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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 turning your friends into the travel agents. There are a lot of benefits to having your friends help you with your travel plans. Theoretically, your friends know you and the things you enjoy, and therefore are able to recommend experiences from their own past that they believe would be a good fit for you. This takes the expertise of the agent and adds the benefit of personal knowledge.

If you are traveling to an area where none of your friends have experience, you can actually engage a local takeabed agent to get an expert view from an established local expert. Working with your friends or a local expert can significantly reduce your chances of staying in a hotel that is a problem, and can help you avoid places that sound interesting but are actually tourist traps. Instead, you can find those hidden jewels that you might have missed previously.

Obviously agents have a benefit of making a commission on their sales. The better the agent, the more likely people will want to work with them to help plan their trips, so they have an incentive to help you plan a good trip and not just a profitable one for them. The best part of all of this is that booking through takeabed does not cost any more than booking with the major online platforms, so you get the best recommendations and the best prices, all at once.

takeabed is available now for both agents and customers to sign up through their apps and company website.

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Top Figure Helps Tell Your Brand's Story and Engage with Customers

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Top Figure Helps Tell Your Brand's Story and Engage with Customers

2018-11-26

I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of PR firms in the world. In fact, there are probably a lot of PR firms in your zip code. Most work with companies in a similar way: create a message, hammer that message in. It's certainly the tactic that we see most often online, through platforms like YouTube and Facebook, while we're trying to watch a video. The problem with that is, while we may remember the commercial, we don't feel connected to the message.

Top Figure takes a different approach, working to connect potential customers to brands through storytelling. Many people buy products and services because of emotion, and creating a compelling story for the company is a way to connect emotionally with the brand. They use a variety of platforms to accomplish this goal, but focus on social media because of its direct connection to customers and its ability to tell stories.

The story of this company is definitely a unique one, and told best by CEO Abdi Hassan. To summarize, Abdi started selling candy bars out of his locker in high school. While against the rules, his endeavor was so successful he began renting friends' lockers and quickly franchised the concept. He was eventually caught and his enterprise shuttered. He did quickly discover an interested in selling shoes, and moved his passion there.

After high school, he decided that he didn't want to be an employee of another company, but instead wanted to run his own business, which you probably guessed from his past experience. He started the company as a web design shop, and eventually started offering branding and marketing advice as well. While this is not an unusual pivot, what makes it unusual is Abdi's understanding of the intricacies of proper branding and his passion for it.

If you are looking to grow your brand or just starting to build it out, check out Top Figure's website for more information.

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GotSpot Lets You Find a Place to Work for a Limited Period of Time

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GotSpot Lets You Find a Place to Work for a Limited Period of Time

2018-11-26

There are a lot of reasons why someone might be looking for space in a location for a short period of time. For example, a business person traveling for a conference like Collision Conference, needing an offsite office to conduct meetings. Or maybe a small baker who needs to produce a large number of products in a short time needing a bigger kitchen. Both of these situations, and a lot more, create a difficult situation for the searcher, as there has never been a good way to locate short-term spaces.

That problem is thing of the past, thanks to GotSpot, a new platform for listing and finding short-term rentals on spaces. The concept is similar to Airbnb, except that the listings are for commercial spaces. For example, imagine you own a yoga studio, and you run classes 4 days per week. That means that your space is empty for 3 days per week. Rather than letting the space go to waste, you could list it on GotSpot for those 3 days and potentially generate some revenue from other yoga instructors who need a space for their classes.

Another creative use of the platform is for art galleries. The gallery could rent space during down times to artists to allow them to shows their works. They could also rent space to other groups for more social events. For example, while we were at Collision, our hotel lobby converted itself into a local art studio to exhibit local artwork, as well as having cocktails and snacks, creating a fun atmosphere where we met some of the locals, as well as others staying at the hotel.

Obviously, the platform also works well for more traditional spaces, such as offices and storefronts. Owners of empty office space or storefronts can use the platform to offer those spaces for short-terms. Offices can be useful for those traveling, while storefronts can benefit during seasons other than Halloween, from companies other than Spirit Halloween.

GotSpot is currently available in a limited test in Houston, Texas, with plans to expand their reach into other cities over the coming months.

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Techlolli Has an Exciting New Way for People to Make Money Giving Stuff Away

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Techlolli Has an Exciting New Way for People to Make Money Giving Stuff Away

2018-11-25

Online affiliate programs have existed for as long as online has existed. These programs are often times what makes free online content, like ours, possible. Some affiliate programs, such as Newegg, rely on the visitor making a purchase for the affiliate to generate revenue. Others, such as Amazon Prime, have ways to generate revenue from cost-free experiences, such as trying Prime Video. While online affiliate programs are a good way for websites and services to generate revenue, a new concept in offline marketing is doing the same for individuals in the real world: Techlolli.

Through this program, individuals can make money simply by giving free things away, such as Audiobooks, or Uber and Lyft rides. Dara Randall, the founder of Techlolli, created the company in an attempt to bring a new aspect to the gig economy, one that allows someone to go to the places they might already go, and help people with something they already want.

The way it works is, every affiliate, or Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur (BAE) as Techlolli calls them, gets a unique code for their program. They then go to places where people want or need the free service being offered and help those people claim their service. For example, if you are a fan of music festivals, you could go to the festival and hand out business cards with an Uber and/or Lyft promo code on it. All the person has to do is sign up for the service, enter the promo code, and get a credit added to their account.

For the companies doing the marketing, it is a massive win. Rather than paying an employee or contractor a set rate for them to attend an event without any way of knowing how effective that person is, Techlolli allows the company to only pay for an interaction that benefits everyone involved. Accountability is therefore placed on both the advertiser and the Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Techlolli is available now and looking for new Brand Ambassador Entrepreneurs. To find out more about the company and how to become a Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur, head over to their website.

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Coulomb is the Perfect Companion to Any Solar Panel Array

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Coulomb is the Perfect Companion to Any Solar Panel Array

2018-11-25

So, you've installed an array of solar panels on your roof in an attempt to get off of the grid. You calculated just how many it will take to produce enough power to eliminate your reliance on municipal power and installed the number of panels required to produce that power. Now, suddenly, you notice that you are receiving a bill from the power company again, but you just can't figure out why. If you had installed Coulomb by Picma, you would already know what was going on.

Coulomb is a hardware and software solution designed to monitor solar panels and report on unexpected and inappropriate behavior. For example, in our story above, there could be a tree that has grown a little, and its leaves are now blocking just enough of a solar panel to reduce production. Now, because of this tree, you are having to buy power from the power company again, despite having the hardware to avoid that. Coulomb can alert you to this scenario so that you can fix it before it becomes a problem.

While a tree is likely, another major possibility is a mechanical failure. Coulomb is just as capable of detecting this defect and alert you to its presence. Once you are aware of a mechanical problem, the platform can even help you locate a quality, certified technician to repair the problem. Fixing the problem quickly and properly can reduce the amount of time it takes to pay back the cost of your array.

Coulomb can help you calculate the overall payback time, taking into account the cost of electricity, the efficiency of your array, costs of maintaining the panels, and even the effects of weather conditions on overall production. The platform can even break your savings down per panel per month, so if you have different models, or have had one malfunction, you can see exactly how it affects you.

You can find out more about Coulomb by Picma on the company website.

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Symba Can Vastly Improve the Value of an Internship for Everyone

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Symba Can Vastly Improve the Value of an Internship for Everyone

2018-11-24

As most people who have been involved in internships can attest, these programs can often be chaotic. Some organizations will use interns as unpaid or low paid office assistants, while others will give them tasks that are mission critical, but that are outside of their realm of experience. Neither of these accomplishes the real goal of an internship, however: learning. The best way to have a successful internship program, for both the organization and the individual, is to have a structure implemented in advance.

Building these programs, and keeping them running smoothly can be difficult. Ahva Sadeghi had one of these less than productive experiences and wanted to help prevent other interns from going through the same thing. Symba, which she founded, is the result. This platform is designed to help organizations design a functional internship program and to give interns an idea of what the program will entail, as well as guide them through the process.

Symba manages the entire lifecycle of the internship process, from onboarding to offboarding, with project management, engagement, and even feedback mechanisms, built in. Never again does an intern have to feel as if they don't know what they are supposed to be doing, especially when someone is missing from the office, or feel like they aren't learning anything. Symba helps to remove all of these stresses from the experience. In addition, Symba helps an intern understand exactly where they are. For example, an intern can get a feel for the culture of a company as part of their onboarding experience.

Where Symba really shines, and part of the founding story, is in remote internships. Imagine interning for someone in another state, with whom you have little face-to-face contact. Add to that the possibility of that program manager traveling often, as is the case with many political internships. With Symba, an intern never needs to feel lost, and a manager never needs to feel guilty for leaving the intern without a valuable learning experience.

Symba is currently looking for beta users, and you can find out about the platform and the beta program on their website.

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LYNX Trade is Bringing Modern Technology to Older Stock Markets

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LYNX Trade is Bringing Modern Technology to Older Stock Markets

2018-11-24

When most of us in North America think of the stock market, we think of the NYSE or NASDAQ. With that comes images of giant screens with real-time information, and tickers outside showing the exact price of any stock at any moment. We might even think of sites like MSN Money, where hobbyist investors can get near real-time information on stocks, as well - entirely for free. Unfortunately for those in other parts of the world, the experience is very different.

Take, for example, Ecuador. Their stock exchange runs on software that is sometimes 3 decades out of date. Even professional investors can struggle to get accurate information, making the value of the exchange far lower than it could be. That's where LYNX Trade comes in: they have developed a platform that is easy to implement and can greatly improve the value of the stock exchange by increasing the speed at which data is available.

In addition to the services for the exchange itself, LYNX Trade also provides services for investors themselves. Their platforms offer investors the ability to visualize the data in a variety of ways, similar to what we might be used to with the NYSE. Using graphs and charts, it is easy to see the progression of a particular stock, whether up or down, and use that information to make decisions. Not everyone likes graphs, though, so raw data is also available.

If you are a developer, there are tools for you, as well. Fully featured APIs allow outside software companies to interact with the data, as well. This can create a stronger market, just like platforms like MSN Money and a Bloomberg terminal, have greatly enhanced the value of other markets around the world. These platforms could even incorporate the data to bring greater awareness to the masses.

For more information on LYNX Trade, check out their website.

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Vidoni Creates a New Way to Learn Thanks to Augmented Reality

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Vidoni Creates a New Way to Learn Thanks to Augmented Reality

2018-11-24

One thing that makes education difficult is the fact that different people learn differently. For some, learning a physical skill can be done just by watching a video, or being around someone else who is performing the skill. For others, a step-by-step instruction makes the learning easier. This might be written, spoken, or even visual. For some, however, a more hands-on approach is needed to really master the skill. Unfortunately, having someone who can provide a hands-on educational experience is not always possible. That's where Vidoni comes in - to provide a hands-on experience when one isn't readily accessible.

The platform takes advantage of augmented reality, as created by the Microsoft HoloLens, to virtualize the hands-on experience. Take, for example, learning to play the piano. Watching someone else do it is nice but is probably not going to teach you the proper technique. Hearing a step-by-step could be a success, but could also take a long time. But imagine using a HoloLens to combine these techniques into a single experience. You can listen to a skilled instructor while watching their hands on the piano in front of you. You can literally put your hands on the same keys as the instructor, even though they are not in the room with you.

Of course, this platform is not limited to playing the piano. In fact, any instrument could benefit from this technology. But it goes far beyond just the reaches of musicians. Vidoni is the realization of Microsoft's idea of the HoloLens being used as a remote help tool for tasks such as fixing a leaky pipe. Rather than hiring an expensive plumber, you could get ahold of a HoloLens and have an expert show you exactly how to fix it, step-by-step, all without being in the room with you.

For more information about Vidoni and how it is being put to use, check out their website.

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Wampei Allows All Businesses to Accept Bitcoin as Easily as Cash

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Wampei Allows All Businesses to Accept Bitcoin as Easily as Cash

2018-11-23

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Etherium, have become a major topic of conversation, not only among technologists but also among the general population. As the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed, interest in its usage did as well. As the value has dropped, interest has not diminished by much. But, the problem is, few people understand exactly how to take advantage of this new style of virtual currency. If you are a retailer or a restaurant, for example, how can you accept Bitcoin in your establishment? Credit cards are easy enough, with payment processors available a dime a dozen, but what about cryptocurrencies?

Enter Wampei, the non-standard payment processor bringing cryptocurrency to a variety of businesses. Accepting cryptocurrency creates a number of efficiencies. For example, businesses have no need to worry about chargebacks, a massive source of loss for many businesses, because they not only lose the money but also the product, adding insult to injury. Since cryptocurrency works like cash, once a transaction is complete, it is complete - no take backs.

Also, since there are no financial institutions involved, the cost of transactions is far lower. With credit cards, companies can pay upwards of 10% of the transaction as a fee to the payment processor, depending on the processor and the type of card used. That means that products have to sell for a higher price to make up for the loss to the processor. With Wampei, however, they're not really a processor - more of a facilitator. Businesses whose average transaction is under $500, which is probably most, can save up to 80% over accepting credit cards.

With Wampei, you also don't need to have a bank account, which is not the case for credit cards. You can store your company's Bitcoin is an offline, protected wallet and only have enough available online for refunds, similar to having cash in your register. Converting your Bitcoin to standard currency is also fairly easy, as ATMs have begun popping up all over.

For more information on Wampei, or to sign up to begin accepting Bitcoin, check out their website.

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Ancient History Encyclopedia Makes the Story of Us Interesting

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Ancient History Encyclopedia Makes the Story of Us Interesting

2018-11-23

We've all heard the phrase, "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it." Unfortunately, it is difficult not to ignore history, as it gets mangled and misinformation is introduced by "common knowledge." For example, that quote above is incorrect, as the correct quote is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." That is just one reason why Ancient History Encyclopedia has produced a place to make learning and retaining the history of the world easier.

The non-profit behind the encyclopedia takes a very unique approach to creating content. First, they get an author who is an expert in their field: a historian, historical writer, archaeologist, etc. They then produce content in their field of knowledge, written so that it is historically accurate, though easy to understand. Then, the editorial team from Ancient History Encyclopedia reviews the content to ensure that it meets the requisite criteria of accuracy and comprehension.

The intention is to make the content not read like a dry research paper. Instead, the content should come to life, presenting the story in a compelling manner. A full story is far more interesting and attractive than a list of dates and facts. More interesting means that the reader is more likely to continue reading, to retain the information they read, and to continue to come back for more.

This combination of criteria and unique writing style has served the site well, earning them 20 million visitors per year and at least one web award. The concept has been so successful that even educators have taken to using it as part of their curriculum. In fact, about half of the site's users are in education, though they don't want to replace the traditional textbook.

Ancient History Encyclopedia is available now to all.

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Collision Conference is THE Place for Startups and Investors

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Collision Conference is THE Place for Startups and Investors

2018-11-23

PLuGHiTz Live has had the pleasure of attending the Collision Conference since 2015. In that time, we have seen the conference change significantly. It has changed locations, starting in Las Vegas, Nevada, moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, and moving once again to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the 2019 show. We've also seen the event grow in size: in 2015, the event was 2 days and housed in a pair of permanent tents in the Nevada desert. This year, we experienced 3 days of exhibits in a large slice of an even larger convention center. We also had the opportunity to speak with Mike Harvey, the head of strategic communications for Collision Conference, as well as its big sister, Web Summit.

Most importantly, we have gotten to see the organization itself grow. While some people have come and gone, the core group has stayed the same. However, the team gets bigger every year and, with that, comes more confidence. Like any convention or conference, the team gets more comfortable with what they are doing every time, and with Collision, it has shown. That confidence has even grown beyond their walls, with the startup industry gaining confidence in the show.

Of course, the industry's acceptance of the show has meant that more companies want to be part of the fun every year. Because of that, the Collision team had the ability to curate the content better this year than any prior year. While 2015 was filled with "mad scientist" level startup pitches, today the show is filled with companies with an idea, a product, and a clear vision for their future. The show has definitely solidified itself as the place to be for serious startups, investors, media, and industry insiders.

Collision Conference is already looking for exhibitors for their 2019 show, and more information can be found on their website.

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ClapCars: A Wonderful New Car Service with Great Choices

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ClapCars: A Wonderful New Car Service with Great Choices

2018-11-21

Ever since the industrial revolution, we've had inventors, engineers and architects forging out new and fantastic gizmos, machinery and buildings, all aimed at making our lives better. The brilliant and hardworking alike see a need and discover a way to fill it. We've become so used to it that now there are crafters and makers of all kinds who are able to use their creativity to do the same thing. We are living in a truly amazing time right now because even entrepreneurs are thinking outside of the box to fill a need that can make life easier for so many people.

When something is too big and cumbersome, it isn't long before somebody develops a way to make it more manageable, with more features to boot. And now, during a time when so many services are controlled by just a few large corporations and seem to be getting more expensive by the day, there are those who find a way to offer these services in a new way, at a much lower cost. Franco Sakkal is the co-founder of ClapCars, an Argentinian based company that has done just that. ClapCars is a vehicle-sharing service. This kind of sounds strange at first. But we rent out other people's houses now on such a regular basis that the entire travel industry has been taken by storm. So why not cars, too?

Basically, those who would like to rent their vehicles out to earn some extra cash will fill out some information on their web platform (the mobile app is still in development) to get started. Once accepted, they offer the vehicle with the dates available on the site. When rented, owner and renter agree upon a meeting place for pick up and drop off on the specified dates. ClapCars handles the vetting of both sides as well as other details. For example, the cars are covered against all risks by the insurer Sura, during the rental time.

Get more information about this service that is currently offered in Argentina in the full interview.

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Positive Energy Connects Investors to Renewable Energy Opportunities

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Positive Energy Connects Investors to Renewable Energy Opportunities

2018-11-19

Interest in renewable energy sources has been on the rise for the past few years and, with the cost of solar and wind power falling below coal for the first time in history, interest is sure to grow even more. The problem is, building a renewable energy system can be difficult for the average person. Regulations, construction rules, and financing can all get in the way far too easily. Luckily, Positive Energy is here to help mitigate a number of these problems.

Imagine you inherit a large plot of flat land in Arizona, and you have no reason to hold it. You discover that it is perfect for a solar farm, so you put together a plan to use the land to generate power. Once you're ready, you can head over the Positive Energy and submit your project on the platform to pitch your idea to investors who are interested in funding these types of projects. The system will even pair you up with investors who match certain criteria that make them appropriate for your plan. Once funded, you can maintain your due diligence documents within the system, so everyone involved knows exactly what is happening.

After the farm is built and you are generating electricity, Positive Energy can help you manage and monitor your equipment. With management dashboards, you can see the production, efficiency, and health of your entire property. You can see historical data and compare it to current data to look for anomalies, and even get reports on unexpected behaviors.

For investors, the system gives the ability to buy and sell assets easily. The whole process is done using blockchain, so when a project is initiated, a certain number of tokens are created. Those tokens' value fluctuates as the value of the project fluctuates. As an owner of a token, you can sell it at its market value, releasing you of the liability, but also of the future potential. The technology also protects all of the data in the system, including contracts and due diligence.

Positive Energy is available now for both investors and providers.

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XSPACE is a Powerful Way to Make Launching an Online Shop Easier

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XSPACE is a Powerful Way to Make Launching an Online Shop Easier

2018-11-19

Online retail can be a challenge. Not because selling things online is particularly difficult, but because setting up the store has so many steps, and it has not gotten better in the past few years. While just a few years ago, potential customers were happy with some photos, today they expect photos, video and, in some cases, a full 3D rendering. If they're really fancy, maybe a customer expects VR or AR content. All of this can be expensive and ultimately time-consuming. For a small or medium sized business trying to build out a store, the challenge can be nearly impossible.

Prisma Systems has developed a system called XSPACE, which is designed to help fill in the gaps behind the scenes for online retailers. They developed a fairly large machine which is capable of creating the photos, videos, 3D renderings, and even VR content that will set any online retailer apart from its competition. This machine, which Scott referred to as a robot photographer, can currently handle products in a 4-foot cube, but they are still working on prototype hardware. They are working on a future model that would accommodate a mower, fridge or couch. Ideally, they would like to build the technology up to the point where they could even photograph something as large as a car.

The best part of this whole process is, as a retailer, you don't have to be a part of it at all. When you contract with a new distributor or manufacturer for a new product, you simply inform them that, as part of our process, we need one of each new unit shipped to our photography studio and Prisma takes care of the rest. What you get is a final product, consisting of all of the product information, completely consumable in the form you need for your shop. You can even have a marketing department or company use the images, including the AI-powered color correction and adjustment, to customize the images for their usage.

XSPACE is currently looking for beta users. To find out more about the platform or to sign up for beta access, check out the company's website.

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Reyets Helps to Determine the Best Course of Action for All

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Reyets Helps to Determine the Best Course of Action for All

2018-11-18

In the Information Age, one of the things we have learned is that no one seems to know what their actual rights are, and that includes law enforcement. This gets even worse when you travel across the country, as things can change from town to town, not to mention from state to state. All of this combines into an environment where you may not know what you can and cannot do in any particular scenario.

Fortunately, thanks to mobile technology, we now have a product called Reyets (pronounced rights). This system is designed specifically to give you a heads-up on what your rights are wherever you are. Imagine walking down a sidewalk and being approached by a police officer. The officer begins to ask you questions that you feel are inappropriate to your current situation. Can you refuse to answer or are you required to interact with the officer? Can you simply walk away, or should you ask if you are free to go? Those requirements change based on location, but Reyets can tell you, based on GPS, what you can do and how you should react to the situation.

We all know that a simple situation can go from calm to chaos in the blink of an eye. We've all seen a simple traffic stop get out of hand and end in tragedy. Reyets knows this and includes the ability to record your incident. In fact, in areas without required two-party consent, the app will automatically record while the app is open. Afterward, you can decide what to do with the recording; you can share it on social media, contact the press, find a lawyer, and more.

Reyets is available now for iOS with Android coming in the future. Check out the company's website to learn more about the platform.

It is important to remember: just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Use caution and your best judgment in all situations.

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Lixo Verde: The Ultimate in Recycling for a Better Future

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Lixo Verde: The Ultimate in Recycling for a Better Future

2018-11-18

The list of problems caused by landfills seems to keep getting longer, day by day. As does the growing frustration of those of us who are concerned about the environment. We've come a long way with many recycling initiatives. With large cities making big strides to become zero waste, to large beverage companies recycling water. And recycled items including things like roads, trophies and even jackets. But there are still so many items that we can't seem to do much with. At least not anything truly useful.

Luis Martinez is the CEO of Lixo Verde, a Brazilian company that is taking recycling to extraordinary new heights. The name itself means green waste. Their intent is to get the waste out of nature. He stopped by our studio at Collision Conference 2018 to give us the details of this amazing process that recycles tires. That's right, tires! And not into playground ground cover or heavy ottomans this time.

The company developed a pyrolysis reactor. Basically, they collect the used tires from auto mechanic shops and a chemical reaction occurs inside the chamber of the reactor. Now, you might think that this would have the opposite effect on the environment. But actually, there is no oxygen in the chamber, therefore no combustion inside. The result is a very potent gas and a black carbon powder. The powder goes right back to the industry to make more rubber for tires. And the gas can be used to make energy. This process recycles 100% of each tire. No waste and the materials get sold back for reuse. They are currently focusing on tires, but in the future, the system can be also used for plastics and any petroleum-based materials. They also look forward to someday moving forward with other forms of waste.

After you watch the full video to learn more about the process and their two pilot plants in Brazil. You can also visit their website.

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Creative and Exciting New App for Attending a Concert

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Creative and Exciting New App for Attending a Concert

2018-11-15

Our team was very excited to meet Mike Brown and hear about his new app called MySongList. This is a creative new app for allowing people to access entertainment, particularly live music. It is basically a virtual jukebox for live music. The user can literally be sitting in his living room and can listen to an artist who is performing somewhere maybe across the country and hear it live without being there. The user can then enter a request for certain songs and not interrupt the artist.

One of the cooler things is the ability to purchase their merchandise, such as CDs, shirts or posters. You are also able to put in a tip for their granting your requests. Payment can be made through the app. The app makes listening to your favorite genre of music even from around the world live as it is occurring. It can also notify the user when a certain artist is about to go live so that they can log in and listen to the concert. They can virtually "attend" a concert without actually being there and still request songs. You can even listen in your bunny slippers!

As an artist, you any be very skilled in certain genres of music. With this app, you can tailor the list to your audience for each venue, depending on the area you are playing in. People in that area can then request a song or songs from that list as it goes into the queue. Another feature is the proprietary software that allows you to see your lyrics or chords as you are playing.

Mike's partner is a programmer. He came home from a gig unhappy. It seems the paper he'd passed out to tables for song requests were all getting soaked with spilled beer. It costs the artist money to provide that paper and the people still were walking up to him and asking for requests instead of writing it down. Hence the idea for MySongList is born. Other musicians were all on board and loved the idea of networking on the app.

Another fun area to use this is for karaoke. When you use it for this, you can see in the queue where you are in the lineup to sing. If your party is anxious to leave and you have one last song to sing, you can pay a little bit, say $1.00-$5.00 for a "priority bump". What a cool idea for karaoke! There is no cost to the user for this app. However, the artists will pay$20.00 a month for the year. There is the ability to add a tip from the listener.

For more information got to MySongList.com.

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Findable Has a Stunning New Idea for Employers to Search for You

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Findable Has a Stunning New Idea for Employers to Search for You

2018-11-15

Today, there are so many different ways to find a job that the process can be overwhelming. That's mostly because the majority of the work is placed on the applicant, despite the fact that both sides have a vested interest in the process. While the job seeker is in need of work, the company is in need of someone to fill an opening. So, why does the job seeker always have to apply to the company, instead of the other way around? Findable believes that companies should be able to apply to job seekers, and that is exactly what their platform allows.

If you are searching for a job, you can create an account on Findable. Once you sign in, the system will walk you through setting up your virtual resume. The profile is broken into basic sections, like Contact Info and Languages, but also has more practical sections, like Experience, Education, Responsibilities, and Skills. After your profile is created, it will generate a resume for you, based on the information you entered. You can download and share this resume in any way you seem fit.

However, where Findable sets itself apart is in its reverse search capability. Rather than you searching for open positions, companies with open positions will search for you. Based on your resume, they can locate the candidates that match their requirements. If you meet their needs, they can contact you and pitch the job to you. From there, you will go through a fairly standard hiring process, all logged through the platform. You can see how many profile views you've had, whether you have been shortlisted by employers, as well as see how many have listed you as contacted, interviewing, and hired.

You can create your profile now for free and start looking for the right job.

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Flaregun AR Helps You to Locate What Matters Most in Real Life

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Flaregun AR Helps You to Locate What Matters Most in Real Life

2018-11-14

Imagine being at an event, like a music festival, with your friend or family member, with thousands of attendees. You each go different directions and agree to meet back up in an hour. When that hour comes up, you cannot find your friend, so you call them to try and sync up. You each try and describe where you are in a sea of similarities, making it nearly impossible, and definitely annoying, to finally find one another. Most people can relate to this scenario, and we have all wished there was an easier solution to the problem.

Enter Flaregun AR, an Augmented Reality platform that is the middle ground between making AR useful and helping you find your friends at an event. Reimagining the previous example, when you cannot find your friend, rather than calling them and giving vague directions, you simply open the Flaregun AR app, request to find your friend, and use the camera and GPS built-in to your phone to locate your friend. It works very similar to Pokemon Go, in that you can see through your camera on your screen, and arrows point you toward your "target," only in this case you're not looking for Pikachu. Once you have your phone pointed at your friend, you can begin moving toward one another.

Obviously, this is way better than trying to call, for a number of reasons. First, you're not dependant on your friend to give you accurate location information. Instead, the Flaregun platform does all of the work for you. Second, at a concert, festival, conference, etc., the noise is going to make it more difficult to hear. Even better, it works for more than just finding friends at an event. You can drop waypoints for things like your parking spot and never fight over which section you parked in at the mall or theme park.

Flaregun AR is available now for iOS, with Android capability coming soon.

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Contento Gives Small Business a Better Way to Manage Their Social Media

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Contento Gives Small Business a Better Way to Manage Their Social Media

2018-11-14

All of the big businesses focus a lot of their advertising money into digital marketing. Whether it be through search ads, pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll video ads (like on YouTube or Facebook), live ads (like on Twitch), or podcasts, digital is the place to be. Unfortunately for small businesses, the cost to get into digital advertising and to see any success from it is so high they normally cannot participate. That is exactly the problem that Contento set out to solve.

The team members had previously worked for standard ad agencies and had noticed that small businesses simply could not participate. They like to think of Contento as your "virtual, digital marketer." To create a lower cost solution, Contento looked for efficiencies provided by technology. As a client, you help them create a profile of your business, by browsing through related sites, by describing your business and your customer base, the algorithm is able to generate a model of the company.

Once the model is created, the system will tell you which online channels will be a good fit for your business. For example, a media company would likely have success on YouTube and Facebook, but might not have any need for Google+ or Instagram. Contento will also help create content for those channels, especially targeted for each channel. For example, a square video is successful on Instagram, portrait-style video works best for IGTV, while traditional landscape video is more successful on YouTube.

While there may be a lot of technology involved in the system, one of the things that Contento prides themselves in is the human factor. Currently, the company works directly with their clients to ensure that what is being produced is in line with the needs of small businesses. This is an important feature because many small businesses place a high value on knowing the people that they are dealing with, and knowing that there is a person there if they are in need.

Contento is available now, starting at $75 per month for the automated service.

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RozaRoute Takes the Guesswork Out of Cleaning Estimates

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RozaRoute Takes the Guesswork Out of Cleaning Estimates

2018-11-07

When most people think of data analytics, the industry that comes immediately to mind is finance. While that association makes sense, in reality, any industry can benefit from looking at data. As the technology has improved and artificial intelligence platforms have become more accessible, the businesses that have benefited the most involve a lot of manual processes. For example, office cleaning. The process is almost entirely manual, with people traveling from location to location and performing fairly repetitive tasks.

RozaRoute is a new product designed to analyze cleaning company behaviors and help these companies better estimate the cost of new contracts. Starting out, the product can use standard timings for things like cleaning windows, vacuuming floors, and more, to create a time estimate for a new contract. You enter the needs of the contract, and it will base its estimates on averages across the RozeRoute customer base. Over time, it will learn your team's timings and increase the accuracy of your estimates even more.

For example, let's say a company has 3 offices, a conference room with a table, and a waiting area. This office wants the floors vacuumed twice per week, windows cleaned weekly, and the trash taken out daily. By entering the information about this contract into RozaRoute, you can get an accurate estimate on how much time, and how many people, will be required to accomplish this job. In the past, you had to manually calculate and hope you got it right, then probably add 10% on top to account for miscalculations. With RozaRoute, you know that your estimates are more accurate and, therefore, there is less waste for you and the client.

RozaRoute is looking for early access and beta testers now.

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A SafetyPIN That Can Help Protect You from People Online in Real Life

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A SafetyPIN That Can Help Protect You from People Online in Real Life

2018-11-07

If you have spent any time online interacting with new people, you know it can be a questionable experience. Is the person you are talking to the person they claim, or are they possibly a St. Bernard that got ahold of a phone? There is absolutely no great way to tell. That question becomes even more important when you are considering inviting the person into your life, either as a date, a client, a housekeeper, babysitter, or more. That is where SafetyPIN Technologies comes in.

Their platform allows a person to generate a third-party verified account that shows that they are likely a safe person. Think of it like a background check that you perform on yourself, but you only share a verified status with others. The recipient does not get to see the results of the check, they only get to see that you have a verified SafetyPIN. This idea creates an environment of protection for both individuals: the sender's privacy is protected and the recipient's safety is protected.

So, how does it work? Let's say you want to be a house sitter, and you sign up on an online platform for people looking for house sitters. Before you do, you go get a SafetyPIN. The company will ask some questions about you to be able to do research. This will include SSN for a background check, as well as personality-type questions to look for problems. Once the process is done, if you are deemed to not have major red flags, you will receive a personal identification number (PIN), that you can share with prospective clients of your house sitting business. If red flags are found, you will not receive a PIN.

SafetyPIN is already supported by some big-name services, like LinkedIn, Bumble, HomeAway, and Nextdoor, and the company plans to expand their partnership network over time. You do not need to be on a supported platform to request a PIN from someone else, though, as you can verify right on the company's website.

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Servicebot Makes Billing a Positive Experience for Everyone

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Servicebot Makes Billing a Positive Experience for Everyone

2018-11-06

One of the hardest parts of creating a product is getting the billing system together. Creating a pricing structure, then programming an interface to a billing system, and then creating a script to run on a regular basis to charge the customer for the billing level is complicated. Add to that having a customer who wants to upgrade or downgrade their features. What happens when a credit card gets declined? There are a lot of conditions to consider, and getting it right the first time is difficult.

Luckily, Servicebot is here to remove the difficulty. Rather than having to consider all of those billing questions, Servicebot allows a developer to focus on their product's features and, with just a few lines of code, can implement Servicebot to handle all of the billing conditions. All you have to do is create an account, setup your billing options, embed the code on your website and let Servicebot handle the rest. The service supports recurring billing, as well as discounts for paying annually, and add-in features on top of your standard subscription. There is really no standard billing scenario that cannot be handled through this service.

From a management standpoint, companies can see all of their information about subscriptions and purchases in one place. The dashboard shows information like conversions (how many people became customers), churn rate (how many users left the platform), total subscriptions, paying subscriptions, invoice rate and more. These features make Servicebot not just a developer's best friend, but also is an important tool for management, as well.

In addition to the plug-and-play capabilities, Servicebot also offers a full-featured API to implement capabilities in a more customized way. This gives developers the ability to include billing management directly in their product, rather than relying on a website to manage billing. It also allows developers to test the features that a user is paying for to ensure that they are receiving all of the features they are supposed to get.

Servicebot is available now with pricing based on monthly revenue.

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Exciting New Breakthrough in Medical Field with DAT

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Exciting New Breakthrough in Medical Field with DAT

2018-11-06

Sirli Roosnomm, who represents Horizon Business Hub, has brought us a new and exciting device for health care. There is now available a test to detect astigmatism early in children long before other machines can. This is called DAT, which is the Direct Astigmatism Test. That is a very important thing to be able to do. There are other machines out there that will do this but the children are as old as 7 or 8. This machine will catch this problem as young as 3 or 4.

The DAT will also be able to find an undetected issue such as a heart problem which could result in a serious or fatal heart attack if not found. Myasthenia Gravis, a genetic disorder, is an abnormal weakening of certain muscles and is difficult to detect because there are so many other disorders which also have those symptoms. Just going to a doctor sometimes doesn't get results early enough. Most people do not even go for a checkup unless there are real problems and many times it is too late to correct them. With DAT you can find any issues and talk to your doctor about them.

With children, having them take an eye test is difficult because they may not be old enough to read an eye chart yet. DAT uses LED lights and colors to assist with their results. It asks them what do they see and they respond by answering simple questions. In adults, they are asked about textures of surfaces as well as colors. Since they say the eyes are the mirrors of the soul, there may be underlying health issues that could go unnoticed until too late.

Sirli sees that there are many people that could use this early detection whose very job it is to use their eyes specifically, such as pilots, truck drivers, or even surgeons. This test is very easy and can be self-administered if needed, although it is not being marketed for home use. The price point is somewhere around $1,500.00. They are hoping to be able to make an app for it to be available for a mobile device. For more info go to the company website.

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Shoe Returns Are a Thing of the Past Thanks to itfits!

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Shoe Returns Are a Thing of the Past Thanks to itfits!

2018-11-01

For anyone who has tried to buy shoes online, they have found that each company has its own sizing. This makes shopping hard because customers wind up returning their purchases. In fact, up to 10-30% of online shoe purchases are returned because of improper fit. Daniele Delle Case, CEO of Addi.fit, has come up with a clever and easy way to help solve all these problems. This idea came to Daniele because when he was a soccer player, he had problems finding the proper fit for his soccer shoes because not all brands in his size were fitting him.

The process starts with taking only 2 photos of the top of your feet which creates a 3D model. It then compares the sizes of the shoes. It uses the statistics of the 3D picture and extracts the info and creates your personal data for the selection of your shoes. It then holds this information in a personalized profile after your first purchase for future purchases. This makes your online shopping faster and easier. As Daniele said, "shop faster for the cart!"

This is a process that will benefit many people of all ages. Think of small children whose feet change and grow quickly, sometimes weekly. The photos have to be updated on a regular basis to ensure a proper fit for growing feet. With the elderly, there are many medical reasons to keep up with their feet. The onset of arthritis and rheumatism causes the feet to become misshapen and very hard to fit. Comfort is so very important

to our seniors' well-being.

This is not a platform for the consumer specifically. It is targeted for online retailers to improve the shopping experience of their customers. The cost for the retailer is free and costs nothing until purchases are made. Then it is 1 Euro ($1.13 US) per transaction.

Daniele has plans for the future of Addi.fit. He wants to be able to create his own line of custom-made shoes and at the same time be able to promote their designs with other designers and their ideas. He feels this is a good starting point to help other designers and the economy. He is hoping for this to be happening in 2-3 years out. For more info go to the company website.

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CausEcho is the Perfect Platform to Engage Supporters

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CausEcho is the Perfect Platform to Engage Supporters

2018-11-01

In these strange times, there is a lot of civic activity all across the country. We get a glimpse of some of the larger events that take place, but only from the point of view of the channel that we happen to be watching. What's really happening down among the participants? What is their actual message and how are these messages being translated among them? Also, on the flip side, companies and groups that sponsor and have created these events want to make sure that they not only get maximum exposure but that it is from a perspective that is as fresh and unaltered as possible.

We got a chance to learn about a new online and mobile platform that aims to create an engaging and seamless interface between organizing, participating and viewing these civic events as they happen when Edward Hill, IV, President and co-founder of CausEcho stopped by the studio. Basically, this platform simplifies the process for civic engagement by giving the various advocacy groups the ability to not only create/advertise their events in the system, and also the ability to mobilize and livestream them. The types of events include demonstrations, rallies, fundraisers and disaster relief efforts.

Potential activists can discover and support the causes of their choice. They can then either actively participate in the events, donate or both. Users can explore the event pages of the various advocacy groups and watch the live, or past, video footage that is uploaded by attendees. Everything is in one place, with the best moments highlighted through the eyes of those that were there as the content is uploaded using real-time video and photo footage. This not only gives viewers a truer perspective of the content, but also helps to increase overall awareness for these cause oriented events.

Learn more about the platform's ability to increase awareness, promote, organize, fundraise and engage communities in the full interview and then check out their website here.

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Exciting and Innovative Growing System from Babylon Micro-Farms

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Exciting and Innovative Growing System from Babylon Micro-Farms

2018-10-31

There has been a lot of progress in the agricultural field these days. We met Alexander Olsen the CEO of Babylon Micro-Farms, which is producing a low-cost hydroponic system for in-home and commercial use. This system uses 90-95% less water and produces a better crop of produce and plants than if they were grown outdoors. All you need is an active water line like for your refrigerator.

This process is touted to be the future of agriculture. There are no GMOs or pesticides used so the health aspect is greatly improved. The growth rate is 2 times faster than the traditional way. Another benefit is that with the traditional way, you lose 50% of the nutrients within a day of harvesting. The best part of this is that you are the one doing the harvesting and you get it as fresh as it can possibly be.

This is being targeted for various markets such as consumer and restaurants. In the restaurant business, it is necessary to order fresh produce from all over the world on a daily basis. This system will eliminate that. The freshness factor will definitely be enhanced. It is in the form of a dose pack that is simply put in a pod similar to a Keurig. The pods are pre-measured for a single serving. The dose control recreates the perfect environment for each particular crop so that you can program in what it is you want to grow and how to grow it. This results in a very consistent and successful crop of your chosen plant.

Finding the right staff was a challenge for Alexander. He had to look long and hard to find people who were dedicated and meshed with each other. They also had to be willing to work very long hours for very little pay at first.

The current unit is similar to a refrigerator in size. It measures 4x2.5x6 feet. Hopefully, it will be available in the next 6-9 months at a price point of $8,000.00. For more information go to the company's website.

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Awesome New App Makes Meeting People Safe with GoWithMe

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Awesome New App Makes Meeting People Safe with GoWithMe

2018-10-31

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to go to an event such as a concert or a play or even a movie and not having anyone to go with. Worse yet is trying not to drag or coerce a friend to accompany you who really doesn't want to go at all. GoWithMe is an event-based app specifically designed for finding someone to accompany you through a common interest.

The catalyst for this creation came about when Amanda Denatala, the company's founder, had her 17-year-old daughter looking for a new group of boys for her to choose from to date. In an effort to try to solve some of the issues of security and catfishing now found in today's society, she shared the request with her husband. He suggested that they either said no directly, knowing that she would probably do it anyway. The other option was to find a way under their parameters. The daughter agreed and found herself struggling with all the questions asked of her. She felt like she was looking for a husband! It showed that there was a big gap in the market. Amanda needed to fix it as she had 3 more children younger than her oldest daughter. It was a scary world that they would be facing as they grew up especially since most people lie on their profiles. After much research and reading, she just started seeing what worked. Instead of feeling inadequate about other profiles compared to hers, she tried posting that she had tickets to a certain concert and hoped someone would respond. They did and her idea was born.

This app can also be used for finding a golf partner or a group to play cards with as it can be adjusted for multiple people. There is a built-in security feature that tracks you. When the event is over you let the app know the event is over and that if you don't, it may think you are in a dangerous situation. It will text you to see how you liked the event. If you don't respond, it will send a text to a pre-designated emergency contact. It can connect to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Google. The event tickets have 3 different options: you pay for tickets, which is called paid, or stag which is like Dutch treat or sponsored which is like asking someone to pay for the tickets because you have no money.

The app is available now. Check out the company website for more information.

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SPIN Is the New Innovative Way For Buying Your Car

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SPIN Is the New Innovative Way For Buying Your Car

2018-10-28

The process of buying a new car has not always been the best or easiest experience for most people. Now Jonathan Grisley, who was previously associated with Kelley Blue Book and Nissan, has developed an ingenious and immersive app for purchasing your next new car called SPIN.

This app is so very user-friendly and exciting to look at. As most potential buyers usually spend approximately 14-15 hours online doing research before narrowing down their choices and making their decision, with SPIN the colorful and beautiful pictures make it less stressful than flipping pages and clicking on numerous buttons. Because the photos are of extremely high quality it seems you can almost reach out and touch the cars. There are approximately 35 photos offered per vehicle. The specs are easy to see and very clearly stated.

Safety is one of the most important reasons people choose certain vehicles. With SPIN, all of the safety features are right there front and center. There are areas for specific information such as how much legroom and headroom is in a certain car. It shows very clearly where all the airbags are located and gives a diagram for blind spots which is a very important feature. There is a great animated feature for collision warnings and an autonomous braking system which proves in today's world, that technology is here to stay.

In addition to all of this, one of the best other features is the simplicity of the language used in the app. Many other car companies use such unfamiliar terms for the description of their product and their features. Such as in the case of Audi, which refers to their mentioning of Quattro, which is nothing more than all-wheel-drive. Having consistent terminology makes it easier to compare one brand to another without worrying about why one car has a seemingly important feature and another seems to be missing a similar feature.

If you want to experience it now, the app is currently available for both iPhone and iPad. After getting investments, they hope to bring it to Android. For more information go to the company website.

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Misty is the Adorable New Personal Robot That is Fully Customizable

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Misty is the Adorable New Personal Robot That is Fully Customizable

2018-10-28

Ian Bernstein, the founder of Misty Robotics, joined us at Collision 2018 to talk about Misty, the advanced personal robot with professional grade, programmable sensors, bringing us ever closer to the reality of a useful robot in every home and office. Evolved from Sphero, Misty is a robot made for developers of every skill level.

Inspired by the household robot imagery that he grew up with, like Rosie in the Jetsons and the android assistants in Star Wars, Bernstein started building his own robots when he was just 12. Eight years ago, he launched Sphero, an app-enabled, connected play robotic ball now used in STEM education programs in 10,000-15,000 schools worldwide. From there he developed the popular home version of BB-8, a droid character in the Star Wars franchise. Misty is the next generation of Bernstein's robot imagination, an outgrowth of his interest in telepresence robotics. Taking a page from devices like the Amazon Echo, and how people interact with it, Bernstein decided it was more important that his version of a personal robot leverage the power of personality, with telepresence capabilities, but also much more.

It's easy to program in a variety of languages, as well as through a visual block programming interface. Users can modify robot functionality as desired and it is also hardware hackable. Misty comes equipped with far-field microphones, voice and face recognition, capacitive touch, bump and depth sensors and more. The magnetic panels are easy to remove, as are simple screws in other locations, and the robot is well equipped with serial and USB ports, along with an Arduino backpack to enable further customization of responses and actions.

Misty comes in two versions, with an MSRP of $3200 although there are discounts and a referral program to reduce costs. Misty I is available now, and Misty II ships in December. Right out of the box, Misty is able to generate a detailed floor plan of your home, and charge herself at the nearest outlet, as well as perform some other basic tasks. With a wealth of developer tools on the website and an active developer community, imagination is the only limit to creating customized user functionality with Misty. You don't even have to own the robot yet, to be active in the Misty Robotics community. All you need is an interest in robots.

You can learn more and follow Misty's journey at the Misty Robotics website.

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Better International Ability to Buy Property Here in the States

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Better International Ability to Buy Property Here in the States

2018-10-25

Glorius Corporation is an online platform which caters to international buyers who are looking to finance homes here in the United States. Cofounder, Renee Crawford was available to discuss the details with us. They launched earlier this year and aim to bring these very specific buyers together with lenders who specialize in foreign investment mortgages. To begin, they have focused on property in Florida, but are looking to expand to other states as the business grows.

There is definitely a market for real estate sales to buyers and investors from other countries. It is not, however, always easy for these buyers to obtain financing for these large purchases. Most conventional lending institutions have little to no appetite for making loans in this arena due to the potential risks. And the application process is long and cumbersome with multiple requests for more documentation and can still result in your loan request being denied. Renee and her partner saw a perfect opportunity to help both buyers and investors and seized the opportunity.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, but are looking to purchase property and don't want to use up all of your cash in the process, Glorius is ready to assist. They make the financing process quick and easy with closings in as little as 5-10 days in some cases. They also enable you to look at multiple lenders and loan options with the ability to negotiate your own terms. No credit reports are required and it's up to you if you want to provide financial statements of income and assets for improved terms. You will receive help throughout the process, removing the pain of complex and restrictive guidelines. And your personal data will remain anonymous until you agree and accept the terms you negotiate with your lender.

And the service is unmatched on the investment side, as well. If you are looking for better investments with high return & low risk, Glorius will match you up with the right buyer. You'll be brought together with private individuals to negotiate your terms and manage the documentation directly. You will be the holder of the mortgage and have the ability to choose the terms, interest rates and points that best fit your plans.

You can get more information in the full interview, as well as by visiting their website.

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Marvin is the Intelligent Career Coach Behind New Humachina Jobs Site

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Marvin is the Intelligent Career Coach Behind New Humachina Jobs Site

2018-10-25

Mai Atta is a co-founder of Humachina, a career board site powered by Marvin, an artificial intelligence career coach who crunches the numbers to help users find the perfect job. Currently in beta mode, Humachina aims to help both job seekers and those seeking career advancement.

Atta and her team, all from Cairo, were inspired to develop Humachina as a result of their convoluted journeys to their current careers. They worked in fields outside their majors and spent years uncovering their true passions and discovering the right paths to them. They felt there should be a better way to explore career options more efficiently at an earlier stage. Thus was born Humachina, which uses sets of psychological assessments within a holistic framework to suggest career, development and vocational options for job seekers intended to be in closer alignment with their actual skills and interests, so users can develop greater professional awareness to make more informed career decisions.

When a user registered on the site, a short two-minute chat with Marvin the AI Career Counselor gives the AI system a sense of where the job seeker is, and where he or she wants to be. Then Marvin creates a customized profile for the user, which can be accessed and updated as needed. Where the usual ratio of job counselor-to-student is about one per 500 students, Marvin is a dedicated personal adviser. The platform helps users identify valuable skills for the current job market, learn what's new in the employment arena, makes professional learning and development recommendations, and helps source related online MOOCs and relevant offline courses at nearby Community Colleges or Universities.

Whether someone wants to be a data scientist or a professional surfer, Marvin makes no judgments, only crunches the numbers. It can detect if a user is bored, or focused more on skills than interests, or if the user wants to say something further. The AI will provide percentages of career fit, plus odds for success based on career development paths, predicting when the user will be able to achieve the career of choice, based on the selected professional and personalized Learning Path. It also helps select the best style of learning for the user, based on whether it understands the user to be a visual or auditory learner. With a database of 140,000 jobs, Marvin can also make recommendations based on location, travel and relocation preferences.

Rolling out Humachina at Collision 2018, Atta and her team are hoping for exposure and funding, so they can expand out beyond their proof-of-concept beta test location in New York City. You can meet Marvin at the company website to learn more.

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Charities Found Their Super Hero in WorkHERO

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Charities Found Their Super Hero in WorkHERO

2018-10-23

WorkHERO by Encast is a great platform designed for employees to be excited about their potential ability to be philanthropic and support a charity or cause that they truly love and are passionate about. This sits very well with them and the results are that the company they work for has better productivity and happier employees. Verizon and Campbells have funded a research project called ROI that interviewed a lot of companies and found that corporate social responsibility programs that use platforms like this see a 7.5% increase in engagement and 13% increase in productivity.

CEOs like WorkHERO because having happy and satisfied employees reduces turnovers. It has been proven that there is a 31% increase in productivity and a 37% increase in sales when WorkHERO was available in their company. When a company has to let someone go, there is a loss in the productivity of their position. There has to be a replacement and that costs the company money to train someone new. It is 10 times more costly to attract and hire a new employee than to retain an existing one.

Millennials make up more than 50% of the current workforce today and they want more than just a job. They are looking for work culture and community involvement so to them their job has meaning. They feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer when the company embraces charitable giving that aligns with their passions and community projects. WorkHERO allows employees and employers to find that common ground.

WorkHERO is the only workplace giving tool that offers fee-free giving. The management felt that it was an important part of their business model because it guarantees that the charities receive more of the pledged money than with any other platform.

For more information go to encast.gives.

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ShuttleBee is Easy, Safe and Simple Transportation for Kids

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ShuttleBee is Easy, Safe and Simple Transportation for Kids

2018-10-23

ShuttleBee is a tech-enabled transportation service for kids. A what? No, you read that correctly. And founder, Kristina Fahl, stopped by our Collision 2018 studio to explain how this idea really isn't all that far-fetched.

In a nutshell, they take kids from one place to another. And we admit when you first hear the concept, one of the first things to come to mind is... I would never put my children in a rideshare vehicle alone. But then when you really think about it, we do it all of the time, with friends and family, on school buses and in daycare vans. And certainly without all of the ingenuity and safety features that come built into ShuttleBee. This platform offers brand new options for getting your kids to school, activities, and events. They are fully insured and operate with strict protocols designed to keep your kids safe. Their drivers and walking supervisors are our well-vetted and the routes are always monitored.

We are all caught up in our own hectic lives. Juggling multiple balls to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. But inevitably, life throws us those monkey wrenches that can be tough to dodge. From getting the kids to school while not missing those early morning meetings to needing to get different kids to different activities in different parts of town. We can all use an extra hand (or car) from time to time. And you definitely will not have to worry about them not being "in your sights" while they are riding. Services include a Route Supervisor who is immediately available while the kids are in transit. There is also instant message via chat included as well as GPS monitoring. And if you're like us, you'll have that up during the entire ride.

There are three ways to use their services. Whether you need to use them on a regular basis, or as the perfect back up plan, ShuttleBee has a plan for you. They offer Group Transportation, have Hourly Rates and also Custom Chauffeur/Event Services. All are great options to safely get your kids where they need to go. The Group Transportation is for parents who are looking to set up daily transportation for their children. ShuttleBee works with them to match their kid's travel plan with other children heading in the same direction. They consider it their most cost-effective plan. The Hourly Rate plan is for parents who are looking to book a group by minivan or daycare bus routine service or things like single field trips or events. This option makes it easy for the cost to be divided among riders if needed. Lastly, the Chauffeur Service is perfect for specific appointments or those early-mornings work meetings that keep you from being able to drop the kids off at school. This service will offer routes that are competitively priced and include in-vehicle video monitoring.

If you would like more information about this unique and convenient service, make sure to check out the full interview and then head over to their website for more specifics and updates.

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Vempathy: Enhances User Testing with AI to Get the Best Results

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Vempathy: Enhances User Testing with AI to Get the Best Results

2018-10-21

With everything being quantified these days, user testing has become important within multiple business applications. Paul Cheek, CEO of Vempathy, was at Collision Conference 2018 to showcase their new online usability testing platform and video analysis software.

He explained how there are now a lot of companies that put a lot of emphasis on user research. But it is so time-consuming to go through hours and hours of video to discern the insights and emotions required for this type of research. Vempathy's AI approach is able to bring research faster and at scale. The process starts at the project launch when clients decide what exactly they want to be tested, whether it be their website, onboarding flow, or even a new feature. They then send their Vempathy URL to the testers so that they can record themselves.

In the next step, they review the qualitative results with their emotion analysis technology. Vempathy produces qualitative emotion reports so that can easily identify the most insightful moments of the user's recordings to then collaborate with their clients on annotations. And it's not just raw data. They also produce short highlight reels of the most emotional moments that can be shared with the teams.

When it comes time to present the results, this is where they shine. Their specialty is extracting quantitative data from the qualitative research. They provide a reporting suite that provides clients with quantitative data, which can be presented to the entire team to not only justify changes but also inspire action. Output includes journey maps that are automatically generated that allow clients to measure emotion throughout the user experience. There are also iterative Results that show how user emotion valence is increasing and decreasing from iteration to iteration. And advanced emotion tracking is more of a deep dive on all of the 4,200 emotion data points that are tracked by the millisecond.

To learn more about their process and pricing, be sure to visit their website after the interview.

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Breefly Helps Make Business Reporting Quick, Easy and Effective

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Breefly Helps Make Business Reporting Quick, Easy and Effective

2018-10-21

Breefly is a cloud-based platform that simplifies business reporting while delivering multi-structured data and analyzed insights, as well as curated, actionable content to users. Founder and CEO Marcus Jimenez soft launched Breefly at Collision 2018, and spent some time telling us about the goals and value of the platform.

Jimenez found the impetus for Breefly while working with research and data clients who constantly needed help articulating data to make it more consumable and digestible for teams less interested in reading a 400 deck than getting to the crux of the matter. Breefly is an enterprise level type product built with the market research industry in mind, but which Jimenez says has broader corporate applications for a multitude of business reporting needs.

Essentially, the platform helps socialize impersonal data into meaningful stories. It integrates multi-structured data including text, imagery, and rich audio and video media, and allows users to create almost any type of shareable content for everything from business and sales briefs featuring data visualizations to general marketing and corporate communications to podcasts and video ethnographies. Users can create their customized briefs within minutes, for more palatable and meaningful business reporting.

Reports are end-to-end encrypted to remain secure and private, and the platform is cloud-based, giving users full control over their reports, with the ability to grant access as needed and only when needed. Because users love swiping, the system interface allows users to swipe left and right to visit the selected brief and a couple of taps to access the story-based format of data and content. The system allows users to create flash briefs, good for general recaps and summaries; marketing briefs for things like trends reports and campaign summaries; research briefs for executive summaries and tracking study updates, and video briefs for ethnographies, video project updates, and corporate communications. Briefs are also auto-tagged upon creation, so users can simply use the keyword search to easily search and view briefs.

Visit the Breefly website to learn more.

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Amazing Upgrade to Your Existing Video Security System

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Amazing Upgrade to Your Existing Video Security System

2018-10-20

Lloyd Reshard, CEO of Cognitive Big Data Systems, stopped by our Collision studio to tell us about their new software system. It provides a great way to get more security and upgrade your system without having to purchase new equipment as it works with your existing hardware. The software, AVAE, is a third party add in system that basically acts as a filter that is able to detect all the normal activity that is specific to your home and then alerts for unusual activity. It allows for the processing of real-time video data on your PC without having to change the cameras or video management systems. AVAE is able to remember the patterns of over 25M numbers per second and how they relate to each other without storing any of the numbers.

AVAE is unique because of the unconventional way that it processes large amounts of data. This quick and efficient system transfers regular video streaming into pixel data. Once pixelated, it is then able to detect and classify abnormal behaviors and patterns based on what is normal for a particular person, device, time of day or situation. AVAE can also issue automatic alerts and/or be programmed to take action as needed. The point, click and tag design offers real-time training of target objects with minimal setup.

    System capabilities include:
  • Detection and classification of objects, both indoor and out
  • Automated detection of people at parking entrance/exit
  • Vehicle / human detection - with further classification into subtypes
  • People, vehicle, object counting
  • Crowd density management
  • Static object (such as items left behind, abandoned baggage, etc.)
  • Trajectory between cameras
  • People detection on a conveyor belt
  • People detection on railroad tracks or on gates
  • Meaningful data about the volume and direction of pedestrians, bikes, motorbikes, cars, and large vehicles.
  • Can easily be integrated via APIs, Services or libraries.

After you view the full interview, head over to their website for more information and video demonstrations.

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Field Complete: The Most Cost Effective Way to Manage Contractors

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Field Complete: The Most Cost Effective Way to Manage Contractors

2018-10-20

Field Complete makes managing contractors in the field easy and efficient. COO Timothy Tesluck joined us at Collision 2018 to tell us what sets this field management software apart from the others. One of the signature features of the platform, he says, it the fact that that it's "industry agnostic." That means Field Complete can and does handle contractor field services across a wide range of job categories, including property maintenance to plumbing, landscaping, appliance repair, green energy and more.

Additionally, Field Complete utilizes a job sharing feature so that companies on the platform can send jobs to each other. Currently being test marketed in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the job sharing feature allows vendors to share jobs across a wide range of industries, streamlining operations to the point where the platform basically becomes a job source for contractors.

Uber keeps coming up as the easy analogy for many of the services surfacing at Collision 2018, and it works here, too, as the company looks to release a customer application where a customer can take a photo of whatever is broken in their home, and a verified licensed technician can be at their door in a short time frame. Tesluck points out that the difference between Field Complete and Uber is that his platform empowers the field service industry with the right tools for contractors to compete in an in-demand economy.

The company prides itself on the fact that their co-founding team has a combined 50+years of field service management experience, and intimately understands the industry, its needs, and challenges. Field Complete is designed to be user-friendly, utilizes a route optimization feature for dispatchers and contractors, has easy to manage business rules and offers configurable software solutions. From estimating and assigning jobs to contractors, to monitoring and updating field service progress to collecting payment, Field Complete does it all.

Visit the company website to learn more.

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BriteBee: Now You Are Secure and in Control when You Shop for Insurance

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BriteBee: Now You Are Secure and in Control when You Shop for Insurance

2018-10-19

BriteBee is a new way to shop for insurance that refreshes the experience for the online consumer as well as improving outcomes for insurance professionals. CEO and co-founder Keagan Henson joined us at Collision 2018 to share how BriteBee is disrupting the $1 billion a year insurance industry in a positive way by putting the consumer in charge.

With the BriteBee three-pillar platform of "Share, Compare, and Communicate," the customer maintains full control of their policy search process without falling prey to lead generation sites that collect and sell consumer info, and subject the customer to robocalls, spam and phishing threats. Customers share their information a single time, saving it to a secure and private profile that is not visible to insurance companies. They can then compare quotes, agents, and experiences in one place, choosing only the agency with which the customer wishes to work. The platform also gives customers the ability to request quotes from up to five agents at once. The consumer communicates with agents on his or her own time with no unwanted calls or emails from insurance companies, and consumer information remains private until the customer decides to share it.

By creating a consumer-controlled platform, the company looks to build trust and brand loyalty and seeks to build their revenue model off subscription services to agents rather than insurance customers. The benefit to agents is that by the time a customer decides to connect, it's a warm lead for them, from a potential client who reached out independently and who is ready for and expecting a quote. Agents have opportunities to market on the BriteBee site but in a controlled environment, through agent "spotlights" and blog features. BriteBee currently offers home, renters and auto insurance, with plans to expand as they grow.

You can learn more about the company at their website.

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Your Actions are Powerful so Reclaim Democracy with WokeUp

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Your Actions are Powerful so Reclaim Democracy with WokeUp

2018-10-19

Every generation has been impacted by times of great strife. On one hand, we've come so far, and on the other, we are stuck in the cycle of conflict. Same pattern, different topic. And being right in the middle of the current set of divisive circumstances, we can either sit by and hope it passes or we can get active and try to effect positive change. Luckily, more and more people are choosing the latter. They want to get involved in their communities, to make a difference. Unfortunately, it's not always so easy to get started.

Patrick English, Founder of WokeUp, came up with an easy-to-use platform to assist with community organization. The tool empowers citizens who are concerned about a particular topic to take direct action in their local areas. He came up with the idea after the 2016 elections as he felt that the viciousness of the election cycle revealed disconnects within our democracy. It had broken down to the point that people were no longer actually communicating with each other. The division between the ideologies was deepening and we needed a way to come back to a basic level of respect. What better way than to work together for a common, community-based goal to get back on track. We can all work towards a shared purpose to realize that there is more that can bring us together than there is that divides us.

Their mission at WokeUp: "(to) Develop the necessary political infrastructure for the 21st century through a virtuous social network, providing technology tools and resources for effective activism. Encourage the smallest acts of justice and kindness, with an understanding that the power of personal connection can shape our world. Make civic involvement simple, fun and an enduring American value."

    At their core, they are a group of longtime activists who made a few simple hypotheses:
  • Social media can be a tool to effect meaningful action.
  • Volunteer time is as valuable a resource as donor dollars.
  • Protests and resistance are losing their effectiveness.
  • The American Renaissance will begin at the community level, not in Washington.
  • When the right people get connected, change happens.

In their own words, they are an elegant experiment to test these assumptions. They are building an online infrastructure that allows members to easily organize with fellow members around civic action in their communities. They will be accomplished by providing a repository of resources, as well as an archive of past actions for the purpose of providing guidance and feedback.

If you are ready to get involved in a way that is both empowering and fun, check out their website to learn more.

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Mintor: A Powerful Mentor Platform for More Meaningful Connections

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Mintor: A Powerful Mentor Platform for More Meaningful Connections

2018-10-18

Mintor co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Kasra Khalili joined us at Collision 2018 to talk about his online connection platform for mentors and mentees (those being mentored). His own life experience, post-college, was the impetus for developing Mintor. It took several months of research and personal networking before he found the right professional guide for his needs. He ultimately found the experience so transformative and perspective-setting that he was inspired to help others more easily find their own personal experts and career guides.

While there are other matching platforms available for mentors and youth or under-represented populations, most are broad in scope. Mintor aims to create a more customizable and organic experience, utilizing a proprietary algorithm that screens for compatibility between mentors and mentees based on professional needs, level of current expertise, topics of interest, goal alignment, personality and learning style. After an initial match, student and guide meet to get to know one another and confirm compatibility.

The platform provides a scheduling tool for future meetings, as well as a continuous feedback loop to foster community moderation and performance accountability. The system also allows users to set learning goals, track their progress, and share milestones.

Currently in the alpha, pre-development stage, Mintor hopes to launch January 2019. With 60 mentees already in the pipeline, the company wants to build their network and get as many people as possible interested, and build out with multiple subscription-based platform offerings that range from access to one mentor to premium membership that expands user and platform feature options. Mintor also recognizes the need for mentoring in corporations, businesses, and universities, and plans to be able to provide the vital metrics these larger institutions value.

You can learn more at the Mintor website, where visitors are also invited to share their mentor stories.

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Servicio: A Competitive New Gig-Economy Platform that Really Delivers

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Servicio: A Competitive New Gig-Economy Platform that Really Delivers

2018-10-18

Paramvir Maniktala is the founder of Servicio, which delivers a competitive gig-economy platform for e-commerce and retail where anyone can become a courier. Servicio is a supply chain & logistics company with a twist: think Ubereats but which delivers a lot more than food inexpensively to your doorstep. Servicio delivers everything from groceries to electronics, clothing and more.

Inspired to solve the challenge of expensive gas and high delivery costs encountered in his native India, which can shrink already modest profit margins, Maniktala took a page out of the peer-to-peer rideshare platforms common today, and launched Servicio, with the tagline "Connecting Life to Life." Now even small companies with limited delivery needs can offer the perk of local shipping without incurring the expense of contracted services, in-house staff or the cost of a company delivery vehicle. In addition to the low cost, the system provides fast turn around within a small hyperlocal delivery area, transparency, and a verification process that ensures products are safe and drivers are vetted. Servicio also changes the delivery dynamic by giving 90% of the delivery fee to local couriers, with only 10% commission to Servicio.

With the peer-to-peer web platform, users can book their consignments with the goal of better brand placement for retail, e-commerce & SME industry at affordable pricing. Servicio benefits from low overhead costs, requiring neither warehouses nor a delivery fleet. It's a decentralized process of one person to one person, with no middleman or central distribution center to incur additional costs.

For individuals, the website platform allows users to sign up to book their own consignments. Local transport company owners can also participate. Servicio is banking both on the social welfare component of its mission, that not only motivates local couriers with the majority of delivery fee earnings, but also a royalty program, as well as the lure of cheap labor for companies wanting to offer local deliveries as an extra perk.

Servicio is currently an alpha stage company, which Mankitala brought to Collision 2018 to help raise interest and capital. Learn more at their website.

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eebudee: Teaching Kids 4-12 How to Be Safe & Savvy Online in a Fun Way

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eebudee: Teaching Kids 4-12 How to Be Safe & Savvy Online in a Fun Way

2018-10-17

Mike Fairclough, is the founder of eebudee, an Australian software company dedicated to helping keep kids ages 4-12 safe and savvy online behavior through an emphasis on digital citizenship and social media education. Inspired by the personal experience of a friend's 14-year-old daughter killing herself because of cyberbullying, Fairclough joined with other tech-savvy parents and experts to create eebudee as a family friendly platform where parents can educate their children about the online world in a safe, secure but also fun environment.

eebudee recognizes the positive aspects of being digitally connected - like access to information, communities of like-minded friends, and staying connected to family - but hopes to help children develop digital armor and digital resiliency, protecting them from falling into internet addictions and falling prey to online predators. The point of eebudee is not to shield kids from the online world but to empower them to reap the benefits while properly protecting themselves and developing effective communication and positive social skills. "Bud", developed by kids for kids, is the digital safety mascot of the eebudee community, a friendly cartoon fridge recalling the kitchen as the symbolic gathering place for families, and which has all the ingredients needed to raise digitally resilient kids - education and social media training.

For a modest monthly subscription fee of less than $10/month, a portion of which goes to the eebudee Foundation to help fight problems associated with digital addiction and cyberbullying, families have access to all the educational curricula and resources in the platform. Once subscribed, families receive guidance on appropriate usage to set the stage for savvy usage from the start, and then children have access to regularly updated games and other content that reinforce safe online behavior.

Next steps for eebudee is expanding roll out in the United States and Fairclough hopes to leverage the experience of Collision 2018 to connect with investors and raise awareness of the importance of the work being done through eebudee. You can learn more by visiting the company website.

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SmartPay Makes Purchases Amazingly Easy for Everybody

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SmartPay Makes Purchases Amazingly Easy for Everybody

2018-10-17

Vladimir Goloborodko had been an IT Consultant for 15 years and while managing a large team with clients that had multibillion-dollar budgets, he realized that he wanted to do something new and take the path of a startup with a great idea. So he founded a crypto payment system for small and medium-sized merchants to assist them and their clientele with those smaller purchases that decrease the profit margin because of certain roadblocks that are inherent in the system. The result is a really great idea called SmartPay.

As busy humans in the middle of our on-the-go lifestyles, we've all been in situations where we need to grab a quick drink and pack of gum while we're out or pick up that quintessential loaf of bread on the way home. Then we realize that either we don't have any cash on us at the time, or we have a large bill that we don't want to break for something that totals three dollars and seventy-two cents (the "large bill" example not being me, by the way). Not only is this a hassle for us consumers, but it's an even bigger hassle for the merchants. Especially considering the fact that up to 30% of their profit margin get automatically eaten up with bank merchant fees when we use our debit and credit cards. So they end up either imposing minimum purchase amounts when we use a card for payment, or they increase their pricing across the board to help compensate. That leaves us to either pay more for what should have been a quick and easy purchase or keeps us from making these types of purchases at all.

SmartPay has a perfect solution that makes it easy for both parties to quickly and easily make these smaller transactions a breeze. Their payment platform is specifically designed to accommodate these exact transaction that we encounter on a daily basis and it doesn't even require them to have any special equipment. The basic premise consists of QR codes that are either generated on their existing smartphone or tablet and in cases with preset pricing, they don't need anything except a sheet or sticker with the QR code. It only takes them about 10 minutes to set up the mobile app to start excepting payments. So customers merely need to scan the code for the payments to instantly be sent to the merchant from their mobile account.

It's such an interesting idea, not only for the simplicity of use but also the cost savings and it takes the multiple middlemen out of the processing of each payment transaction down to just two. And as if that weren't incredible enough, it also takes the banks out of the equation as the payments will now go straight through your mobile provider. According to their statistics, mobile operators already have approx. 5 billion customers, while banks have 2 billion. Payment technology on this level has the opportunity to streamline efficiency in much the same manner that the video streaming companies have with network and cable television viewing. We also love how many different uses it would be able to accommodate. It would make paying for lunch, or even things like bus fare, so much easier.

Their model also includes proximity marketing that will allow participating merchants the opportunity to send out digital campaigns that are designed to generate new leads, increase business and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Check out Vladimir's full interview to learn more about this blockchain solution and then head over to their website to find their roadmap for future platforms that include a web-based gift version and financial services.

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Announcing a New Breakthrough Alert System for Meds with HEXIS

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Announcing a New Breakthrough Alert System for Meds with HEXIS

2018-10-10

Many people old and young have problems keeping track of and remembering to take their medications. Lenny George and another co-founder have developed a wonderful adherence device, which they call HEXIS from CueMed. This device is a voice-enabled connected pill organizer designed to contain your meds. It can hold up to 7 days worth of pills, as many as 14 pills a day and can separate them into 4 groups per day. It comes in a smart-looking little tower that contains 7 containers for your medications. It is a very discreet way to have your meds handy without advertising that you are carrying them. HEXIS recognizes only your voice and will only respond to you, keeping your medication schedule private.

Lenny states that there are as much as 65% of prescription users that do not finish their meds. This can have very serious side effects, resulting in hospitalizations, and increased or recurring illnesses. He also tells of his co-founder having trouble with her thyroid meds. It seems that "life problems" get in the way as they do for so many people.

HEXIS keeps you on track by educating you that there are serious consequences to not taking them on time or at all. This device can also be work with other health devices such as Fitbit, glucose meters or blood pressure monitors or electronic scales that track your sleep, heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Proper monitoring is so very important to your health and HEXIS is a way to make it easy. This isn't just a pill organizer but it actually has an analytic approach to help you form and keep good health habits to ensure your improving health. They have gone through several prototypes to come up with the correct hardware solution that serves as your personal health coach.

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MobileServe Makes it Easy to do More with Your Volunteering

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MobileServe Makes it Easy to do More with Your Volunteering

2018-10-10

More and more companies these days are looking to get involved with assisting those in need around them and getting their employees more engaged in these volunteer efforts. There are multiple benefits of adopting a culture of volunteerism. Not only does it offer much-needed assistance while increasing the company's exposure in the community, but it also creates a sense of satisfaction for the employees. This, in turn, can increase their overall output. After all, happy employees are productive employees. It's truly a win for the companies, not to mention the wonderful impact on many deserving nonprofit organizations.

For these efforts to truly be successful, it needs to be easy to set up, track and measure. It also needs to be simple for the employees to log their hours. If it's too cumbersome, nobody will use it. MobileServe took all of this into consideration and has built the perfect solution to help businesses and their employees reach new heights in their volunteer efforts. CEO Ben Reno-Weber gave us the full rundown on what they have to offer.

MobileServe is a new platform offering smart volunteer tracking that is useful to both businesses and their employee volunteers. The company believes that it should be easy for you to measure your organization's social impact. And that logging these service activities should not be annoying to the volunteers. With this system, the employees are able to log their time with just a couple of taps. This easy to maneuver tracker offers more reliable verification options and more accurate reporting with quick and easy stats that include economic impact. Also included are searchable, exportable reports and infographics. All of this eliminates the need for archaic spreadsheets and paper tracking. The volunteers can easily create & verify service logs and the employer has everything they need in a central dashboard.

To learn more about implementing this easy to use platform into your business, be sure to watch the full interview and then check out their website.

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LifeGuides: Being There for You with Comfort and Support

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LifeGuides: Being There for You with Comfort and Support

2018-09-16

One of the hardest things in this life is to be faced with a challenging situation that you are unfamiliar with and there is an overwhelming feeling that you are totally alone and on your own. You feel as if you have absolutely no support and no one to turn to. Having caring friends is a good thing, but often times is not enough. You need someone who has literally walked in your shoes and knows what you are dealing with. Not everyone knows someone like that and they do not know where to turn.

This is where LifeGuides can help you. This is a platform created to help people help others in serious life situations when they do not know where to turn. They pair you up with others that have been in the situation that you are in so that you can be guided and supported to get you through. There are a lot of people that share the experiences that we all face. Being able to talk to and communicate with them is so important. It is so very helpful to realize that you are not facing this alone. Everyone needs a "buddy" that they can call and rely on.

LifeGuides is currently focusing on that dreaded disease of Alzheimer's. There are so many family members that are dealing with this. Knowing that there is someone to listen to them and feel their pain is so important to them getting through the experience. LifeGuides is in a private testing phase at this time with a spotlight on the people affected by Alzheimer's. The company plans to expand beyond this single topic and launch to the general public in April of 2019.

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Introducing Nehbur: A Fantastic New App for Rentals

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Introducing Nehbur: A Fantastic New App for Rentals

2018-09-16

Have you ever found yourself in need of something for whatever project you are working on and just don't have it? Now there is a platform for sharing items with your neighbors that they or you don't need or use all the time. It's called Nehbur, co-founded by Chris Reel from Canada.

Nehbur is a rental platform designed to provide items to share by renting or selling to your neighbors and friends. The purpose is to try to bring neighbors and communities together in a symbiotic manner. One example is given by Chris. He told of a time when he saw for sale an electronic drum set. He, being an avid drummer, was blown away by the sale price of $100. when they usually go for at least $1400. He called and asked if there was something wrong with the set. The girl told him that there was nothing wrong, but she just had to make her rent. He realized that if she rented the drum set out over and over she would make more than her rent, and possibly recoup her cost of the set AND she would get to keep it! The idea for Nehbur was born.

Another very good example is when the PLuGHiTz Live team arrived at Collision and found out we were without monitors. We had to immediately have a late-night road trip to purchase some. If this app had been available, we could have rented them from someone local instead. We were not alone with this problem. The Nehbur team itself had to locate a screen for their booth at Collision.

This obviously-needed is not yet available but should be in the near future. For more information on this important app, go to their website.

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The Best Experience for Customers and Restaurants

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The Best Experience for Customers and Restaurants

2018-09-16

It's Saturday night and you're out on the town with a group of friends. You want to have dinner at your favorite restaurant but it's quite popular and they are always packed. So getting a table can be a challenge. You certainly don't want to waste time standing around waiting for a table. On the flip side, popular restaurants want to be able to maximize their table turn over while maintaining that balance of happy customers. We spoke with Jose Mendez, Co-Founder of apptaizer, about their solution to this challenge. apptaizer is a cloud-based solution for restaurants that also provides an improved customer experience by reducing wait times to be seated. It also goes the extra step and assists with everything from ordering to paying the bill.

apptaizer offers a digital platform for restaurant and bar owners who are continually looking for new ways to improve their branding and customer experience. To accomplish this, they have created a direct channel between the business and the consumers that allows them to reduce wait times for seating. It also provides easy ordering and an alternative for splitting the bill between large groups. Sure, there are already online reservations, kiosk ordering at the table and bill pay apps out there. What makes apptaizer so unique and user-friendly is that it combines all of these functions into one, easy to use, app. It also brings users an easy way to find nearby places and get exclusive promotions with its Business To Customer (B2C) advertising platform and business intelligence system.

It's a great way for restaurants to boost sales while also enhancing the dining experience for their customers. It's not just a way for them to simplify the seating, ordering and paying process. While using these features to maximize efficiency, they can also utilize targeted advertising that will specifically fit their needs. All of this saves time and money while increasing customer satisfaction.

Be sure to watch the full interview to find out how Jose and his business partner came up with the idea for this great new app. You can also learn more and keep up with their progress by visiting their website.

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Prevention of Dreaded Amputation is the Goal for Bonbouton

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Prevention of Dreaded Amputation is the Goal for Bonbouton

2018-09-14

Diabetes is a disease that completely changes your life, and managing the symptoms is getting easier thanks to technology. If you're early in the progression, there are products like DiabiLive to help you prevent insulin issues, but when the disease progresses, the symptoms get harder to deal with. For example, foot ulcers are an issue that come about in later stages, and can be difficult to predict. Even worse, if they are not recognized quickly enough, they can lead to amputations. In fact, every day 200 people lose a limb as a result of diabetes complications.

Bonbouton, founded by Linh Li, is a company trying to help solve the massive amputation problem with a seemingly simple insole for your shoes. Similar to a Dr. Scholl's insole, this product has built-in sensors that constantly monitor body temperature and step pressure and, combined with optional ECG and EMG data, can help predict a possible foot ulcer before it develops. The sensors are made from graphene, which is a very thin material, meaning that they can go into your shoes without discomfort.

The insole pairs with a phone via Bluetooth, and syncs data to the cloud. The data that is collected can be shared with your primary care physician so that appropriate decisions can be made. If an issue arises, the application will alert you so that you can take the necessary action. You can also monitor the sensor readings yourself through the application.

Because this is a first-of-its-kind medical product, it means that it must go through clinical trials for FDA approval. The company is in the process of preparing its next 100 patients in the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, the data will be used to apply to the FDA and to work with insurance companies to provide reimbursement for the devices. The goal is to have most, if not all, of the cost covered by health insurers.

For more information about the product, check out their website.

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The Amazing Race for Space is Easily Solved with Win-Kel

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The Amazing Race for Space is Easily Solved with Win-Kel

2018-09-14

Imagine that you are a college student and your dorm is closing for the summer. You have a big problem of where to store your stuff. The choices are limited. You can either rent an expensive storage unit or if you are lucky, you can find a friend with available space to rent. This is what happened to Yoshi Tsuji and Win-Kel was created. Win-Kel is a company that is like an Airbnb for storage space rental, either as a lessor or a lessee.

In the marketplace, you can find people who either have space that they are looking to rent out or people who need that space. The cost is a lot less than the price of commercial storage spaces. You only have to pay for the specific size you need, such as a 3x7 rather than a 5x10. Besides the example of the college student, another scenario is if you have traveled to a convention site and after your business is done you want to explore the area. What do you do with your things such as your big table? That is what Win-Kel is perfect for. You can choose to travel around for any number of days you want and those are the number of days you pay for, no more days than what you need. Other companies would lock you into a pricey monthly contract. Win-Kel totally frees you up to enjoy the area without worrying about getting back before your contract is up.

Win-Kel is partnering with Google now and they want to go international within 2 years. The app is available now for Android and iOS and listings can be created and found nationally now. For more information go to their website.

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Rise Housing Brings the Security of Blockchain to Real Estate

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Rise Housing Brings the Security of Blockchain to Real Estate

2018-09-09

When most people hear the term "fractional ownership," they immediately think of a timeshare. However, groups of people have been buying properties together for ages, but it requires a lot of investment capital and infrastructure. But, while a timeshare allows multiple people to own a property together and share usage rights, there is a new entry into the idea of fractional ownership that makes the idea more attractive. Rise Housing leverages the power of blockchain and smart contracts to allow a new group of people to own a property together.

Normally, if a group of people wanted to buy an apartment building together, it would require the group to form a corporation together, own shares of that company and use the investment from that group to purchase the building. However, there are some major limitations to this approach. For example, all of the people have to be associated with one another and have to form an official group with one another. If foreign investors are involved, it means that the company has to be registered as a Limited Liability Corporation, which means that all owners lose the protection that any other corporate filing would provide.

With Rise Housing, much of this infrastructural friction is eliminated through the use of smart contracts and blockchain. No longer do you need to form an investment group and file a corporation. Not only does this improve the process, it makes the whole purchase less expensive. In addition, it gives owners the ability to invest in small portions of properties in different parts of a city, state, country, or across the globe.

The company is planning to start off with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), in which interested parties can purchase the currency that will power the system. From there, properties will be listed in the Rise Marketplace for availability. If you would like to find out more about their platform, head over to their website.

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Deep Force Delivers the Power of Artificial Intelligence to the Edge

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Deep Force Delivers the Power of Artificial Intelligence to the Edge

2018-09-09

Just a few years ago, the idea of mass adoption for artificial intelligence would have been considered ridiculous. Then, with the power provides by cloud computing, artificial intelligence has made its way into everyday life, but it still requires an internet connection and servers behind the scenes. That is until now, with the help of Deep Force, an AI platform that helps developers bring artificial intelligence capabilities directly to devices.

By bringing the artificial intelligence directly to the hardware, it means that a number of new capabilities can be implemented that simply weren't possible or were less than ideal previously. For example, a team could use image and facial recognition together to produce a smart security camera that would alert a homeowner to an unexpected person on their property. Without the need for internet access, it means that disabling the hardware would be significantly more difficult.

In addition to new product categories, a lack of internet access could add some new capabilities to existing products. Retailers could implement smart displays, such as virtual fitting rooms and smart mirrors, without the need to connect those displays to a network connection. That would allow for easier store remodels and less chance of the displays going out of service.

One of the best additions, however, is actually a removal: the removal of privacy concerns. A number of smart toys have been targeted by privacy advocates for collecting data from children and sending that data over the internet, which was a requirement to make certain features work. With Deep Force's technology built-in to these smart toys, you no longer have to worry about what the manufacturer is doing with the data they collect, as they never need to collect it.

The first batch of capabilities is available now for developers to begin implementing into their products and services. To find out more, check out their website.

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XcooBee Allows You to Reclaim Your Personal Data from Abuse

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XcooBee Allows You to Reclaim Your Personal Data from Abuse

2018-09-09

The overwhelming technology topic of 2018 has definitely been data privacy. Between the consistent data breaches and Cambridge Analytica violating Facebook's data collection policies, nearly everyone online has been affected by a privacy violation. If the people of the internet have learned anything this year it is that trusting their data to any company whose business model involves monetizing their data will ultimately result in heartbreak.

While the prevailing business model these days is monetizing someone else's data, there is at least one company whose goal is to protect it. XcooBee is a platform that allows you to decide what data you share and with whom. Even more importantly, the platform allows you to give access to the data for only a certain amount of time, or revoke that access if needed. For example, imagine requesting a quote for car insurance, which requires you to share your social security number, make and model of your car and possibly driver's license number and license plate number. If you request quotes from 3 companies and buy from one, there is no need for the other 2 to retain access to that information about you. Using XcooBee, you could revoke that information from the 2 that you did not purchase from.

In addition to the privacy aspect, XcooBee also gives you the ability to create and maintain digital rights over your intellectual property. Artists are often told that they should not upload their work to social media because of the rights issues, where Facebook gets free use of the image for their own use once you upload it. However, with XcooBee, those artists have the ability to sign their images visually and digitally, establishing a legal framework to prevent the unauthorized use of those images. It also gives legal standing in court for Facebook to remove unauthorized redistribution of those images.

To find out more about XcooBee and see the platform in action, head over to their website.

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Easy and Pleasant Travel Planning Thanks to Globaleur

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Easy and Pleasant Travel Planning Thanks to Globaleur

2018-09-09

For many people, the hardest part of travelling is the planning of their itinerary and finding hotels. You can go to travel guides but they don't know what you like. Globaleur (formerly TheExplorer.io) is the perfect solution for that. It is a travel service to help to make your trip the best travel experience by enabling you to get the most from your travel.

You can log in three different ways: Facebook account , Google account or creating your own account. By creating your own account you can use their algorithms to personalize your travel preferences. For example, you can get recommendations on what types of hotels, restaurants and other destinations that will fit your personality. By adding your Facebook account, the company can look at your page likes, photos and even places where friends have been. By adding this data, you can get even more personalized recommendations.

Globaleur doesn't stop helping once the trip begins, as it is also able to monitor weather and social data to predict when one of your scheduled activities may no longer be possible. For example, if you were traveling to the Greek islands and you had a boat trip planned, Globaleur would monitor the weather and, if it is going to rain during your boat excursion, the platform can reschedule and find a new activity that will not conflict with the weather. The platform can also look at traffic, in addition to weather, so that you don't leave too late to make it to a concert in a busy part of town.

In addition to recommendations, Globaleur has a social networking aspect, where you can share your itinerary, photos and make friends all within the platform. By engaging people who have already traveled to your planned destination, you can get personal recommendations from those friends. The company is currently focusing on the US market, but plans on expanding its reach in the near future, using available data in those regions, including through Yelp and TripAdvisor.

The app will launch on the web and iOS first, with Android to follow shortly behind.

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Margules Combines a Modern Look with A Classic Hi-Fi Sound

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Margules Combines a Modern Look with A Classic Hi-Fi Sound

2018-09-09

For many, the age of Hi-Fi stereos is over. A lot of people have moved to smaller devices with everything built-in to a single device. But, for those who really love music, there can be nothing greater than a true, purpose-built, analog Hi-Fi system. Most of the high-end manufacturers have gone to fully digital systems, but some audio companies prefer to stick to the tried-and-true analog beauties. One of those companies is Margules, a Mexican audio brand with a long heritage of products. This family-owned audio obsession started in 1926 and has been focusing on high-end audio for over 90 years.

Among the various products available are amplifiers, speakers, and turntables. One of the things that really sets the Margules product line apart is the incredible look. The amplifiers and preamps both feature brushed aluminum and woodgrain finish with exposed glass tubes. The speakers have wood faces with exposed cones across the front. The turntable features what is arguably the most unique design, with a dark, brushed and rounded top, on which the platter itself sits. While the products each feature a unique look, they all manage to look like they belong together, and will make a great conversation piece for any audio enthusiast.

If the incredibly modern take on classic hardware isn't your aesthetic, the company also offers a couple of other product lines, including the Magenta line, of which the turntable is a member, which feature the rounded face and dark finish of the turntable. These pieces would look great in a more traditional home entertainment cabinet, as opposed to the more exposed nature of the Margules line. Either way, you can be sure that both the look and the sound will compliment your home.

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The Perfect Combination of Social Media and Social Action

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The Perfect Combination of Social Media and Social Action

2018-09-09

We were thrilled to see one of our favorite start-ups from Collision 2017 back again this year. It was great to catch up with Ultimatum Inc and learn about their progression. Since we last spoke, they have been working on their fascinating crowd funding platform for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and have gotten their beta version up and running.

This year we got a chance to speak with the CEO, Matthew McCabe. For those who had not yet heard of them, he explained that Ultimatum is a web platform that allows you to take action on social and political issues using event based donations to nonprofits. There are any number of issues that many of us have very strong feelings about. Using their platform is an excellent way to not only donate to the causes that we find important, but also make more than just a monetary impact. You can also help to raise social awareness in the process.

Individuals and companies alike can set up donation campaigns on Ultimatum. Instead of donating one lump sum to a particular cause, extra awareness is brought by setting it up so that small amounts get donated every time a specific hashtag is used. For example, one recent and special campaign was set up to donate a dime to The Dru Project, a non-profit that supports LGBTQ high school GSAs and college scholarships, every time somebody used #thedruproject. The campaign went viral after IGN Tweeted about the campaign. According to Keyhole, the campaign resulted in 5,000 posts, engaged 3,000 people, and had 17 million impressions on Twitter. So even more important that the donation was the increase in awareness that was created as a result of the campaign.

This platform is also perfect for generating brand recognition and can be used in so many creative ways. After watching the complete interview, head over to their website for more information and find out how to start your own campaign.

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AT Now Allows You to Hire a Tutor On-Demand as a Problem Arises

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AT Now Allows You to Hire a Tutor On-Demand as a Problem Arises

2018-09-08

If you are not a math person, you know that getting through a math class in school can be challenging. Even more challenging is getting help for that class when you need it. Luckily, there's AT Now, a platform designed specifically to help students find math tutoring help when they need it. The instant-on capability of the platform means that when you're having trouble with a particular math problem, you can jump onto the platform, request assistance and be paired up with a live tutor to help you work through your block.

AT Now, which is founded by Mike Arnold who has been working in the tutoring field for a while, spent time finding highly qualified math tutors to work for the platform. The tutors, in addition to a high level of mathematics knowledge, also have to be personable and encouraging, traits that he found work best in his facility. Many of the tutors are math or business students from colleges and universities and try to show empathy to the student's problem and situation. For example, a tutor who understands the pressure of preparing for a test tomorrow is going to be more effective than one who doesn't.

For the students, the process is fairly simple. If they encounter a math problem that they cannot resolve themselves, they can simply grab their phone or tablet, open up the app and request help. From there, one of the tutors will jump on a call with the student and help them, not just answer the problem, but understand how to get to the answer. All of this and the cost is unbelievably inexpensive: $20 per month for unlimited questions. That's less than the cost of a single hour of personal tutoring in most locations.

To find out more about the platform, check out their website.

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ThunderAct Brings the Power of AI to Your Customer Interactions

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ThunderAct Brings the Power of AI to Your Customer Interactions

2018-09-08

For most companies, one of the most difficult challenges is understanding your customers' needs and responding to their likes and dislikes. People in multiple aspects of the company all interact with the customers, and a lot of data is collected, but it's difficult to bring it all together to make the best decisions possible. For example, your sales team probably uses Dynamics or Salesforce to track interactions, while your support team might use Zendesk, and your development team uses Manuscript or Jira - all to communicate with the same group of people.

Enter ThunderAct, an artificial intelligence platform that collects data from all of these platforms and more, and brings it together into one place. Once the system has all of the information, it is able to correlate users and show trends through easy to understand visualizations. For example, maybe the sales team communicates with a large number of prospects that all ask for the same feature in your product, and the sales team says that it is in the works when in reality it has been in the product for a while. You can now help coach the sales team on a more accurate feature set.

Now, what if the development team builds the feature in question, and the support team gets positive feedback on the new feature? Perhaps the management could decide to expand that offering into a larger part of the product. Or, maybe there is a related product that could be developed as a companion - after all, Microsoft didn't start out making Office. The best part is, this platform does not require any of your teams to change their system or their departmental behaviors in order to gain these useful new insights.

You can sign up now to see if the platform is for you by visiting their website.

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Amazing New Dating App Focused on Unique likes and Chemistry!

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Amazing New Dating App Focused on Unique likes and Chemistry!

2018-09-08

Once thought of as downright taboo, finding a date using online apps has become completely mainstream. And although some still feel it's pretty strange, the sheer numbers who use them tells the story. Those who use to warn their single friends and family of the dangers of online dating are now not only counting the number of couples they know who met on an app but also using them themselves. But as good as the websites and apps have gotten, there are still quite a few hurdles while trying to find "the one." At this point, what could possibly be done to make the apps better? More checks and balances? More algorithms? Well, the founders of Pheramor say that the answer is truly in the chemistry.

Aslam Mirza, co-founder, and CEO of Pheramor, came by to explain this new approach that is designed to provide better dating matches. This exciting new dating app uses genetics and digital data to help make better connections and increase the overall efficiency of dating. Basically, the company sequences 11 specific genes that encode for your immune system. The more diverse these genes are, between two people, the more likely that they will be chemically and biologically attracted to each other. It's rooted in evolutionary biology because we are constantly trying to subconsciously find those that we're attracted to. It's such a great component to add to dating search criteria.

They also made the process really simple. For starters, they send you a genetic kit in the mail that contains a buccal swab. You merely complete a quick cheek swab and mail it back and they do the rest. The DNA that is specifically linked to your immune system is extracted. This human leukocyte antigen, along with the compilation of your digital data from social media will be used to create your profile. So your DNA is combined with all of your likes, check-ins, and hashtags to help you make the best possible connections.

Get the specifics on this exciting new dating app by watching the complete interview and then head over to their website if you're interested in giving it a try.

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The Best Format for Project Management with Kaiten

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The Best Format for Project Management with Kaiten

2018-08-31

No matter what size the company, having projects to manage can become overwhelming. It's easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Multiple tasks and workflows create confusion and in many cases can hamper progress. And if there are customers making changes and requiring updates added to the mix, it gets even more complicated.

Dmitry Abramov, CPO of Kaiten, stopped by the studio to introduce their new product. Kaiten is a visual management platform that helps to conquer the complexities of project management for all sizes and types of businesses. It allows for visualization of the overall process flow and finds the various bottlenecks and problems along the way. It is then able to optimize the entire process with their unique analytical engine. It's a system that will see the big picture and then dive deeper when needed. A tool which can unite multiple departments in one place while having control of the whole picture.

Some of their clients are outsourcing companies. This type of company has very complex projects with various clients, different employees that interact with the clients and even multiple developers who are working on different aspects of the project. This often makes it difficult to keep things moving smoothly throughout the process. This tool allows for a seamless process while also allowing customized views for all who are involved, even for the client. This customization provides more than just a high-level overview and is better for providing deliverables on time. It also creates a new level of transparency from start to finish.

As for pricing, they are currently working on a subscription model, starting at seven dollars per user, per month. This would be ideal for the small to mid-sized company. Large companies with more security needs would require a private cloud and prices would go up according to their needs.

After you watch the full interview, make sure to head over to their website for more information and to view their demo.

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IUSNOVA is Evolving the Legal Profession to Make a Better Experience

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IUSNOVA is Evolving the Legal Profession to Make a Better Experience

2018-08-29

There is no doubt that lawyers do not have a general goodwill in everyday society, and it's been that way for centuries. Shakespeare famously wrote in his play Henry VI, "Let's kill all the lawyers." In the time since that play was written, things haven't really changed, but one company hopes to change the perception by making the process of finding and working with legal professionals easier and more pleasant: IUSNOVA.

The name, which is a combination of Ius (Latin for law) and Nova (Latin for evolution), describes their lofty goal: to evolve the legal world. This is accomplished by putting together a marketplace of legal professionals where you can go and enter your issue and be matched with the most appropriate lawyer for your specific issue. For example, if you are looking for a patent attorney, you might be paired up with someone who is good at general patents, but if you are a chemical engineer looking to patent a particular chemical compound, you would likely need a specialist.

Once you've got your lawyer, how do you know what is being accomplished or where they are in the process? Understanding what the lawyer is working on and what you are being charged for is nearly impossible, despite the tons of documents that are produced every day. IUSNOVA gives both lawyers and clients a way to keep track of what is happening directly within the platform. As documents are created, they can be stored and shared with the client all without having to use another solution. This gives the client a better understanding of the process and their place in it, as well as giving a feeling of accomplishment.

Once the task is complete, you can then review your experience in the marketplace, giving future clients matched with that lawyer more information before making the decision to work with them. The service is available now in limited availability.

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LifePoints Rewards You for Making Healthy Decisions

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LifePoints Rewards You for Making Healthy Decisions

2018-08-29

Leading a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is a healthy decision, and often times the unhealthy choice gives a greater immediate reward than the healthy decision. For example, eating a few slices of barbeque brisket is likely to give a much greater immediate reward than eating a salad. But, there is a new way to begin to receive rewards for making healthy decisions: LifePoints.

Through this system, people can receive points for making healthy decisions. In the beginning, the app is focusing on fitness decisions, such as going to the gym. The app will track how long you spend at the gym and give you points based on that time. With time, the company plans to bring additional options to the platform to continue encouraging healthy decision making. Once you have these points, you can exchange them for rewards at various partners. These partners can give discounts or merchandise, depending on the partner and points redeemed.

This system is designed to provide a positive feedback loop for users to encourage them to make the healthy choice, rather than the unhealthy choice. To return to the previous example, you might be more likely to eat the salad instead of the barbeque if you know that you can get a discount on your gym membership or clothing.

The service is currently available for testing in the Niagra region of Canada, with two partners: Popeye's Supplements and Sky Zone Trampoline Park. If you are in that area, and currently own an iPhone, you can try the app right now in the App Store and start earning points to improve your health. The company plans to expand the partner lineup and expand the regions available as they conclude their testing.

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Significant Proof That Superior Data Analysis is Not All in the Numbers

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Significant Proof That Superior Data Analysis is Not All in the Numbers

2018-08-29

Everything these days is being quantified. Corporations subject their employees to a myriad of reports on a regular basis. These reports not only measure sales and demographics but the timing and workflow that are involved in employee metrics. Of course, it's not only big business that uses this kind of data. Our news and social media feeds are full of surveys and research studies that focus on everything from health and politics to frivolous ways to spend our free time. And even local businesses survey their customer from time to time, in order to tweak operations for efficiency and growth.

This topic is something that is actually on my mind quite a bit as I struggle with the onslaught of big data that is taking over our business culture. Although my job as Executive Producer of Special Events for PLuGHiTz Live keeps me busy with things like travel schedules, event calendars/planning, and even audio/video recording and mixing, I also have a full-time job at a large bank. Of course, stats are important in both of these jobs but they are very different in how they are structured and measured. I often get frustrated with the ever-growing list of metrics that measure employee performance at the bank. They find a way to pull numbers from multiple processes and manipulate them in a way that supposedly measures our performance efficiency. One of the favorite quotes used by upper management is, "numbers don't lie." And although that statement, in and of itself is true, it can also be very misleading, in my opinion. Just because those numbers that they present to us are absolute, it doesn't mean that they tell the whole picture. After all, there is an infinite amount of ways to get from the number one to the number two. It's all in the extraction and presentation. That's why it was so refreshing to see the work that Carlos Romero and his team at Apex are doing.

Apex is a consulting firm that concentrates on program evaluation and health education social service programs. They recognized through their work that there is a lot more to the data that goes unmeasured. This additional information can actually be helpful to businesses and consumers. Through this new understanding, two new apps emerged. They are tied together by the premise that we have too much data and not enough insight. Brilliant!! Their newer app, which is being showcased here at Collision, is called Perspectives. It combines the more common survey style with a video element. It's an important addition because we have a lot of data but we need context to derive meaning from it. This could translate to more data or that we need the story behind the data. The app is about just that. How do we collect more stories and analyze them in more rigorous ways to work in conjunction with the quantitative data, supporting valuations for learning?

This added layer allows for a better analysis. You can learn from the qualitative data just as much, and sometimes more than from the quantitative data. It gives a much different perspective as it adds the words, feelings, and actions that can be acted upon instead of just the data from a specific set of questions.

Results can be very eye-opening. It turns out that the thing that you thought you were measuring, based upon the way that you are doing it, is not necessarily the same way it is perceived by your clients, etc. This added power, depth and richness from an actual interview is then combined with the efficiency of a survey. You can then see what patterns that immerge from the short videos, as well as other media. It offers so much more than just the traditional, what did you like? And many times you will get responses that you hadn't even considered.

The basic idea of the app is to braid together all of the existing technologies into one seamless system. And you can learn more about this exciting new type of analysis by watching our interview and also by checking out their website.

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PodPoster Brings Shows and Fans Closer Than Ever

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PodPoster Brings Shows and Fans Closer Than Ever

2018-08-15

Content creators have a wide presence on the internet with a wide variety of voices and opinions to share with the world. Podcasting has become a wave of interest for years and is again on the upswing. One of our guests from Collision 2018 shared his decade-long vision of how we should be able to interact with these podcasters on a more personal level with his application, PodPoster.

The founder of PodPoster, Allan Hoving had an epiphany when his friend decided to make a podcast on their own back in 2009. Allan promised them that he would listen and provide feedback to help improve his friend's content, but he wanted to be able to speak his opinions rather than type them out in the comment section. Allan then realized that there is not a medium for easy audio commenting. Online vocal feedback is not really an option anywhere else, so Allan set his mind to be the first.

Allan found importance in providing feedback in the original medium that we were born with the ability to do. With the PodPoster iOS application, there are three simple options: listen, record, and send. You can listen to your favorite content creators and send them vocal feedback within the app. After hitting submit, the comments will be sent to the creator in the media that they choose to receive them. The comments you post can be moderated by the creator as well to ensure proper use of the app.

Today, the application has expanded to the possibility of audio comments to video recordings. PodPoster allows your opinions and constructive criticism to be heard and understood, not just read and looked over. PodPoster is the missing feedback loop in this ecosystem and is continuing to grow and update their horizons to best fit the user's voice.

For more information and contact information, you can visit the PodPoster website.

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Advanced Mobile Platform Designed for the Best Health Care

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Advanced Mobile Platform Designed for the Best Health Care

2018-08-15

Keeping ourselves healthy these days is getting to be more and more of a challenge. And the costs of healthcare are increasing to the point that some do not seek medical attention when they need it. So wouldn't it be great if there were systems in place to assist with keeping us healthy? The folks at Anteo Health have come up with a great way to do just that.

Narek Tamoyan, CEO of Anteo Health, stopped by to tell us about their approach and to show off their new app. Developed for insurance companies and healthcare providers, Anteo has a mobile health platform that is designed to put better healthcare options right at our fingertips. According to their research, 86% of healthcare costs in the United States are for chronic issues. This is due, in large part, to the fact that our healthcare system is reactive. There are so many tests, treatments, and therapies that are designed to prevent chronic and serious illness, but they are either not offered to us or they are not covered by our health insurance. And although none of us can figure out how this is more cost effective, both from a financial and an ethical standpoint, there really hasn't been anything we can do about it. But Anteo Health wants to start to shift the pendulum from reactive healthcare to preventative healthcare.

This new, proactive care system is very forward thinking in the industry. It incorporates things like lifestyle changes and healthy weight management systems to make impacts on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to improve our overall health and stave off chronic illness. To accomplish this, they segment the population into specific health groups that are based on a patient's health information. They consider two basic groups: 1) Static Health Data, which remains constant; and 2) a Big Data Set that is more dynamic and changes on a daily basis. It is this Big Data Set that constitutes the primary impact factors for behavior, i.e. physical activity, nutrition, vital signs and symptoms. All of this data is currently available on hundreds of systems. Anteo is integrating with these systems to get them into one, easy-to-use app. The information is then put into specific risk groups which allows them to suggest specific intervention plans for each group. The app even allows for enrollment into programs with a care team who monitors the data in real time. So if there is an escalation at any point, they will get the right attention, right away.

Anteo Health faces the challenge of engaging patients in their own health so that they will be more likely to follow the instructions. Their goal is to get them interested in an interactive and educational manner. The interactive app will also bring the data in automatically with a patient's smart wearables. And it's not all about the data, they have also applied clinically validated research from well-known publications. This, along with the data, will generate very specific and personalized recommendations based on the health profile of the individual, which is then analyzed by their care team.

As for availability, they launched a closed beta at the beginning of 2018 and are currently running pilot programs. the consumer app is available now on the Apple App Store and they are working on an Android version, as well. Get more information by visiting their website.

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SPLITAXI has a Fantastic New Rideshare Option

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SPLITAXI has a Fantastic New Rideshare Option

2018-08-08

Here in the US, we've had the luxury of using various ridesharing alternatives for a few years, now. And although at first, the concept seemed a little odd to a lot of us, it's grown into a lucrative industry that millions of commuters and travelers use each and every day. There are still many countries who do not this kind of flexibility available to them.

We invited Luis Henrique Rodrigues with SPLITAXI to come and tell us about how they are currently in the process of bringing an advanced form of rideshare service to Brazil. And what they are launching is so much more than just a rideshare service. They have found a way to help riders, taxi drivers, the city and the environment with their new service and phone app.

SPLITAXI is a shared mobility startup with a true win-win-win model. Getting a taxi during peak rush hour can be difficult and expensive in the large cities of Brazil, and the traffic is unbearable. To top it off, most cabs usually only containing one passenger. SPLITAXI realized that by coming up with a way to allow more riders in each vehicle, they could help to solve this growing problem. To do so, they use a route matching algorithm that allows for passengers to "e-hail" empty taxi seats in real time, with minimum deviation. The riders are able to choose, in the app, how far they are willing to deviate from their route in order for other riders to share the ride to common destinations. In turn, this offers discounts to each rider while also increasing the taxi drivers revenues due to the ability to carry more passengers. Thus, traffic is lessened overall with also fewer emissions being released into the atmosphere.

So, how does it work? The app shows you the others in your area that are looking to go to the same destination, or to one that is very close or the way to yours. You can then choose to share a cab, and set your specifications as to how much time you are willing to allow to get where you are going. There are also options available to customize your share. For example, there may be a situation where, say, a female would prefer to restrict her rideshare to only other females.

We found this to be a practical, new take on this industry. Not only does it allow for riders to save money, but it does it in a way that doesn't add other cars onto the already busy roadways. It also doesn't threaten the livelihood of the taxi drivers in any way. On the contrary, it has great potential to increase their overall income. It's a great idea for large cities and the fact that it allows for proper matches and is flexible enough to make adjustments in real time is fantastic.

SPLITAXI plans to grow their business in Brazil first and then expand worldwide. Make sure to watch their full interview for more information about their model, as well as investment opportunities. You can visit their website.

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Providing The Most Amazing Family Approach to Help Seniors

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Providing The Most Amazing Family Approach to Help Seniors

2018-08-08

We all eventually get to that point in our lives where our parents and grandparents need additional attention and assistance to get through each day. And quite often it happens at a time when we are the least equipped to handle it. Managing our own hectic lives with work obligations and children's schedules get in the way of providing them with the care that they need. Sure, there are services out there to assist with home health care for seniors, but they can get costly with minimum hour requirements and can sometimes lack that personal touch.

After facing this dilemma first hand, Andrew Parker came up with a practical and really wonderful solution. He knew that his grandfather needed some assistance but wasn't to the point of needing home health care. He ended up hiring a neighbor who was a college student to help and it worked out perfectly. The more he thought about it, he realized that this concept could help so many others, seniors and students alike, and Papa was born.

Papa is an on-demand assistance service that helps seniors stay independent while living securely and happily at home. It's a service that has a lot of sweetness to it. They connect senior citizens to college students for social interaction and daily assistance. And it does so in such a family-friendly way. To quote their website, it's like grandkids on demand.

We find this service to be fascinating on so many levels. It not only brings a new niche to the age-old problem of offering companionship and assistance to senior citizens while keeping them as independent as possible, but it also allows for a new type of flexible employment to college students. They are able to work around their school schedules, make some extra money and help seniors with things around the house, transportation needs, technology lessons, and companionship. We love the intergenerational interaction as both parties are able to learn and grow from the experience.

Make sure to watch Andrew's full interview for more information and don't forget to check out Papa's website.

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Education Has Reached New Heights and Will Make You Learn More Efficiently

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Education Has Reached New Heights and Will Make You Learn More Efficiently

2018-08-03

It's interesting that technology has exploded in the last 20 years but education has remained the same blackboard and chalk lectures. A student from Michigan State University, Seth Killian has made this same observation and has decided to make a change. This idea has sparked the creation of a new company, Lingco Language Labs and Seth is the CEO and Founder. Lingco is an application that brings education to the next level using artificial intelligence. This next generation of education technology teaches students a new language in an efficient way.

Seth is a firm believer that we aren't using our technology to our advantage in every aspect of life including learning. Lingco uses artificial intelligence to understand each student's language learning patterns and curates a unique experience for you. The AI aggregates data from previous learner experience and can make predictions about what aspects of the language you may be struggling with as well as your strengths and weaknesses based on other data. This concept increases student performance and improves learning patterns. By just answering 30 questions, the AI can already make predictions of what you need to work on and how to help you achieve your goals.

The virtual classroom features a vast content library with engaging content at your disposal for every level of proficiency. Lingco also includes AI assisted grading that points out grammar and spelling errors, enabling you to receive quick and effective feedback.

But learning is only half the battle. The other major step in learning a language is to remember what you have been exposed to. Seth discusses how Lingco can model your memory and grab data to determine when you are likely to forget a word after you have been introduced to it.

To learn more about Lingco Language Labs you can visit their website and you can find them on Facebook and Twitter: @LingcoLabs.

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poder.IO Takes Focus in The Power of Prediction to Best Advise Companies

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poder.IO Takes Focus in The Power of Prediction to Best Advise Companies

2018-08-03

In today's market, it is important for businesses to make the most of big data for their own advantage. poder.IO is an Artificial Intelligence company that focuses their technology on helping small businesses gain knowledge about their demographic so they can target their marketing to best make sales. poder.IO has created their EPICA AI platform to help take raw big data and convert it into usable data to help each business that uses the platform. The company slogan that they use best describes them as the "Power of Prediction" and this phrase says it all.

EPICA's big data service allows these businesses to collect first-party data as well as orchestrate and integrate it and make decisions in real time using predictive marketing strategies. EPICA optimizes the use of your data, translating its potential into valuable actions that can predict better results. poder.IO wants you to have a better understanding of your customers through the data you own about them and learn how to market your product or service based on it. Their goal is to give companies unprecedented decision-making power by analyzing patterns of audience behavior in real time through large-scale big data.

The Executive Vice President, Diego Paramo came to New Orleans for Collision with his skilled team to continue the conversation about poder.IO and answer questions as well as gain investors. Their service has been in the market for about two years now and has clients in America and Europe such as Coca-Cola, MasterCard, and Sheraton. poder.IO offers its smart big data solutions in the travel, e-commerce, finance, CPG and education sectors in four countries: The United States, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil.

For more information about poder.IO and EPICA and a quote for your business, you can visit their website. You can also email Diego directly through his email: diego@poder.io.

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An Exciting Way to Get More Out of Your Advertising Dollars

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An Exciting Way to Get More Out of Your Advertising Dollars

2018-08-03

Sure, using Google Ad Words to try to boost your website hits on popular search engines is an option when you are trying to increase your company's exposure. But it's sometimes difficult to get the right exposure without breaking the bank, especially when you are also utilizing other forms of advertising. In a perfect world, there would be a way to synch your efforts together for maximum impact. Well, the founders of Advocado put their heads, and their technology, together and came up with the perfect solution.

Knowing that television advertising drives search activity, they patented a technology that perfectly times digital and social advertising to be in synch with your broadcast ads. They monitor TV programming in most markets in real-time in order to trigger and optimize corresponding digital campaigns by dynamically adjusting online bids. So as your target audience is watching TV in a local market and your commercial airs, your bids are optimized during that timeframe to put you at the top of digital searches. They then use the data from the platform to provide insights into the media behavior of today's consumer.

If you're like us, you probably are wondering how all of this works. Upon detection of the airing of your TV commercial, Advocado's algorithm will immediately optimize digital bids to ensure online presence at Micro-Moments, leading to increased click-through rates. The optimization lasts for the duration of the commercial plus another 90 seconds. This gives you a distinct advantage with the ability to more effectively and efficiently utilize your advertising dollars with maximum benefit. During their original pilot of the technology, they documented a 98% increase in click-thru rates in just a three week period. They realize that when you get local, you have the ability to really focus.

There is so much that we love about this company (the first of which being their cool logo). We love the technology and can see the many benefits for small and mid-sized companies to grow their business, as well as give an edge to larger companies. Of course, we also love that this technology was originally developed for toys. What an amazing way to think outside of the box and re-engineer an existing technology for a great new purpose.

Advocado is currently in 210 local markets and on 185 cable channels. As they expand their business, their goal is to become the gold standard for this type of social and digital optimization. After watching their complete interview, be sure to visit their website for more information.

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Expanding Joy in the Community With Art and Creativity

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Expanding Joy in the Community With Art and Creativity

2018-08-01

Many of us have careers that are quite stressful. At times, the stress can build to the point that it creates frustration and hampers productivity. This is a dilemma that many employers simply do not know how to deal with effectively. Zilpini has literally come up with a creative way to help solve this problem.

Their basic premise is that everybody, no matter their career, is creative and has the potential to come up with new ideas. The key is tapping into that creativity. This is where they truly think outside the box. They know that by introducing art into the workplace, stress is reduced naturally and employee productivity increases, along with their overall well being. Co-founder, Loveleen Saxena, knows this first hand as she was a construction project manager who became an artist. During her transition, she found that it was possible to harness the power of creativity and bring it into the corporate environment.

The result? She and her husband created Zilpini - a marketplace that makes it easy for businesses to connect with local artists to bring their experience to their staff. By doing so, it opens up things among the employees. They are able to decompress while enjoying the artistic process and then translate the experience over into their own work. And the true bonus is that local artists are able to showcase their techniques and pieces, allowing them to grow and flourish within the art world.

Through this endeavor, artists are able to connect with their communities and supporters are able to learn new artforms. As huge supporters of the arts, and artists ourselves, we couldn't be more thrilled about this awesome idea. It's something that we will closely follow and hope to work with them as they progress.

Make sure to watch the full interview for more information and check out their website, as well.

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Bringing Amazing AI to the Hiring Process

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Bringing Amazing AI to the Hiring Process

2018-08-01

Human Resource departments and hiring managers constantly face the challenge of finding that perfect hire for open positions within their organizations. Applicable candidates must not only be qualified to perform the daily work but also fit in with the dynamics of the company and their coworkers. The process can be extremely time-consuming because even when you have a candidate that looks great on paper, so often they lack the personality to integrate well into the team. This leads to frustration and inevitably results in precious time being wasted.

Having dealt with this very problem ourselves, it was great to get the chance to discuss a clever and inventive solution with Taylor Stevenson, Strategic Partnership Exec with Alyss Analytics. Artificial Intelligence is combined with algorithms in their proprietary software. This provides valuable insight into a candidate's soft skills. Thus quickly giving the employer a chance to either weed out, or selectively include, the specific individuals who are the best potential fit.

So, how does Alyss work, you ask? After being given a set of prompts designed from the needs of the employer, candidates will record and upload their video to the system. Then Alyss goes to work, analyzing for the requested data points. Lastly, a review score is generated that is tailored to the employer's original criteria.

At its core, Alyss categorizes with three unique approaches - Facial Mapping, Speech Content, & Delivery. Thus allowing the non-verbal patterns of communication alongside deeper linguistic analysis to be uncovered. Basically, it's a search engine for soft skills that creates an opportunity for both employers who can streamline the process and candidates who have a better chance of showcasing all of their skills.

This A.I integration that gives custom candidate insights has been in development for the last couple of years and made its debut just a few weeks before Collision Conference. Make sure to watch the full interview for more details and don't forget to check out their website.

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CVX Really Puts Government in the Palm of Your Hand

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CVX Really Puts Government in the Palm of Your Hand

2018-08-01

You may have realized that there is no convenient method of learning more about your government and staying involved with civic engagements. The civic tech space is very small but lucky for you, Russell Jowell is working to make this type of information readily accessible to you through his new platform, CVX Building Engagement. CVX is a mobile application designed by Russell to update you on bills you are following, show you who represents you at the Federal, State, and Local level, and even help you register to vote.

The purpose of this app is to keep the public knowledgeable about what is happening within their government without needing to research multiple sources to obtain public information. The CVX slogan doesn't lie: "An app that puts the government in the palm of your hand." This platform brings convenience to information that you are entitled to.

The CVX app includes many ways for you to be involved and gives you the ability to contact the people who represent you. You can also track bills that are making their way through the United States Senate, the United States House, and your local state house directly through the app. There are other features and tools included that allow you to register to vote as well as see upcoming elections. CVX includes everything to help you stay informed and involved in your government.

You can download this application on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for $2.99 right now but will transition to a subscription service for a small fee per month with more civic data included such as Federal and State data and many more possibilities to come.

To learn more about CVX and stay informed about the app's newest features, you can visit their website and find them on Facebook and Twitter: @cvx4u.

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New Innovative Idea For Storage With Stash It

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New Innovative Idea For Storage With Stash It

2018-07-29

There is nothing more aggravating than not having enough storage space in your home. On the flip side, it is very frustrating to have so much wasted space for those who are lucky enough to have that problem. A new and innovative idea has hit the market. Jeremy Haas and his investor have come up with a plan to utilize space not ordinarily available for rent. This app is called Stash It, which helps with one of America's pastimes: shopping! As Jeremy says, "Americans have a huge shopping addiction and don't want to part with their stuff."

Similar to Air B&B, this allows people with space that is presently not being used to turn it around and make it available to rent out. For example, an almost empty garage can be used for car storage for an active military person. A college student may need space for the summer for items only needed during the semesters. Or in Jeremy's case, his father was excited to use his backyard for additional storage sheds to rent out.

Jeremy is looking for homeowners to join up in his business. There is a set fee for posting but those renting out their space can set their own rental fee. In the event that the rent is not paid by the tenant, the owner of said space will still be paid and the eviction responsibility will be dealt with later by Stash It.

This app is making available space to rent for those who need some space. For more information go to the website.

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Announcing Helpful and Exciting News for Event-Planning with Festi

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Announcing Helpful and Exciting News for Event-Planning with Festi

2018-07-29

If you can imagine being at a social gathering that has a basket set out at a food table, you know why it's there. Yet there are always people who ignore it. This is extremely frustrating and embarrassing for the host of the event as it may end up costing them a good amount of money. Another scenario is trying to get people to respond to invitations for an event. Both of these problems can be solved by Festi. This is a time reservation platform created by Rita-Ting Hopper from Virginia that is a combination of OpenTable and private reservations.

Reaching people to answer an invitation to an event can be frustrating and very time-consuming. We all have been on a group text chain that leads nowhere. This app is for busy people who are anti-group messaging. This app avoids having to sift through the texts to see who is responding and if they are giving you an accept or a decline. No one wants to hear "I'll pay you when I get there." That is never a good thing. With Festi you get much faster replies that will eliminate all the frustration of waiting to hear back.

If you are hosting a free event, the whole process is free of charge. If the event is charging $10.00 you pay $10.50 and the host gets $9.00. There is a 5% fee for the guest and the host is charged 10%. Payments are currently processed through Stripe. They are a big platform that is trusted by many companies, whether they are a startup or already established.

This app is fairly new and in the early stages of use. The platform has attracted 700 users without the use of any marketing. The company is currently looking for investors to begin marketing the product. For more information go to the website.

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What an Awesome App to Easily Help Manage Custody!

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What an Awesome App to Easily Help Manage Custody!

2018-07-29

No matter how amicable the breakup, family matters involving custody are always difficult. And let's be honest, most are not anywhere close to amicable. All too often there are stressors, tempers and unfortunately even aggression that get in the way. Jonathan Verk, CEO of coParenter, stopped by to tell us about this great new app that is aimed at solving these all too frequent situations.

coParenter is a management and mediation platform for separated and divorced parents. It helps to facilitate a stable and positive environment for the best possible outcomes. They accomplish this by providing specific tools that are aimed to help parents minimize conflict and stay out of court. This allows them to focus on the needs of their children and in turn, helps parents develop new skills to be better parents together, leading to happier children. And happier children make the world a better place.

The app also helps both sides financially. They are able to make better decisions outside of courtrooms, hence saving thousands of dollars. It enables parents to create their own court-ready custody plans that better handle the day to day parenting time as well as the ever so important holiday schedules. And just because it is app-based doesn't mean that there isn't professional assistance. Disagreements are resolved with a qualified, on-demand coParenting professional whenever necessary.

coParent is also there for the long haul. This easy to use system can also be used down the road to make alterations to an existing custody agreement. They also provide articles, videos, and stories to help you along the way, all from leading coParenting professionals, judges, therapists, mediators, and attorneys. Parents will always have new tips, tricks, skills, and habits right at their fingertips to help them be the best coParent- and parent- they can be!

To learn more, visit their website.

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Startups Can Grow Up with the Help of MinnoTank

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Startups Can Grow Up with the Help of MinnoTank

2018-07-28

One of the hardest things for a startup business to do is raise money. Ken Barton has created a platform for startup businesses to connect with the best investors through the internet called MinnoTank. Every week MinnoTank features a single startup who is looking for investments. This is done with a one-on-one interview with Ken and a member of the startup.

This weekly show promotes small startups and is viewed on the internet by thousands of investors and investor groups. Those investors can then subscribe for free and decide which businesses to invest in. For the companies, this increases visibility while decreasing the cost of raising the necessary capital. It is imperative to spend less when trying to raise more. Being an exit founder, Ken has had experiences in trying to raise capital. He tells of the time it cost him 10% in his attempt. He was in Europe and was paying 50,000 euros to raise 500,000 euros.

All this has to be done within certain parameters. The applicants have to have already raised $100,000 to qualify. There is a very good reason for this. First, the terms of the deal have to be set to determine their value. If a company has already secured investment, they know what the value of their business is. Second, it has to be real, meaning that this is a project that is a priority for them rather than a hobby.

In the startup world, less than10% of investment money goes to companies owned by three groups: LGBT, female and persons of color. Because of this under-representation, Ken has been bringing them to the forefront to get them the needed exposure. So far, the companies he has helped have raised over $2 million dollars, all within MinnoTank's first year.

If you are an investor who wants to invest or a startup that needs investors, you can go to their website for more information.

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One Stop Wellness: Boosting and Promoting the Best in Employee Productivity

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One Stop Wellness: Boosting and Promoting the Best in Employee Productivity

2018-07-28

Stress in the workplace can be a big deterrent to any company's progress for their employees. That is where Romy Antoine comes in. He is a personal trainer and nutritionist that has developed a platform to make and keep employees happy, healthy and productive. His company is called One Stop Wellness.

Today 60% of the current workforce is considered to be millennials and that number will only rise with time. Millennials need to feel like their job fits into their lifestyle so that they can be the most productive. One Stop Wellness fits this need by offering employers a platform for their employees to maintain wellness in all aspects of life. While most people consider wellness to be physical, it also incorporates mental, emotional and social aspects. One Stop Wellness covers all of these areas.

As a complement to this service, he has written and will publish his first book entitled "Engaging Millenials in the Workplace". This book is based on his experience as a millennial culture expert. He brings this knowledge to companies to help incorporate that culture into their own. Unlike the Baby Boomers before them, millennials thrive on public recognition and a feeling that their employer should care about them. Companies that can successfully integrate those ideas into the workplace will be able to harness the talent and potential of these employees.

The platform is currently available to employers and the book will be out soon. For more information visit their website.

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Hearing the Homeless Is Bringing Strength to The People, One by One

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Hearing the Homeless Is Bringing Strength to The People, One by One

2018-07-28

One of the most eye-opening things in our society today is the staggering number of homeless people of all ages around the country. Kevin Price is more than doing his part to help them. He has created a virtual platform for hearing stories from and about these individuals. Those stories are recorded and made into a profile. You can follow their story and their progress through the platform.

Each individual is given a smart card that is similar to a pre-paid debit card which is only accepted at certain retailers. After viewing a profile, a person can donate to a particular individual via text message directly to their card. This process is smart for them because it allows them to monitor their purchases and manage their money without having to worry about the dangers of carrying cash on the street or in a shelter.

This platform is very new, having just launched during South By Southwest. All the profiles are personally filmed by Kevin and his cameraman. They go into local soup kitchens and find a potential profile subjects. It is his goal to accomplish this one at a time, with the individual story being very important to him.

His future plans are, as the mission grows, is to go to university campuses to get college students involved in content curation in their cities. This will bring more homeless people into the program and more awareness of the platform in those local areas. More awareness means more people donating which means a better life for more homeless people.

His inspiration for this cause was his becoming acquainted with Ricky Dee, who happened to be the only homeless man in his small town in NewMexico. This friendship launched a passion in Kevin that was continued after his move to Austin, Texas, where he was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of homeless people living there. He continues his devotion to reducing that number.

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SensorCall: It Helps Keep Seniors Active and Safe from Danger

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SensorCall: It Helps Keep Seniors Active and Safe from Danger

2018-07-27

On average there are 11,000 people daily becoming seniors. Not all of them are lucky enough to have someone living with them. That is where SensorsCall comes in. It is designed to monitor the habits of the person to keep track of daily activity.

This product is a small box that simply plugs into any outlet. It follows the activity habits of the person and can detect any unusual behavior. In the event of a potential problem, it sends an alert to a designated caregiver or responsible person that there may be a situation of concern. It takes about a week for it to calibrate and learn the daily habits of the senior.

One of the many ways this is beneficial is for medication regulation. You can record a gentle reminder in a friendly voice for when it's time rather than have a blaring alarm go off and startle them. Another feature, which is designed for asthmatics, monitors the current humidity level and will alert you when there is a condition that might affect their breathing. Finally, another great capability is for daily or weekly reminders for errands such as doctor appointments or hair appointments.

Since the number 1 health hazard for seniors is loneliness and lack of socialization, this is a very smart addition to the household. These devices, when grouped, can measure their activity and therefore show if they are getting enough socialization.

The cost of these is approximately $120-$130 each. The service runs about $20 per month. The number of units will vary with the size of the home they are in. A large home, which is 3 or more bedrooms, will require at least 5 units. A smaller home will require at least 3 units. The release date is approximately 90-120 days. For more information go to sensorscall.com.

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The Most Amazing Prices on Your Favorite Products at Yroo.com

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The Most Amazing Prices on Your Favorite Products at Yroo.com

2018-07-27

In a competitive retail market, it can be difficult for consumers to be certain if they are getting the best deal possible on their purchases. And although there have been some pretty good apps that have been released to assist in this area, Yroo.com's take on this technology really goes the extra mile. CTO & Co-Founder, Nick Zhu, stopped by during our pre Collision coverage to give us the rundown.

Yroo is a big data platform designed to assist consumers with price comparisons to make sure they get the best deals while online shopping. Nick was a data mining consultant for years when he and his partner realized that they could take this type of technology in a totally different direction. One that will help shoppers instead of just big business. So they began working on taking all of the power of big data, machine learning, and predictive power to the other side. To start, they collected massive retail data, i.e. product, price, availability, and distribution and then converted it to a platform that is easy for consumers to utilize. It's basically a vertical search engine, so customers can search for and find the products they want and the site will automatically cluster all of the sellers together so that prices can easily be compared.

Historical pricing data is also included so buyers can see if the sale price they see today is actually the lowest in the past 30 or 60 days. All of this is also available on their mobile app that also includes a bar scanner while shopping inside stores. They currently monitor more than 150 million products, so the selection offered is impressive. They have 95% of the top 100 retailers in the US including all of the popular marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

Here at collision, they are introducing browser extensions that the buyer can download to further expand the service. So for example, if you are shopping on Amazon for a particular item, all of the competing information will be brought right into your browser automatically. This puts all of the power and information right at your fingertips. Supported browsers include Chrome and Safari with Firefox and Edge to follow.

Check out Nick's interview and then give it a try for yourself by visiting their website.

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The Fantastic and Smart Way to Pay in Latin America

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The Fantastic and Smart Way to Pay in Latin America

2018-07-27

We started our Collision 2018 coverage with Jose Rosas from PaySmarter. This payment platform is starting out in Chile and is designed specifically for Latin American communities. Although most of us in the United States have become quite familiar with this type of payment platform, it is not something that is common in Latin America. Almost everything they purchase is done so by using cash. This can, of course, be dangerous, especially in large amounts. So being able to pay for products and services using their cell phones is something that offers convenience as well as security.

Jose was very passionate about this project because he knows first hand how important it will be to millions of consumers in Latin America. Bank debit and credit cards are not readily available to the majority of the citizens, especially those who are not in the largest cities. Therefore, they tend to feel left out. The ability to securely pay, using a mobile device will not only help with this but also create a necessary expansion in eCommerce in that part of the world.

They are currently in the process of getting retailers and service providers on board. They feel that Chile is a great test market and by partnering with mass transportation companies, they are well on their way. Based upon the total population in the large cities alone, they expect to have about one million people using the app within a year. Their efforts are connecting safety for both people and companies. It also leads the way for peer-to-peer transactions that will make their population feel more included without the costs involved using bank cards. They also have several complementary products on the horizon that involve big data and predicting buying behaviors. They expect, over time, to get much larger and involve enhancements like automatic purchases and even A/R by utilizing the infrastructure that they are currently creating.

To get more information on the current pathway of the company, please visit their website.

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The Wonderful FCDI Executive Director Is In The House!!

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The Wonderful FCDI Executive Director Is In The House!!

2018-07-09

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, Terri Willingham, stopped by our booth to help us wrap up our coverage of the Synapse Innovation Summit. The FCDI team organized the STEM Pavilion here at the Summit today. They worked with USF and UT for what they thought were going to be about 20 exhibits, which quickly and unexpectedly turned into 30 booths. But they found a way to accommodate everybody, as they always do because showcasing these wonderful inventions and achievements in education and technology is what is truly important.

The FCDI invited Dr. Byron Clayton of the ARM Institute as their guest at the Innovation Summit. He not only participated in a workshop but also came to meet the AMRoC and EMS teams. It was a great way to further their connection with him and the Institute. We at PLuGHiTz Live were also fortunate to get a chance to meet Dr. Clayton and have him as a guest on the show. It was truly inspirational to discuss the Institute's initiative to enhance and expand STEM and manufacturing in our country and how supporting the small to midsize manufacturers that do the bulk of the work and also invest back into their communities.

It's no secret that we have a great relationship with the Willingham's and have Terri on our show whenever we get the chance. One of the things that we love about our relationship with them is that we literally have a front row seat to witness all of the great things that they are doing for local students and the community as a whole. Their efforts are now turning into a full-blown educational arena with an emphasis on skills-based learning. We get to hear about their visions and watch how it all evolves, every step of the way, as well as offer our assistance from time to time. We are there for the triumphs as well as the challenges and we are proud to be a part of their extended team.

Check out Terri's interview to learn more and discover how they have, through the years, developed a tight team of great and enthusiastic people. You can also keep up with everything that AMRoC has going on by following them on Twitter, click here for direct access to their page.

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Super Excited Over Awesome, High-Powered Rockets and More

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Super Excited Over Awesome, High-Powered Rockets and More

2018-07-04

We get to see Chris Willingham at many of the events that we attend, and he's always serving multiple capacities based upon the numerous projects that he is involved with. Today at Synapse Innovation Summit, he is with Prograde Laboratories. And how fun for us that he's showing off rockets!! And he brought one to show off in the interview.

They are known to experiment with all kinds of cool and crazy things when they are creating. So their projects get a lot of second looks and questions from observers. That's why they named this particular rocket, Don't Ask. To make it even better, it's a high powered rocket, so it goes higher than regular model rockets. Oh, and did we mention that the majority of it was 3D printed?

For their purposes at Prograde Laboratories, high powered rocketry is both a hobby and used for education. There is a competition called NASA Student Launch Initiative that has inspired them. Whereas most of the rockets are made out of wood and commonly available materials. For theirs, they wanted to take it a step further see how far they could go using 3D printing. They basically chose the standards and just started designing on that scale. Everything except the body tubes is 3D printed. The payload includes a camera mount for a go pro as well as a phone mount to be used for the avionics. This type of rocket can usually go anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 feet, depending upon the exact specs.

Their goal here at this event is to not only estimate overall interest in their projects but also to figure out where they go from here. So far, they have had a lot of interesting people stop by the booth with all kinds of ideas. There has been some educational interest in it and also questions as to how to possibly use them in competition. The really cool thing is that rocketry is a craft that is perfect for schools and workshops because it actually uses all aspects of STEM. From the obvious applications in science and technology to engineering and math with the design and 3D modeling/printing.

We can't wait to see how they progress and look forward to their next projects.

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Electrathon of Tampa Bay Joins Competitive Racing and Energy Conservation

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Electrathon of Tampa Bay Joins Competitive Racing and Energy Conservation

2018-07-04

With the increase in educational focus on technology, it was only a matter of time before extracurricular activities began to follow the lead. Our FIRST Looks series focuses on one of the long-running programs, but FIRST is not the only game in town. We have seen a rise in interest for the VEX robotics program over the past few years. We have also seen new ideas come about that are gaining some serious traction.

One of those newer ideas is the Electrathon. This organization produces an electric car race program, which encourages participants to build a certain size vehicle to compete against other teams. The difference between this race and others is it is not about speed, but instead about the number of laps completed within the time limit. While this might sound like semantics, it is not; in the former, you complete a certain number of laps in a little time as possible, while in the latter you complete as many laps as possible within a given time.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to completing fewer laps, with the primary challenge, of course, being battery performance. The age of the battery can contribute to the amount of power it can produce, as can the type of battery, with Lithium Ion providing more power per pound than the more traditional Lead Acid.

Outside factors, though, cause the biggest challenge. The weight of the vehicle, including the weight of the driver, can create different requirements on the mechanics. A heavier vehicle will require more power to move the same distance, and will likely do it in a longer timeframe. The distance between the wheels can also change the performance because it will change the way the driver interacts with the vehicle. These are just some of the considerations that must go into the design of the car.

Unlike many programs of this type, including FIRST, Electrathon has teams from high schools, colleges, and the general public all competing together on a single track. No preference is given to a particular group, so all compete equally. Anyone can join a team, and if you are in Florida, a great resource is the Electrathon of Tampa Bay website.

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MC360 Puts a Modern Twist on Business Development

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MC360 Puts a Modern Twist on Business Development

2018-06-30

Every company, whether big or small, needs marketing. For some, it is done through word-of-mouth, but most need an active process in which they can tell the world about their unique goods or services. For a startup, deciding what you need can be a challenge, and implementing what you need can be nearly impossible. That is where Modern Consulting 360 comes into play. This company has a strong focus on startups and understands the needs of entrepreneurs.

The company got its start after CEO Matthew Nauss had done some marketing for a company he worked for after he left the Army and while he was at the University of Tampa. He had tried some strategies that were less focused on the old way of doing things, hence the modern moniker. He decided that, since his strategies had worked well for himself, he would try implementing those ideas for others. The process was repeatable and successful, and Modern Consulting 360 was born. After some time, Nadia Kaminskaya joined the team, bringing with her outside marketing experience.

In addition to the marketing services, Modern Consulting also provides services like sales and supply chain consulting as well. Building a sales strategy is something that even the most successful companies can fail at on their own. Bringing in a consultant to look at what you are doing and make suggestions on areas of waste, or areas that could be better focused on can improve performance greatly.

MC360 does not just serve the startup community, but also work with small and medium business, as well. While they primarily serve the Tampa Bay area, they do have clients in other areas of the country. Recently, they have gotten to work with some nonprofit organizations, for whom they offer their services for free.

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USF Connects Startups With the Help They Need

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USF Connects Startups With the Help They Need

2018-06-30

One of the coolest trends in the startup space is incubators: facilities specifically designed to help a startup go from concept to market. Especially for first-time entrepreneurs, there are a lot of pieces of starting a business that are completely unknown and unexpected. These incubators can help with those challenges, as well as help these new companies find customers and partners to enhance their corporate journeys.

One of the great incubators in the Tampa Area is run through the University of South Florida as part of the USF Connect program. The Tampa Bay Technology Incubator is a process which allows students, faculty, and the community to get involved and receive assistance. While the majority of the companies in the program are USF students and faculty, the TBTI has begun accepting non-school related companies to join and receive the benefits of the program.

Unlike many incubators, the companies that participate in TBTI are not always required to be technology in focus. In fact, one of the companies that exhibited at the Synapse Innovation Summit had designed a product to make frosting cakes easier. The product was so easy to use that the owner could speak to an audience about the product while using it. Another non-technology companies involved in the TBTI is a company that produces a consumer skateboard that has built-in storage.

Other companies involved in the incubator, however, are technology-based. For example, several of the companies are working on technologies to prevent, diagnose and treat various types of cancers. Other companies are working to improve cybersecurity problems, including providing 24/7 security services.

The Tampa Bay Technology Incubator through USF Connect is always looking for new companies to assist. If you have an idea you would like to pitch, you can reach out through their website.

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How Awesome!! This Mind Controlled Drone is Fantastic!!

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How Awesome!! This Mind Controlled Drone is Fantastic!!

2018-06-30

The advancements made in technology are always on our radar here at PLuGHiTz Live. Whether in communications, environmental engineering or entertainment, we love to see the progress that is made. It is particularly interesting when it happens to be fun gadgets that are being improved upon. Now, let's amp that up a bit - the improved gadget for today's discussion is a drone that is controlled by your mind. Short of something the likes of flying cars, it doesn't get any cooler than that!

Dr. Marvin Andujar, with the University of South Florida's Computer Science and Engineering Department, was kind enough to stop by and show off this new technology. He and his team have been working to perfect their Smart Drone in the school's Neuro-Machine Interaction Lab. Flying the drone with your mind is possible, in large part, due to the Brain-Computer Interface device that they created. This is what allows your mind to send commands to the drone. And as cool as this is on its own, one of the real-life applications in which they use this device is to race drones. The goal is to allow people with physical challenges the ability to pilot the drones themselves, using only their brains. This is so exciting because it equals the playing field for those who couldn't normally compete in this type of activity. Thus making it a universal sport where everybody can compete at the same level. The participants are able to imagine the movements and the drone will perform the tasks.

To accomplish this, they start off by creating a personal profiler of the pilot, which in turn trains the device to complete certain movements to correlate with specific thoughts. To begin this process, they have the pilot meditate for a few minutes to get the brain to a neutral state. Then they ask them to think of very specific things, like pushing a chair forward or opening your left hand. This creates patterns that they save to their profile, and these patterns are different for each individual. They then decode the iAnd they also have an eSport version with a simulator drone that allows you to fly your drone anywhere through your computer.nformation and send it to the drone through the profile via a software that was also created for the process.

Not only can this technology be applied to drone racing, but it also has many other practical real-world applications, as well. It's also good practice to train your attention, especially for those who have ADHD. Other health initiatives could relate to communicating with those who are incapacitated. And just imagine the possibilities in the smart home arena, from opening and closing doors to changing the color of the lighting depending upon your mood.

Be sure to watch the full interview to learn more specifics regarding the drones, the races and how Lucas Films was interested in the technology as it relates to "The Force."

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Announcing VRenewables' New Lighting That Might Save Your Life

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Announcing VRenewables' New Lighting That Might Save Your Life

2018-06-29

Imagine being able to drive down the road and not only have great lighting but be able to stay connected to the internet. Now imagine being able to do this without any equipment connected to the electric grid. This is possible because of VRenewables, a solar and wind-powered lighting system.

It is a series of streetlights designed for use either residentially or commercially through the DOT. The residential lights are smaller units and come with options for the size of pole and brightness of the lights, or lumens. These are available in small units of 2-10, as needed. For commercial needs, they are available in units of 1000-2000 to utility companies.

The hotspot advantage is to have a consistent connection to internet and Wi-Fi. For pedestrian traffic, the ability to have and keep a strong signal is a huge benefit, not just for entertainment but for safety reasons. In addition to public and private roads, you can also see a great advantage on college campuses. Since safety on campuses has become such a high priority now, both for the students and the professors and staff, the current measures are no longer effective. Having this system installed on campus would give the schools the ability to control lighting and ensure that communication is always available in the event of a dangerous situation.

Another place where safety and security are important is at performances spaces. Even though security is tight at the gate before you enter, there is a potential for the parking lot to become an area of possible concern. Outdoor concert venues also provide a potential location for danger. By upgrading their existing outdoor lighting, the facility greatly reduces the possibility for dangerous scenarios. This is a win-win situation.

The cost of these lights varies from $500-$110,000. The Tampa Bay area manufactured products are available now.

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An Amazing and Informative Talk About the Future of Technology

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An Amazing and Informative Talk About the Future of Technology

2018-06-29

It was a distinct pleasure to spend some time with Dr. Byron Clayton, CEO of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute. The institute, located in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, is the result of a public/private partnership that was formed by the federal government. With a five year, $80 million grant, along with funds from academia and industry, they are tasked with a wonderful challenge: To advance robotics and robotics education.

Yes: that caught our attention, too!

It's no secret that certain manufacturing jobs are disappearing with an older workforce as machining is quickly becoming a lost art in this country. We've encountered this first hand through our close relationship with the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) here in Florida, as they forge new relationships in the community to help create safe spaces for the FIRST students to create and build, as well as try to find a platform for internships and apprenticeships. Also, it is currently too expensive for small and midsize manufacturers to compete effectively and therefore maintain a stable and growing workplace. But it is extremely important that we not lose this integral cog in the manufacturing wheel.

Through technology, ARM aims to lower costs. The result enables them to make robots safer and more versatile so they can effectively work with and around people. To accomplish this, they are conducting project calls, or Requests for Proposals (RFPs), designed to advance technology and lower the barriers to adoption. This, in turn, will give manufacturers the ability to buy, adopt and use robotics throughout the manufacturing process. When this happens, they not only become more productive locally but can also begin to compete with overseas companies.

The exciting result is that they will be creating new pathways. As these companies better position themselves through technology, they will increase their workload and thus create more jobs. During the process, they are working with high school and college students to come up with innovative solutions that will eventually create these pathways and fill the newly created jobs.

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Exposing an Amazing and Energetic Literary Scene

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Exposing an Amazing and Energetic Literary Scene

2018-06-07

As part of the maker and journalistic communities, it was wonderful for us to get to know Tiffany Razzano, founder of Wordier Than Thou. We had a chance to chat with her for a few minutes before the show, at her simple, book filled table here at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con. We started off with a curiosity of the meaning of their name that turned into total excitement for what they do.

Wordier Than Thou is a local nonprofit for the literary arts in the Tampa Bay area. They organize various readings and events for local authors to come out and get some exposure. It all came about five years ago because Tiffany, a journalist by trade, recognized that one of the things she hated the most was public speaking. Since this was something that she would periodically encounter in her career, she decided to do conquer it head on. She accomplished this by doing something where she could overcome this hatred in a more controlled environment - storytelling.

They started out simply, with just one event where authors could tell stories and prose in an open mic style. It has since grown significantly and they are now doing 8 to 12 events per month that tap into different parts of the literary community. It has become a great support system for the authors to showcase their work and also to draw in people who wouldn't normally attend this kind of event. They actually strive to "sneak the books" into their events where some audience members are surprised that they just loved a show that ended up being about books. For example, one of their most successful events is a burlesque show with wonderful performers and amazing costumes that they put on twice a year.

During the interview, Tiffany introduced an upcoming event called Eat Our Words that Scott and Michele actually attended. The authors made various dished that were inspired by their books. It was a fun way to interact with the authors and learn about their latest works while sampling some really good food. We look forward to attending some of their future events, as well.

You can check them out yourself by going to their website, or by visiting their Facebook page.

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Tangible Labs Has All The Nerdy Swag That You May Need

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Tangible Labs Has All The Nerdy Swag That You May Need

2018-06-07

A long-time guest and friend of the show and the founder of Tangible Labs, Mo Eppley stopped by to show us the new additions to their stock. Tangible Labs is a 3D printing and prototyping company that also does client-based work. Mo and her husband are huge fans of the Harry Potter stories and their new Wizarding Wonder's Collection for is inspired by Universal Studio's Harry Potter World.

This exciting collection includes eight 3D printed wands, a 3D printed golden snitch, and wizard identification cards/licenses. Each 3D printed item was assembled from multiple prints and painted in acrylic to resemble the look and feel of the wands and snitches in the movie. The IDs and licenses are targeted for any cosplayer to be "certified" in Quidditch, be "permitted" to conceal a wand, or be an official Hogwarts student of faculty.

Tangible Labs also focus their time and dedication to their work on Nerd Swag that will suit nerds of all interests. Mo has realized that you can't find certain fandoms and designs on the internet so Tangible Labs design their own original T-shirts with unique nerdy passions. You can purchase these items and learn more about Mo's work at the Tangible Labs website. You can also follow their work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter under the handle: @tangiblelabs.

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FIRST Team Learns From Past Mistakes with the Help of FIRST Alumni

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FIRST Team Learns From Past Mistakes with the Help of FIRST Alumni

2018-06-06

FIRST Robotics is a very important organization that brings more and more educated students into the workforce with robotics experience that will propel them into the future. Once these students graduate from high school, they are encouraged to join the FIRST Alumni Association to stay involved in FIRST and to help students just like them. Alumni volunteer their time and prior experience to encourage the next generation of great minds as well as push the bar up for robotics around the world.

Vishal Vellody is a perfect FIRST alumni example. He was apart of FIRST Robotics Competition 5276 Edgar Allan Ohms as a vital part of the mechanical team for three and a half years. After graduating, he realized that he can apply what he learned on the team and work with the current students to help them learn like he did. Vishal made it his mission to ensure his team learned from the team's past mistakes so that they can evolve robotics. Now, he has volunteered a year of his time and he loves it.

Vishal is a current intern at the Pasco County Library in Land O' Lakes where the Edgar Allan Ohms meets. The space is free to the community to work on projects and teaches anyone numerous skills. Vishal's job is to work with visitors to make sure they have tools and help they need to complete their own projects.

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Blossoms of the Heart Brings Imagination to Life

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Blossoms of the Heart Brings Imagination to Life

2018-06-06

3D printing is an art in itself but local artist with Blossoms of the Heart, Christine Samad and her husband have brought it to the next level. Christine is a very creative individual that has a passion for creating plot lines with characters and props that she designs. With the plot idea in mind, her and her husband bring them to life using one of their four personal 3D printers, but it doesn't stop there. With the 3D figure physically in front of her, Christine then paints over them to establish her original imagination of her creation.

Blossoms of the Heart came to Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con to show off just what they can do and discuss their passion with buyers and other makers. Christine's creative inspiration comes from her 2nd grade classroom, as she is a teacher on the side. She has found that her stories bring joy to the kids and that's where it all started. As well as her art, she has also self-published a few children's books on Amazon.

You can go to the Blossoms of the Heart website to view some of Christine's creations and for links to purchase some for yourself. You can also find them on Facebook: @Blossomsoftheheart.

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Epic Behind The Scenes Advancements in Animation Tech

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Epic Behind The Scenes Advancements in Animation Tech

2018-06-05

There are many people behind some of your favorite movies and video games that make the whole project possible and we had the honor of discussing major future technological changes with one of them. Tony Mecca is a well-known animator that has his mark in popular films like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hotel Transylvania 2, Rio 2, and much, much more. He has worked with so many studios and movies within a span of 15 years since he started out in his animation career and is currently working with EA in the cinematics division.

Tony is a very special guest this year at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con 2018 while leading his talk titled, "How to Break into The Future Film Industry." He moved to Florida for some of his current projects while the cinematic presence in the Florida area is increasing. This growing presence is a vital step in the advancements in technology all of us are eager to be brought to entertainment. Mecca explains revolutionary ideas that are in the works behind the scenes for what is to come.

If you are interested in learning more about Tony Mecca and the work he is apart of, you can visit his website.

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It's All About The Stitches With This Fantastic Maker

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It's All About The Stitches With This Fantastic Maker

2018-06-05

Any maker can agree that a most of their work takes a lot of time, dedication, and experience to their craft. Deborah Gibson demonstrates this type of dedication in her company, All About The Stitches and the name says it all. Her work includes mostly any stitch you can think of: crotchet, knitting, embroidering, cross stitching, sewing, and more.

Deborah's passion all started when she was 14 years old when her grandmother passed down the skill of working with fabric. Ever since then, she has been growing her craft and skill with as much as she can learn while making memorable items for friends and family. Her family has always encouraged her to create and 7 years ago, her kids explained how she needed to establish herself through her own company where she can sell and share her amazing work with others.

After gathering feedback from many different events and conventions, All About The Stitches is looking to expand their work even further by teaching the skills that Deborah has spent years acquiring. You can stay connected with her through the All About The Stitches website for more information about the classes as well as the other services they offer.

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Being A Part of Electrathon Tampa Bay is Worth The Experience

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Being A Part of Electrathon Tampa Bay is Worth The Experience

2018-06-01

PLuGHiTz Live is no stranger to the Electrathon teams of Tampa Bay. Gulf Coast Maker and Comic Con gave us the opportunity to learn a little bit more about them while speaking with the USF Electrathon team captain, Sai Chelikani.

Electrathon is a competition where people build and race electric vehicles within three categories: high school, college, or open enthusiasts. This competition consists of 2 one-hour long races where the biggest limitation is the battery life of the vehicle. The organization's main goal is to promote the awareness of alternative energy sources.

Sai Chelikani is a natural born racer that loves his role on his team. He was exposed to Electrathon after being on a high school robotics team and decided he wanted to expand his knowledge mechanically. Sai then realized that this program is a stepping stone into the technologically advancing world that he wants to be a part of. He discusses the skills he has learned and the journey he took to be where he is today.

You can learn more about Electrathon of Tampa Bay by visiting their website or connect with them through their social media.

Facebook: @ElectrathonOfTampaBay

Twitter: @ElectrathonTB

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Nicola Entertainment Creates A Stunning New Science Fiction Universe

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Nicola Entertainment Creates A Stunning New Science Fiction Universe

2018-06-01

Nicola Cuti is an American artist known for his work in background animation from popular cartoons throughout the industry. He has made his way from animation and comics to film and movies but has come to the realization that writing is his number one passion. Nicola knows that writing is what he was meant to do and now he is the author and creator of his own fictional universe revolving around the intergalactic teenager and crime solver, Starflake. Starflake was created to bring less gender bias to the comic and science fiction fandom by including a feminine interest along with real humanlike conflicts.

Nicola has 55 years invested in the science fiction industry under his belt that has helped him become a magnificent story teller. He has numerous stories published and 7 of those are from the Starflake universe. With so many stories written about this special space teen, he then set out to have proper marketing surrounded by her character. After a competition to be the popular main role, Alicia Sage became the girl on the covers. There was no better person for this role.

Cuti is currently writing a movie script to bring Starflake to the big screen in his favorite story Starflake Rides with the Galactic Bikers. For more information about Nicola Cuti and his work you can go to his website.

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Florida Has Hidden Some of The Most Unbelievable Stories

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Florida Has Hidden Some of The Most Unbelievable Stories

2018-05-31

Florida is known for it's high tourism between the sandy beaches and the theme parks, but few are aware of the legends and mysterious creatures found in Florida that can make your toes curl. The PLuGHiTz team learned that there are numerous eerie stories that our lovely state has to offer, and we got to hear about some of them from the Florida legends expert and local author, Mark Muncy. Mark and his team traveled throughout Florida to share the greatest stories they could find.

These tales were not easy to come by but when they were discovered, Muncy researched them tirelessly and made it his mission to find other witnesses and references to support each legend. Once he gathered enough tales, he compiled all his findings into his own book, Eerie Florida: Chilling Tales from The Panhandle to The Keys. The stories are arranged from north of the state and travels south to the Florida Keys.

If this grabs your attention, then you may be pleased to hear that Mark is preparing to release a follow up, Freaky Florida in Fall 2018 just one year after his first book was brought to market. This new story is less revolved around the monsters and more involved in the freakiest places you can find in the Sunshine State.

To find more information about Mark and Eerie Florida you can go to the Eerie Florida website and find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter under the handle: @eerieflorida.

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Who You Gonna Call? GHOSTBUSTERS: Lost Spirits Division!

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Who You Gonna Call? GHOSTBUSTERS: Lost Spirits Division!

2018-05-31

When you hear the name Ghostbusters, you probably immediately think of the movie. In the realm of cosplay, it is a group of people who have formed an alliance to do good in the community and have fun in the process. We met Ellery Christensen, a ghost cadet who is part of the Ghostbusters: Lost Spirits Division, one of 2 groups based in the Tampa Bay area. She became a member because of her love of the movie and through friends. She started out as a photographer for it and is now a participant.

This group of happy people is one of several groups in the area that, put together, would number over 75. Their goal is to spread joy and fun to charities, school groups, hospitals or fundraisers in the area. The group works with an organization called Cosplay for a Cause to find local events to participate in.

When they are at the con, they wander around meeting the people and particularly children. At this event one of the games they play with them is a card game that tries to test their "psychic ability." When they go out into the community, they make appearances in hospitals to cheer up the sick children. Their visits at schools are a lot of fun, and children wherever they go are fascinated by the Proton packs on their backs. These packs can weigh 40 pounds and can cost up to $1,600.00. Needless to say they are glad when it is time to take them off! There are people who have even named theirs.

This group of wonderful people are having such a good time being together and sharing their fun. Their main goal is to add a level of enjoyment to these events for kids of all ages.

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You're Sure To Be Delighted by Starlight Darling

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You're Sure To Be Delighted by Starlight Darling

2018-05-30

In the world of cosplay, there are innumerable characters to portray. We would like you to meet Starlight Darling Cosplay. She is a very enthusiastic participant in the Gulf Coast Comic and Maker Con in Seminole, FL and was honored last year and this year to be a judge. Her favorite character is Rin Tohsaka from Fate-stay night.

After doing this for 6 years, she makes all her own costumes and has taught herself to sew in order to do so. It was a challenge at first because she had to keep at it until she got it right. She absolutely loves doing this and recommends picking out a character that you love and can relate to and just sticking to it. She likes her costumes to be big and poofy with lots of sparkle. Needless to say a problem arises when she has to travel to her cons, especially when she has to fly. That's where she has to get really creative!

She says it takes her about 150 hours on average to complete one costume. A more complicated costume can take much more time and she has been known to knock one out in a weekend. She has made probably 30 of them. With having an outside job from 9-5, her free time is totally taken up with her passion for creating her perfect costume. It is very important to her for positive feedback on her efforts, as it is for all participants.

She has been at the event since it started and attends probably 6 cons a year. She has trimmed it down from a larger number in order to put more focus on doing better job on the ones she attends, making it quality not quantity.

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Gypsy's Weavings Beautifully Pairs the Modern and Traditional

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Gypsy's Weavings Beautifully Pairs the Modern and Traditional

2018-05-30

One of the first makers we ever interviewed was Ana Mailer from Gypsy's Weavings, and remains one of the most unique. Ana creates something that is fairly uncommon in modern life: chainmail. She got started in the Renaissance Festival scene making chainmail for costumes and competitions. Eventually she discovered that people were interested in her craft and began making items for others.

One of the things that keeps her skills sharp is that every year, she takes on a challenge to learn a new aspect of the craft. While she initially learned the modern loop mail, over the years she has taken on the challenge to learn other styles and fastenings. The last time we spoke, she was learning scalemail, while is similar to standard chainmail, with the addition of dragon-like scales. Ana is wearing a scalemail top during her interview.

This year, her personal challenge has been to learn the more traditional style of chainmail fastening. Unlike the modern, where the loop is opened and closed, the traditional method involves closing rivets with special tools, including an anvil. Obviously, this method is not as convenient as the modern method, which only really requires plyers to open and close loops. It requires the special tools, but is also far louder than the modern style, with hammers and anvils ringing with each loop being closed.

Ana doesn't just take these challenges on for her personal experience. In the case of the traditional chainmail, she has done it to experience the history of the trade. She has even joined a competition that evaluates the accuracy of the process and the end product. She hopes that her annual challenge will pay off in this competition, whose prize is one of recognition among her peers.

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Better Actions Cosplay Brings Creativity to Life

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Better Actions Cosplay Brings Creativity to Life

2018-05-29

Cosplaying is a key element in all great conventions and that does not exclude Gulf Coast Maker and Comic Con 2018. Aaron Knowles from Better Actions Cosplay visited us to specifically discuss the importance of cosplay and explain his passion for bringing fictional armor, weapons and props to the real world. He lets his creativity flow by learning about how he can bring that passion to life.

Aaron uses a plethora of crafts and materials that are mostly self taught and he continues to better his abilities. One important message that he told the PLuGHiTz crew was "every time you make one thing, you level up and gain experience and you make it to that next level." Aaron strives to be a positive influence for new cosplayers and he finds importance in supporting them in their future projects to gain that new experience.

Aaron brought with him 3 props to show his craft. The first is a replica of Thor's hammer Mjolnir, nearly entirely 3D printed. The hammer was printed in several parts because of its overall size. The pieces were then attached together, painted and the detail items, such as the leather handle, were added afterward. He also showed off a super sledge from the Fallout series. This piece required a different set of skills, as it is made of a variety of materials, including 3D printing, pipe and thick gauge wire. Finally, he showed off a bazooka from a custom character: GI Joker. This piece is made of foam and PVC pipe and weighs far less than it looks like it should.

Better Actions Cosplay is the outlet Aaron uses to support anyone looking to create and design costumes and props to bring the wildest idea to life. Anyone is welcome to contact him through Facebook and Instagram using the same handle: @BetterActionsCosplay.

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EASY-AIR Might Just be the Solution You Need

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EASY-AIR Might Just be the Solution You Need

2018-05-29

Gulf Coast Maker and Comic Con welcomes makers of all forms, including inventors. Electrical engineer Joe Nahum is prototyping a solution to clean air after serving our country as part of the US Army in Desert Storm. He noticed air pollution in the Middle East and he decided in that moment that he wants to solve that issue. He returned to the United States and became an electrical engineer to help him with his journey.

Joe's vision, EASY-AIR, is supposed to convert carbon dioxide into pure oxygen. While the prototype is small and designed to be used in a consumer-type scenario, Nahum says the technology could be scaled to any size. While the first thought might be about the carbon offset of cleaning the air while using power, Nahum has an answer for this as well. He imagines placing a larger implementation on the device at the top of the chimney stack at the power plant, cleaning the air as the power is produced.

In addition to the conversion, it also acts as an ionizer. Similar to the process that occurs as water hits at the bottom of a waterfall, as the air flows through the device, it is energized. This is not an unfamiliar technology for many, as both Sharper Image and RadioShack had made the technology popular in the mid 2000s. Sharper Image offered the Ionic Breeze and RadioShack offered the Environizer for several years. This device combines the once popular tech with the carbon dioxide converter into a single product.

Nahum is currently in the prototype phase and came to GCMCC 2018 to gain recognition and funding for his project. He is hoping to be able to run clinical trials to verify the results as well as bring the product to market.

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Remarkably Superior Encryption on Drives by SecureDrive

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Remarkably Superior Encryption on Drives by SecureDrive

2018-04-21

Encrypted external hard drives and USB memory sticks have been around for at least a decade, but most of the time it's either locked or unlocked: if you have the password, you're in. SecureDrive has a solution that changes this binary reality, and makes the security better and more nuanced. Nuanced security means that, even if you have the password, you may not be able to access the device.

SecureDrive specialize in hardware encrypted data storage. They've three product ranges with varying capacity (1 - 5 TB) to address different security and storage requirements.

  • SecureDrive BT, which uses Bluetooth and an app for authentication
  • SecureDrive KP, which uses keypad authentication
  • BackupDrive, which backs up files and encrypts them with built-in anti-malware

For the rapid transfer of large files, all the devices use USB 3.0, and for security, it's pending FIPS 140-2 level 3. That's pretty secure.

The unique part of the SecureDrive solution focuses on the BT model, which uses Bluetooth and an authentication app. Instead of the drive only being locked or unlocked, the solution allows additional controls for geofencing and time schedules. For example, the SecureDrive BT can be set to only unlock between 9-5 M-F or only if the unit is physically within company premises. In addition, there's remote management so authorizations can be revoked and the drive remotely wiped.

The drives are assembled in Ohio, USA, and they're available for purchase priced at $299-$499. The remote management feature is a subscription service.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Keep Your Phone Clean and Germ-Free with PhoneSoap

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Keep Your Phone Clean and Germ-Free with PhoneSoap

2018-04-21

Think about all the things you touch in a day. You might use a grocery cart, push an elevator button, open a door knob, or shake hands with a co-worker. All of these things can put bacteria onto your hands. Next, you touch your smartphone and transfer bacteria onto it. PhoneSoap can sanitize your smartphone, tablet, and more.

PhoneSoap is a UV sanitizer for devices like phones and tablets. It uses UV light, similar to what hospitals use to sanitize devices. Put your smartphone into the device. Once you close the device, the light comes on. The UV light will stay on for about ten minutes. At that point, your smartphone is sanitized. The UV light will sanitize up to 99.9%.

PhoneSoap also works as a charger, so you can charge your phone while it is being sanitized. It is priced at $59.95. There is also a PhoneSoap Wireless that is priced at $99.95. PhoneSoap XL is priced at $119.95. It can sanitize tablets and other objects that will fit inside it.

Check out these models that are available at Amazon:

PhoneSoap 3: https://amzn.to/2HMiEHf

PhoneSoap 2: https://amzn.to/2qLNK9L

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Deep Force is Motivated to Protect Your Privacy

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Deep Force is Motivated to Protect Your Privacy

2018-04-19

Your privacy is important. Posting your photo, or other personal data, online can be an uncomfortable experience. How will that company use your likeness and information? Deep Force uses artificial intelligence to keep your personal information private.

Deep Force powers artificial intelligence on our most favorite devices, our smartphones. They do this by leveraging deep learning, which is the most advanced AI available. Their face recognition accuracy is over 99.9 percent. Deep Force takes that model and uses it for heterogeneous computing. This process helps all the different parts inside a smartphone to work together more efficiently, which creates more computational powers within the device.

Instead of requiring users to send their photos, videos, and audio over the internet, Deep Force enables smartphones to process all the information on the device itself. It works even if you are in a place that does not have Wi-Fi. Deep Force makes an app that their partners can use in their products. The app is not sold directly to individual consumers.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Superior Tracking of The Most Important Environmental Conditions with Yes It Is

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Superior Tracking of The Most Important Environmental Conditions with Yes It Is

2018-04-19

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 Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Get the Perfect Pint with HOPii Personal Micro-Brewery

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Get the Perfect Pint with HOPii Personal Micro-Brewery

2018-04-19

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 Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Brilliant New Sunglasses That Double as Headphones

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Brilliant New Sunglasses That Double as Headphones

2018-04-18

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 Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Be In the Know of Radiation Around You With the Amazing Rium

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Be In the Know of Radiation Around You With the Amazing Rium

2018-04-18

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 Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Enjoy the Luxury of Music Your Way with Audioburst

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Enjoy the Luxury of Music Your Way with Audioburst

2018-04-18

If you have ever used a music streaming service you know that the suggestions are less than perfect. Spotify and similar services use the trends of all of their subscribers to recommend music. Obviously this isn't working.

Audioburst has a better way to offer you exactly what you want to listen to and play less of the kind of music you do not want to hear. In partnering with your streaming service, Audioburst is able to create a personal profile of your likes and dislikes. By combining your profile with Audioburst's searchable index of audio content, your favorite streaming service or smart speaker can provide you with custom playlists that are based on your interests.

Audioburst doesn't intend this to apply to just music. The technology can be applied to any type of audio, such as podcasts. Using the same personal profile, podcasts services might recommend other shows that you would like (and for once get it right).

This product is designed to be integrated into audio platforms and not to be seen by the consumer. The company is currently working to be included in as many platforms as possible.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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HabitAware is Keen on Improving Your Mental Health

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HabitAware is Keen on Improving Your Mental Health

2018-04-09

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 Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Fibaro Gives You Access to The Button at Home

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Fibaro Gives You Access to The Button at Home

2018-04-09

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 Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Improve Your Sleep with the RestOn and Nox Smart Devices

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Improve Your Sleep with the RestOn and Nox Smart Devices

2018-04-09

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 Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Eco-Popper Provides a Breathtaking View of the Deep Blue

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Eco-Popper Provides a Breathtaking View of the Deep Blue

2018-04-08

Over 30 million Americans go fishing on a regular basis. Many anglers prefer to use artificial lures to live bait, including those who participate in fishing competitions where live bait is often prohibited. While the quality of artificial lures has increased over the years, it has not really added a lot of assistance to the angler. Econet has set out to change that with the Eco-Popper.

Unlike traditional lures, the Eco-Popper has a computer built-in, allowing it to send information back to the angler. Combined with the integrated camera, the device has the ability to send images and video back to the surface, allowing the user to see exactly what is happening underwater. While in range, the device can even send live video for faster decision-making.

Other sensors allow for the analysis of the water itself. You can tell the temperature and salinity of the water, so you can know if the fish you are looking for would be currently avoiding the area for those reasons. After the battle, you can even share the information you collected through the platform, or share the photos and videos online.

Various models of the Eco-Popper are available for pre-order.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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REM-Fit's ZEEQ is the Perfect Pillow for a Better Sleep

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REM-Fit's ZEEQ is the Perfect Pillow for a Better Sleep

2018-04-08

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. REM-Fit recognizes the importance of sleep and has created the ZEEQ Smart Pillow to help make your sleep better.

For starters, the ZEEQ has a pillow speaker embedded into it, so you can listen to music, nature sounds or even white noise to help you fall asleep faster. Once you're asleep, the ZEEQ will analyze your sleep patterns and grade your sleep. Using either Apple's HealthKit or Google Fit, you can view your pattern and score to see if you are getting the amount of sleep you think.

ZEEQ can also help your partner to sleep better. The ZEEQ has a microphone built-in that is specifically tuned to hear if you begin to snore. If you do, the pillow will gently vibrate, which should encourage you to shift positions, hopefully ending the snoring. Your partner will appreciate this feature almost as much as you appreciate the statistics.

The ZEEQ Smart pillow is available now from various sources.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Easily Summon Alexa or Siri From the Shower or On-the-Go

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Easily Summon Alexa or Siri From the Shower or On-the-Go

2018-04-08

In the last few years, the rise of digital assistants has changed the face of technology. Rather than always having to hold your device, you can simply speak towards it and receive some of the information you desire. You can check the weather, the traffic or have your text messages read to you. Of course, you're not always in a great environment to summon your assistant of choice.

Whether you're out for a run or in your car, Jinni is the portable solution for accessing your assistant. The device can be clipped onto your clothes, attached to your keys or placed somewhere more permanent, like in the car. Simply touch a button and call your assistant. If you receive a text message, it will be read aloud. You can easily control your phone, your home or your information consumption all with this simple device.

In addition to being a summoning button for your assistant, Jinni can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker. The device is waterproof, so you can even bring it into the shower to listen to music, and still keep all of the additional features of the device.

PH Technical Labs is hoping to release Jinni in the second quarter of 2018.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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LIVALL Helps Keep Your Hands on Your Bike and Your Eyes on the Road

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LIVALL Helps Keep Your Hands on Your Bike and Your Eyes on the Road

2018-04-06

People who ride their bikes on the street must share the road with cars and follow the rules of the road. This means signaling for turns, just like a car, but without the convenience of turn signals. LIVALL has created a product, the Helmetphone, which protects your head and keeps your hands on your bicycle. This helmet has turn signals built into the sides and back, making your intentions known to drivers around you, with controls on your handlebars, leaving you in control of the vehicle.

In addition to the convenience and safety of turn indicators, the product also has a myriad of other convenience and safety features. For example, it includes a hands-free phone system, including speakers and a microphone, to allow the rider to make and receive phone calls without the need to interact with their phone. Once again, this keep your hands on the bicycle and eyes on the road.

If you are in near proximity to the recipient, you can also use the built-in 2-way radio to communicate with another party, using the same speakers and microphone. You can also use the speakers to listen to music right in the helmet. All of these features take advantage of the handlebar controller to interact with the helmet.

There's a lot to like about the Helmetphone, but possibly the best feature is the built-in SOS capability. If the helmet detects a fall, it can automatically send a message to a contact chosen as your emergency contact, letting them know that something might be wrong. The contact can then decide how to proceed.

The Helmetphone and other LIVALL smart helmets are available now, starting at $129.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Mia Helps Make You a Better Parent

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Mia Helps Make You a Better Parent

2018-04-06

New parents have a lot of stress and it can be difficult to know if you are doing the best thing for your baby. How much should you feed your baby? Are you overfeeding? Has your baby's caregiver fed him or her while you are working? BlueSmart can provide the answer to these questions with a product that is easy for everyone to use. BlueSmart Mia helps make you a better parent.

The Mia is a sleeve, made from the material used for pacifiers making it easily washable, that can fit over any bottle. Using technology, hidden at the bottom of the product, the Mia can help keep track of when your baby has been fed and how much.

Mia connects to a phone app through Wi-Fi, meaning the phone does not need to be close to sync the data. It keeps track of when the baby was fed and how many ounces the baby drank. The app can be used to keep track of your baby's milestones, height, weight, diaper changes and much more. Share the information in the app with caregivers, family members and your pediatrician.

Mia is on the market now and is priced at $149.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Aveine: Breath of the Wine

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Aveine: Breath of the Wine

2018-04-06

As serious wine connoisseurs know, you have to let red (and some white) wines breathe after opening, allowing them to aerate for the best aroma and taste. As a generalization, the younger the wine, the longer it needs to rest before drinking. Very young wines might need a few hours, but half-an-hour is the minimum. Simply taking the cork out doesn't count: the wine needs to be decanted (or double-decanted back into the bottle) for proper aeration. If this sounds like too much effort, then take a look at Aveine, a connected aerator and winner of a CES Innovation Award. Don and Matthieu get every wine tasting its best.

Thanks to the connected aerator Aveine, you can immediately taste any wine in ideal conditions without having to wait 30 minutes or more. Place the aerator on the bottle, scan the label with your smartphone and serve. The smartphone checks for the wine in its database, connects to the Aveine and adjusts the aeration so that the aerator breathes the right amount of air as the wine is poured allowing it to breathe in an instant. Any red wine will benefit and there's no waiting around or pouring into decanters.

The Aveine aerator is launching on Indiegogo in March - signup for notifications at Aveine. Retail pricing is expected to be $200 with deals on Indiegogo. Delivery in June.

P.S. This is possibly the funniest CES video - a few things are lost in translation.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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This episode was originally published on Geek News Central.

KODAK PIXPRO Showcases Next Generation Cameras

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KODAK PIXPRO Showcases Next Generation Cameras

2018-04-05

When you think of cameras, KODAK is likely one of the first brands that comes to mind. They have a long history of providing innovative cameras for professionals and hobbyists. KODAK PIXPRO showcased several of their next generation cameras at CES 2018. Todd spoke with Tracy from KODAK PIXPRO about their digital cameras. The cameras they showcased offer a lot of technology for a great value.

KODAK PIXPRO Orbit360 4K VR camera has a single body with two lenses on it. It is compact, freeze proof, dust proof, shock proof and can be dropped six feet and still be ok. In addition to being a 360 camera, it is also a 4K 197 degrees of view camera that can be used as an action cam. You can upload 360° videos and photos to Facebook and YouTube. Camera packs are offered with a variety of included accessories, and are available starting at $499.

In addition, Tracy pointed out the features of several other KODAK PIXPRO cameras. This includes an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, the newest Astro Zoom bridge model with a 102x zoom, and a professional action cam.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Barclays Contactless Payment Possibilities

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Barclays Contactless Payment Possibilities

2018-04-05

In the United States, many people make purchases with their credit card, though contactless payment is growing in popularity, in the US and abroad. Barclays has a mantra - to give its customers a choice about ways to pay. The choices include contactless payment via a chip that is located inside a common object.

Todd spoke with Adam from Barclays at CES 2018. Barclays Bank has always been at the pioneering end of innovation. They are integrating contactless payments into normal form factors. Barclays has the smallest contactless payment card on the market. They use it to make non-smart devices smart.

The Barclays contactless payment card is small enough to be integrated into items you already use, such as fitness bands, watches, vehicle key fobs or jewelry. Companies who make those items partner with Barclays, and the result is that people can make small contactless payments with these items without having to enter a PIN.

Barclays contactless payment option is currently available in the United Kingdom. It is not yet available in the United States.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Wiidii is the First Hybrid Personal Assistant

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Wiidii is the First Hybrid Personal Assistant

2018-04-05

Personal digital assistants are useful, but they have their limits. For example, some have difficulty understanding a person who has an accent. There are tasks that personal assistants are simply not ready to do yet. This can lead to frustration. Wiidii solves this problem with the first hybrid personal assistant.

Todd spoke with Anissa from Wiidii at CES 2018. Wiidii (pronounced "weedy") is a personal hybrid assistant. It is an application on your phone that combines an artificial intelligence with human personal assistance. Wiidii has a machine that is able to understand human language in a way that most other assistants cannot. No matter how you ask a question, the way you talk or the accent you have, Wiidii is going to understand what you are asking. The machine personal assistant knows its limitations and is able to turn your request over to a human personal assistant who can complete tasks such as making a dinner reservation at a restaurant for you.

Wiidii currently understands French, English, Chinese Mandarin, German and Spanish. Wiidii sells their service to partner companies who either use it internally or sell it as a service to their customers or providers. The service is not directly available to individual consumers.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Hopen Family Bridges Generations and Distance

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Hopen Family Bridges Generations and Distance

2018-04-04

Today, families stay connected to each other through smartphones and the internet. We post family photos and videos on social media websites, and our family members who live far away can see it. Grandparents who don't use the internet or a smartphone miss these moments. Hopen Family has a solution that will bring grandparents back into the center of the family.

Todd spoke with Nelly from Hopen Family at CES 2018. They created a smart device that bridges generations and distance. Plug the Hopen Family smart key into your grandparent's TV and you can send photos, videos and short messages to their TV.

Your grandparent can view and watch those photos and videos right from their TV. The content will scroll for them, or the grandparent can control the device with a TV remote - which they already know how to use. This makes it extremely easy for older family members, who are not internet savvy, to stay connected to the rest of their family.

The Hopen Family smart key can connect through Wi-Fi (or 3G in some countries). In the United States, it is priced at $79. Hopen Family offers three service plans: Discovery, Family, and Tribe. Visit their website for more details about each plan.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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One61 Studio Superhero Smartwatches

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One61 Studio Superhero Smartwatches

2018-04-04

Smartwatches have become popular. There are several brands and styles that you can purchase, based on your personal style and preferences. One61 Studio makes superhero smartwatches that geeks will find appealing. Todd spoke with Anand from Know Things at CES 2018. Know Things builds development tools that accelerate IoT and connected devices development. They partnered with One61 Studio to help them solve problems that developers face while creating a smart product.

One61 Studio has created a superhero smartwatch line. They started with the Batman smartwatch, which is based on the Batman played by Adam West in the '60s. The Batman smartwatch can be used to take calls, get text messages and everything else you expect from a smartwatch. Know Things managed the Bluetooth layer to extend battery life, so you get 18 to 24 hours of battery even while actually using it. In addition, they added some gamification. They call the Step Counter "Crime Fighting". Take a certain number of steps, and the first villain Batman catches is The Joker.

The Batman smartwatch is available now for $125, and a smartwatch based on The Flash is also available now at $125. The Wonder Woman smartwatch will become available in April for $150, which will be a round smartwatch that includes heartbeat detection (which is not a feature of the square smartwatches.)

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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U-Finder Professional Smart Home System

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U-Finder Professional Smart Home System

2018-04-04

There are plenty of smarthome devices on the market to choose from. The difficult part is getting everything to work together in your smart home. U-Finder provides a solution to this problem. They have a professional smarthome system.

Todd spoke with Mark from U-Finder at CES 2018. U-Finder Technology Limited focuses on smarthome automation. Their smarthome product is called the U-Finder System. It can be used by hotels, offices, nursing homes and in the homes of individuals and families. U-Finder helps you create a smart new life.

The U-Finder smarthome solution is completely modular and easy to set up. It is ready for plug-and-play not only in new environments but also in existing buildings. In addition to the professional smarthome system, U-Finder has over 200 products that can become part of that system.

U-Finder's newest smarthome solution makes use of 3D and VR technology. Use their app to turn on your lights by touching the light in the app. You can also turn products off or on by voice command.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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The Turtles are Back with Root Robotics

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The Turtles are Back with Root Robotics

2018-04-03

If you're from England, or a fan of old BBC series, the Root Robotics turtle might transport you to the early 80s, remembering the BBC Micro 'B', Logo and Turtle. While the user interface is definitely better, the patterns on the paper look just the same! To be fair to Raphael and Root Robotics, their turtle does do a bit more - it has over 50 sensors and actuators.

Root's approach is to use the robot as a fun way to introduce coding to children and young adults. The coding environment has three modes, with simplest using big colourful blocks, through to the most complex which uses Swift, Python and JavaScript. The robot itself retains the pen for drawing patterns but today's turtles are magnetic for sticking to white boards and have a dry eraser to wipe off pen trails. The robot has over 50 sensors and actuators so it can move and draw, but it can also sense touch, measure light levels and feel edges and walls. It'll play music, respond to button presses and flash lights. Very impressive.

The Root robot will be shipping in June 2018 for $199. Pre-orders are open.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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WooHoo Next Generation of Smart AI Assistants

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WooHoo Next Generation of Smart AI Assistants

2018-04-03

There are a variety of hubs on the market for people who have smarthomes. Those hubs are specialized to coordinate with the products that make up your IoT. You need another device if you want to make use of a digital assistant, a smartphone for calls and a computer for games and music. SmartBeings puts all this together - and more - in WooHoo.

Don spoke with Joe from SmartBeings at CES 2018. WooHoo is the first truly artificial intelligence smarthome hub; it is the next generation of AI assistants. The device can identify users by facial recognitions through its HD cameras, and through voice authentication based on voice print. This allows WooHoo to differentiate between users.

The camera has motion sensors that will allow it to turn 360° to face a user that is behind it. It also has an infrared camera inside it for low light situations. The devices knows who you are based on information stored within the device.

WooHoo also has a smart hub inside it what has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigby and Z-Wave, as well as 4G LTE. You can hook up your HDMI TV to WooHoo. It is also possible to surf the internet on Woohoo. You can communicate with WooHoo verbally (like you would with other digital assistants), through its dashboard or with a gesture.

WooHoo will be on the market in April of 2018. You will be able to purchase it through most phone companies.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Track Time with TimeFlip

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Track Time with TimeFlip

2018-04-03

The nature of work today is often one of multi-tasking. An hour on this project, a teleconference with some clients, a few hours on a proposal and by the time it gets to the end of the day, it's tricky to get the billable time down. TimeFlip have a simple and effective answer to this in the shape of a large gaming dice. Todd and Ilya spend some time understanding the solution.

The TimeFlip is a dodecahedron (12 sided object) about the size of a coffee mug. The shape is hollow and has a Bluetooth-enabled circuit board inside which is designed to determine which side is facing up. On the sides of the dice are symbols or words representing work activities. To accurately record time spent on a project, it's simply a case of making sure that the particular activity is uppermost. At the end of the day, sync via Bluetooth to the TimeFlip app for a complete record of work activities and durations.

Aiming at both B2C and B2B, the TimeFlip can come in a couple of different polyhedrons, and there are versions available for download and 3D printing. The TimeFlip CRAFT is available from TimeFlip for $49 and the TimeFlip MAGNET is available from TimeFlip or Amazon for $59.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Feel the Heat with Vortx from Whirlwind FX

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Feel the Heat with Vortx from Whirlwind FX

2018-04-01

The gaming experience has steadily improved since Pong. Each generation of console and processor brings more detailed graphics, faster framerates, improved sound, force feedback vibration, virtual reality, augmented reality and more. They're all designed to make games more immersive and realistic without actually injuring the player. The latest addition to the gaming word is Vortx from Whirlwind FX: Todd takes the heat with Timothy, Founder and CEO.

The Vortx brings greater realism to the player by blowing hot and cold air in response to on-screen action. Imagine a demon throwing fireballs: as the player dodges a fireball, the Vortx blasts hot breath at the player as the ball slips past. Or imagine an adventure game, climbing through frozen mountains: the Vortx chills the air as the player climbs higher. It's impressive.

About the size of a desktop speaker (9" tall), the Vortx connects to a PC via USB and works with the Whirlwind FX engine. It uses object recognition and analysis to automatically trigger heat or cold, so Vortx can be used with any PC game without modification.

The Vortx is available for pre-order now at $119, with shipping expected soon.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Get Smappee for Energy Efficiency

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Get Smappee for Energy Efficiency

2018-04-01

The efficient use of electricity is a win-win: it both saves money and saves the planet. At home, energy-efficient LED lightbulbs have all but replaced incandescent bulbs, which means the quick wins are gone. The next step is to identify the big energy consumers in the home and that's where Smappee comes in. Stefan and Don save the world.

Smappee is an energy monitoring system that identifies the energy usage and behaviour of major appliances in the home. Each fridge, AC unit, cooker, TV has a unique electrical "fingerprint" and over time the Smappee monitor works out which appliance is starting and stopping, sometimes with a little help from the homeowner. With this information, Smappee shows the running cost of each one in the complementary Smappee app. Anything that consumes more than 20W can be identified but really the wins are with devices that use kilowatts of power.

Smappee doesn't require an electrician to install Smappee as it uses a sensor clamped round the live cable coming from the meter. Nothing needs to be cut or permanently installed.

Smappee Home is available now for $250 and the Smappee Solar is available for $350.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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InvizBox Simplifies Online Privacy and Security

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InvizBox Simplifies Online Privacy and Security

2018-04-01

People want to protect their privacy online, but some are not certain about how to do that. Others might know how to do it, but the process can be tedious and time consuming. InvizBox makes a variety of products to help people keep their privacy online.

Don spoke with Paul from InvizBox at CES 2018. InvizBox makes products that are easy to use for cyber security and privacy protection. Connect your phone, laptop or other device to any InvizBox product over Wi-Fi and all your internet traffic is encrypted before it is sent across the internet. InvizBox will take care of the rest.

InvizBox Go can be used at home, abroad or on public Wi-Fi anywhere in the world. In addition to functioning as a VPN, an ad blocker and a Wi-Fi hotspot extender, it also functions as a power bank so you can charge your phone. The InvizBox 2 and InvizBox Pro connect to your home router. Simply connect your laptop, phone, smart TV and other devices over Wi-Fi or a wired connection and all of your internet traffic will be encrypted.

InvizBox Go is available now. The price ranges from $199 to $279 depending on how many months of VPN you want to purchase. InvizBox 2 is priced at $149, and InvizBox 2 Pro is priced art $219. Each comes with 12 months of VPN. It is estimated that those products will start shipping in April of 2018.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Romy Paris Formulator Keeps Your Skin Healthy

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Romy Paris Formulator Keeps Your Skin Healthy

2018-03-31

People who want to have a healthy lifestyle might change their diet or increase the amount of time they spend exercising. Romy Paris helps you extend your health awareness to your skin with a cosmetic formulator called Figure.

Don spoke with Ann from Romy Paris at CES 2018. The Romy Paris Figure is a personal cosmetics lab that creates your own healthy, fresh and personalized skin care. You can place it in your bathroom and it connects to the Romy App, which analyzes data relating to your environment and recommends the care that best meets your skins needs in real time. The Romy App can be downloaded for free.

The Romy App identifies the best Romy Paris capsules to add to your formulator for a fresh, tailor-made, healthy skincare product in just a few seconds. The Figure formulator can be used by women or men.

Figure is priced at €890. It comes with primary face care, washing solution, and each of the ten active ingredients. Each package of capsules costs between €12 and €15 and includes ten capsules.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Otodo Simplifies Your Home IoT

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Otodo Simplifies Your Home IoT

2018-03-31

The IoT devices you have in your home are designed to make your life easier, but connecting them all together can be very complex. Products from one company might not work well with products from another. Otodo simplifies your IoT with their smarthome solution.

Don spoke with Eric from Otodo at CES 2018. The Otodo smarthome solution uses two products: the Otodo One and the Ugo. The Otodo One is a hub that allows you to manage many commercial connected objects, and also older remote controlled devices (such as lamps and thermostats) from different brands. It functions as the bridge between your internet provider and all your home IoT objects.

The Ugo is an aesthetically pleasing smart pebble remote that helps you to interact with all your connected devices at home. The Ugo stays in your house (you may want to put near your door). Use the app to pre-program a specific location and associate it with one IoT device (for example, a light). Pick up the Ugo pebble and tap it twice on that location and the light will come on.

The Ugo pebble can only be used by the people in your family, but the Ugo will not function if an unidentified person picks it up. It is very specific, so you won't have to worry about accidentally turning off your neighbor's lights.

Otodo is expecting to have these products in the United States later this year. Otodo One will be priced at approximately $30 to $40. Ugo will be priced at $69.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Nomadeec Brings Mobile Telemedicine Platform to CES 2018

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Nomadeec Brings Mobile Telemedicine Platform to CES 2018

2018-03-31

When a person becomes injured, or gets very sick, they need to see a doctor. This might involve an expensive ride in an ambulance and a big bill to pay. A person who lives in a rural area might not have a local doctor. Telemedicine is a way for a remote patient to be assessed by a physician. Nomadeec has created a solution that is the future of telemedicine.

Don spoke with John from Nomadeec at CES 2018. Nomadeec is the first integrated, connected and mobile solution for clinical examination for all field practitioners. They are based in France, where their system is already being used. Nomadeec will arrive in the United States in the beginning of 2019.

John explained how the Nomadic solution works. A person requires medical attention. An EMT is sent out. The EMT is wearing a specialized headset that has holographic functionalities and video conferencing. The headset is hands free, which allows the EMT to keep their eyes on the patient. Everything that the EMT sees is sent to a physician - who is not at the scene. The patient receives an expert opinion on their medical situation.

Nomadeec works in a business to business capacity. Their entire platform is $15,000.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Kingston Encrypted USB Drives

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Kingston Encrypted USB Drives

2018-03-30

What's on your USB drive? You might have a mixture of work related information, personal photos and other things that you wouldn't want to get into the wrong hands. USB drives are small, and that makes them easy to lose. Kingston Technologies offers encrypted USB drives that can help keep your data secure.

Don spoke with Ruben from Kingston Technologies at CES 2018. Ruben brought several encrypted USB drives that showcase Kingston's latest technology. Some are designed for individuals to use, while others provide the enhanced security that is needed by the government, corporations and financial institutions.

Kingston's encrypted USB drives require the user to put in a password before they can access the data that is on the drive. The DataTraveler 200 has buttons on the USB drive that you use to enter your password. Put the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 encrypted USB drive into a computer, and it will immediately put up a window and ask for the password.

All of Kingston's USB drives have hardware based encryption. The board is dipped in epoxy before it is put in the case. The higher end USB drives also have the case filled with epoxy. All of Kingston's products have brute force protection. If you enter the password more than 10 times incorrectly, it is going to wipe the drive clean.

The retail price of encrypted USB drives range between $40 and up to $600.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Panasonic HomeHawk Smart Home Monitoring Camera

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Panasonic HomeHawk Smart Home Monitoring Camera

2018-03-30

Cameras offer a level of home protection that many people find comforting. Outdoor cameras can show you who is at your door, who has been in your yard and if your package has arrived. Panasonic offers a line of smarthome connected security cameras called HomeHawk, that provide safety and peace of mind.

Don spoke with Etsuko from Panasonic at CES 2018, where they discussed Panasonic's HomeHawk line of outdoor cameras. One model is a dedicated front door camera with a very wide view. Another is a small outdoor camera which you can place wherever you need it. The cameras are powered by batteries that last an average of three to four months (assuming you record two minutes per day).

These HD cameras are weather resistant and have LED lighting. They offer a super wide view in full color during the day and in color night vision when it is dark outside. The front door camera allows for 2-way talk, which means you can speak with delivery person - or dissuade a thief from stealing your package.

A starter kit, which offers the recorder, a front door camera and an accessory camera is currently available for $399, with other configurations available as well, and additional peripheral cameras run $179.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Ozobot Teaches Kids to Code

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Ozobot Teaches Kids to Code

2018-03-30

Ozobot is on a mission to prepare kids for the future with the ability to collaborate with and control robots. They believe that, in the future,robots will be a huge part of almost every profession. Ozobot has created a fun way to teach kids how to write code that will make a pocket-sized robot do something. Creativity is encouraged. Don spoke with Joby from Ozobot at CES 2018. Joby demonstrated some of the things that the Evo robot can do.

Each Evo has optical sensors and, right out of the box, without being app-connected, a child can start playing with Evo. First, a child draws a line on a regular piece of paper with a marker and Evo will follow it, no matter the line that is drawn. Kids can learn some simple programming skills by creating a line that includes colored dot sequences that tell Evo how to move. In addition, Evo can be used to make music or to play games. The little robot can follow your finger around, and can even play an "Escape" game where it tries to avoid your hands.

In addition to the robot, Ozobot gives kids the codes for all of Evos tricks and encourages them to hack it. They can earn points by making Evo do different things and the points can be used to buy avatars.

Evo is available now from Amazon and the Ozobot website. It costs around $90 and comes in Crystal White or Titanium Black, or in special edition Iron Man or Captain America pack. Evo comes with instruction cards, markers, a free iOS/Android app, and access to OzoBlockly Programming.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Synapse Innovation Summit 2018

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Synapse Innovation Summit 2018

2018-03-28

This week, we're at the Synapse Innovation Summit Tampa Bay 2018. We are located in the STEM Pavilion at Amalie Arena where we get the opportunity to speak to a variety of makers, ranging from renewable streetlights to 3D printed rockets.

Lululab Brought LUMINI AI Skincare Assistant to CES 2018

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Lululab Brought LUMINI AI Skincare Assistant to CES 2018

2018-03-26

Skincare is very personalized. We all have different skin problems, and each requires an individualized solution. Lululabs created LUMINI, an AI skincare assistant, that can scan your skin and identify your skincare needs. Don spoke with Yougjoon from Lululab, a spinoff from Samsung Electronics, at CES 2018. The signature product of Lululab is the LUMINI AI skincare system. It is composed of two things: hardware, and software. There is a three step process: scanning, analyzing and recommendations.

The hardware can scan a person's entire face in five seconds. After the scanning, it will analyze up to the inner skin. It examines a person's skin and focuses on pores, wrinkles, acne, sebum, melasma, and redness. Based on the analysis, it will recommend the best possible skin solution for each user. All of this information, including detailed images of a person's skin problems, can be viewed on an app. Lululab licenses its LUMINI AI skincare assistant to businesses (such as cosmetic companies and dermatologists) at a monthly fee of $150.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Azur Drones Spy in the Sky

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Azur Drones Spy in the Sky

2018-03-26

Up to now, drones have been little more than toys and camera platforms, promising much but delivering little. Working with Directorate General for Civil Aviation, Azure Drones' Skeyetech provides "100% autonomous and 24/7 operational drones" as a "security drone solution." Antoine and Todd talk about the new security guard.

A market leader in France, Azur Drones has developed an airborne surveillance system for the remote monitoring of industrial properties. The system, called Skeyetech, is composed of a smart drone equipped with HD and thermal cameras, and a smart (weather) station which recharges the drones, monitors the weather and provides protection for the craft. Skeyetech drones can be programmed and undertake automated flights, before accurately landing on their docking stations to be recharged.

The docking stations aren't just power outlets, but relay instructions and information from the drones. Consequently, the drones can be controlled remotely making them capable of operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any human intervention. It comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional video surveillance. Technically, the drones can fly for 35 minutes before needing recharged for 30 minutes. Top speed is 50 mph and they're waterproof to IP56. The drones can be configured to patrol premises on a regular basis, or respond to alerts generated by motion sensors.

This isn't the kind of drone found on the shelves of Best Buy or Fry's. Interested parties will need upwards of $100,000.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Clazio Spark Shows Off

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Clazio Spark Shows Off

2018-03-26

The Amazon Echo Show might be getting all the headlines, but it's not the only show in town. Here we have the Clazio Spark, the most powerful smart speaker on the market - it's a mini-media center with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Todd and Dake discuss getting the right color for the rear of the device.

Previously known as Clarity, the Clazio Spark is an all-in-one smart speaker that combines a 7" Android Nougat tablet with a professionally developed speaker and both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice services. The HD screen (1920 x 1200) is set into a retro-modern design and, when combined with a 4K HDMI out, creates a lovely media center that can play music, show films and make video calls. If you can do it with an Android tablet, you can do it on the Spark, with the additional benefit of Alexa.

The Spark isn't tied to a power cable, as the 4,800 mAh battery gives around 5 hours of music and about half that for video. There's a 5 MP front facing camera for video calls and a microSD card slot for more storage. Is there anything the Spark can't do?

After successfully crowdfunding on Indiegogo in early 2017, the Spark is preparing to go into retail with an expected price of $269. You can still contribute to the Indiegogo campaign with "pre-orders" to get some good deals but the usual caveats regarding crowdfunding apply.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Marvel-lous Massage Chairs

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Marvel-lous Massage Chairs

2018-03-25

There are massage chairs and then there are BodyFriend massage chairs. With these chairs, it's not so much getting a gentle pummeling from a recliner as putting on Iron Man's exoskeleton with Jarvis as your masseur. Todd gets a sensational experience with Roy.

The premium BodyFriend chairs provide full body massage including shoulders, arms, waist, legs and feet, with more than a dozen massage modes (depending on model) including brain concentration and digestive massage. The brain massage uses sound waves to soothe the grey matter. There's built-in heating, stereo speakers and Bluetooth.

Most recently, BodyFriend has partnered with Lamborghini for a new chair which is expected to ship in spring 2018. Other BodyFriend chairs are on sale now in the US with prices from $5,000 to $9,000.

BodyFriend have partnered with Marvel for themed hugchairs including Spider-Man and Captain America. Priced at $1,580, these are aimed at children and grown-up kids while providing a massage experience in a smaller, friendlier chair.

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OrCam MyEye 2.0 Discretely Reads Text

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OrCam MyEye 2.0 Discretely Reads Text

2018-03-25

OrCam has a mission to help blind and visually impaired people achieve increased independence. The OrCam MyeEye 2.0 can discretely read text to a person who is wearing the device. Todd spoke with Rafi from Orcam Technologies at CES 2018. Rafi gave a demonstration that shows the range of useful things that the Orcam MyEye 2.0 can do. OrCam 2.0 is the world's most advanced artificial vision device designed to help people who are blind, partially sighted, or who have reading difficulties.

The device attaches to the arm on the frame of a pair of glasses. The front of the device has a camera and a light and the back has a small speaker. OrCam takes a photo of text from any device or surface, converts it to audio, and discretely relays that information to the wearer of the device. OrCam 2.0 can also recognize people's faces, identify products by their bar codes, identify colors and discern denominations of money notes. It can also tell the user the time and date.

OrCam 2.0 is available now from the OrCam website for $4,500. You can request a free trial of OrCam by filling out a form on the OrCam website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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GoBe2 is the Only Complete Smart-Life Band

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GoBe2 is the Only Complete Smart-Life Band

2018-03-25

Many people find it difficult to lose weight. Counting calories is tedious and you might make mistakes with your math. The amount of calories you consume does play a part in weight gain, but there are other pieces to the puzzle that you may be unaware of. Healbe solves these problems with its GoBe2 - the only complete smart-life band.

Todd spoke with Artem from Healbe at CES 2018. The GoBe2 smart band can automatically measure the calories that you consume, but it also keeps track of your hydration, your activity level and how much sleep you had. Together, all of those factors play a role in weight loss or weight gain. The GoBe2 has an accuracy rate of 85%.

The GoBe2 app can show you your data; at a glance, you can see how many calories you consumed and compare that with how many calories you burned. The goal is to have a negative number at the end of the day. The GoBe2 makes it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals. The GoBe2 is available on Amazon and is priced at $199.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con 2018

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Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con 2018

2018-03-24

This week, we are at Gulf Coast Maker and Comic Con 2018. We'll bring you artists, cosplayers, craftsman and more during our 4 hours at the show.

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Oblend is World's First Home Dispensary

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Oblend is World's First Home Dispensary

2018-03-22

Today, many people use essential oils as part of their management of a variety of health conditions. Every person is different, and that means what works well for one person might not be the best choice for someone else. Oblend gives people the power to make their own, customized, blend of essential oils. Todd spoke with Nicole from Altoba, where she pointed out all the things that the Oblend device can do. Oblend gives people the power to create a variety of healthy products that include essential oils and botanical oils. Oblend can create vapes, tinctures, culinary oils, massage oils, lotions, drinks, aromatherapies and supplements.

Use the Oblend app to find a recipe that you want to try. You can search the app for specific medical conditions or issues. Select a recipe, and Oblend can blend it for you. The unique thing about Oblend is that you can customize and make your own individual recipes, then save the recipe on the app so you can use it again. If you like, you can share your recipe with the Oblend community.

The Oblend device comes with 24 pre-filled essential oil cartridges that consumers can use to make hundreds of essential oil blends. People who have a specific health related issues may want to purchase additional cartridges of the essential oils they find to be helpful for them.

The list price for Oblend is $949 (which includes the 24 cartridges), though the company does offer discounts and promotions. Those who are interested can enter their first and last name and their email address on the Oblend website to be notified when the Oblend pre-sale begins.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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IoT M2M Council Proves the Business Case for the Internet of Things

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IoT M2M Council Proves the Business Case for the Internet of Things

2018-03-22

When people say IoT, they are often thinking about the devices that they use in their smarthome ecosystem. People tend to overlook the other aspects of IoT, including the businesses that are involved in it.

Todd spoke with Keith from the IoT M2M Council. They are a non-commercial trade association that is based in London. The association has 25,000 rank and file members in 24 markets, with 300 new members joining every week. Their mission is to prove the business case for IoT by bringing buyers and sellers together in creative ways. IoT stands for Internet of Things. M2M stands for Machine for Machine. The IoT M2M Council uses those terms interchangeably.

Keith pointed out the industrial side of IoT, which has the potential to really change people's lives in regard to IoT devices. He sees system-level changes happening over time with important things that have a big impact on a person's day to day life. These changes could involve water supply, power grids, the health care sector and more.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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B.One Hub Simplifies Your Daily Living

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B.One Hub Simplifies Your Daily Living

2018-03-22

Smarthomes can make your life a little easier because they allow you to do things through an app instead of manually. But problems happen when the devices in your IoT ecosystem are not all part of the same system. This could result in multiple hubs in your home, with a separate app for each of them. B.One Hub simplifies your daily living with one hub that can control all IoT products.

Todd spoke with Sridhar from Blaze Automation at CES 2018. The B.One Hub is a multi-protocol gateway, which combines Z-Wave, Zigby, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more, which means that B.One Hub can replace all your other hubs. The B.One Hub also has IFTTT (If This Then That) protocol, which means you are less dependent on the internet. If your internet goes out, you can still control your devices through the B.One Hub.

With the B.One Hub, you can control different devices, with different protocols, with one action. B.One Hub is currently on the market in Australia and Japan. It will be coming to the U.S. market by March of 2018 and will be priced at $199 USD.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Z-Wave Powers the Internet of Things

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Z-Wave Powers the Internet of Things

2018-03-21

The products that are a part of your smart home ecosystem can connect to each other and work together. How does that happen? The simple answer to that question is Z-Wave.

Todd spoke with Mitch from Z-Wave Alliance at CES 2018. Mitch gives an easy to understand explanation of what Z-Wave is and what it does. The internet of Things (IoT) is powered in part by Z-Wave. Consumers can look for products that have a little Z-Wave logo on them, which means that the product is going to work with all your other IoT stuff.

In addition to explaining what Z-Wave is, Mitch and Todd discuss some of the ways it is currently being used. They also talk about how Z-Wave might influence products in the future.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Ovie Smart Food Storage

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Ovie Smart Food Storage

2018-03-21

Are you sure those leftovers are still safe to eat? You may have forgotten how long the food has been in the refrigerator. This causes us to throw away food - that might still be good - because we are afraid of getting sick from it. Ovie solves this problem with their smart food storage products.

Todd spoke with Stacie from Ovie at CES 2018. Ovie created Smarterware: smart food storage that is designed to help you track, remember and use the food that is in your fridge before it goes bad. It is a system of smart tags, containers, clips and bands.

Put the tag on your food container and push a button. Tell your favorite digital assistant (Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri) to tell Ovie what is in the container. This will trigger Ovie to track the food for you for four days. A green light on the tag indicates that the food is still safe to eat. A yellow light indicates the food should be eaten soon. When that happens, you will get a notification on your phone reminding you to eat that food before it goes bad. In addition, you will get a recipe recommendation that uses that food and that is based on the foods that you already have at home. Ovie makes any fridge into a smart fridge.

The Smarterware tags will retail for $59 for a set of three, and $89 for a set of three tagged containers. A Kickstarter campaign is planned to launch soon, and you can signup to be notified when the campaign is ready on their website. The planned delivery date for the product is Fall 2018.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Pisoftware Brought Pilot Era Panoramic Camera to CES 2018

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Pisoftware Brought Pilot Era Panoramic Camera to CES 2018

2018-03-21

Panoramic cameras are interesting because they can record in ways that other cameras cannot. The Pilot Era is a professional level panoramic camera from Pisoftware. They estimate it will be priced at approximately $3,000 after it becomes available.

Don spoke with Adler and William from Pisoftware. They discussed the Pilot Era panoramic camera. The device they brought to CES 2018 was a prototype. Those who are interested can request a trial of Pilot Era. There is potential you will be selected to test the Pilot Era panoramic camera.

The Pilot Era can provide 8K panoramic video and image, at a quality that works quite well with VR goggles. It is an all-in-one machine. You don't need a PC to do the post-staging of your video. Instead, you can interact directly with the camera through the screen. Your video finishes inside the camera.

There are four cameras on the device, one on each side. The lenses are slightly tilted up so they can see what is above them, allowing the lenses to stay in focus. The Pilot Era does real time live streaming with 4K or 6K stitching.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Manage Diabetes with DiabiLive App

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Manage Diabetes with DiabiLive App

2018-03-19

Diabetes is a disease that affects increasing numbers of people in developed countries where obesity, lack of exercise and genetics are causing epidemic levels of the condition. Simplistically, the pancreas becomes unable to manage blood sugar levels as it (usually) can't to produce the right amount of insulin. Don and Nicholas discuss the problems facing diabetics and how DiabiLive's new app can help manage the disease.

Winner of a CES Innovation Award, DiabiLive have a developed a smartphone app which calculates the correct amount of insulin to inject based on three parameters (physical activity, diet, sugar level). In addition, the app plans ahead based on past history to warn of possible low sugar levels. The app's algorithms are based on medical science and protocols: the app is awaiting FDA approval, hopefully within 2018.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Get the Whole Screen for Multiplayer Gaming with MirraViz

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Get the Whole Screen for Multiplayer Gaming with MirraViz

2018-03-19

Having friends round to your house for multiplayer games is always fun, but the more there are, the smaller each player's screen becomes as they share part of the TV. Split even a big screen into quarters and the immersive effect is lost. But what if all the players had the same large screen? MirraViz have got it covered. The MirraViz projection screens are highly reflective but brightly reflect the light back in a tight cone, rather than scattering the light widely as a nomal white screen would do. When used with a video projector, this means that only someone sitting close to the projector sees the image. Think of the screen like a reflective street sign in the distance lit up by headlights: only the driver and passengers see the bright reflection from the sign.

As light beams don't interfere with each other, the screen can reflect light back from multiple sources without distortion, so several projectors can be used with one screen. As a result, each player sees only their gameplay, but on the full sized screen. Whoa! It's kind of hard to imagine, but think of walking around in front of the screen. Only one gaming screen is seen at a time but as you walk round the screen changes between players. Don't worry, it takes Don a little time to get his head round it too. It's similar in concept to the old PlayStation TVs, except you don't need glasses to make it work. The screens are entirely passive - there's no electronics - and the video projectors don't have to be massively powerful because the reflectivity is so good. Personal or pico projects with less than a thousand lumens are fine.

MirraViz sells combinations of hardware and screens for home entertainment or gaming setups, and they sell the screens on their own too. A 52" screen costs $699, 75" is $899 and 94" is $1299. They also offer full experience setups.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Monkey Bidouille Showcased Beautiful PC Cases

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Monkey Bidouille Showcased Beautiful PC Cases

2018-03-19

When it comes to PC computers, there are basically two styles to choose from: a plastic box, or a flashy case with LED lights for gamers. What if neither of those two options fits your personal style? Monkey Bidouille has an aesthetically pleasing solution for you.

Don spoke with Antoine from Monkey Bidouille at CES 2018. The company is made of just two people. They have created a PC case that is made of wood and aluminum. It uses noble materials, and is handmade in France. Their PC case is designed to sit horizontally. You can put whatever components you want to inside the case.

Monkey Bidouille brought a prototype of their PC case to CES 2018. They launched a Kickstarter shortly before CES 2018, with a limit of 50 units. Their plan is to eventually make it possible for people to customize the design of the PC case when they place their order on the website. The wood can be screen printed, in a similar way to how the designs are placed on skateboards.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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E-Vone Smart Shoe With Falling Alert System

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E-Vone Smart Shoe With Falling Alert System

2018-03-17

Our shoes protect our feet from the environment. E-Vone has created a smart shoe that can provide a different kind of protection. These shoes send an alert when the wearer has fallen down and enables a rescue team to find that person.

Don spoke with Anne from E-Vone. They have created a smart shoe with technology that can detect when the wearer has fallen. The shoe instantly sends an alarm through the secure cloud to a rescue team. After that, the smart shoe vibrates to let the wearer know that a rescue team is coming to help them.

The shoe was designed for more than one population. There is a version designed for workers who work in isolated situations. This shoe is durable and has a steel toe. Another version of the shoe was designed for older people who want to stay in their own homes instead of in an assisted living situation. E-Vone makes comfortable smart shoes in styles for women and styles for men.

To make this work, E-Vone is selling a service. It requires a service fee (of 30 Euros a month). The person pays for the service and leases the shoes. They receive a new pair of smart shoes each year. E-Vone will start selling this service in France and Europe in September of 2018. They intend to release the service in the United States and Japan in two years.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Gamevice Turns Your Smartphone Into a Console Device

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Gamevice Turns Your Smartphone Into a Console Device

2018-03-17

Mobile gaming is fun, but there are limitations. While some video games are specifically designed to be played on a smartphone or tablet, most are not. This leaves gamers with the frustrating problem of trying to play a game that doesn't function very well with touchscreens. Gamevice solves this problem by turning your smartphone into a console device.

Todd spoke with Rob from Gamevice at CES 2018. Gamevice is the name of the both the company and the product.

Gamevice is a controller that hooks onto the lightning port on your smartphone. It gives immediate feedback on any game you are playing. It turns games that are really poor on a touchscreen into games that actually have a chance to be played on a mobile device. Gamevice lets you easily play Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, MOBA's like Lineage, Street Fighter, and more video games on a mobile device. They have about 1,000 games in their catalog.

Gamevice can be tightened up in the back. It fits anything for a iPhone 6 to an iPhone X, is compatible with Android phones, and can be used on iPads and iPad minis. You can purchase Gamevice for $79.99.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Can You Hear the Thunder with OWC?

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Can You Hear the Thunder with OWC?

2018-03-17

OWC is one of the stalwarts of the Mac world, bringing enhancements and accessories to Apple devices year after year. Let's be honest, this is the team that gives you back the ports that Apple takes away. This time round, OWC is expanding its range of Thunderbolt 3 products. Don finds out what's new with AJ from OWC.

Incredibly, OWC is celebrating its 30th anniversary: the company started when Apple launched the iMac - remember the ones with the fruitcoloured cases? Today, OWC offer products for both Windows and Mac, and in particular, there's a new Thunderbolt 3 dock out with support for both OSes. The new dock "offers 12 ports including dual Thunderbolt 3, five USB 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, S/PDIF, combo audio, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card Slot, and supports laptop charging". Sadly, there's no Firewire but if you need that, check out the older version. Available in Q1 2018, it's priced at either $279 or $299. Video says one, press release says the other.

Also of interest to speed freaks is the ThunderBlade v4, which is the fastest external drive on the market today, shifting an astonishing 2800 MB/s read and 2450 MB/s write. It's pricey with MSRP from $1,199 (1 TB) to $4,999 (8TB), but you get what you pay for and I'm sure it'll be in demand from video producers. Again, there's a difference in price between video and press release.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Smarten up the Garage Door with Skylink

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Smarten up the Garage Door with Skylink

2018-03-16

Converting a house into a smart home shouldn't mean replacing every electrical device for a new smart model. A cheaper and greener way is to add smart features in with wireless accessories. A good example here is Skylink Nova which adds smart capabilities to automatic garage doors at relatively low cost. Don and Frank take a closer look at Skylink Nova and its accompanying ecosystem.

The Skylink Nova is wired into an existing garage door opener using the standard connections used for the interior open/close button. Once connected up, the Nova can be remotely controlled with the Skylink smartphone app (iOS and Android). Nova is also compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT) platform and Alexa so the garage door can be opened (or closed) by talking to an Echo.

The Nova itself looks like an LED light fixture and works as a smart home hub too, communicating with up to 100 smart devices. In addition, it can detect sirens from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. When one of those is heard, Nova will automatically open your garage door to aid in ventilation in the case of an emergency. Skylink's Nova will be on sale in the spring for under $100.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Develop Mental Focus with BrainCo

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Develop Mental Focus with BrainCo

2018-03-16

Being "in the zone" reflects that total mental focus and clarity that comes to people concentrating hard. For athletes and professionals, it can take years of practice and hard work. For us mere mortals, BrainCo offers a way to learn how to focus. How? Professor Don gets all brainy with Max.

The idea behind BrainCo is to use their Focus One headband with gamification to improve mental concentration. The BrainCo band reads small electrical impulses in the wearer's brain and picks up on changes in the frequency and amplitude of the impulses (EEG). As everyone's brains are different the band establishes a personal baseline and works on changes from that baseline to understand when the person is relaxed, focused or distracted.

While wearing the Focus One headband, the owner plays a smartphone game which takes information from the headband and responds as the wearer mentally focusses. Simply, the person has to focus to do well in the game. Overtime, the person learns how to focus their mind.

The BrainCo Focus One reinforces good mental behavior and this can be especially useful for children who have learning difficulties such as ADHD, but it also has application in ensuring that teachers are engaging with their students. The FocusOne isn't yet available to buy but if you are interested, you can register on the BrianCo website for an early bird discount.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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iHome Focuses on Wellness and Daily Rituals

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iHome Focuses on Wellness and Daily Rituals

2018-03-16

Many Americans have difficulty falling asleep. The iHome Zenergy line of products can help you take control of your sleep and get some rest. In addition, iHome also created the Reflect Pro, a top of the line vanity mirror that has a Bluetooth speaker.

Don spoke with Jennifer from iHome. She pointed out the important functions of iHome's products that focus on wellness and daily rituals. The Zenergy Candle is a multi-sensory device that can help you sleep. This flameless candle has built-in light therapy and sound therapy. It also has a built-in breathing coach that can guide you through controlling your breathing patterns so you can calm your mind and body and be ready for sleep. The price point for the Zenergy Candle is $69.99.

In addition, iHome has a Zenergy Aromatherapy device that can be used with the Zenergy Candle. The aromatherapy device is unique because it has a tray in the back where you can place some essential oil. You can mix scents if you want to. The Zenergy Aromatherapy device is priced at $99.99, and it comes with a bottle of Lavender oil.

A new product called the Reflect Pro provides crystal clear reflection with no distortion. It is a top of the line lit vanity mirror that has a Bluetooth speaker. It lets you listen to music, or take calls, while you are getting ready. The perimeter of the mirror has LED lighting. It comes with a 10x magnifying puck that attaches to the mirror with a simple stick. The Reflect Pro is priced at $199.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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ShapeScale 3D Body Scanning Scale

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ShapeScale 3D Body Scanning Scale

2018-03-15

One of the most popular New Year's Resolutions is to lose weight. People start out with good intentions, but many quit after about four weeks because they cannot see any changes happening. ShapeScale is a 3D body scanning scale that can point out the small changes that you cannot see simply by looking at yourself in a mirror.

Todd visited the ShapeScale booth at CES 2018 and spoke with Martin, who explained how ShapeScale works. Get on the scale, and it will take a full 3D scan of your body in less than 40 seconds. It creates a photo realistic 3D avatar of you. The avatar syncs to your iPhone or Android smartphone via the ShapeScale app. Look at your 3D avatar to see the small changes to your body that have been happening over time.

ShapeScale uses color coding to convey information. It colors portions of your 3D avatar blue to show where body fat loss has taken place. It colors part of your avatar red to show where muscle gain has happened. The app can show you other health and fitness measurements including circumference measurements, body weight, height, body fat, and lean mass.

ShapeScale is set to start shipping later this year. It will retail at $499. However, if you head to their website now, you can preorder your very own ShapeScale for $349.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Skylink Brings the Garage into the Smart Home

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Skylink Brings the Garage into the Smart Home

2018-03-15

Remote controlled garage doors haven't been particularly secure in the past and many people have disabled the feature because of the risk of break-ins to their homes through the garage. Todd and Frank discuss the problem and look at Skylink Nova, a retrofit Wi-Fi door opener.

The Skylink Nova is wired into an existing garage door opener using the standard connections used for the interior open/close button. Once connected up, the Nova can be remotely controlled with the Skylink smartphone app (iOS and Android). Nova is also compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT) platform and Alexa so the garage door can be opened (or closed) by talking to an Echo.

The Nova itself looks like an LED light fixture and works as a smart home hub too, communicating with up to 100 smart devices. In addition, it can detect sirens from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. When one of those is heard, Nova will automatically open your garage door to aid in ventilation in the case of an emergency. (I can see how this might help with CO poisoning but surely opening the door during a fire could make things worse?)

Skylink's Nova will be on sale in the spring for under $100.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Mira Fertility Helps Start a Family

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Mira Fertility Helps Start a Family

2018-03-15

Kicking off a range of smart hormone health care products, Mira Fertility helps couples maximize their chances of conceiving by measuring daily hormone levels. Four times dad Todd learns about the product and future plans from Yazan of Miracare.

The Mira Fertility analyzer measures the levels of hormones in urine to provide insights into fertility levels to help couples conceive. Like a pregnancy test, the woman pees on a "fertility wand" which is then placed in the Mira for analysis. The information is transmitted via Bluetooth to the Mira app on a smartphone, which uses machine learning to analyze the data and predict the best opportunities for conception. The app shows graphs and other data that can be useful for a couple wanting to have a baby.

The Mira Fertility Analyzer is expected in Q2 2018, priced under $200.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Massage Your Body and Mind with Aurasens

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Massage Your Body and Mind with Aurasens

2018-03-14

According to their website, the Aurasens Lounger is "your trans-sensory vessel to audio-haptic pleasure." That's some claim for a massage chair with headphones. Todd relaxes with Olivier, CEO, to see if the Aurasens Lounger lives up to its promises.

Calling the Aurasens a massage chair is a little like calling the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport a convertible. Technically it's correct, but the Aurasens lounger uses luxury materials and specially augmented pieces that co-ordinates the massage effect with the music. Think of a glissando complemented by waves of motion along the arms, all in sync with the music. Aurasens has a selection of sensations, from pop pieces to new music and ambient sounds.

Currently the Aurasens is being marketed at hotels, airline lounges, events and high-net worth individuals. Usually rented by the day or month, it's EUR10,000 to buy.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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CloviTek Brought CloviFi Wireless Audio Transmitter to CES 2018

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CloviTek Brought CloviFi Wireless Audio Transmitter to CES 2018

2018-03-14

CloviTek is the creator of CloviFi - the world's smartest wireless audio transmitter. It is ideal for consumers, seniors, people who struggle with hearing loss, and businesses in public places.

Todd visited the CloviTek booth at CES 2018 and spoke with Vitaly. He discussed the CloviFi audio distribution device. It is a Wi-Fi transmitter that can transmit audio from your TV to your mobile phone. The device has a Bluetooth transmitter. CloviFi is a great solution for households where someone wants to watch TV while other people are sleeping or studying.

Connect CloviFi to one of the audio inputs on your TV. Power the TV on, then connect CloviFi to your Wi-Fi home network. Launch the mobile app to start transmitting audio. CloviTek estimates that the retail price range will be from $100 to $150. They estimate that it will take about three months before they can start shipping.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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NUVIZ Presented First All-In-One Motorcycle Head-Up Display

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NUVIZ Presented First All-In-One Motorcycle Head-Up Display

2018-03-12

Nuviz has created the first all-in-one motorcycle head-up display with integrated navigation, communication, action camera, and music in a single device. It enables those who ride motorcycles to be less distracted and more able to pay attention to the road ahead.

Todd visited the NUVIZ booth and spoke with Peter at CES 2018. NUVIZ has made the only all-in-one head-up display for motorcycle riders. It attaches to a motorcycle helmet. The device syncs to your phone through an app. It has a small remote control that can be mounted to the handlebar of your motorcycle. The remote control was designed to be used by a person wearing a heavy motorcycle glove.

The device allows for integrated navigation with GPS. It lets you communicate via Bluetooth intercom, so you can easily find out who is calling you, make a call, or reject a call. It has a camera that enables motorcyclists to record while they ride. In addition, the device can be used as a media player. The NUVIZ head-up display has a replaceable and rechargeable battery. The battery life is eight hours for light use. It lasts for three and a half-hours if you are doing heavy video recording. The NUVIZ all-in-one head-up display retails for $699.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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HELPER Rescue Drone was Introduced

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HELPER Rescue Drone was Introduced

2018-03-12

HELPER is a drone that was designed with lifesaving in mind. It allows lifeguards to drop a self inflating buoy in close proximity to a victim that is in danger. Helper Drone is useful for lifesaving at sea.

Todd visited HELPER at CES 2018 and spoke with Anthony. HELPER is a piece of technology that offers reliable and secure navigation. It is ultra stable, and helps save lives, even in winds of up to 50 km/h. With speeds of up to 55 km/hr, and its precision to the meter, it enables speedy and controlled recovery. HELPER can climb to an altitude of 10 m/s and weighs 3.9 kilograms.

When a lifeguard sees a person in the water who needs help, the lifeguard can use an app to deploy HELPER. The drone will automatically launch and go to the location the lifeguard selected. The camera on HELPER will show what is happening at the scene. The lifeguard can view the video. When the lifeguard clicks on the victim, the HELPER drone will drop a lifejacket in close proximity of the victim. The lifejacket inflates once it hits the water.

HELPER has been used in France, but has not come to the United States yet. In France, a municipality pays $700 USD per year per drone for the HELPER service.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Pebby Smart Ball Entertains Your Pet

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Pebby Smart Ball Entertains Your Pet

2018-03-12

Your pet would love for you to stay home and play with it all day. Unfortunately, you have to go work. Pebby is a smart ball that entertains your pet while you are away. Best of all, the Pebby app allows you to remotely interact and play with your pet from anywhere.

Todd visited the Pebby booth at CES 2018 and spoke with Thinesh. The Pebby ball has many ways to entertain your pet. It allows pet owners to talk to their pets, record videos, and snap photos. The Pebby ball has a camera in it that connects to the Pebby app. Pet owners can maneuver the Pebby ball via the app by using the joystick icon.

The Pebby ball can make sounds. Press the cat icon on the app and the Pebby ball makes a "meow" noise. Press the dog icon and the ball makes a "woof" sound. Talk into the app, and your pet will be able to hear you through the Pebby ball. The Pebby ball has a laser on it that pet owners can use to entertain their cats. Put a Pebby collar on your pet, and it unlocks the auto-play function. The Pebby ball will follow your pet and encourage your pet to play.

To recharge Pebby, roll it into the Pebby wireless charging dock. Four hours of charging time gives you two hours of optimal non-stop playing and 12 hours on standby.

You can preorder Pebby for $189 USD. Pebby is expecting to deliver in Quarter 2 at $249 USD for the Pebby ball, Pebby dock, and Pebby smart collar.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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R-PUR Debuted a Fashionable Anti-Pollution Mask

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R-PUR Debuted a Fashionable Anti-Pollution Mask

2018-03-04

Riding a bicycle or motorcycle can be fun, but it isn't always ideal if you are in an area with lots of pollution. R-PUR found a fun and effective solution to this problem. They created the R-PUR anti-pollution mask that can filter out the harmful particles that are in the air.

Todd visited the R-PUR booth at CES 2018 and spoke with Matthieu. R-PUR has created an anti-pollution mask for people who ride motorcycles or bicycles. The mask is efficient, comfortable, and fashionable. The R-PUR mask is the result of a year and a half of research and development. It is the only one that can filter out nano sized particles.

You will, at times, have to change the filter in the R-PUR anti-pollution mask. The filters last between four and six weeks. R-PUR created an app that takes into consideration your location, the weather, and the amount of pollution, and lets you know when you need to change the filter. R-PUR launched their first collection of winter filter covers for the mask at CES 2018. They want to release new collections every six months. Doing so will keep their filter covers fun, fashionable, and something that people want to wear.

The R-PUR anti-pollution mask will be on the market in the United States in June of 2018 at $150 USD.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Lexip Introduces Revolutionary Gaming Mouse

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Lexip Introduces Revolutionary Gaming Mouse

2018-03-04

Lexip is the world's first gaming mouse designed to be an all-in-one solution for your gaming needs across all types of games. It is a high-performance gaming mouse which is intuitive, precise, and fast in all your favorite games.

Todd spoke with Hugo at the Lexip booth at CES 2018. Hugo pointed out that the Lexip Gaming Mouse has won three innovation awards. The mouse has two fully mechanical joysticks. One is on the side of the mouse and can be moved with your thumb. The other is in the core of the mouse itself, which you move by tilting the shell of the mouse. Everything on the Lexip mouse is fully programmable.

Lexip has a Kickstarter for the mouse. You can get the Lexip Gaming Mouse via Kickstarter for $109 USD. Retail marketing for the Lexip Gaming Mouse starts in July of 2018 at $149 USD.

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Beautiful Tracking Shots with Wiral

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Beautiful Tracking Shots with Wiral

2018-03-04

Tracking shots have traditionally been the preserve of the professional filmmaker or broadcaster, first with cameras on dollies and tracks, then with Steadicam and now there are cable or wire systems (SkyCam) that can move in three dimensions to get some really amazing shots. While these are all still expensive, the amateur filmmaker can achieve a similar effect with Wiral Lite at a fraction of the cost. Todd hangs tight with Emilie.

The Wiral Lite system consists of a steel cable plus a motorized camera mount - the cable cam - that hangs from the cable and it's a little like a miniature cable car. The cable is strung between two strong points, say, a couple of trees or street lights, and the cable cam is hung on the wire under tension. It needs the tension so that the rubber wheels can grip on the cable and move about. Cameras up to 1.5 kg / 3.3 lb. can be carried by the cable cam so it can easily hold a GoPro. The remote control moves the cable cam back and forth on the cable with adjustable speed.

The Wiral was successfully funded on Kickstarter in the autumn raising over $1,000,000 and is now also crowdfunding on Indiegogo. There are currently perks at $239 with delivery expected in August.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Instant Wine Aeration with Aveine

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Instant Wine Aeration with Aveine

2018-03-03

As serious wine connoisseurs know, you have to let red (and some white) wines breathe after opening, allowing them to aerate for the best aroma and taste. As a generalization, the younger the wine, the longer it needs to rest before drinking. Very young wines might need a few hours, but half-an-hour is the minimum. And simply taking the cork out doesn't count: the wine needs to be decanted (or double-decanted back into the bottle) for proper aeration. If this sounds like too much effort, then take a look at Aveine, a connected aerator and winner of a CES Innovation Award.

Thanks to the connected aerator Aveine, you can immediately taste any wine in ideal conditions without having to wait 30 minutes or more. Place the aerator on the bottle, scan the label with your smartphone and serve. The smartphone checks for the wine in its database, connects to the Aveine and adjusts the aeration so that the aerator breathes the right amount of air as the wine is poured allowing it to breathe in an instant. Any red wine will benefit and there's no waiting around or pouring into decanters.

The Aveine aerator is launching on Indiegogo in March - signup for notifications at Aveine. Retail pricing is expected to be $200 with deals on Indiegogo. Delivery in June.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Cycle Safely with the Smart Light by Cosmo

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Cycle Safely with the Smart Light by Cosmo

2018-03-03

After the success of their smart helmet light for motorcyclists, Cosmo Connected are back at CES with a new version for bicyclists. For once the smart moniker is well deserved and it really could save lives. Todd goes for a ride with Emily.

Winning three CES awards in 2018, the Cosmo team's smart helmet for cyclists builds on bike version. With investment from Michelin, the new helmet light not only shows when the cyclist is braking but also when they're going to turn. For braking, the light uses accelerometers to detect deceleration but for turns, it's more sophisticated. The smart light is pre-programmed with the cyclist's expected route and then uses GPS to anticipate upcoming turns, indicate either to the left or the right as appropriate. This is particularly useful for cyclists who have regular routes such as commutes.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, the Cosmo smart light can automatically call for help via the rider's smartphone (Android / iOS) using Bluetooth.

The new cycle light will be available in the summer for $59 - that's amazing value and I'll be getting one. As promised, here's last year's CES video for the motorbike light.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Smelly Garbage or Old Dumpster? NeOse Pro Knows the Difference

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Smelly Garbage or Old Dumpster? NeOse Pro Knows the Difference

2018-03-03

Smell is one of the last human senses to be conquered by machines, with human noses still assessing and testing a wide range of products such as tea, perfume and body odour. French firm Aryballe Technologies are smell specialists with their new NeOse Pro, which aims to bring consistency to the market. Todd sees the end for Q Graders....

Aryballe's NeOse Pro brings objective analysis to the identification and measurement of odours and smells. The NeOse Pro isn't designed to suggest what's a good smell or a bad one, but rather that a standard for a smell has been met. This could be for quality control purposes in a fragrance or to detect fruit ripeness. There's a wide range of opportunities in food, beauty, medical and manufacturing. New car smell anyone?

The NeOse Pro is intended for commercial uses so the hand-held unit won't be on the shelves of stores anytime soon. Businesses will need around $10,000 to get their hands on the device.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Get Cooking with a Cauldryn

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Get Cooking with a Cauldryn

2018-03-01

Stainless steel insulated water bottles are commonplace today and have largely taken over from the glass vacuum flasks - the latter are just too delicate, especially for camping and hillwalking. And while the steel bottles are good are keeping stuff warm, the liquid has to be hot in the first place....or does it? Cauldryn Fyre bottles have a built-in heating element which not only keeps liquids warm, it can actually boil water. Colten and Joe have a quick Americano.

The Cauldryn Fyre water bottles feature a modular design, offering a 16-ounce, stainless steel, vacuum insulated bottle with the revolutionary Fyre heating element. The standard Cauldryn Fire is powered from AC but the Fyre Mobile features a rechargeable battery to heat the liquid and keep it hot all day. The mobile base has a couple of USB charging sockets too. There's a DC base available for heating from 12V / 24V.

The Cauldryn Fire system is modular. Want a smoothie? There's a blender attachment. Need a light? Snap in the rechargeable battery. It's even got integration with Google Assistant. Seriously, I want one of these. The Cauldryn Fire is shipping now. The standard Fyre is $69.99, Fyre Mobile is $129.99 and additional battery units are $69.99. DC base $9.99.

Interview by Colten Clymer of Geek News Central.

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Watch Lassie Come Home by Wagz

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Watch Lassie Come Home by Wagz

2018-03-01

The smart home is where-it's-at, and while there are all kinds of automated lights, plugs and switches for people, there's a growing market for the "internet of pets" - activity trackers, smart beds, smartphone apps. Jenna throws Todd a bone and shows him the latest kit for the connected canine.

The Wagz team have range of products which work round a connected collar. As expected, the collar tracks steps and activity, building up data on the pooch's fitness and lifestyle. There's LED lighting to avoid road accidents and the smart dog collar has an OLED display for name and owner info. Amazingly the collar has built-in GPS with 3G/LTE mobile connectivity, meaning it'll phone home tell you where your mutt is when it gets lost. There's even an option for a camera to get a dog's eye view of the world that streams in real-time. Now you can watch Lassie come home as it happens. Here girl!

Mind you, this isn't cheap - the basic collar will cost $295 - and for the camera version, it'll set you back a cool $495. Pre-orders are open for expected deliveries in Q2 2018. The Wagz collar will also be available in stores as it was recently picked up by Black and Decker. Integrating with the collar are a pet feeder ($250) and a pet door ($250) which will be available later in the year too.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Go Cordless with the VOLO Go

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Go Cordless with the VOLO Go

2018-03-01

For relatively small devices, handheld hairdryers use large amounts of power for anything up to ten minutes at a time. As a result, it's one of the last things you'd think to be successfully battery-powered. Nevertheless, the team at VOLO Beauty have taken on the challenge to develop the world's first cordless hairdryer, the VOLO Go. Todd discusses the problem with Ryan and Jonathan.

Their approach for the VOLO Go has been to re-engineer the hair dryer, changing from heating the air to heating the hair via infrared. This reduces the power demand to only 600 W - that's about a third of a traditional hairdryer - without increasing drying time. At this level, battery-power is feasible, and the VOLO Go lasts 14 minutes on a charge. As the average drying time for a woman's hair is 7.5 minutes, this is ample. Extra batteries will be available for extended use.

The VOLO Go will launch in summer 2018 priced at $388, with a Kickstarter campaign in the spring.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Flo Can Detect A Leak as Small as a Single Drop of Water

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Flo Can Detect A Leak as Small as a Single Drop of Water

2018-02-28

The leaky faucet in your home could be costing you money! Water is expensive, and 13% of the water that goes into a home is lost due to leaks. A drop of water every two seconds works out to a thousand gallons of water in a year. Flo has a solution that not only will detect water leaks, but also can help you save money on your water bill.

Todd stopped by the Flo booth at CES 2018 and spoke with Gabe. Flo is trying to prevent loss, one drip at a time. They proactively monitor the integrity of your home's entire water system from a pressure, flow, and temperature standpoint. This enables Flo to detect vulnerabilities before you even get a leak. It also allows Flo to alert homeowners when a leak has been detected.

The Flo app has a dashboard that shows you how much water you've used every day, and what times of the day you are using water. It has a control panel where you can see in real time what the pressure is in the water system, what the flow is, and what the temperature is. Push a button on the app to remotely turn on and turn off the water.

The Flo device has a useful life of between five and ten years. You do need professional installation to install the Flo device on your plumbing. You only need one device for the house. Flo has a list price of $499.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Lumzag Introduced the World's Most Secure Backpack

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Lumzag Introduced the World's Most Secure Backpack

2018-02-28

One of the problems people face when they travel is the security of their bags or backpacks. There is potential that a thief will open your backpack and steal your items while you are sleeping on the plane. Or, a thief might steal your entire backpack. Lumzag has a solution that can prevent both of these problems. Lumzag introduced the world's most secure backpack at CES 2018.

Todd stopped by the Lumzag booth to speak with Natalie. She pointed out the many wonderful features of the Lumzag backpack.

It has mobile tracking so you will always know where your backpack is. A remote anti-theft alarm will be activated if your backpack is stolen. The Lumzag backpack has embedded cameras that can take a photo of the person who opens your backpack without your permission. The backpack has its own power bank that is charged with solar power. The Lumzag backpack also functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The price of the Lumzag backpack has not yet been determined. They are going to launch a crowdfunding effort. Those who want to be the first to know when the Lumzag backpack is ready can sign up on the Lumzag website and be put on a waitlist.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Raven Makes Any Car a Smart Car

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Raven Makes Any Car a Smart Car

2018-02-28

You parked your car and went on with your day. Later, you might have an unsettling moment as you worry about whether or not your car is ok. Checking on it usually requires a person to stop what they are doing and go back to the parking lot. Raven makes any car a smart car, and enables you to quickly check on your car from wherever you are.

Todd stopped by the Raven booth to talk with Russell. Raven is an all-in-one connected car solution. It has built-in cellular LTE, cameras, sensors, displays and a high performance six core processor that gives you and your vehicle new capabilities. Features include a rear facing camera, a front facing camera, real time displays, LTE module that is always connected to the internet, and a security system. Raven transfers video of your trip onto your phone so you don't have to transfer those files yourself.

Raven will start shipping in March of 2018 and is priced at $299 US. There is streaming subscription fee of $8 a month.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Flic Gets Smarter with Flic Hub

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Flic Gets Smarter with Flic Hub

2018-02-27

Flic's smart Bluetooth buttons will be familiar to GNC readers as I reviewed them back in 2017. To be honest, the buttons aren't that smart but it's the clever smartphone software that does all the cool stuff. Consequently, if the Flic button is out of range of the owner's smartphone, it's somewhat useless. Fortunately Flic recognised this and announced an Indiegogo campaign for a Flic Hub that would take away the reliance on a nearby smartphone. Todd clicks with Elin to find out what's new at Flic.

The new Flic Hub removes the need for a nearby smartphone in a home or office environment and lets Flic smart buttons integrate more closely with other automation and process management systems. Flic is looking to grow in the enterprise with customers focusing in the safety and hospitality industries.

The Hub can communicate with more Flic buttons so in theory, there could be hundreds of buttons in a location, and the integrity of the overall system is improved without dependence on the smartphone vendors. This creates a more reliable and dependable platform that enterprise customers are looking for, taking Flic beyond smart buttons. The Flic Hub is expected to go on-sale shortly.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Just a Drop of Blood with Apollo Medical Devices

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Just a Drop of Blood with Apollo Medical Devices

2018-02-27

With the advances in medical sciences and technology, there's often no longer the need to "Send it to the lab, stat!" to get up-to-date info on blood chemistry. Soon, readings will be given at point of care in a few minutes, if not seconds. Todd consults with Brian on their latest blood diagnostic device.

Apollo Medical Devices has been working with Case Western Reserve University in Ohio to develop a point of care blood diagnostic unit that uses a drop of blood to give information in seconds on eight key indicators such as sodium, potassium, pH and blood oxygen. The new devices should be in production with 12-18 months and cost will be in line with industry norms for the test.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Code Your Crab and Train Your Tortoise with BinaryBots

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Code Your Crab and Train Your Tortoise with BinaryBots

2018-02-27

Self-assembly robots and smart toys are great for introducing and teaching children the basics of coding. It's a hot area at the moment, especially with Nintendo Labo coming soon, but here we have British outfit BinaryBots and their animal-themed programmable robots. Todd and Chris play with the smart pets.

The team at BinaryBots have a range of robotic toys starting with straightforward cardboard-based models through to more complex creations using the Totem construction kits. There are crabs, spiders and tortoises, each will unique actions. The robots can be connected up to a BBC micro:bit computer for coding and programming. Children can code their robot and to see how it responds to light and other stimuli.

The cardboard-based robots are available now with the new Totem-based ones arriving in April. They're priced at GB?40 / $55 for the cardboard models and GB?60 / $80 for the Totem, though you'll need to buy your own micro:bit for the latter.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Need a Housesitter? Ask Kevin.

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Need a Housesitter? Ask Kevin.

2018-02-26

It's a sad statistic that around half of us in the Europe and US will experience a break-in or burglary during our lifetime and unfortunately, I'm one of those. Most burglaries are over in less than five minutes and by the time the police turn up, the criminals are long gone. Smart homes and security alarms only go so far and what you really want is to deter the burglars from breaking in at all. You need a housesitter and Mitipi have one called Kevin. Todd thought Kevin was a minion...

Kevin is the first IoT device to simulate the presence of people in a room by emitting light, shadow effects, and sound, meaning burglars will think someone's home, and won't want to break in for fear of being confronted or even caught. Kevin is extremely easy to use. Place the device in a main room with a window, say, the living room. Once set up, Kevin can be controlled via the buttons on the box, or through the companion app. To pretend someone is home, Kevin uses a smart logic that considers multiple factors such as location, language, weather and home type to produce a realistic simulation with light, sound and shadows.

Kevin is currently on Kickstarter and the best pledge is SFr249, which is around GB?190 or $270. Delivery is expected in December 2018.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Kolibree's Magik Toothbrush Brings AR to Brushing

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Kolibree's Magik Toothbrush Brings AR to Brushing

2018-02-26

Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in children and it can easily be prevented by regular and effective brushing. Getting children to brush is another matter entirely but French firm Kolibree are looking to gamification and augmented reality to get children excited about brushing. Todd finds out what is like to interview Arthur with a toothbrush in his mouth.

Kolibree's Magik toothbrush plays an augmented reality game where the children defeat evil cavity monsters by attacking them with their toothbrush. Using a smartphone or tablet, the child sees themselves in a "magic mirror" and fight boss monsters to win superpower masks. At the end of a brushing session, the app shows the child and parent how well they've brushed and any areas missed. The Magik brush is expected in Q3 2018 and Kolibree is looking to price it at under $30. Sign up at Kolibree to hear when it's ready to buy.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Keep Porch Pirates at Bay with BoxLock

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Keep Porch Pirates at Bay with BoxLock

2018-02-26

From a consumer's point of view, internet shopping is great: huge choice and prices to fit every pocket. Sure it takes a day or two to come but that only increases the rush while you wait for the delivery.....only that's the snag. Many of us are in work when the delivery comes to our empty homes and either the delivery service takes it back to their depot or you parcel lies at risk of theft until you get home. BoxLock have an ingenious solution and Todd unlocks its potential with Brad.

BoxLock is an internet-connected smart padlock with a built-in barcode scanner. To use BoxLock, you first get a secure container or bin which can be locked using a traditional padlock - it's usually called a hasp - and put it out front. The BoxLock then goes on the bin instead of the padlock. When the delivery driver arrives, he (or she) simply grabs the BoxLock and presses the button on the top to scan the tracking number on the package. The BoxLock checks online via wifi and only packages addressed to you and that are actually out for delivery that day will unlock the BoxLock. The driver opens the container, places your package safely inside and then closes it all up.

Your BoxLock smartphone app then notifies you which package was scanned and that your BoxLock is safely locked with your packages inside. Several of the big delivery companies are on board including FedEx, UPS, USPS and Amazon, so it's perfect for keeping those porch pirates and packet thieves at bay. BoxLock is current InDemand on Indiegogo for pre-ordering at $109 (the video says $129 retail) with deliveries expected in June 2018.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Petrics Helps Owners Shed Pet Pounds

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Petrics Helps Owners Shed Pet Pounds

2018-02-25

Just as in humans, obesity in cats and dogs brings health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Over half of the pets in American households are overweight and this reduces their life expectancy by several years. Petrics want to help owners spend less time managing their pets and more time loving them with a couple of new products aimed at reducing obesity. No treats for Todd from Edward.

Winners of two CES Innovation awards, Petrics are coming at the problem from two fronts. First Petrics have a Health & Nutrition application which records the animal's food and exercise, but also guides the owner towards appropriate meal choices for their pet. Second, Petrics are launching a smart pet bed which works with an activity tracker to measure pet exercise and weight. This will pass information to the Health & Nutrition app, giving the owner current and historical information about their animal's condition to see if new regimes are having the right impact.

The app and bed will be coming to the market early in 2018, priced at $100-$300 depending on the size of the bed.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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BIO-Key Uses The Power of Touch

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BIO-Key Uses The Power of Touch

2018-02-25

Fingerprint readers are well established in all but the lowest cost smartphones - look at the Moto G-series for phones priced around $200 - and it's a trusted solution. So it's not surprising that fingerprint readers are now appearing in other devices such as padlocks and bike locks. BIO-key are fingerprint specialists and have a range of locks and readers that do away with keys and passwords. Todd unlocks the potential of his finger with Scott.

BIO-key's locks can be opened by a range of technologies depending on the model. Most use fingerprints, but others also have Bluetooth capabilities and some use PIN codes. There are some real benefits in using a fingerprint for unlocking - no key to lose, no combination to remember.

Prices start at $39.99 for the TouchLock Designer, and a TSA approved lock is $54.95.

BIO-key produce fingerprint readers for PCs too, so if you don't want to type in your password, check out these USB devices.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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This episode was originally published on Geek News Central.

Lizn and Hear the Conversation

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Lizn and Hear the Conversation

2018-02-25

True wireless earphones have been around for about eighteen months and products are beginning to innovate away from making the earphones technically better and physically smaller. As an example, Lizn's "hearpieces" are wireless earphones but also have some properties of a hearing aid. Todd listens to Michael to find out more.

The clue to Lizn's USP is in the name itself - it's a play on "listen." C'mon, keep up. As well as being discreet Bluetooth wireless earphones, the earphones have directional amplification to help the wearer hear conversation in difficult circumstances. The dual microphones use advanced sound processing to enhance the consonants in speech which helps understanding in noisy environments.

The earphones come in three different colors: ruby red, caffe latte and anthracite grey. They're on pre-order for $149 with an expected retail price of $199, and should be available in April.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Kano Codes for Kids

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Kano Codes for Kids

2018-02-24

Kano's mission is to encourage people, particularly children, to see computers not as unchangeable appliances but as tools to be made, shaped, coded and shared. Their kits plug together bits, boards, buttons and cables to make individual and personalised computers. Joanna gets to the heart of the matter with Todd and the Pixel Kit.

Kano's approach is to challenge each young developer into programming simple apps that achieve technical goals. Using Kano's development tools, Kano Code, it's really easy to build programs as the tools come with code building blocks for things like displaying an emoji or responding to noise via a microphone. It's very easy to quickly produce something that's fun and keeps children interested.

The Pixel Kit is available now for just under $80 from both online shops and major retail stores.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Clap for Kano's Camera Kit

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Clap for Kano's Camera Kit

2018-02-24

Kano's mission is to encourage people, particularly children, to see computers not as unchangeable appliances but as tools to be made, shaped, coded and shared. Their kits plug together bits, boards, buttons and cables to make individual and personalized computers. Bruno gives Todd a hand to develop a selfie camera from their new Camera Kit.

Kano's approach is to challenge each young developer into programming simple apps that achieve technical goals. Using Kano's development tools it's really easy to build programs as the tools come with code building blocks for things like taking a picture or responding to noise via a microphone. Consequently, even Todd can code an app to take a picture when someone claps.

The Camera Kit's not expected until next year but you can sign up to hear the latest news. Expect the price to be around $99.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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You Can Feel It with Ultrahaptics

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You Can Feel It with Ultrahaptics

2018-02-24

Playing games using bare hands for controllers goes back as far as the Eye Toy for the Sony PlayStation 2, but it was really Microsoft's Kinect that brought gesture recognition mainstream. As fantastic as these cameras were, players only received visual feedback, e.g. the in-game character moved in the desired direction. But what if there is no TV screen to show feedback? How could the user know that they've pressed the right button? That's where Ultrahaptics come in with their ultrasonic speakers. Todd gets a feeling for the tech with Heather.

Simplistically, Ultrahaptics uses ultrasound to project sensations onto a hand. Small highly controllable speakers can focus sound waves to make a hand feel on object that's not there. It's pretty clever technology but what it means is that a hand action can receive feedback directly, without needing a screen.

Heather splits the use cases into two, controls and experiences. Want to turn on a light switch? Feel the imaginary switch and flick it up. For experiences, a two-dimensional object could be given three-dimensional properties. Think of a film poster that responds to a hand approach it. The force awakens!

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Wander the World with the Fonebud W

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Wander the World with the Fonebud W

2018-02-19

Mobile data charges abroad can be prohibitively expensive and tethering for Wi-Fi burns through the phone's battery. The new Fonebud W wireless hotspot solves this problem for over 80 countries worldwide. Don chats with Dixon about the features of this new device.

Using your home SIM while in a foreign land typically ends with a large bill when you get back, though seasoned travelers will have a pocketful of SIMs for local telcos. Mind you, it's still a pain making sure that your smartphone is unlocked and forwarding your calls to your new number (unless you have a dual SIM phone). A much better solution would be the upcoming Fonebud W personal Wi-Fi hotspot which works in over 80 countries, particularly in Asia and China. The 10,000 mAh battery will run the Fonebud W for well over a day and can be used to wirelessly charge a smartphone. Yes, it has a wireless charger built-in, though you can still charge with a cable. The small LED screen shows details of connectivity and battery life.

The Fonebud W will be available in Q2 2018 and will cost $129-$169 including 24 GB data which is valid for a year.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Get in the Spirits with PicoBrew's PicoStill

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Get in the Spirits with PicoBrew's PicoStill

2018-02-19

At CES 2017, PicoBrew showed off their personal beer brewing machine and this year, they're back with a little something to take home alcohol production to the next level. Todd finds out more from George.

For existing PicoBrewers, the PicoStill brings an opportunity to "up their game" and start distilling small batches of spirits safely and more precisely. 500 ml takes about 4 hours to produce, and up to 180 proof is possible with will multilevel distilling. Alternatively, the PicoStill can capture the essence of hops and other oils to give unique flavors and aromas to food and drinks.

The PicoStill is on pre-order for $249 ($349 SRP) but it's an accessory for other brewing appliances (Pico S/Pro/C) so check compatibility before ordering.

Also on show is the Pico C, a smaller and cheaper beer brewing machine for $549.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Grow Your Own with Opcom Indoor Hydroponics

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Grow Your Own with Opcom Indoor Hydroponics

2018-02-19

When I hear "hydroponics" I always think of sci-fi and long missions to deep space. Fortunately, hydroponics is much more rooted in reality than the genre suggests, and this brings us neatly to Opcom Farm and their indoor hydroponics systems. Todd digs with Ray from Opcom and discovers how to garden in your garage.

Opcom offers everything needed to setup a home hydroponics garden except the space. Even then, the GrowPod can create space within another area, such as a garage, for the racks and shelving needed for a hydroponic garden. These days all the lights are LED, so energy costs are kept low, and there's a range of units from the simple O2-Light to a full GrowWall. It all depends on the budget - a GrowPod starts at $2000.

There's plenty of information on Opcom Farm's website and some products are available from Amazon.com. Others are on pre-order for delivery in 2018.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Kohler Has Super Technology For You and Your Home

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Kohler Has Super Technology For You and Your Home

2018-02-13

Super technology in the home is not a thing of the future, but what is happening now. Kohler has been providing your home with everyday necessities for over 100 years, and now they are updating those products with their line called Kohler Konnect. This line of products is about moments made better, with control exactly how you want it. You can control these products manually, through the app or with your voice.

The Verdera Lighted Mirror is activated with built-in Amazon Alexa voice control. With the voice control in the bathroom, you can direct your wishes to start your shower with the proper temperature and desired spray choice or a combination of sprays. The morning shower person might want a quick awakening-type of shower and the bedtime shower person might want a more massage-type, relaxing kind of shower. Verdera is equipped with integrated lighting, 2 microphones and 2 hermetically-sealed speakers, so that you don't have any extra clutter on your counter.

In the kitchen there is a touchless faucet that is perfect for people who just want to wave their hand to turn on the water and not touch the faucet. You can also use the voice control to tell your faucet to fill your coffeepot with a pre-set amount of water. Except for Verdera, all of these products are platform-agnostic, making it very compatible with Amazon, Alexa or Google Assistant.

These products are available now except for the voice command mirror which is coming out in March. For more information go to kohler.com.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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The Sunflower is The First Autonomous Shade in The World

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The Sunflower is The First Autonomous Shade in The World

2018-02-13

ShadeCraft Robotics is a start up company in California that has made it their mission to improve human interaction outdoors through connected devices and robotic technology. One of their greatest examples of working toward that mission is called the Sunflower. The Sunflower is the world's first autonomous shade that keeps your space completely shaded for the largest part of the day by automating its movements along with the sun's movement. It also generates and stores renewable energy using solar panels to bring the mechanism to life.

The Sunflower has speakers for any type of music from your own device and a microphone for AI commands through your smarthome system through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in capabilities. But it doesn't end there! This shade goes above and beyond for any outdoor space with an HD camera and controlled lighting. You can easily use the Sunflower as the center piece from a party to a relaxing day to yourself.

Preorders are available now on the ShadeCraft website for $6900 until the end of March when the retail price increases to $8700.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Valencell is the Technology Behind our Favorite Fitness Gear

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Valencell is the Technology Behind our Favorite Fitness Gear

2018-02-12

With all of the really cool gadgets and gizmos that we are surrounded by each year at CES, it's nice to sometimes take a step back and get a good feel for the technology behind the products. We had the pleasure of taking a few minutes to speak with a company that provides that technology to many industry leaders.

Valencell is very instrumental to the fitness and health industries. They make the biometric sensor technology that goes into all kinds of different wearables on the market. These wearables include smartwatches, fitness bands and even earbuds. Their sensors can measure important vitals such as heart rate, heart rate variability and respiration rate. They also count steps, count calories, measure stride cadence, distance and a lot more.

The tech and sensors are constantly improving; it's these changes, as well as consumer usage over time, that drives them to keep their sensors versatile enough to go into a wide variety of products. They provide their technology to a wide variety of different companies like Bose, LG and Sony to name just a few.

Their Biometrics Lab puts their customers' products through a series of rigorous tests. These tests include using the sensors on a variety of different people to insure that a wide range of skin tones, body types, and age ranges report accurate information. This validates real-world accuracy for their clients and for consumers.

You can get more information about Valencell, find out how they are engaged by interested companies and see a complete list of the companies that currently use their technology by checking out valencell.com.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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You Want the Best in 360 Video and Insta360 Delivers

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You Want the Best in 360 Video and Insta360 Delivers

2018-02-12

There are many things that we see at CES that, as a group, we love, but we definitely have an affinity for unique cameras. Insta360 totally fits that description, as they are different than the other 360° cameras out there because from their point of view, it's the software that comes first. That makes all of the difference in the world, because it also allows a lot more expertise and fun on the back-end due to their emphasis on programming. When you purchase one of their cameras, that's not where the transaction ends. You can count on firmware updates going out on a regular basis. They even design their line with full knowledge that improvements are coming, and these updates include some really cool features. All throughout the process, they stay true to their mission to create a product that's friendly, easy to use, powerful and price efficient all at the same time.

The best part of their "software first" approach is that with everything they produce, they develop and then redevelop and then listen to customer feedback and continue to improve based upon actual user experiences and wishlists. The company is 60% Research & Development engineers who are used to turning thing around quickly.

We took a look at the Insta360 ONE: the world's most powerful action sports 360 camera. It is compatible with a variety of accessories including a stick that pops out for a longer range. Within the software, you are able to do some cool things like magic erases and it enhances their overall content. It's like having a drone follow you everywhere you go and is perfect for skaters, bikers, runners, joggers and more. Since it's a 360 degree camera, you can also change the perspective after the video is shot. There's a normal mode and a planet mode, which is a spherical look. The camera is capable of taking 24 megapixel stills and 4K UDH video. You can also livestream directly to your social media platforms or you can edit within the app and then share those edits directly to social media as well as save to your albums. It is capable of Bluetooth control or it can be connected directly to a cell phone. They are available on Amazon and you can get yours by clicking here.

Next up is the Insta360 Nano S, the little marvel that has been winning every 350 camera award at CES. This camera has redefined what software means for a 360 camera. It plugs into your phone and the social interactivity is what makes it extra special. The Multiview feature is like having an entire camera crew in your pocket. You are also able to use a split screen or a bubble inside of a larger screen to get multiple camera angle views all at the same time, using different pieces of footage. You can even livestream in Multiview. It really lets you experience full immersion without having to lug a ton of heavy and expensive equipment everywhere you go. You can pick yours up on Amazon by clicking here.

Insta360 has also recently ventured out into the world of professional videography equipment. The new 6 camera configuration shoots in 12K for stills and 8K for videos, and it will livestream in that same quality without the need for additional accessories. It's a one stop shop for filming your favorite music festival or sporting event.

And let's not forget the big daddy: the Titan Series, that will be available later in the next year. It features their first pro world camera. It's larger with more cameras and a long range wireless transmission device and has a resolution of 12K for stills and upgrades the video transmission to 10K for video. And yes, it will livestream in that same quality without the need for additional accessories.

For more information, you can visit their website at Insta360.com.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Listen... Razer's New Project Linda is Absolutely Amazing

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Listen... Razer's New Project Linda is Absolutely Amazing

2018-02-11

Another CES booth where we are never disappointed is Razer's. Not only do we love their products in general, but their prototype projects are always kick ass! This year was no exception. We got an up close look at Project Linda. This concept is an ultraportable laptop design powered by the Android-based Razer Phone. When the phone is docked it serves as an intelligent touchpad right in front. This bridges the gap between having handheld entertainment and a laptop together. The best parts of the Razer Phone (performance, display, and dual front-firing speakers) are seamlessly combined with the larger screen and keyboard of Project Linda's, as well as the battery. This provides the ultimate mobile hybrid setup for gaming, creativity and productivity.

Specs include a 13.3" Quad HD touchscreen that extends the 120Hz experience available on the Razer Phone to the larger screen and provides fluid motion and vibrant visuals. The 13.3" touch display of the laptop is ideal for gaming, entertainment and creativity, or for multiple apps to run side by side. The 5.7" touchscreen of the Razer Phone is multifunction as both a touchpad, or as an interactive second touch display that allows for custom interfaces or additional apps. The built-in keyboard is backlit and powered by Razer Chroma which is perfect for both short texts and lengthy assignments. It is also equipped with custom Android keys for easy navigation, app selection, searching and more. There is also a Sentio Desktop interface that adds to the laptop experience and provides a familiar layout and the keyboard shortcuts that you are accustom to.

And talk about gaming; this setup will blow you away. You will enjoy your Android games in all new ways with Project Linda. This honey of a system lets you connect a mouse for precise control and also trigger actions quickly on the keyboard. The second display offers easy access to take advantage of things like menus, maps, and a lot more while still within a game. Plus, the built-in power bank allows you to quickly charges the Razer Phone while it's docked. And there is 200GB of internal storage, so you can house your local apps, games, media, and offline phone backups all right there.

We look forward to watching the development of this exciting prototype. While Project Linda is a work-in-progress, you can get the Razer Phone from Razer or Amazon now.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Exciting New Technology from Casio that Will Blow Your Mind

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Exciting New Technology from Casio that Will Blow Your Mind

2018-02-11

Imagine having only to buy one watch for all your needs! That is what Casio is offering with their newest watch, the Casio PRO TREK. This is a smartwatch that is the ultimate in technology. This watch does practically everything. It has so many functions, only a few of which are a GPS satellite system which gives you great detail, and Mapbox, an open source mapping system which can be used online or off, and even works when you don't have cell service. Having a PRO TREK is a wonderful way to be able to know where you are and for others to be able to locate you in the event that you get lost or stranded.

There are apps for your watch to assist in your golf game, with features such as finding local courses to play, distance between yourself and the green, par for the current hole and how other golfers have played that particular hole. Other available apps offer assistance for fishing and even for the equestrian. There is also an app for the surfer, which can be used for locating the best places to find good waves. This watch is water-resistant for up to 50 meters and shock-resistant up to 4 meters. It is built with a gap in the construction that makes it very durable and impact safe.

The watch has 13 available faces that can be personalized with different colors. There is a world-times feature and a microphone with voice control. One of the best things is an ability to "find your phone," a problem we all have had. It also has the traditional fitness features to help track sleep and steps. This new model is available now for $500. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Samsung Gets More and More Impressive Each Year

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Samsung Gets More and More Impressive Each Year

2018-02-11

We love being immersed in the Samsung Electronics booth at CES. If The Wall was the main attraction for 2018, it definitely had some competition in the booth. Also featured is the first 8K QLED TV in the world. And as if that's not impressive enough, it also features AI technology. It's this AI technology that elevates the standard definition content to an awe inspiring 8K resolution. Basically, the picture quality is transformed via a proprietary algorithm to transform any regular content to a high-resolution 8K.

But Samsung did not stop here with this beauty of a TV. They also added several new really cool features, including detail enhancement, which not only upgrades the standard definition content but also adds noise reduction and has an edge restoration function to more clearly outlines objects on the screen. There is also automatic sound adjustment that differentiates between various content, like sporting events and music concerts. Also, your viewing experience will only get better over time with firmware updates that will upgrade the set with the latest improvements. So, the longer you own it, the better it's going to get.

One of our absolute favorite features is that they have made the initial setup as easy as possible. This TV is an extension of their expanded Smart Things platform and includes Bixby, which is their own voice command system. When you first plug in, the Bluetooth will automatically connect with your smartphone, which enables it to link into the Smart Things app and update your new TV with not only your network Wi-Fi password, but also bring in all of your existing streaming platforms, complete with those passwords as well. It will also automatically configure the remote control with the other remotes in the home, even the cable remote, so you will have easy access to everything from one remote. It's the same with your gaming devices. You will now have full control of all of your entertainment, gaming and other Samsung Smart Things appliances right from your TV remote control. Imagine sitting on the couch and asking Bixby what's in the fridge and also having the oven start preheating. Talk about living the dream!

Samsung is looking forward to launch the 85" QLED 8K TV during the second half of 2018.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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The Wall is the Most Fabulous Television and Gaming Experience You Can Have

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The Wall is the Most Fabulous Television and Gaming Experience You Can Have

2018-02-10

The Samsung Electronics booth at CES is always quite impressive. It's a large booth with impressive visual displays. This year they outdid themselves as they introduced The Wall. The Wall is the world's first consumer, modular, self-emitting MicroLED 146-inch TV. This is brand new technology with pixels that are self illuminating, based upon existing Large Format Outdoor Digital Display technology. This has allowed an unbelievable 4k television for the home. The features are amazing. It can go to infinite black, has High Dynamic Range and brightness levels and contract that are unmatched. All of this with no image retention and no off angle viewing.

The name, The Wall, is no stretch. At 146 inches, it was probably the most impressive visual in Central Hall this year, with the largest crowds in the building. But don't let the size intimidate you. After all, it is modular. It's comprised of a series of smaller screens, or tiles, that mesh together with no seam. Not only does this open up the possibility of multiple configurations in the future to fit any home/lifestyle, but it also makes delivery and setup much easier. If you live in a building with a small elevator or staircase, or would have trouble getting such a large box into the right room in your home through hall and doorways, there's no concern with that here. Each piece is brought in separately and assembled in place, thus opening up this wonderful technology to more consumers.

This large and impressive screen array has an incredible picture and would be a gamer's dream. Although it would most likely take some getting used to, we're sure that all the gamers we know would love to take a crack at it. This is concept that is not lost on Samsung, who is already partnering with Xbox.

The Wall is expected to ship later in 2018 with exact pricing still to be determined.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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The FLIR Partners Brings More Great Things to Life

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The FLIR Partners Brings More Great Things to Life

2018-02-10

Just as FLIR is reaching out to developers with their new sensors, they have also developed the Thermal by FLIR Partner Program. With this program they are working with manufacturers and developers to help them get their products produced with FLIR's thermal technology built-in. They had a few examples of final products and prototypes to show off at their booth at CES 2018.

We got to take a close look at Arzens ThermoGlass. These safety glasses have a thermal camera onboard to allow workers obtain thermal images at a glance and completely hands-free in an augmented reality, heads-up display format. They allow workers to focused during inspections, while still having the use of their hands for other important tasks, such as taking notes or operating machinery and tools.

Also on display was a Panasonic Tough Book that is outfitted to include a FLIR Camera. It is the first tablet that has been ruggedized to carry a thermal sensor. And along the same rugged theme, also on display was a CAT S60 Android smartphone with an included electron sensor. It can also be purchased from Amazon: CAT PHONES S60 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

And one of our most favorite finds at the booth was their partnership with Tinkerforge. This Maker Kit includes a Lepton component, the same sensor in the popular FLIR ONE device, so that makers can learn about, play with and incorporate thermal technology into their innovations.

You can get more information about their programs initiative at their partner site.

Also, check out these cool consumer products that are available on Amazon:

FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera and Protective Case

FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C (Gen 3)

FLIR Systems FXV101-W Outdoor Wireless HD Video Camera

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Bringing a Great New Dimension to the Autonomous World with FLIR

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Bringing a Great New Dimension to the Autonomous World with FLIR

2018-02-10

FLIR has always made important tasks safer and easier with the thermal technology that they adapt into their cameras. From being able to see people and objects that couldn't otherwise be seen, to detecting dangerous leaks to handling repairs hands-free, FLIR has touched all of our lives in ways that we aren't even aware. While we all know that traditional infrared cameras allow sight in total darkness, bad weather and through such things as smoke and haze, FLIR allows for sight behind walls and in ceilings. And lucky for us, they continually find ways to refine and introduce this technology into new products.

One of their latest projects is venturing into the ever growing world of autonomous vehicles. On display this year is their new Automotive Development Kit (ADK). This sensor kit is targeted towards automotive software developers that are looking to add a different kind of sensor to their projects. Adding temperature sensing to the existing array of sensors already on autonomous vehicles will significantly increase the overall detection capabilities. These sensors are not meant to replace any of the sensors that are currently in use, but to be used in addition to them for an extra level of safety as thermal imaging does not have the same constraints as regular video cameras and sonar detection. Allowing developers to jump right in and discover the possibilities is a perfect way to get things started.

On display at the booth was a demonstration using the ADK hardware. In the demo, you could watch a live video of the path next to the booth, and the sensor and software together were able to identify and track humans as they passed by. This is an essential technology to allow autonomous vehicles to be able to progress from level 4 to level 5, the difference between having a steering wheel and not.

The sensors come in a few different sizes and lengths, with more improvements in the works. If you are a developer and would like more information on how to get a kit, visit their website at flir.com/adk.

Also, check out these cool consumer products that are available on Amazon:

FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera and Protective Case

FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C (Gen 3)

FLIR Systems FXV101-W Outdoor Wireless HD Video Camera

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Exciting Ways to Free You Up with WPC

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Exciting Ways to Free You Up with WPC

2018-02-09

For the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the last 12 months have been big. Not only has Apple joined the consortium, but they have launched their first devices featuring Qi. Having seen the potential with the last big player going all-in, everyone wants a piece of the pie. In the last 17 weeks, their membership has increased by almost 70%. After Apple announced that their devices were to be Qi-certified, it solidified the standard that everyone fell in line with.

Having said this, as it goes, with great power comes great responsibility. There is now a focus on certification and education to the public as to why certification is important. For the consumer, it's all about safety. For the retailer, it means selling a quality product and for the manufacturer it is about legitimacy. In the three weeks leading up to CES, over 100 new products had been sent for certification.

In addition to Qi, the WPC has been working on two additional standards. The first standard supports up to 200 watts and is designed to power laptops, drones, televisions and other larger devices. The second and larger standard is 2400 watts and can be used in the kitchen for cooking purposes, whether it be blenders or frying pans, all without producing the heat of a stove. These standards are really designed to make the working surfaces in your home and office multi-purposed by freeing up the limited use of conventional spaces.

Having these opportunities at your disposal is an exciting look into the future of what you can expect to make your life easier and less congested. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Clean and Plentiful: Complete Water Independence is Now Here

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Clean and Plentiful: Complete Water Independence is Now Here

2018-02-09

While walking through the courtyard at the Las Vegas Convention Center this year during CES 2018, we came across an array of solar panels. We walked past them at least a few times without really thinking about it. After all, just about everything is going solar. Then the name of the business caught our eye: Zero Mass Water. And as we pondered the name, we were offered a glass of water. That also was not all that unusual, many of the companies offer you a bottle of water while you are at their booth. Before we could ask about their business, they started to ask us if we enjoyed the taste of the water and explaining how their water source could help us to eliminate the need for buying bottled water, etc. Sounded great, but where are they getting the water and what are they powering with the solar panels?

Introducing SOURCE: a Hydropanel that makes drinking water directly from sunlight and air. This is a truly renewal water source that doesn't need infrastructure or electrical input. And you can generate up to a case of bottled water per day from just a pair of panels.

Tapped into the unlimited supply of water vapor in the air, SOURCE uses sunlight to power a renewable supply of drinking water. No more waste from bottled or filtered water. It produces pure drinking water and adds exactly the right minerals to optimize health and taste. These electrolytes make SOURCE drinking water delicious. Each SOURCE array is connected to their global network, which enables monitoring of your water production and performance in real time. You'll also be able to see what sunshine and humidity are expected in the coming days. There's even an active green light signal to let you know that SOURCE is keeping your water safe. And as a Water for Life member, you'll get even more data and control over your array.

Most homes can replace all of their drinking water with a 2-panel array. The water flows into a 30 liter reservoir where it is mineralized for optimal taste, storing up to 120 standard bottles per 2-panel array. The price for the two panels and installation is approx $4,500.

This is not only an amazing product for those who want to be environmentally conscience, but imagine how sustainable, clean water will be able to help people drought stricken areas and undeveloped countries. The possibilities are truly exciting.

To get more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Gourmia Adds High Tech Smarts and Improved Convenience to the Kitchen

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Gourmia Adds High Tech Smarts and Improved Convenience to the Kitchen

2018-02-09

Over the last few years, Gourmia has gone from being a kitchen appliance manufacturer to being a leader in kitchen automation technology. Whether the appliance be in the form of a multi-use device, Google Assistant enabled or even remote monitoring, Gourmia has put a lot of thought into their new line of products. At CES 2018, the company showed us the latest enhancements they have made to their product offerings.

First up is a Google Assistant powered coffee maker, an upgrade to the current line. Initially you might wonder, "What might voice activation do for a coffee maker?" Once you see it in action it all becomes clear. Being able to be in your bedroom and be able to tell your coffee maker in the kitchen to start up is a great feature. Being able to say, "Good morning Google" and have the coffee start, the lights turn on and wakeup music start to play is even better.

In addition to coffee, they have added Google Assistant support to their other devices, such as a sous vide immersion pod, also an upgrade to the current line. You can control or check the temperature of the water and start and stop the cooking process, all without being in the room. Or, you could put together a recipe and automate a large portion of the process.

But Google Assistant is for more than just speaking to your kitchen. In upcoming versions of their multiuse oven and air fryer, the company is adding cameras. The camera will allow you to get a live video feed of what's cooking, so you no longer have to open the oven to see how your pizza is doing, or open the air fryer to check on your chicken. You can do it all from the palm of your hand, or from any Google Assistant enabled device.

The products shown, with their upgraded features, will be launching starting in Quarter 2 and continuing throughout 2018, so stay tuned to their website for updates.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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From Cool to Sophisticated, Philips Has Headphones for You

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From Cool to Sophisticated, Philips Has Headphones for You

2018-02-08

It's no secret that the Gibson Brands tent is one of our most favorite stops while attending CES. Being able to get a first-hand look at the new line of Philips Headphones is definitely one of the reasons. This year we got to spend a few minutes with their product manager for headphones to learn what's new.

First up is the UpBeat Range, and they are exactly that. This range has been specifically targeted to an audience that is young and fun. They are cool and exciting with a unique, two-toned gradient coloring that comes in red, blue, grey and purple. You can choose between standard earbuds and in ear models that block out external noise. Both come in either corded or Bluetooth versions. You can also get Bluetooth neck bands that rest right on your neck and make it really convenient between usage. It was important to Philips for them to make this line fun and affordable, but also have the great sound that they are known for. This line has the best sound in this class on the market today. Prices will range from $20 to $60.

Next up is the Bass+ Range. For this line, they wanted to offer a more stylish and sophisticated headphone that still has great bass. They come in earbuds, all the way through to full-cup headphones. The dark, deep colors are classic and suitable for both men and women. The Bluetooth version comes in white and black with a three button remote. They are comfortable and were designed with a fin that ensures they securely stay in your ears. Also in this line are over ear headbands that sit around the ear. They are compact and have a fold system for easy storage and transport. Both corded and Bluetooth versions are available. And of course, there is also an on ear selection that comes in in blue and maroon.

And, of course, we were also really excited to see the True Wireless Earbuds in the Bass+ Range. These have a tiny design and play time is an impressive 6 hours. This is more than just about every other brand out there. They come with a nice pouch that is also rechargeable and gives an extra 6 hours, so you'll have true all day playtime. Prices on the Bass+ Range begin at $20 for the corded earbuds and go up to $130 for the True Wireless.

Check out all that Philips has to offer by visiting their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Klipsch Sets The Standards For High Performance Speakers

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Klipsch Sets The Standards For High Performance Speakers

2018-02-08

Klipsch is redesigning one of their highest performance sound systems: the Reference Premiere Line. This system has been on the market for several years now with a high satisfaction rate, so Klipsch decided to step it up by making the speakers look as great as they sound though the new generation called the Reference Theater Pack 5.1 surround sound system. These speakers are aesthetically pleasing with copper accents in a walnut wood veneer with a cast aluminum base and a vent-in tweeter to give you a more dynamic sound than the previous line.

Klipsch is also displaying their newest line of compact and high-performance subwoofers with The C Series. Klipsch really focused on performance in a smaller body therefore, the C Series comes in two sizes that are smaller than your average subwoofer: the square 10 inch and the 8 inch. Each subwoofer can be connected to the Klipsch mobile application to give you the ability to adjust the sound the way you like it straight from your phone! This application allows you to adjust five bands of parametric EQ, all the parameters and inputs, and even offers a room correction option.

You can learn more about these product as well as purchase them for yourself by checking out the Klipsch website or see the whole lineup on Amazon.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Light It Up and Enjoy Great Sound at the Same Time

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Light It Up and Enjoy Great Sound at the Same Time

2018-02-08

At ION Audio, their catchphrase says it all.. Sound Experiences. ION is known for their unique lighting and sound products that enhance any space. Whether you have a peaceful, elegant outdoor setting or a complete party palace, you are sure to find inspiration when browsing their product line. We particularly liked two of their new additions for 2018.

When spending time in your outdoor space, lighting is key. Tiki torches are always a fun addition to the backyard but we're not always in the mood for that bamboo look, and filling them up with oil all the time can really be a pain. A nice set of elegant electric torches would be great, but who wants to spend a fortune and then hassle with the installation process. That's where ION has come to the rescue with Tiki Sounds. They use a warm-white LED bulb with realistic flicker effect. And don't worry about installation. Not only are they solar, requiring no wiring at all, but they are also designed to fit into your space in multiple ways. They can be staked into ground, placed on a table, or hung on a tree. Also built in is a 10W full-range 360° Bluetooth speaker with Multi-Link. This enables you to pair unlimited Multi-Link enabled speakers together for an all encompassing sound experience that completely fills your entertaining space.

Another great Multi-Link product coming out soon is the Solar Stone Multi, and upgrade to their current Solar Stone series. These 6.5-inch, 20 watt speakers offer dynamic power and since they look like a stone, they add a great aesthetic to your yard as they are designed to fit right into the landscape. They are also Bluetooth enabled and can easily pair with the Tiki Sounds, as well as any other Multi-Link enabled speaker. Like the torches, they are IPX4 water-resistant and they recharge by embedded solar panel or with the included AC cord.

The Tiki Sound will be available later in Q1 2018 and will be priced at $69.99 for one or $119 for a pair. The Solar Stone Multi will go on sale in Q2 2018 and be priced at $129 each.

In the meantime, take a look at some of their other amazing products on Amazon:

ION Tape Express Plus / Cassette Player and Tape-to-Digital Converter

ION Holiday Party / Multicolor Projected Lights

ION Audio Party Starter MK II / Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In Beat-Sync Light Show

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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More Great Things Are in the Works at Intel

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More Great Things Are in the Works at Intel

2018-02-07

There is always so much to see inside the Intel booth at CES: the innovation, the creativity, the collaboration. It's basically a universe all unto itself and it's so much fun to dive in and explore. While there, we came across this really cool translucent, known as The Inside Autonomous Experience. It is basically demonstrating and representing what people can expect in 2021 in terms of the types of hardware that will be used for the sensors in autonomous vehicles. This display vehicle has a total of 23 sensors on it. There are 11 cameras, 7 radar sensors, 3 LiDAR sensors and 2 ultrasonic sensors. Intel and partners can use the sensors as part of the autonomous experience, and can also collect the data and information on the vehicle to improve performance.

To make it even more awesome, Intel has recently acquired Mobileye, a market leader in advanced driver assistance systems. They are combining forces to make the next level in autonomous driving a reality. Through this partnership they can leverage Mobileye's hardware and cameras as the eyes of the vehicle and Intel as the brains. This not only frees up both entities to give their attention and expertise to their own portion of the project, but also, when they come together, they can make autonomous driving safer and more affordable. These are two very important factors for moving forward in this industry.

Another great thing that Mobileye has brought to the table is Road Experience Management (REM), which does crowd source mapping among the vehicles on the road that already include Mobileye. There are currently already 20 million vehicles that have this technology already built in. This technology also allows for high definition maps and will allow the vehicles to localize themselves.

When can we expect to see more than an acrylic representation of this wonderful technology? Well, Intel is doing what they do best: using their technical and computing expertise to creatively innovate next level products and then analyze the data to produce a final product that far exceeds our expectations. We can't wait to see how this project evolves between now and 2021.

To get the latest Intel news and information, please visit their website.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Best Way to Make the Most Out of Your Presentations

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Best Way to Make the Most Out of Your Presentations

2018-02-07

All those boring meetings in the conference room got you down? Are you tired of your staff missing half of what's said because you don't have a multi-presenter platform? Want your meetings to be more interactive and productive?

If you are looking for a simple and innovative way to make that leap from regular meetings to a more collaborative setting, then you have to check out the Screen Wave Technology that J5create has built into their all new JWR 2100 Router. This router-based system allows you to cast up to 9 individual devices up to a single conference room screen, thus allowing multiple contributors to all present from their own source. It is able to integrate all connected users into one screen simultaneously, for things like work collaboration and brainstorming. It is also versatile enough to allow any of the users to take over the entire screen when needed for a specific presentation, and then send it back again to all users when they are finished.

This system will turn your boring meeting room into a conference environment. It utilizes what they refer to as a puck interface that allows you to have a laptop system connected. This button is used to connect into the router and then communicate by emitting content onto the screen. The router is also Wi-Fi enabled, which means that tablets, or even cell phones, are able to interface with it via their mobile app.

Pricing to start building your system is expected to start at an MSRP of $350 and expected release is April/May of 2018.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.

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Brydge Has The Most Amazing Keyboard for Your Tablet

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Brydge Has The Most Amazing Keyboard for Your Tablet

2018-02-07

Brydge makes a unique range of keyboards and accessories for Apple's iPad and the Microsoft Surface Pro. They pride themselves on being the ultimate tablet companion. All of their keyboards are designed to change the way you use your tablet. Both the iPad and the Surface are high quality, high capability tablets. Sure, you can run simple apps and play games on them like their cheaper competitors, but they are designed to do so much more. There's no need to lug around a heavy laptop when you can do all of your mobile computing, and then some, right on your tablet. And let's be honest, when you spend good money on a nice quality device, you really don't want a cheap, plastic keyboard paired with it.

Brydge Keyboards are designed from scratch to basically be the other half of your tablet. They are made of 100% aluminum with 160° to 190° viewing angles, they are versatile with a patent pending hinge that allows the tablet to stand upright without a kickstand. They are lightweight, Bluetooth-enabled and have battery lives from 3 to 12 months, depending upon the model and usage.

The Brydge 12.9 for the iPad Pro and Brydge 10.5 for the iPad Pro truly brings a MacBook-like experience to the user, making it the perfect balance between tablet and laptop. A full keyboard, with 3-level backlit keys, and the top row of dedicated iOS special function keys, features that comes in very handy when you need them the most. The typing experience is unparalleled with real tactile typing for the feel, sound and response you expect. Truly a laptop experience, with the versatility of an iPad.

The Brydge 12.3 for the Microsoft Surface Pro also delivers an unmatched laptop-like experience. The integrated glass touchpad allows maximum accuracy with minimal effort. Multiple finger inputs and multitouch gestures are simply a breeze. Everything you do on it feels natural and intuitive. It is also available with an integrated High-Speed SSD card (up to 600mb/s). The Brydge 12.3 Pro 128 and Pro 256 models offer the power user that little bit extra. If you have immediate storage needs or just want extra capacity at a later time, the Pro modes offer the flexibility of an external hard drive without the inconvenience. And if you don't foresee storage issues, the standard Brydge 12.3 is a perfect option.

Most importantly, you don't have to worry about breaking the bank. Prices start at an affordable $129. You can get more information about these keyboards, as well as their entire line of portable batteries and accessories by visiting their website. You can also buy the products now on Amazon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Crazy Cool New Sport, You Can Go Big or Huge

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Crazy Cool New Sport, You Can Go Big or Huge

2018-02-06

Everybody loves robots. And what's better than a robot? An absolutely humongous robot. But make no mistake, this large, robot-looking mega machine is not a robot. It's a Mech.

Along with their other product lines here at CES 2018, Furrion is highlighting their Exo-Bionics Division while presenting Prosthesis. This is the world's first, purposely built, off road racing Mech. Standing 15 feet tall, it is a human piloted machine that is intended for competitive sport. With its four (huge) legs, it was designed with the experience of the pilot in mind. None of the controls are automated. There are no gyros. It is completely dependent upon the skill of the pilot.

With this flagship project, they are looking to form a full fledged league, called The X1 Mech Racing League. At this stage, they are perfecting the Mech, and figuring out the format of the competitions, as there are many directions that they can go with the sport. As they learn more and figure out all of the capabilities of the machine, they will be able to fine tune the actual sport.

The next stage is to start seeking investment partners and sponsors, as well as professional athletes to get in there and actually start bringing up the performance level of the machine from an engineering and pilot skill perspective. And as they continue to develop the technology, they can move forward towards improvement of mobile electric power sources.

For more information, please check out their website.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.

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Keeping Your Data The Most Secure

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Keeping Your Data The Most Secure

2018-02-06

Secure Data is having the world premier of their Secure Drive product line. These drives are designed to be the most secure external drives available. The line includes secure USB flash drives, as well as secure external hard driver, ranging in size from 1TB to 5TB of storage.

The hardware encrypted device is completely OS independent, so, all the encryption and decryption processes are done inside the device. This means that there's absolutely no user input that can be sniffed out on the operating system. This is the worlds first patent pending Bluetooth authentication method. Users download the mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play Store), then create a 7-15 digit key. Once the device is paired up and the key has been added, the drive is then opened and you can transport data to and from the device. This encryption is designed to pass the FIPS 140-2 level 3 physical hardware encryption. Once they have acquired that certification, the drive is the most secure drive that is on the market.

Remote management options will be available on the Bluetooth series of devices. This means you can manage the device remotely. You will be able to reset, unlock or control the geofencing of the device. Therefore it won't use the IP address to verify the location, but the mobile device's properties only, and is precise up to 5 feet. You will be able to lock it to a specific location or set it to a specific dates. Also, if you lose control of the device or the data for whatever reason, it can be instantly erased using the crypto-erase command.

Prices start at $229.00 for the 1 TB device to $499.00 for the 5TB devices. Take a look at all of the products and services they offer by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Don't be Satisfied to Just Hover, Get There

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Don't be Satisfied to Just Hover, Get There

2018-02-06

When it comes to hover boards, you don't want to leave too much to chance. If you are in the market, you want to go with a company that is tried and true when it comes to safety aspects and testing. You should also take a look at the spec list to make sure that you aren't just purchasing a toy. Make sure it can actually get you where you are going... and in style.

Hover-1 prides themselves on being the solution to alternative transportation. They innovate their products to make traveling not only easy, but exciting. Their technological enhancements have stepped them into the transportation market to reach the next level in mobility. And in doing so, they also do their part to take care of the environment. Their eco-friendly products are powered by electric motors, producing zero CO emissions.

The Hover-1 H1 Electric Scooter features 3 skill level riding modes and is app controlled. There is also a built-in Bluetooth speaker, is IPX4 water resistance with customizable LED headlights. It has a max distance of 12 miles with max speed of 10 MPH. The built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery takes up to 2.5 hours to charge and has included safety features of overcharge and discharge protection.

Our favorite parts of their product line are the available attachments. The only thing more fun than having a hover board is being able to turn it into a go cart in a snap. The go cart attachment is compatible with most electric scooters with 6.5" wheels. Hand-operation gives you full control of your riding experience with independent rear wheel drive allows for quick turns and reverse driving.

The Hover-1 H1 board is available now in both black and blue for around $299, and the go cart attachment runs only $69.99.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.

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Shuttercase Knows How To Make Photos Astoundingly Easy

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Shuttercase Knows How To Make Photos Astoundingly Easy

2018-02-05

These days people are using their smartphones for taking pictures even more often than a regular camera. Vantas has developed a case for your phone to help you to be more creative in your photography by freeing up one hand. This product is called Shuttercase, and it is essentially case with a gripper that enables you to let go of your phone with one hand and press the shutter with the other hand.

The feature that sets this case apart from other photo cases and selfie sticks is that there are no electronics involved. Rather than using Bluetooth to trigger the camera, Shuttercase uses mechanics to press the volume button on your phone. This means there is no setup or pairing and you never have to worry about interference or battery issues. Shuttercase is a combination of a case, a mechanical shutter, a stand to set the phone down while shooting and a power bank, which has a rechargeable battery. It comes in six colors and you can also purchase additional batteries.

The basic price point starts at $60.00 and will be available in approximately 60 days. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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OtterBox Show How to Keep it Cool

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OtterBox Show How to Keep it Cool

2018-02-05

For the person who likes to spend a lot of time outdoors, OtterBox has come up with an innovative approach to keeping things cold while you are outside: The Venture Coolers. The coolers come in three sizes and three colors: Hudson (white and blue) Ridgeline (desert sand and green) and Back Trail (desert sand and orange with an outdoor prints accents).

The company started making dry boxes in the 90s and merged into cellphone cases in the 2000s. Now the idea has been put into a cooler for people who like to be outdoors. The concept of a modular design makes the cooler so versatile. The inside of the cooler has movable partitions that can create the desired space needed for your food. The separate smaller tray at the top is perfect for food or items that you don't want in or near the ice because they need to be dry. There is even a partition that also doubles as a cutting board.

Other available modules include elevation tumblers and cup holders. Another unique feature is a lock that is bear-resistant for the real nature lover. One of the best features of this product is the fact that ice has been kept in the cooler as ice for up to 15 days. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.

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Flexible and Healthy with Increased Mobility in the Office

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Flexible and Healthy with Increased Mobility in the Office

2018-02-05

After getting more information and a working demo of the FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro V9, we ventured further into their booth to see more of their products. Lehong Xiang was very excited to show us how their entire line works together to provide a comprehensive package for your office space.

At Loctek, they take great pride in designing, and bringing to life ergonomic solutions that help people lead a healthier and more productive life. Their innovative Research & Development team is comprised of forward-thinking engineers who combine their ideas with the latest technology and create viable products that make productivity healthier in the all work settings.

Featured here is the arrow shaped adjustable desk. It's smart features allow users to program in specific height settings, as well as adjust the height at any time. Adjustments are made easily with the touch pad located on the left front of the desk. Add on a dual monitor mounting system for optimum screen views at any height. You can use an ergonomic desk chair and/or one of their stand alone desk bikes, as well. This configuration allows the perfect combination of sitting, standing and pedaling for optimum health benefits.

The arrow shaped smart adjustable desk will be available soon on their website, where you can also find multiple monitor mounting systems and desk bikes. All items are prices separately to allow you to purchase all or any portion thereof. You can also add on to your system at any time.

Also, take a look at the following innovative Loctek products that are available on Amazon.

Loctek Upright Foldable Desk Bike

Loctek Monitor Arm Dual Monitor Mounts

Loctek D7DP Swivel Dual LCD Arm Desk Laptop Mount Monitor Stand

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Flexible and Healthy with Increased Mobility in the Home

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Flexible and Healthy with Increased Mobility in the Home

2018-02-04

Ever since computers became mainstream in offices and in homes, there has been an increase in a multitude of health problems in this country. Everything from neck and back ailments to problems with circulation, weight and mobility. At Loctek, they are passionate about creating an active environment out of conventional work spaces to better support wellness and productivity. To accomplish this, they have designed a line of workstations that promote movement and flexibility. It's no wonder they were CES Innovation Award Honorees for 2018. Their commitment to wellness at work is obvious in the design of every sit-stand workstation, height adjustable desk, exercise bike and ergonomic monitor mount that they manufacture.

In this interview, we learn that it's not just important to stay mobile while at the office, but also while we are at home. Lehong Xiang is the CEO and head of design for Loctek. He is very excited to bring his product line, and awareness of their benefits, to as many people as possible. We spend a lot of time, everyday, on our PCs, laptops, tablets and even writing and reading. Whether at a desk, at a counter or on the couch, we tend to sit while performing all of these tasks. The more we sit, the more problems we develop. But let's be honest, most of us aren't going to trade in these activities to get some exercise. Well, now you can do both with the FlexiSpot Bike.

This stationary bike, turned into a workstation, is very accommodating to fit into your home and lifestyle. It can be adjusted in many configurations. You can pull the tabletop forward to have a stand up work station. And of course it is also an exercise bike, that you can set to your specific height requirements. The desktop can also be adjusted to your comfort level. They make it as easy as possible for you to get your work done, or read the newspaper comfortably, while keeping your blood flowing as you pedal.

The model presented here, the Deskcise Pro V9, is available for $499. You can get more information, as well as see the other cycles in the line on their website. Also, take a look at the following innovative Loctek products that are available on Amazon.

Loctek Upright Foldable Desk Bike

Loctek Monitor Arm Dual Monitor Mounts

Loctek D7DP Swivel Dual LCD Arm Desk Laptop Mount Monitor Stand

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Gibson Crafts Outstanding Instruments That Look Like Masterpieces

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Gibson Crafts Outstanding Instruments That Look Like Masterpieces

2018-02-04

This year at CES 2018, Gibson Brands is focusing their attention on modern finishes that stand out apart from the traditionalist look. These instruments have gorgeous colors that pop and make a statement. One of our favorite interviewees at CES, Aljon Go showed us some of his favorite pieces of the new year as well as announce the newest ambassador, Slash. He also showed off the 2 Million Dollar Guitar, a guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop.

Rock icon and world-famous guitarist Slash now represents Gibson Global Brands with his own line of his favorite guitars refinished to match his style and edge. These limited-edition guitars were aged to resemble their vintage counter parts that were Slash's personal favorites. Gibson is proud to have him on the team representing his relationship with Gibson along with his story.

The company meets their 2018 goals with two modern beautiful pieces: the ES-335 Semi-Hollow Guitar in Aquamarine and the High Performance Les Paul Guitar in Hot Pink. These two different styles both show off a flashy color that highlights the wooden undertones. Each one has a unique design to give any modern player the look and feel that they need along with the comfortable playing style for which Gibson has always been known.

Aljon takes us over to the Gibson Custom Shop section to then show us the most expensive guitar we've ever seen: a $2 Million, hand-crafted, hand-painted, work of art that took years to finish. This guitar is one of a kind and has been kept hidden from the world for far too long. The design showcases the most iconic pop culture figures from the 1900s to the year 2000 including influential presidents, TV shows, historical figures and moments in exquisite detail.

The company guarantees a guitar that you will adore specified to your style and preferred music genres. Experts like Aljon can work with you to create your dream guitar. You can find all these pieces and more by going to the Gibson website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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ARRAY Finds a Smart Way to be Secure in Your Home

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ARRAY Finds a Smart Way to be Secure in Your Home

2018-02-04

The world of home protection has been enhanced by a new product line from Brinks Home Security called ARRAY, designed and manufactured by Hampton Products. The line features many creative products to keep you and your family safe and protected.

The first product is the Brinks Push/Pull/Rotate Handleset. The doorknob offers the ability to open by pulling the handle, as well as the traditional turn, while the handle can be opened by a simple press. The handlesets are available now in a variety of styles, including knob, lever and handle, as well as different finishes.

To compliment the handleset is the ARRAY Wi-Fi Smart Deadbolt. The deadbolt is made from military grade steel and contains a solar panel to keep the electronics powered. It also has a hands-free feature making it very useful for entering your home when your hands are full. The deadbolt can be paired to your smartphone and senses when your phone is approaching your door and unlocks it. When combined with the handleset, it makes coming home with your arms full easy. The deadbolt is available for preorder in a variety of styles and finishes.

One of the most interesting features of the ARRAY locks is the check lock ability. This feature uses the ARRAY app to check your security at bedtime without having to go back to the doors to be certain that they are closed and locked securely. Using the feature, you can eliminate your nightly "lockdown process" of verifying the state of all of your doors. You can check this from anywhere in the world and, as long as the door is closed, you can even lock or unlock the door remotely.

Next up is a set of ARRAY Smart Light fixtures. Both styles feature a 1080p camera with night vision, 270 degree motion detection, a solar panel a microphone and speaker. We've all had a motion sensor light go off any time a cat runs through the yard, or a neighbor who has it pointed towards the street and anyone who drives by turns on the light. The ARRAY light has built-in AI and can recognize humans for activation, meaning that animals or cars will not set it off.

The first design is a coach-style fixture, which is easy to open and change the bulb, and looks like a traditional light fixture. In addition, if two lights are needed, for example to go on either side of a garage door, there is the availability of a slave light, which has no camera but it reacts to the master's commands. Whenever the master light turns on, so does the slave.

The second design is an LED security light. It features two LED panels with power up to 2000 lumens and can be programmed by your phone to control the brightness, in the event 2000 lumens is too bright. This fixture can also be programmed to be used as a floodlight to enjoy your outdoor area in the evening. Both of these lights will be available in the near future.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Cor Makes Your Environment Smart and Safe

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Cor Makes Your Environment Smart and Safe

2018-02-03

Home security is one of the most important things you can spend your money on. Now, one of the oldest and most trusted names in the business of home products, Carrier, has produced a line of smarthome and security products called Côr. This is a line of professionally installed systems that will alert you as a homeowner of any breach in security such as break-ins or fire. You can use up to 16 cameras and you have total remote access.

But Côr is more than just security; it also provides a wide range of smarthome products as well. From lights to garage doors, Côr can control a lot of the devices in your home. In an example at the booth, they used a wireless button to simulate arriving at home, where the garage door opened, the living room lights came on, and as the person moved through their home, the lights would com on in the new rooms and turn off where they had left. All of this provides a nice convenience for your home, to compliment the security and safety features of the system.

This product is best served as professionally installed because of the technology involved. The starter kit is priced at under $1000 plus installation. However, when you purchase this, you own it and there is no monthly fee because it is self-monitored. In addition to the existing products, Carrier will soon be releasing a doorbell camera. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Introducing Smart Tech for Your Smart Yard

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Introducing Smart Tech for Your Smart Yard

2018-02-03

Watering your lawn and yard can be a frustrating chore. Not only do unexpected weather conditions play a factor, there is a matter of timing to turn it on or off. Now there is b•hyve, a line of smart timers for your lawn. These timers can be connected to the internet so you truly can "set it and forget it."

b•hyve knows the weather up to 14 days in the future and, with that knowledge, will save you up to 50% water use. It is also aware of certain restrictions in your area, such as during a drought or flooding. It can check after a rainfall to see how much it has rained so it can adjust accordingly for the next cycle, preventing overwatering. The outside and inside timers are compatible with any brand of irrigation systems, not just with Orbit systems.

Another option is a spigot timer for your outside faucet. Many people water this way, and it's not unusual to turn on the water and leave home, forgetting it is still on. It features a flow meter inside to let you know how much water you have used, as well as to limit the amount of water used. This is very helpful when you want to fill the swimming pool for your children or even fill a large aquarium.

These products are currently available at Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart or Amazon. Pricepoint for this system depends on how large of a system you need or want. Outside mount with 6 stations in a weather-proof box is $100. An indoor mount for a shed or a garage is $60 for 4 stations or $80 for 8 stations. There is also a hose tap timer to be use from the end of your hose available for $40 and if you need the hub to make it Wi-Fi, it's $70 for the pair. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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BenjiLock Experiences A Year of Triumph and Dreams Coming True

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BenjiLock Experiences A Year of Triumph and Dreams Coming True

2018-02-03

One of the best things about being part of the tech press and conducting these interviews is the friendships that we build along the way. Last January, at CES 2017, we came across Robbie Cabral in the startup section called Eureka Park with his new padlock, BenjiLock, that can be opened both by fingerprint and keys. We loved this idea and made sure to learn more about it.

Obviously we were not the only ones who thought this lock was a great idea with a lot of potential. Later in the year, BenjiLock was featured on the hit show, Shark Tank, and picked up by investor Kevin O'Leary. And it's been a complete whirlwind since then. O'Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, has been doing what he does best: marketing royalty deals. Hampton Products International, a hardware and security company out of California, has since purchased the rights to the product in North America.

We were happy to run into Robbie at CES Unveiled this year as he was on his way to meet somebody. He said a quick hello and invited us to come by his booth, which has been upgraded from the startup section to the Smart Home section of the Sands Convention Center. When we visited the booth, we were lucky to get to spend some time with CEO of Hampton Products, Kim Kelley, not long after presenting Robbie with a check for $100,000 live on CNBC. Both gentlemen emphasized the importance of hard work and remaining humble as you pursue your dreams.

BenjiLock is currently working on production of the 1st generation lock, as well as announcing that BenjiLock Mini is also in the works. We will continue to keep an eye out for future innovations and rooting Robbie on as he follows his dreams. Check out their website and click on Preorder to sign up to be notified when BenjiLock becomes available.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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At Last there is Smart Home Tech for All of Us

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At Last there is Smart Home Tech for All of Us

2018-02-02

Not the most techie person on the planet but still want awesome smart home features? Don't worry, Oomi has got you covered. Their new additions make IoT easy for all of us, and without sacrificing features or safety.

They also wanted to build in entertainment control to the system. In the past, this hasn't been so easy in a touch screen environment because you're looking up at the TV when the controls you need to view are down in your hands. So they developed tactile controls that can be programmed to your specifications to control all of your entertainment. Because let's face it... we all need buttons sometimes.

The best part about this new in-home, whole-home controller is how easy it is to set up. It has a small orange button on the back of it. And each companion product also has a small orange dot. To pair everything together, you simply connect the dots and voila, setup is complete. They use NFC in the pairing process to make it extremely simple and user friendly. The touch screen has also been designed to be easy to use. You just name the rooms and the devices and you're ready to go. The system is also able to accept some third party smart home devices, such as Amazon Alexa.

All of the new items are available now except the touch switch module which will be coming soon. It's the only one that will need installation as it is also a scene controller in an elegant design that looks like a traditional wall switch.

To easily get started, kits are available, which come with the Oomi Touch controller, Oomi Cube hub and a set of sensors. The Lighting Kit retails for $499 and comes with 2 Oomi Bulbs and an Oomi Plug. The Automation Kit retails for $499 and comes with an Oomi Bulb, an Oomi Plug and an Oomi Door/Window Sensor. The Security Kit retails for $400 and comes with an Oomi Door/Window Sensor, an Oomi Multisensor and 4 Quick Tags. Other accessories are also available to expand your smarthome.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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The Most Amazing Chess Board... EVER!!

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The Most Amazing Chess Board... EVER!!

2018-02-02

So, you see a nice wooden chess board while walking around a large tech show. You glance at it, give a little smile and almost walk right by to the thing that has all of the bells and whistles down the row, because it's just a chess board, right? Luckily our team didn't just keep walking when they came up to this one. I have to say that with all of the technology out there and after years of coming to CES, it is pretty rare for us to see a new product demo and have our jaws actually drop. But that's what happened when we saw the sorcery at the Square Off booth in Eureka Park this year at CES 2018.

Square Off is an automated chess board that allows you to play against the built-in artificial intelligence. So, big deal, right? Electronic chess has been around forever. Well this isn't your grandpa's electronic chess. This game is played on an actual, physical chess board with real pieces. And after you take your turn, the built in intelligence not only calculates its next move, but it actually moves its piece on the board. It accomplishes this via built in pressure sensors, magnets and an electronic arm built inside. You have to see it to believe it. It even moves around other pieces and removes your captured pieces from the board itself.

There are 20 different levels of difficulty for playing against the computer, and you can also connect with it online and play with anybody across the world. They have connected with Chess.com so you will be able to challenge any of their 16 million users to a game, at any time, whether or not they have the board as well. The accompanying mobile app connects to the board via Bluetooth. The app is where you set the difficulty levels and search for friends. You can also analyze your games, record and share them and check the leader boards, among other features.

Don't know how to play chess? No problem! There is a training mode that will not only teach you to play but also how to up-skill your game. Go take a look at the two different models they offer on their website. Pricing for the Kingdom Board will be $330, and the Grand Kingdom Board will be $400.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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The Hologram School of the Future is Here!

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The Hologram School of the Future is Here!

2018-02-02

Case Western Reserve University has been working with Microsoft HoloLens and the Cleveland Clinic to create the first software for HoloLens to be used in the medical field. The school has been developing this software to be used in their new facility that will house the medical, dental and nursing schools.

The software is called HoloAnatomy and helps teach students without the need to use cadavers and plain 2D textbooks. This application teaches in a 3D hologram style of environment. You will actually be able to walk around the image and even be able to stick your head and hands into the holographic body. Sister software is also being used to view artwork and museums of the world. You can try out this groundbreaking software for free for the HoloLens in the Microsoft Store.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Latest Tech Delivers Important New Brain Test for Athletes

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Latest Tech Delivers Important New Brain Test for Athletes

2018-02-01

Concussion awareness in athletics has become an important topic of discussion in schools and professional sports teams in recent years. Reflexion Edge is an interactive diagnostic tool that is designed to detect and track the onset of these types of brain injuries as part of an athlete's normal training.

When used as part of daily/weekly performance training, it offers concussion screening and vestibular rehabilitation. Athletes can also use the system to train their cognitive performance on a weekly basis as part of their practice routines. Reflexion Edge searches for concussions that may occur from smaller hits and also the results of mild impacts over time from repeated tackles and checks that would normally go undiagnosed. It is also to be used after each game when the majority of the hits and tackles occur. Unchecked, these injuries could lead to more serious brain injuries later in life.

This tool also increases the athlete's performance through neurocognitive training over time. They can then look at the leader boards to see how they stack up to their friends and others in their leagues.

Reflexion is currently partnered with two Pennsylvania high schools while ramping up for a launch in May of this year. For more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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STEM is for Everybody: Brilliant is Absolutely Beautiful!

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STEM is for Everybody: Brilliant is Absolutely Beautiful!

2018-02-01

Beauty and the Bolt is an online education platform with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry for girls and women that are interested in engineering and technologies. It's a village where anyone can learn physics, math, engineering, making and more. Their goal is to share engineering and the maker movement in a cool new way and, in turn, increase interest for those who wouldn't normally be exposed to these topics. There shouldn't be a set demographic for recruiting engineers. The less we stereotype, the more creativity we will gain. So what better way to show that anybody can create than by framing the movement around the princess Belle and subliminally informing the world that femininity and engineering are not mutually exclusive!

It is commonly known that women and minorities are vastly underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Beauty and the Bolt aims to make learning engineering easy, cheap and accessible for anyone - especially teens and young adults - while also encouraging creativity and individuality.

Having realized that current manuals and tutorials were putting off as many people as they were attracting, the founders set out to make a change. They began producing video tutorials that would be entertaining and engaging for a much wider viewer base. The videos take away the intimidation factor by simply showing a girl complete the tasks. The projects are geared to inspire everyone to learn and create. Their goal is to bring as many resources as possible to encourage and inspire whole new groups of people to be interested in STEM by making the topics as approachable, fun, interesting and affordable as possible.

The YouTube videos that they make are free to makerspaces, as they want to get them into the hands of as many people as possible. They also sell kits in bulk to the makerspaces. Each set has a goal in mind, for example a hand drill kit to get users accustom to using the hand drill and make it easier and less intimidating.

Check them out on YouTube Channel as well as on their website.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.

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Your Special Herbal Blends to Help You Relax and Enjoy Life More

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Your Special Herbal Blends to Help You Relax and Enjoy Life More

2018-02-01

So many of us are trying to live a more pure and healthy lifestyle. Homeopathic cures and remedies can play a big part in this. And although it is very appealing to cure what ails us with an all natural approach, it's not always easy to find the right blend of ingredients to fit our own individual needs. Oblend allows you to make a variety of health products, right at home, using plant-based materials, such as botanical extracts and essential oils.

Botanical extracts and essential oils have long been touted as being able to help with everything from headaches to sleeplessness to inflammation and everything in between. But everybody is different and getting the right blend for maximum benefits can be quite difficult and expensive. This is where Oblend comes in. With the help of their mobile app, you are able to identify your specific need and get recipe combinations. And you can choose the best way to deliver the results. You can create vapes, tinctures, culinary oils, massage oils, lotions, drinks, aromatherapies and supplements from legal herbal extracts and essential oils. And that's just the beginning.

Still in the prototype stage, Oblend will go on resale in March and is expected to begin shipping in July. Pricing is expected to be at about $949. They are currently offering a CES special of 50% off of the March preorders when you sign up for their email list on their website.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Perfect and Simple Way to Direct Your Smart Home

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Perfect and Simple Way to Direct Your Smart Home

2018-01-31

The progression of the smart home went from manually adjusting your lights and thermostat, to being able to make changes on a mobile device, to using voice commands to control these and many other items in your house. How can it get any better than that? Well, if crea.vision has anything to do with it, it can get a lot better.

crea.vision is developing a product that will enhance your intelligent home without the need for a screen controller or even voice command. It will work quietly in the background, yet still be available when you need something. It uses a computer vision sensor that is capable of knowing the identity and location of the people in the home, works with long distances and combines all of this data to automate all of your connected devices.

This new hub will intelligently manage your lighting, climate and entertainment, by learning every user's preferences and then personalizing each service. So, wherever you walk into the house, the system will make adjustments to your smart devices automatically for you. For example, if your phone is charging and a call comes in, the system will notify you wherever you are in the home and allow you to take it hands free. It will seamlessly follow you as you walk around the house, as will your music or TV shows. So when you are busily getting ready for work, you won't miss a minute of your media as you move about the house. All connected devices that can be safely connected to the system will be able to autonomously adapt to each individual user.

Creators are designing it around all platforms. It is being built with the user in mind, to be as easy as possible, by integrating in many of the existing third party devices. Current development for consumer use will track as many as 10-15 people within the home. And based upon feedback, they are looking to expand into enterprise solutions as well as enterprise security solutions.

This whole new way of interacting with technology is still in the prototype phase. It should be on the market in about 6 to 8 months. Pricing is still pending, but they will be updating their website throughout the development process. Stay tuned to www.crea.vision for more information.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Have a Dream to Fly? It's About to Come True!

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Have a Dream to Fly? It's About to Come True!

2018-01-31

Volocopter is building the first Verticle Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft in the world that is unmanned and electric. They aim to make our dream of flying come true while, at the same time, helping to ease the mobility problems that modern cities face. It is more than just a design concept. As a matter of fact, it has already been introduced in other parts of the world and made its North American debut here at CES 2018.

Volocopter is not just for pilots, it is actually the first of its kind being referred to as an AAT (Autonomous Air Taxi). They are looking for it to become the Uber or taxi service of the airways. It is a helicopter that has been built with Super-Drone Technology. This 18 blade head assembly vehicle is 100% electric and has a 30 minute runtime. It is actually being crafted for the masses to be very affordable and not just for private use. It will pick you up and deliver you to your destination just like a taxi would do. The makers of Volocopter have already had their maiden autonomous flight in Dubai. They also had their first passenger/autonomous flight here in Vegas. It was conducted during the Keynote Speech with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, right inside the theatre.

Volocopter's ultimate goal is to have between 50 to 100 copters flying the airways in any city or urban environment in the world within 2 to 3 years. This is one that we are definitely going to keep an eye on for future developments and updates.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Captivated by the Invasion with the Head Monster

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Captivated by the Invasion with the Head Monster

2018-01-31

This year's Monster Takeover was nothing short of a Sound Invasion and we were so excited to be front and center for all of the fun at CES 2018! It kicked off with the press conference that showcased the new and exciting products for this year. Then, during the show itself, getting to see everything in action at the Monster Booth in Central Hall, including the Pure Monster Sound that has been integrated into the Volkswagen R. Also at the booth, we were lucky enough to chat with Peter Miller and then see Iggy Azalea when she stopped by to say Hi to the press and take a brief tour of the booth.

But the definite highlight of the show for us was getting to speak with the Head Monster himself, Noel Lee, before the Monster Concert featuring Joe Perry and Friends. After Noel took a few minutes to address the crowd at the pre-show cocktail party and give a first-hand look at the whole lineup, including the Expanded Blaster Family, he took a few minutes to sit down with us to discuss the new Monster SuperStar Series. With the S200 speaker in hand, Noel discussed the features that makes this line of speakers outstanding. For example, V Sound, which plays from both sides of the speaker to provide an all encompassing sound at any angle, and Monster Talk which allows you to request any song (or genre) from any of the streaming services, or from your own playlist, instantaneously. And we love the aesthetics of the line. They fit in with the Blaster Series just like family, which is exactly how Noel and the entire crew at Monster make us feel.

If you'd like to be a part of the family as well, pick out which SuperStar(s) would best fit into your lifestyle, starting at just $59. Take it from us, you will love the way they sound!!

SuperStar S100

SuperStar S200

SuperStar S300

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Energize Your Tunes with Sound That You Will Treasure

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Energize Your Tunes with Sound That You Will Treasure

2018-01-30

Already a name in the gaming world, Nahimic has now produced software to take the sound from your computer/laptop to incredible heights. This processing and software is aimed at sound correction. They want to make the sound from your games, music and videos better and to also make it 3D.

All speakers and headphones, no matter how expensive, contain some degree of default, especially when connected to a computer. Nahimic's software will measure and automatically correct for these defaults, no matter how big or small. They accomplish this via a full database of every device built in. The software is installed onto your computer, and once the listening device is detected, it makes the digital corrections instantly. This technology, which is now available for macOS and directly to consumers, improves the sound of the internal speakers or any speaker or headphones that you use. It can increase the volume over 100% and give a full dynamic 3D sound as if you were in a home theater, rather than on a regular pair of headphones.

This software is due to launch in Q2 2018 and will have an annual subscription fee of $34.99.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Marvel at The World's Most Powerful Communication Tool

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Marvel at The World's Most Powerful Communication Tool

2018-01-30

In today's world, it is more important than ever to keep connected. It can be a challenge to get everybody together for collaboration in the workplace, in study groups and even for event planning. Solaborate has come up with the perfect solution with their line called HELLO. This is not just video conferencing; their products put everything you need to effectively communicate, collaborate and create right at your fingertips. It truly could not be easier.

HELLO first debuted last year as a convenient cross-platform application that allows you to push voice calls, video calls, text messages, live broadcasts, or any other compatible streaming content to your TV by just a swipe on your phone or tablet. And in just one year, they are coming out with a suite of improvements and products to make that communication even better.

With Amazon Alexa and Google Home technology built right in, the 2nd generation, HELLO 2 has also added speakers, touch and auto tilt and hack proof privacy controls. Also added is an array of form beaming microphones for better sound quality, as well as whiteboard and additional screen sharing capabilities.

Coming soon is Hello Touch, the smartest and most affordable 4K Touch TV Powered by HELLO 2 that facilitates real-time collaboration, whiteboarding, video conferencing and wireless sharing. Also coming are Gadget Extensions that include a Controller to aid in gaming and a Hello Button, which is a re-programmable smart button that allows you to control things around you with one simple click.

As part of the open platform, they are also introducing HELLO 2 Creator Edition, which is designed specifically for the developer community. Because the more open collaboration, the better, to bring as many working uses to this amazing and flexible platform as possible.

The first generation of HELLO is currently available on their website and on Amazon for $299. All off the second generation products will be offered on KickStarter in just a few weeks. Keep an eye out for them and let us know what you think.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The Bliss of Full Musical Freedom in Working Out with Vinci

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The Bliss of Full Musical Freedom in Working Out with Vinci

2018-01-30

Having interviewed Max Wu with Vinci a couple of times already for their 1st generation headphones, we knew it was a must to stop-in and say hello when we saw him in Eureka Park this year at CES 2018. We loved their headphones that debuted last year, which were the first in the world to incorporate standalone voice command. They allow users to take them on the go and pull up their favorite music without having to reach for a cell phone. So we were really excited to see what's new.

They did not disappoint. This year they are even more geared towards sports and working out with Vinci 2.0 Earbuds. They have added all of the functionality of the headphones into a much smaller form. These earbuds only weigh 80 grams, fit comfortably on the neck and in-ear and offer all of your music without the need to even have your phone on you. So you will be able to go out jogging and be able to listen to your tunes as well as take phone calls without having to lug around that bulky phone, which is great since lots of workout gear don't have pockets.

Setup is simple and also the only time that you need to use your phone along with them. The app will take you through adding (or changing) your favorite music streaming services and libraries. From there, these 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth earbuds will automatically synch with your phone when they are together, to keep all of your information up-to-date. And don't worry, it doesn't only synch up your music, but it also gathers your health stats and adds them to the health centers in you Apple and Android phones.

Classic to Vinci, there is still a screen, but it is much smaller and designed to blend in to the aesthetic. It is definitely a more passive system for power preservation, but you can still customize it to your preferences. The screen makes it easy to check the on/off status, battery life and signal strength. The battery will last for up to 14 hours of continuous play and it comes with a USB docking station that will give a full charge in about 2.5 hours.

The Kickstarter for Vinci 2.0 recently ended and they should start shipping in Feb 2018. Pricing starts at $89 for 8GB and goes up to $249 for the 32GB. Check out all four colors and choose a pair of your own on their website. You can also pick up a pair of the full size headphones on Amazon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Beauty and Technology Meet in the VOLO Cordless Dryer

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Beauty and Technology Meet in the VOLO Cordless Dryer

2018-01-29

In the beauty industry, there are a lot of gadgets. Whether you're curling your hair or your eye lashes, there's a device for everything. A lot of these devices, however, have remained unchanged for a long time. Take, for example, the blow dryer. The heating element used requires so much power that a special adapter is required to use one out of the country, and the cords are usually just long enough that you're tethered to the wall while in use.

Ryan Goldman of VOLO Beauty has set out to change all of that. Their new cordless blow dryer is one of the first of its kind, but distinguishes itself in other ways, as well. Ryan didn't just want to bring the same old dryer to market without a cord; instead, he wanted to make sure that the dryer was more energy efficient, so that it would last its longest on a charge. So, rather than a traditional heating coil, VOLO has designed an infrared heating bulb system, which uses 600 watts rather than the more traditional 1800 watts. As an added bonus, the infrared system dries the hair faster, and more evenly, making the product more healthy for the hair.

The product will be launching on Kickstarter this Spring, and will be available afterward on Indiegogo On Demand. The retail price will be $388, with discounts for preorders. You can also sign up for their waitlist so you can find out when the campaign launches.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Enjoy New and Simple Connectivity to Your Car with Raven

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Enjoy New and Simple Connectivity to Your Car with Raven

2018-01-29

Raven is a connected car product with a new type of technology integration that combines four different technologies into one. They have taken a traditional dashcam, displays, connection to tel-harmonics in the car as well as a built-in security system.

It sits right on top of your dashboard, always in view. You can customize the display from a list of driving information readouts. This ensures that you have the best possible information to help you drive safely. There are an array of sensors and you will be alerted if your car is bumped, broken into or stolen. Raven can alert family/friends if there is a critical event. Simply add them to your Trusted Circle and they will receive vital information to help you in the event of an incident or emergency.

The Alerts are customizable. Raven keeps aware of the driving behaviors of each driver, with alerts such as speeding, curfew, boundary and dangerous driving activities. It also keeps all videos that you can check at any time and also share with one click on social media. You can create driving reports which help with specific travel data for expense reports or insurance purposes. The app also gives you access to live views and vehicle information at any time. You will have the peace of mind of always knowing what is going on with your car, and its drivers.

Pricing begins at $299. You can preorder now and receive a $30 discount. Shipping begins in March 2018. Upon activation, you will be prompted to choose one of their monthly service plans. There is a 30 day risk free test drive available. Learn more by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The Gift of the Universe Right on Your Smartphone

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The Gift of the Universe Right on Your Smartphone

2018-01-29

Vaonis introduces Stellina - a completely new kind of telescope. It is easy to use, portable and delivers the images directly to your smartphone. Their goal is to make astronomy more accessible for everybody. The thought of having to set up a standard telescope properly, looking through a small hole and still not really being able to see what you are looking for is not very appealing. But Stellina changes all of that. Via the connected app, it knows your GPS location when you set it up and it searches out the stars for you. You can also request specific sightings and Stellina will find them for you. For example, a certain nebula or galaxy, or even the International Space Station when it is in your area. Imagine having this kind of telescope during an eclipse. It will find and track the best viewing vantage and you can watch the whole thing right on your phone.

Stellina is compact and lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack and boasts 5 - 10 hours of battery life, depending upon usage. The app is easy to use and, once installed, is easily accessed via the push of a button on the telescope. It not only provides you with amazing images that are easy to save and share on social media, but it will also provide information about what it is that you are viewing.

Whether you are wanting an easy and fun way to keep up with your astronomy hobby, or you are looking to become more active in the astronomical community, Stellina is for you. It will be available in Q3 2018 for $2,999 but you can preorder yours now with a CES special for $2,499 from their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Seize the Day and Pesky Mosquitoes The Safe Way

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Seize the Day and Pesky Mosquitoes The Safe Way

2018-01-28

We all hate mosquitoes. They not only ruin our outdoor activities but also pose significant health risks. Qista is a French company that has created a safe and effective mosquito control system called Evo 2+. It is lightweight and mobile and fits in easily with your outdoor décor. It simulates human respiration with CO2 and olfactory lures. It's also safe for other living creatures as they are patented and ecological to provide an alternative to current ineffective and even toxic solution for mosquito control.

The units are perfect for home use as well as commercial and municipalities. They connect to electricity or municipal power, are 100% natural with 0% toxicity, programmable for optimum use and are effective up to a 60 meter radius in an open area.

Qista is making their debut in the U.S. in some Southern Florida cities and have hopes to expand even further in the state. Prices start at about $1000 for the unit and there are a few different options for gas & lure. You can get more pricing and availability information here.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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See What Happens When You Increase Productivity with Mindset

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See What Happens When You Increase Productivity with Mindset

2018-01-28

The world and our daily lives are filled with distractions. It's getting more and more difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. The team at Mindset have seen the transformative power of EEG and, with the overall goal in mind of bringing it to everybody, they have developed the Mindset Headphones.

These over-ear headphones have EEG sensors embedded to measure the electrical activity in the brain and parse it out to measure how focused you are while working, studying, completing tasks, etc. This technology is used to improve concentration. While wearing the headphones, when you get distracted, they will send you a signal to make you aware. Over time, this trains your subconscious to better recognize those things that distract you so you can tune them out.

It comes with a customizable app that allows you to choose how you receive the cues. You also use the app to track your progress. It's like a fitness tracker for your brain. You can track how often your are distracted, your best hours for concentration, and figure out which habits are affecting your focus throughout the day.

The headphones themselves are made by Onkyo and deliver great sound. They were designed to give an experience that was built for work with Bluetooth and active noise cancelling. They can be worn comfortably all day with a battery life of 8-10 hours.

The price point for these headphones will be $350 when they launch. You can preorder your pair here with a 25% discount. Preorders will ship in April 2018.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Sproutel is a Wonderful Amazing Companion to Soothe Children with Cancer

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Sproutel is a Wonderful Amazing Companion to Soothe Children with Cancer

2018-01-28

Sproutel is a company that works with industry leaders to bring awareness to health but also help patients in a therapeutic way. This year at CES 2018, Sproutel is highlighting a partnership collaboration with Aflac and the outcome is the cutest little robot called My Special Aflac Duck. This small duck is adorable and cuddly, and can interact with child cancer patients to help them cope through their cancer treatment. My Special Aflac Duck has three major motor controls: he waddles, bobs his head and quacks. There's even a soothing heartbeat for a wonderful calming affect.

To the kids, it feels like a stuffed animal, but it is also a robot with built-in sensors that can react to their touch. There's a built-in microphone and also a light sensor to understand the environment around it, which allows it to actually change behavior depending upon the mood and surroundings.

Also, the kids can communicate their feelings by tapping a "feelings chip" to the duck's chest. They can also have their cuddly buddy get chemo therapy right along with them. The companion app included augmented reality where you can feed and bathe your duck and also explore the world together.

My Special Aflac Duck will be available in the winter of 2019 and will be donated at no cost to children with cancer. We look forward to future developments from Sproutel. For more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Make Your Car Better Without Any Special Tools

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Make Your Car Better Without Any Special Tools

2018-01-27

Have an older vehicle that doesn't have sensors to assist with obstacle avoidance? FenSens is a license plate holder that is a smart wireless parking sensor. It sends the data directly to your smartphone. With installation time of just 5 minutes with no wires, It's an affordable UPGRADE for any car. There are platforms for both Android/iOS and the hands free app launches instantly to provide convenient audio, visual, and vibration alerts when objects are dedicated in the path of the sensors. There's no complex setup or installation fees. FenSens is perfect for all consumer and commercial fleet vehicles not exceeding 30 feet in length. You can use one both on the back and front of your car, to provide maximum protection.

There will soon be a magnetic version that can be attached to other places on the car, or even on your boat. And the company is also working on other add-on tech for vehicles. You can get yours here.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Capture The Most Breathtaking Video On Your Next Fishing Adventure

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Capture The Most Breathtaking Video On Your Next Fishing Adventure

2018-01-27

Take your fishing activities to the next level with the GoFish Cam! This is no ordinary underwater camera, it's a versatile 1080pHD camera that goes where your fishing goes unlike any other fishing camera. The GoFish Cam simply attaches to any fishing line and captures the underwater experience that you need to see. The camera is made with a strong metal leader line that helps you catch large game fish.

But wait, there's more. The GoFish Cam has a built-in hotspot that can connect to your phone through the GoFish Cam app. This application has so many possibilities for the sport of fishing that start with a creation of a profile and the activation of your new GoFish Cam. From the app, you can adjust the camera settings and the video quality, view the battery life, and refer back to previous fishing trips that were recorded. From there, you have the ability to edit and share out your footage to your friends!

Pick up your GoFish Cam today for $239.99 by going to the GoFish Cam website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Play The Best Games During Your Down Time

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Play The Best Games During Your Down Time

2018-01-27

GameStream offers video game streaming services to businesses in the hospitality industry. This allows their clients the luxury of playing video games while they are waiting for their services to be complete. They are offering a highly qualitative Cloud Gaming solution that allows them to stream a catalog composed of the latest AAA games and a selection of the best independent games in HD (1080p/60fps). The White-Label solution serves Hotels, Cruise ships and hospitals by enabling them to bypass the limited internet connections inside their premises. This "Next-Gen console experience" is easy to integrate where no console needs to be installed.

The founders know that others have tried and failed in this space. They feel that their extensive background in gaming, as well as game design and production give them a distinct advantage. They are not just tech people adapting their ideas and technology to gaming, as others have been. They feel that just as people have options for various music streaming services and are able to find what works best for them, that the same will be the case in game streaming if gamers are given good options.

Currently available overseas, the company is looking to expand into the U.S. They are also looking to increase their exposure in hospitals. They found that not only does it give the patients something fun to do, but it also aids in their recovery because people do better overall when their spirits are lifted.

They are also looking to offer streaming services directly to consumers in the future, when 5G wireless is available. For more information, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Powerful and Stylish Headphones for Outstanding Performance

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Powerful and Stylish Headphones for Outstanding Performance

2018-01-26

Klipsch has been in the audio business for 71 years and their name is well known amongst audiophiles for full bodied sound in their high end sound systems. New this year are the Heritage HP3 Headphones and the Heritage Headphone Amplifier.

The Heritage HP3 Headphones have a sophisticated design, made from the most functional and premium materials available. They feature die-cast steel, milled wood, premium leathers, and machined aluminum components. Boasting a 52mm KG-520 biodynamic driver housed in a back-vented design, the HP3 headphones deliver unsurpassed acoustic performance. Like their other products, these headphones are made to last with single piece, interchangeable parts. So whether you need to replace a piece or you want to switch up the look with additional ear pads or cables, it can be done at any time. You can order a pair from their website for $1,199.

The Heritage Headphone Amp is the perfect accompaniment to the HP3's. They deliver a premium, audiophile-grade performance to maximize your headphone capabilities for true-to-life acoustic reproduction. Also exquisitely designed, from being encased in formed aluminum to the genuine walnut veneer, the Heritage Headphone Amplifier exudes quality even before being plugging in your headphones. They feature a high quality digital to analog converter, dual amplifiers for balanced output, and more. And the feel is unsurpassed. It brings you back in time with a retro design, but with all of the current tech that makes this a powerhouse of an amplifier. Get yours here for $499.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Absolutely Brilliant Lighting and Smart Home Solutions

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Absolutely Brilliant Lighting and Smart Home Solutions

2018-01-26

We all love the technical/mobile revolution that has been transpiring over the last few years, and we're happy that it is moving forward at full speed. And even though it is great to have apps on our mobile devices to assist with our smart home products, it would also be really nice to have a control built into wall mountable controls inside the home. For this very reason, Brilliant has developed the Brilliant Control. This smart light switch replaces an existing switch in the home and gives you and your family touch and voice access to lighting and your other smart products in the house. It connects with Sonos, Nest and more without the need for a mobile app. Amazon Alexa is built in, as is video capability that allows you to video conference between one or more controls that are installed in the house.

And don't worry about not being super handy around the house. Installation is a breeze and only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Once installed, you will instantly have voice and motion control. All of which can end up saving you between an estimated 5-18% on your overall lighting costs. There's also a convenient touch screen that allows you to swipe up/down to turn lights on and off, as well as adjust dimming.

They also worked hard to make the design simple and elegant, to compliment your home décor. It's available in multiple colors and switch configurations and they even include seasonal art that is automatically updated. The single switch starts at $199. There are also 2, 3 and 4 switch designs that increase in price by increments of $50 respectively. Their preorder sale exceeded their expectations and they are working hard to have them available in February.

Take a look at the available options and purchase yours here

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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You'll Love the Sound Personalization of These Headphones

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You'll Love the Sound Personalization of These Headphones

2018-01-26

New this year for beyerdynamic are the Aventho Wireless Headphones, which can be personalized to each individual via the MIY App. Thanks to Tesla technology, these mobile Bluetooth headphones offer optimum sound by acoustically adapting to the user's hearing. This is accomplished with integrated sound personalization that delivers perfect sound from any music source. Individual sound profiles are created in the app, where you can easily adjust the sensitivity. Battery life is 30+ hours and there is intuitive handling using the touchpad that is integrated in the right ear cup. There is also a high-quality hands-free microphone built in for phone calls. The app is available for both Android and Apple and the price of the headphones is $449. Get yours here.

Also revealed at CES 2018 is their Tesla, in-ear headset called XELENTO REMOTE. They use highly efficient miniaturized Tesla technology drivers and high-resolution sound for an audiophile lifestyle on the go. With its Universal 3-button remote and mic for most Apple and Android devices, it is also has Ergonomically shaped casings that are coupled with perfectly molded ear tips which are available in 10 sizes. Exclusive materials are used in the design, like silver-plated detachable cable and high-gloss housing. They sit in the ear for maximum comfort to allow for longer play times. Pricing starts at $999 and they can be ordered on Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Quartz: Great-Tasting Water Instantly, Smart and Easily Portable

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Quartz: Great-Tasting Water Instantly, Smart and Easily Portable

2018-01-25

Quartz has an exciting development in the water bottle market. A self cleaning water bottle that will keep your water cold, but also ensures that you are drinking pure and clean tasting water every time. We caught up with Justin Wang one of the co-founders of this new product at CES this year, who explained the technology and process which makes this product such a great option.

This product is all made possible by their new UV light technology inside the bottle which cleans and sanitizes your water bottle, but also purifies the drinking water within. This is an exciting feature to anyone trying to reduce their impact on the environment, but also provides an effective solution to keeping your water chalice clean and fresh smelling. The new more condensed version of this UV light technology cleans the water bottle every 4 hours, or with the quick push of a button. The LED light is rechargeable and will last 2 to 3 months on a single charge, making the process very easy and efficient.

Now, with Quartz's new product, it will make drinking clean great tasting water a lot less expensive, and the cleaning process a whole lot easier without having to use the dishwasher or sink again. Take it to the gym, camping or on the road. With the easy-to-use USB adapter for charging, it truly can go anywhere you need it to go with you. This product will be available on Amazon in April for $99.00, the last money you should ever have to spend on a water bottle forever.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.

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Increase Your Energy, Stay Fresh and at the Top with BrainTap

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Increase Your Energy, Stay Fresh and at the Top with BrainTap

2018-01-25

The world is getting busier and crazier by the minute. We all get caught up in work, kids, school and life in general. All of the pressures that we encounter can really put us in a tail spin. We could certainly benefit from a simple, safe and easy to use solution. That's why we were so intrigued when came across the BrainTap display and met Dr. Patrick Porter. So many of us want to overcome our major stressors and activate our brain's peak performance. BrainTap has created a headset with seven different technologies built inside to aide with all that we have going on. Whether you want to simply instill a positive attitude and get refreshed, want to stop a bad habit, or you need help getting to sleep at night, BrainTap is for you!

It's a brain meditation and training tool that can help you get more energy, focus, concentration and more out of life in general. You'll be able to "reboot" your brain in an all natural way. Although Dr. Porter began developing this technology years ago, but it was quite a bit more cumbersome to administer. He now has it down to a user friendly and comfortable head set that anybody can use.

Relax your way to better energy and brain health. You can purchase your headset on their website here. There are also a lot of episodes available to help with a wide assortment of ailments. There are also episodes available on Amazon.

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Take Your Notes With You to The Future

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Take Your Notes With You to The Future

2018-01-25

Hey students... Let's face it, buying normal notebooks over and over again for classes can take a toll on your wallet, as well as the environment after the life of the notebook has ended. Good thing Rocketbook has a solution to just that with their newest notebook on the market, the Everlast. The Everlast Notebook has so much to offer with a very small price and endless reusability so you never have to buy another notebook again.

All you need is the Everlast Notebook, any pen from the Pilot Friction line, and the Rocketbook App for iOS and Android. You can then take notes on any page, use the app to scan the notes digitally and now they can go anywhere you want them through email, iMessage, or even store them on a cloud service. When you're done with a day's notes and you have synced them to the app, you can then take a moist towel and start all over with countless notes taken on the same notebook.

This book has another special feature. The front of the notebook has seven symbols that you can