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CES – Day 2

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Another great day at CES.  The morning started with the FLIR press conference.  FLIR.com makes and sells a wide variety of thermal and light amplification products – primarily for military and industrial markets because their products cost $1000 and up…until this week.  They announced both a $250 visible light device , the FLIR FX and the FLIR One, a $350 thermal imaging accessory for the iPhone 5.  I have been a long time fan and follower of FLIR products and I have never seen the FLIR booth so crowded.  It is great to finally have a top notch supplier in the thermal/night vision consumer market at the ~$300 price point.

Like yesterday, I’ll just be posting brief write ups and images and details will follow soon.

I visited another French LiFi company – OLEDCOMM.com.  They have an online catalog, webstore and a product development SDK.  They also had an in-booth demonstration of an internet – LiFi telephony connection.

The people at ChromationSpec.com have an interesting lower cost but still high quality spectral measurement package.  Basically they can supply a robust, affordable core module for any industry that needs to accurately determine color of static objects.

FINsix.com showed a very compact (~2 C- cells plus cord) 65 watt power adapter for laptops.  It has an aluminum housing for heat dissipation and a projected retail price of $90.

RemoteReality.com demo’d a consumer level 360 degree lens.  They had one mounted to a GoPro camera and displayed the post processed video (to correct the curvature from the lens.)   Don’t think “fish eye”, think “lighthouse.”

Case Western Reserve University had some student-started products on display.  Ecospinners.com has a fuel cell powered bicycle and EveryKey.com has a BlueTooth 4 enabled login bracelet.

BonsaiLight.com demo’d their microenergy harvesting control switch.  Just the motion of turning a knob on the handheld controller generates enough energy that is captured and used to send a signal to a remote switch.  In this instance, an electrical lamp.  Microenergy harvesting is going to be BIG!

ZeroHourInnovations.com demo’d their modular high intensity flashlight.  They will soon have a storage compartment accessory so you can keep some items safe and dry.

Kromtech.net launched their PCKeeper product/support service.  It is subscription-based and they can protect, clean, optimize the operation of your PC remotely.  This includes  Registry evaluation and repair.  They are a Microsoft Gold Partner.

More to come!

CES – Day 1

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Much marching to and fro at both the LVCC and the Venetian/Sands today.  The startup section at Eureka! Park was particularly interesting.  Small is Beautiful.  And let there be light.  More info and images on all the companies and organizations mentioned in this post to follow.

There were several optical wireless booths: newly-formed Luciom.com demonstrated a low-cost 1/8″ audio plug “LiFi” receiver and other work in progress and also hosted a megabit LiFi demo from cea.fr /leti.fr – a tech development agency of the French Government.  Both use elegant LED light panels from OyaLight.com.

The Center on Optical Wireless Applications from Penn State (cowa.psu.edu)  presented work (in collaboration with Beijing Institute of Technology  english.bit.edu.cn) on both optical positioning and content delivery.   LiFi could be the coolest thing at CES this year.

S-et.com announced their UV-C LED smart phone sterilizer.  You place the device into the pocket-sized polymer flip-top case and then activate a 3 minute cycle of UV-C exposure.  “Cooties” on all exposed surfaces are neutralized.

TREWgrip.com demonstrated their mobile keyboard for those who are on the move and can’t be bothered to set a traditional keyboard down on their lap or other stationary support.  The QWERTY keyboard is split into 2 sections, one for each hand and you can type and “air mouse” to get your work done fast and on the go.

Edulock.org demo’d their free educational software with a twist.   Your elementary school child can earn time on an Android device by correctly answering math questions.

GetShinyThings.com demo’d their handwriting detecting math  and geometrical form manipulation classroom apps in the MyScript.com booth.

PrescientAudio.com demo’d their 1000 watt, ultra thin, lightweight speaker which received a 2014 CES Innovation award.

Beupp.com demo’d their portable hydrogen powered electrical power device.  Very cleanly conceived and designed, it will be available from Brookstone later this year.  It comes with one 25 watt/hr (5 amp/hr@ 5 volts) hydrogen canister (~5 smart phone charges )  that you can exchange for a full one so you will not be contributing to the solid waste stream.

Rayovac announced and demo’d a family of recharge devices ranging from a trio of integral Li-ion polymer packs – 6, 2 and 0.8  amp/hr plus a CR123 and a quad AA replaceable battery-powered recharger.

Alarm.com demo’d their new wellness/home monitoring apps along with their other apps and backend services for security and monitoring.

Last but not least, my favorite billion-dollar startup company, 3M, had some new display films, brighter display screens and more multi-touch screens.  Developing apps for multi-touch screens is becoming much more streamlined and accessible.  Hopefully this will lead to more compelling educational applications..

Wait wait…don’t tell me! Who knew National Public Radio had an R&D department.  Besides developing a variety of radio signal analysis tools for station operators, NPR Labs collaborated with Catena Radio Design to develop an FM radio receiver for deaf people that would enable text display of emergency radio broadcasts.   It is called the “Nipper One” and it is currently being pilot tested in the Gulf Coast region.  The emergency warning text is sent to the display PC or Android device through a USB cable.   More details to come on this product from the “Bell Labs of NPR.”    www.nprlabs.org

On a less serious note, how much geek cred would you give to an NPR Labs  t-shirt?  Check out this artist’s depiction of said garment.  What a fine conversation starter this shirt would be.

To be clear – this shirt is currently just a figment of my imagination.  We  need to politely pester the good folks at NPR to add this item to the NPR Shop.  You can email the NPR Shopkeeper via the link at the bottom of this page.  www.shop.npr.org Maybe ask for “Ask Me Another” Rubik’s Cubes too?

CES 2014!

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CES opens to the Media today.  We’ll be covering the new announcements and pronouncements at press events this Sunday and Monday and also the main show for CES and PMA the rest of the week.

3M_SmartPen

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

Trojan Tri-phoria Vibrator assembled resting on black satin storage sack.

Trojan Tri-phoria Vibrator assembled & resting on black satin storage sack.

Trojan Tri-phoria battery compartment and top cover

Trojan Tri-phoria battery compartment and top cover

Trojan Tri-phoria with 3 tips top and panel interior view

Trojan Tri-phoria with 3 tips and top cover interior view

Trojan is probably the best know condom brand in the world and it looks like they are  growing even larger.  They’ve expanded their product line into vibrating accessories.  Pictured above is their “tri-phoria” whichs comes with 3 different screw on tips and has 8 different pleasure settings.  It is powered by a single AA battery.  You turn it on and off and cycle through the 5 speeds and 3 pulse patterns by pressing the ” – ” or ” + ” buttons on the top cover.

It’s a good thing we photographed the Tri-phoria before we passed it out to our female reviewer because she now asserts that she has misplaced it but promises to return it as soon as it turns up.  Now we didn’t just fall off the washing machine but who are we to question the  www-ww-w-words of a lady.  We bet she also misplaces the latest vibrating Trojan unit, the Twister, which was released to an eager pubic public on the first day of CES.  Her review www-ww-w-will be coming soon as well as an interview with The Good Dr. Condom.  www.trojanvibrations.com & www.trojancondoms.com

Moovida

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Moovida Audio Video Organizer Player

Moovida Audio Video Organizer Player

Have a bunch of video and audio files scattered on your computer? Turn Moovida loose and it will not only find all these files on your computer, it will match them against the Moovida database so you’ll have a nice display icon and important info like genre, director or artist, year, actor and other filters you specify. Then you can search on this data to find the movie or music you want. And Moovida can play every major video or audio format as well as many minor ones. Next up for Moovida is social networking so you can share comments on what you are watching with just your inner circle or the whole wide world.  It’s a free download. www.moovida.com

iTwin Secure Remote Access Keys

iTwin Secure Remote Access Keys

Do you want to travel light yet have secure access to all the data on your home or office computer? Then take a look at the iTwin encryption key system.  It consists of 2 USB dongles that share the same 256 bit encryption key.  Plug one into the host computer and the other your remote client. (both have to run Windows)  You can then access the host and all data transmitted is encrypted.  Should you lose one of the twins, you can remotely deactivate the keys.  You can also require a password to initiate the connection session.  www.iTwin.com

Looxcie Wearable VideoCam and BlueTooth Earbud

Looxcie Wearable VideoCam and BlueTooth Earbud

It’s a wearable camera! It’s a BlueTooth earbud! It’s the Looxcie!

This 480p color ear cam constantly stores the video & audio stream and when you want to save the previous 30 seconds just tap the Instant Save button. You can also answer phone calls via BlueTooth without interupting the capture. It can store up to 5 hours and you can interface it with iPhone or Android to send clips to social media sites. It weighs about an ounce and you recharge it via a micro-USB port. We’ll be doing a detailed review soon! www.looxcie.com

Hauppauge_WinTV_aero-m

Hauppauge_WinTV_aero-m

If you were wondering why there were no small or portable TVs when OTA (over the air ) TV went digital here in the US the reason was because the technical specification was still being finalized. Delivering a TV signal to a moving TV set requires additional signal processing.  We are now seeing TVs and receivers coming to market that conform to the ATSC A/153 spec aka ATSC M/H  (Mobile/Handheld)

The Hauppauge WinTV aero-m Dual Mode USB Receiver recieves both the ATSC M/H signal and the regular ATSC signal (A/53) for stationary TVs.  So you can watch TV on your laptop out by the pool, in a moving car or any place the ATSC M/H signal is broadcast.

If you’re on the move, you’ll use the ATSC M/H mode.  If you’re stationary, you can use either ATSC M/H or HD.    The aero-m has both a telescoping antenna and a terminal for an aftermarket antenna.  A remote control and antenna cable are included.  We’ll be doing a detailed review very soon.   www.hauppauge.com