Category Archives: video

JAQ Fuel Cell Battery from MyFC



JAQ fuel cellIt wouldn’t be CES without a fuel cell-based smartphone charger making an appearance, and as expected Swedish company myFC turns up with the JAQ, the world´s smallest pocket-sized fuel cell charger. CEO Bjorn Westerholm shows Daniel and Todd the colourful charger.

The winner of a 2016 German Design Award, the charger consists of two parts; an inner replaceable PowerCard (orange) and the outer JAQ fuel cell (blue). The PowerCard is made from water and salt and when mixed, hydrogen is produced which is then combined in the fuel cell with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate electricity along with waste water. The card is thrown away once discharged.

A single PowerCard provides 1800 mAh though with additional PowerCards, more power is available. The best use case for the JAQ and the PowerCards is when the owner is far away from an electrical power source, say, camping.

The PowerCards are expected to retail for under US$2 and the fuel cell itself will be rented for around $5 per month as part of a phone contract. JAQ is expected to be available soon.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Alpine X110-SLV 10″ Radio Upgrade



Alpine X110-slvIf you are the owner of a Chevrolet Silverado, then the Alpine X110-SLV 10″ Radio Upgrade is for you, though calling this a radio upgrade is hardly doing it justice. This is a full restyle of the central part of the dash. Todd and Daniel find out more from Javier Vergara of Alpine Electronics.

The X110-SLV is a complete replacement for the manufacturer display and audio head unit. Coming in three parts, the X110-SLV fits neatly into the space, replacing the small display with a large 10″ touchscreen and a DVD player. Manufacturer functions like OnStar, rear view camera and parking sensors are retained and integrated into the X110-SLV so there’s no loss of features with the upgrade. Navigation is provided through Here maps, which takes full advantage of the larger screen.

If you want to upgrade your Silverado, prices go from $1200 to $4,000.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Randal Kleiser Films “Defrost” in VR



Defrost VRYou might not know Randal Kleiser’s name, but you’ve almost certainly seen one of his films – he directed Grease with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-JohnHis new production is called Defrost and will be debuting at Sundance.

This is the most significant interview I’ve seen at CES in 2016. Up to this point, I’ve always considered VR to be ‘super 3D’, but when I listened to Randal Kleiser with the authority he brings as a screenwriter, director and producer, I realised that we were seeing the development of a new art form; part cinema, part theatre. Undoubtedly there are challenging  technical problems to be overcome, and a good story is still key, but this is a new way to immerse ourselves in the story like never before.

Watch the interview and let me know in the comments if you feel the same way.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Variowell Offers a Smart Mattress at CES



Variowell logoGetting a good night’s sleep is one of the more important things in life, and a good mattress goes a long way in getting that snooze. Variowell have a revolutionary foam for making a comfortable mattress that can dynamically change its firmness. Todd and Daniel find out more from Philipp Kirchoff.

Many of us will have encountered memory foam which softens to body temperature. Variowell have developed a dynamic foam where relatively small changes in temperature can make significant changes in density. By controlling the temperature from below the mattress, Variowell can change the firmness of the mattress during the night in response to the sleeper. As sleep gets deeper, the mattress can be softer, and then get firmer in the hour before the alarm goes off.

The relative density of the mattress can be controlled by the complementary smartphone app which communicates with the mattress via Bluetooth. The responsiveness to sleep phases is enhanced by connecting to wearable sleep trackers such as Fitbit, which can more accurately measure the sleeper’s state.

The first smart mattresses are expected to come onto the market in May with prices from US$1700 depending on size.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Stream TV Ultra-D Promises Glasses-Free 3D



Stream TV Ultra D logoA few years ago 3D TVs were the hottest tech around but these days, most manufacturers don’t even mention it. 3D for the home was the biggest flop in recent years and while it’s been successful in cinema, the need to wear glasses killed 3D at home. Stream TV Networks have a new technology called Ultra-D which promises 3D without the glasses. Daniel and Todd are keen to know more from Zach Lehman of Stream TV.

Stream TV Network’s Ultra-D is a glasses-free 3D 4K TV technology for the home. The Ultra-3D custom glass screen provides a wide 140 degree 3D sweet spot for viewers, and people outside of this will see a standard 2D image without any blurriness. The Ultra-D technology includes a Qualcomm custom chip which converts 2D media into 3D in real-time with user control over the level of depth. If it’s an HDMI source, it can be converted to 3D.

Production of TVs using Ultra-D technology is expected to start this year. Stream TV have partnered with Pegatron for manufacturing capacity and the first models will be a 65″ TV, a 27″ monitor and a 32″ monitor with smaller TV and tablet screens later.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Best Picks of Day 2 at CES



TPN.TV at CESIt’s the end of day 2 at CES 2016 and Jamie Davis, Todd Aune and Todd Cochrane review the sights and sounds of the day. Their picks include:

In&Motion, a smart ski airbag vest for ski racers that detects unavoidable falls and inflates in less that 100 ms to protect the body before impact with the ground.

Seal Shield, for their tablet and smartphone UV sterilizer for hospitals, health centres and other medical environments.

Focalmax and their after-market auto HUD (heads-up display) with GPS navigation and built-in dash cam.

Synology’s new wireless router with advanced parental controls to keep children off the Net when they’re supposed to be asleep!

Note: the prize contests are not valid.

Todd Aune bridges the technology gap with the The Elder Divide, Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com and Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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The CTA and the Changing Trends of CES



CTA_logoThe Consumer Technology Association, aka CTA, is the organisation behind the biggest tech event in the world, CES. Starting way back in 1967, it’s been the scene of major new product announcements, including the VCR, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and HD TVs. Today’s CES has over 170,000 visitors and nearly 2.5 million square feet of space. Jamie Davis and Todd Aune look to the future with Bronwyn Flores from the CTA, and talk about the changing trends at CES.

Todd Aune bridges the technology gap with the The Elder Divide and Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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The Smart Home Talks Z-Wave at CES



Z-Wave LogoIf there’s any kind of smart home device in your house, there’s a very good chance that it communicates using Z-Wave. The protocol is oriented to the residential control and automation market and designed specifically for low power and low data rate communication, making it ideal for battery powered devices. Todd and Jamie find out more on this largely unknown wireless technology from Mitchell Klein, Executive Director for the Z-Wave Alliance.

Develop in the early 2000s, Z-Wave is now supported by over 300 manufacturers producing over 1500 certified devices for the smart home, from simple door switches and sensors to central heating and security systems. Operating in the 900 MHz frequency, Z-Wave has a theoretical range of 100 m, but typically this is much reduced by the density of building construction materials. However, unlike Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Z-Wave uses a mesh network with devices acting is intermediary nodes, passing on messages. Consequently, interoperability is key to Z-Wave and all Z-Wave devices will work with other Z-Wave devices.

Mitchell talks about the current state of the Z-Wave market and discusses some of the future possibilities for the technology, including interacting with systems like Amazon Echo.

Todd Aune bridges the technology gap with the The Elder Divide and Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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Cobra Dash Cams and Detectors at CES



Cobra LogoCobra Electronics are well-known for their radar detectors and other automotive products. Here at CES, Cobra won the TWICE Picks Award for one of its flagship units, the CDR 855 BT Drive HD dash cam, so Todd Aune finds out more about the latest devices from Mark Karnes, VP of Marketing at Cobra.

On the table are two relatively new devices from Cobra, the CDR 855BT dash cam and the world’s smallest DSP radar detector, the DSP 9200 BT. Starting with the dash cam, it’s a connected device, pairing via Bluetooth with a smartphone to acquire GPS co-ordinates which are then sync’d with the video footage. On top of this, the dash cam can work with Cobra’s iRadar app on the smartphone to know the location of cameras and provide alerts to the driver. The app is shared with the radar detector, so as the detector finds cameras, these can be reported back to the app and then up to the cloud to keep the camera database up-to-date for everyone through the iRadar Community. That’s pretty neat.

Not to be outdone, the radar detector was a CTA Honoree Award for an Intelligent Vehicle Device. The trick in this radar detector is to use digital signal processing to tell the difference between signals from the new collision avoidance systems and law enforcement speed guns. A range of radar and laser signals are presented to the driver as detected, with both visual and audio warnings, and the unit also benefits from alerts provided from the iRadar app on a connected smartphone.

Both devices are on sale now for US$349 for the radar detection and US$149 for the dash cam.

Todd Aune bridges the technology gap with the The Elder Divide.

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Pioneer Brings CarPlay and Android Auto to the After-Market



Pioneer logoPioneer is a brand for well-known for its in-car audio and entertainment systems so it comes as no surprise that the company is bringing a range of after-market units with Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. Todd and Marlo get a demo of the latest product with Ted Cardenas from Pioneer.

On show here is the freshly-announced Pioneer AVH-4200-NEX, which is one of three products which incorporate both CarPlay and Android Auto. As a result, the display and user interface will take on the persona of the connected device. The in-dash receiver connects to the smartphone using a wired connection as the phones contribute heavily to the running of apps. Plugging in the phones avoids issues with data speeds and keeps the battery charged, though Bluetooth is used in Android Auto for calls.

Voice is heavily used by both the driver to control the NEX and for the system to respond. Voice can be used to compose and listen to text messages, to navigate and to talk to Siri or Google Now. This keeps the need to look at the screen to a minimum and enhances safety.

If your current vehicle’s in-car entertainment system doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto, the Pioneer NEX range offers a great way to upgrade to the latest auto technology. Priced at around $700, the AVH-4200-NEX will be available in March.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com and Marlo Anderson rounds up the latest technology news at The Tech Ranch.

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