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If you’re familiar with using the Eclipse IDEs for developing in Java (or C / C++) to write for Android or desktop applications, then think of MicroEJ (EJ = Embedded Java) as offering a similar dev path but for embedded devices.  MicroEJ has rapid development tools for both rich UI apps and embedded device logic across a wide range of capabilities starting with a virtual machine with 28 KB of Flash and less than 1.5 KB RAM and on up to State of the Art high end devices.

MicroEJScreenshot

MicroEJ came to CES 2016 to expand their global market presence.  They were founded in 2004, are HQ’d in Nantes, France and have offices in Paris, Munich and Austin.  MicroEJ is the operating brand name of Industrial Smart Software Technology (IS2T S.A.)  www.MicroEJ.com  (take a look at their video library of features and applications)

b-sensory01

French-based E.Sensory is a CES 2016 Innovation Honoree for their B.Sensory “Little Bird” vibrator and control + synchronization app. The Little Bird will vibrate in one of 10 different modes as well as varying intensity based on settings in the ebook, audio file or video file. Currently the media files are prepared by E-SENSORY but the capability for authors and publishers to do the mark up is in the works. The Little Bird is intended to be inserted into the vagina and is sheathed in waterproof, body-safe silicone elastomer. It is USB rechargeable, can run for about 90 minutes and can be controlled both locally via BlueTooth and globally over the internet. The Little Bird is taking phone sex to a new level. The imaginative GearDb reader will of course realize many additional applications are sure to be found for E.Sensory technology.

Details and online shopping for the Little Bird are at www.b-sensory.com and corporate information at www.e-sensory.com.

First the disclaimer.  I’m a long time fan and follower of  FLIR.  When I was in elementary school, my father would bring me issues of Aviation Week magazine and that’s where I first saw the acronym FLIR which stands for Forward Looking Infra Red and was part of an airborne sensor suite for military aircraft.   Fast forward to this century and I started seeing the FLIR company booth at various trade shows and saw that they had some thermal imaging products that could be considered consumer level.  The prices were still fairly high  ~$1000 and up but hey, at least you wouldn’t get glow in the dark eyeball cancer like from the cheap Eastern Bloc gear.  And the FLIR analytic grade gear, costing significantly more, is so much fun to look at too.

Well, about a year ago FLIR acquired Lorex, a leading consumer grade security products company.  And not coincidentally, at CES 2014 the first wave of clearly consumer-priced products from FLIR was announced.   The FLIR FX is a modular family of cameras and accessories and the FLIR ONE brings thermal imaging capability to the iPhone 5 and 5s.  The FX received a 2014 CES Innovations Design & Engineering Award.

Boy, what a mob scene at the FLIR booth this year – sardine packed in the booth and overflowing into the aisles.  Obviously $350 to get thermal imaging and extra battery capacity on your iPhone 5/5s or $250 for a full-featured video security/action cam with both cloud or direct WiFi connectivity plus a bunch of  modular accessories has that effect on people. GoPro watch out!

I’m on the Android side of the fence so I am not allowed to say nice things about Apple or iPhonies.  But I can say the FLIR MSX feature is impressive – it is an overlay of visible light imagery on the thermal image.  The in-booth example was being able to see the outline of same temperature signage text (via MSX) along with a fresh, hot hand print next to the thermally neutral text.

Thermal imaging is not just about seeing in total darkness.  By dynamically displaying the temperature of parts and surfaces, perhaps the greatest utility comes from being able to see the relative change in temp. across a part or an assembly of parts – is there excess friction or inadequate cooling?  (How’s your BBQ doing!  Is shaken really better than stirred?) And you can store still images and video of these temperature deltas for future reference.

Both these products will be out in Spring 2014.  And hopefully at CES 2015 FLIR will be announcing the ~$300 FLIR FX thermal imaging camera.  FLIR will be making yet another product announcement at the ShotShow in a few days so I’ll be posting another entry soon about that plus a bunch of tech details for both the FLIR FX and FLIR ONE.

www.flirsecurity.com   www.flirone.com  www.flir.com

Nope, not SETI as in Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence but  Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc.  This SETI specializes in designing, manufacturing and selling LEDs that emit Deep UV light for sterilization applications.  Fittingly, SETI LEDs have been used for sterilization on the International Space Station.

Closer to Earth, amongst the legions of *BORING* cell phone cases and accessories, a unique one emerges.  SETI is developing a rechargeable battery powered UV-C flip top case called the UVCLEAN for sterilizing cellphones.  Consider all the oil from your skin and face collecting on your phone, add on all the stuff that sticks to that oil and you better not imagine what’s growing there.

The idea is that with the UVCLEAN you can easily sterilize your phone multiple times a day and on the go with a ~3 minute exposure cycle that should kill 99.9% of the germs on every exposed surface – not just the screen.  Also, with no cleaning fluids involved, you don’t have to worry about flooding and damaging your phone via the buttons or switches.  (You should still wipe your phone to remove skin oil smudges.)  The UVClean case could be a must have device for health care and food service workers.

If your phone is shaped like an iPhone 5 (or smaller than one) then you’re good to go.  They are aiming for a late April retail sale date and a ~$80 price tag.  Cases for other phones and tablets are in the works. www.s-et.com

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3M_SmartPen

If you were in the right place at the right time at the 3M booth at CES you’d get one of these conductive touch screen 3M Smart pens.  Well we were and we did.  Bottomline – it works like a dream on the iPhone – better than the finger in our opinion.  That’s the good news.  The mild downside is that it is currently not sold in the US but it is available in Asia (and online)  for about $20 – $30.  It was developed by 3M Korea.  I am told that Korea is where the notion of using a sausage as an iPhone stylus during the Winter was conceived –  gloved fingers don’t register on the touch screen.  Totes-isotoner.com makes a conductive glove but the fit must be OJ Simpson snug.  Heck, we want to use the Smart Pen all the time – hot or cold so the main advantage of gloves would be for multi-touch operations.  If you are a chopstick ace, you can do multi-touch with 2 Smart Pens.  Perhaps in the future there will be either a hinged dual tip “Gemini” pen or a finger tip attachment with a low profile conductive nub.  One on a finger and one on the thumb and multi-touch away!

Anyway, 3M USA was gathering usability/ user feedback at CES and they certainly must have also run comparative testing against the Pogo Stylus. I can’t help but think the overall reaction was very positive and it will soon be distributed directly in the US.  We’ll be doing some long term usage testing of the Smart Pen to see how it holds up.  The tip is a conductive fabric and there’s a spring-loaded rod behind it – the body of the Smart Pen feels like aluminum.    So if you’re tired of mis-typing or smudging up the touchscreen with finger oils, you’ll probably enjoy using a stylus.   www.3M.com

Otterbox for iPhone

Otterbox makes a wide range of protective cases.  Many are seriously watertight.  They also have a broad line of cases for smartphones and other compact electronic devices.  Let’s start off with the black and yellow Defender iPhone case from Otterbox.com.  The design, fit and finish are excellent. Your iPhone 3G/Gs will be ruggedly armored, yet you’ll still have crisp response on your controls. It includes a thin rigid clear panel over your LCD yet your finger actions are still accurately received.

A 2 piece rigid plastic inner case snaps around the iPhone then the rubber outer layer is pulled into place.  I found the balance of grip & slip to be just right – it feels secure in my hand but slips easily into a pocket without the stickiness of some silicone cases. And it comes with a belt clip holster.  The belt clip rotates with detents so you can wear it in portrait, landscape or angles in between.  The holster also is a desktop stand – just rotate the belt clip for the angle you want – you may want to put the belt clip in the locked open mode.  When you snap the iPhone LCD facing inward on the holster it’s really locked in there, the LCD is covered/not visible and well protected.  If holstered with the LCD facing outward, a moderate jolt or bounce can dislodge it.  They sell the belt clips separately as well so you can easily get an extra one to modify and hard mount.

The earphone port, docking connector, and ringer switch are protected with attached, press in place/swing away rubber covers.  Mind you while the Defender will protect against misting & spray, it will not protect against heavy rain or immersion.

Also pictured is the blue Otterbox 2000 clamshell case which can hold 1 Defender or Commuter encased phone or 2 “naked” iPhones and is rated to 100 feet submersion.  The Otterbox 8000 and 9000 (not pictured) are swing top cases (100 ft rated) with belt clips (removable) and cord lanyards and can hold 2 Defender phones.  The hinge pin is 316 stainless steel and the inside of the opaque versions have a thin plastic foam lining. The clear version is unlined. Otterbox makes 4 other cases for Iphone including the waterproof  2600 and many other rugged cases big and small.   Well-named and well done Otterbox.

www.otterbox.com