If it's Tech it's Here!

CES 2018

Valencell is the Technology Behind our Favorite Fitness Gear

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Valencell Fitness SensorsWith all of the really cool gadgets and gizmos that we are surrounded by each year at CES, it’s nice to sometimes take a step back and get a good feel for the technology behind the products. We had the pleasure of taking a few minutes to speak with a company that provides that technology to many industry leaders.

Valencell is very instrumental to the fitness and health industries. They make the biometric sensor technology that goes into all kinds of different wearables on the market. These wearables include smartwatches, fitness bands and even earbuds. Their sensors can measure important vitals such as heart rate, heart rate variability and respiration rate. They also count steps, count calories, measure stride cadence, distance and a lot more.

The tech and sensors are constantly improving; it’s these changes, as well as consumer usage over time, that drives them to keep their sensors versatile enough to go into a wide variety of products. They provide their technology to a wide variety of different companies like Bose, LG and Sony to name just a few.

Their Biometrics Lab puts their customers’ products through a series of rigorous tests. These tests include using the sensors on a variety of different people to insure that a wide range of skin tones, body types, and age ranges report accurate information. This validates real-world accuracy for their clients and for consumers.

You can get more information about Valencell, find out how they are engaged by interested companies and see a complete list of the companies that currently use their technology by checking out valencell.com.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

You Want the Best in 360 Video and Insta360 Delivers

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Insta360 360 CameraThere are many things that we see at CES that, as a group, we love, but we definitely have an affinity for unique cameras. Insta360 totally fits that description, as they are different than the other 360° cameras out there because from their point of view, it’s the software that comes first. That makes all of the difference in the world, because it also allows a lot more expertise and fun on the back-end due to their emphasis on programming. When you purchase one of their cameras, that’s not where the transaction ends. You can count on firmware updates going out on a regular basis. They even design their line with full knowledge that improvements are coming, and these updates include some really cool features. All throughout the process, they stay true to their mission to create a product that’s friendly, easy to use, powerful and price efficient all at the same time.

The best part of their “software first” approach is that with everything they produce, they develop and then redevelop and then listen to customer feedback and continue to improve based upon actual user experiences and wishlists. The company is 60% Research & Development engineers who are used to turning thing around quickly.

We took a look at the Insta360 ONE: the world’s most powerful action sports 360 camera. It is compatible with a variety of accessories including a stick that pops out for a longer range. Within the software, you are able to do some cool things like magic erases and it enhances their overall content. It’s like having a drone follow you everywhere you go and is perfect for skaters, bikers, runners, joggers and more. Since it’s a 360 degree camera, you can also change the perspective after the video is shot. There’s a normal mode and a planet mode, which is a spherical look. The camera is capable of taking 24 megapixel stills and 4K UDH video. You can also livestream directly to your social media platforms or you can edit within the app and then share those edits directly to social media as well as save to your albums. It is capable of Bluetooth control or it can be connected directly to a cell phone. They are available on Amazon and you can get yours by clicking here.

Next up is the Insta360 Nano S, the little marvel that has been winning every 350 camera award at CES. This camera has redefined what software means for a 360 camera. It plugs into your phone and the social interactivity is what makes it extra special. The Multiview feature is like having an entire camera crew in your pocket. You are also able to use a split screen or a bubble inside of a larger screen to get multiple camera angle views all at the same time, using different pieces of footage. You can even livestream in Multiview. It really lets you experience full immersion without having to lug a ton of heavy and expensive equipment everywhere you go. You can pick yours up on Amazon by clicking here.

Insta360 has also recently ventured out into the world of professional videography equipment. The new 6 camera configuration shoots in 12K for stills and 8K for videos, and it will livestream in that same quality without the need for additional accessories. It’s a one stop shop for filming your favorite music festival or sporting event.

And let’s not forget the big daddy: the Titan Series, that will be available later in the next year. It features their first pro world camera. It’s larger with more cameras and a long range wireless transmission device and has a resolution of 12K for stills and upgrades the video transmission to 10K for video. And yes, it will livestream in that same quality without the need for additional accessories.

For more information, you can visit their website at Insta360.com.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Listen… Razer’s New Project Linda is Absolutely Amazing

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Razer Project LindaAnother CES booth where we are never disappointed is Razer’s. Not only do we love their products in general, but their prototype projects are always kick ass! This year was no exception. We got an up close look at Project Linda. This concept is an ultraportable laptop design powered by the Android-based Razer Phone. When the phone is docked it serves as an intelligent touchpad right in front. This bridges the gap between having handheld entertainment and a laptop together. The best parts of the Razer Phone (performance, display, and dual front-firing speakers) are seamlessly combined with the larger screen and keyboard of Project Linda’s, as well as the battery. This provides the ultimate mobile hybrid setup for gaming, creativity and productivity.

Specs include a 13.3″ Quad HD touchscreen that extends the 120Hz experience available on the Razer Phone to the larger screen and provides fluid motion and vibrant visuals. The 13.3″ touch display of the laptop is ideal for gaming, entertainment and creativity, or for multiple apps to run side by side. The 5.7″ touchscreen of the Razer Phone is multifunction as both a touchpad, or as an interactive second touch display that allows for custom interfaces or additional apps. The built-in keyboard is backlit and powered by Razer Chroma which is perfect for both short texts and lengthy assignments. It is also equipped with custom Android keys for easy navigation, app selection, searching and more. There is also a Sentio Desktop interface that adds to the laptop experience and provides a familiar layout and the keyboard shortcuts that you are accustom to.

And talk about gaming; this setup will blow you away. You will enjoy your Android games in all new ways with Project Linda. This honey of a system lets you connect a mouse for precise control and also trigger actions quickly on the keyboard. The second display offers easy access to take advantage of things like menus, maps, and a lot more while still within a game. Plus, the built-in power bank allows you to quickly charges the Razer Phone while it’s docked. And there is 200GB of internal storage, so you can house your local apps, games, media, and offline phone backups all right there.

We look forward to watching the development of this exciting prototype. While Project Linda is a work-in-progress, you can get the Razer Phone from Razer or Amazon now.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Exciting New Technology from Casio that Will Blow Your Mind

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Casio Pro Trek WatchImagine having only to buy one watch for all your needs! That is what Casio is offering with their newest watch, the Casio PRO TREK. This is a smartwatch that is the ultimate in technology. This watch does practically everything. It has so many functions, only a few of which are a GPS satellite system which gives you great detail, and Mapbox, an open source mapping system which can be used online or off, and even works when you don’t have cell service. Having a PRO TREK is a wonderful way to be able to know where you are and for others to be able to locate you in the event that you get lost or stranded.

There are apps for your watch to assist in your golf game, with features such as finding local courses to play, distance between yourself and the green, par for the current hole and how other golfers have played that particular hole. Other available apps offer assistance for fishing and even for the equestrian. There is also an app for the surfer, which can be used for locating the best places to find good waves. This watch is water-resistant for up to 50 meters and shock-resistant up to 4 meters. It is built with a gap in the construction that makes it very durable and impact safe.

The watch has 13 available faces that can be personalized with different colors. There is a world-times feature and a microphone with voice control. One of the best things is an ability to “find your phone,” a problem we all have had. It also has the traditional fitness features to help track sleep and steps. This new model is available now for $500. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Samsung Gets More and More Impressive Each Year

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Samsung 8K UHD TelevisionWe love being immersed in the Samsung Electronics booth at CES. If The Wall was the main attraction for 2018, it definitely had some competition in the booth. Also featured is the first 8K QLED TV in the world. And as if that’s not impressive enough, it also features AI technology. It’s this AI technology that elevates the standard definition content to an awe inspiring 8K resolution. Basically, the picture quality is transformed via a proprietary algorithm to transform any regular content to a high-resolution 8K.

But Samsung did not stop here with this beauty of a TV. They also added several new really cool features, including detail enhancement, which not only upgrades the standard definition content but also adds noise reduction and has an edge restoration function to more clearly outlines objects on the screen. There is also automatic sound adjustment that differentiates between various content, like sporting events and music concerts. Also, your viewing experience will only get better over time with firmware updates that will upgrade the set with the latest improvements. So, the longer you own it, the better it’s going to get.

One of our absolute favorite features is that they have made the initial setup as easy as possible. This TV is an extension of their expanded Smart Things platform and includes Bixby, which is their own voice command system. When you first plug in, the Bluetooth will automatically connect with your smartphone, which enables it to link into the Smart Things app and update your new TV with not only your network Wi-Fi password, but also bring in all of your existing streaming platforms, complete with those passwords as well. It will also automatically configure the remote control with the other remotes in the home, even the cable remote, so you will have easy access to everything from one remote. It’s the same with your gaming devices. You will now have full control of all of your entertainment, gaming and other Samsung Smart Things appliances right from your TV remote control. Imagine sitting on the couch and asking Bixby what’s in the fridge and also having the oven start preheating. Talk about living the dream!

Samsung is looking forward to launch the 85″ QLED 8K TV during the second half of 2018.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

The Wall is the Most Fabulous Television and Gaming Experience You Can Have

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Samsung The Wall Modular ScreenThe Samsung Electronics booth at CES is always quite impressive. It’s a large booth with impressive visual displays. This year they outdid themselves as they introduced The Wall. The Wall is the world’s first consumer, modular, self-emitting MicroLED 146-inch TV. This is brand new technology with pixels that are self illuminating, based upon existing Large Format Outdoor Digital Display technology. This has allowed an unbelievable 4k television for the home. The features are amazing. It can go to infinite black, has High Dynamic Range and brightness levels and contract that are unmatched. All of this with no image retention and no off angle viewing.

The name, The Wall, is no stretch. At 146 inches, it was probably the most impressive visual in Central Hall this year, with the largest crowds in the building. But don’t let the size intimidate you. After all, it is modular. It’s comprised of a series of smaller screens, or tiles, that mesh together with no seam. Not only does this open up the possibility of multiple configurations in the future to fit any home/lifestyle, but it also makes delivery and setup much easier. If you live in a building with a small elevator or staircase, or would have trouble getting such a large box into the right room in your home through hall and doorways, there’s no concern with that here. Each piece is brought in separately and assembled in place, thus opening up this wonderful technology to more consumers.

This large and impressive screen array has an incredible picture and would be a gamer’s dream. Although it would most likely take some getting used to, we’re sure that all the gamers we know would love to take a crack at it. This is concept that is not lost on Samsung, who is already partnering with Xbox.

The Wall is expected to ship later in 2018 with exact pricing still to be determined.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

The FLIR Partners Brings More Great Things to Life

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

FLIR Thermal Technology PartnersJust as FLIR is reaching out to developers with their new sensors, they have also developed the Thermal by FLIR Partner Program. With this program they are working with manufacturers and developers to help them get their products produced with FLIR’s thermal technology built-in. They had a few examples of final products and prototypes to show off at their booth at CES 2018.

We got to take a close look at Arzens ThermoGlass. These safety glasses have a thermal camera onboard to allow workers obtain thermal images at a glance and completely hands-free in an augmented reality, heads-up display format. They allow workers to focused during inspections, while still having the use of their hands for other important tasks, such as taking notes or operating machinery and tools.

Also on display was a Panasonic Tough Book that is outfitted to include a FLIR Camera. It is the first tablet that has been ruggedized to carry a thermal sensor. And along the same rugged theme, also on display was a CAT S60 Android smartphone with an included electron sensor. It can also be purchased from Amazon: CAT PHONES S60 Rugged Waterproof Smartphone with integrated FLIR camera.

And one of our most favorite finds at the booth was their partnership with Tinkerforge. This Maker Kit includes a Lepton component, the same sensor in the popular FLIR ONE device, so that makers can learn about, play with and incorporate thermal technology into their innovations.

You can get more information about their programs initiative at their partner site.

Also, check out these cool consumer products that are available on Amazon:
FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera and Protective Case
FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C (Gen 3)
FLIR Systems FXV101-W Outdoor Wireless HD Video Camera

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Bringing a Great New Dimension to the Autonomous World with FLIR

Monday, February 26th, 2018

FLIR thermal imaging for autonomous vehicles FLIR has always made important tasks safer and easier with the thermal technology that they adapt into their cameras. From being able to see people and objects that couldn’t otherwise be seen, to detecting dangerous leaks to handling repairs hands-free, FLIR has touched all of our lives in ways that we aren’t even aware. While we all know that traditional infrared cameras allow sight in total darkness, bad weather and through such things as smoke and haze, FLIR allows for sight behind walls and in ceilings. And lucky for us, they continually find ways to refine and introduce this technology into new products.

One of their latest projects is venturing into the ever growing world of autonomous vehicles. On display this year is their new Automotive Development Kit (ADK). This sensor kit is targeted towards automotive software developers that are looking to add a different kind of sensor to their projects. Adding temperature sensing to the existing array of sensors already on autonomous vehicles will significantly increase the overall detection capabilities. These sensors are not meant to replace any of the sensors that are currently in use, but to be used in addition to them for an extra level of safety as thermal imaging does not have the same constraints as regular video cameras and sonar detection. Allowing developers to jump right in and discover the possibilities is a perfect way to get things started.

On display at the booth was a demonstration using the ADK hardware. In the demo, you could watch a live video of the path next to the booth, and the sensor and software together were able to identify and track humans as they passed by. This is an essential technology to allow autonomous vehicles to be able to progress from level 4 to level 5, the difference between having a steering wheel and not.

The sensors come in a few different sizes and lengths, with more improvements in the works. If you are a developer and would like more information on how to get a kit, visit their website at flir.com/adk.

Also, check out these cool consumer products that are available on Amazon:
FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera and Protective Case
FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C (Gen 3)
FLIR Systems FXV101-W Outdoor Wireless HD Video Camera

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Exciting Ways to Free You Up with WPC

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Wireless Power ConsortiumFor the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the last 12 months have been big. Not only has Apple joined the consortium, but they have launched their first devices featuring Qi. Having seen the potential with the last big player going all-in, everyone wants a piece of the pie. In the last 17 weeks, their membership has increased by almost 70%. After Apple announced that their devices were to be Qi-certified, it solidified the standard that everyone fell in line with.

Having said this, as it goes, with great power comes great responsibility. There is now a focus on certification and education to the public as to why certification is important. For the consumer, it’s all about safety. For the retailer, it means selling a quality product and for the manufacturer it is about legitimacy. In the three weeks leading up to CES, over 100 new products had been sent for certification.

In addition to Qi, the WPC has been working on two additional standards. The first standard supports up to 200 watts and is designed to power laptops, drones, televisions and other larger devices. The second and larger standard is 2400 watts and can be used in the kitchen for cooking purposes, whether it be blenders or frying pans, all without producing the heat of a stove. These standards are really designed to make the working surfaces in your home and office multi-purposed by freeing up the limited use of conventional spaces.

Having these opportunities at your disposal is an exciting look into the future of what you can expect to make your life easier and less congested. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.

Clean and Plentiful: Complete Water Independence is Now Here

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Zero Mass Water SourceWhile walking through the courtyard at the Las Vegas Convention Center this year during CES 2018, we came across an array of solar panels. We walked past them at least a few times without really thinking about it. After all, just about everything is going solar. Then the name of the business caught our eye: Zero Mass Water. And as we pondered the name, we were offered a glass of water. That also was not all that unusual, many of the companies offer you a bottle of water while you are at their booth. Before we could ask about their business, they started to ask us if we enjoyed the taste of the water and explaining how their water source could help us to eliminate the need for buying bottled water, etc. Sounded great, but where are they getting the water and what are they powering with the solar panels?

Introducing SOURCE: a Hydropanel that makes drinking water directly from sunlight and air. This is a truly renewal water source that doesn’t need infrastructure or electrical input. And you can generate up to a case of bottled water per day from just a pair of panels.

Tapped into the unlimited supply of water vapor in the air, SOURCE uses sunlight to power a renewable supply of drinking water. No more waste from bottled or filtered water. It produces pure drinking water and adds exactly the right minerals to optimize health and taste. These electrolytes make SOURCE drinking water delicious. Each SOURCE array is connected to their global network, which enables monitoring of your water production and performance in real time. You’ll also be able to see what sunshine and humidity are expected in the coming days. There’s even an active green light signal to let you know that SOURCE is keeping your water safe. And as a Water for Life member, you’ll get even more data and control over your array.

Most homes can replace all of their drinking water with a 2-panel array. The water flows into a 30 liter reservoir where it is mineralized for optimal taste, storing up to 120 standard bottles per 2-panel array. The price for the two panels and installation is approx $4,500.

This is not only an amazing product for those who want to be environmentally conscience, but imagine how sustainable, clean water will be able to help people drought stricken areas and undeveloped countries. The possibilities are truly exciting.

To get more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
Sponsored by:
Support our coverage by shopping Amazon here.
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.