Category Archives: Special Media

Special Media Events

Help with Mental Health from HabitAware at CES 2018



Often there can be no outward signs of mental health illness but some people exhibit unhealthy behaviours such as hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting. The team at HabitAware are helping address these physical symptoms of mental health issues with a wearable device that picks up on these cues. Allante tries it out with Aneela.

The HabitAware Keen is a wrist-worn wearable that’s very similar in style to a fitness tracker. The Keen uses gesture-detection technology to recognise when the wearer is engaging in behaviours associated with poor mental health. For most people, biting their nails is just a bad habit, but for many with mental health issues, it’s a symptom of something much more serious.

The way Keen works is by initially training the device to recognise problem behaviours. Using a smartphone app (iOS and Android), the wearer replicates his or her behaviours for a short period. So if it’s hair-pulling, this is simulated for around 15 to 20 seconds. Once Keen has been trained, it vibrates when the behaviour is detected and alerts the wearer to their subconscious habit. The wearer can make the decision to stop and overtime, retrains the brain away from negative behaviours.

The Keen bracelet is available now from HabitAware priced from US$149.

Allante Sparks is a video producer at PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Develop Mental Focus with BrainCo at CES 2018



Being “in the zone” reflects that total mental focus and clarity that comes to people concentrating hard. For athletes and professionals, it can take years of practice and hard work. For us mere mortals, BrainCo offers a way to learn how to focus. How? Professor Don gets all brainy with Max.

The idea behind BrainCo is to use their Focus One headband with gamification to improve mental concentration. The BrainCo band reads small electrical impulses in the wearer’s brain and picks up on changes in the frequency and amplitude of the impulses (EEG). As everyone’s brains are different the band establishes a personal baseline and works on changes from that baseline to understand when the person is relaxed, focussed or distracted.

While wearing the Focus One headband, the owner plays a smartphone game which takes information from the headband and responds as the wearer mentally focusses. Simply, the person has to focus to do well in the game. Overtime, the person learns how to focus their mind.

The BrainCo Focus One reinforces good mental behaviour and this can be especially useful for children who have learning difficulties such as ADHD, but it also has application in ensuring that teachers are engaging with their students.

The FocusOne isn’t yet available to buy but if you are interested, you can register on the BrianCo website for an early bird discount.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Can You Hear the Thunder with OWC at CES 2018?



OWC LogoOWC is one of the stalwarts of the Mac world, bringing enhancements and accessories to Apple devices year after year. Let’s be honest, this is the team that gives you back the ports that Apple takes away. This time round, OWC is expanding its range of Thunderbolt 3 products. Don finds out what’s new with AJ from OWC.

Incredibly, OWC is celebrating its 30th anniversary: the company started when Apple launched the iMac – remember the ones with the fruitcoloured cases? Today, OWC offer products for both Windows and Mac, and in particular, there’s a new Thunderbolt 3 dock out with support for both OSes. The new dock “offers 12 ports including dual Thunderbolt 3, five USB 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, S/PDIF, combo audio, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card Slot, and supports laptop charging”. Sadly, there’s no Firewire but if you need that, check out the older version. Available in Q1 2018, it’s priced at either US$279 or US$299. Video says one, press release says the other.

Also of interest to speed freaks is the ThunderBlade v4, which is the fastest external drive on the market today, shifting an astonishing 2800 MB/s read and 2450 MB/s write. It’s pricey with MSRP from US$1,199 (1 TB) to US$4,999 (8TB), but you get what you pay for and I’m sure it’ll be in demand from video producers. Again, there’s a difference in price between video and press release.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


SkyLink Brings the Garage into the Smart Home at CES 2018



Remote controlled garage doors haven’t been particularly secure in the past and many people have disabled the feature because of the risk of break-ins to their homes through the garage. Todd and Frank discuss the problem and look at SkyLink Nova, a retrofit WiFi door opener.

The SkyLink Nova is wired into an existing garage door opener using the standard connections used for the interior open/close button. Once connected up, the Nova can be remotely controlled with the SkyLink smartphone app (iOS and Android). Nova is also compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT) platform and Alexa so the garage door can be opened (or closed) by talking to an Echo.

The Nova itself looks like an LED light fixture and works as a smart home hub too, communicating with up to 100 smart devices. In addition, it can detect sirens from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. When one of those is heard, Nova will automatically open your garage door to aid in ventilation in the case of an emergency. (I can see how this might help with CO poisoning but surely opening the door during a fire could make things worse?)

SkyLink‘s Nova will be on sale in the spring for under US$100.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Mira Fertility Helps Start a Family at CES 2018



Kicking off a range of smart hormone health care products, Mira Fertility helps couples maximise their chances of conceiving by measuring daily hormone levels. Four times dad Todd learns about the product and future plans from Yazan of Miracare.

The Mira Fertility analyser measures the levels of hormones in urine to provide insights into fertility levels to help couples conceive. Like a pregnancy test, the woman pees on a “fertility wand” which is then placed in the Mira for analysis. The information is transmitted via Bluetooth to the Mira app on a smartphone, which uses machine learning to analyse the data and predict the best opportunities for conception. The app shows graphs and other data that can be useful for a couple wanting to have a baby.

The Mira Fertility Analyser is expected in Q2 2018, priced under US$200.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Massage Your Body and Mind with Aurasens at CES 2018



According to their website, the Aurasens Lounger is “your trans-sensory vessel to audio-haptic pleasure“. That’s some claim for a massage chair with headphones. Todd relaxes with Olivier, CEO, to see if the Aurasens Lounger lives up to its promises.

Calling the Aurasens a massage chair is a little like calling the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport a convertible. Technically it’s correct but the Aurasens lounger uses luxury materials and specially augmented pieces that co-ordinates the massage effect with the music. Think of a glissando complemented by waves of motion along the arms, all in sync with the music. Aurasens has a selection of sensations, from pop pieces to new music and ambient sounds.

Currently the Aurasens is being marketed at hotels, airline lounges, events and high-net worth individuals. Usually rented by the day or month, it’s €10,000 to buy.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Instant Wine Aeration with Aveine at CES 2018



As serious wine connoisseurs know, you have to let red (and some white) wines breathe after opening, allowing them to aerate for the best aroma and taste. As a generalisation, the younger the wine, the longer it needs to rest before drinking. Very young wines might need a few hours, but half-an-hour is the minimum. And simply taking the cork out doesn’t count: the wine needs to be decanted (or double-decanted back into the bottle) for proper aeration. If this sounds like too much effort, then take a look at Aveine, a connected aerator and winner of a CES Innovation Award.

Thanks to the connected aerator Aveine, you can immediately taste any wine in ideal conditions without having to wait 30 minutes or more. Place the aerator on the bottle, scan the label with your smartphone and serve. The smartphone checks for the wine in its database, connects to the Aveine and adjusts the aeration so that the aerator breathes the right amount of air as the wine is poured allowing it to breathe in an instant. Any red wine will benefit and there’s no waiting around or pouring into decanters.

The Aveine aerator is launching on Indiegogo in March – signup for notifications at Aveine. Retail pricing is expected to be US$200 with deals on Indiegogo. Delivery in June.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Beautiful Tracking Shots with Wiral at CES 2018



Tracking shots have traditionally been the preserve of the professional filmmaker or broadcaster, first with cameras on dollys and tracks, then with  Steadicam and now there are cable or wire systems (SkyCam) that can move in three dimensions to get some really amazing shots. While these are all still expensive, the amateur filmaker can achieve a similar effect with Wiral Lite at a fraction of the cost. Todd hangs tight with Emilie.

The Wiral Lite system consists of a steel cable plus a motorised camera mount – the cable cam – that hangs from the cable and it’s a little like a miniature cable car. The cable is strung between two strong points, say, a couple of trees or street lights, and the cable cam is hung on the wire under tension. It needs the tension so that the rubber wheels can grip on the cable and move about. Cameras up to 1.5 kg / 3.3 lb can be carried by the cable cam so it can easily hold a GoPro. The remote control  moves the cable cam back and forth on the cable with adjustable speed.

The Wiral was successfully funded on Kickstarter in the autumn raising over US$1,000,000 and is now also crowdfunding on Indiegogo. There are currently perks at US$239 with delivery expected in August.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Cycle Safely with the Smart Light by Cosmo at CES 2018



After the success of their smart helmet light for motorcyclists, Cosmo Connected are back at CES with a new version for bicyclists. For once the smart moniker is well deserved and it really could save lives. Todd goes for a ride with Emily.

Winning three CES awards in 2018, the Cosmo team’s smart helmet for cyclists builds on bike version. With investment from Michelin, the new helmet light not only shows when the cyclist is braking but also when they’re going to turn. For braking, the light uses accelerometers to detect deceleration but for turns, it’s more sophisticated. The smart light is pre-programmed with the cyclist’s expected route and then uses GPS to anticipate upcoming turns, indicate either to the left or the right as appropriate. This is particularly useful for cyclists who have regular routes such as commutes.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, the Cosmo smart light can automatically call for help via the rider’s smartphone (Android / iOS) using Bluetooth.

The new cycle light will be available in the summer for US$59 – that’s amazing value and I’ll be getting one. As promised, here’s last year’s CES video for the motorbike light.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1


Smelly Garbage or Old Dumpster? NeOse Pro Knows the Difference at CES 2018



Smell is one of the last human senses to be conquered by machines, with human noses still assessing and testing a wide range of products such as tea, perfume and body odour. French firm Aryballe Technologies are smell specialists with their new NeOse Pro, which aims to bring consistency to the market. Todd sees the end for Q Graders….

Aryballe’s NeOse Pro brings objective analysis to the identification and measurement of odours and smells. The NeOse Pro isn’t designed to suggest what’s a good smell or a bad one, but rather that a standard for a smell has been met. This could be for quality control purposes in a fragrance or to detect fruit ripeness. There’s a wide range of opportunities in food, beauty, medical and manufacturing. New car smell anyone?

The NeOse Pro is intended for commercial uses so the hand-held unit won’t be on the shelves of stores anytime soon. Businesses will need around US$10,000 to get their hands on the device.

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

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1