If it's Tech it's Here!

The It Bed Gives You the Best Sleep Possible

March 12th, 2016

Sleep Number logoSleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It can be really hard to get up for work in the morning after having a bad night’s sleep. Sleep Number has been around for 35 years and they strongly believe that it is important to get the best sleep possible. One way to do that is with their new It bed.

Nakia spoke with Senior Product Manager at Sleep Number, Kelley Parker, at CES 2016. They talked about the It bed, which is something new from Sleep Number. The It bed is the only bed designed to make you smarter, healthier, and happier.

The It bed is targeted for the first time mattress buyer. You can order the It bed online, and it will come right to your door. You can set the bed up in fifteen minutes or less. The bed tracks and monitors your sleep with Sleep IQ technology. You will get recommendations on how to get a better night’s sleep based on your own personal habits and activities. This information helps you to get the best sleep possible.

Another great thing about the It bed is that it has active comfort technology. This enables a person who likes a firm mattress, and who has a sleep partner who likes a soft mattress, to both find their Sleep Number setting in the It bed.

The It bed will become available in the Summer of 2016. The price starts at around $1,000.

Nakia Mann is a video host who specializes in covering live events for PLuGHiTz Live.

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Ztylus has a Truly Multifunctional Smartphone Case

March 11th, 2016

Ztylus Innovations logoIf you have a smartphone, then you need a smartphone case. There are some cases that have more than one function. The problem is that when it is time to buy a new smartphone, your old case will probably not fit it. You have to start all over, and that can be expensive. Ztylus Innovation has solved this problem with its truly multifunctional smartphone case.

Nakia spoke with Tim Hsu, who is an Inventor / Product Developer at Ztylus Innovation, at CES 2016. The company has created a new category in the smartphone case industry with their multifunctional smartphone case. It was a CES 2016 Innovation Award Honoree.

The Ztylus Innovation Multifunctional Smartphone Case is a platform. The back of the case was designed to enable a person to add attachments. Take out the removable disk, and you can add an attachment to the multifunctional case. When it is time for you to buy a new smartphone, you will need to buy a new Multifunctional Smartphone Case. All of the attachments can be used with your new case (and you will not have to buy them all over again).

One attachment has an arm that folds out and that can help prevent you from dropping your smartphone. The arm can also prop up your smartphone in either landscape or portrait mode.

Take out that attachment and you can replace it with a different one. Tim Hsu demonstrated the versatility of their camera lens attachment, which has multiple lenses inside it. Flip out the lens you want to use when you are ready to take a photo. Each of the flip out lenses improves the lens that already exists on your smartphone.

The Ztylus Innovation Multifunctional Smartphone Cases are available on their website now. Prices range from $29.95 to $44.95. Visit the website to check out their available attachments.

Nakia Mann is a video host who specializes in covering live events for Plughitz Live.

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ZED Stereo Camera Captures the World in 3D

March 11th, 2016

Stereolabs logoStereolabs is the leading provider of 3D depth sensing technology for autonomous robotic and augmented reality. Their ZED 2K Stereo Camera is the first high definition stereo sensor for depth perception. It helps you to capture the world in 3D.

Nick spoke with Stereolabs Product Manager, Marc Beudet, at CES 2016. They talked about the Stereolabs ZED 2k Stereo Camera. Marc explained what is unique about it, how it works, and some of the ways it can be used.

The ZED 2K Stereo Camera relies on two RGB sensors. It is basically two smartphone cameras put together. There’s no infrared projectors or other fancy stuff. The camera captures the world. Next, that information is sent to a computer that uses processing power to generate a 3D image of the environment. The ZED 2K Stereo Camera can work in outdoor environments as well as indoor environments.

It is basically plug-and-play. Download the SDK from the Stereolabs website. The product is meant for developers. They will need an external host computer. The camera can be placed on a drone. The only limitation on the things that can be done with the ZED 2K Stereo camera is the developers imagination.

The ZED 2K Stereo Camera is priced at $449 and is available through the Stereolabs website.

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

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Neat Microphones Look as Awesome as they Sound

March 11th, 2016

Neat Microphones logoMicrophones do not have to be a boring grey color. They can have style! Neat Microphones, a member of the Gibson family, have two lines of aesthetically pleasing microphones that look like pieces of art. They look as awesome as they sound!

Scott spoke with Product Manager of Neat Microphones, Clayton Harrison, at CES 2016. They talked about both the Bee Line and the Widgets line of microphones. Each style shows that microphones don’t have to look dull – they can be fun!

Four of the microphones in the Bee Line are available now. All of them are high end USB mics. The Beecaster and the Bumblebee give you high quality, professional, results without the need for all kinds of extra equipment.

The Bumblebee is intended for speech (and would be great for podcasting, Skype, and video blogging). The Beecaster has stereo capability and is good for music. Each comes with microphone pre-amps. They have headphone output and headphone amplifiers – which let you do direct monitoring without the latency associated with USB.

The King Bee and Worker Bee mics are for professionals and aspiring professionals who already have a rig. They are also great for podcasting and provide top notch sound.

The Widgets line have a super fun aesthetic and would be great for YouTube or Twitch where a person can be recording and seen at the same time. The microphones in the Widgets line are $99 each. You can find more information about the Bee Line microphones, and the Widgets line of microphones at NeatMic.com.

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

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Philips Fidelio E6 Provides Surround On Demand

March 11th, 2016

Philips LogoWatching movies at home is nicer when you have surround sound. However, it is not easy to put together a surround sound system. You have to plan ahead, mount speakers, and figure out how to hide all those unsightly wires. Philips Fidelio E6 provides an extremely simple way to get surround sound on demand.

Scott spoke with Senior Manager of Philips Electronics, Ken Chan, at the Gibson Brands Booth at CES 2016. They talked about the Philips Fidelio E6 Surround on Demand speakers. What might look like one speaker is actually two detachable speakers.

The speakers sit next to your TV. When you are ready to watch a movie, remove the top speakers and place them in the back of your living room. After the movie is over, you can easily put the detachable speaker back where it was. Philips gives you a very clean and tidy solution for true surround sound without any wires.

The Philips Fidelio E6 Surround On Demand speakers have internal Wi-Fi. The detachable speakers have a battery inside them that charges when the speaker is attached. It can be fully charged in two hours. You can watch ten hours of movies, with surround sound, on a fully charged speaker.

The Philips Fidelio E6 is not yet available in the United States, but may launch in Spring or Summer. The retail price $799.

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

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Jamstik Uses BLE MIDI

March 11th, 2016

Jamstik LogoThere are many people who dream about learning how to play the guitar. Jamstik can help you make that dream a reality. It is a portable mini controller that was designed around the idea of making music more accessible to everyone.

Nick spoke with Senior Producer Matt Cannon from Jamstik. It is a mini controller that has a sensor that knows where your fingers are at. It shows you on screen in real time either on your iPad, iPhone or Mac. (Android compatibility is coming). First timers can use the Jam Tutor app to go from knowing nothing at all about playing guitar to being able to pluck strings, fret their first chords, and more.

What makes Jamstik unique is that it is one of the first devices to connect through Bluetooth and use BLE MIDI. It is lightning fast and has no latency. Another unique feature of Jamstik is that it feels natural and has real strings and frets.

Musicians who travel, and cannot take their guitar with them, can bring Jamstik along instead. It comes with a travel case and fits in carry on. The ideas they get while traveling can be played and recorded in Jamstik.

Jamstik is available via the Jamstik website, at Amazon, and at Apple stores. It is priced at $299.

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

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Lynktec has a Non-Contact Smart Thermometer

March 11th, 2016

Lynktec logoParents who are caring for a sick baby who might have a fever can find it difficult to check their baby’s temperature without waking him or her from a sound sleep. Lynktec provides a simple solution to that problem with Thermo, a non-contact smart thermometer.

Daniele spoke with Marketing Specialist for Lynktec, Christa Knight, at CES 2016. Christa demonstrated how to use Thermo, their non-contact smart thermometer. She also explained the many things that the app can do.

A small device that has a sensor can be connected to your smartphone. That device can be gently placed against a baby’s forehead to check his or her temperature. The baby can continue taking a nap. The device sends data to the app on your smartphone. You can immediately see if the baby is running a fever.

In addition, the app keeps track of the baby’s temperature on a chart. That information can easily be sent to doctor. The app will also show you local hospitals and pharmacies and use Google Maps to tell you the route that will get you there the quickest.

Thermo can also be used to take object and ambient temperatures. It gives parents an easy way to check how hot the baby’s formula is, and to make sure that bath water is at the perfect temperature. It can also be used to find out the temperature of a room.

Thermo is in production and will be available in quarter 2 on the Lynktec.com website. It will be priced at $59.00.

Daniele Mendez 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

March 3rd, 2016

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

March 2nd, 2016

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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CUJO is a Simple, Yet Sophisticated, Smart Firewall

March 2nd, 2016

CUJO logoThe internet can be a dangerous place if you aren’t careful. There are ads that contain malware, phishing websites, and other dangers. People who aren’t very tech-savvy might be unaware of the dangers or how to protect themselves, and their families, from them. CUJO provides a simple, yet sophisticated, smart firewall that can be easily used and understood by everyone.

Jamie and Nick spoke with VP of Technology of CUJO Smart Internet Security, Robert Beatty, at CES 2016. He explained how CUJO works. It is a plug-and-play device that you plug into your router. There is no configuration required. CUJO will automatically take over from there.

The CUJO team checks to make sure that your computer (and other devices) are not talking to things like virus command and controller centers or phishing websites. For SSL, they check to make sure that no “man in the middle” attacks are happening. They can also check to see if IoT devices are suddenly talking to a website other than their manufacturers.

Once something has been identified as malicious, the team behind CUJO sends a signal to your CUJO device with a specific rule from that device in particular to whatever rogue server is communicating with it. Only that communication is stopped.

CUJO device

Family members who are not tech-savvy can glance at the CUJO device and get a quick idea of how things are going. CUJO’s “eyes” appear to be smiling when everything is good. When CUJO’s “eyes” are round, it means that it is filtering something.

CUJO is available for preorder via the CUJO website. The device is priced at $99.00. It comes with a subscription. The first three months are free. After the free trial is over, the subscription costs $8.99 a month.

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 enginner and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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