Tag Archives: CES 2018

The Turtles are Back with Root Robotics at CES 2018



When I watched Don’s interview with Raphael, I was transported back to my school days in the early 1980s and adventures with a BBC Micro ‘B’, Logo and a Turtle. While the user interface is definitely better, the patterns on the paper look just the same! To be fair to Raphael and Root Robotics, their turtle does do a bit more – it has over 50 sensors and actuators.

Root’s approach is to use the robot as a fun way to introduce coding to children and young adults. The coding environment has three modes, with simplest using big colourful blocks, through to the most complex which uses Swift, Python and JavaScript. The robot itself retains the pen for drawing patterns but today’s turtles are magnetic for sticking to white boards and have a dry eraser to wipe off pen trails. The robot has over 50 sensors and actuators so it can move and draw, but it can also sense touch, measure light levels and feel edges and walls. It’ll play music, respond to button presses and flash lights. Very impressive.

The Root robot will be shipping in June 2018 for US$199. Pre-orders are open.

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


Hopen Family Bridges Generations and Distance at CES 2018



Today, families stay connected to each other through smartphones and the internet. We post family photos and videos on social media websites, and our family members who live far away can see it. Grandparents who don’t use the internet or a smartphone miss these moments. Hopen Family has a solution that will bring grandparents back into the center of the family.

Todd spoke with Nelly from Hopen Family at CES 2018. They created a smart device that bridges generations and distance. Plug the Hopen Family smart key into your grandparent’s TV. You can send photos, videos, and short messages to their TV.

Your grandparent can view and watch those photos and videos right from their TV. The content will scroll for them. The grandparent can control the device with a TV remote – which they already know how to use. This makes it extremely easy for older family members, who are not internet savvy, to stay connected to the rest of their family.

The Hopen Family smart key can connect through Wi-Fi (or 3G in some countries). In the United States, it is priced at $79. Hopen Family offers three service plans: Discovery, Family, and Tribe. Visit their website for more details about each plan.

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


One61 Studio Superhero Smart Watches at CES 2018



Smart watches have become popular. There are several brands and styles that you can purchase, based on your personal style and preferences. One61 Studio makes superhero smart watches that geeks will find appealing.

Todd spoke with Anand from Know Things at CES 2018. Know Things builds development tools that accelerate IoT and connected devices development. They partnered with One61 Studio to help them solve problems that developers face while creating a smart product.

One61 Studio has created a superhero smart watch line. They started with the Batman smart watch, which is based on the Batman played by Adam West in the ’60s.

The Batman smart watch can be used to take calls, get text messages, and everything else you expect from a smart watch. Know Things managed the Bluetooth layer to extend battery life, so you get 18 to 24 hours of battery even while actually using it.

In addition, they added some gamification. They call the Step Counter “Crime Fighting”. Take a certain number of steps, and the first villain Batman catches is The Joker.

The Batman smart watch is available now on the One61 Studio website for $124.99 A smart watch based on The Flash is also available now at $124.99. The Wonder Woman smart watch will become available in April for $149.99. It is a round smart watch that includes heartbeat detection (which is not a feature of the square smart watches.)

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


U-Finder Professional Smart Home System at CES 2018



There are plenty of smart home devices on the market to choose from. The difficult part is getting everything to work together in your smart home. U-Finder provides a solution to this problem. They have a professional smart home system.

Todd spoke with Mark from U-Finder at CES 2018. U-Finder Technology Limited focuses on smart home automation. Their smart home product is called the U-Finder System. It can be used by hotels, offices, nursing homes, and in the homes of individuals and families. U-Finder helps you create a smart new life.

The U-Finder smart home solution is completely modular and easy to set up. It is ready for plug and play not only in new environments but also in existing buildings. In addition to the professional smart home system, U-Finder has over 200 products that can become part of that system.

U-Finder’s newest smart home solution makes use of 3D and VR technology. Use their app to turn on your lights by touching the light in the app. You can also turn products off or on by voice command.

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


Track Time with TimeFlip at CES 2018



The nature of work today is often one of multi-tasking. An hour on this project, a teleconference with some clients, a few hours on a proposal and by the time it gets to the end of the day, it’s tricky to get the billable time down. TimeFlip have a simple and effective answer to this in the shape of a large gaming dice. Todd and Ilya spend some time understanding the solution.

The TimeFlip is a dodecahedron* about the size of a coffee mug. The shape is hollow and has a Bluetooth-enabled circuit board inside that’s really good at figuring out which way up it is. On the sides of the dice are symbols or words representing work activities. To accurately record time spent on a project, it’s simply a case of making sure that the particular activity is uppermost. At the end of the day, sync via Bluetooth to the TimeFlip app for a complete record of work activities and durations.

Aiming at both B2C and B2B, the TimeFlip can come in a couple of different polyhedrons, and there are versions available for download and 3D printing. The consumer version retails for US$49.99 and can be ordered from TimeFlip.

* Of course, a dodecahedron has 12 sides.

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


Feel the Heat with Vortx from Whirlwind FX at CES 2018



The gaming experience has steadily improved since Pong. Each generation of console and processor brings more detailed graphics, faster framerates, improved sound, force feedback vibration, VR, AR…. They’re all designed to make games more immersive and realistic without actually injuring the player. The latest addition to the gaming word is Vortx from Whirlwind FX: Todd takes the heat with Timothy, Founder and CEO.

The Vortx brings greater realism to the player by blowing hot and cold air in reponse to on-screen action. Imagine a demon throwing fireballs. As the player dodges a fireball, the Vortx blasts hot breath at the player as the ball slips past. Or imagine an adventure game, climbing through frozen mountains. The Vortx chills the air as the player climbs higher. It’s impressive.

About the size of a desktop speaker (9″ tall), the Vortx connects to a PC via USB and works with the Whirlwind FX engine. It uses object recognition and analysis to automatically trigger heat or cold, so Vortx can be used with any PC game without modification.

The Vortx is available for pre-order now at US$119, with shipping expected soon.

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


WooHoo Next Generation of Smart AI Assistants at CES 2018



There are a variety of hubs on the market for people who have Smart Homes. Those hubs are specialized to coordinate with the products that make up your IoT. You need another device if you want to make use of a digital assistant, a smartphone for calls, and a computer for games and music. SmartBeings puts all this together – and more – in WooHoo.

Don spoke with Joe from SmartBeings at CES 2018. WooHoo is the first truly artificial intelligence smart home hub. It is the next generation of AI assistants. The device can identify users by facial recognitions through its HD cameras, and through voice authentication based on voice print. This allows WooHoo to differentiate between users.

The camera has motion sensors that will allow it to turn 360° to face a user that is behind it. It also has an infrared camera inside it for low light situations. The devices knows who you are based on information stored within the device.

WooHoo also has a smart hub inside it what has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigby, and Z-Wave. It also has 4G LTE. You can hook up your HDMI TV to WooHoo. It is also possible to surf the internet on Woohoo. You can communicate with WooHoo verbally (like you would with other digital assistants), through its dashboard, or with a gesture.

WooHoo will be on the market in April of 2018. You will be able to purchase it through a telco.

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

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


Azur Drones Spy in the Sky at CES 2018



Up to now, drones have been little more than toys and camera platforms, promising much but delivering little. Working with Directorate General for Civil Aviation, Azure DronesSkeyetech provides “100% autonomous and 24/7 operational drones” as a “security drone solution“. Antoine and Todd talk about the new security guard.

A market leader in France, Azur Drones has developed an airborne surveillance system for the remote monitoring of industrial properties. The system, called Skeyetech, is composed of a smart drone equipped with HD and thermal cameras, and a smart (weather) station which recharges the drones, monitors the weather and provides protection for the craft. Skeyetech drones can be programmed and undertake automated flights, before accurately landing on their docking stations to be recharged.

The docking stations aren’t just power outlets but relay instructions and information from the drones. Consequently, the drones can be controlled remotely making them capable of operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without any human intervention. It comes at a fraction of a cost of traditional video surveillance.

Technically, the drones can fly for 35 minutes before needing recharged for 30 minutes. Top speed is 50 mph and they’re waterproof to IP56. The drones can be configured to patrol premises on a regular basis, or respond to alerts generated by motion sensors.

This isn’t the kind of drone found on the shelves of Best Buy or Fry’s. Interested parties will need upwards of US$100,000.

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

 


Marvel-lous Massage Chairs at CES 2018



There are massage chairs and then there are BodyFriend massage chairs. With these chairs, it’s not so much getting a gentle pummelling from a recliner as putting on Iron Man’s exoskeleton with Jarvis as your masseur. Todd gets a sensational experience with Roy.

The premium BodyFriend chairs provide full body massage including shoulders, arms, waist, legs and feet, with more than a dozen massage modes (depending on model) including brain concentration and digestive massage. The brain massage uses sound waves to soothe the grey matter. There’s built-in heating, stereo speakers and Bluetooth.

Most recently, BodyFriend has partnered with Lamborghini for a new chair which is expected to ship in spring 2018. Other BodyFriend chairs are on sale now in the US with prices from US$5000 to $9000.

BodyFriend have partnered with Marvel for themed hugchairs including Spiderman and Captain America. Priced at US$1580, these are aimed at children and grown-up kids while providing a massage experience in a smaller, friendlier chair.

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

 


InvizBox Simplifies Online Privacy and Security at CES 2018



People want to protect their privacy online, but some are not certain about how to do that. Other might know how to do it, but the process can be tedious and time consuming. InvizBox makes a variety of products to help people keep their privacy online.

Don spoke with Paul from InvizBox at CES 2018. InvizBox makes products that are easy to use for cyber security and privacy protection. Connect your phone, laptop or other device to any InvizBox product over Wi-Fi and all your internet traffic is encrypted before it is sent across the internet. InvizBox will take care of the rest.

InvizBox Go can be used at home, abroad, or on public Wi-Fi anywhere in the world. In addition to functioning as a VPN, an ad blocker, and a Wi-Fi hotspot extender, it also functions as a power bank so you can charge your phone.

The InvizBox 2 and InvizBox Pro connect to your home router. Simply connect your laptop, phone, smart TV and other devices over Wi-Fi or a wired connection. All of your internet traffic will be encrypted.

InvizBox Go is available now. The price ranges from $199 to $279 depending on how many months of VPN you want to purchase. InvizBox 2 is priced at $149, and InvizBox 2 Pro is priced art $219. Each comes with 12 months of VPN. It is estimated that those products will start shipping in April of 2018.

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

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