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CES Day One TPN Picks

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

TPN.TV at CESIt’s the end of day 1 at CES and Don, Todd and Jamie get together to review the day’s events.

The TPN pick of day comes from Don and is the Panono panoramic camera with no less that 36 cameras built into ball (even if Don can’t say “Panono”). Throw it in the air and it takes a full hi-res sphere of photos.

An honourable mention also goes to the Dog and Bone LockSmart Bluetooth padlock which has some innovative features beyond simply using a smartphone to unlock a padlock.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and holds lectures at TheGadgetProfessor.com
Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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Blast Motion Captures Baseball Swing

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Motion by BlastHere at CES, there’s been all kinds of sporting sensors and motion trackers from tennis rackets to golf clubs. The Easton Power Sensor with Motion by Blast brings the same kind of technology to baseball bats. Jamie and Daniel take a swing with Donavan Prostrollo, Senior Director of Marketing at Blast.

On show here is the Easton Power Sensor which attaches to the base of a baseball bat. Unlike the sensors in some other sporting goods, it can be switched between bats. The Motion by Blast software then synchronises video of the player with the telemetry from the sensor to show exactly what’s happening when the player takes a swing. The data is sent via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone or tablet and the software automatically identifies the swings and clips the video to create a series of video highlights, overlaid with metrics such as swing speed, time to contact, swing direction, power, efficiency, etc.

At US$149, the Easton Power Sensor is not an impulse purchase but it is very affordable for a baseball team or serious player. Available now both online and at good sports shops.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Wistiki Tracking Tags by Philippe Stark

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Wistiki LogoBluetooth tracking devices are fairly common but when the tags have been designed by Philippe Starck as “connected jewels”, it’s definitely worth taking a look. Lisa Despeyroux, Wistiki’s Communications and PR manager connects with Jamie and Daniel to tell them more about Hopla!, Voila! and Aha!

French outfit Wistiki have partnered with the famous designer, Philippe Starck, to create three shapes of tracking device (or Wistikis) in four colours. Hopla! is credit card shaped for wallets and purses, Voila! is rectangular for keychans and the oval Aha! dangles for pets or gear. Colour-wise, the choice is yellow, blue, orange and pink. It all adds up to Gallic flair!

As with most tracking systems, the Wistiki connects to an app on the smartphone and there’s a fairly standard set of features including ring, reverse ring and leash. There’s an additional neat feature where if someone finds a lost Wistiki, they can message the original owner to arrange return. And the ringtone is cool too.

The new range is launching on Indiegogo now with expected delivery in late 2016. Current perks offer six Wistikis for US$149.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast

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Essence Behaviour Analysis for the Smart Home

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Essence LogoComing from a background in home securityEssence have used their understanding of monitoring to develop a range of products for the smart home to enable independent living for those people who might otherwise have difficulty looking after themselves. Jamie and Daniel find out more from Rafi Zauer, Essence Head of Marketing.

The smart home market is exploding at the moment and there are hundreds of companies peddling hubs and sensors. What sets Essence’s SmartCare apart is a focus on unobtrusive monitoring and pattern analysis to detect when a dependent person’s daily routine changes, potentially by illness, in order to alert family members to a problem.

By using PIR motion detectors and door sensors, a pattern of behaviour is built up and deviations from the pattern can be escalated to relatives to follow-up. It’s all passive detection; there are no cameras and as such this provides an important level of privacy. Data is passed to a cloud service which in turn passes alerts to an app on a tablet or smartphone.

With an increasingly older population who want to remain in their own home, these kinds of systems will be increasingly relevant.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Dog and Bone LockSmart Padlock

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Dog and Bone logoDog and Bone are more usually known for their protective range of Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphone cases, though here it’s a smartphone-controlled Bluetooth padlock that’s going to provided the protection. Jamie and Daniel find out more from Maria.

Dog and Bone’s LockSmart keyless Bluetooth padlock is exactly what it says: a padlock that uses Bluetooth communication from an app on a smartphone to unlock it. While that alone might be handy in some circumstances, the real trick is that with the app the owner can give unlocking privileges to other people. Say your bike’s padlocked to a railing in town and you want a friend to pick it up for you. You can give him (or her) the unlock permissions for the LockSmart, let him get the bike and once it’s returned, you can revoke the permissions. Definitely much handier than sharing keys or combinations. In addition, the app can manage multiple locks and receive notifications when locks are opened. Both iOS and Android devices are supported.

There’s a choice of two LockSmarts: on sale now is the larger version at US$89.95 with a mini version expected soon for US$69.95.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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AVG Protects Devices, Data and People

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

AVG LogoAs the online war with the bad guys escalates, the target is moving away from the devices to the people who own them. Jamie and Daniel look at this tactical shift with AVG‘s Todd Simpson.

AVG’s goal is to protect devices, data and people with a portfolio of products, from anti-virus to VPNs, parental controls to reputation protection. As more and more services come online, people are becoming more aware of the risks and securing their activities. Protecting people is a much harder problem, especially with the rise of the Internet of Things and many connected devices in every home. Things that used to be physical security, such as a door lock, become digital security problems once it’s a connected door lock that can be operated by a smartphone.

AVG’s cross-platform software is available direct from AVG and from the various app stores.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist. Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Motion Capture with a StretchSense Glove

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

StretchSenseLogo NameThe fantastic performances of Andy Serkis as Gollum brought the concept of motion capture to a wider public audience but the filming technique usually involves dark skin-tight leotards covered in reflective balls with multiple cameras and sensors gathering data in three dimensions. Unless it’s a multi-million dollar production or a top-end athlete wanting to hone their skills, it’s a lot of effort.

StretchSense have a much easier method in mind. By using lightweight stretch sensors with gloves or other form-fitting clothing, StretchSense can get real-time tracking and motion capture without expensive equipment. Jamie Davis chats to Ben O’Brien, CEO of StretchSense.

StretchSense make the soft precise sensors that can be embedded into gloves and clothing to measure the human body’s movement. With the sensors, the movement and motion of the wearer can be tracked for animation and gaming, with other applications in sports training, physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation. Within VR, it can provide presence, positioning hands and legs within the field of view as in reality. It’s all pretty cool stuff – expect products to come to market in the new few years.

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

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Carloudy Head-Up Display Keeps Eyes Ahead

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

CarloudyHead-up displays (HUD) used to be the preserve of fighter jets and James Bond, but Cognitive AI Technologies wants to bring the technology to an affordable level for everyone through an aftermarket, dash-mounted head-up display. Jamie and Daniel take a look at Carloudy with Javy Kong.

Apparently one-in-four car accidents involves the inappropriate use of cell phones while driving and though some uses are clearly plain stupid, like reading email, there are some genuinely useful apps, such as navigation. To remove the need to look away from the road ahead, Carloudy projects relevant information up onto the windscreen, including directions, speed and fuel consumption. A small unit roughly the size of a paperback book, the Carloudy sits on top of the dash and works in conjunction with a smartphone. Connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth to the phone, Carloudy accepts voice commands to show what the driver wants . With a battery life of around two weeks, there’s no need for extra wiring.

The Carloudy is available for pre-order via Kickstarter and if you get in quick, there are units available from US$179. Usual caveats apply regarding projects on Kickstarter.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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Panono Panoramic Camera

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Panono Camera Ball

Looking like a prop from a sci-fi movie, the Panono panoramic camera holds 36 digital cameras for total panoramic coverage. Best of all, it’s fun; want to take a panorama? Throw it in the air. Don and Todd find out more about the Panono from Jonas Pfeil, CEO and co-founder.

With all 36 cameras engaged in taking an element of the panorama, the Panono has an effective resolution of 108 megapixels, producing high contrast HDR pictures with incredible detail too. In addition to throwing the Panono in the air, photos can be taken manually for the ultimate selfie. Panoramas are viewed on-line or in the companion app within about ten minutes of taking a shot after the software has stitched the images together. If that’s not enough, the images can be viewed through a VR headset for an incredibly immersive experience.

The professional version is available now for US$1499 from Panono with a consumer model expected soon for US$599.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and gives classes at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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StoAmigo Gives You A Cloud

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

StoAmigo LogoRegular patrons of Kickstarter and Indiegogo will know that personal cloud devices regularly pop up for crowdfunding. Having said that, there’s no need to take a chance and wait several months as StoAmigo have created a complete ecosystem that unifies network cloud, personal cloud and device storage. Don Baine finds out more from Richard Stiles, VP StoAmigo.

StoAmigo brings together storage into an “access anywhere” cloud from multiple sources and key to the ecosystem is StoAmigo’s TackApp which joins local device storage from PC, Mac or Android smartphone into the cloud. Accessing the StoAmigo cloud from the smartphone client app, Don is impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the system. Video and music can be streamed instantly, and as expected, all the data is encrypted.

All the software is free to download so there’s no risk in trying it out. For those wanting a dedicated storage device, StoAmigo’s CloudLocker provides an initial 278GB of NAS storage which can be expanded by adding additional USB storage. It’s priced at US$349 but there’s currently $150 off if you’re quick.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and he holds classes at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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