Tag Archives: CES 2016

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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Nortek Brings Water Saving Solutions to CES



Nortek logoHome irrigation and water monitoring might not seem like the most exciting technologies being represented at CES. But if you’ve ever had to manage an irrigation system or fallen victim to a hidden water leak, you may find these products from Nortek to be greater than any other gadget the convention had to offer.

Avi Rosenthal, VP of Security & Control at Nortek, stopped by the TPN booth to meet with Todd and Daniel. Avi brought two products. The first is a smart irrigation controller. This controller uses Z-Wave technology to connect to the Internet and other devices. It gets regular weather updates so it knows which days to water the lawn and which days not to. It can be set up with different zones so your lawn and vegetable garden can have different watering schedules. Another Nortek product is the smart flow detector that attaches via velcro to the copper water main that comes into a home from the water company. This device also uses Z-Wave to transmit data to a user’s smartphone. The flow detector can be used to find potential water leaks in the home, down to as small as five ounces of water per hour.

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Aurai Helps Fight Eye Fatigue at CES



Aurai LogoEye strain and eye fatigue are real problems faced by most modern people. All day long, we’re staring at computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and other displays that can be stressful to our eyes. And while we have a number of options available for treating fatigued muscles and joints, there aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to treating eye problems. Aurai is a new “eye massager” that is hoping to change that.

Eric Chu of Taiwanese manufacturer In Trust Technologies stopped by the booth to meet with Daniel and Todd. Eric came armed with a working prototype Aurai. Todd was volunteered to test out the device. Todd compared the Aurai experience to a massage chair but with much lower pressure. He said the sensation of the Aurai is cool and that he could feel it “walking back and forth” over his eyes. Aurai consists of two parts: A silicon mask that’s placed over the eyes and an external controller. Aurai’s massaging action is created with water and its temperature is controlled by a smart-chip enhanced thermal-electric cooler. In Trust Technologies will be launching a Kickstarter campaign soon to further development of its Aurai massager. The company is hoping to offer an early bird special of $119 to its Kickstarter backers. When the product goes full retail, it’s expected to sell for $239. You can register to be notified when the Kickstarter campaign goes live if you’re interested in purchasing an Aurai eye massager.

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OmniPro has a High-Tech Multitool for Medical Professionals



OmniPro LogoOne of the greatest advantages of modern technology is its ability to often do multiple things. In the past, it was necessary for professionals across a wide range of fields to carry around kits full of different items. Each piece in those kits served one purpose and one purpose only. Fortunately, as technology has become more compact and efficient, it’s become easier to engineer single products that can do multiple tasks.

Jamie stopped by the OmniPro booth and spoke with Dr. William Hasbun, the company’s founder and CEO. Dr. Hasbun demonstrated the new OmniPro multitool for medical professionals. This clever device replicates a number of other devices often used by doctors, nurses, EMT’s, and other practitioners. The OmniPro device is the first ever of its kind. It’s portable and easily rechargeable via micro USB. The device will be available by April of 2016 in the U.S. and it should be available earlier in Europe and Asia. The OmniPro multitool is expected to retail for around $399. It’s a bargain considering it replaces about $1000 worth of other medical gear.

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

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Altia Systems New PanaCast 2 is Much More than a 4K Webcam



Live-streaming enabled video cameras are everywhere now. They’re in our desktop displays, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets. The list goes on. And while most of these cameras are fine for video chats or conference calls, they don’t have much in the way of features. Also, the video quality produced by these cams is usually described as “good enough.” But what if you want something more?

Daniel met up with Amra from Altia Systems, makers of the new PanaCast 2 4K panoramic video camera. Amra gave some impressive information about this new compact imaging device. It actually uses three different cameras that combine their video streams into one signal that creates a constant, 180-degree panoramic view. All in glorious Ultra HD! PanaCast 2 works in real time and it can be used with any computer just like a USB webcam. Simply plug it in, and you’re ready to go! PanaCast 2 can be used with video conferencing applications like Skype or it can be used in conjunction with Altia Systems’ own live-streaming video platform. The device is available direct from the manufacturer and it carries a retail price of $995.00.

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