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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Audio-Technica Gets SonicSporty At CES

Audio-Technica LogoJapanese audio specialists Audio-Technica have a long pedigree in sound going back to the 60s with an impressive client list include a number of successive Summer and Winter Olympics. Todd and Crystal Griffith take a look at the latest headphones from Audio-Technica.

First up are new additions to the SonicSport line of in-ear headphones, each of which has a different mechanism for retaining the earbud in the ear. Some hang over the ear, others lock into the inner part of the pinna. The idea is that Audio-Technica has headphones that suit you and your activities. The USP of these in-ear phones is that in addition to the standard ear-tips, ridged ear-tips are provided which allow a small amount of external sound through. This makes the SonicSport headphone range a good choice for those who need to be a little more aware of their surroundings. Prices start at $35.

Next are a new pair of high-end audiophile over-ear headphones. Aimed at the lossless music market, these headphones are technically designed to get the best from the music source while providing comfortable extended listening. US availability is March at an RRP of $249.

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

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Sling Talks Slingboxes at CES

Sling LogoSlingMedia and its associated Slingbox are synonymous with place-shifting TV programming. Simply, by connecting a SlingBox into a domestic satellite or cable TV setup, owners can view their cable or satellite feed from anywhere in the world. Whatever can be viewed in the living room can be viewed remotely. The first Slingbox debuted in 2005 and with the 10th anniversary approaching, Jamie and Todd chat with Andy Panizza about the latest developments from SlingMedia.

The Slingbox M1 ($149) is the entry-level Slingbox and it brings Wi-Fi connectivity to the whole Slingbox range for the first time, winning it PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice. The Slingbox 500 ($249) introduced SlingTV which overlays program guides and additional information onto the home TV screen as well as providing place-shifting. Both units are available now.

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

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Flic is a Programmable Bluetooth Button at CES

Flic logoConfiguration, customization and wireless connectivity were big topics at this year’s CES. One product that combines all of these features is Flic, a programmable Bluetooth button.

Chris met with Pranav Kasari, a representative for Flic. Pranav explained that Flic is a programmable button that can be configured, using the Flic smartphone app. For example, a user could press a Flic button once to advance a Spotify playlist. Flic buttons can be programmed for up to three button clicks, so each button can perform up to three tasks.

Flic is currently available thru an ongoing Indiegogo campaign. Pricing starts at $30 for one Flic button.

Interview by Chris Davis from Tech PodCast Network.

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Grandcare Is a System for Caregivers and Family Members at CES

Grandcare logoMany families include those who are elderly, homebound or otherwise in need of constant contact with others due to health reasons. And technology is always evolving to help meet this need. Grandcare showed off its touchscreen-based system at CES 2015. The Grandcare system is powerful and extensive but still easy to use.

Jamie had a chat with Laura Mitchell, Grandcare’s Chief Marketing Officer. Laura demonstrated some functions of the Grandcare system and she explained how the system can be configured down to one button, or expanded to include more features, depending on users’ needs.

The base Grandcare terminal can be purchased for $699 from retailers such as Amazon. There’s also a $49 monthly fee in order to keep all of Grandcare’s services active.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the TechPodcast Network.

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Stay Hydrated with H2OPal at CES

h2opal logoStaying hydrated is key for maintaining a good baseline of personal health. But do we really know how much water we’re taking in every day? Sure, many fitness-tracking apps will let us log how much water we’ve had, but they rely on manual input, and it’s not always easy to remember just how many trips we’ve taken to the water cooler on any given day.

Jamie met up with Matej Marjanovic, cofounder of H2oPal, a device that attaches to any water bottle and tracks water consumption. H2oPal then automatically sends that information to a smartphone app so there’s no guesswork as to just how much water has been consumed throughout the day.

H2oPal is currently available for preorder, with an expected retail price of between $80 and $100. Matej said that customers who order early will likely be offered a discount.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the TechPodcast Network.

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Indiegogo’s Slava Rubin at CES

Indiegogo logoIn less than ten years, crowd-funding has come from nowhere to a seriously considered option for many startups and entrepreneurs. Crowd-funding isn’t only about the money, it’s about being able to engage early with potential customers to make better products.

And when it comes to crowd-funding, Indiegogo‘s right up there at the top and at the top of Indiegogo is Slava Rubin, co-founder and CEO. In a great score, Todd and Jamie interview Slava about Indiegogo’s trail-blazing approach, venture capitalists and the latest expansions into charity (Indiegogo Life), commerce (Indiegogo InDemand) and merchandise (Amplifier).

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

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Powerocks with New Battery Products at CES

Powerocks LogoUSB power packs for charging smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous and companies are striving hard to find their niche in a market that’s full of products from both established names and up-and-coming specialists. Todd talks with Craig Miller from Powerocks about how they’re going to set themselves apart.

Powerocks has adopted a two pronged approach. In its established market for mobile devices, it’s taking USB battery packs and giving them a lifestyle makeover, in this case a leather covering, to make them more appealing to a wider audience and sold in mainstream stores.

Secondly, Powerocks is using its battery expertise to be build products that aren’t only smartphone chargers but still have a battery at the core. The Jump Starter vehicle emergency unit includes a 10,000 mAh battery, USB charging ports, an LED signal light, a torch, a distress alarm, a steel break-glass and a car jump-starter all in one unit. Seriously!

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

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GNC #1008 25/3 mbps Victory!

The FCC has just come out swinging and the broadband companies are not happy in the least with the new minimums of 25/3 mbps. This is a big win for rural America and could at some point see faster broadband speeds for the folks that need it the most.. I totally jacked the beginning of the show so be ready for that.

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Robot Underpants: 01.27.15 (186) “Who Ya Gonna Call?”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines, and Kathy Hopkins have everything you need to know about everything that possibly happened (of interest) this week, including: Ghostbusters news, Indiana Jones news, Apple news, Fantastic Four news, Super Bowl news, Stormageddon and more!

* Female Ghostbusters
* Indiana Jones
* Apple Earnings
* Seattle Seahawks