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Velco brings fantastic navigation systems right to your bicycle

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Make any bike smart | VelcoWe’ve all seen numerous TV shows and news reports that show how much congestion there is in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The standstill traffic seems endless. A lot of us cannot even imagine being in those situations in a taxi, let alone maneuvering our own cars around in them. Many people who live in large cities like these throughout the world keep their daily living circles tight, with home, work, groceries and bars/restaurants within walking distance. Bicycling is also a very popular mode of transportation in these urban settings. Not only does it provide exercise and health benefits, but also allows for an extension of their usual walking radius.

Velco is a French tech company that has the simple, yet earnest vision to create an environment for smarter and more personalized urban mobility. They have a true understanding of the real issues in the various urban mobility markets as they are surrounded by cycling organizations and businesses. As delivery companies, bike sharing services, tour operators and even police forces utilize bicycles more and more in their daily operations, they need to have many of the same, easy to use modern conveniences that we do in our vehicles. As a result, they are designing and marketing connected solutions for mobility professionals all over the world.

We stopped into the Velco booth at CES Unveiled 2019 to get a closer look. CEO, Pierre Regnier showed us a couple of their new products. First off is a navigation device called Tom-E. It offers a unique, intuitive and universal navigation system that is based on light signals. This system basically revolutionizes the daily commute on your bicycle or really any preferred means of transportation. It is simple and compact. Just enter your destination, lock your phone, tuck it away and let yourself be guided.

Also being showcased was the Wink Bar, a connected handlebar that will absolutely revolutionize daily cycling. This smart handlebar can be installed on any bike and connects through your smartphone. It enables riders to now enjoy intuitive GPS navigation while en route. Features include Track & Trace anti-theft as well as powerful integrated headlights.

These innovative new products bring familiar conveniences to our bike riding experience, whether for work or leisure. Riders are able to utilize them while maintaining safety. Prices start at $79.00 for the Tom-E and $279 for the Wink Bar. To find out more about the company and their product line, visit their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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This sweet and cuddly little robot might just melt your heart

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

LOVOT: powered by loveAre you thinking about how you really want a new puppy, but don’t want to worry about housebreaking. Or maybe a cute little kitty, but there’s no good place to put the litter box? And those baby goats that are all over your social media feed doing yoga certainly are cute, but oh wait, they might eat the couch. Wouldn’t it be great to have a cute little pet without all of the hassles?

Well, we stumbled upon a new robot while at CES Unveiled 2019. This really wasn’t anything unusual for us. In the last several years, it has become quite common to be introduced to various bots that provide everything from home surveillance to learning and game programs for the kids. And to be honest, when we first encountered these new little guys, we actually smiled and walked on by. But after seeing them rolling around the show floor and interacting with the crowds at the booth, we soon realized that there was something a little different with them, and we went back to take a closer look.

And lucky for us, we did cause we got to meet LOVOT, a new home robot by the Japanese company GROOVE X that is designed to be as sweet and fun to have around as a pet. Now, admittedly, on the surface, it kind of seems unlikely that this kind of droid could capture our hearts and become part of the family, as a pet would. But I have to say that the longer we were around LOVOT, the more we fell in love. The realistic shape of his eyes enables him to easily display emotion and the way he interacts with the environment around him is quite endearing. When he rolled up with that sweet look and held up his flippers, indicating that he wanted to be picked up, I have to admit that I instantly wanted one.

The company’s goal was simple, to create a robot that makes people happy. And as we can attest, when you interact with it via touch, embrace, even simply watching it, you’ll find yourself smiling, relaxing, feeling better. This is because they used technology that was not meant to improve convenience or efficiency but to enhance levels of comfort and feelings of love. LOVOT accomplishes this by reacting to your mood, learning, and bonding with you over time and recognizing different individuals for separate interactions. Plus, they are capable of interacting with each other, like pets do, when there is more than one in the household. Also, they are soft and warm and, as the product line develops, will have fun accessories and wardrobes to go with any personality.

LOVOT is currently available for pre-sale in Japan. A launch date has not yet been announced for the US, but the anticipated price will be approximately $3,000. To learn more, make sure to visit both the Lovot and the GROOVE X websites.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Voyager can take you where you want to go in a fun, new style!

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Voyager BicyclesIn the last few years the skateboard, the scooter, and the bike have practically been totally transformed. These recreational products have come a long way since they were invented. We spoke to Lloyd Gladstone, head of Product Development for Voyager, who produce a number of products in this area. For example, the company makes a line of electric skateboards, branded Tony Hawk model and Voyager. They have a 6-mile range on a charge and can go 12.5 mph. Price points range from $149-$199.

The focal point of the product line, however, if their line of electric scooters and bicycles. All of these products feature a Qi-enabled phone holder, as well as Bluetooth controls, allowing you to interact with the device’s controls and GPS without ever taking your eyes off of the road. These features not only add smart capabilities but also make the products smarter. The Voyager line offers a number of scooter options ranging from $299 to $499.

One of the more interesting features of the bicycles we saw was a hidden motor. Rather than looking like a regular electric bicycle, this model had the motor hidden in the wheel and the battery hidden in the frame. Another model offered the ability to remove the battery, allowing you to have more than one, so you can charge one while you use another. Both of these models can run for around 30 miles on a charge up to 20 mph.

In addition, he showed us several really interesting hoverboards. One, in particular, is called the Glowboard, which is lighted and makes it safer at night and also has a color-changing feature. The other one has a strobe effect and lights up your path and also flashes strobe lighting. Extending the hoverboard idea is the Space Shoes. These are somewhere between a hoverboard and roller skates. The ride is more challenging than a traditional hoverboard, but once you get the hang of it, you can do some pretty cool tricks. All of these products feature gyroscopic stabilization, making it easier for you to stay standing up.

These products will probably be available in the summer of 2019. For more information, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Kohler Has Super Technology For You and Your Home

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Kohler KonnectSuper technology in the home is not a thing of the future, but what is happening now. Kohler has been providing your home with everyday necessities for over 100 years, and now they are updating those products with their line called Kohler Konnect. This line of products is about moments made better, with control exactly how you want it. You can control these products manually, through the app or with your voice.

The Verdera Lighted Mirror is activated with built-in Amazon Alexa voice control. With the voice control in the bathroom, you can direct your wishes to start your shower with the proper temperature and desired spray choice or a combination of sprays. The morning shower person might want a quick awakening-type of shower and the bedtime shower person might want a more massage-type, relaxing kind of shower. Verdera is equipped with integrated lighting, 2 microphones and 2 hermetically-sealed speakers, so that you don’t have any extra clutter on your counter.

In the kitchen there is a touchless faucet that is perfect for people who just want to wave their hand to turn on the water and not touch the faucet. You can also use the voice control to tell your faucet to fill your coffeepot with a pre-set amount of water. Except for Verdera, all of these products are platform-agnostic, making it very compatible with Amazon, Alexa or Google Assistant.

These products are available now except for the voice command mirror which is coming out in March. For more information go to kohler.com.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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The Sunflower is The First Autonomous Shade in The World

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Sunflower Robotic Sun Shade by ShadeCraftShadeCraft Robotics is a start up company in California that has made it their mission to improve human interaction outdoors through connected devices and robotic technology. One of their greatest examples of working toward that mission is called the Sunflower. The Sunflower is the world’s first autonomous shade that keeps your space completely shaded for the largest part of the day by automating its movements along with the sun’s movement. It also generates and stores renewable energy using solar panels to bring the mechanism to life.

The Sunflower has speakers for any type of music from your own device and a microphone for AI commands through your smarthome system through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in capabilities. But it doesn’t end there! This shade goes above and beyond for any outdoor space with an HD camera and controlled lighting. You can easily use the Sunflower as the center piece from a party to a relaxing day to yourself.

Preorders are available now on the ShadeCraft website for $6900 until the end of March when the retail price increases to $8700.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Gourmia Adds High Tech Smarts and Improved Convenience to the Kitchen

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Gourmia Google Assistant Enabled AppliancesOver the last few years, Gourmia has gone from being a kitchen appliance manufacturer to being a leader in kitchen automation technology. Whether the appliance be in the form of a multi-use device, Google Assistant enabled or even remote monitoring, Gourmia has put a lot of thought into their new line of products. At CES 2018, the company showed us the latest enhancements they have made to their product offerings.

First up is a Google Assistant powered coffee maker, an upgrade to the current line. Initially you might wonder, “What might voice activation do for a coffee maker?” Once you see it in action it all becomes clear. Being able to be in your bedroom and be able to tell your coffee maker in the kitchen to start up is a great feature. Being able to say, “Good morning Google” and have the coffee start, the lights turn on and wakeup music start to play is even better.

In addition to coffee, they have added Google Assistant support to their other devices, such as a sous vide immersion pod, also an upgrade to the current line. You can control or check the temperature of the water and start and stop the cooking process, all without being in the room. Or, you could put together a recipe and automate a large portion of the process.

But Google Assistant is for more than just speaking to your kitchen. In upcoming versions of their multiuse oven and air fryer, the company is adding cameras. The camera will allow you to get a live video feed of what’s cooking, so you no longer have to open the oven to see how your pizza is doing, or open the air fryer to check on your chicken. You can do it all from the palm of your hand, or from any Google Assistant enabled device.

The products shown, with their upgraded features, will be launching starting in Quarter 2 and continuing throughout 2018, so stay tuned to their website for updates.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Best Way to Make the Most Out of Your Presentations

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

J5create conference room screen systemAll those boring meetings in the conference room got you down? Are you tired of your staff missing half of what’s said because you don’t have a multi-presenter platform? Want your meetings to be more interactive and productive?

If you are looking for a simple and innovative way to make that leap from regular meetings to a more collaborative setting, then you have to check out the Screen Wave Technology that J5create has built into their all new JWR 2100 Router. This router-based system allows you to cast up to 9 individual devices up to a single conference room screen, thus allowing multiple contributors to all present from their own source. It is able to integrate all connected users into one screen simultaneously, for things like work collaboration and brainstorming. It is also versatile enough to allow any of the users to take over the entire screen when needed for a specific presentation, and then send it back again to all users when they are finished.

This system will turn your boring meeting room into a conference environment. It utilizes what they refer to as a puck interface that allows you to have a laptop system connected. This button is used to connect into the router and then communicate by emitting content onto the screen. The router is also Wi-Fi enabled, which means that tablets, or even cell phones, are able to interface with it via their mobile app.

Pricing to start building your system is expected to start at an MSRP of $350 and expected release is April/May of 2018.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.
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