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Get the Perfect Pint with HOPii Personal Micro-Brewery (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

Microbrews and local brews have become a staple of restaurants and bars across the country. Wanting to get in on the action, many people have taken to trying their own craft beers at home. It is not, however, a hands-off process, meaning that the need for assistance is usually high, which is where homebrew technologies come in.

Enter the HOPii Personal Micro-Brewery, a device designed to help make sure your home brewing experience is the best it can be. If you are a novice beer brewer, you can use HOPii's self-guided option to receive the recipe, while the device does all of the work of brewing, monitoring and letting you know when the beer is perfect to drink.

If you're more experienced, you can use the "Brewer's Mode," which is designed to allow you to be in charge. You can pick your ingredients, design your recipe and then ferment your wort, dry hops, etc., to determine the exact taste you want. Once the beer is ready, HOPii can even bring the beer to the ideal temperature of your choosing.

The company is coming off of a $382,000 Kickstarter last year, and is currently taking pre-orders through Indiegogo InDemand. For $399, you'll receive a HOPii for 33% off (the retail price will be $600), with an estimated delivery of June 2018.

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

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Superior Tracking of The Most Important Environmental Conditions with Yes It Is (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

Tracking environmental conditions is important for many industries. This is particularly the case with food & drink and pharmaceutical companies. Often products have to be kept below a certain temperature and any deviation above this means that the product is not longer deemed safe for consumption. French firm Yes It Is is working hard to provide a continuous unbroken record of the environment surrounding these types of goods.

Traditionally the recording of environmental conditions is done by equipment installed in the building or the refrigerator. To match the data to a particular product means that the time in and out needs to be recorded so that relevant periods can be checked. Wouldn't it be better if the sensor was small enough and battery powered so that it could be packaged in with the product? There would then be a complete and unbroken record of the environmental conditions from production to use.

The folks at Yes It Is are working hard on this problem and are developing tags that have a year's worth of battery life, record the environmental data and can be scanned by a smartphone to retrieve the data. The plan is to have the tag small enough to fit in a label within a year!

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

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Be In the Know of Radiation Around You With the Amazing Rium (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

Geiger counters are great for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation but their biggest flaw is that they can't discriminate between the different types of radiation; alpha, beta or gamma. Icohup's Rium detector addresses this with a compact and stylishly wooden unit. Allante and Billy discuss the benefits of radiation detectors without mentioning a single nuclear disaster.

Winner of a CES Innovation award, Icohup's Rium uses scintillation spectrometry technology to not only detect levels of ionizing radiation but also the type. This means that the Rium can determine if the radioactivity is natural or industrial, or if it's a Cobalt, Uranium or Cesium source. The Rium unit is about the size of a packet of biscuits and is tastefully made of wood. Not sure if there's a scientific reason for this, though it looks good anyway, and the small size means that it can be carried by a drone to record radioactivity in potentially hazardous areas.

Data is collected and displayed by a nearby smartphone and with geotagging of the radiation information, maps can be built easily to show radiation hotspots. The data can be transferred either by Bluetooth or by USB. The Rium will be available shortly from Icohup for EUR399 (about $500).

The company is also currently in development of other detectors, such as carbon monoxide and radon gas, for future production.

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

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Brilliant New Sunglasses That Double as Headphones (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

We all enjoy listening to music when we're on the go, but headphones an get so cumbersome and even earbuds can be uncomfortable - and both block out the world around you. Echo Music solves this problem with their MusicLens sunglasses that give you a stylish option to listen to your tunes.

MusicLens sunglasses let you listen to music through bone conduction technology. You don't have to wear headphones, and no one else will be able to hear that you are listening to music. Bone conduction technology is the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull, which can protect your eardrums while you listen to high quality music. MusicLens sunglasses use this technology to reduce the sound leak you would get from headphones.

MusicLens connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, but unlike traditional Bluetooth headphones, the music can be stored right in the glasses. Download music from your phone, or from the Echo Music app, to the MusicLens sunglasses., and use the buttons to turn it on or off, to adjust the volume, or to have the Echo Music app autoplay. In addition, MusicLens will automatically take your phone call within five seconds.

There are several styles and colors of MusicLens to choose from. Pricing for MusicLens with prescription lenses is $88. Classic Ladies or Classic Mens styles are priced at $99. MusicLens Fashion style without storage is $120, or $199 with storage.

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

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April 15, 2018 - Episode 497 (F5 Live: Refreshing Technology)

This week, Apple wants employees to stop talking, Google wants to stop forgetting and the FTC wants YouTube to stop tracking.

Robots for Kids - Episode 165 (Piltch Point)

This week, Avram Piltch discusses some of the best robots for kids of all ages. Whether your child is young and needs a device that doesn't require reading and gives a lot of assistance, or is older and wants to program with little to no help, Avram's got an option for you.

Leaked Apple Memo Warns Apple Employees to Stop Leaking Information

Over the past few years, Apple has had a problem keeping its secrets. Long before a product is officially announced, the market knows the name, the looks and most of the features. In the case of the iPhone X, everyone even knew as early as July that Apple was having design issues with the iPhone, both with the Apple AirPower Qi charging pad (which has still not launched) and the TrueDepth sensor, which ultimately delayed the iPhone X by months.

Since then, Apple has managed to contain information within the company - at least enough to keep analysts guessing about their plans. This has come, at least in part, from Apple's internal attitude towards leakers, and their response when it happens. Last year, the company caught 29 leakers, which resulted in terminations and 12 arrests. Obviously, with a termination for leaking information or any arrest, getting another job in the tech industry will be nearly impossible.

This information comes to us care of possibly the best irony of the week: a leaked internal memo. In the memo, which was published to the company's internal blog, they outlined a number of examples of leaked information, including a meeting in which Craig Federighi informed employees about feature delay. The memo follows a company meeting in 2017 where they tried to deal with the issue. Since then, hundreds of articles have been published about devices that have been unannounced and internal issues.

This change is definitely a win for Apple. Leaked product specs, and unannounced products, can have a negative effect on device sales. People are less likely to purchase current generation devices if they consciously know that a replacement device is on the horizon. Apple saw this behavior with information that they kind-of leaked themselves, when they announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but said that the iPhone X would not come out for several months after the iPhone 8. That move negatively affected sales of the iPhone 8 until the iPhone X released, when people could make an educated decision (and usually skipped the iPhone X).

Improve Your Sleep with the RestOn and Nox Smart Devices (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated. Without enough rest, the mind gets distracted, and you can be completely unproductive. With a continued lack of sleep, permanent damage can be done to your body and your mind. Sleepace has a solution to continued poor sleep: The Dream Life system.

The first product in the Dream Life system is the RestOn smart sleep monitor. Unlike most sleep trackers, this one is not worn on your wrist but instead runs the width of your bed under the sheets. This method makes it far more convenient, as you'll never have to charge it, since it can stay plugged in. RestOn is not the first of its kind, but it does offer a very nice unique feature: smart start. You don't need to launch the app and let it know you're going to bed; instead, it recognizes the behavior and starts on its own.

Another interesting product is the Nox Smart Sleep Light. This light can be set to specific colors for night and morning, can be paired with other sensors to make decisions or can mimic the natural light outdoors. The outdoor syncing means that as the sun sets, the room can go from bright to orange to red; as the sun rises, it reverses this pattern. Using Nox as part of an "alarm clock" system, you can wake up more calmly in a natural manner.

Another entry in the family is the Nox Aroma device. This product combines all of the great features of the Nox Smart Sleep Light with additional aromatherapy capabilities. This means that you can fall asleep to light and scent that is relaxing, or use light and scent to wake up, rather than a loud alarm.

The RestOn Z200 smart sleep monitor is available now for $149 and the Nox Smart Sleep Light is available for $149. The Nox Aroma will be available soon, as well as an upgrade to the RestOn, the Z400T.

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

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Fibaro Gives You Access to The Button at Home (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

There are a lot of contenders in the smarthome space, but one of the more established brands is Fibaro. The brand is a member of the Z-Wave Alliance, which means that their devices can work with other Z-Wave technologies. This year, the company is showing off upgraded models of their modules, which now support Apple HomeKit.

Fibaro is far from the first to support HomeKit, but the company takes a slightly different approach to smarthome, though, with product designs that are a bit more whimsical that your standard white boxes. Take, for example, the Wall Plug. It features the traditional remote switch with the addition of energy monitoring and a USB port. The design differentiator, though, is that the device comes with a glowing ring around the outside. This ring, while making the product look very different, it also gives you an idea as to how much power the plug is using.

Another example of the whimsical design is The Button. It does what you would expect - gives you the ability to create a panic scenario or a scene changer. In fact, there are 6 modes to the button: single through 5 press, as well as long-press. Again, the differentiator here is the very unique design. This small device comes in a variety of colors, some being very primary and bright. They are definitely not designed to blend into the room they are in.

The Wall Plug is available for $59, The Button is available for around $49, depending on the color, and additional Fibaro smarthome products are available for varying prices.

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

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HabitAware is Keen on Improving Your Mental Health (PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events)

All of us have some habit that is annoying, either to ourselves or to others. Some bite their nails, others crack their knuckles. Usually this is just a sign of stress or boredom, but for some with a mental health issue, it can be an indication of a problem. Unfortunately, most of us are completely unaware of when we are performing the action, as it happens outside of our consciousness.

HabitAware has created a product, the HabitAware Keen, to keep track of these habits and ticks to help identify when a mental health issue becomes a problem. Worn on the wrist, like a traditional fitness band, the Keen uses some of the same sensors to watch behavior.

Initially, you must train the device to know what behaviors to watch for, and how the wearer performs them. If your tick happens to be cracking your wrist, you would need to show the device the difference between that and writing with a pen. Once trained, Keen will vibrate when the action is detected again, alerting the wearer to the behavior. In the immediate future, the wearer will be reminded about the behavior, while in the long run, it will retrain the wearer not to perform the action at all.

The Keen bracelet is available now priced from $149.

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

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