BluBed Lets You Be Hands-Free Everywhere At CES

BluBed

Bluetooth headsets are great for taking phone calls on the go, but they have one fatal flaw: when they’re not being used, they have nowhere to go. While keeping your Bluetooth in your ear constantly may have been cool a decade ago, nowadays we need somewhere safe yet accessible to store it when not in use.

Todd spoke to David Hurwitz of Innervoice Innovations, Inc. about BluBed, a holster for your Bluetooth headset that allows you to go completely hands-free, anytime and anywhere. Just clip the BluBed onto your belt or pocket and pop your headset into the holster when not in use. When a call comes in, simply pop it back out and stick it in your ear.

The BluBed costs $19.95 and is available for purchase on BluBed’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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The Plastc Card Replaces All Your Cards

Plastc CardContinuing the “bane of modern life” theme, the plastic rectangles otherwise known as credit, debit, bank, membership and loyalty cards are high up the agenda. My wallet bulges with cards that are infrequently used but I don’t want to leave behind “just in case”. Plastc looks to replace all those cards with just one. Todd finds out more about his new flexible friend from Ryan.

The Plastc card incorporates a programmable magnetic strip, EMV chip and an eInk touch-screen display. The stripe and the chip make the Plastc very flexible and future-proofed for “Chip’n’PIN” which is widespread in Europe but coming to the USA shortly. The eInk touch-screen selects and displays the card currently being cloned. The screen can also show barcodes for laser-scanned loyalty cards.

The Plastc card works with an app for iOS and Android to upload the details of the card via bluetooth and there are several security mechanisms in place to ensure that the Plastc card is useless if lost. The Plastc card is currently on pre-order for $155 with delivery expected in summer 2015. I want one.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Sonavation’s IDKEY Secures Your Passwords

IDKEY M-SeriesAt last count, I had over 300 usernames and passwords in my password manager. It’s a ridiculous state of affairs and not one that is likely to change soon either. Whatever technique or tool you choose to use, there’s a balance to be struck between convenience and security. Sonavation‘s IDKEY might help increase both convenience and security, so Todd puts on his white hat with Jason Oliver from Sonavation.

The M-series IDKEY combines 16 GB of encrypted storage with a fingerprint reader, a small screen and a built-in database to manage confidential information. Simply, it’s a secure password manager that goes on a keyring – no need for any cloud storage here. Once unlocked with a fingerprint, usernames and passwords can be read off the screen, or more usefully the information can be passed securely to a web browser or mobile device via wifi, bluetooth or USB. It’s FIDO-compliant and physically meets FIPS 140-2 Level 3, meaning that anyone who tries to take the hardware apart will destroy the data in the process.

Pre-orders are open now for the M-series with availability expected in Q1 for $279. It appears from the IDKEY website that there is a cheaper X-series version but no detail on price.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Unikey Brings Keyless Entry To Your Home At CES

Unikey logo

It’s no secret that technology is making its way into every aspect of our lives, and our homes are no exception. Most of us know how frustrating it is to arrive home, only to spend 5 minutes digging around trying to find your house key. Fortunately, with new advances in smart technology, that nuisance could soon be a thing of the past.

Todd had the opportunity to talk with Dirk Wyckoff, VP Sales & Marketing at Unikey, a technology company that’s working to replace traditional keys with the convenience of a smartphone. Unikey’s technologies have been incorporated into a variety of smart-lock products, which wirelessly communicate with your smartphone to lock and unlock your door before you even touch the doorknob.

To find out more about Unikey and the products that use it, visit unikey.com.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Celestron NexStar Evolution at CES

celestronA few years ago I was lucky enough to visit Kitt Peak in Arizona for an astronomy night and it will be one of the highlights of my life. It was a revelationary moment when I looked up and saw the Milky Way properly for the first time; I was used to seeing a few bright stars with a few more during the cold winter. Nothing prepared me for millions of dots spread across the sky…the stars, like dust…  Jamie and Todd explore the cosmos with Bryan Cogdell from telescope manufacturer Celestron.

At the interview table is the Celestron NexStar Evolution, a portable computerised wifi-operated telescope with built-in rechargeable battery. The telescope itself is a Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube which can be controlled wirelessly from a tablet (or smartphone) using the Celestron SkyPortal app for both iOS and Android. It’s very easy to use; simply find the celestial body of interest in the app and then the telescope will orient itself to view the galaxy, star or planet of interest. The battery lasts around 10 hours so there’s a whole night of viewing without recharging.

The NexStar Evolution is available now in three variants with 6″, 8″ and 9.25″ mirrors at around $1300, $1600 and $2200 respectively.

Interview by Jamie Davies of Health Tech Weekly and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Gripix Is An Innovative Wi-Fi Trigger System For GoPro At CES

Gripix logo

GoPro cameras have become almost ubiquitous in the outdoor tech scene, and the folks at Gripix are making it easy to capture amazing GoPro footage, both on land and in the water.

Todd got to talk with Tyler Reid, co-founder of Gripix, about the newly-announced Gripix Wi-Fi Trigger System for GoPro. Gripix uses your standard GoPro remote to create a durable, easy-to-use stainless steel mount and trigger system. Their add-ons and accessories allow you to push the limits of your GoPro even further.

The basic Gripix handle ($99) and two add-ons; the top pole ($49) and the low-pro system ($59) will begin shipping in March and are available for pre-order now.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Octa Presents Award-Winning Tablet Accessories at CES

Octa logoTablet computers have become such mainstays in our everyday lives that it’s nearly impossible to remember what life was like before them. And while tablets are often lightweight and easy to handle, sometimes it’s necessary to get them into more comfortable or convenient places. That’s where Octa and its full line of tablet accessories come in.

Todd and Nick were fortunate to get a hands-on demo from Prometheus of Octa. He showed off several of the company’s products, noting that they had won an award at this year’s CES. Octa has an impressive line of accessories for turning tablets into truly hands-free devices. Prices run from $79 and up.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Nick DiMeo of Plughitz Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Roadie Tuner Automagically Tunes Your Guitar at CES

Roadie Tuner logoWhether you’re a musician or a music lover, no one appreciates an out-of-tune instrument. And while there are many solutions available to help players keep their strings properly tuned, they usually require clunky workarounds or inaccurate devices.

Todd and Nick met with Sam Force of the company Band Industries. Sam showed off the Roadie Tuner, a mechanical Bluetooth-enabled guitar tuner. Just place Roadie Tuner over your instrument’s tuning pegs and the connected smartphone app takes over, analyzing the sound coming from the strings and commanding Roadie Tuner to turn the pegs accordingly.

Roadie Tuner would be a great accessory for beginners and seasoned players alike. It is currently available for $99 direct from the Roadie Tuner website as well as a growing number of retail outlets.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Nick DiMeo of Plughitz Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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ProGearX Brings Innovative GoPro Mounts to CES

ProgearX LogoVideos from body-mounted cameras have become a hit in recent years, thanks to products like the GoPro camera. And with the popularity and success of GoPro comes a cottage industry of vendors who are supplying GoPro accessories.

Todd and Nick got to talk with Noah Rasheta, CEO/founder of ProGearX, a company that specializes in mounting solutions/accessories for GoPros and other imaging devices. Noah was wearing one of his company’s products, a shoulder/torso harness that can accommodate up to two cameras. Noah also demonstrated ProGearX’s extendable “selfie-stick” style camera arm.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Nick DiMeo of Plughitz Live for the TechPodcast Network.

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Babolat Play Connected Racket Raises The Game

Babolat PlayBabolat‘s pedigree in tennis is hard to beat, going right the way back to the 19th Century, when the company helped create the first racket strings. Today, it’s pushing forwards into the 21st Century with a new connected racket based on their AeroPro Drive to help both tennis professionals and keen amateurs improve their game. Don chats with Jean-Marc Zimmermann, Babolat CIO.

The Babolat Play racket looks like an ordinary racket on the outside but with sensors integrated into the handle, players now have access to a wealth of information – power level, impact position on the racket head, type and number of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve, overhead smash), top spin or back spin, all provided through a smartphone app for both Apple and Android. Incredibly, there are no sensors outside of the handle, so the racket can be treated like any other racket when it comes to match preparation and re-stringing. The racket can be taken on court for six hours between charges, which is plenty for a couple of matches, and holds over 150 hours of performance information.

The Babolat Play racket will be on sale in mid-January for $349. Two further models will be on sale; one lighter for junior players ($299) and one with a larger head (if I understand correctly), also at $349.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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