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BIO-H2-GEN is hoping to bring a new process for producing hydrogen

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

BIO-H2-GEN Hydrogen ProductionIn the next generation of energy production, hydrogen is going to play a major role. That is regardless of the energy method, whether it be hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen fusion, and even used for space travel. However, the current limitation to hydrogen as a fuel source is in the production of the hydrogen itself. It is expensive, both in terms of money and resources. That may all change if William Knapp’s company, BIO-H2-GEN, can get their technology off the ground.

Knapp’s patented technology uses a ready, nearly never-ending source of materials for production, coming from wastewater treatment. As it stands now, these treatment facilities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove and dispose of the bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide in their facilities. However, this same chemical can be used to produce hydrogen with a zero-carbon process. By adding this process to the treatment facilities, they can reduce their treatment costs, as well as generate revenue from the resulting hydrogen.

BIO-H2-GEN is still at an early stage. They received 20 patents early this year for the technology. This was an important validation of the technology and the process, which helps move to the next stage: testing. The company is currently looking for a partner to help bring the idea out of the concept and into reality. This would require building one or more pilot plants, which could be distributed to treatment facilities for monitoring.

Knapp has already tapped a couple of engineering firms, with whom he will spend several weeks perfecting a prototype refinery, once partners come forward. The partners needed are for production and capital for operational and equipment expenses. For more information on the process, or to contact the company to inquire about partnering, you can check out the company’s website.

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HiRide is the safer way for students to travel long distances

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

HiRide Student CarpoolIt is not unusual for college students to not have their own cars, or not have the ability to travel long distances, such as going back home. Because of this, students have tried to look for ways to find people traveling to the location they need to go to in order to carpool. This causes all kinds of problems, the most prominent of which being the incredible danger it puts the student in. There is no way for the students to get background information on the driver or to be confident in their safety. That’s why HiRide was born.

HiRide is a carpooling app especially for college students looking to travel longer distances. It provides students and parents with a level of security that will make the experience better for everyone. Like other carpooling or ride-sharing apps, the drivers are vetted to provide ease of mind for the riders. Once they are approved, drivers can enter into the app where they are going and when. From there, students can find drivers who are going to where they need to go and join the trip.

In an effort to provide more transparency, HiRide provides live GPS tracking of the route, both to the student and to other trusted parties, such as parents or roommates. This allows the other person to know exactly where the student is, in the event something goes wrong.

One of the biggest benefits of the app is that it tries to pair drivers and riders together that will enjoy traveling together. This allows the student to actively engage with the driver, rather than just being a passenger in the car. Traveling long distances with someone who you have nothing in common with is far less fun than traveling with someone you can talk to.

HiRide is currently available in a testing phase, with plans to expand in the near future. You can find out more on their website.

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B-Line helps design better spaces using actionable mobility data

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

B-Line mobility analyticsConstructing and maintaining a green building is a difficult and expensive process. One of the more difficult parts is conducting the required mobility survey. This is because the results are often inaccurate and, overall, useless to the building owner. When people are asked about how they move and how they travel, their answers often do not represent reality. Fortunately, B-Line is here to help record useable data and made sense of what you have.

Rather than conducting interviews with people, hoping that they know what their travel pattern looks like, B-Line uses the occupants’ actual travel patterns. People from the building are given access to the mobile app on their phone, where the company can anonymously track the user’s behaviors and travel patterns. After the campaign is complete, the building owner is given access to a report detailing how their occupants actually move, making it truly actionable. All of this can be done for less money than traditional methods because no people have to be hired to conduct surveys and no manual data processing has to take place after.

One of the big actions that can be taken based on the data is an accurate assessment of how many parking spaces are needed. While this might not sound like a big deal, parking spaces are incredibly expensive to maintain. The average parking space costs about $100,000 and can be a lot more in places like New York City or Los Angeles. If a building owner can eliminate just one spot, it can be a huge cost saving.

To demonstrate the power of the platform, B-Line worked with a group of university students at the State University of New York in Syracuse. To start, CEO Aaron Short gave his presentation on how current methods are terrible. The students didn’t believe him, and so they conducted a traditional mobility survey with the students and then turned on the system. The students got to see first hand just how little they knew about their travel patterns, and how easy it can be to get false data using traditional methods.

The B-Line system can be used for more than just green building certifications. It can be applied to new community developments, universities, and even cities. The service is available now and you can get more information on their website.

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Shopping for a new car just got easier with the CarHero professionals

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

CarHeroAre you in the market for a new car? We all know the process you’re about to go through and we are not envious. The beginning stages of car shopping can be extremely stressful from visiting numerous dealerships, to finding a car salesman that understands your needs. But what if we told you that there is an app that can take away most of that hassle? CarHero might be your savior in this scenario.

CarHero is a mobile application that connects clients with top tier automotive sales professionals in their local area. Every salesperson you’re interacting with through this platform has been handpicked and vetted by CarHero. The application also provides the user/client with a closer look into who they will be working with during their car search through professional profiles of each salesperson. These profiles include a biography with their experience level, average response times, and customer reviews to give you an overview of the salesperson.

All you have to do is launch the app, pick a dealership, choose your professional, and send them a quick message through the app letting them know what you’re looking for and how they can assist you. You do not need to exchange contact information with the salesperson because CarHero has it all. You can even video chat through the app with your selected professional to view cars on the lot and to get a quick demo without stepping foot on the property.

The number one goal of CarHero Co-Founder Ahmed Mourad is to ensure customer satisfaction. He has a lot of experience in automotive sales and knows the process can be tedious. CarHero puts everything you need in one place to help you make your best decision in this process.

CarHero will be launching late Summer 2019 starting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more information about this application, you can visit their website.

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Yamaha shows a maneuverable prototype electric scooter with 3 wheels

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Yamaha MotorElectric vehicles are quickly becoming a popular place for companies to experiment with unique designs. While electric cars get all of the attention, there are some very interesting things happening in the space. From golf cart style neighborhood vehicles to scooters, electric is all the rage. Yamaha has long had a presence in this space, especially with motorcycles, but is testing some new ideas.

One of those experiments was on display at CES 2019. Rather than what we expect from Yamaha, a two-wheeled vehicle on which you sit, this prototype bucks both of those expectations. Rather than sitting on it like a motorcycle, this is designed to be stood on, like a skateboard or scooter. It also features 3 wheels instead of the more traditional 2 or 4, with 1 in front and 2 in back. Obviously, 3 adds stability over only 2 wheels but gives more maneuverability than 4.

The vehicle is rear wheel drive, meaning that the 2 wheels in the back actually propel the vehicle forward. The front is designed with a handlebar, similar again to a scooter. In the same style, the handlebar controls the positioning of the entire front of the vehicle, giving it the ability to turn quickly and tightly. In the booth, a representative demonstrated how easy it was to steer in a fairly confined space.

As of right now, this device is just a prototype, meaning that it might not come to market as it exists today. Like cars, a concept vehicle is simply a way for engineers to experiment with concepts. The company expects to test the vehicles in Japan this year, though they do not have a timeline for a wide release, either in Japan or overseas. To see all of the development on this and other vehicles, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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John Deere shows off how GPS, cloud, AI, and more help farmers daily

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

John DeereWhat many people do not know is that one of the most technology infused industries in the world is farming. Most modern farming would be completely impossible without the unbelievably large and powerful machines that reside on farms. The leader in farming machinery, as well as computing, is John Deere, a name that even non-farmers are familiar with. The company was at CES 2019 to show how technology that is just barely emerging in consumer technology has been used for farming for a while.

The best example of a technology in use for agriculture that is just making its way to the consumer market is self-driving vehicles. Farmers have been using incredibly large self-driving machinery for years to both plant and harvest fields. Using incredibly precise onboard GPS, this 20-ton machine is able to steer around a field with an accuracy of 2.5 centimeters. This level of precision is essential in agriculture, as a small variation can be the difference between harvesting and destroying a field.

Some of the more recent versions of these machines are able to learn all about a field on its own, using over 100 sensors. Connecting these sensors to the cloud, farmers are able to keep track of the job being done and the quality of the job being performed. Combined with the precise GPS driving, these machines are just shy of being able to set them in the field and walk away.

One of the most interesting advancements in agricultural machinery is the ability for them to be truly multipurpose. In fact, they are referred to as factories on wheels. After a tuning process, they can be used for an entire process, from harvesting grain to separating it with intense detail. Essentially, when the machines come back from the field, the grains can be ready to run into a silo and sold or used.

Whether or not you’re a farmer, there is a lot of exciting technology to learn about at John Deere’s website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Schaeffler’s new BioHybrid changes the inner city delivery process

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

SchaefflerWe really enjoyed our visit to the Schaeffler pavilion at CES 2019. Another one of the new designs that completely fascinated us was this really cool looking delivery cycle. Team leader of digitalization, Dr. Alexander Sharp, took some time to show us their new BioHybrid. What, at first glance, appeared to be an adapted motorcycle is actually an electric bike. It is human powered and also battery driven, which is how they derived the name, BioHybrid.

Basically, the rider can pedal to control the velocity of the vehicle and since it is technically classified as a bicycle, it is allowed to operate in bike lanes. As an electric bike, it can travel anywhere that a standard bicycle is allowed, without the need for a drivers license, but with quicker speed and a larger payload. And unlike a traditional bicycle, it also offers protection in bad weather, as it is can be customized with a cab for the riders. As with other Schaeffler products, customization is a large part of the design process. For example, the unit in the interview is outfitted as a two-seater passenger model with also some space for storage. Another unit on display was more of a pickup or delivery unit with a single rider and a larger capacity for carrying cargo.

This BioHybrid line has some really great technology built in, as well. It offers variable and regenerative charging while being operated, and the batteries are also removable to be charged remotely, as well as offer a level of theft detergent when wanted. And not only does the cab of the bike offer protection from weather, but there is also a plethora of other modern conveniences. It is fully connected with Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G, with 5G on the horizon. There are also smartphone and smartwatch apps that allows you to monitor and control the BioHybrid with functions like keyless entry, vehicle location and verify charging status, to name a few.

The company is very excited about the release of the BioHybrid in 2020. You can find out more information by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Better mobility and versatility in big cities is Schaeffler’s vision

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

SchaefflerAlthough not typically part of our main coverage here at PLuGHiTz Live, we do really enjoy seeing all of the different automobiles at CES. And when we came upon the Schaeffler pavilion and saw what they were showcasing this year, we knew that we had to stop and take a closer look. Project manager, Martin Laumann, was gracious enough to give us an exclusive tour of the new Schaeffler Mover.

The Schaeffler Mover is a compact, urban vehicle platform that contains some impressive technical components. The most important being the Econo Modules on each corner that include a 90-degree steering system in the electric wheel hubs. These “Intelligent Corner Modules” allows for a high degree of maneuverability as well as room for a high degree of comfort for passengers. The platform offers an adaptable design that allows for a flexible implementation of different vehicle bodies. Although it is currently being displayed as a simple rigger platform, equipped with four seats, it can be outfitted as needed with, say, a passenger cabin or one for cargo. It is also currently outfitted with a joystick and a touchscreen for drivability. All steering commands are electric, which means in the next generations, it can easily be set up to function fully autonomously.

With the prospect of mobility requirements changing in rapidly growing metropolitan areas, Schaeffler considers this platform to be the perfect solution. And although they do not necessarily see it being privately owned or having individual users, they do feel that it meets the demands of a large city and offers the flexibility to enhance the overall living environment for residents. With its small footprint, tight turning radius and the ability to drive sideways, it is truly a multifunctional vehicle platform. For cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Tokyo, these customizable vehicles are perfect for fleets that offer services such as rideshare and deliveries.

To get more information about this and other Schaeffler projects, make sure to check out their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The VMAXX woofer returns to the Cerwin Vega Mobile speaker lineup

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Cerwin Vega Mobile VMAXXWhen it comes to car audio, there are a lot of choices, and so it takes a lot to make a name for yourself. Cerwin Vega Mobile has certainly done just that, making itself the oldest car audio company in the world. Over the past few years, the company has been reaching back to its classic products and reintroducing modernized versions. In the past, we spoke with Larry Frederick about the Stroker, and this year he showed us the VMAXX woofer.

This product, which was previously produced around 15 years ago, was a popular product. In fact, for a while, it was the company’s most popular woof. Unfortunately, because of a problem with the frame, the company decided to discontinue it. Since then, loyal customers have continued to ask on social media that the company bring it back and, thanks to new materials and better manufacturing processes, the frame issue has been solved, and so the VMAXX has returned.

Rather than just bringing back the original design, however, Frederick wanted to design the speaker to be a heavier-duty, more powerful product. He focused on the things that he could easily control, like the size of the magnet, the size of the voice coil, and the amount of travel for the cone. While he recommends that people not get caught up in the trick of a big magnet and theoretical wattage, he does note that the magnet on the VMAXX is fairly large.

It is important for anyone purchasing a high-end speaker system to understand what it is they are buying. A 1000 watt speaker with only a 1-inch voice coil is never going to accomplish the advertised volumes. The same goes for other components on your system, such as the copper wire being used. The last thing you want is for your speaker or wire to get too hot and for glue or shielding to come apart.

The VMAXX woofer from Cerwin Vega Mobile will be available soon for around $249 to $279.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Raven can help protect your vehicle and the people riding in it

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Raven Connected CarWhen you’re driving around, there are a host of reasons why you might want to have a recording of what is happening around you. Whether it be to document a car accident or just something interesting happening on the side of the road, being able to capture the moment could be handy. With the help of Raven, that desire becomes a reality. We had the opportunity to speak with Raven last year, but the device has gotten even better since then.

The product started as a great way to keep track of a car and make sure the occupants are safe. With the built-in GPS, data connection, and forward and rear-facing cameras, Raven makes it easy to follow a vehicle’s journey and check in if something seems off. The idea came about when the founder’s daughter was driving through a snowstorm, and he simply wanted the peace of mind that everything was okay. All of these features made doing just that a possibility.

Today, the Raven is much more than that. In fact, it is a complete connected car system. It connects through the car’s diagnostic port and is able to do all of the things that a consumer diagnostic computer can do, such as read trouble codes, manage fuel efficiency, monitor speed, and more. Using the data connection, this information can be watched remotely, so parents can keep a better eye on their kids.

More than just parents can find a lot of value in the Raven, though. In fact, the company has brought out a number of fleet management capabilities. When put into a corporate vehicle, the system can replace the features of a GPS tracker, a “tattler,” and more. The cameras can be used to make sure the right people are in the vehicle. The GPS can be used to ensure that routes are being followed, and if not, follow where the vehicle has gone. The diagnostics capabilities can help a fleet manager predict maintenance issues before they become a problem.

The Raven connected car is available now with a variety of options.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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