TMS-2013-01-26 #72 Slate

I am joined by Co-Host Rob Greenlee, and guest Andy Bowers from Slate.com we talk about tech topics of the week and the media space in general

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Omron Strapless Heart Rate Monitor

Omron Healthcare LogoLifestyle health products are very popular and Jamie Davies looks at one of the amazing healthcare products on show at CES 2013, the new Omron Strapless Heart Rate Monitor.

The Strapless Heart Rate Monitor does away with more usual chest belt, replacing it with a device that’s more akin to a chunky wristwatch, which can be worn all day and not just at the gym or when working out. Optical sensors read the blood flow from capillaries in the wrist to calculate the heart rate, helping the wearer hit their fat burning zone and making their workouts more effectively. The monitor fully integrates with Omron’s lifestyle ecosystem, uploading heart rate data to their fitness portal.

The Strapless Heart Rate Monitor (HR-500U) will be available at the end of January for $149 and can be pre-ordered at Omron Fitness’ online store.

Interview by Jamie Davies of Health Tech Weekly.

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Siemens Aquaris Hearing Aid Line

SiemanI grew up with a Grandmother who was hard of hearing and communicating with her was hard and often frustrating. Any time someone introduces an improvement in hearing aid products I am interested.

Siemens showed off their new Aquaris Micon line at CES 2013. The Aquaris line is water proof, dust proof, shock proof. So unlike normal hearing aids you can wear them while working in a dusty environment like a workshop or even swimming. Like all Siemens products the Aquaris line is made of high quality material and is programable. They use the Micon best sound platform that was introduced in November 2012.

The Aquaris line is currently available. It is sold through audiologist and hearing aid providers. The cost will depend on how much the providers charge for their service. Expected cost for both the service and the device is between $1,000 and $2,000.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Get in shape with Bodymedia Fit Armband Tracker

Technology has been moving into the exercise space lately with lots of new mobile apps and even some hardware that you can easily carry with you when you are out for your daily run or at the gym.

The Bodymedia Fit is capable of tracking pretty much every single thing you do. It tracks calories burned, steps taken, exercise and even your sleep. All of this data is tacked by sensors in the device and then transferred to a computer or mobile app. The device will also integrate with third-party services like RunKeeper.

The armband, along with a smaller version is available right now both online and at a number of retail stores. The MSRP is $149, but the value to your health can not be put in monetary terms. If you want to grab it now, however, there is a promotional price of $119. No word on how long that will last.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Ideal Life

Ideal Life Ideal Life has a complete end to end wireless biometric monitoring systems to monitor chronic heath conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart problems. They allow the patient to be monitor daily outside a hospital environment. Currently they work directly with businesses, such as hospitals, insurer and home health care companies who then give the devices to patients as they are being discharge. This way the patient can be monitored daily, The more data that can be provided the better it is for both the patient and the doctor. This allows an action to be taken before a situation becomes an emergency. The idea is to cut down on readmission to the hospital. Which is a major cost for everyone involve including society.

Ideal Life is currently working on a direct consumer model. This model is being tested by their partners. The expected prices for the devices will be from $50 to 150.00. There will be a monthly data or software plan that will run from $10.00 to $20.00 a month. The release date for the direct consumer model was not given. More information is available at Ideal life Online. Ideal life also announced a new partnership with ADT, the home security system company.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Griffin MicConnect for iOS at CES 2013

Griffin MicConnectJeffrey Powers goes all Pop Idol when he chats to Jackie from Griffin Technology about the newly announced MicConnect, which connects iOS devices to XLR mics with phantom power.

The Griffin MicConnect is a small brick adaptor with an XLR socket (input) on one side for the microphone and a 3.5 mm jack on the other to connect into an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A 3.5 mm socket provides for headphone monitoring of the sound source and for condenser mics, the unit takes two AA batteries to provide phantom power (48V).

(As an aside, I’m not 100% clear if this is iOS only – the 3.5 mm jack looks pretty standard and there’s no reference to special apps being required so if Android is your OS of choice, it might be worth contacting Griffin directly.)

Included in the interview is Griffin’s updated Mic Stand Mount, which is now compatible with all iPad models (not Mini), and unsurprisingly holds an iPad on a mic stand. Jeffrey reckons the MicConnect and the Mount are a great combo for the mobile podcaster. Pricing-wise, both the MicConnect and the Mount are $39.99 but the MicConnect won’t be available until June.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network.

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Has CNET Lost all Credibility due to CBS Rules?

cnetCNET the once independent tech news service is now being told what they can, and cannot report on by parent company CBS. The once darling of the tech space is now just a pawn of the CBS owners who are not allowing CNET to be a independent news arm.

First was the fiasco at CES where CNET had to rescind an award to Dish and the Hopper, now it is the restriction of reporting on Aereo both of which are being sued by CBS. It is obvious that the parent company CBS is now completely in control of what CNET can report on.
I pity the team at CNET for having a gag order put on them by CBS. It is very obvious that this flagship tech reporting site will continue to have troubles with mother CBS!

The real question that now has to be asked can CNET be trusted to report tech news fairly with the rough handling by CBS?

LifeProof Cases

LifeProof Jamie Davies talked to Gary the CEO of  LifeProof.  LifeProof makes cases that are built to be used in a medical environment, such as a hospital or ambulance. There are cases for iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and some Android devices. They are waterproof, dirt proof, and shock proof up to military specifications.  Unlike some waterproof cases, the LifeProof cases are not bulky. If you get fluids on it, you can wash it with disinfectant or detergent. There is a strap on the back so you can handle it with just one hand. You can connect a cord to it so if you need both hands you can just let it hang down. There are optional mounts and stands that you can lock the case into perfect for use in an ambulance.

You can buy the case at various retail stores including Best Buy, Target and on the LifeProof website. The iPad case is $99.00. They also work with large orders from institutions like hospitals or clinics.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly.

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CTX Technologies introduces a keyboard on an keychain

CTX Virtual TechnologiesVitual keyboards are not new, but CTX Technologies has managed to get one down to a size where it can actually fit on a keychain. That may sound hard to believe, but there are a few tricks that make this possible.

The keyboard works via bluetooth and CTX claims two hours of battery life. In addition it features a volume control — yes, it can make a clicking sound as you type. The keyboard, as you may have guessed, is projected onto any flat surface and the company claims that users can type up to 50 words per minute, but it “takes some getting used to”.

In addition, the CTX unveiled a special iPhone version which is a case that house the phone, with a stand on the back, and projects the keyboard down in front of the device.

The keychain keyboard is available now, while the iPhone version will be shipping in the second quarter. Both retail for $99.

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Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net

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Canon Vixia R Series of Camcorders

Cannon Jeffery Power spoke to Ben of Canon at the Digital Experience Booth. They talked about the Canon new R series of video cameras. They are part of the Vixia line. What makes this line special is you can connect them to your smart phone by Wi-fi. There are several apps that you can use, the first is Camera Access. It works on either iPhone or Android. It allows you to stream live from the camera to your phone. You can use it to control your camera from the phone. Another app is called Movie Uploader App which lets you upload your video to your favorite video sharing site. The Movie Uploader App is iOs only.

The R series has the latest image sensor built-in. There are 3 models in this series. The low end HF R30 has 8 gb of built-in memory plus a card slot. The high-end model, the Vixia HF R42 has 32 gb built-in memory with a card slot. The high-end model HF R42 suggested retail price is $499 and the HF R30 suggestive retail price is $399.00. There is also the HF R32 which is a flash camcorder. It’s suggested retail price is $499.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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