Tag Archives: CES 2017

Real and Virtual Play Combine with Sam’s Curious Cars



Learning is best done when fun and what’s more fun than play? Sam’s Curious Cars fall right into this sweet spot and Todd gets an interactive demo from Joachim.

Sam Labs have created a series of component-based toys (think chassis, wheels, motors) that can be built up to make a vehicle – in this instance a car. The components are compatible with Lego bricks, so builders can really express themselves.

Once constructed, the car can be controlled by other components, like a switch for power and a slide for left and right. The car can also be controlled by an app and for advanced learners, the cars behaviour can be built up using control blocks in the app. It’s designed to introduce some of the key concepts of programming without actually having to code.

There’s a series of six different sets, priced from US$99 and the Curious Cars are $199. Additional sensors and motors can be bought separately. Available now from the Sam Labs shop and other good retailers.

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

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Owlet Smart Sock for Sleeping Babies at CES



The technology to measure physiology is becoming commonplace: any smart watch worthy of the name can record heart rate. The trick now is to incorporate these sensors into other useful gadgets. A good example here is the Owlet Smart Sock which brings reassurance to parents that their baby is sleeping normally.

The Owlet Smart Sock monitors a baby’s heart rate and blood oxygen, alerting parents or carers if either measurement causes concern. The Owlet Smart Sock system has three components; the smart sock or bootie which is worn by the baby on its foot, a monitoring unit and the companion app. The bootie communicates with the monitoring unit via Bluetooth and if there is a problem, parents are notified by visual and audible alerts on the Owlet unit and smartphone(s).

The app is available for both iOS and Android but check compatibility before buying.

The Owlet Smart Sock is available now for $249 direct from Owlet.

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

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PapaGo’s Geko Smart Whistle is Keeping Things Safe at CES



Papago GekoA personal whistle may seem like a fairly old-fashioned thing to bring to an event like CES. But PapaGo’s new Geko smart whistle is anything but old-fashioned. Todd met with Paulina from PapaGo who listed out all of the features of this award-winning product.

The Geko smart whistle connects to a user’s mobile device via Bluetooth. If the user triggers the whistle, either by blowing thru it like a standard whistle, or pressing a button built into the whistle, the whistle sends a signal to the user’s phone, which in turn contacts three different people by text, e-mail, and telephone (phone calls available on Android devices only). These messages are predefined to let the recipients know that the sender is in trouble, along with a map of the sender’s location. When the whistle is triggered a second time, it sends an “all clear” message to let recipients know that the user is now safe.

The PapaGo Geko smart whistle is already available for purchase for $49.99. The whistle will send up to 30 messages for free, but users can purchase more messages if needed.

 

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Drone n’ Base is The Gaming Drone at CES



There are plenty of drones that can be used to take videos from the air or to take aerial photos.  That’s great for photographers, but doesn’t do much for gamers.  Drone n’ Base has created The Gaming Drone.  Use these little drones to play augmented reality video games.

Todd spoke with Matus, who explained what The Gaming Drone can do.  There are two styles of video game that you can play with The Gaming Drone.  One is an augmented reality game where you play against a computer.  You control your physical drone and battle the computer’s drone that is inside the game.

The other video game is a multiplayer race and battle.  Each player places a game board on the floor, and flies his or her drone over it.  This enables the player to race and battle with other players in the video game.

The Gaming Drone by Drone n’ Base is priced at $199.  Each package comes with one drone, one base, and two batteries.

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SwiftPoint Z is an Award-Winning Gaming Mouse at CES



SwiftPoint logoFor most computer users, a mouse is a pretty boring input device that has probably two buttons and maybe a click wheel installed. But there’s a whole world of high-end computer mice out there, many of them aimed at the gaming market.

Todd spoke with Grant from SwiftPoint about his company’s latest gaming mouse known simply as Z. SwiftPoint’s Z Mouse has more buttons than a typical mouse, allowing for up to 50 different click-based actions. Z Mouse has a built-in gyroscope that makes it easy to control things like pitch and yaw used in flight-sim games, replacing the need for a joystick or other type of controller. Z Mouse is being brought to market thru a successful Kickstarter campaign. Once the campaign is fulfilled, the mouse is expected to make it to the retail market in March of this year, where it’ll retail for $229.

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Avido WiBa is a Contactless Power Charger at CES



Avido has created something that many people have been wanting.  The Avido WiBa is a contactless power charger that you can take with you when you travel.  Todd spoke with Kevin about this amazing new charger.The Avido WiBa is a CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree.  It is the first of its kind.

The Avido WiBa wireless charging power bank does not require cables.  It is very simple to use.  First, put the Avido WiBa portable power bank onto the charging dock.  In just a few seconds, the power bank begins to charge wirelessly.  Put your phone on top of it, and it instantly begins to charge.  The portable power bank and the phone charge at the same time.

The Avido WiBa is priced at $79.95.  It comes with everything you need to get started, including the power plate and the Avivo WiBa itself.

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PowerVision’s Underwater Drone is Exploring the Deep at CES



PowerVision LogoAerial drones and quadcopters have been mainstream items for a few years now. It seems like every day, amazing new videos are posted online of landscapes, cities, or large events. While everything happening on the ground is being recorded from the air, there’s another part of the planet that’s being completely ignored: Under water.

Todd had a chat with Merlin at the PowerVision booth. Merlin talked about his company’s impressive new underwater drone. This drone uses a 100-foot tether that can go up to 30 meters deep. The drone comes with integrated lights and a 4K video camera that can take 13 megapixel photos. The drone also has a built-in sonar to help find fish. There’s even an attached fishing hook that can carry bait to help lure hungry fish to the drone’s location.

PowerVision’s new underwater drone will go on sale at the end of next month, and begin shipping in the spring quarter. Pricing has not yet been announced.

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