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Rockchip IC Design House

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Rockchip LogoStarted in 2001, Rockchip is a Chinese integrated circuit design company with 700 staff and three R&D centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. Daniel finds out more from Henry Chan, Director, and Yanyan Hsing, Brand Manager.

Although Rockchip probably isn’t a familiar name to most GNC readers, its chip designs are used in many products including Chromebooks and tablets, and on show at CES was a prototype Android wireless VR headset designed to show of the capabilities of their latest chip, the RK3288. With luck, we’ll see this incorporated into a consumer product in the next year or so.

(Apologies for the background noise in this interview.)

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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Keezel Personal WiFi with VPN Security

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

KeezelVPNs are great for keeping snooping countries, Orwellian agencies and thieving criminals at bay, but they’re not always straightforward to setup and when you have a laptop, mobile phone and tablet it’s a pain to maintain the VPN on each of them. Keezel has a solution in the shape of a personal wifi hotspot which has VPN software baked into the firmware. Daniel finds out more from Aike Müller, Co-Founder and CEO.

The way the Keezel works is that when out-and-about in coffee shops and other public wifi areas, you connect all your personal devices to the Keezel wirelessly. The Keezel connects to the public wifi network, establishes a VPN connection to a secure server and then all your communications travel securely across the network. Neat.

The standard price is US$99 for the Keezel and then $5 per month for the VPN service. The Keezel is currently on Indigogo’s InDemand having been originally 540% funded back in August 2015. There are some special perks available with devices are expected to ship in March 2016.

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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UniKey Powers ERA Touchkey into UK

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Unikey logo

With a string of successful smart lock products such as the Kwikset Kevo, UniKey are expanding out of the US and into other worldwide markets, but it’s not simply a case of taking a US product and selling it abroad as each country has its own size and security requirements . Don discusses the problem with Dirk from UniKey and looks at the first smartlock product from UniKey for the UK’s residential market.

The ERA Touchkey has been developed in partnership with ERA, a long established British manufacturer, to bring a smart nightlatch to the UK. The lock is really simply to use….touch the lock, the lock talks to your smartphone (which can stay in your pocket or bag), checks your credentials and opens the door if authorised. It’s clever enough to tell if the smartphone is on the inside or outside of the door, to stop the door being unlocked to intruders because your phone is nearby inside the house.

The ERA Touchkey will be available in the first half of 2016, but no details on price.

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

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mJoose Case Boosts Smartphone Signal Strength

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

mJoose LogoThe mJoose is a 3-in-1 phone case for the Apple iPhone 6 series and Samsung Galaxy S6 that protects the phone, extends the battery life and boosts the phone signal. Is this too good to be true? Don Baine assesses the mJoose with John Casalaspi, VP Sales.

Originally an Indiegogo campaign that was 546% funded, the mJoose is a sled-type case in matt black or bone white that surrounds and protects the phone. Embedded within the case is a 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery and an active signal booster. Unlike passive boosters, the mJoose has built-in circuitry to receive the phone signal, amplify the signal and pass it on the the smartphone. The active boost will add about two bars to the signal strength and could make the difference between making a call and not. It works across all carrier frequencies from 2G to 4G for all carriers, whether GSM or CDMA.

The mJoose will be available in the next month or so for the iPhone 6 series – it’s in the last stages of Apple accreditation. The version for the Galaxy S6 and Edge phones will arrive a little later. Pricing will be around US$149.99 retail depending on model.

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

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SureCall Boosts Phone Signal in the Home

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Surecall Logo

SureCall’s EZ 4G is a user-installable mobile phone signal booster for homes and offices that unlike most other products does not require an outdoor antenna. The EZ 4G consists of large receiver antenna which is placed in a window or other surface where there is at least some signal. A second smaller transmitter connected via coax cable then rebroadcasts the signals within the room. Don Baine chats with Frankie Smith to get some more details.

The EZ 4G works with all carriers and technology from 2G to 4G to deliver improved indoor mobile phone signal coverage for all phones or SIM-equipped devices within range of the transmitter and works with both incoming and outgoing calls. If there’s any kind of signal in the area, the EZ 4G will boost it.

The EZ 4G system will be on sale in January for US$399 MSRP from good online retailers and big box retail stores. SureCall has a full range of signal boosting systems for homes, offices and vehicles.

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

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SKY UV Mobile Device Disinfecting From Seal Shield

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

logoThe team at Seal Shield is continuing to innovate infection control for health care organizations with the SKY™ ultra-violet light sanitizing system for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Health Tech Weekly host, Jamie Davis, the Podmedic, interviewed Seal Shield CEO and founder Brad Whitchurch about the new device sanitizing system at CES 2016 in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Brad demonstrated the device, and the system won a coveted TPN.tv Pick award for the show. Only ten awards are given out by the podcasting team from the Tech Podcast Network and each host only gets one pick. Jamie was wowed by the SKY™ UV system and immediately awarded the Seal Shield team his pick.

From the SKY™ UV press release:

The SKY™ is the world’s first UV Sanitizer to kill more than 99.95% of pathogens in less than 30 seconds. Designed for use in hospitals to protect patients and practitioners from dangerous cross contamination infections, the Sky is also the perfect solution for mobile retailers and IT / MIS professionals who service and support mobile devices of unknown or dubious origins.

Tablet computers and smartphones have been proven to harbor harmful bacteria and viruses. A study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology warns that “twenty to thirty percent of viruses can be readily transferred from a fingertip to a glass surface, like that on a touch screen.”

“Mobile device hygiene is imperative in today’s pathogen-rich environments. SKY™ was designed to be easy to use, and it can safely disinfect virtually any mobile device in under 30 seconds,” states Seal Shield CEO, Brad Whitchurch.

The SKY™ UVC sanitizers use high intensity, 254 nanometer UVC light, at close proximity of less than 60 thousandths of an inch, to thoroughly disinfect a tablet or smartphone and achieve up to a 6 log reduction in pathogens such as MRSE, VRE, MDR-gram negative, Norovirus and Cdiff.

Find out more about the products from Seal Shield at SealShield.com.

—-

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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CES 2016 Wrap Up Show & TPN Picks

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The TPN Team present their 2016 TPN Picks to 10 companies that we felt had the best new products at CES 2016. Off the 1000’s of companies booths we walked by these 10 where tops by our team.

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CES 2016 Primer

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central gets our CES channels fired up with a primer of what is to come in the coverage department from the 20 team members of the Tech Podcast Network who start preparing to head to Vegas in a couple of days.

On3 PowerCliq Smart Battery Case

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

PowerCliq LogoCombo battery cases for the Apple iPhone are commonplace from no-name clones to well-known manufacturers whose brand is almost synonymous with the product. On the other hand, combined case, battery and Bluetooth headset packs with smart battery management are really quite rare. In fact, On3‘s PowerCliq is the only one I know of, so watch Don get a hands-on demo from Brad Yasar of On3.

The PowerCliq is a 2700 mAh battery case for the iPhone which has two additional features. The first is a Bluetooth 4.0 headset that slides into the back of the case for both storage and charging. The second is that the charging features of the external battery can be controlled by app on the iPhone. When plugged in, most battery packs simply charge until the smartphone is fully charged and then keep it topped up; there are some schools of thought that suggest this can be detrimental to the long-term performance of the battery.

On the PowerCliq, the app can be used to set a minimum battery level such that the recharging doesn’t kick in until the iPhone’s battery falls to that level and once fully charged, turns off. This larger discharge / charge cycle is supposed to improve the life of the battery.

The PowerCliq is fundraising on Kickstarter with early birds getting in at $88.  Update: since CES, the Kickstarter campaign has been cancelled. There’s a note on Instagram saying that this is to allow for new developments and the campaign will restart soon.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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AspectSolar Brings the Power, in Several Different Form Factors

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

When it comes to solar power, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. However, if you’re looking for a company that makes a broad range of products to fit your varying needs, then you may want to give AspectSolar a bit more attention.

AspectSolar had several interesting things to show off at the International CES. First, the company’s turnkey solution and entry to solar is the DuoFlex 2. It’s a 13-watt panel that is flexible and made with monocrystalline silicone. What that means is that if one panel breaks, the unit will keep working, only at less power. The unique design of the DuoFlex 2 is what makes it special. Several zippers and loops allow you to configure the device however you want. And for $179, you can pick up a DuoFlex 2 and a 10,000 MaH battery today.

The other product that has me excited is the Power Rack. Its batteries are not the standard lithium-polymer and instead use LiPO4, making the unit weigh almost 40% lighter than its competitors, under 60 pounds. The batteries, of which there are five, are all 300 watt-hours, pushing a total output of 1000 watts in order to replicate the most natural A/C output possible. You can also pair it with two slave units to be up to 4,500 watt-hours total. The Power Rack will launch later this year at $2,500.

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