PLUGHITZ Live Presents

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

PLUGHITZ Live Presents

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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The WaterSwitch protects your whole house from leaks @ CES 2020

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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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Roybi Robot's AI makes elementary learning fun & personal @ CES 2020

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Roybi Robot's AI makes elementary learning fun & personal @ CES 2020

2020-04-05

Elnaz Sarraf is a CES veteran, but was attending for the first time as founder and CEO of Roybi Robotics, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered educational robot for children aged 3-7.

Roybi was featured on the cover of Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2019. An interactive educational tool jam-packed with over 500 lessons, songs and stories for early elementary children, it helps advance language learning and basic STEM knowledge. The device provides conversational feedback as children use it, and has a screen interface as well. Utilizing facial recognition, it can individually greet children and interact with them, although the device also includes parental controls to toggle features on and off, in the interest of personal safety preferences.

Roybi is small and portable, with more than 8 hours of battery life. It also comes with different hats and other accessories that allow children to customize the robot's look. The lessons are organized across 50 categories of learning, providing a wealth of content on a daily basis. Initial interactions are intended to help children become familiar and comfortable with Roybi, and for the device to learn more about the child.

Roybi is unique in that it is responsive to an individual child's interests and abilities, going beyond one size fits all educational tools and platforms with a machine learning system that can identify even the degree to which a child is excited about a particular lesson or interaction. The device's "emotion detection" helps the system understand what a child really likes to learn about and to deliver more content in that area.

It pairs up easily with smart devices and is extremely user friendly, installed and ready to go in just 10 seconds. The related app is intended for parents and educators to be able to see children's learning progress via customizable reports.

Roybi is ruggedly built and comes in three different colors - green, blue and orange. It's available on the company's website, and retails for $199.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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

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

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

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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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Immoshoot is a global real estate research platform @ CES 2020

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

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

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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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SureCall enhances your signal strength in rough situations @ CES 2020

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

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

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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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TROVA protects your privacy with a beautiful lockbox @ CES 2020

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

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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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MicroVision has a touching new prototype projector @ CES 2020

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

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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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Dell is bringing beautiful design to the workplace @ CES 2020

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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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Tapplock takes a different approach to biometric locks @ CES 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Vasco Mini Translator connects speakers across languages @ CES 2020

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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.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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ARWall brings affordable high quality AR to filmmakers @ CES 2020

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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.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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FANUC brings collaborative robotics to small manufacturers @ CES 2020

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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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Nutricco takes the guesswork out of nutritional supplements @ CES 2020

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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BTU Protocol rewards you for traveling with cryptocurrency @ CES 2020

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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.

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

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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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The Tactigon makes computer input a natural motion @ CES 2020

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

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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.

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

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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.

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DFree uses ultrasound to help maintain bladder control @ CES 2020

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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.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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

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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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BeHear is enhanced hearing that looks like headphones @ CES 2020

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

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

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

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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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NightWatch armband can detect epileptic seizures at night @ CES 2020

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

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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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GaN Systems is making big laptop chargers history @ CES 2020

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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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FaceMe from CyberLink helps create custom IoT experiences @ CES 2020

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

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

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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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BenjiLock is bringing their biometrics to new locks @ CES 2020

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

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

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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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Silent Beacon makes safety and security more affordable @ CES 2020

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

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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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RoomMe creates a personalized smarthome for everyone @ CES 2020

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

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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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MicroEJ makes developing smart devices less expensive @ CES 2020

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

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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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LEYTON helps sustainable startups to exhibit their tech @ CES 2020

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

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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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Mat Luschek discusses his experiences at past shows @ CES 2020

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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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Sure Feed Microchip Pet Feeder makes feeding time easy @ CES 2020

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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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Alpha-Stim wants to treat your pain without addictive drugs @ CES 2020

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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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MONIT Adult Diaper Sensor reduces elder health risks @ CES 2020

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

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

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

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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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LOVO makes computer voices sound natural and emotional @ CES 2020

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

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

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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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THE BOX reinvents shipping to save the environment @ CES 2020

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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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Drinkworks - Geek News Central (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

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

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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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Nuheara unites quality audio with hearing aid technology @ CES 2020

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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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RoboSense: Autonomous Driving With LiDAR Technology @ CES 2020

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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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Wonder Painter - Tech Podcasts Network Best of CES 2020 Award

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

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

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

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

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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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Grabbing pick up game has never been easier than with Javelin Sports

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Grabbing pick up game has never been easier than with Javelin Sports

2019-09-29

So many of us live for sports. We love to watch and cheer on our favorite teams, and we also love to play. Getting out and active is important for so many reasons. It helps to keep us fit, of course, but it also keeps us engaged in social settings with like-minded peers. The benefits of getting out there and staying active are important to our physical, mental and emotional well being. So whether your favorite sport to play is basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball or any/all of another myriad of athletic choices out there, you're going to love this next app.

Maybe you are new to the city and don't have your usual crew to meet up with for a quick game. Or maybe your work schedule has changed and that is keeping you from being as active as you would like. Justin Ford, Founder and CEO of Javelin Sports has just the solution that will bring you closer to your goals and will connect you with players of any sport you wish. Javelin Sports is a mobile application designed to help users find sports leagues as wells as pick up games in their area to fit their busy schedules.

Justin discusses how he felt it was becoming more and more challenging to stay active playing the sports that he had come to fall in love with. He decided to work with his co-founder, Coleman Chan to develop an easier way to keep up with your active life with an easy outlet to join leagues and meet sports enthusiasts in your local community. Javelin Sports includes cool features such as being able to chat with your teammates, receive game notifications, schedule your games on your own time, as well as sharing your experiences with your friends that may want to play.

Javelin Sports is currently live in Toronto, Canada on the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. To find out more about this application, you can visit their website.

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CardCruncher finds you the best credit card for your spending

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CardCruncher finds you the best credit card for your spending

2019-09-29

There are so many credit cards available that it is nearly impossible to choose which one is right for you. Which ones will give you a good rate? Which have the best cashback options? Which ones have cashback that matches your spending habits? To help you wade through all of this information and make an informed decision, we've got CardCruncher.

This platform helps you find the right credit card for you, based on real-life information. All you have to do is attach your bank account, and CardCruncher will look at your spending, how much you spend, where you spend it, and how often. Using that information, they compare your habits with the details of every credit card in their database to find what will give you the best return on your spending.

The service is provided to users entirely for free. They accomplish this because they get paid per new card signup that they refer. This is a pretty common business model for a free product. Sometimes referral businesses will lean towards the products that make them the most amount of money, but with CardCruncher, there is no doubt that this is not the case. The value of their platform is based on the value they provide through their algorithm, and to stray from that mission would damage their value. This is good news for everyone involved.

The idea, like many ideas at Collision, came about from a personal need. Mike Bonfigli, the company's co-founder, found himself sitting in front of a computer with a spreadsheet and a lot of research, looking for his best deal. He realized that he couldn't possibly be the only one who wanted this information and set about to bring the idea to reality. Now, you can find out which card is best for you in just moments.

To get your free credit card recommendation, head over to the website.

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Nicole Holland is all about connecting the right people together

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Nicole Holland is all about connecting the right people together

2019-09-29

One of the most fun aspects of Collision Conference is getting to interact with the other press and influencers in the Media Village. We get to meet people from the big publications who are always interested in our indiscrete studio setup, and we meet influencers who are looking for contacts and pointers. This year, we got the opportunity to speak with Nicole Holland, a "traffic generation rockstar." She sat near out studio and started talking with the staff. During a break, I had the opportunity to talk with her and she did exactly what her title suggests - brought traffic to others. She lined up our interview with GenM and worked to bring us others.

But, the reality is, Nicole is an interesting person with a very positive personality. She is always looking for ways to connect people, which is a trait that our team admires because it is something that we try to do as well. It's no wonder that people can connect with her easily and listen to what she has to say. That is the at the core of being a successful influencer in the modern age. If you can genuinely connect with people, they will trust your recommendations.

One of her big topics is podcasts, which is a perfect fit for us. She facilitates inspiring success stories, gives tips and tricks, and more on her show. She also helps others get started in telling their own brand stories through podcasting. Right now, podcasting can be a great way to reach your audience, either through your series or by guesting on someone else's. Nicole Holland can help you use this medium to grow your influence.

To learn more about Nicole, hear her podcast, or engage her services, head on over to her website.

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PromSocial reduces the stress of planning your perfect prom date

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PromSocial reduces the stress of planning your perfect prom date

2019-09-28

In the past few years, the world surrounding the high school prom has changed significantly. While it was once a school dance and a right of passage (for some), today it has become almost as involved as a wedding. There are dresses to buy and suits to rent or buy, limos to rent, flowers to buy, parties to plan or attend, and that's after you've got a date. Just asking someone to the prom has become a production on the level of a marriage proposal, even being called a "promposal." This would be intimidating for an adult, let alone a high school student. Fortunately, PromSocial is trying to make this a less stressful experience.

PromSocial is a platform that brings the difficult parts of prom under one roof, minimizing the "running around" aspect of planning. Currently, the app allows students to look for a date to their prom, in a similar fashion to a modern dating app. You can see profiles, indicate interest, and communicate with people you match with. When you're ready, the platform also allows you to plan and execute your perfect promposal. You can also plan your after parties, whether that be in a limo or elsewhere. It also is a full social network, with the ability to chat with others going to prom, share your outfit, and post pictures of before, during, and after prom.

In future updates, additional features will be introduced. The primary new feature will be a marketplace of products and services specifically for prom. You'll be able to buy or rent a dress, suit, or limo, or purchase flowers. Being able to find the local shops or online stores that provide the services you need in one place will take even more stress out of the process.

The app is available now for both iOS and Android. To learn more or download the app, head over to the website.

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BinoViz is building technology to expand the reach of human vision

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BinoViz is building technology to expand the reach of human vision

2019-09-28

Vision is a tricky thing. We usually think of it as a constant, where everyone sees the same thing the same way. However, the reality of vision is that many people see things differently. One of the biggest differences is caused by color blindness, which causes people to not be able to distinguish between two colors. Red-green color blindness alone is present in 1 in 12 males. Despite this high percentage of the problem, we still use color as a primary part of daily life. BinoViz is building technology to help people who see colors differently differentiate colors.

The company has developed the first Binocular Video Tone Mapping (BVTM) framework, which takes advantage of the way the brain fuses paired images into a single visual. By using this technology, which is similar to how movies produce a modern 3D visual, they can extend the range of color that is perceivable. For those with color issues, it can produce a different contrast to the colors that are presented, allowing them to determine the difference between red and green, or blue and green, and the colors produced by combining them with others. For those who see colors normally, it does not negatively impact the visual.

The company is starting with the entertainment industry, as it affords the most opportunity to apply color technology. Nowhere else do we see as many varying colors in such a short period, and nowhere does color have such a huge impact. Think of the movie Avatar, which revolves around blue people on a green planet. For someone who cannot distinguish blue from green, the movie didn't get exciting until everything caught fire, introducing red. But, by introducing a new level of contrast, even these people can enjoy the film.

To learn more about BinoViz, check out their website.

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Coinbask makes investing in cryptocurrencies easier and safer

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Coinbask makes investing in cryptocurrencies easier and safer

2019-09-28

It's hard to believe that it's been a decade since the original whitepaper describing Bitcoin was first released. In the last ten years, the technology has grown from a concept to a global household name. However, the adoption of cryptocurrency technology in the mainstream has been somewhere between slow and non-existent. While there are many reasons why this is the case, the two primary issues involve ease of use and breadth of choices. Coinbask is working to address both of these issues.

First, there are a lot of coins available on the market. How do you choose which ones to buy? If you want to buy a variety to diversify your portfolio, how do you do it and how do you manage the whole collection? That is the point of the basket aspect of Coinbask. By purchasing a tokenized basket of currency, you get the ability to invest in a collection of coins. A more diverse portfolio can mean you can absorb the loss of a volatile coin's price fluctuation.

Second, interacting with cryptocurrency isn't easy. Each platform can require a separate wallet, making the management of a diverse portfolio difficult. With Coinbask, you only need a single wallet to buy and sell a basket. Plus, the process of buying and selling is peer-to-peer, meaning you don't have to wait for hours or days for a transaction to complete. It also means that the process is more secure because you don't have to move your coins from a private wallet to a public wallet, through an exchange to sell, only to be reversed on the other side.

Coinbask is currently in early access and the company is looking for testers. If you want more information on the platform, or want to sign up for early access, head over to the website.

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Hostaway is making private vacation rentals easier to manage

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Hostaway is making private vacation rentals easier to manage

2019-09-27

The business of vacation rentals has grown quickly in the last few years. Platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, and more have made it easier for people to bring attention and customers to their private rental properties. However, the process of running the business is far more difficult than bringing in customers, and it only gets more difficult when you're managing more than one property. You have to interact with tenants, possibly on multiple platforms. You need to have the property cleaned after each visit. You have to deal with maintenance requests promptly. These are exactly the challenges that are being addressed by Hostaway.

Hostaway is a platform for vacation rental property managers designed to bring all of the regular tasks that are involved in the running of the business into a single management dashboard. It integrates with all of the essential tools of the trade, including Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, and more. That means that the tasks that happen through those platforms can be generalized, reducing the need to bounce between sites. Now you can interact with the tenants in a single dashboard, no matter where they booked. But it also integrates with other tools that are designed to improve your tenants' stay, like smart locks, allowing the tool to change the lock code between visits.

On the inside of the business, Hostaway also allows you to manage contractors, like cleaning services, repair services, and more. Schedule your cleaning service based on booked stays, schedule repairs when visitors have a problem. By creating efficiencies around all of these regular tasks, property managers can save a lot of money, resulting in lower prices and higher profits.

Hostaway is available now for managers to try out. To book a demo or learn more about the service, check out the website.

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Global Tutoring Hub aims for mastery through personalized learning

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Global Tutoring Hub aims for mastery through personalized learning

2019-09-27

Hailing from Barbados, Michael Husbands, CEO of Global Tutoring Hub, was motivated to create his company because of his daughter's learning challenges. When his preliminary searches for some solutions for his hands-on learner didn't net anything helpful, he knuckled down to create a solution that worked for his daughter as well for others who learned like she did - which turns out to be most of us, since the majority of learners, Husband's research showed, are visual learners.

Tutor Now was the first iteration of the service, providing one on one tutoring online. After that became more popular, Global Tutoring Hub was born, offering a personalized and adaptive learning experience for young adults and adults, based on each user's learning style.

Global Tutoring Hub takes the subscribing institution's content and breaks it down into visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic components which are then delivered on their Podium learning platform. Students, meanwhile, take a learning styles test before they start, and Global Tutoring Hub customizes their learning experience based on the student's personal learning style, with no two users having the same learning experience.

Content can also be modified by the tutor and content developers based on real-time user feedback. If students are continually struggling with a particular area in a course, administrators can address the issue by redesigning content for better delivery and understanding. Additionally, tutors are trained to look for areas where students are struggling and make suggestions or guide learning based on that real-time feedback.

The platform also provides companion learning material based on each user's style and preferences, from note-taking to studying techniques. Global Tutoring Hub is also working to re-engage mature learners with their user-friendly, personalized learning service for continuing education and older students looking to upskill or reskill for new job markets. While they generally work with colleges and universities, the platform can be employed for businesses, as well.

Global Tutoring Hub's ultimate goal for students is mastery. If you get the fundamentals right, Husbands believes, people will move at a much faster rate, ultimately reducing the amount of time it takes for them to accomplish their learning goals. Global Tutoring Hub wants to create the type of user engagement where students feel they've truly achieved something, which in turn inspires a greater desire to keep learning.

The company is starting to bring more partners on, with the idea that they will become a knowledge hub, aiming to become a place where anyone can find the best course that suits each person, in the style of learning that suits each best.

To learn more, go to Podium or visit Global Tutoring Hub.

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Boss Insights is bringing investment data to private companies

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Boss Insights is bringing investment data to private companies

2019-09-27

For almost any company to grow, investment is a key to success. For public companies, investors can easily get the information they need to make an informed decision because their information is, by definition, public. However, for investors to get information about a private company, they need to interact directly with that company. It also means that they are subject to the information that is presented to them. Boss Insights is bringing the benefits of public information to private investors.

Using data connectors, Boss Insights can hook into a wide variety of data producing platforms, such as accounting software, customer relationship platforms, and more. By combining this data, the platform can provide similar insights into a private company that investors would need to make a smart decision. Investors often compete with one another, especially when choosing to invest in a high profile company. That competition can cause investors to over offer funds, take less equity in trade, or simply make hasty offers. With the edge that data can give to these investors, they can prevent those hasty decisions.

For startups, working with Boss Insights can also provide a lot of value. Not only does it bring attention and trust between investors and the company, but it can also reveal information to improve their operations. In the startup world, most people have multiple roles, and people can be in a position for which they have less than optimal training. Some of that knowledge gap can be filled by an AI-powered platform that reveals cracks in the foundation or places for improvement. If it is a red flag for an investor, it should be a red flag for the company's management.

Boss Insights is available now for startups and investors to use. For more information on the platform or to sign up for an account, head over to their website.

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EMOTAI is using biofeedback to improve competitive videogaming

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EMOTAI is using biofeedback to improve competitive videogaming

2019-09-26

Over the past few years, the technology behind brain tracking has gotten better. As the tech has improved, the usage has gone from toys and gimmicks to real-world problem-solving. We have seen drones controlled by thoughts and we've seen dream and mood analysis technology come to market. Now, the technology is being applied to videogame performance by tracking response during gameplay, thanks to EMOTAI.

This team of biomedical engineers came together to use biofeedback to analyze and improve performance for professional and semi-pro competitive gamers. Using a headband with 5 sensors and screen scraping on the videogame, the company can determine the gamer's mental state during each phase of gameplay. By combining this data with artificial intelligence, the system is also able to make determinations to help improve your state during those situations.

The prototype that Carolina Amorim, the CEO of EMOTAI, brought with her is similar to the hardware that will come to market next year, with one major difference. Heart rate is being moved from an ear clip to the forehead so that the device does not add any additional issues to your gameplay. With an ear clip, it could get in the way of headphones, which are essential to competitive gameplay.

While the technology is currently being applied to videogames, the company is aware that it could be adapted to other areas as well. Some of the industries that have been interested in their technology have been professional sports and racing. Bringing the tech to new industries would require a new set of AI training, but it is on the roadmap for the future.

If you are interested in getting your hands on the EMOTAI headband, they will be offering a preorder opportunity with hardware set to launch in 2020. To get more information or to sign up for notifications about the preorder process, head over to their website.

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DaDJ App is bringing awareness to smaller musicians and their music

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DaDJ App is bringing awareness to smaller musicians and their music

2019-09-26

If you are a fan of a mainstream musical artist, it is really easy to follow their career. If you want to see them perform live or listen to their sets, it is as simple as opening a streaming app or checking a ticket site. However, if you're a fan of a smaller artist, it can be really difficult to follow their career. Sometimes they post on Facebook, sometimes on Instagram, sometimes on Twitter - and sometimes they don't post at all. How can you find out where your favorite DJ will be this weekend? DaDJ App is the answer.

This platform has a couple of purposes, but primarily, it is an opportunity for DJs to get their name and their music out to the world. For fans, it creates a more direct line of communication. The DJs can post where they will be playing, whether it is a public or private event, and can even make tickets available for their shows - all in one place. They can even make a selection of their music available for fans to enjoy.

On the other hand, the platform also gives DJs a way to interact with venues and event promoters to find new places to perform. Whether you own a bar or club or are hosting a private event, you can find a DJ for your purposes. Because the DJ posts their music, you can get an idea of the type of set that they perform. Because they post where they are playing, you can go see them live to ensure their stage persona matches your needs. Then, once you find your match, you can hire them right on the platform. If you're hosting a public event, the DJ can then sell tickets for you.

DaDJ App is in public beta right now, with an overhaul coming in December. To get more information about the platform, check out the company's website.

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Take the headache out of getting a babysitter with lliTTLE bUNNY

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Take the headache out of getting a babysitter with lliTTLE bUNNY

2019-09-26

Of all of the services that we hire out in our lives, there is none more important than childcare. After all, there is nothing more important than the safety and wellbeing of our children. That being said, it can also be a huge hassle to find good babysitting services, especially for those last-minute needs. Jean Baptiste Mbaya, founder of Millennial R&D which developed liTTLE bUNNY, made some time to come speak with us at Collision Conference 2019.

liTTLE bUNNY is an on-demand babysitting app that is powered by AI to make childcare very affordable, easy and reliable. They take away the hassle of trying to find a good childcare provider. We've probably all been in a situation where last-minute plans come up, or maybe the babysitter that you have had scheduled for weeks calls and cancels. Trying to call somebody up to fill in for the evening can be frustrating and can also get quite expensive if you can even get somebody on shift notice.

The sitters are thoroughly vetted in advance and also come from your same community. So it's not meant for somebody who lives far away to come into your neighborhood, as with rideshare, grocery and food delivery services. They are people nearby that you may already know either directly or indirectly. And allowing the ability to read ratings and testimonials from other parents provides an added layer that provides more peace of mind. Parents will also get to choose whether the babysitter comes to their house, or they take the kids to the sitter's home. Getting onto the platform is easy and there are no signup fees for either the parents or the babysitters. It's also affordable because on average, their prices are lower than traditional childcare costs. Prices are set automatically based upon specific economic factors in each geographic area. And hourly rates get even lower when the parent is requesting service for more than 1 child.

So many areas of our lives are now made easier with the help of mobile apps and community sharing services. It only makes sense that this technology is now being applied to more things, like babysitting. After you watch Jean's full interview, make sure to also check out their website.

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BagsAway makes travel easier by providing a place to store your bags

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BagsAway makes travel easier by providing a place to store your bags

2019-09-25

For many of us, when we travel there is one common problem that pops up: what do we do with our luggage on the first and last day? Before you can check in to your hotel when you arrive or after you check out before you leave, you are stuck either sitting somewhere with your bags or dragging them along with you wherever you go. There has got to be a better way, and that way has finally arrived in BagsAway.

This new platform allows travelers to find locations with a little extra space that are willing to store their stuff while they continue to experience their trip. The benefit for the people offering up space, in addition to a little revenue, is exposing new people to their place, whether it be a restaurant, cafe, store, etc. By working with BagsAway, however, they get something just as important: protection. The company provides the hosts with special locks to protect the bags, as well as protecting the hosts. This creates a level of trust between the two parties because there is a central protector. If something does go wrong, BagsAway also has insurance coverage for their hosts, covering $1200 per bag stored.

While many startups launch in a small area, BagsAway recognizes that travel happens worldwide, and the need goes with travels. Because of this, they have worked to secure locations in many of the top tourist locations, including Montreal, New York City, Tel Aviv, and more. This means that wherever you are traveling, you should check and see if there is a BagsAway host in your destination city.

The platform is live now and looking for both hosts and travelers to give it a try. To find out the cities where it is currently in action or to book storage, head over to their website.

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GOAT is helping to reduce food waste by offering it to others

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GOAT is helping to reduce food waste by offering it to others

2019-09-25

It is amazing how much food waste happens in the modern world. We are all guilty of it, from our homes or business. Even bigger is restaurants and caterers, who oftentimes end up with meals that they cannot sell at the end of the day. Making it worse, many places make it illegal for these businesses to donate their leftover food to homeless shelters and other non-profit organizations. But, how can they responsibly get rid of the food without throwing it into a landfill? Through a new system called GOAT Generation.

Through GOAT, individuals and businesses can sell or donate their unused food and meals. This creates a unique way for unwanted food to find a new home that can help someone else out. Our own team is a great example of who this product is designed for. When we travel for an event like Collision, we have taken to staying in a house or condo. We do this because it allows us to buy groceries and save a ton of money. However, we always end up with extra supplies - sandwich meats, cheese, bread, and sometimes things like chicken. We hate to allow it to go bad or throw it out. We have looked for people in the area, including the owner of the house we stayed in, to make sure it gets used. However, an app like GOAT would allow us to not only ensure the food isn't wasted but also make back a little of the money we spent on it.

GOAT is just getting started, with a small area of implementation. The company is working to expand that coverage to more areas. To find out where the platform currently works or to download the app on iOS or Android, head over to the company's website.

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Crowdmark removes the frustration from the grading process in school

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Crowdmark removes the frustration from the grading process in school

2019-09-25

The grading process for teachers, teachers assistants, and professors can be a big challenge, especially as the student count per educator increases. For the students, receiving those grades is also a challenge, between having to get assignments to the teacher in time, then waiting an unknown amount of time to get back the score can be emotional. Some technologies have come around to try and enhance that experience, but as our host Daniele can attest, those technologies tend to come with a caveat: a lack of feedback. A new platform, Crowdmark, recognized all of these issues and set out to address them.

One of the big focuses of the platform is providing meaningful feedback to the students. This can be done in a couple of different ways. First, the teacher can create a collection of pre-defined comments, each with an assigned score. The teacher and their assistants can then use that as a rubric to score assignments easily and uniformly. However, sometimes something happens that just doesn't fit into the pre-defined. Then, the grader can enter a custom comment and score it as needed. This makes the process more fair for students that are in a large group, including those submitting papers for competitions and contests.

For students, the benefit of feedback is obvious. If you get useful information about what you did right and what you did wrong, you can try to get better at that particular topic. The feedback received from instructors through Caremark has become so important to students that one of the schools using the platform has a dedicated channel on Reddit called "Caremark Flex" in which students share their biggest, most impressive feedback.

Caremark is looking to expand its reach to new colleges and universities. For more information about the platform and to contact the company about bringing it into your school, check out their website.

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Event Realms is bringing new technology to the event experience

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Event Realms is bringing new technology to the event experience

2019-09-24

If you have attended a big event in the past few years, you know that the level of technology in use has increased dramatically, but the types of technology haven't changed much. For example, stages no longer have printed backdrops, having been replaced by large LED walls or projection screens. However, it's still mostly audio and video support, screens, and internet that dominate the event supply catalog, even though there are many new and emerging technologies for events. That is exactly the problem that Event Realms is hoping to solve.

When looking around the Collision Conference itself, Kevin Halfpenny, CEO of the company, has some small but impactful upgrades that he would recommend. While the event's app is spectacular, getting basic information while on the show floor can be a challenge. Where on the show floor is a particular company? What day are they exhibiting? Where's the closest bathroom? These questions seem trivial, but they are asked hundreds of times per day, oftentimes to people without the answer, like security. A few interactive informational kiosks, spread throughout the floor, could make the problem a thing of the past.

That is what Event Realms brings to its clients. They know the industry and they know the new technology, and they bring those two aspects together to enhance events for those in attendance and those who are remote. One of the technology categories that he sees as a huge opportunity for events is for making remote attendees feel as close to being there as possible. At a recent conference, he saw a remote presence experience in action that he claims was almost as good as being there.

If you are involved in an event and want to make the experience better for everyone involved, you can reach out to Event Realms on their website.

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Calm Radio can fit into your busy lifestyle and create your calm

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Calm Radio can fit into your busy lifestyle and create your calm

2019-09-24

There is a phrase that goes "Music has charms to soothe a savage beast". There is a lot to be said for those words. Eric Harry, the founder of Calm Radio, knows all too well how tue that phrase is. He is in the business of streaming music. The company was second behind Pandora before all the others came in. They specialize in relaxation music and have the world's largest classical channel collection. They do also offer sleep and meditation music, which is a very popular genre now.

There is competition today in the listening space, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. However, Calm Radio is a family-run business that, in the last two years, has done a deep dive in the market study to analyze their mobile and marketing space to see where they stand. They then made a lot of changes and found out that they have grown about 50% year after year though they had not started marketing until last October.

In addition to providing music for relaxation and sleep, the aspect of health and wellness is becoming popular. There are a lot of channels with a variety of unique artists. They offer those with long formats for helping with sleep and meditation or even for students who are studying. The availability is world-wide and there are 20 platforms such as Roku, Alexa, Apple TV, IOS and Android. The music is very high-end and has a great graphic interface. The cost is $10 per month, $99 per year or $160 for two years. The selection of music is varied and you can select from several genres for own listening pleasure. He is realizing that recently, that this is great for the wellness and health practitioners. In a focused study, they found out that there was a large percentage of men who chose this. Employers are encouraged to offer this to their employees to create a more peaceful working environment and thus be more productive For more information, go to the website.

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Assister is making software assistants easier and safer for all

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Assister is making software assistants easier and safer for all

2019-09-24

For software developers today, if they want to integrate an assistant into their products, they either have to rely on a third-party service, integrate with a general-purpose solution like Siri or Cortana, or limit themselves to the low value add features like FAQs and basic questions. But most developers want more capability - they want the strength of a full-featured system, with the nuance of their software. That is where Assister comes into play.

This system is designed to help software developers implement a natural language assistant into their products without having to spend the incredible amount of time and resources to build the technology themselves. What that means is that they can allow their users to ask questions or, more interestingly, pose complex challenges, in the same way they would ask another person. Imagine if your bank allowed you to ask the app, "How much money have I spent on tacos this month?" instead of looking at a list and filtering by transaction type. Or how about being able to ask Facebook messenger, "When was the last time I talked with Michele?" rather than trying to find her on your conversation list. All of this and more is possible through Assister.

Most importantly, this technology can live within the company's platform. This means that there is no need to transfer data between systems. If the bank were to integrate that question into Siri, it would require them to give Apple the answer to the question to display on your screen. By keeping everything housed within the platform, developers no longer have to share critical information with third parties, protecting your privacy and theirs.

For more information about Assister, or to get a demo of the platform, check out the company's website.

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HealthCasa will bring the doctor to you when and where you need them

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HealthCasa will bring the doctor to you when and where you need them

2019-09-23

Not everyone realizes that 25% of the bones in their bodies are found in the feet. Foot care is so incredibly important to your overall health. They carry you for your entire life. That is the reason you need to have regular care for them. However, scheduling and keeping appointments can be hard because of work commitments or just a busy lifestyle in general. That's where Mike Gasper has a great idea for helping you keep up with your optimum foot health regime. He is the founder and COO of HealthCasa, a tech-enabled platform that can deliver podiatric services and/or orthopedic appointments at the patient's home or office.

The first thing that has to happen is for the person to realize and accept that there is indeed a problem. You sign up for the address of the location of the patient. You then decide on the time of the appointment depending on your availability. You then find the doctor that is available for you, according to who is participating. With this system, it allows the doctors to focus on being doctors and not on the business aspect of running an office.

Some people are very anxious about seeing a doctor, especially for the first time. HealthCasa wants to relieve that from the picture. Communication is the key to putting people at ease and talking to them will help with that. HealthCasa feels that they are a family helping others and that feeling can and does extend to the patients.

Mike's goal is currently to stay in the podiatric field and to grow and develop. Down the road, he hopes to bring other fields onboard. He currently is in the Toronto area but hopes to branch out into the greater Ontario area. To find a doctor and book an appointment, go to the website.

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Alavida Health can return control of your life from alcohol dependence

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Alavida Health can return control of your life from alcohol dependence

2019-09-23

Alcohol is one of the first things that every culture creates, and yet it is one of the biggest health and social issues for people around the world. There have always been programs to help people deal with the issue, but it tends to be a one size fits all kind of solution, and involves abandoning drinking altogether. But that is not the solution for everyone - many people just need some help to taper down their drinking habits. That's where Alavida Health comes in, with a service to help people lower their alcohol intake gradually.

Rather than going cold turkey from heavy drinking to no drinking, this course helps a person to get their behaviors under control. This is done with a series of evidence-based processes and treatments that are guided by a wide knowledge base and at the hand of doctors and therapists, with special training in alcohol addiction. These medical professionals are available to help you through the process, either through in-person visits, phone calls, or using secure video conferencing. This team is there to help you when you need it so that you can be proud of your results in under 6 months.

Within the system, you can also track your daily activities, and log what your connected behaviors were. This gives you and your care team the ability to identify what your triggers are to help you address them. If you can identify what drives you to drink, it is far easier to address those triggers head-on. There are also tools for your loved ones and support network to receive assistance and to help give it to you.

Alavida's outpatient program is available now. For more information on how it works, to take the assessment, or to get in touch with the company, check out their website.

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Homewise takes the guesswork and frustration out of getting a mortgage

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Homewise takes the guesswork and frustration out of getting a mortgage

2019-09-23

No part of buying a house is pleasant. It requires dealing with real estate agents and loan agents, whose goals are not necessarily the same. It requires understanding the terms of contracts that can be difficult and detailed, often written in such a way as to confuse you. And, on top of it, it is one of the biggest decisions in life, making it stressful on its own. Fortunately, part of the process is about to get a lot easier thanks to Homewise.

This new platform is designed to help people get the best mortgage for them, whether that be in the pre-approval, approval, switch, or refinancing stage of ownership. This is accomplished by working with over 30 lenders, each with their specialties and programs. By taking into consideration all of the available offerings, Homewise can find the terms and conditions that match your needs and your capabilities. Most importantly, the platform will be able to save you the most money it can.

The company's goal is to save its users $20k each while making the process transparent and understandable. That is a lofty goal but is something accomplishable through the algorithms that are in place. To date, the company has been able to help secure over $750 million in mortgages in Canada. The best part of it all is that it doesn't cost the users anything to use the platform.

Homewise also wants to make the homeownership experience for people in need. As part of this goal, the company works with Habitat for Humanity to help people who are less fortunate secure homes, too, through a program they call Home Karma.

Homewise is available to customers in Canada right now, with hopes to expand outside of the country in the future. Try the service now for free.

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Healthy Dining is a world-wide app for plant-based restaurants

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Healthy Dining is a world-wide app for plant-based restaurants

2019-09-22

People that live on a plant-based diet have special needs. They require an environment that is restrictive in that they cannot have any cross-contamination of certain foods. Some do not eat any dairy or animal by-products or any foods that animals are involved in, in ay way, such as honey being produced by bees. This can be incredibly difficult when dining out especially in a new and unfamiliar area. That's where Healthy Dining becomes your friend.

This app provides a location-based curated list of plant-based restaurants that allows you to eat out safely and not have to worry about your restrictions and cross-contamination. In addition to being able to find the ideal places to eat, Healthy Dining allows you to find others who, like you, want to share meals and dining experiences. You create a profile from which others can see and it brings together new friends who have a common bond. In this app, you can view the menu options of the restaurants, and see what specials they have to offer as well as read any reviews posted. The location is chosen by the city, state or zip code.

Restaurants cannot be vegan- or vegetarian-friendly or simply offer vegan and vegetarian options; the entire menu must comply with vegan or vegetarian standards. Ebony McCormick, founder and CEO of Healthy Dining, has individually verified each restaurant on the platform for compliance. For Ebony, part of her research is reaching out to restaurants to make sure not only does the food that is served follow her requirements but the facility itself also has to. There are currently 1500 restaurants available to review and the number is growing.

The app is currently available for $1.99 to download and to allow more profiles to view, it is $1.99 per month. For more information go to her website.

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Deep Money is bringing the power of AI to personal investments

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Deep Money is bringing the power of AI to personal investments

2019-09-22

Stock markets can be a difficult beast for most people to understand. How do you maintain a portfolio be it a small personal portfolio or a full hedge fund, keep it diverse enough to protect itself, as well as profitable? It requires a lot of work, a lot of information, and the ability to make decisions based on all of that. People are okay at pulling all of that together, but computers are getting to be better at it. That's where Deep Money comes in.

This artificial intelligence system is designed to watch for certain leading indicators across a stock market and make buying and selling decisions and predictions based on those indicators. Large investors, like hedge funds, use technology like this every day to manage their millions of dollars, but nothing lie it has never been available to the average investor. Now, everyone can have the ability to manage their money, no matter how much, without having to hover over a computer all day, every day.

Deep Money is so confident in their technology that they are putting their money where their mouth is. They believe that the only way to prove out the technology is to use it in live markets. As part of that test, they are developing an in-house hedge fund which will be the first-ever fully autonomous hedge fund in Latin America and will be built on their technology.

The platform also offers a robust API, allowing customers to build additional systems on top of the existing technology. This could be a custom reporting application or a complete way to manage and maintain your investments.

The platform is live right now in the US and India, with the company running live tests in the market. For more information on Deep Money, check out the company's website.

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BantuFin wants to bring transparency to credit confidence score

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BantuFin wants to bring transparency to credit confidence score

2019-09-20

In the United States, we have had an established credit system for a long time. While the system is good at the thing it was designed to do, the world has gotten more complex. The value of a single, combined number when applying for a new cell phone plan, for example, is not the same as the value of that number for a large transaction, like a mortgage. More information is always better than less information when making an important decision. Providing that detailed information is the ultimate goal of BantuFin, a new take on payment reporting.

The system works on a familiar concept of 5-star ratings. But, rather than being a hidden, secret sauce value, you can dig down into the reasons behind the value. To use the previous example of a cell phone account, perhaps the company isn't interested in the credit card you got tricked into in college but instead is only interested to see that you have never defaulted on a wireless carrier before. That information can create a better, more informed decision.

More important than augmenting an aging system in the US, there are countries across the world that have no way of reporting payment history at all. BantuFin can easily integrate into those places and bring a new and important aspect to an emerging economy.

In addition to the reporting features, BantuFin has a host of features for the individual as well. You can see your overall committed expenditures in one place, so you can easily build a financial plan for payments and savings. You can also get a real-time view of your score and the individual aspects that have lead to that score.

BantuFin is available now through invitation. To find out more about the platform, how it works, or to request an invitation, check out their website.

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Common Networks is developing a wireless home internet service

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Common Networks is developing a wireless home internet service

2019-09-20

A Stable internet connection is one of the most important parts of modern life. For most people, if they're at home and the internet connection goes down, they don't know what to do with themselves. We rely on it for work, entertainment and, for some of us, even for food. Somehow, despite our reliance on the technology, it has not improved in any meaningful way in years. Most of us still rely on copper wires that were placed in the ground decades ago to provide our connection to the outside world. Common Networks has a new idea, using a decentralized wireless network structure to make installation easy and connectivity nearly unbreakable.

Using a combination of wireless technologies, the company is producing a wide-area mesh network. This means that if one node is damaged, the network traffic can route around the bad node and keep your internet connection alive. It also means that the network setup is less expensive to maintain because there will be no emergency late-night service tech calls, which can be a huge cost for a network operator. This cost-saving is passed on to the users, with 300 Mbps running only $49 per month with no installation fee, additional taxes, or equipment rentals.

Impressively, this is accomplished without the speed degradation we have seen with previous wireless networks. When 4G, both LTE and WiMax, came about, companies tried to build home systems on top of that technology. Unfortunately, the strength of the signal and the design of the networks made it impossible. That is no longer the case, as Common Networks has worked through those issues, designing a custom network infrastructure that is cloud-controlled and self-healing.

The company is in active development of its network in a handful of cities in California, with hopes to expand beyond the state. For more information and to see if your address is covered, check out their website.

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LISA is a robotic lifeguard designed to save lives in the water

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LISA is a robotic lifeguard designed to save lives in the water

2019-09-20

While it may not be at the forefront of most of our minds, drowning is a huge problem. Every 60 seconds, someone in the world dies from drowning. Children are particularly at risk because they have less self-awareness, spatial awareness, and life experience to prevent a dangerous situation and to alleviate one that has already begun. Because of this ever-present danger, a new robot from Health Sonics has entered the scene, and her name is LISA.

LISA is a truly life-saving robot, intended to help prevent this high number of deaths. She accomplishes this in a couple of steps. The first is through detection and alert. This works similarly to other detection machines, recognizing the signs of a struggle and alerting an outside party, such as a parent or emergency services.

While this is a good feature, it is not unique. Where LISA sets herself apart from other detection systems is that she can actively come to the rescue of the person in trouble. While LISA is alerting the outside world to trouble, she is also able to swim to the person in need and bring them back to the surface of the water. She does this by wrapping herself around the person and holding them above the surface.

In addition to the feature of maintaining the drowning person above the water, LISA also monitors vital signs. This is helpful for the people who come to the rescue, whether it be a family member or emergency services. This could be an essential piece of the puzzle for helping to make sure that the rescue is a success.

LISA is available for pre-order now and is designed to work in both private, public, and commercial pool environments. For more information about LISA, or to pre-order your LISA, check out the company's website.

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Allergy Butler: a smart approach to airborne allergies in your home

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Allergy Butler: a smart approach to airborne allergies in your home

2019-09-18

Allergy Butler is a full-service airborne allergy service that brings FDA-approved testing and therapies that can bring you and your family lasting allergy relief, without the need to spend hours at a doctors office. The founder's family suffered from debilitating airborne allergies, and it is in that spirit that they wanted to offer everyone a convenient allergy treatment that actually works, by bringing together the best research, technology, and experience for you.

Allergies are the 3rd most common chronic disease. Between 30 and 40% of all Americans suffer from them, while also being responsible for 70% of asthma flare-ups, 65% of respiratory infections, and 80% of ear, nose, and throat infections. The service works in 12 easy steps. They arrive at your home, get your basic health information and vitals. They then perform an allergy test, utilizing Comforten: a method that places tiny barbs on your arm that you can barely see and feels as though someone laid a wire brush across your skin. Placing the device 3 times on each arm, they can test for 58 allergens common in your area in addition to 2 control allergens. This is all done quickly because they are doing 10 at a time. Allergy Butler then measures your reaction to the allergens which often manifest as small bumps similar to mosquito bites.

Inputting that information into their software analyzes your results against allergy research, chemistry, botany, biology and anatomy, and even weather patterns. This can provide instant results to create the perfect therapy. A week later they return to your home with a custom immunotherapy regiment, bringing you all the supplies you need, plus training you on everything you need to know. Once you're trained you start your shots, using the smallest needles available, injecting into the abdomen because there is more fat and fewer nerves, resulting in less pain than in the arm.

If airborne allergies ail you, Allergy Butler may just be the solution. For more information visit the company's website.

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Blumberg Capital takes the necessary risks to create a better future

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Blumberg Capital takes the necessary risks to create a better future

2019-09-18

Collision Conference is a marketplace in and of itself in the startup community with so many fresh ideas that have been cooking in the great minds of passionate entrepreneurs who are just starting. We have been fortunate over the years to get to know so many of these young companies as they forge their way from concept to successful business. And even though some of them are not able to fully realize their dream this go around, the process is exciting and important, nonetheless. Unfortunately, as we all know too well, an idea nowadays simply isn't enough to bring a product to life in the world. Ideas need resources, many resources, to get started, and a lot of these early-stage companies with prototypes just don't have funds readily accessible. Lucky for them, there are people like David Blumberg, founder of Blumberg Capital, that seek out powerful and unique designs, even with nothing yet to show.

Blumberg Capital is an early-stage, focused venture capital firm that invests in the dreams that passionate entrepreneurs breathe. Their goal is to take these fresh ideas and skyrocket them to build a successful technology company through necessary resources to survive such as finances, business development, customers, and talent acquisition. They benefit from businesses thriving, so they do everything in their power to help an entrepreneur succeed.

Operating for 30 years in North America and Israel, Blumberg Capital manages approximately 550 million US Dollars under management across 5 different funds. Blumberg currently has a partnership with 64 companies as of Collision 2019 and is excited to continue growing for a better and brighter future.

David has an eye for the future and finds excitement in events such as Collision because it bleeds creativity that shows what the can future hold. This is the same energy that our PLuGHiTz team enjoys speaking with to help the same companies gain more coverage and expand their base.

For more information about Blumberg Capital, you can visit their website.

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MsBizWiz absolutely has a knack for making networking a lot of fun

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MsBizWiz absolutely has a knack for making networking a lot of fun

2019-09-18

As I'm sure most of our followers know by now, in between all of the long hours and hard work, our PLuGHiTz Live crew has a lot of fun while we are out and about, filming special events. It truly is wonderful to not only love the work we are doing but to also make an adventure out of everything that we do. And one of the best parts of our job is how we get to meet such amazing people along the way.

This year at Collision Conference 2019, we were very lucky to have had the most extraordinary volunteer in the Media Village, Jean Chow. Jean took such good care of us by not only escorting the guests that had signed up for interviews over to our booth but also bringing us suggestions for additional interviews as she met interesting people throughout her day. We quickly found out that Jean loves all of the same techie, start-up and production stuff that we do and is very active in her entrepreneurial activities. So as we got to a point in our day with an extra few minutes between guests, it was only natural to call her over to chat with us in more detail.

Jean has an extensive resume that includes being an Instructor at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. In this capacity, she can really let her personality shine. She has a special knack to help people learn that connecting with others is a valued skill that helps build relationships. Through her workshops, students can view networking as a tool to learn and grow, not just as a necessary evil. She puts into practice what she refers to as "The Five Hacks for Powerful Networking" in her classes and can do so in the most fun and interesting ways. She brings it to life through story-telling, improv, and sharing networking best practices.

Many of us on the team now follow Jean on social media and, again, love how she brings her personality into her daily journeys. Make sure to watch Jean's interview and you'll see just how contagious her energy is. And to find out more, you can check out her website and also follow all of her adventures on Instagram.

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Play a fun game and earn crypto coin at the same time with Hedgie

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Play a fun game and earn crypto coin at the same time with Hedgie

2019-09-06

At PLuGHiTz Live, we enjoy getting out and covering special events like Collision Conference. When we do these special events, we love being among the first to get a glimpse of new products. This is especially true when it comes to the new mobile apps, and even more so when they are games. Hedgie co-founder, Stas Zlobinski, stopped by to show us their fun new game, and we were not disappointed.

Hedgie is a unique strategy and exploration game that is free to play. You start by choosing your Hedgie. Each of these legendary creatures come with an interesting backstory with unique powers and skillsets. They are considered skilled explorers with a storied past that are limited edition digital collectibles (or "crypto-collectibles") and they are on a never-ending mission to uncover lost treasure and ultimately earn you Curio coin. Your journey with your Hedgie takes you through four unique kingdoms, digging up all kinds of loot that will boost your Hedgie's performance. And to make it even better, you also earn crypto coin along the way. There are four different kingdoms to explore and you need to strategize as you go.

The coin that you collect is also spendable in real-world businesses. They have partnered with a few global businesses, so far. This was important to them because it is a game that will have players throughout the world. Most of their current partners are located in Toronto, as that is where the app has been launched initially. Some of the partnerships are with businesses that sell digital products which makes it easier to give their users things like a free one month subscriptions or free items in exchange for coins. So users make this coin in the game and then spend it on real-world awards. They can also make purchases within the game, to enhance their level of play.

You can learn more about this exciting game that we all downloaded right there in Toronto by watching the full interview. You can also get more details by visiting their website.

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Chumaround brings like-minded people together for travel and dining

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Chumaround brings like-minded people together for travel and dining

2019-09-06

Imagine being able to travel to a particular city without the fear of not knowing anyone or where to go to get the best experience possible. Chumaround is now available to help alleviate that problem. Michael Cruz is the CEO and is very excited to share his business to help people with their travel experiences. Chumaround is a web-based platform that connects travelers with locals who are like-minded in their interests.

Based in Orlando, they currently have 6500 hosts available in 100 of the biggest cities in America and are rapidly growing in Europe and Asia. After being compared to a tour guide, Michael says "We are everything a tour guide is not." He gives the example of being a "traditional traveler": having taken pictures from a bus window and posting them on Facebook. With Chumaround, you get to become an "experiential traveler", that being one who can truly experience the full culture, food, and people of the area. You can enjoy it much more because you are getting the effect by sharing it with someone who shares your interests and appreciation. You can and are supporting locals when you sign up for Chumaround.

In addition to making travel engaging, Chumaround can be an exciting and very beneficial tool to use if you are relocating to a new area. One of the most challenging parts of moving to a new area is meeting and making nee friends. Whether it be for relocating for business or starting a new married life or even going to college, this can help ease your frustrations and make your life a lot easier because you have people to associate with that are like yourself in their interests.

This new and exciting platform is currently available now globally. For more information and to book an experience, go the website.

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Marion Surgical has created virtual operating rooms to train surgeons

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Marion Surgical has created virtual operating rooms to train surgeons

2019-09-06

When most people think of virtual reality, they tend to think of the technology in terms of gaming. However, there are many uses for VR that are not based on entertainment, but instead on education. One area of education that is being enhanced by virtual reality is the medical field. VR and AR can be used to replicate real-world experiences without the cost of the procedure. Marion Surgical is doing just that with surgical education.

There are several steps in a surgeon's life that can be enhanced using Marion Surgical's technology. The first is in the early training process. Traditionally, surgical skill is learned through pig labs, but that has issues, such as cost, as well as kosher concerns. Because the VR technology can replicate the process entirely, without the need for the pig, it can be used by anyone for less money. The room is replicated by the headset, while the haptic feedback is provided through robotics. The surgical instruments, however, are real.

The technology can also be used to do training on a particular surgery for a particular patient. Using CT scans, the system can replicate a patient in great detail, allowing for a surgeon to perform a procedure on a patient before bringing them into the operating room. This means that many possible problems can be discovered while in virtual reality, rather than during actual surgery. The simulation gives doctors more than once chance to mitigate these risks without the risk of harming or killing the patient. It may not be a foolproof solution, as unknowns can always happen, but it can certainly be of huge benefit in most cases.

The technology is already being used for training exercises and an exciting experiment is being conducted with two real patients. To find out more about the platform, check out the company's website.

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NationCrowd brings the power of crowdfunding to political action

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NationCrowd brings the power of crowdfunding to political action

2019-09-05

The problem with creating a position of power is that other people want to influence that power. Our founders knew that which is why our government was structured the way it was. Today, we are way past the safety of that system, which has allowed the governmental policies to be dictated by lobbying groups with more money and time than the public interest. It has been nearly impossible for individuals to fight the big money of these lobbying groups for particular issues until the creation of NationCrowd by Echo Ridge.

The platform combines the power of crowdfunding with political causes to help individuals come together to create change in their world. This is done not by supporting a particular candidate because change does not actually come at the ballot box. Instead, this platform is based around ideas and causes - giving a voice to the people which has been lost to big money in politics. People are able to throw their support behind issues that are important to them, allowing politicians and policymakers to see what is important to their constituents. This is a far more effective way to bring about lasting change than petitioning a single politician.

The company recently closed its beta program, in which they focused on the issue of paid family leave. There are competing bills being pitched with varying ideas on what should be made law. As part of the platform's beta, CEO Jeff Allan had the opportunity to speak to members of Congress to show them the numbers. They were both amazed at how much information was available on what the people, and their constituents, are hoping for in regards to family leave.

The platform's beta has concluded, and the company is making changes based on feedback from the program. To find out more about the platform and to sign up to be notified when the platform comes online, check out the website.

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Barbers and stylists coming to me, at my convenience? Yes, please!

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Barbers and stylists coming to me, at my convenience? Yes, please!

2019-09-05

I don't know about you, but it always seems to be such a hassle for me to not only make appointments but even more so to get myself to them. This is especially true when I have a lot going on between work, family obligations, and household projects. Do I make my hair appointments near the house, or near work? Will I have time to get it done during my lunch break? So many things to consider and workaround.

Klippers is a mobile app that recently launched in Toronto, that is a marketplace for connecting users with the hairstylists and the barbers that are in the area. So users go into the app and can see all of the hairstylist and barbers around the area that they choose. Not only that, but the services that they offer and their portfolios are also right there on the app. It's easy to locate exactly what you want, check prices and ratings and book right there. Oh, and let's not forget the best part... then they come to you. That's right, they show up at the location of your choice with all of their supplies. It doesn't get any easier than that for even the most hectic of schedules.

Klippers not only makes scheduling easy, but they also have very high standards for their service providers, to help put the client's minds at ease. They put all stylists through a screening process right upfront before they are allowed to be listed on the app. This process verifies experience and licenses as well as provides a full background check, so you don't need to be worried about who is coming to your home or place of business. Customer safety is their top priority.

Although currently only available in Toronto, Canada, the company is looking to expand into other large markets. Make sure to watch our interview with the CEO and Co-founder, Neel Patel to find out more about this exciting new app. You can also learn more by checking out their website by clicking here.

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Curiato is helping to prevent bedsores and other skin problems

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Curiato is helping to prevent bedsores and other skin problems

2019-09-05

It's hard to believe that, with all of the technology in a modern hospital, or even in our smartwatches, the part of the body that is completely ignored is our skin. This is despite our skin being the largest organ of the body and the first line of defense that we have against disease and injury. Patients all over the world enter medical facilities for other issues, but develop skin issues while there, all because it is difficult to track. Fortunately, Curiato noticed this problem and has developed a product to help solve it.

The company has developed a smart bedsheet, which is capable of detecting pressure, temperature, and humidity. With those 3 data points, the platform can detect, predict, and prevent injuries like bedsores. While everyone has heard of bedsores, almost no one knows exactly how big the problem of skin issues is. In North America alone, 7 people die every hour from skin issues like bedsores. Yes, you read that right: 7 people die every hour from fairly easily preventable skin issues. However, detection has always been the problem, but Curiato helps to fill that skill gap.

While bedsores may be where the company is starting, they believe that the technology can be used for far more. The intention is to use the platform as a marketplace of ideas and applications. Using the data collected by the existing hardware, other applications can use it, combine it with other data, and make even more powerful platforms. Imagine if the patient management system that helps run an assisted living facility could have Curiato built-in directly. If a patient doesn't move for an extended period, an ALF employee could be alerted to prevent a permanent or life-threatening injury.

The platform is currently in clinical trials and they hope to begin rolling it out soon. For more information, check out the company's website.

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Granthika brings continuity management to authors of fiction

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Granthika brings continuity management to authors of fiction

2019-09-04

For authors of fiction, several issues can make the experience challenging. Some of those issues end up making the final work frustrating for the reader. We've all gotten into reading a book series or watched a television series in which a known fact, about a character or a location, is contradicted - not because of plot development, but because of the difficulty of maintaining the details of a universe that doesn't exist (did Michael Scott go to college or not?!). For those writers who want to prevent this issue, there is Granthika.

Normally, writers keep a notebook or a separate document with the individual details of the development of the world or universe being created. However, no one is ever able to maintain all of the details. When did two characters first meet? Who started working at Dunder Mifflin first: Jim or Pam? These types of questions can take the reader or watcher out of the action, but Granthika can help prevent it. Using natural language processing, the software can essentially read a book and begin to build a timeline and fact database for the author.

While this is great for a solo author, it has a particular value for a universe with multiple authors. It doesn't matter if it is two authors working together on a book, or an open-source universe like Isaac's Universe, created by Isaac Asimov and contributed to by authors all over the world. When a rule is created, or experience documented, that data can be shared with the other authors, to prevent continuity issues or storylines based on false accounts.

Granthika is currently in an open beta phase, and an author can try it out today. To get in on the beta, or to find out more about the software, check out the Granthika website.

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Make money when you travel by delivering items as you go, with KNGRO

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Make money when you travel by delivering items as you go, with KNGRO

2019-09-04

Not very many people here in the states know this, but the candy brand Kit Kat is extremely popular in Japan. One of the reasons that it is so popular there is because they have different flavors than we have here. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine traveled to Japan and brought back all kinds of wonderful (and crazy) flavored Kit Kat's. There was strawberry cheesecake, green tea, orange, wasabi, and sweet corn, to name a few. And once they were gone... they were gone. If only I had a quick and easy way to get some more of these unusual treats. Sure, there are now some trendy candy, and even comic book, stores that dabble in some of these candies from overseas, but still not the full range. And it can get so expensive to order foreign items online, with markup and shipping, to say the least. This is where the new app, KNGRO, comes into play.

We learned more about it when we met Roy Abdo, Marketing Director and one of the cofounders of KNGRO, at Collision Conference 2019. They realized that there are a lot of people around the world who want to purchase items from far away places. Likewise, there are millions of people who travel internationally every year. So why not find a way to link them up? They created a platform where people can order things from other areas and then someone traveling to/from that location will bring them to you for a mutually agreed-upon fee. It's the perfect set up for everybody involved. The traveler can make a little extra cash for their efforts, and the shopper can get their items, not only for a better price than shipping but also much faster than waiting weeks for their international packages.

The app and the online version are really easy to use, too. You simply list the item that you want, along with your location and the location of the item. Then travelers go in to "make an offer" on the items that they can bring along in their luggage to drop off when they arrive in your area. Simple transaction for both parties.

Check out Roy's full interview to get more details and then hop over to their website to get started.

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Locelle is helping women connect and excel in today's workplace

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Locelle is helping women connect and excel in today's workplace

2019-09-04

In most professional industries, it is difficult for women to make connections and meet like-minded women in the workplace. This problem has created a huge hurdle for women to overcome in their careers. Humaira Ahmed has been working on ways to improve this dilemma with her company, Locelle. Locelle is a safe engagement application for women to easily connect for support and mentorship. This app is like a more personalized LinkedIn for women to expand their networks through business connections, friendship, or even helpful conversation with women from similar backgrounds, industries, and organizations.

Locelle provides its users with curated matches based upon things like their professional and personal interests, and industry, as well as preferred meetup. A woman using this platform can easily establish a meaningful, long-lasting professional relationship such as mentorship by just creating a profile. You can even attend events that are related to the Locelle mission to make those initial connections in person before adding them to your network in the app.

Many women struggle with the culture of their day to day in the office due to a majority of today's industries facing a male-dominated atmosphere. This can be detrimental to a woman's confidence, network, and even their overall career. Locelle prides themselves with helping to establish meaningful relationships that can assist women in these situations. One way they accomplish this is by facilitating interaction with other women who may have already tackled problems similar to what you are currently facing. Advice is very important to help someone excel in their career and very helpful to learn from others and their situations. It is not about just surviving in your workplace; it's about thriving and progressing in your career! Every obstacle is a stepping stone into a better you and you can share your experiences with other women that get it.

Locelle is available now for download through iOS and Android users. The app launched first in Canada with currently 1,000 users and is looking to expand its horizons. For more information on Locelle, you can visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under @locelleapp.

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Bottega makes VR and AR available to cheaper and lighter hardware

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Bottega makes VR and AR available to cheaper and lighter hardware

2019-09-02

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are technologies that have taken the world by storm. Games like Pokemon GO have made AR a daily activity, and platforms like Oculus and Steam VR have made deploying VR games to the masses possible. However, both of these technologies require a substantial amount of rendering power to make the graphics of a quality that is engaging. This means that many devices, including middle and low tier mobile phones, are out of contention. That is unless the developer uses Bottega's technology.

While normal games and apps require the graphics to be rendered in real-time on the device being used, Bottega allows these games and apps to offload a hefty portion of this rendering to remote systems. Unlike systems like Microsoft's Project xCloud, however, Bottega does not use live remote rendering servers. Instead, the system pre-renders portions of the graphics. This allows the app or game to load the graphics from hot storage, which is far cheaper than powerful rendering servers. Storage, even hot storage, is fairly cheap in the grand scheme of cloud services, and taking advantage of this can be a major cost saving for the developer.

By implementing this technology, AR and VR can be brought to smaller and lighter technology. Inexpensive phones can now access features that were withheld from them. Even better, standalone VR and AR headsets, like the Oculus Go and the Microsoft HoloLens, can be made significantly lighter. This can usher in a new era of VR and AR experiences that do not require bulky hardware or tethered computers. All it will require is an internet connection. With the impending launch of 5G network connections, this will be able to be made mobile, as well.

Bottega is currently in an early testing phase but hopes to be ready for a wider rollout in the near future.

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ConnectedYou is connecting cellular IoT devices around the globe

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ConnectedYou is connecting cellular IoT devices around the globe

2019-09-02

The Internet of Things, better known to the world as IoT, is a complicated network of devices that are able to collect information about the world and share it. This information can be used for something as simple as maintaining a comfortable temperature in a building or can be as complex as maintaining and securing a fleet of vehicles. But maintaining these connections can be difficult, especially when the sensors are on the move. That's where ConectedYou comes in.

The company provides a special SIM card that can be used in a connected device instead of a traditional carrier-supplied card. This special SIM allows for quick and programmable switching of networks without having to involve the carriers themselves. Because the SIM is an eSIM implemented in a standard plug-in SIM body, it is usable in any GSM or LTE device from any manufacturer. Take, for example, a cargo train traveling across North America, up the West Coast. Through the heavily populated parts of California, T-Mobile might be an inexpensive data provider. However, in the unpopulated parts of Washington, AT&T might be the only option. And, when it enters Canada, neither are good choices and instead needs TELUS.

Previously, this network switch was not possible without physically swapping out SIM cards, something that is not possible in the noted scenario. Using ConnectedYou, and their management platform, this becomes a simple task. Use the company's management console to create rules and change carriers on the fly. Or, use the APIs to create even more intricate swapping algorithms. Wherever your devices are, you can create a scenario so that they can communicate with your network and your infrastructure.

The ConnectedYou SIM is available now for use in IoT devices globally. To learn more about the platform, or to purchase a SIM, head to the company's website.

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BIO-H2-GEN is hoping to bring a new process for producing hydrogen

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BIO-H2-GEN is hoping to bring a new process for producing hydrogen

2019-09-02

In the next generation of energy production, hydrogen is going to play a major role. That is regardless of the energy method, whether it be hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen fusion, and even used for space travel. However, the current limitation to hydrogen as a fuel source is in the production of the hydrogen itself. It is expensive, both in terms of money and resources. That may all change if William Knapp's company, BIO-H2-GEN, can get their technology off the ground.

Knapp's patented technology uses a ready, nearly never-ending source of materials for production, coming from wastewater treatment. As it stands now, these treatment facilities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove and dispose of the bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide in their facilities. However, this same chemical can be used to produce hydrogen with a zero-carbon process. By adding this process to the treatment facilities, they can reduce their treatment costs, as well as generate revenue from the resulting hydrogen.

BIO-H2-GEN is still at an early stage. They received 20 patents early this year for the technology. This was an important validation of the technology and the process, which helps move to the next stage: testing. The company is currently looking for a partner to help bring the idea out of the concept and into reality. This would require building one or more pilot plants, which could be distributed to treatment facilities for monitoring.

Knapp has already tapped a couple of engineering firms, with whom he will spend several weeks perfecting a prototype refinery, once partners come forward. The partners needed are for production and capital for operational and equipment expenses. For more information on the process, or to contact the company to inquire about partnering, you can check out the company's website.

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FarCloser Travel allows adventurers to experience a whole new world

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FarCloser Travel allows adventurers to experience a whole new world

2019-08-31

For some, travel is a simple function of exploring somewhere that is not home. They travel to a city and explore the local hot spots and tourist experiences. For others, it's a more specialized experience designed to get to experience life in a new location. They find big tours that explore sights that most people never get the opportunity to see. For those adventurers, there is FarCloser Travel a platform that allows travelers to find and book exciting experiences.

There are talented local guides in every location around the world. They know the area like no one else and can provide experiences that are unmatched. But, there are also risks involved. How do you know that the listing you are reading is legitimate? What happens when you wire the money internationally? Did they get it? Most importantly, when you get to the meeting location, will there be anyone there to meet you? All of these examples are real-world and happen more often than is fair to these adventurers. FarCloser Travel makes all of those concerns a thing of the past, giving safety and security to both parties.

For travelers, you now have one place to find and explore in-depth experiences all over the globe. Some can be short, like a 2 day Lake Nakuru Safari in Nairobi. Others can be more involved, like 8 days in Kilimanjaro Marangu in Moshi. Once you find the experience you want, you can pay directly through the platform, and the money is held in escrow. The guide can only get the money once the experience has been delivered. This protects the traveler, their safety, and their money.

For the guide, it brings a new way of discovery for their excursions, allowing these guides to make more money and bring their experiences to more people. It also eliminates the negotiation and trepidation that travelers have to deal with people they do not know.

To learn more about the platform and explore the experiences available, check out their website.

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Advocado allows advertisers to connect TV ads with Google Search

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Advocado allows advertisers to connect TV ads with Google Search

2019-08-31

One of our absolute favorite interviews from Collision 2018 was with a company called Advocado. That's why we brought back the co-founder, Brian Handrigan, to give us an update on the platform.

The platform is designed to give companies the ability to enhance their online advertising experience while making it less expensive to accomplish. It all works by knowing what is happening on television and responding accordingly. Advocado's system watches television all over the country looking for specific advertising and content. When that content is detected, the system goes into action, making changes to Google AdSense advertising rules for a short period after the trigger.

Since last year, some big changes have happened. First, no longer does the system require a special watermark to identify the triggering content. This is important because it means that an advertiser can now run online micro-campaigns based on content that is not theirs. Previously, Amazon could buy Google keywords for AWS and cloud for 3 minutes surrounding their Amazon Web Services commercials. Now, Microsoft can buy keywords for AWS and cloud for 3 minutes surrounding commercials for Amazon Web Services. This is a game-changer for companies who want to take advantage of the increased search traffic of their competitors.

The second big change is the response from Google to the platform. Google uses AI to detect changes on the internet to identify indicators for search results. For example, a trending topic on Twitter might change the way search results are displayed for related keywords. Advocado's technology has been so effective for their customers that Google's AI has detected the platform's buying directives as search trend indicators. This means that the longer a campaign runs for a particular keyword, the better the results will get for the advertiser.

Advocado's advertising platform is available now as a full-featured platform. To learn more, check out their website.

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Bee My Ears brings market research capabilities to small artists

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Bee My Ears brings market research capabilities to small artists

2019-08-31

Being an independent musician can be incredibly difficult. Signed artists have the weight of a publisher behind them, giving them access to tools and processes to expand the reach of their music. Without those tools, indie artists struggle to get useful feedback about their music, as well as finding new avenues for listeners to learn about them. Bee My Ears is trying to help bring some of these tools to the artists that need them the most.

There are three tiers to the platform, with all offering the most important aspect for artists: feedback. Listeners are given access to the music provided by the artists and are then asked to complete a survey about what they have heard. This survey allows artists to know what the public likes and, more importantly, what they do not. This gives the artist the ability to adjust their style to respond to the feedback, hopefully without abandoning what makes them who they are as an artist.

For more detailed information, the upper tiers expand the depth of the survey and, with it, the type of information available. For example, artists can get information on whether or not the music they are hearing would make sense to be paired with particular brands. Some music is obvious, referencing the brand by name, while others are more subtle. For example, the inclusion of MC Chris's Hoodie Ninja in a Honda Civic commercial was far from obvious but was a good match in the end. You can also gain the feedback of professionals in both the music industry and in advertising, helping to pair music with brands on an even higher level.

Bee My Ears is currently in testing in Brazil, with plans to expand the reach in time. To find out more about the platform, check out their website.

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BooknBrunch brings people together over food, fun, and reading

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BooknBrunch brings people together over food, fun, and reading

2019-08-30

In an age where technology is becoming our companion, it is getting harder and harder to feel connected to other people. For some, it can create a deep depression, which causes isolation, only exacerbating the problem. In this case, simply finding a way to connect with someone over a commonality can be a lifesaver. Such was the case for the sister of Daniela Kelloway, who created BooknBrunch after seeing her sister's experience with depression. By simply creating a book club and spending time with people, her depression began to lift.

BooknBrunch is a platform that allows people to create a meal-based meetup group without all of the overhead of going out to eat with a group. The platform has information about restaurants that cater to groups, including group menus and private room details. Once the restaurant is chosen, the style of meeting can be chosen. You can have people pay for their meals ahead of time, taking the financial burden off of the organizer. It also eliminates the awkward and annoying period at the end of the meal, but before the end of the event, where a server comes around with checks. Now you can simply enjoy the event during the event.

There are also big benefits for attendees, in addition to the end of event financial benefits. If the organizer has made the event public, anyone can find it and join the group. You can see the restaurant details, event menu, and price of the meetup. Plus, you can see the book that the group will be discussing with a link to purchase, so you can make sure to read it ahead of time. You can also see information about the host, including a rating of their past events.

Because of the need to build venue relationships, BooknBrunch is currently available in a couple of parts of Canada, with expansion plans for the near and long term future. Find out more about the platform on their website.

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ChiKeey helps you and your loved ones connect with your emotions

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ChiKeey helps you and your loved ones connect with your emotions

2019-08-30

Who remembers the mood rings of the '70s? They were all the rage and in the day the first year sold 20 million units. Fast forward to today and the technology available to improve on the idea. Guiliana Kotikela is the founder and CEO of ChiKeey which is modernizing the mood ring of the '70s and '80s. It is a biometric digital mood ring made to show emotions that allows you to connect with people.

On the ring, there are bio-physiological sensors that help you to understand yourself and in turn, understand others. Determining factors are the way you speak, skin temperature and the sweat that is emitted from your skin, and even your blood oxygen level. In the testing, the vocal biomarkers were found to be 90% accurate in 100 different trials. As of now, 8 different moods can be detected: fear, anxiety, desperation, joy, ecstasy, frustration, contentment, and neutrality.

In her previous job, Guiliana traveled a lot and had to leave her children home. While skyping with a daughter in the evening, she always asked her how her day was and felt that a quiet "fine" was not quite accurate because there was no eye contact from her daughter. Two days later the school called her to say that the girl was being bullied. That incident is what prompted the idea for this ring. Now there is relief on the mothers part because she can immediately know what her daughter's mood is and if there is a problem.

Mood sharing is made possible through the connected app. The wearer has the option to share their readings in real-time with the friends and family of their choosing. These people can respond based on the moods shown. For example, if you see that your bestie is having a hard time, you can call them up and offer to bring over ice cream to make it better! Connections with friends and loved ones are important to our overall daily well-being.

This product is available soon. For more information go to their website.

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Comb app offers simple and convenient mobile appointment setting

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Comb app offers simple and convenient mobile appointment setting

2019-08-30

The Ayeworld Agency is a creative agency that is a hybrid of marketing and technology. They offer a variety of custom solutions for their clients, everything ranging from IT design, development, and content solutions. They came to Collision Conference 2019 because they are launching a new mobile reservations application called Comb. Founder and Managing Partner of Ayeworld, Aysha Abdullagtif came by our studio to introduce it to us.

Online services, like food ordering and ticket purchasing, have made our lives so much easier. But it seems that service industries haven't quite caught up with the times and it isn't as easy to schedule these appointments without calling each business. The purpose of the Comb app is to eliminate the need for so many phone calls and search engines while looking to make these service appointments. It can be such a pain to search for the right company and then place a call that almost always results in a back and forth of who is available when. Well, this app can help you with everything from scheduling facials to making an appointment for an oil change and it couldn't be more simple. All you have to do is access the app and use the filters, such as location, time and availability. You will also have access to company reviews and pricing all right there while making the reservation.

And it's not only easier for consumers. The app allows small and midsize businesses to maximize their appointments, inventory, etc. To start out, they will be focusing on three service industries: personal care (beauty, facial, nails, spas), therapeutic services (massage therapy, acupuncture), and fitness studios (yoga, pilates, fitness classes, etc.). And in the near future, they are looking to expand to others, such as automotive, family medical and home services. The system is so convenient and easy for the businesses to use, it even has an available plugin that will integrate into the system that they are already using.

You can learn the details by watching the full interview and also by checking out their website.

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HiRide is the safer way for students to travel long distances

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HiRide is the safer way for students to travel long distances

2019-08-25

It is not unusual for college students to not have their own cars, or not have the ability to travel long distances, such as going back home. Because of this, students have tried to look for ways to find people traveling to the location they need to go to in order to carpool. This causes all kinds of problems, the most prominent of which being the incredible danger it puts the student in. There is no way for the students to get background information on the driver or to be confident in their safety. That's why HiRide was born.

HiRide is a carpooling app especially for college students looking to travel longer distances. It provides students and parents with a level of security that will make the experience better for everyone. Like other carpooling or ride-sharing apps, the drivers are vetted to provide ease of mind for the riders. Once they are approved, drivers can enter into the app where they are going and when. From there, students can find drivers who are going to where they need to go and join the trip.

In an effort to provide more transparency, HiRide provides live GPS tracking of the route, both to the student and to other trusted parties, such as parents or roommates. This allows the other person to know exactly where the student is, in the event something goes wrong.

One of the biggest benefits of the app is that it tries to pair drivers and riders together that will enjoy traveling together. This allows the student to actively engage with the driver, rather than just being a passenger in the car. Traveling long distances with someone who you have nothing in common with is far less fun than traveling with someone you can talk to.

HiRide is currently available in a testing phase, with plans to expand in the near future. You can find out more on their website.

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Businesses and influencers will love CLIC's effortless content sharing

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Businesses and influencers will love CLIC's effortless content sharing

2019-08-25

Social media. There is certainly no lack of opinions and judgments on this topic. The debates seem to grow larger by the day. Whether it's the root of all evil, the most amazing tool for staying connected, or somewhere in between, there's no doubt that it plays a very substantial role in our current society. The truth is, social media is a very important tool for businesses and consumers, alike. It enables a business to not only connect, grow, and influence, but also get important feedback. Alternatively, it allows consumers the ability to stay informed and improve their purchasing power. But how does a company most effectively utilize such a powerful tool and make sure that their message is personal and on point? CLIC Technologies has an answer for that.

Seraj Toefy, CEO and Founder of CLIC Technologies came from Cape Town, South Africa to Collision Conference 2019 to exhibit their solution for businesses that have multiple social media users. CLIC stands for Central Library of Integrated Content. They realized that the increasing number of images and messages that are now constantly bombarding us on social media is just creating a haze in our feeds. So they are working on a new way of allowing content owners the ability to create their specific content in a way that is easily received and shared by their audience.

CLIC's platform makes it easy for enterprises and businesses to create and share their messages. They do this by offering a content library that allows users to access pre-approved text, images, video, infographics, and podcasts. Having these items easily accessible right at your fingertips makes it easier to get content out to your target demographic quickly. Content can also be personalized to each user with images and the ability to have your personal details automatically embedded. We especially love the newsletter generator that creates brand consistent communications in seconds and the reports that allow you to track everything on the dashboard, so you know what is working and what is not.

To learn more about how CLIC can personalize and streamline your communications, be sure to watch the complete interview. And don't forget to check out their website.

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Bidali uses cryptocurrency to make wire transfers a thing of the past

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Bidali uses cryptocurrency to make wire transfers a thing of the past

2019-08-25

For most people involved in the cryptocurrency market, they are treated more like stocks or bonds, held onto in the hopes that their value will rise and then sold for fiat currencies. However, cryptocurrencies are intended to be exactly that - currencies. However, it's simply not that easy to use these currencies for payments. That's where Bidali comes in. This platform allows people to send money to one another using a variety of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Etherium, and Litecoin.

Being able to make these person-to-person transfers are a big boon to the cryptocurrency world, but there is also a big benefit to those who have never looked into cryptocurrencies at all. It's neither easy nor cost-effective to transfer money around the world. Even during our trip to Canada for Collision, the cost of transferring money from one currency to another was not inexpensive. However, when moving money across the world, it can be even more expensive.

Between currency exchanges and the cost of wiring money, it can cost a large percentage of the total transfer to make the move. Plus, there is no safe way of knowing that the transfer has been completed. The infrastructure for transfers is antique, so getting an accurate notification of success can be questionable at best, especially if the money is going to a country with an older financial system. With Bidali, you can see exactly when the funds have arrived, and know for sure that the money arrived where it was supposed to.

All of this comes along with the best benefit of all: a significantly lower cost than traditional wire transfers. It makes personal transfers better, and it makes it easier to conduct business internationally. The platform is available now in beta form, with a wider release coming soon.

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Frogo makes online dating more fun with a game-like environment

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Frogo makes online dating more fun with a game-like environment

2019-08-24

There are a ton of mobile dating platforms in the world, so new services have to do something special to separate themselves. Some go after a particular market, such as LGBT users. Others create special restrictions, such as requiring a woman to make the first move. One uses DNA matching to find compatible matches. Frogo takes a different approach, creating a personality and interest profile to help find possible matches.

While most dating apps begin to get tedious after a short time, Frogo is different. It is designed specifically to be a game, whose prize is potential dates. While some personality surveys come across exactly that way, this one feels more like a game. The questions are more fun than "Favorite sport?" looking more like "Do you prefer to play a sport rather than watch it?" This gives the platform more interesting information on which to base matches.

Once a match is made, you can increase (or potentially decrease) the quality of that match by "frogging" one another. This allows you to answer new questions together. If you answer similarly, your match percentage can go up. You can also purchase special question packs, similar to how you might purchase skins for a videogame. These new questions can expand on a commonality between you and your match or can explore a new aspect of your connection. There are even more risque type questions, intended specifically for adult subscribers. This could, for some, be a more laid back way of breaching the subject of physical intimacy.

Outside of the game aspect of the app, Frogo is a fairly standard dating platform. You can chat with your matches, make plans, and ultimately meet in person. The app does include a number of anti-harassment features, however, including not allowing users to share private photos with one another. This prevents unwanted photos from being sent without permission. All profile photos are verified for compliance with the rules.

Frogo is available now for both iOS and Android devices. Service starts at free.

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CoHealth brings medical peace of mind to patients and caretakers

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CoHealth brings medical peace of mind to patients and caretakers

2019-08-24

If you have ever had to deal with a chronic health issue, or even a serious one-time issue, either for yourself or a loved one, you know that the biggest issue is communication between the medical professional and the patient and caretakers. Doctors' instructions can be missed, steps can be misheard, and life-altering side effects can be the result. Luckily, now there's CoHealth, a patient relationship platform that enhances the experience of both patients and caretakers.

Take, for example, the experience of one of the company's co-founders, Zack. He broke his leg while playing Ultimate Frisbee (yes, everyone involved knows it's an embarrassing injury). While we all think of a broken bone as a fairly routine issue, Zack's experience was anything but. He was told that, if his leg began to tingle, he should return to the hospital IMMEDIATELY, because it could indicate a serious issue. Unfortunately, because of the trauma of the injury and/or the medications, he didn't hear this instruction. When his leg began to tingle, he almost didn't respond, Fortunately, he went to another hospital, who told him if he had waited any longer, he might have lost his leg. All this because of Frisbee.

This experience was the birth of CoHealth. No longer are there missed instructions, because they are all spelled out in the app. No longer are family members left in the dark, as caretakers can also be given access to the app - able to see the same instructions and follow-up care as the patient. And, to make it better, the platform is made available to patients and caretakers at no direct cost. This means that the enhanced medical experience will not cost the patients anything.

The platform is available now from various healthcare providers in the Northeast, including Canada and New York, with plans to expand its reach over time.

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You're going to love AIRO.LIFE's free cell phone and data plan!

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You're going to love AIRO.LIFE's free cell phone and data plan!

2019-08-24

It pretty much goes without saying that one thing we are all attached to these days is our cell phone. Which in turn means that one thing that is attached to all of us is an expensive cell data plan and phone bill. Douglas Mochrie, founder of AIRO.LIFE stopped by the studio to discuss their vision to eliminate the latter from our lives, altogether. They recently announced that they are launching the Be Free Phone.

The Be Free Phone is a smartphone and data plan that is provided completely free to the end-user. Oh, and not just some cheap phone that nobody is going to want. This is an actual tier two, flagship quality phone with a 5,000 milliamp battery, 16-megapixel camera, and a strong chip. How can they possibly accomplish this, you may be asking? We did, too. They will be openly and honestly collecting your data while giving you the option to be shown more of your favorite content in the process. So, your first thoughts might be "Oh, heck no. I don't want them collecting my data and selling it off to advertisers, etc." But when you think it through a little, it's already happening to us behind the scenes all the time, anyway. So let's see what they have to offer and what is motivating them.

They have huge ambitions and want the world to change to a more healthy and stable environment for all of us on the planet. They realize that this is no small task and feel that overall, banking, education, media and our current political structure all have to evolve. And their approach to this is not one of some fly by night company. They are very serious and calculated in their approach. Believing in the 4 pillars of sustainable business, People, Planet, Passion, Profit, they have been working diligently with industry specialists, consultants and business owners for the deployment of Airo.Life. Their first step is to disrupt the smartphone, carrier and ad world. They feel this will drive down prices and help families save money and eventually impact both the economic and political atmosphere. Then the next phase will be in the energy sector.

Learn all of the details by watching the complete interview and don't forget to check out their upcoming Indiegogo campaign by visiting their website.

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In with Hal, who can be a lifesaver and out with impersonal assistance

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In with Hal, who can be a lifesaver and out with impersonal assistance

2019-08-23

This is the age of everything internet. When someone wants to look up something or find out information or directions, they Google it or look to Siri, Cortana or Alexa. Now there is Hal, which stands for Human Artificial Intelligence instead of AI, which is Artificial Intelligence. There was a time when people wanted advice on things or had to vent, they wrote to"Dear Abby". Today they write to Hal but you text him.

In this time, many people are constantly talking to computers which has created a form of isolation. This can lead to all kinds of problems for them. They have minimal contact with people and can sometimes go to a dark place, which can then result in severe loss of normalcy in their behavior. In an episode of Boston Legal, Jerry Espenson famously called 411 just looking for a human voice but was instead greeted by a computer asking "city and state, please." Because Hal is powered by a person, he has even been able to prevent suicide because the person can talk it out and get to a better place.

Being Hal is a paid position, just like an Uber driver. The position of Hal is paid by the interaction with the user. The longer you are interacting with the user, the more you get paid. The cost for the user is $3.99 per month unlimited usage. The availability of Hal is 24/7 and always there when the user needs him. There is a tool inside the app where the user can store information from previous chats that they may need to refer to for later use, such as a favorite restaurant or the best place to visit in certain cities. This can be very helpful for anyone traveling with any frequency, or who entertains a lot.

Hal is available now but for more information go to the website.

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ActiveChat makes chatbots easy for websites and natural for users

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ActiveChat makes chatbots easy for websites and natural for users

2019-08-23

One of the biggest trends over the past few years on the web has been the addition of the chat bubbles in the bottom right corner of websites. These little bubbles can provide website visitors with the ability to communicate with people at the company, such as support or sales. However, they don't give immediate information. Usually, there is no one sitting at their computer waiting for a question to come in. Instead, "someone typically replies within a few hours." However, with ActiveChat, websites can provide instant answers to common questions without agents or support tickets.

The system is based on conversational chatbots, giving website owners the ability to choose their most common support items and automate the answers involved. Using a visual building platform, the owner would usually start with a template. In the case of an online retailer, perhaps the problem they are looking to automate is verifying the status of an order. In this case, you might start with a shipping tracking template. From there, you can integrate your order database, including tracking numbers. Then, once deployed, a customer could ask the chatbot, in plain English, "Where's my order?" and the chatbot can get the required information, and automatically track the shipment.

The real magic of the platform comes from the conversational style of the chatbots. Rather than the user having to know the strange and stilted syntax of the bot (think Siri), they can speak in more natural sentences, and the bot can determine intention (think Cortana). Using Natural Language Processing means that these chatbots can easily be used by first-timers who do not have training on the platform.

ActiveChat started its life on AppSumo, a service that features top-quality new software for small businesses. It is " class="UpStreamLink">available today to everyone, starting with a free tier.

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GenM connects small businesses and potential marketing professionals

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GenM connects small businesses and potential marketing professionals

2019-08-23

Students who have graduated or are about to graduate from college have a leg up on the job market with a platform called GenM. It is an education marketplace where students can come and work with small business owners for training for workplace specifically in the marketing field. Moe Abbas, CEO of GenM refers to it as a digital apprenticeship.

You don't have to be a student to take advantage of this fantastic program. People who want to make a career change or who want to learn about digital marketing or expand their knowledge in that field are excited to learn about this. Applicants are precisely matched with an appropriate company and receive free courses from vetted business owners for expanding their education. While it is free for students, the cost of the program is $49.00 for the businesses per month.

In an internship program, many times the intern or student is required to travel and can be working up to 40 hours a week and requiring out-of-pocket expenses. This is a 10 hour a week commitment and is a remote relationship where the student can continue their classes or work their regular job without interruption and it is put on their schedule. This alone reduces the stress of being an intern by itself.

Coming into a specific job market is difficult at best because of the inability to show having had any job experience to speak of. This is a real Catch 22 for the student. There are 380 million small businesses and 200 million post-students who need each other. This is a wonderful way to have people who are entering the job market to get their much-needed experience.

The company is presently focused on digital marketing only but has plans to expand to other areas in the future. For more information go to their website.

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B-Line helps design better spaces using actionable mobility data

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B-Line helps design better spaces using actionable mobility data

2019-08-22

Constructing and maintaining a green building is a difficult and expensive process. One of the more difficult parts is conducting the required mobility survey. This is because the results are often inaccurate and, overall, useless to the building owner. When people are asked about how they move and how they travel, their answers often do not represent reality. Fortunately, B-Line is here to help record useable data and made sense of what you have.

Rather than conducting interviews with people, hoping that they know what their travel pattern looks like, B-Line uses the occupants' actual travel patterns. People from the building are given access to the mobile app on their phone, where the company can anonymously track the user's behaviors and travel patterns. After the campaign is complete, the building owner is given access to a report detailing how their occupants actually move, making it truly actionable. All of this can be done for less money than traditional methods because no people have to be hired to conduct surveys and no manual data processing has to take place after.

One of the big actions that can be taken based on the data is an accurate assessment of how many parking spaces are needed. While this might not sound like a big deal, parking spaces are incredibly expensive to maintain. The average parking space costs about $100,000 and can be a lot more in places like New York City or Los Angeles. If a building owner can eliminate just one spot, it can be a huge cost saving.

To demonstrate the power of the platform, B-Line worked with a group of university students at the State University of New York in Syracuse. To start, CEO Aaron Short gave his presentation on how current methods are terrible. The students didn't believe him, and so they conducted a traditional mobility survey with the students and then turned on the system. The students got to see first hand just how little they knew about their travel patterns, and how easy it can be to get false data using traditional methods.

The B-Line system can be used for more than just green building certifications. It can be applied to new community developments, universities, and even cities. The service is available now and you can get more information on their website.

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Furnishr makes the moving process easier with room design services

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Furnishr makes the moving process easier with room design services

2019-08-22

One of the most stressful things in life is moving. Finding a new place that you like, packing up your old pace, getting everything into the new place, plus trying to make sure you have the right furniture for yourself and the new space can raise stress levels to the extreme. Fortunately, Furnishr is here to take some of that stress off of your plate.

This platform is designed specifically to help you with the process of picking and installing the furniture for your new home. Working with their team through their online system, they will help you design your dream space, whether it be a single room or an entire home.

The process starts with a personality survey of sorts, which is intended to help determine the types of furniture that might interest you. This will help them determine where you fall on the design scale, from minimalistic to modern, as well as what pieces you are going to need for the space. Combining that information with a floorplan of the space they are working with, Furnishr will present you with a full setup, including alternate options for some of the bigger pieces. From there, you can pick what pieces you want to incorporate, and exactly how they will go into the space. You can even incorporate pieces that you already have and really love to make the space truly your own.

Once the furniture is chosen, the process is no longer in your hands. Furnishr will deliver, setup, and clean up, all within a single day. The whole idea is that, when you're ready to move your personal belongings, like clothes and dishes, into the space, it is completely ready for you. And, since the company doesn't work with retailers, your overall cost is 20 percent lower than buying furniture pieces individually.

Furnishr is available now for people to design their dream homes.

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Manage your clients while giving them every advantage with AppBind

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Manage your clients while giving them every advantage with AppBind

2019-08-22

All small- and medium-size businesses want to make sure that they have access to, and are utilizing the best resources possible. One way to ensure this is by working with contractors, like management, marketing, and software companies, who are experts in their chosen fields to help give them a leg up. The best marketing agencies and software development companies strive to provide their clients with the right resources to make them as successful as they can be. Unfortunately, this can be difficult because billing gets in the way. Often, the contractors have to ask for the client's credit card information, or the client has to sign up for the service themselves, without knowing what they're doing. Sunir Shah knows the reality of this all too well, and that's why he has developed AppBind, a system that automatically tracks and securely expenses all future charges to agency clients from what they refer to as a single pane of glass.

AppBind gives you the ability to buy and manage subscriptions on behalf of your clients. This is because the platform allows the client to put their credit card information into AppBind without the contractor ever seeing it. Once the funding source is added, the contractor can obtain all of these subscriptions for their clients easily, whether it be Welby, Mail Chimp, Facebook Ads, AWS, GitHub, or whatever best fits each client's needs. They accomplished this by generating a new credit card for each of these subscriptions so when the charges come in, you can quickly find and track them for each client. Another nice perk is that you can easily add a markup and pass the charges directly on to your client's credit cards. It is also very safe because the contractor is not holding any financial risks, which makes it easy to set up subscription stacks for their customers. It makes the whole process neat and concise and shows a great level of added professionalism to customers. This is truly a win-win for all parties.

To find out more about AppBind, be sure to watch the full interview and also check out their website.

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Conscioux helps you be conscious about improving your health

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Conscioux helps you be conscious about improving your health

2019-08-21

Companies all across the world are looking for ways to reduce health care costs. One of the growing trends in this area is by encouraging employees to try out alternative diets. The food we eat is one of the biggest contributors to obesity, which leads to sleep apnea, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. One diet that is gaining popularity is a plant-based diet which is offered to employees through Conscioux.

While most people recognize the term vegan, they are most likely unfamiliar with the term plant-based. Both terms refer to eating food made up of only plants and include no products made from or produced by any animals. This includes meat, dairy, honey, and many other things. The difference between the terms is in their intentions: plant-based is for health and nutrition and vegan includes ethical and social aspects.

Conscioux is a platform that combines software, coaching, sleep, and plant-based diet to help companies create a healthier and more productive workforce. Employees can see their progress, work with a health coach and find healthy recipes all through a personalized dashboard. The platform currently has over 8000 recipes available and can be sorted based on effects on chronic diseases. For those struggling with adhering to the program, dedicated health coaches are there to support their journey to better health.

Human Resources can see overview data on the employees' health and track how the platform is helping the people in the company get healthier. They can see trend lines for stress, blood pressure, heart rate, weight, hours of sleep and overall happiness.

Because of the company's strong focus on data, they are the first plant-based nutrition program to be approved by an insurance carrier for preventative health. This means that some insurers will reimburse part of the cost of the platform.

Conscioux is available now in Beta. For more information, go to their website.

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HowToFund: simplified fundraising for schools, PTOs, and non-profits

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HowToFund: simplified fundraising for schools, PTOs, and non-profits

2019-08-21

HowToFund is an innovative, robust solution for non-profits, schools, and PTA/PTO groups. Offering an enterprise solution allowing you to collect funding on your website and is easily administrated by a single user or group, it also allows for integration into social media, tracking of donor information and the automation of sending Thank You notes to your donors. Receipts are emailed automatically and setting goals and timelines is very easy, plus you can manage all your fundraisers in one location. This product transforms fundraising for your organization.

With seamless integration into your website and social media functionality, anyone with minimal experience can crowdfund successfully. The best part may be that its absolutely free to schools, non-profits, and PTA/PTO groups. Instead of charging the organization, the donors only paying a 5% + 30cent fee to process their transactions. Organizations are also offered a premium service for $40, giving access to a fundraising coach, that will help you train your staff. They will also provide a curriculum that will help you get off the ground and execute on your fundraising goals: all with no change to the donor fee.

HowToFund can fundamentally change the way that your group operates and allow you to achieve all of the goals you have set for it, be it getting a robotics team trying to get to a competition or funding a library. Whatever your goal is, HowToFund is there to guide and support you, every step of the way. Any school, non-profit, or PTA/PTO group should strongly consider using HowToFund for their fundraising; its a fantastic solution to a problem that many of these organizations face. Helping people achieve and productively move toward their goals seems to be at the core of what HowToFund does and that is worthy of our adulation, as well as all of our attention.

For more information or get to start fundraising today visit their website.

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You've never had this much fun exploring a city in your life!

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You've never had this much fun exploring a city in your life!

2019-08-21

Chloe Duesberg is the CEO and co-founder of an exciting new company called Driftscape.
 Driftscape is a mobile app platform for local
 cultural organizations to share their information and events. It enables them to reach a broader audience and, more importantly, gives 
users a great way to find
 in-depth information about local
 arts, culture, and history, all in one 
place
.

Driftscape is a mobile app that provides a platform for local organizations that shares site-specific stories, tours, and events. It's a great resource to find
 out what's happening in a particular city. The easy to use platform even pairs nicely with augmented reality modes to provide a fun new way to tour, explore and discover hidden gems all around you. Simply hold 
your phone up and zoom around to find markers
 that represent places of interest and read all about them. You can 
find events that are happening along with places of 
interest as well as tours. There is so much to explore. It's perfect when looking for new things to do in your home town and even better when you are traveling. Take Toronto, for example, where Collision Conference 2019 was located. There are over 30 local organizations already
 using the platform. This is perfect for tourists who are looking for points of interest and things to do, and also for business travelers who may not have a lot of time to see all of the sites and want make the most what's around them during their downtime. And also great for locals to find something in their city that they never even realized was there.

The best part is, for Users, the app is free and it provides a great way to explore what's around you. Simply select what you're interested in it, and start walking. You'll be notified when there's something nearby. And for Organizations, Driftscape is a powerful tool that helps them get your stories out there, as well as potentially generate more interest and possibly revenue.

Learn more details by watching the full interview and visit their website to find out more about what Driftscape can do for you.

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AlgaeTracker is the new way to prevent algae growth in your water

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AlgaeTracker is the new way to prevent algae growth in your water

2019-08-20

In this day and age, clean water is vital and being threatened in many ways. Harmful bacteria and algae blooms are everywhere and it is crucial to be able to rectify or better yet, prevent the problem in the first place. That's where Chris Lee comes in. He is the founder and CEO of AquaRealTime, a company created to prevent contamination of natural waterways lakes, rivers, streams and the oceans.

Good algae can have a lot of positive benefits that include nutritional supplements and are used to produce biofuel. However, there are also harmful algae, which can have many toxins in it that cause sickness and diseases. Chris has come up with an easy and very affordable way to predict and prevent this. The system uses sensors that float in the water, anchored to docks, buoys, and just held in place with a boat anchor in the targeted area, combined with predictive analytics that runs in the cloud. The most important thing about these sensors is that they are small, at only 10 pounds and can be installed in a few hours by one person, rather than 200 pounds and needing 2 men for about a week and a half. That sends notices to customers, such as the government agencies and water management districts about what is happening so they can avert disaster. This can also be of great benefit to hotels, country clubs, and HOAs.

Also, interested parties can purchase reports regarding data from the past. For example, the Gulf Coast states who were affected by the Red Tide are starting to contact their insurance companies for reimbursement of damages. These insurance companies will want to investigate and prove damages. Part of that process is retrieving historical data.

The product is in testing now and is looking for people who are willing to participate. For more information, go to their website.

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Shopping for a new car just got easier with the CarHero professionals

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Shopping for a new car just got easier with the CarHero professionals

2019-08-20

Are you in the market for a new car? We all know the process you're about to go through and we are not envious. The beginning stages of car shopping can be extremely stressful from visiting numerous dealerships, to finding a car salesman that understands your needs. But what if we told you that there is an app that can take away most of that hassle? CarHero might be your savior in this scenario.

CarHero is a mobile application that connects clients with top tier automotive sales professionals in their local area. Every salesperson you're interacting with through this platform has been handpicked and vetted by CarHero. The application also provides the user/client with a closer look into who they will be working with during their car search through professional profiles of each salesperson. These profiles include a biography with their experience level, average response times, and customer reviews to give you an overview of the salesperson.

All you have to do is launch the app, pick a dealership, choose your professional, and send them a quick message through the app letting them know what you're looking for and how they can assist you. You do not need to exchange contact information with the salesperson because CarHero has it all. You can even video chat through the app with your selected professional to view cars on the lot and to get a quick demo without stepping foot on the property.

The number one goal of CarHero Co-Founder Ahmed Mourad is to ensure customer satisfaction. He has a lot of experience in automotive sales and knows the process can be tedious. CarHero puts everything you need in one place to help you make your best decision in this process.

CarHero will be launching late Summer 2019 starting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more information about this application, you can visit their website.

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Specialized AI gives Boson Innovations a clear edge in medical imaging

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Specialized AI gives Boson Innovations a clear edge in medical imaging

2019-08-20

One of the things that attract us to Collision Conference is the wide range of products and technologies that are exhibited every year. There are so many great new devices and apps that are geared towards entertainment, security, and health. And we love getting a chance to see them all.

For our first interview this year, we were thrilled to learn about some new medical advancements that will help us as patients by first helping our doctors. Traveling to Collision Conference from Mexico, Roberto Montoya, CEO of Boson Innovations, stopped by to show off what his startup, is currently working on. They are seeking to solve problems in the medical industry by adding artificial intelligence to the analysis of medical imaging with their system called SMAIR VISION. This allows doctors to give a more accurate diagnosis, in less time. From the sounds of it, the process could not be easier to integrate into their existing workflow. The doctors will add their normal images, i.e. MRI/X-Ray, to this newly developed platform and with the click of a button, the software will analyze the images by using integrated whole algorithms. The image is then quickly processed and the doctor is given immediate feedback to assist in formulating the diagnosis.

Their platform is still in the early stages, but they have a working prototype that is performing as expected at this time. They are in the process of increasing accuracy and are then planning to add enhancements as testing continues. The product will first be launched in Mexico, where the tests are currently being conducted. They hope to bring it next to the US and Canada, with prospects of eventually being worldwide.

Their mission is to provide doctors with safe and effective medical diagnostic assistance services that encompass multiple types of medical images. A system of this nature will be able to assist in more than 10 different medical specialties, giving doctors and patients, alike, the peace of mind of knowing that they have the proper diagnosis.

Find out more by watching the full interview. For more information and to follow their journey, check out their website.

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Yamaha shows a maneuverable prototype electric scooter with 3 wheels

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Yamaha shows a maneuverable prototype electric scooter with 3 wheels

2019-03-28

Electric vehicles are quickly becoming a popular place for companies to experiment with unique designs. While electric cars get all of the attention, there are some very interesting things happening in the space. From golf cart style neighborhood vehicles to scooters, electric is all the rage. Yamaha has long had a presence in this space, especially with motorcycles, but is testing some new ideas.

One of those experiments was on display at CES 2019. Rather than what we expect from Yamaha, a two-wheeled vehicle on which you sit, this prototype bucks both of those expectations. Rather than sitting on it like a motorcycle, this is designed to be stood on, like a skateboard or scooter. It also features 3 wheels instead of the more traditional 2 or 4, with 1 in front and 2 in back. Obviously, 3 adds stability over only 2 wheels but gives more maneuverability than 4.

The vehicle is rear wheel drive, meaning that the 2 wheels in the back actually propel the vehicle forward. The front is designed with a handlebar, similar again to a scooter. In the same style, the handlebar controls the positioning of the entire front of the vehicle, giving it the ability to turn quickly and tightly. In the booth, a representative demonstrated how easy it was to steer in a fairly confined space.

As of right now, this device is just a prototype, meaning that it might not come to market as it exists today. Like cars, a concept vehicle is simply a way for engineers to experiment with concepts. The company expects to test the vehicles in Japan this year, though they do not have a timeline for a wide release, either in Japan or overseas. To see all of the development on this and other vehicles, check out the company's website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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John Deere shows off how GPS, cloud, AI, and more help farmers daily

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John Deere shows off how GPS, cloud, AI, and more help farmers daily

2019-03-28

What many people do not know is that one of the most technology infused industries in the world is farming. Most modern farming would be completely impossible without the unbelievably large and powerful machines that reside on farms. The leader in farming machinery, as well as computing, is John Deere, a name that even non-farmers are familiar with. The company was at CES 2019 to show how technology that is just barely emerging in consumer technology has been used for farming for a while.

The best example of a technology in use for agriculture that is just making its way to the consumer market is self-driving vehicles. Farmers have been using incredibly large self-driving machinery for years to both plant and harvest fields. Using incredibly precise onboard GPS, this 20-ton machine is able to steer around a field with an accuracy of 2.5 centimeters. This level of precision is essential in agriculture, as a small variation can be the difference between harvesting and destroying a field.

Some of the more recent versions of these machines are able to learn all about a field on its own, using over 100 sensors. Connecting these sensors to the cloud, farmers are able to keep track of the job being done and the quality of the job being performed. Combined with the precise GPS driving, these machines are just shy of being able to set them in the field and walk away.

One of the most interesting advancements in agricultural machinery is the ability for them to be truly multipurpose. In fact, they are referred to as factories on wheels. After a tuning process, they can be used for an entire process, from harvesting grain to separating it with intense detail. Essentially, when the machines come back from the field, the grains can be ready to run into a silo and sold or used.

Whether or not you're a farmer, there is a lot of exciting technology to learn about at John Deere's website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Coral One is a dual purpose robot vacuum that protects your privacy

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Coral One is a dual purpose robot vacuum that protects your privacy

2019-03-27

It seems that everyone is wanting to buy a robotic vacuum these days. They're great for households with pets who shed, homes with a lot of traffic in and outside, or really just about anyone. The problem with the concept is that there are always going to be places that the robot cannot reach. For example, they're not going to clean your stairs. That means that you're still going to have to keep another vacuum in the house for those harder to reach areas. The Coral One is a robot vacuum that helps to solve that issue.

Unlike other products in this category, the Coral One is actually two products in one. Obviously, it is an autonomous vacuum cleaner, but it features a handheld cleaner on the top. When you need to clean the stairs, or maybe get pet hair off of your bedspread, simply pull the handheld vacuum off of the top of the device and take care of what you need. Once you're done, return the piece to the top of the robot and you're done.

Like other robotic vacuums, the Coral One initially maps your home. However, the company takes a different approach to the process. While many other companies take the imagery and layout that they scan and upload them to remote servers, Coral does not. Focusing on privacy, the mapping process does not include any cameras but instead uses infrared and capacitive sensors, plus a collection of proprietary algorithms to determine the house's layout. Most importantly, the information stays local to the device and is never made available to Coral. This protects your privacy, as video or photography from inside your home could easily reveal your most sensitive times.

The Coral One is available now for $699. For more information on the product, check out the company's website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The DJI Osmo Pocket brings their 3-axis gimbal to a one-handed camera

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The DJI Osmo Pocket brings their 3-axis gimbal to a one-handed camera

2019-03-27

When people think of consumer drones and multirotor copters, they almost certainly go directly to DJI. There is no name more synonymous with the product category, in fact, for both consumers and professionals. One of the reasons that DJI is so popular is the incredible stability of their cameras, care of a very sophisticated gyroscopic stabilizer. The stabilizer is so good at what it does, that the company has decided to bring it outside of the drone and into a new product, the Osmo Pocket.

This new product is a small, handheld video camera is able to record in full UHD 4K resolution, at 60 frames per second. It can record for 140 minutes on a charge, all in an incredibly small body. But, where DJI really sets the Osmo Pocket apart from the crowded is by bringing their 3-axis gimbal to the camera. This single feature makes the camera incredibly attractive for all sorts of video creators.

The most obvious usage is for amateur sports videography. Whether you're running up and down your kids' soccer pitch or filming your friends' newest skateboard trick, this is a great camera. It's because of the stabilization. You can literally run with the camera and the gimbal can keep the frame level and steady. All of this is made possible while still managing to pack everything into a single-handed design.

The gimbal is mechanical but digitally controlled. This gives the camera the ability to do some great capabilities that you simply cannot get with a generic gimbal. For example, ActiveTrack, a feature which allows you to tap on a subject on the screen and the camera will continue to follow the subject as it moves, as well as while the camera moves. Again, this makes following a kid's soccer game or skateboarding video far easier to film.

The DJI Osmo Pocket is available now for $349, and can be found in accessory bundles, as well.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Blue Microphones shrinks their popular Yeti, and adds a new Ember

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Blue Microphones shrinks their popular Yeti, and adds a new Ember

2019-03-27

For new media, including podcasting and game streaming, one brand of microphones is nearly everywhere: Blue Microphones. From the Yeti to the Snowball, it seems that these microphones are everywhere. Since the company's original microphone designer, Skipper Wise left to pursue other projects, the product lineup has begun to expand quickly. At this CES, the company was showing off a few of those newer products.

In addition to the popular Yeti microphone, Blue has introduced the Yeti Nano. This product made it to market at the end of 2018 and has really begun to find its market. The Nano has a similar design to the standard Yeti, but with a smaller footprint. It offers two of the four modes on the Yeti, both cardioid and omnidirectional, but sheds the stereo and bidirectional modes. The biggest difference, though, is the color palette. While the Yeti is generally known for its subdued colors, the Yeti Nano features bright red, blue, and gold as options.

Blue might be best known in the consumer space for their USB microphones, but the company got started because Skipper disliked every studio mic he had ever used and designed exactly what he wanted. Following in that almost 25-year legacy is the new Ember. This microphone is powered over XLR, meaning that it is intended for proper studio recording. It is a features a cardioid pickup, with a front-facing condenser capsule. This mic will be perfect for a full studio build out, versus the Yeti or Yeti Nano, which are really designed to enhance an existing desk with a quick and easy setup. As with the majority of studio microphones, it ships in a single color: dark grey.

The Blue Yeti Nano is available now with a suggested price of $99 but can be found for as low as $79 on Amazon. The Blue Ember is also available now for $99.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Podcasters and musicians alike Shure are going to love these new mics

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Podcasters and musicians alike Shure are going to love these new mics

2019-03-26

Of all of the products that we love on the CES show floor, microphones are certainly near the top of the list, for obvious reasons. So we were really excited to see the new technology at Shure's booth this year. Shure has been in the market since 1925. They specialize in wired and wireless microphones, personal monitor systems, conferencing solutions, and a host of other audiophile products. Their newest product, a part of Shure's Motive line, is the MV88 Mic. It is a stereo microphone, which you can plug into your smartphone for convenient use. The product comes with a stand and phone attachment, allowing you to take video with your phone while getting optimal quality sound from the stereo microphone. When you plug the MV 88 into your smartphone, it automatically takes over as the default mic and the installed app pops right up on the screen and you're ready to make adjustments and start recording. It will default to stereo mode but you can adjust the width of how wide or narrow you are trying to cover and change it to cardioid or bi-directional.

Shure created an app to go along with the MV 88, although you can use your default app or an app produced by another company, as well. You can record and edit your sound with the Shure Motive Audio App, making adjustments to both your sound and video quality. You can use this software to change both the sample rate of the audio and the audio file type.

When recording in stereo, the app lets you adjust your sound to your specifications. You can also set presets for your sound quality choices within the app. Making changes is as quick and easy as the touch of a button or slide of your finger across the touchscreen. It remembers all of the changes you have made and will already be set to your specifications the next time you use it. The MV88 kit sells for $249.00 and you can get yours now on Amazon Prime.

Shure also produces the microphone Daniele is using in the video. The KSM8 is a nickel-plated, dual-diaphragm microphone. It has a wide frequency, so it picks up your voice without struggling to find the perfect spot to stand or hold the microphone. This microphone sells for $499.00 and is also available on Amazon Prime.

You can find out more about these microphones and the entire Shure line by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Schaeffler's new BioHybrid changes the inner city delivery process

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Schaeffler's new BioHybrid changes the inner city delivery process

2019-03-26

We really enjoyed our visit to the Schaeffler pavilion at CES 2019. Another one of the new designs that completely fascinated us was this really cool looking delivery cycle. Team leader of digitalization, Dr. Alexander Sharp, took some time to show us their new BioHybrid. What, at first glance, appeared to be an adapted motorcycle is actually an electric bike. It is human powered and also battery driven, which is how they derived the name, BioHybrid.

Basically, the rider can pedal to control the velocity of the vehicle and since it is technically classified as a bicycle, it is allowed to operate in bike lanes. As an electric bike, it can travel anywhere that a standard bicycle is allowed, without the need for a drivers license, but with quicker speed and a larger payload. And unlike a traditional bicycle, it also offers protection in bad weather, as it is can be customized with a cab for the riders. As with other Schaeffler products, customization is a large part of the design process. For example, the unit in the interview is outfitted as a two-seater passenger model with also some space for storage. Another unit on display was more of a pickup or delivery unit with a single rider and a larger capacity for carrying cargo.

This BioHybrid line has some really great technology built in, as well. It offers variable and regenerative charging while being operated, and the batteries are also removable to be charged remotely, as well as offer a level of theft detergent when wanted. And not only does the cab of the bike offer protection from weather, but there is also a plethora of other modern conveniences. It is fully connected with Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G, with 5G on the horizon. There are also smartphone and smartwatch apps that allows you to monitor and control the BioHybrid with functions like keyless entry, vehicle location and verify charging status, to name a few.

The company is very excited about the release of the BioHybrid in 2020. You can find out more information by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Better mobility and versatility in big cities is Schaeffler's vision

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Better mobility and versatility in big cities is Schaeffler's vision

2019-03-26

Although not typically part of our main coverage here at PLuGHiTz Live, we do really enjoy seeing all of the different automobiles at CES. And when we came upon the Schaeffler pavilion and saw what they were showcasing this year, we knew that we had to stop and take a closer look. Project manager, Martin Laumann, was gracious enough to give us an exclusive tour of the new Schaeffler Mover.

The Schaeffler Mover is a compact, urban vehicle platform that contains some impressive technical components. The most important being the Econo Modules on each corner that include a 90-degree steering system in the electric wheel hubs. These "Intelligent Corner Modules" allows for a high degree of maneuverability as well as room for a high degree of comfort for passengers. The platform offers an adaptable design that allows for a flexible implementation of different vehicle bodies. Although it is currently being displayed as a simple rigger platform, equipped with four seats, it can be outfitted as needed with, say, a passenger cabin or one for cargo. It is also currently outfitted with a joystick and a touchscreen for drivability. All steering commands are electric, which means in the next generations, it can easily be set up to function fully autonomously.

With the prospect of mobility requirements changing in rapidly growing metropolitan areas, Schaeffler considers this platform to be the perfect solution. And although they do not necessarily see it being privately owned or having individual users, they do feel that it meets the demands of a large city and offers the flexibility to enhance the overall living environment for residents. With its small footprint, tight turning radius and the ability to drive sideways, it is truly a multifunctional vehicle platform. For cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Tokyo, these customizable vehicles are perfect for fleets that offer services such as rideshare and deliveries.

To get more information about this and other Schaeffler projects, make sure to check out their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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BenjiLock is here to secure your stuff with the convenience of biometrics

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BenjiLock is here to secure your stuff with the convenience of biometrics

2019-03-25

One of the things our team loves the most about CES is getting to see companies start out in Eureka Park, the show's startup section, and end up having a major presence on the show floor. The best example of that transformation is definitely BenjiLock. When we first encountered Robbie Cabral in 2017, he had a small booth in Eureka Park with a large, nonfunctioning prototype. The idea was sound, but the technology wasn't there just yet.

The following 12 months were big for BenjiLock, with a successful appearance on Shark Tank and a big investment from Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary. Following O'Leary's investment, the company got the attention of Hampton Products, makers of the Brinks Home Security line of products. For sure, Hampton is a company that knows security products and brought BenjiLock into the fold, with a large presence at CES 2018.

Since then, another year of growth. In 2019, not only did Robbie have working products to show off, he announced the availability of the locks. These biometric padlocks offer both fingerprint scanning, as well as traditional key unlocking. The key is perfect in the event the battery dies, or you need to give someone else access to the device temporarily.

In addition to the standard padlock, Robbie has announced a new, smaller model, with a very specific purpose: travel. The smaller BenjiLock is designed as a luggage lock and is TSA-compatible. That means that you can use it on your suitcase when going through the airport, but you don't have to worry about the lock being cut off if security needs to access your bag.

The standard BenjiLock padlock is available now from ACE Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes, and more. The new TSA-compatible BenjiLock padlock will be available in the near future.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Sphero Specdrums: The most fun you'll ever have tapping your fingers

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Sphero Specdrums: The most fun you'll ever have tapping your fingers

2019-03-25

Do you ever sit at your desk and tap along to the beat of a song? Is the steering wheel in your car a full-on drum set when your favorite song comes is playing? If you're like me, you're a world class drummer in your own head. So, for all of us who don't quite have the time or drum set to become rock stars, Sphero has introduced Specdrums.

Specdrums are sleekly designed, Bluetooth enabled, app connected rings that detect color, combined with accelerometers that detect tapping. So you are able to play music on anything in the world around you. They are a fun new musical instrument that provides an accessible, portable, and tactile way for anyone to create music anywhere. You can play on the included color pad, or really on anything, like your shirt, a drawing or even a bowl of fruit. They are perfect for beginners who want to explore but also open-ended for advanced musicians to get creative and show their chops. Specdrums provides an outlet for whether you are practicing music using your hands without loud, expensive, and large physical instruments.

They work by sending a very quick, low latency color signal to the app on your device. The colors can be programmed in the app to have a specific sound for each color. They also have curated packs in the app for different genres of music. Each pack has a combination of loops that continue to play like drum or baseline and also some instruments like a keyboard. With all of these great features, they sound great right out of the box. And with all of the customization choices available, you'll have your own amazing creations in no time. They offer sets with one ring for $64.99 or expand your play experience with a 2 ring set that allows you to switch it up using two hands with more versatility or to play with friends for $99.

You can get more information and grab your own set on their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Square Panda makes learning phonics easier and fun for all kids

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Square Panda makes learning phonics easier and fun for all kids

2019-03-25

Square Panda came into being when the CEO noticed his daughter, who had dyslexia, was struggling to learn to read. Many children with and without dyslexia do not learn easily using only a pencil and paper or listening to a teacher lecture. The innovative thing about Square Panda technology is that it integrates visual, auditory, and tactile learning so that every child can grasp the skills to use phonics in reading.

In the showcased game, a child can place letters in the tray in any order. The chameleon in the game reads the letter combination to the child. If the child has formed a real word, then a picture of that thing may be displayed. The chameleon reads the letter combination, even if it does not form a real word. In this way, the child is still learning sounds and phonetics and learning the correct way to spell through experience. If a child spells several correct words in a row, they are rewarded. If a child attempts to spell words unsuccessfully several times in a row, the chameleon begins to suggest letter combinations or displays a picture and asks the child to try to spell the name of what he is seeing.

There are ten different games available to play with this hardware. The games range in age appropriateness. For instance, there is a lullaby game available for the youngest players and a more complicated bowling game for older players. The child can choose which games he or she enjoys most, and still get the benefit of learning without the tedium of a classroom setting. The interactive nature of Square Panda keeps children entertained, while they are learning.

Being the mother of a very tactile child, I can easily see the benefit of this type of technology. Classroom experiences and homework can be nerve-wracking for my child and me. Many of you know what I'm talking about. Imagine a learning experience your child could enjoy, that was capable of helping them become a better reader! Square Panda is the solution for children who have become frustrated with traditional learning experiences.

For more information, please visit their website. They have sets available for the home and the classroom, as well as replacement smart letters. Pricing for the home set starts at $69.95.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Whirlpool eases your laundry and space problems in one simple machine

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Whirlpool eases your laundry and space problems in one simple machine

2019-03-24

People with tight space problems will be excited to learn that Whirlpool has solved that particular problem in the laundry room. Without compromising on the size of the interior drum, they have created a combination washer/dryer that does the job of two separate machines quickly and efficiently. It is called the Smart Front Load Washer and Dryer.

It has a Load-and-Go feature which is an automatic detergent and fabric softener dispenser. It can hold enough soap for up to 40 loads. It has a sensor to measure how much soap to dispense based on the weight of your laundry. When you are running low on soap or fabric softener, the Whirlpool app can automatically reorder through your Amazon Dash account. It also has the feature to be connected to Wi-Fi so you can control it remotely. You can also get notified on your smartphone when the load is complete so if you are away for the machine, you can still know.

The control screen is large enough to read easily and is well-lit with bright colors. That makes it user-friendly and the choices for the cycles are directly available. They have a full-size drum, which is 4.5 cubic feet and is 27" in diameter. They have recently come out with a smaller model of 24". Probably one of the most exciting features is the fact that they are ventless and can be used everywhere, especially since they are powered with a 110-volt plug instead of the old bulky 220-volt version. In having the combination of two big machines into one compact one, there is no problem of losing precious space in your laundry area, so having it where it the most convenient place is a true advantage, especially for apartment dwellers who do not have a dedicated washer and dryer hook-up.

The price point is at $2199. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Smart Oven+ by KitchenAid is changing the way you prepare your meals

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Smart Oven+ by KitchenAid is changing the way you prepare your meals

2019-03-24

Everything now in your home has become "smart" and your kitchen is no exception. KitchenAid has come out with a very smart oven to help make cooking easier and fun. The KitchenAid Smart Oven+ is a new idea for revolutionizing your meal prep. Taking inspiration from their very popular stand mixer, the new oven currently offers options to expand your cooking capabilities.

This very versatile oven is designed with a modular plug that connects to three different attachments. The first one is a grilling rack that has high-intensity heat for faster cooking and searing. It's like grilling outdoors without worrying about the weather. The heating element fits down inside the grate and the grease drips down inside so there are no flare-ups. This design also helps for a more evenly heated surface. The steamer attachment is another option. The pan is quite large so you can easily plan a meal for the entire family. This also is great for desserts such as cheesecake, souffles or creme brulees. It provides a water bath that is very important to such foods. A third attachment is a baking stone. This one is porcelain covered enamel that heats very quickly and makes your food very crisp, especially nice for pizza and French fries.

All of these are Yummly-integrated and that makes it very easy to cook even when you are not at home. Yummly is an app that is for guided cooking, which is very helpful to the novice cook or even an experienced one. The app also features Yummly pros, such as Carla Hall that will walk you through some of their recipes. It can be connected to your mobile device to help you start or stop the oven, or even adjust the temperature during the cooking time.

The price point for the Smart Oven+ is $3000. for the single oven with a microwave above and $4700. for the double oven. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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FoldiMate makes your laundry day great and gives you back your time

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FoldiMate makes your laundry day great and gives you back your time

2019-03-24

For a lot of people, the absolute worst part of doing the laundry is when it comes time to fold it. The washer and dryer do the important part for them, but when it needs to be folded, they just haphazardly shove it around and wind up with a lot of wrinkled clothes. We all have that one friend with a clothes chair or a decorated treadmill! We were very happy to talk to Gal Rozov who is the founder and CEO of FoldiMate, a fascinating robotic laundry folder.

FoldiMate is a new concept to help make a bothersome task for some people a pleasure. Gal told us that even his children fight over who gets to fold clothes! It is mainly designed for shirts, towels, and pillowcases. It is able to fold neatly and accurately up to 25 items in 5 minutes. The execution of this is very easy. You simply grab the item by the shoulders, facing you and clip it onto two uniquely designed clips and it automatically pulls the item into the machine. While that is happening, you put on the next item after it opens up again.

The appliance plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet so that makes it very versatile. The possibilities for placement are endless in your home, depending on your space limitations and your work habits. Some folks like to put them in the laundry area while others want it in their bedroom. It is also incredibly energy-efficient. He is also thinking about the possibility of using them in laundromats for their customers to experience.

While last year they were in a prototype mode and this year they were extremely honored to receive the Best of Show Award at CES for 2019 from Business Insider.

The FoldiMate is planned for public release in late 2019. The price point is uncertain at this time but they are hoping for around the $1000. range. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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ZOOZ can provide amazing savings on your home power usage and bill

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ZOOZ can provide amazing savings on your home power usage and bill

2019-03-23

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is The Smartest House, a dedicated Z-Wave marketplace and makers of the ZOOZ line of smarthome products. The company boasts streamline technology not available anywhere else in the Z-Wave world. The first product displayed is the ZOOZ light switch. This switch comes with a dimmer and can control all the lights in your home from one central hub. There is no need to change out any wiring. Just install the one switch, and every light in your home can be controlled through your Z-Wave system.

Next up is the ZOOZ powerstrip. The power strip comes with five outlets, which can be controlled individually or all together. You can turn off nonessential outlets with the push of a button. The power strip also comes with USB ports for easy charging of your mobile devices. One of our favorite features is that it can issue reports on each of the outlet's power usage. You will be able to narrow down which devices are using the most power in your home. Also, the power strip notifies you through your Z-Wave system when any of your devices are fully charged.

There is also a double plug available. Like the power strip, the double plug measures power usage and notifies you when a device is fully charged. The double plug is a more streamlined choice, with only two outlets instead of five, and still comes with a USB port. The two outlets can be controlled individually or together. An advantage to the ZOOZ double plug is that two of them can fit into one receptacle. The Smartest House produces the only Z-Wave double plug device which is not too bulky to fit alongside another double plug in the same receptacle.

These products make life easier and your Z-Wave system more functional while saving you money on your overall power costs. You can now be more in control of the devices which are using power in your home. You can learn more about the ZOOZ line of products on their website, and you can purchase them directly from The Smartest House or Amazon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Z-Wave.Me has products to enable makers to join the Z-Wave movement

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Z-Wave.Me has products to enable makers to join the Z-Wave movement

2019-03-23

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Z-Wave.Me, a company that helps to facilitate the development and production of Z-Wave products. Some of their products are aimed at makers, such as the RaZberry, a module that can connect to any Raspberry Pi model and add Z-Wave capabilities to a project. This is great for either an amateur who is learning the technology or making a custom project for their home. It is also perfect for a professional as they prototype a new idea.

If Raspberry Pi isn't your platform of choice, the company also offers the Z-Uno, an Arduino Uno-inspired board that incorporates communication for Z-Wave. They also offer the UZB, a USB-interface for being able to control Z-Wave devices from a computer. For a maker or product designer, these capabilities really open up what can be done accomplished in a short period of time. For installers, Z-Wave.Me offers an altered version of the Z-Uno, which comes in a sealed case to prevent atmospheric and weather damage.

A number of interesting projects have been done using the maker hardware produced by Z-Wave.Me and were on display at CES. For example, a water leak detector, featuring a remote sensor, was built on top of the platform. They also demonstrated an entry control system that uses NFC in the plate to detect a card and sends a Z-Wave command to unlock a door, turn on a light, or any other Z-Wave capability.

The RaZberry module is availabe now for $55. The Z-Uno maker board is available now for $70. The UZB interface is available now for $35.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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FIBARO Walli brings a distinct new look to your smarthome setup

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FIBARO Walli brings a distinct new look to your smarthome setup

2019-03-23

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is FIBARO, with a visually distinct style of smarthome accessories. While most companies take a very subtle approach to their designs, FIBARO skews the other way, choosing instead to use bright colors and bold designs. The newest addition to their smarthome lineup is their Walli line, a line of round outlets and switches.

Following the company's design language, these products are designed to stand out and look good. Whether you are looking at an electrical outlet, a dimmer, switch, or shutter control, all of the products are circular. Many of the products also feature a lighten ring around the outside, which is also something the company has been known for in their existing wall plug line. They even offer matching outlets for cable, Ethernet, and USB.

FIBARO has also updated its Home Center app. The new version brings with it a much more streamlined interface, designed to make using the products easier. More importantly, and certainly most interestingly, the app has added into it machine learning and analytics. The app is able to learn the user's behaviors and find and suggest new scenes that could improve their daily routine. For example, if you regularly turn on two sets of lights right after unlocking your front door, the app might be able to create a scene for you to automate that process.

The Walli line will be available soon in Europe, with a planned launch in the US in late 2019 or early 2020. FIBARO's other products can be found on Amazon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The DoorCam 2 from Remo+ gives renters the security of a camera

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The DoorCam 2 from Remo+ gives renters the security of a camera

2019-03-22

Home security is one of the most consistent technology fields because it is important for everyone. No one wants to live in a scenario where they don't feel safe, both inside and outside the home. The past year has made security outside of the home even more important than ever, with the increase in thefts of packages by "porch pirates." Remo+ has a new camera to make this accessible to everyone called DoorCam 2.

Knowing that someone is at your door is great, but installing cameras or video doorbells is not always possible. For example, if you live in an apartment, you may not even have the ability to place a doorbell, let alone something as complicated as a security camera. You still want to know if someone is outside, either to protect packages or simply to know who is at the door. The new DoorCam 2 requires no special installation, as it simply fits over the top of the door. That means no holes, and no lost security deposit when you leave.

Adding to the ease of installation is that there is no power cable required for operation. The camera can be powered by a battery that will run for up to 12 months. If plugging the camera in is more your style, though, you can power it off of a standard micro USB cable, which comes with the camera.

When someone comes to the door or comes into the active frame of the camera, you can receive an alert on your mobile phone. From there, you can then open a two-way conversation with the person, either to say you're not available, ask them to wait, or tell them to leave.

In addition to DoorCam 2, Remo+ also has more traditional style video doorbells. The RemoBell S, the newest member of the family, is the first hardwired video doorbell from the company. You will have the same type of alerts as the DoorCam 2, based on activity in the field of view. For those whose door faces a neighbor's door, or might have a long field of view, you can customize what field will alert.

The RemoBell S is available now for $99, and the DoorCam 2 will be available starting in April 2019 for $199.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Moona can now make struggling with sleep a thing of the past for you

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Moona can now make struggling with sleep a thing of the past for you

2019-03-22

As many of us well know, getting a good nights sleep can be a challenge. Aside from factors such as unusual work schedules or new parenthood, insomnia is reportedly one of the most common sleep problems. For every person who has a problem with sleep, there is another person with some advice or something they should try to fix the issue. But obviously, it's not that simple. Or is it? The folks at Moona have what they feel is the perfect solution.

Their mission at Moona is to help those who struggle with sleep, as according to their statistics it affects one-third of adults in the United States. And it's not just a matter of people feeling tired all of the time or missing out on things in their lives, which quite honestly is bad enough. But more importantly, not getting an adequate amount of sleep on a consistent basis has serious health consequences, as well. It also obviously can affect relationships and work productivity. For all of these reasons, they've worked to find a better solution and through their research, they found that temperature is actually a key factor in sleep quality. And if this sounds odd to you, just think about how many times in your life you have flipped your pillow over to get to the cool side.

Some studies have shown that lower temperatures in the area of the head and neck actually help people to not only fall asleep more quickly but also stay asleep longer, reaching a deeper level of sleep. It is based upon this research that they developed their technology. Moona is a smart system with a pillow pad that is inserted on top of any pillow. It is connected to a bedside device with a pump that continuously circulates water through the pad to help keep this important head and neck area cooler, and thus allowing for better sleep patterns. Now, they realize that merely having this cooling technology is not enough because it's not a "one size fits all" kind of solution. Every person is different, so along with the cooling pad is the ability to customize the user settings to your exact specifications. You'll be able to set the perfect fall asleep temperature, stay asleep temperature, and even the perfect wake up temperature for you. That's right, you can program it, right from a phone app, to gently help wake you up on the morning by warming up. Temperatures can be customized and preset from 70 to 97 degrees. They have also tested the product for durability, so you will not need to worry about any leaking no matter how restless you are when you sleep.

Moona is expected to retail at $399, but for a limited time, you can get a discount of $100 during their preorder campaign. After you've watched the interview, head over to their website to get more information and order one for yourself.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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This Irish company is bringing the smartest solution to the smarthome

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This Irish company is bringing the smartest solution to the smarthome

2019-03-22

The smarthome continues to get smarter with the new X-Brain from Xunison. The X-Brain can become your "brain" for all of your smarthome devices but it does not end there. There are 5 capabilities/devices included in 1 main hub so not only does the X-Brain give you easy access to all of your smarthome devices, it also comes with a built-in router, the ability to connect straight to your TV, fully included antivirus and firewall software to keep your smarthome and devices safe and parental controls for internet access and devices connected.

The CEO of Xunison, Ryan O'Donovan discusses the juicy details and specs for this new, innovative product. Once you finish the quick and easy X-Brain setup by connecting it straight to your television, you have full access to all of its capabilities through the X-Brain remote control. The router information is easily accessible through the application and allows you to be able to update your ID and passwords. There is also an option that allows you to view all of your connected smarthome devices such as other TVs, smarthome assistants, or even your smart refrigerator. From here you have full control of internet access to any device at any given time, and a list of the websites each device accesses on your network. This feature is fantastic for parental controls when you want your child to go to bed at a certain time without fear of them accessing their devices late in the night.

Security is another very important topic that Xunison has certainly taken care of. Each device comes armed with secure antivirus software and firewall that will keep your X-brain as well as every connected device safe from hackers and vulnerabilities. If there is a breach in the X-Brain, you are immediately notified of the hack and ways you can prevent this from happening again. Also note, if there is a breach in one X-Brain, all other X-Brains sold around the world are learning from each other and other attacks. They are updated every day in the background so there is no need to sit through regular updates that stop usability.

The Xunison X-Brain is expected to be launched in the first or second quarter of 2019. This product will be for sale at $229 and could be found online at the Xunison website or in person Costco, Walmart, and Best Buy.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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PicoBrew makes home brewing safer and easier with the PicoStill and Z

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PicoBrew makes home brewing safer and easier with the PicoStill and Z

2019-03-21

The craft brew industry has become increasingly popular over the past decade or so. In fact, it has become so popular that more and more people are looking to make beer and spirits at home. Creating your own means that you can create a flavor that is very unique, and can represent you perfectly. However, the process can be difficult because of its intricacy. Thankfully, PicoBrew has a line of products to help make the process easier.

The newest and most distinct is the PicoStill, an attachment designed to fit with the Pico Model C. While brewing beer or distilling spirits, the Pico C is used to heat the liquid being used in the PicoStill. It makes the process of distilling herbs, hops, grains, spices, water, and more almost as easy as making coffee. More importantly, it takes away a number of the dangers inherent in creating alcohol, by automatically separating the methanol. It also allows brewers and distillers to infuse their creations with oils, including hops, herbs, spices, and even rose petals.

In addition to the PicoStill is the Pico Z, a fully automated brewing appliance. It was originally designed specifically for beer but has been enhanced to be a complete beverage appliance. The new model still supports beer, but adds coffee and kombucha to the mix, as well as doubling as a sous vide machine. Using the Pico Z, you can build your recipes through the website, or use a pre-built recipe, and access them on the machine. The most interesting feature is the ability to expand the Pico Z's capacity. This is accomplished through the device's modular design and can support from 2.5 to 10 gallons.

The PicoStill is available now for $349 or paired with the Pico C for $748. The Pico Z is available for pre-order now, starting at $2199. For more information, or to purchase, check out their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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SquareOne is a new way to play board games in a digital world

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SquareOne is a new way to play board games in a digital world

2019-03-21

If you are anything like our team, you really enjoy board games. However, sometimes you just want something new that isn't in your collection. That means going out to a store and buying a game, or waiting for something to be delivered. But, for many games, what you receive has a lot of similarities to other games you have: player markers (or pieces), dice, a board or playing surface. Wizama has taken the common ground between these games and made them digital, for a new type of gaming with SquareOne.

Combining a collection of markers, characters, and cards, all enhanced with near field communication (NFC) with an LCD screen and connected dice, allows gamers to experience their favorite games in a new way, as well as a whole new type of game. For the more traditional, game makers can use the screen to replicate their standard game board. Then, using the connected markers, cards, and dice, can make their gameplay even better.

The really interesting ability of SquareOne, however, is how it can create all kinds of new types of games. For example, using the exact same pieces you are already familiar with, you can play a digital version of air hockey. But, by adding in the NFC-powered cards, you can also play a game that combines the best parts of air hockey and Astroids, called Cosmo Squabble. These are the types of games that used to require something like an original Microsoft Surface (the table version, not the tablet), but now is small enough to be portable.

The SquareOne console will be available for pre-order at the end of 2019, with expected delivery in 2020. The price is expected to be a little less than $500. Right now, they are working to finalize the hardware designed and build partnerships so the console launches with a wide catalog of games. For more information about SquareOne and to follow the product's development, check out their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Danalock offers flexible access along with superior home security

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Danalock offers flexible access along with superior home security

2019-03-21

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Danalock, a Danish company that produces door locks that is compatible with Z-Wave technology. Danalock has been in this business for ten years, producing quality home security equipment. They pride themselves on keeping your home safe, even when you are away and with flexible access control. Their exciting new product is a wireless digital keypad that is compatible with their V3 system, which is an automatic lock that can detect your arrival and unlock for you. The new keypad offers wireless versatility and an added way to access the home and can be purchased for only $69 and integrated into your V3 technology, or an entirely new system can be purchased for $149.

There are several advantages to having a wireless keypad. First of all, since there are no wires attached, the keypad can be placed anywhere along the outside of your door, not just on the deadbolt. In this way, you can make your home entrance more aesthetically pleasing. This feature can also increase safety, as the keypad does not have to be in an obvious location. It is not necessary to download an app to work with the keypad, as it functions independently, along with your Z-Wave technology. You need only enter your PIN to gain entrance. Now if you expect guests or maintenance workers in your home, you no longer need to ask them to download an app to be able to unlock your door. Just give them their own PIN, and use your outdoor camera monitor to see that only the correct people are trying to enter your home. No one whom you are expecting ends up stuck outside the door, unable to get inside. It truly offers more flexibility all around.

Danalock is offering the best in technology, making it easier, more convenient, and more aesthetic to secure your home, along with Z-Wave. Information on Danalock products and the products themselves are available on their website. You can get the Danalock V3 and the Danapad V3 now.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The ZOMEKIT can help building owners save power and generate revenue

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The ZOMEKIT can help building owners save power and generate revenue

2019-03-20

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Zome Energy Networks, which has a different approach to the ecosystem. While most companies focus on the controllers and devices, Zome focuses on how to use those devices to conserve energy on a large scale and make some money. This is done through a program provided by power companies, where they pay building owners to help conserve power during peak times. Imagine, during the middle of summer in Florida, if the power company could reduce usage just a little, it could make a big difference.

Because of this. Zome Energy has built a Z-Wave gateway, called ZOMEKIT, that is powerful enough to control an entire building. This system can be installed by apartments, office complexes, and more, with only a single ZOMEKIT needed to cover the entire building, rather than needing one in every individual unit. Once installed, the gateway can be used to turn off power-hungry products, such as water heaters and air conditioners, allowing two of the highest consuming appliances in the house to get a rest. That rest translates into power savings, which the power companies reward with a financial bonus.

Right now, the ZOMEKIT is in a private beta testing phase in a small number of buildings. The company is currently accepting interested parties to expand the beta program, as well as interest for after launch. For more information on the ZOMEKIT, check out the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Jasco makes your movie night better with a wireless Z-Wave hub

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Jasco makes your movie night better with a wireless Z-Wave hub

2019-03-20

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Jasco, one of the most diverse manufacturers of Z-Wave products. Whether you are looking for lights, switches, outlets, or alarms, Jasco has got them for you. While you may not immediately know the name, you have likely encountered their products. This is because they hold licenses for GE, Honeywell, Energizer, and Philips. While they may make a lot of products, there are a few true standouts this year.

The first is a lightswitch that doubles as a motion sensor. The motion can be used to turn on the light that is attached to the switch, or it can be used for occupancy. These switches have become popular for assisted living facilities because they can help staff know when a room has been empty or without any motion for an extended period of time. Second is their door and window sensor. The sensor uses a magnetic contact that is so small that it can actually be hidden right into the frame of a door or window, making it far less of an obvious addition. The third is a leak detector designed to alert you when a surface gets wet. It is definitely a perfect pairing for your water heater, where a leak can flood a whole house.

The product line that really stood out for us, however, is the portable remotes. These products can attach to the wall, like a standard light switch, or be popped off and brought with you. It's the perfect accessory for use in a living room, where you really don't want to open your phone to turn off the lights. It's also great for the bedroom, where you can make adjustments to brightness and more. There are two versions of the switches, one with standard hub controller, and one with full scene control capabilities.

Jasco products can be found at retailers worldwide, with some of the newly announced products coming soon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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QOLSYS has a better way to easily control all your smart home devices

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QOLSYS has a better way to easily control all your smart home devices

2019-03-20

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is QOLSYS, a company which has developed a seven inch HD touchscreen that is an all in one platform, called the IQpanel. It eliminates the need for multiple protocols to run all of the smart products within the home. "You'll find a lot of people touting their latest, greatest solution, and many times those solutions are based on a single protocol... We believe that interoperability is very important," says Jeremy McLerran, Director of Marketing.

It is capable of commanding seven different wireless protocols. It can be responsible for your home security system, as well as countless other functions, such as lighting, thermostat control, locking and unlocking doors, controlling garage doors, motion sensors, and communication from different parts of the home. The great part is that almost any systems you may already have in place can be integrated into this system, keeping you from purchasing new, unneeded hardware and software. It can play as big or as small a part within the home as you wish and can be linked by Bluetooth to each family member's smartphone. It is possible to add to its capability by purchasing additional devices as the need arises. Local suppliers offer monthly subscriptions or one-time purchases of the hardware.

The benefits of this technology are countless. The platform has the potential to cut your energy bill in half. It also provides handy monitoring of other rooms in the home, which comes in handy if you have children. There is the capability of having a photo sent to your phone every time a family member enters the home, while you are away. You can order and install the system yourself or have a representative come and install it. Once you get it in place, you'll love all of the extras. Imagine having your phone set to shut down your lights, change your thermostat, lock your doors, and raise your garage door as you are leaving home. All of these tedious tasks and many more can now be handled from one platform, saving you time and the stress of wondering if you have forgotten something.

QOLSYS simplifies the process of day-to-day life and has the advantage of integrating almost any systems you may have already purchased, making it a great deal, which builds on the hardware you may already have in your home. To learn more about all of their products and services, visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The new & improved Sleep Number bed means no more need to count sheep

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The new & improved Sleep Number bed means no more need to count sheep

2019-03-19

"We make sure we know more about sleep than anyone else," says Pete Bils, Vice President of Sleep Science and Research at Sleep Number. Sleep Number is on the cutting edge of sleep technology, with all their beds now produced being smart beds. But what does it mean to have a "smart bed?"

Some key benefits to this type of technology are sleep quality tracking, sensors that adjust the bed every time you move, and even a setting to have a foot warmer turn on thirty minutes before you enter the bed. The smart bed issues a report each morning to let you know how you have slept. In this way, you are able to track your specific sleeping habits and eliminate factors which contribute to a less restful night of sleep. To accomplish this, the bed tracks such factors as heart rate, amount of movements, wakefulness during the night, and whether or not you exited the bed. Logging your daily activities into the tracker and comparing them to the sleep report gives you an idea of your ideal sleep situation.

Mr. Bils says that in the beginning, Sleep Number's goal was to eliminate factors which made it hard to sleep. Now they are distributing technology that actively helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, such as the foot warmer. Science has shown that warming your feet at bedtime does help you fall asleep faster. Plus, this feature produces a whole new level of comfort. Their previous beds could be set to your ideal sleep number, and they remained there. The new, smart beds' sensors actively adjust the mattress every time you move to keep all points of your body experiencing support during the night. And it has already been proven that setting the bed at your ideal sleep number lends itself to less tossing and turning, to begin with.

Sleep Number is moving mountains in the area of healthy rest, all the while providing you with the comfort they have long been famous for. This technology paves the way for a more productive, well-rested society.

After you watch the full interview, be sure to check out their entire product line on their website, or visit one of their dedicated stores.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The OPKIX One allows you to enjoy an event and share it with friends

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The OPKIX One allows you to enjoy an event and share it with friends

2019-03-19

There's no question that social media has a big impact on most of our lives every day. For many, when they are experiencing something exciting, that want to be able to share it with the world. However, the biggest problem with that is it means that you then experience the event through the lens of a camera and the screen of a phone. It would be much better if you could experience the event and share it with your friends. That is exactly the problem that OPKIX is trying to solve.

The OPKIX One camera is small enough that it can be used just about anywhere, from a necklace to your eyeglasses. It is also that small size that makes it so that you can film and experience an event at once. Using some of these accessories, such as the glasses, you can easily record the exciting aspects of your day without having to lose yourself into a camera of a phone screen. Now, you can truly enjoy the thing that you are there to enjoy, whether it be a concert, competition, or conference.

In addition to the design of the camera itself, there are a number of distinguishing features. One of the most interesting is the inspiration that they take from true wireless earbuds. They ship with a docking "egg" which serves as a portable charging station, but there's more than just that. When you're charging the camera, it is also transferring the media from the camera into the egg. That way you only have to have a single device paired to your phone. That's because the package ships with 2 cameras, as opposed to only one, so you can charge one while recording with the other.

The OPKIX One can be ordered now for $295 for the cameras, or $395 for the cameras and a pack of accessories.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Wait till you see the tech in this self-service beer tap by Arrow

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Wait till you see the tech in this self-service beer tap by Arrow

2019-03-19

In an effort to collect significant user data in a new, simple and efficient manner, Arrow Electronics combined several different technologies to create a very impressive IoT application. What is presented as a high-tech, self-service beer tap, is actually so much more. With the use of the Arduino Maker 1000 Board, an Intel Processor with Wi-Fi module, they were able to create these beer tap coolers that are coupled with temperature and flow sensors.

This beer tap is then able to provide data that not only facilitates the sale of the product but also manages optimal temperature and provides restocking data. Customers merely engage with the touchscreen and choose their beverage, which is automatically dispensed, while management is able to monitor and measure output on the dashboard. That data is then coupled video demographics that is gathered from the onboard camera. The camera watches while the customer makes their choice, then AI technology from Intel is able to determine their specific demographics. Like their sex, age range and even facial expressions. These data points provide the retailer with a significant amount of information about what types of customers are purchasing which products. This allows for a product portfolio that will appeal to a wider audience so they can target promotions and stock levels accordingly. All of this comes together in a simple display.

This beer tap does a great job of demonstrating Arrow's capability to work from the sensor, all the way to the cloud. They took embedded sensing, coupling it with embedded computing and visual analytics. They then related that data in a retail environment on a dashboard. And the separate components that make up this technology is easily transferable into other areas of consumer data analytics. For example, the facial recognition that is being used in the beer tap can be used in any number of other consumer settings. It is able to provide real-time analysis of the moods of shoppers while compiling that data to be used for advertising, direct marketing, and product placement.

For more information on all of their products and applications, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Gerber Prime allows you to customize how you control your smarthome

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Gerber Prime allows you to customize how you control your smarthome

2019-03-18

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Gerber Prime, a company that has taken customization to a whole new level. Their PrimeSwitch products allow you to create a, not only a completely custom panel setup but a custom plate itself. Here's how it works: each plate has 9 buttons. Each one can be programmed to perform nearly any action. This is possible thanks to the nature of the switches themselves. Using control modules, you can add capabilities for a relay, curtains, and more.

In addition to the electronics, you can also completely customize the wall plate. Whether you want only a single touchable button, or want to expose all 9, you can purchase a plate in the configuration that you want. Just as importantly, however, is the ability to have the plates designed to your specification. You want to get a particular color, possibly to match your room decor? No problem. You want the lights on the buttons to be the color of your corporate logo? No problem. You want the buttons themselves to look like little dolphins? No problem.

The company has recently taken the idea of the modular system and brought it to a whole new controller. Rather than a wall plate, you can also use their modules to create a large, programmable control unit. The PrimeBox allows for modules for control, as well as different technologies, including Z-Wave, Zigbee, and more. This is a perfect solution for a large implementation, such as a television studio, or large office.

The PrimeSwitch is available now with prices dependent on configuration. The PrimeBox is coming soon. Both products can be found on the company's website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The iota security hub makes protecting your home incredibly easy

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The iota security hub makes protecting your home incredibly easy

2019-03-18

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Abode Systems, makers of the iota, a small, tabletop all-in-one security system. In the box, which is only about the size of a standard Wi-Fi router, is a full Z-Wave security hub, as well as a security camera, motion detector, two-way voice communication, and audible alarm. The package also ships with a standard door/window sensor and arm/disarm keyfob.

In addition to the included hardware, there are a variety of ways to connect the iota to both internal and external networks. The device includes Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and cellular data connections, allowing you to get notifications on your mobile device whether you are home or not. As a member of the Z-Wave Alliance, you can add to the system a variety of additional sensors and devices, both from Abode and other partners.

When it comes to monitoring, there are two distinct options. The fairly standard way with do-it-yourself home security systems is to self-monitor, which means that when something goes wrong, you get a notification and must act on it yourself. However, with the iota, you get the option for professional monitoring, as well. You can sign up for constant monitoring, allowing you to let someone else always be in charge of the process. You can also purchase service for short periods, such as a vacation or business trip.

The iota is available now, either the standalone device for $299 or with a year of service for $329.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Aeotec reimagines the door and window sensor by predicting break-ins

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Aeotec reimagines the door and window sensor by predicting break-ins

2019-03-18

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Aeotec, a brand that makes a wide variety of smart home accessories. In fact, the company offers a line of 44 different products. However, at CES this year, they are really featuring their Door/Window Sensor 7. We were surprised by this, as it seems like a door and window sensor is a technology that is so established that it is unlikely to be improved upon.

Aeotec, however, has a totally new approach to this technology. Traditionally, these sensors are designed to send an alert to a security system when the two magnets separate. The idea is to alert during the process of an entry event, either purposeful or forceful. That's useful, but not ideal. The ideal situation is to alert before someone breaks into the building. That is exactly what the Aeotec sensor does: alerts you before there is a problem.

Rather than just being a pair of magnets, the Door/Window Sensor 7 uses some additional sensors built into the device, as well as a proprietary algorithm, the sensor is able to detect behaviors that indicate the beginning of a break-in. For example, there is a certain amount of force required to break out a window or door, and the sensor is able to detect that force. It is then able to notify the central hub, and therefore additional Z-Wave devices, that a break-in is being attempted. The system could then turn on lights, sound an alarm, and more, to notify the intruder that you're aware of them.

The Door/Window Sensor 7 is expected to hit the market in the near future and will be available from Aeotec and more.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Geeni has the products to give you the smart home you've been wanting

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Geeni has the products to give you the smart home you've been wanting

2019-03-14

There are smart home products just about everywhere you look at CES. When walking around, you start to get the feeling that if you've seen one smart light bulb, you've seen them all. All of the platforms and apps can get really overwhelming. And if it even gets a bit confusing for us techie folks, we can only guess how the average consumer feels about it all.

That's why it was so refreshing to step into the Geeni booth and have a chat with Sol Hedaya, head of their Smart Home division. Sol explained how they, too, know that it can get exhausting trying to get the features that you want in an easy to use format. That's why they have really tried to take away the pain
 points of the smarthome. Nobody wants to go through so many different apps, hubs, and ecosystems. So they've worked really hard to make it all less complicated and at price points that are affordable. Their philosophy from day one has been to
 make Wi-Fi-based products that are really inexpensive and are easy 
to get connected and running off of one app so that all you need to do is buy
 one product and it connects directly to
 your home Wi-Fi network. They've rolled 
this philosophy out into a really wide range of
 smart lighting and power 
products, including smart plugs, surge protectors
 and power strips. In addition, they are now moving into
 switches and even a smart nightlight and
 smart block combinations.

We loved how their entire line works together. You can set your nightlight to come on at dusk and include a fan or appliance in the same plug. They have also
 expanded heavily into cameras and
 security. There are indoor and outdoor and doorbell cameras. Also, new for this year is their smart baby camera that comes in three different
 colors: blue, pink and white. But most impressive are its features. You are
 able to adjust where the camera view right 
from the app. It also has a 
humidity and temperature sensors 
built right in. It will even sing a lullaby
.

All of 
the products are compatible with Google 
Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft
 Cortana and they work really really
 closely with those teams to ensure superior compatibility. Pricing starts at around $15 and there is something for everyone. After you check out the interview, take a look at a couple of our favorites on Amazon, like this Surge 6-Outlet, and this 2 Pack 1080p Security Camera System. And for more information, visit the Geeni website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Opal Digital has a brand new way to interact with 360 videos and games

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Opal Digital has a brand new way to interact with 360 videos and games

2019-03-13

Have you ever put on a VR headset and experienced something you wish you could share with the people around you? That's pretty difficult when you're fully immersed inside of an enclosed headset. There is a way to share a 360 video with a group of people, however, thanks to Opal Digital. Their very unique screens create a full 360-degree image to be enjoyed by a group instead of an individual.

One of the intents of the hardware is education. By including one of these screens in a museum or art gallery, the facility could present a new type of experience. For example, you could get an immersive view of the artist's studio, making a stronger connection between the viewer and the artist. With the 360-degree screen, that presentation can not only be viewed by a group but could be experienced as a group.

The most obvious use for the technology, however, is entertainment. In fact, the company is working with Keith Arem, a well-known videogame insider, who has worked as talent director on titles such as Call of Duty. His expertise has led the company to consider various new entertainment experiences. What he really likes about the idea is being able to create multiplayer capabilities without isolating the players from the audience, or even from one another.

The idea is to partner with companies to sponsor installations in places where people will congregate naturally, such as movie theaters. Imagine a multiplayer game based around an upcoming film available in the lobby of your local theater. What about games in shopping malls or airports, where you're always waiting around for someone or something to happen. These screens can make those experiences more interesting and, with partnerships, not cost the player anything.

Opal screens are available from the company with a range of prices depending on included options.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Vuze makes creating VR and 360 videos and photos incredibly easy

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Vuze makes creating VR and 360 videos and photos incredibly easy

2019-03-13

Virtual reality headsets and environments are becoming more and more popular. Nintendo has even thrown its hat back into the ring over 20 years after the first attempt at the technology. The problem is, there is not nearly as much content available for the hardware as there should be. There are some still cameras that have made their way into the market, and most phones can take a panoramic-style 360 photo. Video content, however, is still not as popular as it could, and should, be. Vuze cameras might just change that.

The VUZE+ looks a lot like a small Wi-Fi router but has 8 lenses around the outside ring. Using those lenses, the camera is able to create video content in full 360 degrees, which is perfect for virtual reality headset. It also features spatial audio, meaning that, by moving your perspective, you can change the sound that you can hear. It is almost like being there. The camera has a standard camera mount on the bottom, allowing you to set it up somewhere, maybe at a concert or conference, and record.

The VUZE XR is the smaller version of the VUZE+ and features only 2 lenses facing forward. Rather than a full 360-degree video, the XR produces a 180-degree frame. This is perfect for portability, as holding the camera in your hand will put your body as half of the frame anyway. Luckily, the camera is designed exactly for portability, with a handle and collapsible lenses.

Both cameras produce video at 5.7K, which is far above the industry standard. In addition to still photos and video, both cameras are also able to be used for live streaming through YouTube Live using a paired mobile device. The VUZE+ is available for $999 and the VUZE XR is available for $439.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Formlabs brings accuracy and flexibility to the 3D printing market

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Formlabs brings accuracy and flexibility to the 3D printing market

2019-03-12

3D printers have become a very popular device category, even becoming popular for in-home use. While these printers can accomplish a lot, there are some things that your standard, consumer-grade 3D printer just cannot pull off. There is another category of printers, however, that is far more capable than the ones you'll find in a retail store. Commercial 3D printers, like the ones from Formlabs can print in more detail, with different materials, and more.

If you've ever encountered something printed by one of the consumer printers, you know what it looks like. The surfaces are usually rough and often you can see and feel the individual layers where it was printed. That is because of the overall resolution of the printer. Think of a consumer printer more like a dot-matrix printer, but the commercial printers are like laser printers. In fact, if you look at the Formlabs printer, it actually uses a laser in its setup. This method allows for a smooth finish and an indistinguishable print layer. In fact, these printers print in 50-micron layers, making them essentially indistinguishable.

In addition to resolution, the Formlabs printers also allow for some incredibly unique printing materials. At the event, the company showed off some of these unusual materials. One of the most impressive was a dental grade polymer, which is being used to make dentures. This process allows a dentist to take a scan of your mouth and enter it into a computer, printing a new set of dentures in the office. This is faster, cheaper, and more convenient than taking a physical mold of the mouth and shipping it to a production facility, having to wait for the dentures to be produced and shipped back.

Truly, though, the most impressive material was called Elastic and was a completely flexible material. You can squeeze the printed item in your hand, bend it around, and the item will correct itself. Essentially, it is like being able to print with rubber bands instead of hard plastic. There are many jobs that this material can make possible that were simply out of reach in the past.

The Formlabs printers are available now starting at $3,350.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Humanscale makes the laptop better with the M/Connect docking station

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Humanscale makes the laptop better with the M/Connect docking station

2019-03-12

Many of us use a laptop for both portable and stationary computing. When we're at a desk, we tend to want more than a laptop offers naturally. For example, you may want extra monitors, or maybe just a larger screen. You may want a better keyboard, and almost certainly want a real mouse. All of that makes a laptop docking station appealing, but there is a problem with docks: all of the cables on the desk running in and out of the dock. Humanscale has a simple yet elegant solution to the problem with the M/Connect docking station.

While a traditional docking station sits on top of the desk and has all of your standard cables plugged into it, like HDMI, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc., the M/Connect is different. It actually mounts around the edge of the desk and uses a split design. This setup allows for the bottom piece to feature all of the permanent cables, meaning that they are hidden beneath the desk. The top piece features ports for your more transient hardware, like flash drives, portable hard drives, and biometric sensors. Now you have the convenience of a laptop dock without the clutter of cables taking up a large portion of your desk space.

In addition to the clever split design, the M/Connect is designed to be paired with one of the company's monitor stands. In fact, it can be used with any of the company's monitor arms, whether it be designed for a single screen or a full 6 screen array. The post of the monitor arm runs through the center of the M/Connect, keeping the dock snugly in place and adding extra stability to the arm's connection. It is a win-win situation.

The M/Connect is available now in a variety of configurations.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Be proud to tell your stories in amazing video quality with Canon

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Be proud to tell your stories in amazing video quality with Canon

2019-03-12

It seems that video recording is more important now than ever. And Canon stays on the cutting edge to bring us the best assortment of video cameras. Whether you are recording all of those special moments with your growing family, capturing your favorite vacation memories or starting your own podcast or vlog, Canon has a camera that will fit your needs.

Drew McCallum, Senior Technical Specialist, indulged our love of Canon Video and showed us their newest additions to the line. New for this year are the VIXIA HF W10 and VIXIA HF W11 camcorders
. There's also a new waterproof VIXIA 
camcorder. They also have their HF G50 and their
 brand new 4K camcorder for a little bit
higher end user. We were particularly mesmerized by the waterproof camcorder that was swimming behind us. It's capable of depths up to sixteen and a half feet. It's ready to go for all of your vacations and adventures. And it's not just waterproof, it's also freeze and drought proof. It offers a lot of versatility in a very small, compact design. The four-hour battery is internal and charges via USB

Another product that we at PLuGHiTz Live have a lot of interest in, is the 4K camcorders. As we look to upgrade to higher quality cameras for the crew, these really caught our attention. The VIXIA GX10 is Canon's first 4K UHD consumer camcorder. The compact and portable design offers a truly outstanding combination of features and functionality. It delivers refined video quality and delivers stunning detail to video enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers alike. It's a twenty times
 optical zoom and a five-axis
 image stabilization system. You've also got a dual
 card slot so if you are doing long
 interviews like here at CES 
you are able to back them up.

We love our Canon video recorders. We use them in our studio and at all of our special events. And we look forward to expanding our own stock. We'd really like to hear what you think about them, too. After you watch the interview, drop us a line in the comments section. For more information, visit their website here.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Women are loving what LUMINI can do for their skincare routine!

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Women are loving what LUMINI can do for their skincare routine!

2019-03-09

For most women, there are not many things that are more important than good skin care. We visited with lululab and learned about a new way to keep track of your skin and any problems that arise as you age. It is called LUMINI, an AI skin care system for your face. It uses a scanner to detect and help to correct any problems that you may not know are occurring.

The scanner works on three levels. First, LUMINI captures the image of your face. After you use the on-screen guide to line up your face for the photo, it uses auto-face detection and light correction for accurate analysis. Second, it analyzes the facial skin in 6 different categories: wrinkles, pigment, redness, pores, sebum, and acne. It finds out what your particular problems are. The app gives a detailed overview of your analysis including a score for each category. You can then see actual photos highlighting your hotspots for each analysis. You can even see an image of what your skin would look like under perfect conditions.

All of this leads to the third level, recommending the appropriate product for you. They are then able to find and recommend the correct product for your best skincare routine. If you were to use all of the recommended products for your skin, you would be very close to the photo from step 2.

Their current client base is dermatologists, med spas, salons, and high-end department stores. By working with professionals, you will find out your personal needs and you will be informed with the proper recommendations just for you. The company hopes to come out with a consumer version for your daily use in the privacy of your home.

To find out more about this wonderful product, you can go to their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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New system ensures accurate mail delivery through your smart devices

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New system ensures accurate mail delivery through your smart devices

2019-03-09

We are living in a time where there is always a chance of someone invading our personal space or property. We are having to secure our information with many new means of technology. One of the newest things coming our way in the future is from USPS. It is a sensor that is placed in our mailbox to alert us when the mail has been delivered. This works even if your mailbox is at a great distance, up to three miles away. It runs on a battery that has a 2-year lifespan. The company is working with partners to ensure that the battery can be recycled when it is dead.

We spoke to Karan Gera, a strategist working with USPS and Tia Kim, a senior innovation producer who walked us through the way this product works. The sensor is placed inside your mailbox and the bridge goes inside your house. The alerts can be received on all of your smart devices. When you receive mail in your box, you can be alerted on your phone or tablet that there has been a delivery. The bridge can also be paired with Nest, Philips Hue lightbulbs and more.

Hue integration allows lights to flash if the person is hearing impaired. If not, then blinking or flashing lights will get the attention of the owner. The Nest integration helps to alert you to the current problem of porch pirates by showing you who picked up your mail.

This device works with USPS Informed Delivery Service to allow you to compare what was received with what you were expecting to get. Informed Delivery scans all of your mail so you know exactly what you are getting that day. This is extremely helpful if an elderly person is waiting for their medication to be delivered. It also comes in handy for an off-site caregiver to know if that person is receiving their prescription.

This is in prototype phase with no predicted date for availability.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The VMAXX woofer returns to the Cerwin Vega Mobile speaker lineup

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The VMAXX woofer returns to the Cerwin Vega Mobile speaker lineup

2019-03-09

When it comes to car audio, there are a lot of choices, and so it takes a lot to make a name for yourself. Cerwin Vega Mobile has certainly done just that, making itself the oldest car audio company in the world. Over the past few years, the company has been reaching back to its classic products and reintroducing modernized versions. In the past, we spoke with Larry Frederick about the Stroker, and this year he showed us the VMAXX woofer.

This product, which was previously produced around 15 years ago, was a popular product. In fact, for a while, it was the company's most popular woof. Unfortunately, because of a problem with the frame, the company decided to discontinue it. Since then, loyal customers have continued to ask on social media that the company bring it back and, thanks to new materials and better manufacturing processes, the frame issue has been solved, and so the VMAXX has returned.

Rather than just bringing back the original design, however, Frederick wanted to design the speaker to be a heavier-duty, more powerful product. He focused on the things that he could easily control, like the size of the magnet, the size of the voice coil, and the amount of travel for the cone. While he recommends that people not get caught up in the trick of a big magnet and theoretical wattage, he does note that the magnet on the VMAXX is fairly large.

It is important for anyone purchasing a high-end speaker system to understand what it is they are buying. A 1000 watt speaker with only a 1-inch voice coil is never going to accomplish the advertised volumes. The same goes for other components on your system, such as the copper wire being used. The last thing you want is for your speaker or wire to get too hot and for glue or shielding to come apart.

The VMAXX woofer from Cerwin Vega Mobile will be available soon for around $249 to $279.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Plott takes the frustration out of hanging pictures on the wall

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Plott takes the frustration out of hanging pictures on the wall

2019-03-06

If you're anything like me, you absolutely hate trying to hang things on a wall. It seems like it is nearly impossible for me to get everything to line up. One item is always a little lower than the others, or there is a larger gap between two of the items than the rest. A number of augmented reality apps have come out to help you design what it should look like in a perfect world, but that never helps me get it right in reality. The Plott Cubit is the perfect device to help bring the idea to reality.

The device looks very similar to a standard tape measure, which is an appropriate design. It is designed to take your augmented reality room decoration design and help you get all of the measurements right on your wall. This is accomplished by pairing the Cubit with your smartphone and its accompanying app. First, you map out your wall, using the camera, marking the corners. Then, you photograph the items that you are trying to hang, enter their measurements, and the hanging point is on the item. Then, you place the items on your virtual walls, testing the layout using AR in the room.

Once your wall is all set up, you take the Cubit itself to the wall in question and let it guide you to the right spot. Arrows on the screen will point you in the correct direction, and when you find the spot for a nail it will beep. At that point, just mark the spot on the wall and move on to the next spot. The Cubit is accurate within 3 millimeters, which is far closer than I have ever gotten using traditional measurements.

The Plott Cubit will be available soon from big-box retailers and online.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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VOLO Beauty has a cordless hairdryer that reduces damage to your hair

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VOLO Beauty has a cordless hairdryer that reduces damage to your hair

2019-03-06

For some types of hair or hairstyles, the only way to get your hair dry correctly is with a hairdryer. Unfortunately, hairdryers produce a lot of direct heat and can do a lot of damage to your hair. It can also be difficult to accomplish because most dryers have surprisingly short cords. VOLO Beauty has a new product designed to help people deal with both of these products. Since last year, the product has gone from a working prototype to being fully-functional and available for pre-order.

The VOLO Go Cordless Hairdryer is, by the suggestion of its name, a cordless dryer. Using a lithium-ion battery, this new dryer can be used without being tethered to the wall, allowing you to use it while you get ready for your day. To make this possible, however, the company could not use traditional heating. That is because a standard hairdryer uses about 1600 watts of power when in use. In fact, they require special power adapters when you travel with them internationally.

Instead of traditional heating, the VOLO Go uses infrared heating. There are a few benefits in infrared, with one being a significant reduction in the amount of power required. Reducing power usage allows for a smaller battery, also meaning less weight. But, more importantly, infrared can dry your hair without all of the damage caused by traditional heating. That is because it doesn't apply all of the heat to the outside but instead works from the inside out.

In addition to the Go, VOLO has also released a towel, designed especially for hair. Whether or not you plan to use a dryer, towel drying is an important step in helping prevent damage. The VOLO Hero is a microfiber cloth, which we all know makes for easier and quicker drying. It features a strap in the middle, which allows you to easily tie it on top of your head, so you can continue your routine while your hair dries.

The VOLO Hero is available now for purchase for $39, and the VOLO Go is available for pre-order for $27 with a retail price of $399.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Rocking Bed brings the comfort of being rocked to sleep to everyone

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Rocking Bed brings the comfort of being rocked to sleep to everyone

2019-03-06

If you have ever slept on a cruise ship, you know that the gentle rocking of the boat can significantly improve how you sleep. This is the realization that Mark Russell, founder of Rocking Bed made after a cruise. He went looking for a product that could replicate that sensation on dry land and found only a hammock. Of course, a hammock isn't quite the same, as it is mostly for outside use, and encompasses a person in a way that can be strange. So, he set about to create a device that could help him sleep.

The Rocking Bed is a product whose name says a lot about its use. It attaches to the existing frame of your standard bed and provides a gentle swaying motion. While it might sound strange initially, think about this: almost all humans have been rocked to sleep at some point in their life. It is such an established idea that many rocking devices are made for babies, and the idea of babies sleeping better in a car is well established. Somehow, the idea has never been brought to adult sleeping, despite the clear connection between rocking and the feeling of safety and security, which can be relaxing, bringing on restful sleep.

One of the interesting things about rocking to sleep is that, once you are asleep, the rocking is no longer required. That is why the Rocking Bed has a timer built-in and turns the monitor off after 30 minutes. Obviously, if you're not already asleep at that time, you can start the timer up again. The timer also helps to prevent the motor from wearing out quicker, as motors all have a lifespan. If the motor does wear out on the bed, however, you can order a replacement, rather than replacing the entire product.

The Rocking Bed can be pre-ordered now, with a down payment of $245.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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LifeDoor can add an extra barrier between you and a house fire

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LifeDoor can add an extra barrier between you and a house fire

2019-03-05

No one should have to live through a house fire, but it is a good idea to be prepared in the unlikely event that it happens. Smoke detectors are a great first start to protecting your home and the people in it, but there is more that can be done to be safe. Not everyone knows that a closed door can make a huge difference in the damage done to a room. Firefighter Joel Sellinger saw the major differences between two rooms in the same home and came up with LifeDoor to help save lives.

Joel responded to a fire, only to discover that the elderly occupant had died because of smoke inhalation. The room she had been in had an open door and sustained severe damage. The room next to hers, however, had a closed door and nearly no damage. It was then that he decided that he needed to find a way to make this scenario a thing of the past.

LifeDoor is a seemingly simple device but provides huge value. This small box simply attaches to your door by replacing the top hinge pin. Once installed, you calibrate it by opening and closing the door just once. Once it knows what the door looks like closed, it is ready to go. It doesn't need to connect to a network, or have you replace smoke detectors across your home. Instead, LifeDoor listens for the sound of an existing smoke detector and automatically closes the door, protecting the people in the room.

In addition to closing the door. LifeDoor also repeats the smoke alarm noise, helping the person or people in the room to know there is a danger. It also has a built-in light that illuminates the room to help you get out safely.

The LifeDoor will be available soon for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign.

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Pani helps homeowners track and manage their daily water usage

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Pani helps homeowners track and manage their daily water usage

2019-03-05

When thinking of ways to help save money, most people think of reducing their power usage, but few people think about reducing their water consumption. However, with a few simple steps, reducing water usage can make a big difference. The problem is that tracking water usage can be a difficult task. Luckily, we've got Pani, a connected water meter for the appliances in your home.

For most households, around 75% of all water is used by the shower, toilets, and faucets. The Pani is designed to be attached in these locations to monitor exactly how you use water in your everyday life. Once your pattern is established, the Pani is able to start giving suggestions on how to reduce water usage, as well as incentivizing you to do so. The more water that you are able to eliminate from your daily usage, the more money is donated to charities that are dedicated to providing clean water to those who don't have access.

The idea came about when founder Allen Tsai was in Nepal helping to build water wells. The experience really changed his view on how water is used, realizing that people in the US take the availability of water for granted. He wanted to help people realize just how scarce water can be in the world, as well as helping them to reduce their usage. He even reached back to his experience and chose Pani as the company name, which means water in Hindi.

In addition to the conservation features, Pani also provides some safety issues. If the device recognizes a leak on a device, it is able to send a notification to alert you of the problem. From there, you can act to turn off the water and get the leak fixed.

The Pani is coming soon, and you can join the mailing list to get notifications about availability.

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Raven can help protect your vehicle and the people riding in it

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Raven can help protect your vehicle and the people riding in it

2019-03-05

When you're driving around, there are a host of reasons why you might want to have a recording of what is happening around you. Whether it be to document a car accident or just something interesting happening on the side of the road, being able to capture the moment could be handy. With the help of Raven, that desire becomes a reality. We had the opportunity to speak with Raven last year, but the device has gotten even better since then.

The product started as a great way to keep track of a car and make sure the occupants are safe. With the built-in GPS, data connection, and forward and rear-facing cameras, Raven makes it easy to follow a vehicle's journey and check in if something seems off. The idea came about when the founder's daughter was driving through a snowstorm, and he simply wanted the peace of mind that everything was okay. All of these features made doing just that a possibility.

Today, the Raven is much more than that. In fact, it is a complete connected car system. It connects through the car's diagnostic port and is able to do all of the things that a consumer diagnostic computer can do, such as read trouble codes, manage fuel efficiency, monitor speed, and more. Using the data connection, this information can be watched remotely, so parents can keep a better eye on their kids.

More than just parents can find a lot of value in the Raven, though. In fact, the company has brought out a number of fleet management capabilities. When put into a corporate vehicle, the system can replace the features of a GPS tracker, a "tattler," and more. The cameras can be used to make sure the right people are in the vehicle. The GPS can be used to ensure that routes are being followed, and if not, follow where the vehicle has gone. The diagnostics capabilities can help a fleet manager predict maintenance issues before they become a problem.

The Raven connected car is available now with a variety of options.

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Pillo Health makes managing your medication regiment easier and safer

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Pillo Health makes managing your medication regiment easier and safer

2019-03-03

If you are one of the millions of people who take multiple pills per day, you know how difficult it can be to maintain your regiment. Between mixing up which days you take which pills, and possibly forgetting entirely, there are a variety of problems that can happen. In fact, for the older population who are trying to age in place, or people with chronic illnesses, the most common result is hospitalization. That's where Pillo Health comes in.

This happy looking device is a smart pillbox, which is designed to help those who have complicated pill schedules maintain their schedule and, therefore, their health. Using voice activation, the Pillo is able to dispense medications as needed, with reminders built-in to keep you on schedule. If there is more than one device in the house, the Pillo can be set to only respond to a single user, preventing two people from mixing up their medications.

But Pillo is more than just a medication dispenser. In addition to dispensing, it also maintains your compliance through a series of processes. If you are out of compliance with your plan, Pillo can notify your support system, which can include medical professionals, including doctors and in-home specialists, friends, and family. They can then intervene in the case of an emergency.

Outside of medication aspect of the hardware, Pillo is also able to help with other aspects of your daily health program. It can keep track of other medical appointments, with doctor appointment and therapy reminders. You can also use the voice interface or touchscreen to get information about your health and the health impacts of the things in your life. For example, you can get calorie information about your favorite snack. You can also get general information, including local weather.

The Pillo is available now for $499, with a $39 monthly subscription for the extended suite of functionality.

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Heatworks is saving electricity by reinventing the way we heat water

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Heatworks is saving electricity by reinventing the way we heat water

2019-03-03

You may not know this, but the way we heat water has not changed in most of our lifetimes. The current process is not energy efficient, has little to no temperature control, and is truthfully a little gross. The coils that are used to heat the water get covered in a buildup and sit right in the water. Luckily, that is all about to change, thanks to Heatworks, which has reconsidered the concept from the basics.

The new technology uses graphite electrodes instead of coils. These electrodes push electricity across the water, using the minerals in the water. This process heats the water nearly instantly and can do it within a degree of a predetermined target. There are many benefits to this technology, not the least of which is no longer needed a hot water tank, where a heater constantly keeps a large supply of water hot. This change is a large portion of what saves electricity.

Another huge benefit is the ability to use hot water in more than one application at once, without the fear of running out of hot water. We've all had to make the tough decision as to whether to take a shower or run the washing machine, knowing that doing both will guarantee that the tank runs out of hot water.

While the company is working to license the technology to standard appliance manufacturers, they have produced some products themselves to go along with the standard in-home water heater replacement. The most impressive of which is a small, self-contained dishwasher called Tetra. The appliance is designed to be used on a countertop and requires no water hookup. Instead, you simply pour a gallon of water into a tray and, when the process is complete, empty the water from another tray.

In addition to Tetra is a water pitcher called Duo. This pitcher can pour hot water on-demand from one spout and can be set to a specific temperature while pouring cold water from the other spout. This is perfect for use with coffees and tea that have an ideal temperature for flavor, which most do.

The Heatworks Model 3 water heater is available now for $799, with a regular retail price of $899. The Tetra and Duo are both in final development, and you can get updates on the website.

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Jammy is a digital guitar that makes travel easier for players

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Jammy is a digital guitar that makes travel easier for players

2019-03-03

While the guitar is one of the most popular instruments to learn, it is also one of the most difficult to transport. The large size makes it nearly impossible to bring onto a plane, with several well-known incidents of professional players having their guitars damaged during transportation. That is where the Jammy portable guitar comes into play. Unlike a regular guitar, the Jammy can snap apart into 2 pieces, making it small enough to fit into a backpack.

The Jammy is a fully-capable digital guitar featuring real steel strings. Rather than using the strings to create sound directly, the Jammy is a MIDI controller, turning your actions into digital commands. Those commands can, naturally, replicate the acoustics of a guitar, but can be used to produce any number of collections of sounds. The best part of all of this is that all of the signal processing can be done directly on the guitar, meaning you don't need a phone or tablet in the mix for the Jammy to work. This gives you the power of digital audio without the lag of external processing.

On the device is a collection of audio interfaces. The first is the obvious: a 1/4" jack, which is the standard for connecting an electric guitar to an amplifier or professional sound system. If you're not playing in public, you can use the 1/8" jack, which is the standard jack for headphones. With that, you can play entirely privately, using your own choice of headphones. Finally, it also features a MIDI interface over USB-C, so that you can connect the Jammy to a computer. Jammy can then be used with any number of music programs to create beats and more.

The Jammy can currently be preordered for $399, with a future retail price of $499.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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SELFLY allows you to take the perfect selfie without a stick

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SELFLY allows you to take the perfect selfie without a stick

2019-03-02

The biggest trend in technology in the past decade might just be selfies. Encouraged by services like Instagram and Snapchat, and glamorized by celebrities, almost everyone has at least one. The problem is often that the angle of a camera held by the photographer prevents great framing. It's even worse when there is a group. In fact, even on our team we only have a couple of people who can get a good group selfie. For the rest of us, we now have the SELFLY drone.

This tiny multicopter is actually designed to be part of a phone case, meaning that it is always with you. That means that the drone is always with you when you're ready to take the perfect selfie or record the perfect video. How does the drone help with that, you might ask. Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Using your phone, you can control the drone like a standard multicopter, allowing you to aim the camera and frame your photo or video exactly as you want.

None of that makes the device a drone, however. The drone capabilities come when you use the copter's ability to lock onto a target. Once the SELFLY is in the air, it has the ability to choose a person and follow them as they move around. This is a perfect feature for filming a video without a camera person. You can lock the camera onto yourself and move around, having the camera act as your camera person.

One of the best features, and certainly one of the things that set it apart from other drones, is the ability to use gestures. Rather than having to carry your phone to take a photo, you can actually trigger the shutter with a hand movement. That will keep your photos clear of the clutter of your phone.

The SELFLY drone is available now for $99.

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OV Loop makes texting with your voice easier and more usable

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OV Loop makes texting with your voice easier and more usable

2019-03-02

As we all know, texting and driving is a huge problem. Every tech company has seemingly worked to help solve this problem in various ways. The most obvious way to tackle the problem is via voice commands and messaging, but for anyone who has tried to use a service like Siri or Google Assistant for text message transcription knows just how poorly it can work. The team at OV Loop have a new and novel take on the problem: the OV App.

While using your device's native voice service for messaging, the recipient receives a computer-powered transcription of what it thinks you said; the inaccuracies of which are well-known. With the OV App, OV Loop's messaging system, not only does the recipient receive a transcription, but they also receive the original recording. This means that when you inevitably receive a message that makes no sense, you can still decipher the intent by listening to the original voice. The best part of all of this is that it can be accomplished with minimal interaction with your device. In addition to text and voice, the app can also do what you expect from a messaging system, like photos and videos.

The real standout feature of the platform, however, is the OV Pro headphones. While they look like standard in-ear Bluetooth headphones, they feature voice control capabilities on-board. When pairing the OV Pro with the OV App you can now send and receive messages completely hands-free. You don't even need to press a button to summon the voice commands like a standard Bluetooth device. This makes using them in the wild a far safer experience. You can even use the OV Pro to trigger your device's native assistant to perform all of the tasks you would expect.

The OV App is available now for free for Android and iOs and the OV Pro is available for $179.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Soundbrenner modernizes the metronome with a wearable device

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Soundbrenner modernizes the metronome with a wearable device

2019-03-02

When you think of products that are ripe for innovation, your short list probably does not include the metronome, the traditionally pyramid-shaped device that musicians use while practicing to keep their rhythm. Luckily, the team at Soundbrenner felt differently. This team of musicians saw that there were some obvious pitfalls to the traditional metronome device and set out to solve them with the Soundbrenner Pulse.

The first, most obvious problem is that the sound of the metronome can easily get drowned out by music, especially if you're practicing as a band. There have been some solutions, but none of them are great, like having multiple devices or trying to mic the timer. With Pulse, however, loud music isn't a problem. This device is worn on your wrist like a watch, or can be attached to a guitar strap, or however you feel comfortable, and uses light and vibration to overcome the limitations of audible timing. All you have to do is tap the face of the Pulse to the rhythm you want to set, and the Pulse will keep the rhythm until you tell it to stop.

Another problem with band practice is keeping the whole band in sync. The Pulse allows you to sync up to 5 devices together, so everyone is on the same beat. This is done via Bluetooth, using one device as an active and the rest are set as passive recipients. This gives a band the ability to stay together as they learn a new song, or even during a performance, where acoustics in a venue can throw off the group's rhythm.

This year, the company is introducing the Soundbrenner Core, a new take on its established product. In addition to all of the features of the Pulse, Core brings some cool new capabilities. For example, Core has the ability to assist in tuning. Using a contact microphone and a removable faceplate, the device can help any musician get their instrument into proper tune. It can also be used to measure the decibel level in the room you are in. In addition, the Core can be used as a smartwatch, receiving notifications from your phone, making it a perfect companion for any musician.

The Pulse is availabe now for $99, and the Core is available for pre-order on Indiegogo InDemand.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Polaroid Mint brings instant photos to the smartphone generation

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Polaroid Mint brings instant photos to the smartphone generation

2019-03-01

Polaroid instant print photos were once so culturally significant that they were referenced in pop music, art, and more. With digital cameras, the instant gratification of seeing a photo immediately was satisfied by the screen on the camera, leaving Polaroid in a difficult position. However, the last few years has returned the desire to hold a physical photograph, and the company that made that easy has focused on bringing that ability to the smartphone generation with a couple of different options in the Mint line.

First is the new Polaroid Mint Instant Digital Camera & Printer, an all-in-one 16-megapixel camera and printer that allows you to instantly print any photo you take. And, unlike most portable photo printers, this device requires no ink or toner. This is accomplished by following in the long Polaroid tradition of including everything into the paper. The special Zink zero ink paper gets inserted into the camera and contains everything needed to produce a printed photo. If you're a fan of the classic Polaroid look, you can even include the classic white border around the photo, making the print look exactly like a Polaroid photo of old. The Mint camera can print 40 photos per charge.

If using a special camera is not your thing, then you can grab the Polaroid Mint Instant Digital Pocket Printer instead. Just like the Mint camera, the printer uses the specialty Zink paper, meaning you don't have to maintain ink or toner in the printer. With this device, however, you can use the camera on your Android or iOS device and, using the Polaroid app and Bluetooth, print directly from your phone or tablet. Like the camera, you can include the classic border, making the photos look like a traditional Polaroid photo.

The camera is available for $99 and the printer is available for $129 now.

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Canon introduces the EOS R, their first full-frame mirrorless camera

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Canon introduces the EOS R, their first full-frame mirrorless camera

2019-03-01

Since consumers discovered smartphones, the photography industry has changed significantly. The photos that can be taken with a phone camera today are far better than the photos that could be taken with a standalone consumer digital camera 5 years ago. However, there are some things that just can't be accomplished with a consumer camera, which is where a DSLR camera comes in. And when it comes to DSLRs, no one knows those cameras quite like Canon. The company has been making professional grade photography equipment for decades and has made quite a name for themselves in the market.

While advancements come to professional level cameras every year, they don't often come at a level so great that it requires a reconsideration of the hardware itself. That is exactly what has happened this year, however, as Canon introduces the EOS R, the company's first ever full-frame mirrorless camera. Traditionally, DSLR cameras use mirrors to reflect light to project the image onto the sensor, which works well but is not a perfect solution to retain full image quality. By eliminating the mirrors, Canon has taken their already top-of-the-line cameras and made them better.

Because of the major change in technology and setup, Canon has also reconsidered their lens mount. The new setup allows for significantly higher quality lenses to be produced for the cameras, as well as adding capabilities that would not have been possible previously. For example, on display in the booth and featured in the interview, the company showed off one of their news lens arrays, where you could see just how many individual lenses are packed into the array. The good news is, the company also took into consideration that many photographers already have a large collection of Canon lenses for previous EOS cameras and has designed a lens adapter to allow you to continue to use those existing pieces of equipment.

The Canon EOS R is available now in various packages.

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The Canon Rayo projector packs a large image into a very small package

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The Canon Rayo projector packs a large image into a very small package

2019-02-28

When most people think of Canon, their first thoughts tend to be of cameras, and for good reason: the company has been making cameras and lenses since at least 1940. But soon, some people might think of projectors first thanks to the Rayo S1 mini projector. While Canon is no newcomer to projectors, the S1 takes on a whole new market in a big way. This little device is able to produce an 84-inch image with only about 3 meters of throw distance while being only about the size of a portable CD player.

This projector is the perfect companion for any salesperson, as they can easily carry it in their laptop bag or briefcase and, since it has an internal battery, they won't even need to find a power supply in the room where they are giving their presentation. Imagine being able to easily set up in a coffee shop without having to sit in just the right booth.

In addition, the S1 itself runs a version of Android right on the projector. Because of that, you can install apps directly onto the device and use it without any external device plugged in. A member of the Canon team discovered that if he strapped the projector to the side of his bed, he could use Netflix on his ceiling without any setup.

At $259, this mini projector can even be part of anyone's travel bag. Rather than carrying every possible cable that a hotel television might have so that you can watch Hulu at night only to be disappointed because the hotel TV doesn't have working HDMI ports, you can bring the S1 projector with you and know that it is going to work without any problems.

The Rayo S1 mini projector should be available this May from Canon.

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A blast from the past combined with robotic futurism at Crosley Brands

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A blast from the past combined with robotic futurism at Crosley Brands

2019-02-28

To so many of us, Music is Life. And Crosley Brands is right there with us. There is always so much fun stuff to explore and we have an absolute blast when we visit their booth at CES. Honestly, this year may just have been the most fun yet. The retro feel and cool vibes come second only to the hospitality of the Crosley crew. They always share our excitement while giving us a tour of their new products.

First up was Jason Menard, Director of
 Marketing, to show off their new cassette players. That's right, radios with cassette tape players. These sweet little players were brought back by popular demand as many customers have been asking for them. And as cute as they are, don't let the retro look fool you. They are chocked full of every modern technical convenience that you want. You can make bae a rad mixtape easier than ever before thanks to the ability to use a flash drive, sd card, and four different radio bands. And you won't need to dig out your Mr. Mike to sing along with the recordings of your favorite tunes because there's a mic built right in. And the upgraded model boasts a functional VU meter. You'll be able to ramp the volume up to the max and adjust the bass and treble to your own specs with the adjustment knobs on top. If you're ready to start a new mixtape collection of your own, you can grab yours from Amazon with the following links, CT100, CT200.

Next up was the most impressive and fascinating new product in their line. It provided almost as much entertainment as the Bellagio fountains for our PLuGHiTz Live crew, as it was equally hard to pull ourselves away from the musical theatrics. Chris White from Sound Leisure demonstrated the full-sized LP Jukebox that he designed. Everybody knows that we love all things robots and this masterpiece is integrated with lights and music. So basically, all of our favorite things. We were mesmerized! In the past, they've done the 7-inch 
singles, CD's and Digital in past jukeboxes but this is the first one that's playing 
full-size records. 
It holds ten LP's and it's 
mechanical so it will change them 
automatically. You can play each side. It also has Bluetooth and auxiliary 
inputs and outputs that allow you to run extension 
speakers off of it, as well. There's a fully functioning remote control so you can even change the 
color of the lights with the flick 
of a button. You've got 10 hours of 
music really without leaving your chair. And really, you won't want to because it's truly music and a show.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Bingaman, President of Deer 
Park Distributors and Carrie Colliton, Co-Founder of Record Store Day. In recent years, Crosley has celebrated Record Store Day with a special new product. This year it's the adorable RSD 3 Mini Turntable. It uses 3-inch vinyl records, which were popular in Japan in the early 2000s. They are bringing them back for a launch with the mini turntable on Record Store Day, which is April 14th. It will be available in hundreds of record stores on that date, along with an assortment of vinyls for playing. Titles from artists like the Foo Fighters and Jack White will be among the first released. This cute little guy is small in size but large in sound. It has a built-in speaker but also a USB power headphone jack and can be hooked up to any external speaker. Carrie pointed out that this is a perfect way to celebrate the day. Record enthusiasts will have a cute, portable little turntable that will play one song and bring happiness. The vinyls can be played and shared like playing cards as people listen together. The price point is still to be determined, but they expect it to be in the $70 range. I know that we'll be looking out for one of our own. If you purchase one as well, don't forget to come back and leave comments about how you like it and which tunes you have.

To get more information about these and their entire product line, check out their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Amazing and affordable sound to fit all of your needs from TCL

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Amazing and affordable sound to fit all of your needs from TCL

2019-02-28

No tour of the TCL booth at CES would be complete without checking out the sound systems. We already
know that they make amazing TV's that get better every year. However, as the sets get thinner, the more
 difficult it gets to deliver good sound. Bruce Walker gave us the skinny on their new sound tech.

In the next couple of months, 
TCL will be introducing a family of sound
bars that are designed to deliver a great audio
 experience. The line up
 will contain two families of sound
bars called the Alto 5 and the
 Alto 7. Both will 
be available with or without a wireless subwoofer. 
The Alto 7 improves the
 audio of the Alto five by having
 separate woofers and tweeters in the
 main sound bar for better clarity. The 7 has a slightly bigger subwoofer and also has 
the ability to have HDMI connectivity. This allows for 
one cable connection to the TV
 for automatic communication between the two for easy control. 
The best part is that these sound bars that
 are under $200 but deliver very 
good and robust sound quality. There are also three preset sound modes including movie
, music, and news to tailor the sound to
 what you're watching and offer a
 great home theater experience on a budget.

Also in the sound section, this year is a new family of headphones that aim to appeal to a wider and younger audience. The lineup includes the SOCL for the inspired lifestyle, the MTRO for a bold sound, the ACTV that are perfect for any workout and their ELIT headphones that will deliver premium performance. And we have to say, the prices can't be beaten. Prices range from $10 to $99 but don't think that you will have to skimp on features. From 18-hour battery life to an integrated remote and everything in between, you will be able to match the perfect set of headphones to every aspect of your life.

To learn more about the entire TCL line, click here to visit their website after you watch the full interview.

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Powerful performance and superior picture quality in these TCL TVs

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Powerful performance and superior picture quality in these TCL TVs

2019-02-21

CES is so much fun! There are seemingly endless venues and halls with everything from record players to autonomous vehicles. There's so much to take in, everywhere you look. For a truly unique experience, I have to say that walking through Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is simply amazing. It is absolutely mesmerizing to see the grand displays of technology that encompass this most exciting hall of the show. Whether it's your first time through the hall or your hundredth, a true tech junkie can't help but almost feel giddy when surrounded by all of the lights, sounds, and displays.

Once some of the initial shock and awe start to settle in, it's always so nice to visit those friendly faces at the booths in which we have developed a relationship with over the years. One of these companies for us is, without a doubt, TCL. From their press conference that kicks off the week on Monday at Mandalay Bay, to their booth at LVCC, we thoroughly enjoy our experience with them, every single year. We were fortunate to meet up again this year with our friend, product evangelist, Bruce Walker.

While we were perusing through their array of television sets, Bruce spent some time with us to discuss some of the newer technology that will be coming out soon. As was a common theme with most of the larger television vendors here on the show floor, 8K technology is ramping up for what appears will be a huge explosion into the market and our media rooms. And it probably goes without saying that the demos on the floor were quite impressive. TCL is leading the way with bringing this new tech to us in a responsible manner. They are not trying to merely hit the market with these new sets, they want to make sure that their customers get the quality that they deserve from the number two retailer of television sets in the US in 2018. As we all know, just throwing together an 8K set is not enough because when they hit the retail stores, there will be extremely limited content actually available in 8K. That's why they are including an up-conversion technology that will be able to handle the existing, lower resolution content and give you the best picture possible.

Also coming up will be an enhancement to their Roku sets. Not only will they continue with this feature built right in, but it will be Smart Roku, connecting to other smart devices in the home and with voice recognition that will know your voice and interact with you conversationally with its four built in, directional microphones. It will be simple and easy to use. You'll have a hard time deciding if that is your favorite feature or the 33 million pixels that offer up to a 300% improvement in picture quality.

You can learn more about their existing line, and keep an eye out for these new releases, by visiting their website.

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Intel helps Resolve a big problem for animal preserves: poaching

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Intel helps Resolve a big problem for animal preserves: poaching

2019-02-21

One of the things that Intel is known for is custom designing unique solutions for clients with unusual needs. One such organization that Intel has worked with is Resolve, a group partnering with the National Geographic Society and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to prevent animal poaching. This nonprofit group installs cameras throughout habitats, in particular, elephant habitats, to track potential poachers and alert on potential dangers.

Before Intel's participation, Resolve had been installing standard cameras which would send alerts based on activity. These cameras used a fairly standard amount of power for a camera, but it did require that the batteries be charged or replaced on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this solution could only help to catch poachers after an incident had occurred. With Intel's help, Resolve has been able to begin implementing a new version of their TrailGuard cameras that solves both of these problems. The battery issue is solved by making the cameras passive, meaning that a charge can last up to a year and a half.

The biggest upgrade, however, comes in the inclusion of Intel's artificial intelligence technology. With the addition of the AI, combined with Movidius Vision Processing Units, Intel was able to predict a poaching event before it happens. This means that the technology can send alerts before an animal dies, giving Resolve the ability to intervene and save the life of the animal, not just identify and prosecute the poachers afterward.

All of this technology is made available in a device that is far smaller than the hardware used previously. In fact, the entire array, with the camera and AI onboard, is only about the size of a pencil. The size helps to make it easier to make the device covert, so it is harder for a poacher to detect and disable the device.

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Here Comes the Bus brings added peace of mind for worrying parents

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Here Comes the Bus brings added peace of mind for worrying parents

2019-02-18

Every parent that has a child that rides the bus to school has worried about their arriving at school safely and on time. Synovia Solutions has introduced Here Comes the Bus, a platform designed for having the capability for the parent and the school district to track the bus as it delivers their children safely to their destination. It is literally a morning de-stressor for parents!

This was designed primarily for fleet management for companies to manage their drivers' behavior, progress, and patterns. They have developed an app for the school districts all over the country to also be able to track the drivers of school buses as they transport the students to school and home again. They have 900 school districts that are involved! It offers an app for parents to also observe the same thing. Now they can watch the bus' activity and follow it on the route. They will see if it is delayed for any reason or stopped in an unexpected place.

It is built on GPS technology. This allows communication with a satellite which in turn communicates with the software and then relays the information to the parents. This also allows employees of the school districts to know if there are any problems with the buses. School administrators can then be alerted to a late bus. Maintenance will also know if a potential problem with any bus is occurring.

In addition to being able to track the bus, parents are able to find out if their children have gotten on or off the bus. This is accomplished by using a barcode scanner as they get on or off the bus. If the students have an ID that already has a barcode, it can be used for this purpose. If not, one can be provided for them.

Here Comes the Bus is available now for school districts that are interested. For more information go to their website.

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Onelink brings new and innovative features to your smoke alarm

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Onelink brings new and innovative features to your smoke alarm

2019-02-18

When you are not at home, whether it be for the day or an extended period of time, an area of serious concern is the possibility of a fire in your home. The Onelink by First Alert is a new and innovative alert system for smoke and carbon monoxide detection.

This new model has all the features you would expect from traditional smoke detectors. As well as having a very sleek and modern look to it, a really positive feature is the fact that you no longer have to go through the hassle of trying to change a 9-volt battery every time you change your clocks. The Onelink uses a 10-year sealed battery so that it will last as long as the detector does. When it is time to replace the detector or install your first one, the process is made easy by using a standard hardwire connection.

The device also features the Alexa voice assistant. On the surface that may sound like a crazy idea but it is not. Rather than having to place an Amazon Echo in each room, you get to take advantage of a device that you are already legally required to have in there. So now you are able to control your Philips Hue light bulbs, your Nest thermostat, or any of the thousands of other Alexa-capable smart home devices from your Onelink.

The truly defining feature of the new Onelink is the integration of Wi-Fi mesh. By including this technology, once again you are taking advantage of devices you already have in your home for a new purpose: improving your WI-Fi reception. The mesh means that the alarms will communicate with each other and act as repeaters throughout your home. Now no matter where you are in your house or apartment you can have a strong and reliable internet connection.

The current model of the Onelink Safe & Sound is available now for $249. The mesh model will be available later on in the year. For more information go to their website.

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YubiKey adds 2FA to your online accounts without all of the hassle

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YubiKey adds 2FA to your online accounts without all of the hassle

2019-02-15

If any single topic should be a focus for 2019, it should be online security. At least once per week, if not more frequently, there are reports of a platform being hacked or data being stolen. More often than not, the data that is stolen is user credentials: username, email, and password. Because we all use so many different services, it is fairly common practice to use the same password for some, many, or all services being used. Because of that, a single breach can compromise every system that you use.

These breaches have certainly brought about the importance of 2-factor authentication, more commonly referred to as 2FA. The common way of dealing with 2FA is either by receiving a number via text or through one of the authenticator apps. The good news is that there is a better way to protect your account. The YubiKey by Yubico is a physical 2FA device that secures your accounts with biometrics. Rather than having to get a text message to a phone that you have to then type into another service, all you have to do is touch the little device and you're done.

In addition to 2FA, the YubiKey can also be used as a primary authentication method. For example, Microsoft supports the concept of a biometric login, allowing you to not have to use your email address and password at all to log in to your Office 365 account, OneDrive, or even your email. Simply touch your finger to the YubiKey and you're logged in.

There is a range of keys available, depending on how you are planning on using it. From a standard USB-C key to a low-profile key, and even one designed for NFC, allowing you to use it with Android, there is a YubiKey to protect your accounts.

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ThirdEye brings the power of mixed reality to a lightweight headset

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ThirdEye brings the power of mixed reality to a lightweight headset

2019-02-15

The last couple of years have brought a lot of interest back to virtual reality and augmented reality. In the AR world, while Microsoft's HoloLens might be the best-known brand, there are a lot of companies bringing a lot of major innovation to their own AR headsets. One such company is ThirdEye, who is bringing their second generation AR headset, the X2, to market in the near future. This headset is the smallest mixed reality headset available, weighing in at only 6 ounces (as opposed to the HoloLens, which comes in at 20 ounces, or 1.28 pounds). All of this is accomplished while not being required to be tethered to a computer or any external computing device.

The weight isn't the only feature that sets the X2 apart from its competition. One of the biggest problems with augmented reality and mixed reality hardware is the field of vision. Essentially, that means that the hardware itself block a large portion of your peripheral vision or that the viewable area of the screen is only a very small portion of the overall viewable area. The X2 has taken this problem to task and created a 42-degree field of vision. For reference, this is the equivalent of a 90" television in your living room.

Obviously, none of this has any value if there is no software available for the platform. To address this concern, the X2 runs on Android 8, meaning that anyone who can develop applications for Android can develop for this mixed reality headset. To aid in that endeavor, ThirdEye has the VisionEye SLAM SDK, which provides the ability to track position with six degrees of freedom, allowing for high precision.

The X2 is currently not available but can be preordered with delivery planned for later in 2019. The preorder price for the hardware is $1,950.

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Phyn can bring peace of mind to homeowners by detecting water leaks

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Phyn can bring peace of mind to homeowners by detecting water leaks

2019-02-14

One of the biggest fears for any homeowner is a water leak. In the best case scenario, it can cost extra money every month on a water bill because of a very small leak. Worst case scenario, it can damage floors, walls, ceilings, and even foundations, meaning expensive home repairs on top of expensive plumbing repairs. Coming to the rescue of homeowners everywhere is a solution from an unlikely source.

Phyn is a smart water meter from parent company Belkin that can help identify and stop leaks before they cause any real damage. Using only a single device on the main incoming water line, Phyn is able to detect when standard water events occur, such as flushing a toilet and taking a shower. It is then able to determine when an unusual water event happens, whether it be something as small as a toilet running too long or a broken line because of pipe temperature.

Once Phyn detects a problem, it can act in a variety of different ways. The device can act entirely passively, sending a notification to your smartphone letting you know what it is that the device has discovered. From there, you can make a decision on how to proceed, either shutting off the water or looking into the problem further, yourself or with a plumber. It can also act on its own, shutting the water off entirely to prevent any further damage.

Luckily, the setup for Phyn is fairly simple, and the device even features an LED panel across the front to give feedback. During the setup process, it lets you know what state the device is in. During usage, the screen shows water flow intensity so that you can see how much water is flowing through the Phyn. Once you've configured Phyn, the device does all of the work itself, allowing you to no longer fear water damage at home.

Phyn is available now for $850.

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The Wireless Power Consortium is making the kitchen easier to use

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The Wireless Power Consortium is making the kitchen easier to use

2019-02-14

Every year, we take the opportunity to speak with the Wireless Power Consortium to see what is happening with Qi. This year, however, we had a pleasant surprise: the standard that we have been excited about for years was finally close to ready for the market. This new standard is similar to Qi in that is delivers electricity wirelessly and through surfaces, but it has one major difference: the amount of power it can deliver.

This new standard, which has yet to be named, takes the 15 watts that Qi produces and enhances it to 2,200 watts. If that sounds like a huge upgrade, that's because it is. The enhancement is essential, as the new technology has a totally different intention. Rather than charging phones and other small electronics, the new standard is designed to provide power for kitchen appliances, which can require a lot of power.

One of the biggest benefits of the new standard is the ability to recover counter space in your kitchen. Imagine not having to have a dedicated stovetop, and getting to have that as additional counter space. Instead, you can simply place your inductive pan somewhere on your counter, turn it on, and start to cook. When done, you can pick up the pan and place a cutting board and cut vegetables without fear. That is because there is no residual heat on the surface itself.

While this would be great in just about any kitchen, it is especially useful for people with small kitchens. If you live in a small apartment, or just have a small kitchen, you know that counter space is a premium. Being able to recover that much counter space, and to turn some or all of the surface into a multi-purpose, powered counter, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Intel shows off what the future of Wi-Fi 6 means for VR and gaming

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Intel shows off what the future of Wi-Fi 6 means for VR and gaming

2019-02-13

If there was any single technology that we absolutely rely on in our homes, it would be Wi-Fi. We all have a lot of devices that connect to our Wi-Fi networks, with laptops, tablets, and phones being the most common. But, today we've got so much more dependent on our in-home networks, like smart speakers, thermostats, and more.

Even with all of these changes in the way we use Wi-Fi, the biggest complication in Wi-Fi is the addition of high-use devices, such as virtual reality and augmented reality hardware. Standalone hardware like this, which gets its video feed over the network as opposed to being plugged in directly to a computer move a tremendous amount of data over the network. By using this hardware, you can stress your network to the point where other devices, including the computer pushing the video, can experience massive lag.

Fortunately, the next generation of Wi-Fi is almost here. With the reveal of this new technology, running on the 802.11ax standard, we get a much needed new naming convention. Rather than being known by their technological standard, as they always have, the new standard will be generational. The new generation will be known as Wi-Fi 6, with 802.11n becoming Wi-Fi 4 and 802.11ac becoming Wi-Fi 5. The biggest change in Wi-Fi 6 will be a huge increase in stability when stressed.

As evidence, Intel gave us a demo of their Wi-Fi 6 prototype hardware powering a complete virtual reality setup. That included the laptop that was rendering the video and the headset that was controlling it. Having gotten to experience the VR myself, I can confirm that there was never a moment of lag. The video was smooth from start to finish, and all of the controls were responsive. Based on this experience, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be a huge improvement for VR, but also for standard gaming, streaming and more.

Intel expects PCs and routers to begin shipping with Wi-Fi 6 in the first half of 2019.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The fantastic way this French company brings IoT to retail shopping

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The fantastic way this French company brings IoT to retail shopping

2019-02-13

Nobody thinks a whole lot about the price tags at retail stores. Well, that is until you come across one that is priced incorrectly or is missing all together. On the flip side, it gets to be a lot when you are the store sales associate who has to keep up with changing prices. It's a never ending battle. At least once every week, when there is a promotion, they have to switch out the sales prices with the regular ones, and then price the new sales items for the next promotion. It's a time consuming process that usually ends up being quite imperfect.

French company, SES-imagotag, has an easy and unique solution for exactly these situations, with a lot of other nice perks built right in. And this concept, which seems so simplistic that it really doesn't need any discussion about it, is actually quite interesting in that it has so many practical uses for both the retailer and the consumer. For starters, retailers will have a central command center where they can set and make all pricing and product adjustments automatically. For smaller retail shops, this command center would be right there in their back offices. For larger retailers, it could even be located at a nationwide headquarters. Similar to large chains who currently, say, have all of the same music playing in each store, that is controlled remotely. They would also be able to ensure that their pricing integrity is always on point. No more mistakes at the individual contributor employee level for missing a sales price or not removing one after the sales is over, creating embarrassment and pricing exceptions if a shopper finds it first.

But accurate pricing is not the only feature of these sleek little gizmos. Maybe even more importantly, they can each be customized to fit with store and product strategies. Not only can SKU numbers and product names be added, but also logos, QR Codes and NFC Chips can be included. This gives the shopper a huge advantage while deciding upon a product. Imagine being able to instantly connect to the product's internet home page right on your smart phone to get additional information and compare prices. It gives more power for smart buying decisions without needing to search for a sales person who may or may not have all of that information that you need.

While this type of electronic product tagging system is beginning to hit the ground in France, the model that we encountered at CES 2019 is still in the prototype stage. It is getting closer to being brought to market and they hope to introduce it in U.S. markets in the near future. For more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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DS Services brings IoT to their clean, delicious drinking water

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DS Services brings IoT to their clean, delicious drinking water

2019-02-12

This year at CES 2019, our PLuGHiTz Live crew was on a mission to find unusual and impressive new IoT products. Although we had a feeling that we would find a few silly products that really had no business being internet connected. But we were quite happy when we were able to find some new and useful IoT adaptations, as well.

DS Services was one of the companies that made this list. For many years, they have prided themselves on delivering safe, great-tasting bottled drinking water to homes and offices across the U.S. They also offer their own brewed coffee beverages and office break-room supplies. And, under the Relyant brand, they offer drinking water filtration systems, equipment and services. Here at CES this year, they are showcasing a new technology that is being added to their reverse osmosis water filtration systems.

These new systems offer some great new features that not only provide excellent service for their customers, but also give the company and its technicians the information needed to keep everything functioning properly, at the highest efficiently possible. Provided are a multitude of data that allows each unit to communicate the parameters of the system to the customer, as well as to the technicians. It measures things like the performance of the membrane and the cold and hot water usage. This information can let them know about things like heavy runs or even compressor issues. All of which allows the company to be more proactive, which in turn can provide cost savings for the customers.

The system can also measure how many gallons are going through the system for timely filter changes. Prior to this, the industry standard has been going out to change the filter every 12 months, whether the customer has used the current one to capacity or not. These new units will instead warn the company that a new filter is needed, whether it's been 3 months or 16, depending upon exact usage. There is also leak detection monitoring built right in. So, in many cases, they will know of a problem with your system before you do and already have a technician dispatched out to get it resolved.

These units operate by sending all data over a cellular network, so there is no concern with any tampering with your personal wireless network. Users have access to their data via a dashboard in their mobile app. DS Services is expecting to launch this new model in April 2019 and they feel it will be a real game changer in the industry. You can find out more by visiting their website here.

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Keep the party going with these kickin' speakers from Altec Lansing

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Keep the party going with these kickin' speakers from Altec Lansing

2019-02-12

When we're making our rounds throughout CES every year, there are a few familiar stops that we really look forward to visiting. Altec Lansing happens to be one of them. And, as always, we thoroughly enjoyed taking a tour of their latest and greatest.

Up first were the new Rock Box XL speakers. These fun, waterproof speakers are certainly ready to party. With an IP67 waterproof rating, you can just toss it in the pool and it'll float up with great sound. And what's really cool is that they come equipped with LED lights that not only look great as they light up the pool, but they also illuminate to the beat of the music. To top it all off, consistent with the rest of Altec Lansing's Bluetooth speaker line, you are able to connect up to 50 other speakers in line with each other. So you'll be able to turn your home into a true party house with connected speakers in the pool, on the deck, in the yard, house and anywhere you need the tunes to flow. Can you imagine a neighborhood block party with these babies? We sure can. You can start planning your festivities now, with the release date of these expected in the 2nd to 3rd quarter of 2019 at the amazing price of $49 each.

Another cool new product being featured this year is the Action Cam Speaker. It's a Bluetooth speaker that has an action cam built right in. So you'll be able to take 360-degree video while listening to your favorite playlists. Why on earth would anyone need this type of product combination? Well, it's also waterproof, allowing it to be mounted on a kayak so you can capture all of the amazing views that you encounter while also listening to your music. It can also be great at a party to catch all of the action, or on a bicycle. The possibilities are plentiful. You can expect these out in the 3rd or 4th quarter this year at a price point of $199.99.

There are a lot of speakers in the complete line with a full range of great features. Prices start at just $29.99 and go up to $299. You'll surely find something that you will love, so make sure to check out their website to pick out your favorites.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Velco brings fantastic navigation systems right to your bicycle

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Velco brings fantastic navigation systems right to your bicycle

2019-02-04

We've all seen numerous TV shows and news reports that show how much congestion there is in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The standstill traffic seems endless. A lot of us cannot even imagine being in those situations in a taxi, let alone maneuvering our own cars around in them. Many people who live in large cities like these throughout the world keep their daily living circles tight, with home, work, groceries and bars/restaurants within walking distance. Bicycling is also a very popular mode of transportation in these urban settings. Not only does it provide exercise and health benefits, but also allows for an extension of their usual walking radius.

Velco is a French tech company that has the simple, yet earnest vision to create an environment for smarter and more personalized urban mobility. They have a true understanding of the real issues in the various urban mobility markets as they are surrounded by cycling organizations and businesses. As delivery companies, bike sharing services, tour operators and even police forces utilize bicycles more and more in their daily operations, they need to have many of the same, easy to use modern conveniences that we do in our vehicles. As a result, they are designing and marketing connected solutions for mobility professionals all over the world.

We stopped into the Velco booth at CES Unveiled 2019 to get a closer look. CEO, Pierre Regnier showed us a couple of their new products. First off is a navigation device called Tom-E. It offers a unique, intuitive and universal navigation system that is based on light signals. This system basically revolutionizes the daily commute on your bicycle or really any preferred means of transportation. It is simple and compact. Just enter your destination, lock your phone, tuck it away and let yourself be guided.

Also being showcased was the Wink Bar, a connected handlebar that will absolutely revolutionize daily cycling. This smart handlebar can be installed on any bike and connects through your smartphone. It enables riders to now enjoy intuitive GPS navigation while en route. Features include Track & Trace anti-theft as well as powerful integrated headlights.

These innovative new products bring familiar conveniences to our bike riding experience, whether for work or leisure. Riders are able to utilize them while maintaining safety. Prices start at $79.00 for the Tom-E and $279 for the Wink Bar. To find out more about the company and their product line, visit their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Altec Lansing makes listening to your music in style a breeze

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Altec Lansing makes listening to your music in style a breeze

2019-02-03

While a lot of audio companies are producing headphones that sound good, very few combine great audio with the ability to express your style. Altec Lansing, however, produces products with just that combination. Whatever your style and plan of use, Altec Lansing has a headphone for you.

Likely the most unique product in the line is the Glow Run earbuds. These earbuds are designed for use when running and feature an illuminated wire. Obviously, one purpose for the illumination is for fun and style, as the earbuds come in a variety of colors. However, there is a safety feature included, since running outside at night gets a lot safer when you have a light on your body. It's pretty common for runners to carry a light on their waist, but with the Glow Run, you've got it all in your earbuds. The Glow Runs will retail for $49.

Another popular product in headphones this year is True Wireless, and Altec Lansing has enhanced their EVO line of earbuds to feature several models. The standard EVO model runs $59 and features 5 hours of playtime and 3 additional charges through the case. The EVO+ model runs $99 and adds Qi charging to the case and an additional full charge and comes with a Qi charging pad. The EVO Sport runs $119 and extends the playtime of the earbuds to 6 hours and offers 5 full charges in the case. The EVO ANC runs $149 and adds active noise cancelation to the mix, which is perfect when you're in a position with a lot of background noise, such as on an airplane.

In addition, there is the more standard line of headphones, all of which feature Altec Lansing's great sound quality and variety of colors, styles, and materials to make the headphone experience your own. You can see their full lineup on their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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This sweet and cuddly little robot might just melt your heart

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This sweet and cuddly little robot might just melt your heart

2019-02-03

Are you thinking about how you really want a new puppy, but don't want to worry about housebreaking. Or maybe a cute little kitty, but there's no good place to put the litter box? And those baby goats that are all over your social media feed doing yoga certainly are cute, but oh wait, they might eat the couch. Wouldn't it be great to have a cute little pet without all of the hassles?

Well, we stumbled upon a new robot while at CES Unveiled 2019. This really wasn't anything unusual for us. In the last several years, it has become quite common to be introduced to various bots that provide everything from home surveillance to learning and game programs for the kids. And to be honest, when we first encountered these new little guys, we actually smiled and walked on by. But after seeing them rolling around the show floor and interacting with the crowds at the booth, we soon realized that there was something a little different with them, and we went back to take a closer look.

And lucky for us, we did cause we got to meet LOVOT, a new home robot by the Japanese company GROOVE X that is designed to be as sweet and fun to have around as a pet. Now, admittedly, on the surface, it kind of seems unlikely that this kind of droid could capture our hearts and become part of the family, as a pet would. But I have to say that the longer we were around LOVOT, the more we fell in love. The realistic shape of his eyes enables him to easily display emotion and the way he interacts with the environment around him is quite endearing. When he rolled up with that sweet look and held up his flippers, indicating that he wanted to be picked up, I have to admit that I instantly wanted one.

The company's goal was simple, to create a robot that makes people happy. And as we can attest, when you interact with it via touch, embrace, even simply watching it, you'll find yourself smiling, relaxing, feeling better. This is because they used technology that was not meant to improve convenience or efficiency but to enhance levels of comfort and feelings of love. LOVOT accomplishes this by reacting to your mood, learning, and bonding with you over time and recognizing different individuals for separate interactions. Plus, they are capable of interacting with each other, like pets do, when there is more than one in the household. Also, they are soft and warm and, as the product line develops, will have fun accessories and wardrobes to go with any personality.

LOVOT is currently available for pre-sale in Japan. A launch date has not yet been announced for the US, but the anticipated price will be approximately $3,000. To learn more, make sure to visit both the Lovot and the GROOVE X websites.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Voyager can take you where you want to go in a fun, new style!

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Voyager can take you where you want to go in a fun, new style!

2019-01-31

In the last few years the skateboard, the scooter, and the bike have practically been totally transformed. These recreational products have come a long way since they were invented. We spoke to Lloyd Gladstone, head of Product Development for Voyager, who produce a number of products in this area. For example, the company makes a line of electric skateboards, branded Tony Hawk model and Voyager. They have a 6-mile range on a charge and can go 12.5 mph. Price points range from $149-$199.

The focal point of the product line, however, if their line of electric scooters and bicycles. All of these products feature a Qi-enabled phone holder, as well as Bluetooth controls, allowing you to interact with the device's controls and GPS without ever taking your eyes off of the road. These features not only add smart capabilities but also make the products smarter. The Voyager line offers a number of scooter options ranging from $299 to $499.

One of the more interesting features of the bicycles we saw was a hidden motor. Rather than looking like a regular electric bicycle, this model had the motor hidden in the wheel and the battery hidden in the frame. Another model offered the ability to remove the battery, allowing you to have more than one, so you can charge one while you use another. Both of these models can run for around 30 miles on a charge up to 20 mph.

In addition, he showed us several really interesting hoverboards. One, in particular, is called the Glowboard, which is lighted and makes it safer at night and also has a color-changing feature. The other one has a strobe effect and lights up your path and also flashes strobe lighting. Extending the hoverboard idea is the Space Shoes. These are somewhere between a hoverboard and roller skates. The ride is more challenging than a traditional hoverboard, but once you get the hang of it, you can do some pretty cool tricks. All of these products feature gyroscopic stabilization, making it easier for you to stay standing up.

These products will probably be available in the summer of 2019. For more information, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Cleer has a wide range of speaker and headphone options for everyone

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Cleer has a wide range of speaker and headphone options for everyone

2019-01-31

The show floor at CES has certainly gotten crowded with quality audio products. As more companies up their game in sound quality, the individual products have to differentiate themselves in new and interesting ways. One of the companies that exemplifies that need is Cleer, who has a whole line of products that certainly stand out from the crowd.

The most distinctive product in their lineup is the Mirage, an Alexa-powered smart speaker. What really sets this speaker apart is that it features a flexible AMOLED screen that wraps around the cylindrical body. On the screen, you can play all sorts of content, including music videos, as demonstrated in the video. In addition to the Alexa control, you can also interact with it using the ring around the top. The bottom of the speaker features an ambient light source, making it a multifunctional device. This speaker is so unique that it was a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree.

Not to be left alone, the Mirage has a sibling: Connect, another speaker featuring a screen. Unlike the Mirage, however, the Connect has a traditional screen across its front. Connect's screen is adjustable, meaning that you can put it on your bedside table, or any other surface, and adjust the angle of the screen depending on what you are doing and where in the room you are. It also has a camera, so you could use it for video conferencing, making it a good accessory for your office, as well.

Adding to Cleer's speaker lineup is the Halo, a unique little pair of speakers designed to be worn around the neck. While they may look like headphones, they are definitely intended to have the option to share your music with the people around you. The speakers have magnets on the inside, allowing you to snap them together for easy storage and transportation.

Some of the products featured in the video are available now, while others will be made available throughout the year.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Klipsch is the best choice for the sound quality you deserve

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Klipsch is the best choice for the sound quality you deserve

2019-01-30

One of the most innovative sound companies for speakers and headphones, Klipsch, has introduced an exciting new line of products. We spoke to Mark Casavant, who is the Senior Vice President for Global Brands and Business Development. The Klipsch company has been very well-known for exceptionally high-quality sound for your music, videos, and television.

They are the first to have a complete WiSA system for high performance, which they demonstrated at CES in partnership with LG. WiSA allows you to have a full surround sound system without the need for a receiver, as the television has that technology built-in. Klipsch has always been keenly aware of what the consumer is looking for and has always strived for excellent results. Their soundbars and wireless earbuds are far superior to others on the market because they feel that if you are going to listen to music, then you should always get the best quality available.

One feature of their wireless earbuds that sets them apart and shows off the company's dedication to detail is the carrying case. Like many true wireless earbuds, the case acts as a charger for the earbuds. But, in Klipsch's case, the case is also made of a high-quality metal that is very reminiscent of the Zippo lighter. Also, like all Klipsch earbuds, the fit of the earpieces is among the best available.

There are many reasons that Klipsch is set apart from the others. Paul Klipsch was considered a founding father in the Hi-Fi industry. He did much research before he even produced his first speaker. He was able to identify all kinds of distortion that had previously been ignored by the audio industry, such as harmonic and modulation. The design philosophy of Klipsch is the relationship between efficiency and distortion and their approach to the electromechanical design of the transducers. The more efficient the product design, the less distortion exists. Minimizing the distortion to the way we hear music will result in a powerful dynamic range that is unlimited because it is so clear and crisp even at a very low volume, which is the reason people buy sound bars as TVs have small speakers. While he Tractrix horns may be one of the defining features of Klipsch speakers, it is a means to an end. It is the lack of distortion produced by these horns that really brings the sound to life.

One of the things Mark emphasized was that the Klipsch company is very attuned to the consumers' comfort and satisfaction. They aren't concerned with the convenience at the expense of quality. They want the consumer to be able to get a level of performance that defies the price point and goes up against prices that are double, but yet they aren't the lowest either.

Mark told us that there isn't a specific release date because they will be released throughout the year. For much more info you can go to their website.

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You won't believe what you can see with DeepRay's advanced AI tech

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You won't believe what you can see with DeepRay's advanced AI tech

2019-01-30

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more and more commonplace in our daily lives, there are those who aren't quite sure of the abilities of this technology in more advanced applications. Sure, it all sounds good, driverless cars and advances in medicine. But there are so many real-world distractions and distortions at play at any given time, how can any artificially created intelligence possibly understand and mitigate for them all? We had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Carmody, Head of Transports
 and Infrastructure for Cambridge Consultants, about their newest technology that will definitely help to get Artificial Intelligence to that next level of universal application.

Cambridge Consultants is a technology
 development organization that works on approximately 
400 technology projects per year with
 numerous customers. Here at CES 2019, they are showcasing DeepRay. This is a technology that their 
AI Engineers have developed
 and its purpose is to remove
 distortion from images. At first take, you might not realize the impact that this can have, but the potential uses are actually quite far-reaching. This ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence technology is able to create clear and undistorted views of the real-world from a damaged or obscured moving image. And it can do this in real time as it is able to cope with the variables of light and moving distortion. With the recent advances in deep learning, DeepRay has the power to see clearly in difficult, unpredictable situations could transform numerous machine vision and imaging applications, from autonomous driving to empowering healthcare professionals with more accurate medical imaging.

This breakthrough technology is more important now than ever and there are numerous applications for it. As you can imagine, in our near future, there are going to be a lot of robots all operating in multiple aspects of our lives. They will all rely on cameras which will encounter everything from dirt and weather to cracked and broken lenses and images. Deep Ray will allow them to make sense of the world around them for accuracy as well as safety.

Deep Ray is available for implementation right now and the company is looking for partners to 
help take it to the next level. They are also looking for customers who are looking for solutions to real-world problems in their industries. For more information, visit their website here.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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3dRudder frees up your hands to play VR games in a more natural way

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3dRudder frees up your hands to play VR games in a more natural way

2019-01-29

As the world of virtual reality gaming gets more sophisticated, so must the control systems that make the games possible. If you have played any VR games, you know that the current methods of controlling your position within the virtual world are both unnatural and self-defeating. Trying to use a standard controller to move around takes you out of the VR experience and reminds you that you are not actually experiencing those actions and activities.

Fortunately, the team at 3dRudder have created a paradigm that allows you to control your character's position with your feet. This means you can move without feeling like you are exerting an outside force on the game, but instead feeling like you are moving more naturally within the world being created for you. The product looks a little like a smaller BOSU ball, allowing you to place your feet on the platform and move in all directions simply by using your feet. Obviously, this is a far closer approximation to reality than using a controller, keeping you in the virtual reality.

While the 3dRudder has been available for PC for a while, the big addition this year was support for PlayStation VR. Combining the PlayStation Move controllers with the 3dRudder really brings gameplay far closer to reality. Being able to control your movement with your feet, while aiming and firing, punching,m etc., with the PlayStation Move wands is an incredibly accurate and realistic control system. And, by combining these two on the PlayStation, it really just makes the game more fun.

While there is obviously a lot of talk around using the 3dRudder with VR, there is no requirement that you use it within a virtual reality experience. In fact, you can use the 3dRudder with any game that accepts controller input. Now you can separate your hand controls from your foot controls on PC games, freeing you up to move around and fire quicker.

The PC and PlayStation versions of the 3dRudder hardware are available now on their website.

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OBSBOT Tail is a small and powerful AI director in your camera bag

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OBSBOT Tail is a small and powerful AI director in your camera bag

2019-01-29

When filming activity, one of the most difficult things to do is keep the people involved people in the frame. As people move around, keeping the camera trained on them is difficult enough, but moving it in a smooth manner is even more difficult. Luckily, OBSBOT is here to help with their Tail smart camera. The Tail is a surprisingly small camera, that has the ability to track people and keep them in the frame, while still packing full 4K video at 60 frames per second. This means that you can mount the camera in an appropriate position and, as the subjects move, so will the camera. Think of Tail as your own personal cinematographer.

This is accomplished with a motorized 3-axis gimbal, meaning that the camera isn't trying to crop a wider angle based on the position of the subject, which lessens the quality of the video and often creates a jittery pan. Instead, the physical movement of the lens means that you can keep the video quality and still maintain the subjects you're wanting to feature. That doesn't mean that there is no zoom capability. In fact, you can tell the Tail to follow a particular aspect of the frame, such as the subject's feet during a dance demonstration, and the Tail will only focus on the feet.

Interacting with the camera is also really easy. Rather than having to touch the camera itself, possibly shaking the video, you can take full control of it from a distance using your phone. From there you can decide your subjects and your framing, as well as taking over from the AI, holding a steady shot, rather than having the camera in motion.

The OBSBOT Tail is available now on Kickstarter through March 15, 2019, starting at about $489 USD.

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Step right in to this unique new take on virtual conferencing

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Step right in to this unique new take on virtual conferencing

2019-01-20

The video conferencing software that many consumers use on a daily basis does not actually fit most of their needs. Virtual communication is so very different from physical communication and those differences are difficult to accommodate. If you feel this way, you are in luck. Glowbl has a whole new take on how we should be communicating online by making those virtual interactions closer to real life.

Glowbl is a web/mobile based solution to bring more interactivity to virtual classrooms and conferences. In the education space, a typical classroom has a teacher that lectures to a room full of students. The teacher can walk through a slide show presentation, describe projects, and assign homework by displaying the information on a board visible by all students. Most virtual classrooms mimic this by using a screen share that has many disadvantages such as showing your personal desktop and files that may be visible during the share. Glowbl uses an upload system that takes less bandwidth, shows less of what is on your screen, and still has the advantage to share the content in real time for everyone to see.

Glowbl is as easy to use as walking into a classroom but in a virtual sense. All you need to do is launch the application and physically click and move through the "room" using your bubble. Before class starts, you can carry out conversations with your friends by moving your bubble next to theirs and only the bubbles in close proximity can hear your conversation. This technology is great for virtual teachers that assign group projects. Students can break out into groups by moving their bubble near their peers and the teacher can navigate through the room and talk to each team. You also have the ability to public and private message.

This application is currently being utilized in major universities in France but is looking to expand internationally. To find out more information about Glowbl you can visit their website here.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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You'll love the versatility of these truly wireless earbuds from 1MORE

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You'll love the versatility of these truly wireless earbuds from 1MORE

2019-01-20

Music is such a fundamental part of our lives. We have playlists for everything that we do. From parties to road trips to workouts, we bring along the tunes that create the perfect energy. With everything that music gets us to and through, it is imperative that we have the appropriate equipment with us. With so many brands out on the market these days, we need the features that enhance our lifestyles. We shouldn't settle for anything less than sleek and comfortable, with all the features that complement our mobile devices. And with 1MORE, you won't have to.

It was great to get a chance to catch up with the CEO of 1MORE, Frank Lin, this year at Showstoppers while we were in Las Vegas covering CES 2019. After receiving top honors for their headphones in 2018, the company was as determined as ever to keep the momentum going with the new additions to their line of earbuds. And this dedication paid off in a big way! Along with another Innovation award, they were also honored in 2019 as The Most Awarded Headphone Brand at CES for two years in a row. So how did they make this happen? Well, they knew that it was important to follow along with the cell phone developments from the last few years and wanted to create a really good set of wireless headphones. But not just wireless as Bluetooth connectivity alone is not enough. They wanted to join the ranks of the truly wireless. For those who aren't sure of the difference, with truly wireless, each earpiece independently syncs with the music source, as well as to each other. There are no cords or pieces in between.

The result is their new 1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones. Features include a Titanium Composite Dynamic Driver for crystal clear sound in an ultra-compact design for enhanced efficiency, ENC Microphone Technology that allows for communication in loud environments, and an LDS Antenna for less signal interference and transmission with a smooth connection for both music and phone calls. They are also lightweight and include Perfected Ergonomics with 45-degree oblique-angled nozzles to more naturally match the curve of your ear canals for a tight, secure fit with a silicone O-Hook that provides a more stable fit when you are on the move. We also love how they charge with USB-C.

To learn more and check out their entire line of headphones, visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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ispace will spark all new curiosity for future space exploration

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ispace will spark all new curiosity for future space exploration

2019-01-17

Outer space is one incredible concept that we, as Earth-dwellers are eager to learn as much as we can about. We are all enamored by space exploration and evidence of the unknown future it could bring us. This year, the PLuGHiTz crew was excited to speak with the company, ispace Inc. that is on a mission to send a Lunar Lander to the moon in 2020 and 2021. The ispace technology is centered on micro-robotics that will propel them to the future.

ispace is a startup that began in 2010 and in the span of just 9 years, they have already planned their first two missions to space. The first will occur in mid-2020 that will orbit the moon while the second mission will involve landing on and roaming the lunar surface. These first few quests have a focus on recording 360 videos of the moon for a consumer virtual reality experience of the moon's surface, a once in a lifetime experience… for now.

With the vision of expanding our living sphere and creating a sustainable world, their main objective is to explore and develop the moon's water resources. This expedition will continue to break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen to produce fuel for more rockets and "accelerate the pace of space development." The idea of mining fuel on the moon provides multiple benefits. Not only does it allow us to travel farther past the lunar orbit, but we can also learn about producing specialized machinery just for space travel. The oxygen mined could also be used to help create breathable environments in space.

The unique VR experience will be a great first step into educating the public about what is to come and what to expect from ispace. To follow their journey and exploration, you can visit their website here.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Chef Carla Hall is cooking up something truly Yummly with Whirlpool

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Chef Carla Hall is cooking up something truly Yummly with Whirlpool

2019-01-17

Every year the house gets just a little smarter, and the kitchen is really starting to feel the love. Whirlpool and KitchenAid have been adding more connectivity to their appliances, with the ability to monitor and control items, including your oven and stove, remotely. One of the more interesting ways to interact with your appliances is through the Yummly app, an app designed to help you learn to cook, as well as automate certain aspects of the process, assuming you have the appropriate appliances.

Recently, Yummly has added Pros to the platform. This feature brings a talented chef into your kitchen with you to help guide you through a recipe of theirs. One of these new Yummly Pros is Chef Carla Hall, best known for her time on Top Chef. Chef Hall joined the platform because it affords her the ability to dive into recipes that she could never have done on television, such as bread or collard greens. While it may not make for great broadcast television, it does make for a great experience to follow along with and learn from an expert.

One of the most interesting aspects of the app is the integration with the appliances. Chef Hall talked to us about how, through the app, she could help home cooks get a better grip on more complicated cooking requirements. For example, if a recipe requires that you cook on high heat for 15 minutes, then on medium heat for 10, then return to high heat for the final 10 minutes, most home cooks will leave the oven on high for the entire time. While this may work, it won't be perfect. With the integration between the app and the oven, Chef Hall can help you pre-program the oven for the correct temperatures and durations without you having to work too hard.

Yummly is available now for iOS and Android, and Chef Hall can regularly be found on GMA and Food Network.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Brain2Bot is Working to Make Robots Interact in a More Natural Way

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Brain2Bot is Working to Make Robots Interact in a More Natural Way

2018-11-27

The past few years, one of the hottest topics has been artificial intelligence. While the technology to make it happen has certainly increased at exponential rates since computer scientists began thinking about the problem a little differently, the growth of the technology is still far from what many would call advanced. As it stands today, an artificial intelligence matrix works by building a digital neural network, which is strengthened by feeding relevant data in to the matrix. As more data is fed in, the better the neural network gets at making decisions within the scope of that data.

Dr. Gunnar Newquist from Brain2Bot has a completely different idea on how to structure a network, and it is based on reality. Rather than building a virtual neural network based on data, Dr. Newquist is building molecular networks based on the way animal brains work. He is using his background as a molecular neuroscientist to study the intricacies of certain animals, and building artificial intelligences to match the way they behave.

The technology is clearly in its infancy, but has already produced impressive results. Using a bottom up approach, he studied the fruit fly, and began to model a network around the way their brains function. He started there because the fruit fly's brain is tiny, but they are capable of learning new things, and are still smarter than even the extremely modern AIs in the world today. By looking at their brain cells, and how they connect to one another and store and process data, he has learned a lot about the way a network can be structured.

Obviously, that is just the beginning, as a single species may add some smarts, but it won't quite add lifelike capabilities to robots or more natural communication to automated systems. By adding other animal research in both intelligence and emotion, he has learned some of the common threads between them, and us, and is working to build systems that will respond more naturally to external stimuli, behave in a more realistic way, all while still making our lives easier.

To learn more about Brain2Bot, their research, and their progress, check out their website.

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Magalix Takes the Headache Out of Managing the Cloud

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Magalix Takes the Headache Out of Managing the Cloud

2018-11-27

The sales pitch for migrating software to the cloud is that the cloud is less expensive than running your own data center. And, while that is an accurate statement, it is really easy to break that reality. You can easily misconfigure your application instances or virtual hardware. You can easily over-estimate your needs and build an environment that costs more than you need. You can also lose business because you underestimate your needs and make your application run slowly because it is not fully available.

Magalix has built a system to help eliminate these issues. You connect the system to your cloud platform of choice: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud, and Magalix helps you correctly configure your instances for your actual needs. The system is able to watch your actual real-world usage, and adjust the specs to meet the current needs. For example, if you get a spike in usage every Friday at 4:45pm, Magalix can learn this behavior and begin the reconfiguration to a higher spec instance early enough that it is setup and switched over in time for your rush. And, if you get a random influx at an unexpected time, Magalix can instantly spin up duplicate instances, or whatever is needed to handle the load.

More importantly, when the peak time is over, whether scheduled or not, Magalix will bring down your instance to a lower mode that is capable of handling the lower usage model. This is important because it allows you to only pay for the system requirements that you are using at any given moment, as opposed to the standard model of creating an environment that can handle the high traffic and paying that amount all the time, manually creating a schedule and hoping it works, or being not fully available. This is a must-have add-on for anyone working in the cloud.

Magalix is available now for Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.

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mIQrotech Uses Modern Technology to Prevent Ecological Disasters

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mIQrotech Uses Modern Technology to Prevent Ecological Disasters

2018-11-27

The Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are two hot topics for 2018, so it is a natural pairing to bring them together. One incredibly interesting industry that has been in need of a technological upgrade is the oil and gas industry, so mIQrotech has brought the power of modern connected technology to oil and gas pipeline management. On the surface, this might sound like a strange market to go into, but in reality, these technologies can help prevent natural disasters and slow-moving ecological events.

These pipelines currently have sensors as part of their infrastructure, but they are not terribly modern. Each current sensor monitors only a single data point and is not able to transmit the data wirelessly. That means that either a person has to go to the sensor to collect the data, or there has to be an entire network of cables that runs along the entirety of the pipeline. Plus, because they are physically tethered, they need access to both the inside and outside of the pipes, giving additional points of failure. In fact, almost 3% of the failures on pipelines leading to leaks come from the sensors themselves.

That's why mIQrotech is bringing modern sensors, which can transmit their data wirelessly, read quickly and monitor more than one data point to the industry. Their goal is to reduce pipeline leaks by knowing the warning signs ahead of time, and predicting the leaks before they happen. This is where the AI comes into play. By analyzing the data collected by all of these sensors, their system is learning what happens before a leak, so that is can be stopped, preventing further damage to the pipeline, surrounding property, and the environment. They project 96% accuracy in predicting an issue before it happens, which is a win for everyone.

mIQrotech is taking reservations now for their platform.

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takeabed Helps You Plan Trips with Local Experts and Friends

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takeabed Helps You Plan Trips with Local Experts and Friends

2018-11-26

In decades past, the way we planned our travel was very different from today. Rather than going to a website and hoping that the place we are headed has a hotel and excursions that are worth paying for, we would go to an expert on the topic: a travel agent. Losing the travel agent means we lost that expert advice and trusted recommendations on where to go and what to do while there.

A new platform called takeabed is trying to return the expert advice without having to rebuild the infrastructure that was needed to have travel agents all over the country. Taking advantage of the growing gig economy, takeabed is tur