buying a standard PC is probably the right way to go. However, if you are a creative, a gamer, or in another field that requires tuned hardware, building might be the way to do.
This week, the world's becoming more augmented, Steam is getting more modern, and Quibi is looking towards the law.