Finis SwiMP3.1G Bone Conduction MP3 Player

If you swim a lot you know how difficult it is to find earphones that you can use while swimming. Sticking earbuds in your ear produce a muffle sound and can be dangerous. However swimming for a long time without music is boring. The Finis SwiMP3.1G offer a unique solution to this situation.

The SwiMP3.1G use bone conduction to transfer the sound through the cheekbone into the ear. The device secures snuggly to the goggle strap and lays on the cheekbone. The music or sound from the mp3 player then goes from the cheekbone to the ear. Because the sound doesn’t have to go through the water it is much clearer than normal earbuds. It has 1GB of storage enough for about 250 songs or 15 hours of music.

The company Finis has been around since 1993 and was founded by John Mix and Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer Pablo Morales. They have done a lot of working to improve a swimmers efficiency in the water and also their enjoyment. The SwiMP3.1G is the latest of these inovations.

Interview by Esby Larsen of  MrNetCast.com

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Autolinq: Android in the Car

Autolinq is an open end to end information and entertainment platform that is based on the Android platform. Autolinq is an OEM productthat will be installed in cars and is produced by a German company Continental Inc. It will allow the user to have continual contact with their car. Providing them information about the car even if they are not in the car.

The system is designed with safety in mind and only apps that are safe to use in a car can be installed. Autolinq is also a secure platform any data that is provided will go over a secure network to protect it from hackers. One of the application shown shows the speed and location of the vehicle and sends that information back to a computer. That way a parent can keep track of a young driver.

Another application will tell you if there is something wrong with the engine and what the problem is. You can also schedule an appointment to get the car fix through the same application. A third application that was shown is one that warns you when you are low on gas and where the nearest gas station is.

These are just a few of the apps that could be installed in the system based on what the user and final seller wants. The expected price of a system that uses this product will be close to that of a high end automotive entertainment system. Since this is an OEM product, they will produce the platform but will depend on third parties to install it in various vehicles. Once the platform is completed it will be interested to see how many actually get in to vehicles.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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DLNA For The iPad And More

Jeffrey stops by the DLNA booth, but before we get to that, if you want to understand what DLNA is, the we recommend you visit their Wikipedia page.  They are showing off some cool devices with that act as DLNA servers, such a home media server, Droid X, laptops, TV’s, Blu-ray players, and an iPad.  Their new iPad app allows user to stream content from a server or upload content to a server.  With over 200 companies manufacturing DLNA-compatibles devices (and more coming) it could become the defacto standard for media content.  For more information you can visit the DLNA website.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast.

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LG SmartTVs and SmartTV Upgrader

Jeffrey talks to Mark of LuckyGoldstar, sorry, LG about their foray into connected devices and smart TVs during 2011. Mark reckons that there are four key principles for smart TVs.

  • first, premium content providers and LG has over 20 including NetFlix, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon, NHL, NBA;
  • second, apps and LG will be launching its online apps store with over 200 apps from the likes of CNN and Comedy Central (and Tech Podcast);
  • third, include a fully functioning web-browser with Flash, just like LG’s;
  • and finally, make sure it’s DLNA-certified so that existing local content can be played, as LG’s TVs will.

Existing owners will be able to upgrade their TVs using LG’s new SmartTV Upgrader that brings all the features of LG’s 2011 TVs to a dumb TV. The SmartTV will work with any TV with an HDMI output, not just LG’s and of course, it’s wireless. Although it comes with a remote control, to make typing easier, apps for iOS and Android devices will control the SmartTV unit as well. That’s cool.

Jeffrey gets a demo of the user interface in the video so check it out if you are interested. Looks to be a smooth implementation.

Shipping in Q2 for $129.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast.

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The Success of the D-Link Boxee Box

Andy McCaskey chats to Joe from D-Link about their Boxee Box, which has been selling very well since it launched back in November. Key to the success is the Boxee Box’s ability to play content from a wide variety of sources, whether it’s the Internet, local storage or a USB memory stick.

Andy questions the delay in delivering the product and Joe explains that D-Link moved away from the Atom processor for performance but that necessitated changes to the software. Joe reckons that the success of the platform is because of the wide range of codecs, the flexibility of the platform, the involvement of D-Link with the community and the on-going refreshes to the software.

Andy thinks that part of the success can be due to the great remote which has simple controls on one side and a qwerty keyboard on the other side, making it much easier to enter text. It’s also an RF (radio-frequency) remote, not IR (infra-red) so you don’t need line of site between your remote and the Box.

Production of the Boxee Box is at full capacity to meet the demand in the US and abroad.  It’s on-sale now for $199.

Warning – there’s a TV playing in the background of the video and some of the pictures wouldn’t be entirely safe for children. It is Las Vegas, y’know.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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The GoPro HD Camera

GoPro HD CameraGoPro showed off their latest line of HD and 3D Cameras at CES 2011. These cameras are made specifically for filming during participation in extreme sports. They can be worn on your helmet, chest or even mounted on a vehicle. The GoPro HD has about 2 1/2 hours of battery life. The battery is a 1100 mAh Lithium-ion battery, they do offer an extended battery pack which double the battey life. There is also an separate LCD video screen attachment. The screen attaches to the camera like a building bloc. The camera can film at 780p, 960p or 1080p. The camera also shoots stills at 2/5/10/30 and 60 second intervals. The housing is tough and waterproof, it is made to take a beating. The cost for the HD camera is $299

They also showed off a “3D” camera, which is actually two HD cameras with a synchronizing port and a housing group that holds the two cameras together. The first camera controls the second camera and when finished filming. You can use the GoPro software that’s included to merge the two film together to produce a 3D film. It is set to launch on Feb 1 along with the LCD video screen attachment. They have some video on their site which is pretty amazing, if you are into filming while doing an extreme sports I recommend taking a look at this camera.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Kylo A Browser Made for TV

The Kylo Browser was created by Hillcrest Labs. to be used specifically with large screen TV’s. One of the main problems with traditional browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox is they are not made for a large screen where the viewer is 10 feet or more away. Their fonts are too small and the icons are hard to hit. The Kylo Browser has large fonts and icons which are easier to see from the couch. It also has an on-screen keyboard, so you don’t have to sit with a keyboard on your lap.

The home screen of the Kylo Browser reminds me of a typical cable guide. The difference is that instead of channels you get the icon for Web sites. Hillcrest Labs also developed the technology behind motion-sensing. They used this technology to create The Loop Pointer which is designed specifically to work with a browser on a TV.  The Loop Pointer has four buttons and a scroll wheel and is design to work in the air. Hillcrest Labs has license the motion-sensing technology to major entertainment manufacture, such as Sony, Kodak, Samsung and more.

Although the Loop Pointer is designed to work with the Kylo, you can use any mouse your want. As the line between the TV and the computer continues to blur, we will probably see more and more browsers and devices like Kylo and the Loop Pointer being developed and sold.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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D-Link Unveils Latest Network Products

Andy talks to Steve at D-Link’s pre-press event and gets a rapid-fire look at the latest offerings from the company, including

  • a wireless Powerline router, bundling three functions into a single device;
  • a wireless media router that will take SD cards or USB3 external drives for delivering HD content to media streamers or players;
  • a SmartBeam Wifi transmitter, a directional antenna that can focus the wireless signal to a particular device.
  • a wireless-n IP / Internet camera, integrated with the MyDLink portal, so you can view the picture from your PC, your smartphone, your tablet.

There’s further info on all these products and more at D-Link’s special CES website.

If you’ve not used Powerline (aka Homeplug), the technology converts your home’s electrical system into a data network, so it’s good for places where wireless coverage is poor. It’s very handy.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Ecovas: Window Washer of the Future?

Almost no one likes to wash windows it is a monotonous task, but at some point in time everyone has to do it. If you own a commercial building you have to hire someone, set a schedule and then hope they do a good job, well at least until now. Now that job can be done by a robotic window washer made by Ecovacs. Ecovacs is a Chinese company that is well known for making products that help you clean. It is in over a 100 countries and serve more 25 million families.

They make vacuum cleaners both regular and robotic, along with carpet cleaners and air cleaners. Now they have produced a robotic window cleaner called Winbot. The cleaner sticks to the window by magnets and moves in a set pattern to prevent streaking. There are two halves to the robot, one half is on one side and provides the locomotion. The other half on the other side does the cleaning.  They have different models depending on the thickness of the glass. It is still in the development stage and should be available later this year for around $399.

They are looking for distributors now in the United States. There isn’t a lot of information to be found about Winbot, I was wondering how it works at different temperatures and if it uses any batteries how long they last. It does look like a promising product, it will be interesting to see if it works as advertised.

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XRocker Furniture For Gamers

Mike from XRocker is showing Tom some new furniture that has a definite media and gaming slant towards it.  This is some pretty far out stuff that not every spouse will welcome into a home, but it’s also pretty neat – kind of a living room set meets Scott E Vest.  Of course the retail price may buy some wiggle room with a spouse though – around $200 for a 3 piece set.  It’s interesting and very bright.  VERY bright.  These items should be available this spring.

Interview by Tom Newman of Fogview Podcast.

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