Track Time with TimeFlip at CES 2018



The nature of work today is often one of multi-tasking. An hour on this project, a teleconference with some clients, a few hours on a proposal and by the time it gets to the end of the day, it’s tricky to get the billable time down. TimeFlip have a simple and effective answer to this in the shape of a large gaming dice. Todd and Ilya spend some time understanding the solution.

The TimeFlip is a dodecahedron* about the size of a coffee mug. The shape is hollow and has a Bluetooth-enabled circuit board inside that’s really good at figuring out which way up it is. On the sides of the dice are symbols or words representing work activities. To accurately record time spent on a project, it’s simply a case of making sure that the particular activity is uppermost. At the end of the day, sync via Bluetooth to the TimeFlip app for a complete record of work activities and durations.

Aiming at both B2C and B2B, the TimeFlip can come in a couple of different polyhedrons, and there are versions available for download and 3D printing. The consumer version retails for US$49.99 and can be ordered from TimeFlip.

* Of course, a dodecahedron has 12 sides.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Feel the Heat with Vortx from Whirlwind FX at CES 2018



The gaming experience has steadily improved since Pong. Each generation of console and processor brings more detailed graphics, faster framerates, improved sound, force feedback vibration, VR, AR…. They’re all designed to make games more immersive and realistic without actually injuring the player. The latest addition to the gaming word is Vortx from Whirlwind FX: Todd takes the heat with Timothy, Founder and CEO.

The Vortx brings greater realism to the player by blowing hot and cold air in reponse to on-screen action. Imagine a demon throwing fireballs. As the player dodges a fireball, the Vortx blasts hot breath at the player as the ball slips past. Or imagine an adventure game, climbing through frozen mountains. The Vortx chills the air as the player climbs higher. It’s impressive.

About the size of a desktop speaker (9″ tall), the Vortx connects to a PC via USB and works with the Whirlwind FX engine. It uses object recognition and analysis to automatically trigger heat or cold, so Vortx can be used with any PC game without modification.

The Vortx is available for pre-order now at US$119, with shipping expected soon.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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WooHoo Next Generation of Smart AI Assistants at CES 2018



There are a variety of hubs on the market for people who have Smart Homes. Those hubs are specialized to coordinate with the products that make up your IoT. You need another device if you want to make use of a digital assistant, a smartphone for calls, and a computer for games and music. SmartBeings puts all this together – and more – in WooHoo.

Don spoke with Joe from SmartBeings at CES 2018. WooHoo is the first truly artificial intelligence smart home hub. It is the next generation of AI assistants. The device can identify users by facial recognitions through its HD cameras, and through voice authentication based on voice print. This allows WooHoo to differentiate between users.

The camera has motion sensors that will allow it to turn 360° to face a user that is behind it. It also has an infrared camera inside it for low light situations. The devices knows who you are based on information stored within the device.

WooHoo also has a smart hub inside it what has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigby, and Z-Wave. It also has 4G LTE. You can hook up your HDMI TV to WooHoo. It is also possible to surf the internet on Woohoo. You can communicate with WooHoo verbally (like you would with other digital assistants), through its dashboard, or with a gesture.

WooHoo will be on the market in April of 2018. You will be able to purchase it through a telco.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Azur Drones Spy in the Sky at CES 2018



Up to now, drones have been little more than toys and camera platforms, promising much but delivering little. Working with Directorate General for Civil Aviation, Azure DronesSkeyetech provides “100% autonomous and 24/7 operational drones” as a “security drone solution“. Antoine and Todd talk about the new security guard.

A market leader in France, Azur Drones has developed an airborne surveillance system for the remote monitoring of industrial properties. The system, called Skeyetech, is composed of a smart drone equipped with HD and thermal cameras, and a smart (weather) station which recharges the drones, monitors the weather and provides protection for the craft. Skeyetech drones can be programmed and undertake automated flights, before accurately landing on their docking stations to be recharged.

The docking stations aren’t just power outlets but relay instructions and information from the drones. Consequently, the drones can be controlled remotely making them capable of operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any human intervention. It comes at a fraction of a cost of traditional video surveillance.

Technically, the drones can fly for 35 minutes before needing recharged for 30 minutes. Top speed is 50 mph and they’re waterproof to IP56. The drones can be configured to patrol premises on a regular basis, or respond to alerts generated by motion sensors.

This isn’t the kind of drone found on the shelves of Best Buy or Fry’s. Interested parties will need upwards of US$100,000.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Marvel-lous Massage Chairs at CES 2018



There are massage chairs and then there are BodyFriend massage chairs. With these chairs, it’s not so much getting a gentle pummelling from a recliner as putting on Iron Man’s exoskeleton with Jarvis as your masseur. Todd gets a sensational experience with Roy.

The premium BodyFriend chairs provide full body massage including shoulders, arms, waist, legs and feet, with more than a dozen massage modes (depending on model) including brain concentration and digestive massage. The brain massage uses sound waves to soothe the grey matter. There’s built-in heating, stereo speakers and Bluetooth.

Most recently, BodyFriend has partnered with Lamborghini for a new chair which is expected to ship in spring 2018. Other BodyFriend chairs are on sale now in the US with prices from US$5000 to $9000.

BodyFriend have partnered with Marvel for themed hugchairs including Spiderman and Captain America. Priced at US$1580, these are aimed at children and grown-up kids while providing a massage experience in a smaller, friendlier chair.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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InvizBox Simplifies Online Privacy and Security at CES 2018



People want to protect their privacy online, but some are not certain about how to do that. Other might know how to do it, but the process can be tedious and time consuming. InvizBox makes a variety of products to help people keep their privacy online.

Don spoke with Paul from InvizBox at CES 2018. InvizBox makes products that are easy to use for cyber security and privacy protection. Connect your phone, laptop or other device to any InvizBox product over Wi-Fi and all your internet traffic is encrypted before it is sent across the internet. InvizBox will take care of the rest.

InvizBox Go can be used at home, abroad, or on public Wi-Fi anywhere in the world. In addition to functioning as a VPN, an ad blocker, and a Wi-Fi hotspot extender, it also functions as a power bank so you can charge your phone.

The InvizBox 2 and InvizBox Pro connect to your home router. Simply connect your laptop, phone, smart TV and other devices over Wi-Fi or a wired connection. All of your internet traffic will be encrypted.

InvizBox Go is available now. The price ranges from $199 to $279 depending on how many months of VPN you want to purchase. InvizBox 2 is priced at $149, and InvizBox 2 Pro is priced art $219. Each comes with 12 months of VPN. It is estimated that those products will start shipping in April of 2018.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Romy Paris Formulator Keeps Your Skin Healthy at CES 2018



People who want to have a healthy lifestyle might change their diet or increase the amount of time they spend exercising. Romy Paris helps you extend your health awareness to your skin with a cosmetic formulator called Figure.

Don spoke with Ann from Romy Paris at CES 2018. The Romy Paris Figure is a personal cosmetics lab that creates your own healthy, fresh, and personalized skin care. You can place it in your bathroom. It connects to the Romy App, which analyzes data relating to your environment and recommends the care that best meets your skins needs in real time. The Romy App can be downloaded for free.

The Romy App identifies the best Romy Paris capsules to add to your formulator for a fresh, tailor-made, healthy skincare product in just a few seconds. The Figure formulator can be used by women or men.

Figure is priced at €890,00. It comes with primary face care, washing solution, and each of the ten active ingredients. Each package of capsules costs between €12,00 and €15,00 and includes ten capsules.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Otodo Simplifies Your Home IoT at CES 2018



The IoT devices you have in your home are designed to make your life easier. Connecting them all together can be very complex. Products from one company might not work well with products from another. Otodo simplifies your IoT with their smart home solution.

Don spoke with Eric from Otodo at CES 2018. The Otodo smart home solution uses two products: the Otodo One, and the Ugo. The Otodo One is a hub that allows you to manage many commercial connected objects, and also older remote controlled devices (such as lamps and thermostats) from different brands. It functions as the bridge between your internet provider and all your home IoT objects.

The Ugo is an astethically pleasing smart pebble remote that helps you to interact with all your connected devices at home. The Ugo stays in your house. You may want to put near your door. Use the app to pre-program a specific location and associate it with one IoT device (for example, a light). Pick up the Ugo pebble and tap it twice on that location. The light will come on.

The Ugo pebble can only be used by the people in your family. The Ugo will not function if an unidentified person picks it up. It is very specific, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally turning off your neighbor’s lights.

Otodo is expecting to have these products in the United States later this year. Otodo One will be priced at approximately $30 to $40. Ugo will be priced at $69.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Nomadeec Brings Mobile Telemedicine Platform to CES 2018



When a person becomes injured, or gets very sick, they need to see a doctor. This might involve an expensive ride in an ambulance and a big bill to pay. A person who lives in a rural area might not have a local doctor. Telemedicine is a way for a remote patient to be assessed by a physician. Nomadeec has created a solution that is the future of telemedicine.

Don spoke with John from Nomadeec at CES 2018. Nomadeec is the first integrated, connected and mobile solution for clinical examination for all field practitioners. They are based in France, where their system is already being used. Nomadeec will arrive in the United States in the beginning of 2019.

John explained how the Nomadic solution works. A person requires medical attention. An EMT is sent out. The EMT is wearing a specialized headset that has holographic functionalities and video conferencing. The headset is hands free, which allows the EMT to keep their eyes on the patient. Everything that the EMT sees is sent to a physician – who is not at the scene. The patient receives an expert opinion on their medical situation.

Nomadeec works in a business to business capacity. Their entire platform is $15,000.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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Kingston Encrypted USB Drives at CES 2018



What’s on your USB drive? You might have a mixture of work related information, personal photos, and other things that you wouldn’t want to get into the wrong hands. USB drives are small, and that makes them easy to lose. Kingston Technologies has encrypted USB drives that can keep your data secure.

Don spoke with Ruben from Kingston Technologies at CES 2018. Ruben brought several encrypted USB drives that showcase Kingston’s latest technology. Some are designed for individuals to use. Others provide the enhanced security that is needed by the government, corporations and financial institutions.

Kingston’s encrypted USB drives require the user to put in a password before they can access the data that is on the drive. The DataTraveler 200 has buttons on the USB drive that you use to enter your password. Put the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 encrypted USB drive into a computer, and it will immediately put up a window and ask for the password.

All of Kingston’s USB drives have hardware based encryption. The board is dipped in epoxy before it is put in the case. The higher end USB drives also have the case filled with epoxy. All of Kingston’s products have brute force protection. If you enter the password more than 10 times incorrectly, it is going to wipe the drive clean.

The retail price of encrypted USB drives range between $40 and up to $600.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com

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