Tag Archives: CES 2016

Vert Brings Athletic Tracking to a New Level



Vert LogoIn the world of professional athletics, stats are everything. Not just the typical stats that fans might see like hits or points scored. But in-depth numbers about things like pitch counts and jump heights. Traditionally, this kind of information was difficult to obtain. But technology company Vert is working to change that.

Nick met with Martin Matak, the founder and president of Vert. Martin’s company has designed a small, wearable chip that tracks all kind of athletic data. The Vert platform can record pitch counts, play intensity, and more. Vert also tracks “effort,” taking into account how much a player has done in a specific amount of time. The Vert clip can be worn with an integrated belt designed specifically for Vert or the clip can be incorporated into a player’s existing uniform/clothing. Vert clips are currently on the market for $125 and they work with a mobile app that can be downloaded for free.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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NexPaq Modules Bring Versatility to IoT



NexPaq logoThe recent boom in smart, connected technology has given consumers more opportunities than ever before to command and control different devices. But if you want to bring the so-called “Internet of Things” into your home, you’re faced with potentially having to buy a small army’s worth of new devices to replace your old ones. What if there was a platform that allowed you to create your own IoT system using modules that could be configured to do almost anything? That’s what NexPaq is doing with its modular products.

Aylee met with Steve Safarowic, Chief Marking Officer of NexPaq. Steve showed off his company’s innovative system that uses modules to do specific things. First, he demonstrated a special smartphone case that interacts with the phone. Users can add modules to extend battery life or create programmable hotkeys to do certain tasks like turning on lights or making a phone call. NexPaq also has a standalone device that uses its modular system without a smartphone. NexPaq also has a developer kit that can be used to create new modules. Developers can even submit their modules to the NexPaq store where they could become available to sell to other NexPaq users. NexPaq smartphone cases and modules are available for purchase thru the NexPaq shop.

Aylee Nielsen is a video host who specializes in covering live events for Plughitz Live.

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Panasonic’s Rugged Tough Tablets go Everywhere



Panasonic LogoTablet computers have become mainstays in our lives in recent years. The compact, yet powerful, nature of these devices makes it easier than ever to perform computing tasks in almost any environment. But most consumer-grade tablets aren’t designed for things like labs, construction sites, or other specialized areas. That’s where Panasonic’s line of Tough Tablets come in.

Aylee stopped by the Panasonic booth to speak with product manager Steven Sikorski. Steven showed off Panasonic’s new line of rugged tablets that are designed to be used in any possible environment. These tablets can run on up to two batteries for 16-20 hours before needing to be recharged. These rugged tablets start with a smaller 7-inch highly portable model and run all the way up to the 20″ ToughPad 4K. All of Panasonic’s Tough brand tablets are currently available for purchase and pricing varies, depending on the model.

Aylee Nielsen is a video host who specializes in covering live events for Plughitz Live.

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Jamstik Brings MIDI to the Guitar at CES



Jamstik LogoKeyboard players have had a wide range of options for creating all kinds of sounds for years, thanks to MIDI (musical digital instrument interface). MIDI takes input information from a control device, such as the keys of a keyboard, and translates it into audible sound, usually by triggering sounds in a sample bank. If you’ve ever played an electronic keyboard or synthesizer, then you’ve experienced MIDI in action. And while using a keyboard to play MIDI notes makes sense, it’s always been a challenge to transfer MIDI control to other instruments, such as guitar. Jamstik is working to change that.

Chris Helle, Senior Music Product Specialist at Jamstik, stopped by the TPN booth to meet with Jamie and Nick. Chris showed off the latest version of Jamstik and demonstrated how it uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to an iPad. Jamstik can be used to control apps on iOS, Mac OS, and soon Android wirelessly. Jamstik uses infrared light to track a player’s movements on the fretboard, sending the data in near real time to the host device. This allows for fast responses, perfect for all kinds of musical performances. Jamstik is currently on the market for $299.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly which can be found at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic, and health journalist.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Lola from Blue are Headphones with Nothing to Hide



Blue LogoHeadphones may seem simple enough on the outside. But to discerning ears, a set of headphones’ ability to accurately reproduce sound is crucial to the enjoyment of the material. Sure, a cheap set of earbuds might be fun for consuming audio during a bus or train trip. But when you really want to feel the audio you’re listening to, you go to that trusty set of big headphones that sound great. Many companies have produced high-end headphones over the years and microphone manufacturer Blue is the latest to enter this space.

John Maier from Blue stopped by the booth to talk with Jamie and Nick. John showed off the new Blue Lola headphones. Lola headphones are ergonomically designed to have a great feel. They use a custom 50mm driver to provide full audio performance. The headphones’ physical design was inspired by a Formula One racing car’s suspension so the ear cups stay level regardless of the size/shape of the wearer’s cranium. Blue’s Lola headphones are expected to retail for $249.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly which can be found at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic, and health journalist.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Olloclip Studio is an iPhone Photographer’s Dream Come True



Olloclip LogoWith its high-quality cameras and extensibility thru apps, the iPhone ushered in a whole new era of photography. It was obvious early on that the iPhone would be used for more than just taking snapshots, and a wide range of accessories have been developed to complement this. One thing that’s been tricky, however, is dealing with all of these different lenses, mounts, and other accessories so they work together and take up a minimal amount of space. Popular iPhone accessories manufacturer Olloclip has come up with its own clever solution, the Olloclip Studio.

Daniel met with Tim at the Olloclip booth. Tim demonstrated the many different functions of the new Olloclip Studio. This product is a standalone iPhone case that works with different clips and attachments to turn an iPhone into a true photography studio. Olloclip Studio is compatible with all of Olloclip’s lenses. Studio also allows for cold shoe attachments in either landscape or portrait mode. There’s even an included “kickstand” that makes it easy to view the phone from a seated position. Olloclip Studio is on sale now for $89.99.

Daniel J. Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Cook Your Food Anywhere with GoSun Stove



GoSunLogoCooking outdoors can present a lot of challenges. You need to have the right equipment and more importantly, the fuel to get your fire started. It’s certainly easier to set up a cookout at home where you’ve got access to nearby utilities. But what if you’re out on a camping trip or a long hike where modern amenities aren’t immediately available? GoSun Stove has the answer.

Scott talked with Patrick Sherwin, founder of GoSun Stove. Patrick talked about two products. The first is the company’s namesake – the GoSun Stove. This stove uses a series of compound parabolic reflectors to maximize solar collection and then use that energy to cook food anywhere. GoSun Stove can make a meal for two people in about 20 minutes. GoSun Stove actually retains the heat it captures inside making it possible to cook on cold or windy days. The second product is the new GoSun Grill which can make food for eight people in about an hour. GoSun Stove is currently on the market for $279 and GoSun Grill is expected to retail for $599 this summer.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Never Get Caught In a Downpour Again with Oombrella



Oombrella LogoI live on California’s Central Coast. We’re in the midst of the rainy season here and weather patterns are often unpredictable, with overcast days that could produce a downpour at any moment. It’s tough to know when it’d be a good idea to bring an umbrella or leave it behind. Fortunately, the makers of Oombrella are working to change that.

Scott met up with Clement Guilot of Oombrella. Clement showed off the Oombrella chip, a small device that monitors the weather around you and also pulls in weather data from other sources to give you the most accurate meteorological predictions possible. Oombrella sends notifications to your smartphone to let you know if you should bring your umbrella or leave it at home. Oombrella also uses Bluetooth to notify if you accidentally leave it behind. So, you’ll never lose another umbrella! The product is still in the planning phase but Clement is optimistic it’ll be in users’ hands by Fall of this year. Oombrella should retail for around $85 but backers to an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will be able to get the device at a discount for $65.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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SunPort Demands Solar Anywhere You Are



Sunport logoIf the world is ever truly going to embrace renewable energy, it’s going to take a concerted effort. People from all walks of life, living in varied environments, will have to either fully embrace things like solar power, or they’ll have to do everything they can to let others know they support the cause. SunPort is hoping to help consumers do this and more, no matter where electricity is being consumed.

Scott met with Nick Williams, Director of Information Systems at SunPort. Scott took a look at SunPort’s first product, a “smart plug” that users run in between wall outlets and electrical devices. The SunPort plug then tracks how much electricity was used on the outlet and sends that information to SunPort HQ. From there, SunPort purchases solar energy in a matching amount to what the consumer’s individual SunPort plug reported. This allows consumers to pay for solar energy, regardless of their physical location. This creates an energy offset so that, no matter what, SunPort users are supporting the growth and development of a renewable energy source. One SunPort device is expected to retail for $80 including the plug itself and a year’s worth of energy tracking.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Drust Helps You to Become a Super Driver at CES



Drust LogoThere’s much talk these days about the so-called “connected car.” And while much of that talk focuses on things like smartphone integration, there’s much more to it than that. Modern cars have a built-in diagnostic port that transmits all kinds of data to connected devices. Typically, these devices are only accessed by mechanics, who use them to run tests and gather information on your car’s hardware and electronics. But what if you could access and use some of that diagnostic data yourself?

Scott stopped by the Drust booth to speak with Michael Fernandez, the company’s CEO. Drust makes a dongle that connects to your car’s diagnostic port. The dongle then communicates with a smartphone app to give you information about your car. Drust tracks your fuel usage and gives you tips on how to optimize gas pedal usage to make you a more efficient driver. It also helps to track preventative maintenance needs like oil and fluid changes. Down the road, Drust might even be able to help you lower your auto insurance rates. The product is currently available in Europe at a cost of 119 euros. The Drust smartphone app is a free download for Android, coming soon to iOS and other platforms.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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