Category Archives: ces

Amadas is Opening (and Closing) Doors with Smart Levers at CES



Amadas LogoIt’s no surprise that connected/smart devices could be found all over the place at this year’s CES. Proving that, at some point, every facet of the modern home will have a chip in it, Todd met up with Min from Amadas. Min demonstrated her company’s new smart door lever lock. The lock has some impressive features:

  • Unlock door using either Amadas mobile app or PIN
  • Built-in emergency solar panel lets you recharge the door lock’s battery using just the light from your smartphone’s camera, in case the battery dies while you’re out
  • Control the smart door lock from anywhere, at any time, using the Amadas mobile app
  • See a login history of who has accessed a specific door lock
  • Amadas door lock hardware comes in a variety of designs with customized options available
  • Uses Z-Wave technology to ensure security

The Amadas smart door lever lock is expected to retail for between $300 and $400

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iOB Labs is Analyzing Your Skin at CES



iOB LogoThe Internet of Things is bringing new products and concepts into our lives every day. We’ve got smart devices and apps all around us that measure and quantity everything from our vital statistics to the air we breathe. It seems only natural that this technology would enter into more specific areas of measurement.

That’s exactly what iOB (“Internet of Beauty”) Labs is doing. Todd spoke with Vincent from iOB Labs. Todd was willing to be Vincent’s guinea pig for a demonstration of iOB Labs’ Skinscopy skin analysis system. The system uses your phone’s camera to analyze the state of your skin. From there, it can suggest products you can buy from company partners that can help to improve the quality of your skin. The app also allows users to track the condition of their skin over time, making it easier to track progress and changes.

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OtterBox Brings uniVERSE Phone and Tablet Cases to CES



Otterbox LogoWho’d ever have imagined that the truly most powerful and (potentially) versatile devices we’d own would turn out to be our cell phones. But in the era of the modern smartphone, that’s exactly what’s come to pass. People are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to do way more than just take calls. And while these devices have an impressive array of features built-in, their usefulness can be infinitely extended thru the use of accessories.

Todd met with Kristen at the OtterBox booth during CES. Kristen educated Todd about the new OtterBox line of phone and tablet cases called uniVERSE. The uniVERSE case system creates a full ecosystem of possibilities for adding all kinds of accessories to phones and tablets, while leaving the uniVERSE base case on the device. uniVerse cases and accessories start at $59.95 and should be on the market by the end of first quarter 2017.

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Smart Running with FeetMe Sport at CES



Step counters and activity trackers are ten-a-penny, but what if the tracker could show you how you run, not just how far you run? It’s now a reality with smart insoles from FeetMe. Todd finds out more from CTO Andrey Mostovov and sprinter Taylor Pegram.

FeetMe’s athletic smart insoles, FeetMe Sport, constantly takes measurements from over thirty pressure sensors, before processing the information in their FeetMe coaching app to show exactly how your feet hit the ground. Imagine being a top athlete and being able to see your stride and steps. The app gives suggestions for improvement and weaknesses are highlighted for attention in the next training session. Unsurprisingly, the FeetMe Sport uses Bluetooth to pass the information on to a nearby smartphone or tablet, giving feedback in the field.

There’s a professional version for healthcare aimed at people who have gait or foot problems, or need post-operative assessment, allowing clinicians to review the data from the insoles.

The FeetMe Sport insoles are on pre-order for US$150.

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

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TytoCare Telehealth at CES Keeps Sick Kids at Home



Parents around the world will recognise the perennial problem of taking their child to the doctor for relatively minor ailments simply to get prescription or medication. The kid just wants to be wrapped up in bed watching TV but they’ve to be dragged down to the doctor for 2 minute exam to confirm it’s nothing to worry about. TytoCare have a brilliant solution in the shape of the TytoHome telehealth and remote examination kit. Todd finds out more from Dedi Gilad.

The TytoCare system is a hand-sized unit with a small screen which has icons for the body area to be checked – nose, ears, heart, lungs, temperature. The device uses a selection of interchangeable sensors which are shaped appropriately and are plugged into the rear of the unit.

The device combines a number of medical instruments, including

  • a high resolution video and still camera
  • an infrared forehead thermometer
  • an otoscope for the ear
  • stethoscope for the heart and lungs
  • tongue depressor for the mouth and throat

The TytoHome connects via Bluetooth to any smartphone and the complementary app demonstrates and guides the owner in the use of the device. The collected data is either recorded for later review or on online consultation can be started with a healthcare provider, sending data back to the clinician during the discussion.

The TytoHome is expected to retail at US$299 when it comes to market. There are enhanced versions for professional use (TytoPro and TytoClinic).

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

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SE3D Offers 3D Printing for Living Cells at CES



While 3D printers struggle to find a place in homes and offices, they’ve revolutionised the world of prototyping and the development of “one offs” within design and manufacturing. SE3D hope to push 3D printing into education and science, and Todd discusses the possibilities with Dr Mayasar Lim from SE£D.

SE3D’s printer differs from other devices through the substrate used for the models. Instead of plastic or metal, it uses organic materials to build the structure. By using plant or animal calls, the model can then be used within demonstrations, experiments and trials to show the response to, say, enzymes or therapeutic treatments.

Aimed at both education and laboratory markets, the basic printer unit is around US$4,000 and SE3D can provide a package for schools that includes curricular materials along with reagents and other materials.

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

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Ford SYNC Integrates with Amazon Echo at CES



Ford logoIn our previous post, we touched briefly on the latest version of Ford SYNC, and how the platform will integrate with Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) service. In this video, Todd spoke with Jack from Ford who gave some more detailed information on how SYNC will be able to integrate with Echo:

  • Voice recognition allows drivers to give hands-free voice commands using Alexa
  • Drivers will be able to access third-party services and functions thru Amazon Echo that allow them to do things like turn on garage lights in connected homes
  • Drivers will be able to use home or office-based Echo units to ask about the status of their SYNC-enabled cars to get information like battery charge rate, etc.
  • Alexa integration will allow drivers to ask their cars where nearby stores, restaurants, and other locations are and seamlessly get directions to those locations that are then sent to the car’s built-in navigation system

Ford is planning on adding Alexa/Echo integration to Ford SYNC 3 in the summer of 2017.

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Ford SYNC Brings Multiple Apps to the Dashboard at CES



Ford logoIt might seem surprising to find a car manufacturer like Ford at CES, as the convention is primarily focused on gadgets and consumer technology. But Ford has been present at CES for several years now, focusing on its Ford SYNC in-dash system. Todd met up with Stefan from Ford where Stefan showed off some of the latest developments in SYNC. Including:

  • Integration with Amazon Echo (Alexa voice commands)
  • Driver Score app calculates a score based on your driving behavior that could be used to negotiate coverage rates with insurance companies (SYNC only provides scores to vehicle drivers, it doesn’t report directly to outside parties)
  • Speed Pass+ integration allows drivers to find nearby Speed Pass-enabled fueling stations where they can see which pumps are available and select and set up a pump before pulling into the station
  • SYNC has a built-in mobile navigation app that integrates with third-party apps so drivers can select the navigation app(s) they prefer to use

Ford SYNC is currently available in many vehicles and will be added to more vehicles as the company continues to roll out and improve the platform.

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Fall Asleep Effortlessly with 2breathe at CES



Getting enough sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle but for some people the problem isn’t just about getting into bed early enough, it’s about falling asleep. Israeli firm 2breathe has developed a smart sensor and complementary app to help those who have difficulty nodding off. Todd relaxes with Erez.

2breathe is a guided breathing system that uses a body-worn sensor to read the breaths in and out. The app records the breathing rate and then using softly-spoken instructions and gentle music, gradually reduces the breathing speed of the wearer. As the breathing rate slows, the soon-to-be-sleeper will get drowsy and fall asleep. In the morning, the app produces a session report, showing the time to snooze and breathing patterns.

The CES Innovation committee though this was a good idea too, awarding 2breathe a CES Honoree Innovation Award.

2breathe is available now for US$179, either direct from 2breathe or other major online retailers. It’s currently only available for Apple iOS devices.

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

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SolarGaps Solar Panel Smart Blinds at CES



The trouble with solar panels is that they take up a fair bit of space, typically on the roof of a property, which means that those living in apartments or condos often miss out on the opportunity to generate electricity from the sun. SolarGaps have a solution to this issue, with solar panels that also work as blinds, both generating power and shielding the interior. Todd talks to Erik at SolarGaps to find out more.

SolarGaps smart blinds are fitted to the exterior (or interior) of windows and automatically track the sun to maximise electricity generation and minimise heating effects. Installation is straightforward and each panel on the outside generates around 100 W-hrs per square meter so a south-facing 3 bedroom apartment could produce around 4 kW per day. As the blinds track the sun, the output is typically 20% higher than the equivalent static photovoltaic pnel. The blinds can be fitted inside too but this reduces the power output.

SolarGaps is launching on Kickstarter in February with a price around US$480 per square metre, rising to around $1000 per square metre when the product is launched, so if you are interested, get in early.

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

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