CES is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years - the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.
This week, we discuss our predictions for CES 2020, changes to the TPN live show, and memories of past CES broadcasts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week, Avram Piltch talks about the Intel NUC and the future direction of the product line. In the past, the company has released a limited array of models and configuration options to correspond with its processor upgrades. While the line has never been incredibly popular, it has been consistently stable.
This year, the company announced a change of direction, but one that is also familiar. The next generation of NUC will no longer be just an Intel-branded product. Instead, it will become a product standard, powered by the Intel NUC Compute Element - a self-contained computing card. These cards will plug into a daughterboard for power and provide the essentials of the computer. The manufacturers, including Razer and Adata, will provide both fully built and bare-bones models that customers can customize.
These systems can be upgraded, unlike previous models. They support discrete graphics cards for the first time. There are also upgradable RAM and SSD. The biggest upgradable component, though, is the Compute Element itself. When you need more power, you can simply replace the Compute Element and the system is upgraded.
If this idea sounds familiar, it's because it is. The concept is very similar to Intel's Compute Card, right down to the name. The Compute Card was designed to power embedded devices, such as smart TVs. The idea was that, rather than replacing the television, you could simply replace the Card. This would, theoretically, avoid the situation where Hulu and Netflix recently stopped supporting older smart TVs.
Like the Computer Card, the NUC Compute Element sounds like it is a solution looking for a problem. The price is higher than a regular PC while being only slightly smaller and being powered by laptop hardware. The video cards may be desktop quality, but the processors are not. Intel is going to have trouble finding an audience for this product.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.