MoviWear makes aging in place less stressful for everyone @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

If you have a loved one who is aging in place, it can be difficult to feel comfortable that everything is okay. Is the persona okay or have they fallen, or maybe having heart issues? For most of us, the best we can do is hope that everything is okay and, if not, our loved ones will call us to say something is wrong. But, many people don't want to admit that something is wrong, so that is less likely. However, MoviWear is working to alleviate these concerns.

The company provides a number of connected devices that help track the wearer's activity and status and can report it to family and caregivers. Depending on the device, you can track different things, ranging from heart rate to blood glucose level (without pricking yourself). The devices connect to a central system and aggregate the data, creating a live report for caregivers.

MoviWear's primary wearable is the NurtureWatch. This smartwatch looking device is designed with the brains, but without the visual bells and whistles. While it may not offer an app store or web browser, it does provide the wearer with a number of major benefits. Of course, it's a watch, but it also incorporates AI-powered fall detection. This feature allows the device to detect when motion falls outside of the normal range of motion and can report to medical personnel, friends, or family, that something has happened. The watch also features a red SOS button, which can be used in the event assistance is needed.

In addition to the watch, the company also offers a simple panic button. This device works like the red SOS button on the watch but is a stand-alone product. It can be worn as a pendant, watch, or set on a table - whatever is most convenient for the user at the time. Both products are available from the company's website and retail around $250.

Interview by [tpntoddcochrane" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Skreeneo SoClean makes public touchscreens safe to use @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

If you're like me, you hate public touchscreens. Just the idea of touching something that someone else has been fiddling with seems gross. However, the technology is getting more common and will get even more common over the next few years at places like fast food, convenience stores, and grocery stores, as these places are forced into additional automation. However, the fear of touching public screens is even greater today, thanks to public health concerns. Fortunately, Skreeneo has technology that alleviates the concern while eliminating constant screen cleaning.

The Skreeneo SoClean technology uses silver ions to act as a barrier against bacteria. The ionized protection blocks the instantaneous growth and proliferation of microbes. When the silver ions come into contact with the bacteria, they prevent them from growing. With no reproduction path, the bacteria die in place, preventing them from spreading the disease to the next user, no matter the public health situation. It also prevents the devices from discoloring prematurely.

The SoClean technology is available in a variety of forms. The company offers unique kiosk and touchscreen solutions for business and display, with the SoClean technology pre-installed. So, if you are installing a new kiosk system, anything from self-checkout to autonomous hand sanitizing stations, you can have it be sanitary from the start. However, if you already have the technology in use, you can retrofit those devices with an add-on film.

As the demand for autonomous systems increases over the next few years, the importance of keeping those systems clean is going to increase. If you are working on a solution, for your business, Skreeneo's SoClean technology should be part of your project research. To find out more about the company and its digital signage and SoClean technology, head over to their website for more information.

Interview by [tpntoddcochrane" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Maicat from Macroact is a realistic robotic cat companion @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

Companionship is an important part of life, and for many, a pet can be the perfect companion. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone can or will have a pet. Some people have allergies, some are scared, and others live in a controlled environment. In these cases, and others, an artificial companion can help overcome the challenges. Macroact has a robotic cat, Maicat, to help fill this void.

Macroact is a robotic startup which is combining artificial intelligence with robotics but focuses on very specialized markets. The first of their adaptive robots, Maicat, is a companion robot that is designed to behave and interact like a cat. This is done without sending the robot into the uncanny valley, so it is compelling and cute.

While other companion robotic animals have been created before, Maicat separates itself in size. It is about two-thirds the size of its competitors, making it a more manageable device. In addition, Maicat features autonomous motion control and 21 actuators, allowing it to interact with the people and objects around it more similar to a real cat. Thanks to its integrated environment detection system, it is also able to know its environment and avoid obstacles in its path.

Like a real cat, Maicat learns from your unique interaction with it, including using voice and facial recognition and sentiment analysis, and determines the perceived intent, both positive and negative, of each action. The robot also develops its own unique emotional rhythmic cycle and uses that to respond to external stimuli with each interaction. This means that, like a real cat, each time you interact with it, the experience will be different. This will obviously make the experiences more diverse and fun.

One clear use for this technology, as pointed out by Christopher Jordan, is for helping to teach a younger child about pets. Rather than the child learning the hard way through scratches or bites that certain activities are inappropriate, Maicat can help instead. To learn more and find out when it becomes available, check out the company's website.

Interview by [tpnchrisjordan" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Nooie brings beauty and security together in your home @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

The technology field is full of fascinating products that, while doing a great job to help the user in his chosen field, are not very attractive to look at. This is where Nooie is so different. The Nooie line has beautiful cameras and a smart-looking doorbell.

Nooie was created in 2018 in San Francisco by co-founder and designer Sasha who introduced us to Nooie. The Nooie Cam Doorbell is designed for beauty and smart function. One of the advantages of the Nooie Cam Doorbell is the ease of installation and use. The wiring has been eliminated and replaced with a powerful battery with a 10,000 mAh capacity. The base station, on the other hand, plugs into a standard outlet and must stay within 20 feet of the bell. One of the things that set this doorbell apart is that it is a 2K camera instead of HD. This will give greater clarity when viewing remotely or reviewing footage.

Another product of this company is the 360-degree camera with night vision. It has horizontal and vertical rotation with advanced algorithms that can track motion wherever the action is. The night vision has two 940nm infrared LEDs that will ensure a perfectly crisp and clear picture up to 32 feet, even if it is pitch black. There is also a 2-way audio system allowing you to listen and talk to your family and even your pets anywhere in the house. It has a built-in anti-noise feature and a mic and speaker. You can share streaming and recordings with others if desired. There is a capability of also using it with Alexa, making it like having a personal assistant in your own home.

These designer security products are available now on Amazon. The Cam Doorbell retails for $149.99. The Cam 360 is retailing for $49.99. To learn more about these and other Nooie products, check out the company's website.

Interview by [tpntoddcochrane" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Millo Appliances brings a small blender on the go @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

Some areas of our lives get regularly updated, while others tend to stay about the same. The kitchen has mostly stayed the same over the years, with the exception of the occasional trendy appliance. However, the next major change in the kitchen has been coming for a few years and is starting now with Millo Appliances.

For years, we've heard about the wireless kitchen of the future, but it always seems just out of reach. But Millo Appliances has made it a reality with the Millo Smart Portable Blender. Now, care of this small, portable device, you can have smoothies and more anywhere you are. And, unlike the traditional wireless kitchen promise, this device is battery-powered, meaning you can take it with you to the park, the beach, and more.

The portability and size are possible because of the technology that powers the device - a magnetic air drive. Rather than using a traditional motor, which requires a lot more power because of the loss of torque, this motor uses magnets to drive the blades, which almost entirely eliminates the torque issues. Less force requires less power, meaning that this little kitchen device can run on a battery. This battery can charge up in about 2 hours and will last for up to 10 smoothies.

To go along with the unique driver, the Millo Smart Portable Blender also employs a unique interaction design. The carafe simply sits on the base without the need for a docking pin (because of the magnetic drive). In addition, the entire base is a control surface, meaning there is no front or back. When you touch the base, a segment of capacitive buttons lights up, giving you full speed control. If you rotate the base and touch a new spot, the buttons will follow you.

The Millo Smart Portable Blender is available for pre-order now at $399 and will be shipping soon. For more information or to pre-order, head to the company's website.

Interview by [tpntoddcochrane" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Movo introduces a trio of universal smartphone lenses @ CES 2021 (PLUGHITZ Live Presents)

There is no denying that the cameras on smartphones have improved incredibly over the past few years. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy S21, announced during CES 2021. The back is seemingly covered in lenses, but still, it doesn't have all of the capabilities of a proper camera. That's because, no matter how many extra lenses for different modes are added, there will always be capabilities that are missing. Fortunately, Movo has a solution that will work with almost any phone.

The company has announced a new line of clip-on lenses for smartphones, known as the SPL Series. The line is launching with a trio of options: a 238-degree fisheye lens (SPL-FE Super Fisheye), a 3x zoom perspective (SPL-TELE Telephoto), and an 18-mm perspective wide-angle (SPL-WA Wide Angle).

The feature that sets these lenses apart from many of the past products available on the market is that it is not dependent on the model of phone you have. In the past, these lens kits were form-fit for a particular model of phone. This limited the ability to take the lens with you when you upgraded your phone, meaning you had to rebuy every time you changed phones. The SPL Series of smartphone lenses are instead designed to clip onto nearly any phone, making them a one-time buy for photographers.

Most importantly, these lenses follow the company's longstanding tradition of providing quality products at affordable prices. The existing product line contains photography and videography supplies, including lens accessories for cameras. The move to include universal lenses for smartphones into the lineup is a natural extension of who Movo has always been.

All three lenses are available to pre-order, with shipping expected in February 2021. Each lens retails for $39.95. For more information or to purchase, check out the company's website.

Interview by [tpntoddcochrane" class="UpStreamLink">.

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CES 2021 Pre-Show - Episode 584 (F5 Live: Refreshing Technology)

This week, the Tech Podcasts Network team discusses what's coming up and what we're all most excited about for CES 2021.

December 20, 2020 - Episode 583 (F5 Live: Refreshing Technology)

This week, App Fairness is expanding its ranks, Russia is expanding its outlook, and HBO Max is expanding its reach. Plus, ways to prepare for 2021.

Tom's Hardware Best of 2020 - Episode 248 (Piltch Point)

2020 is (thankfully) almost over, and that means that it is time to look back at the year and find the things that had a positive impact on the tech industry. While there has been no end of negativity, from product scalpers to toxic streaming, there have been some extremely bright spots.

The best CPU of the year is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. While the entire 5000 series of processors have been great, the 5600X sets itself out. It's just the right combination of cores and power at an attractive price point. Most importantly, its performance beats Intel's more expensive processors at common tasks, including gaming at 2K resolution. On the GPU side of things is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. While there were a lot of new video cards that came to market, the RTX 3080 represented a massive single generation performance improvement. The processor also released at a price that couldn't be beaten, as was evidenced by the immediate sellout of inventory.

No good video card is worth anything if it isn't paired with a monitor that can support it. The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN is the gaming monitor to take advantage of those powerful cards. It offers 360 Hz refresh rate, allowing for major FPS for professional and aspiring gamers. Even if your system isn't capable of that kind of framerate, you'll still benefit from the best motion resolution Tom's Hardware's team has ever seen. But, if resolution is more important than framerate, the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ offers the best 4K gaming performance on a giant screen. For storage, the Samsung 980 Pro is your best bet - if you're running a modern AMD system. This chip can reach 7 GBps read/write in a small M.2 package.

For the entire list of Best of 2020, head on over to Tom's Hardware.

Coalition for App Fairness adds most major US news publishers

If you're unaware of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) or haven't heard about it in a while, you can be forgiven. The organization has often stayed in the shadows, working to fix a problem that the general population is not directly affected by, but developers are - Apple's App Store policies. The organization is led by Epic Games and Spotify but has grown to 50 members, with the newest coming on board this week.

While technically only one new member was added, it is a big get for the movement. The newest member is Digital Content Next, an organization that represents the majority of the major publishers in the United States. Among the group's ranks are The New York Times, Associated Press, and NPR. By adding the major news publishers, adding to the existing European members, the group now has a good fighting force on another front in the Apple monopoly battle - publishing.

Currently, the major battlefront has been general App Store policies. It started with Epic Games suit over the 30 percent "App Store tax," which is forced upon publishers for using the company's proprietary payment system - a feature that most developers don't want to use, but are forced to by Apple. Recently, Apple threw fuel on the fire by dropping the rate to 15 percent for streaming video services but did not extend the same offer to music and news subscription apps. That move was what finally brought Digital Content Next into the fold.

However, there is another aspect of Apple's closed environment that has caused problems recently - Apple News and, more importantly, Apple News+. In June, The New York Times announced that it was removing its content from Apple News entirely over the way Apple was trying to control the distribution of news on its platforms. The publishers were not to receive a large portion of the upcoming Apple News+ revenue, while also being boxed in on content.

Overall, the primary goal of the organization is still on App Store policies, but with multiple ways to show Apple's attempted control over third-party developers, it's got a stronger case for anticompetitive behavior.

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