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The DJI Osmo Pocket brings their 3-axis gimbal to a one-handed camera

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

DJI Osmo PocketWhen people think of consumer drones and multirotor copters, they almost certainly go directly to DJI. There is no name more synonymous with the product category, in fact, for both consumers and professionals. One of the reasons that DJI is so popular is the incredible stability of their cameras, care of a very sophisticated gyroscopic stabilizer. The stabilizer is so good at what it does, that the company has decided to bring it outside of the drone and into a new product, the Osmo Pocket.

This new product is a small, handheld video camera is able to record in full UHD 4K resolution, at 60 frames per second. It can record for 140 minutes on a charge, all in an incredibly small body. But, where DJI really sets the Osmo Pocket apart from the crowded is by bringing their 3-axis gimbal to the camera. This single feature makes the camera incredibly attractive for all sorts of video creators.

The most obvious usage is for amateur sports videography. Whether you’re running up and down your kids’ soccer pitch or filming your friends’ newest skateboard trick, this is a great camera. It’s because of the stabilization. You can literally run with the camera and the gimbal can keep the frame level and steady. All of this is made possible while still managing to pack everything into a single-handed design.

The gimbal is mechanical but digitally controlled. This gives the camera the ability to do some great capabilities that you simply cannot get with a generic gimbal. For example, ActiveTrack, a feature which allows you to tap on a subject on the screen and the camera will continue to follow the subject as it moves, as well as while the camera moves. Again, this makes following a kid’s soccer game or skateboarding video far easier to film.

The DJI Osmo Pocket is available now for $349, and can be found in accessory bundles, as well.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The OPKIX One allows you to enjoy an event and share it with friends

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

OPKIX One cameraThere’s no question that social media has a big impact on most of our lives every day. For many, when they are experiencing something exciting, that want to be able to share it with the world. However, the biggest problem with that is it means that you then experience the event through the lens of a camera and the screen of a phone. It would be much better if you could experience the event and share it with your friends. That is exactly the problem that OPKIX is trying to solve.

The OPKIX One camera is small enough that it can be used just about anywhere, from a necklace to your eyeglasses. It is also that small size that makes it so that you can film and experience an event at once. Using some of these accessories, such as the glasses, you can easily record the exciting aspects of your day without having to lose yourself into a camera of a phone screen. Now, you can truly enjoy the thing that you are there to enjoy, whether it be a concert, competition, or conference.

In addition to the design of the camera itself, there are a number of distinguishing features. One of the most interesting is the inspiration that they take from true wireless earbuds. They ship with a docking “egg” which serves as a portable charging station, but there’s more than just that. When you’re charging the camera, it is also transferring the media from the camera into the egg. That way you only have to have a single device paired to your phone. That’s because the package ships with 2 cameras, as opposed to only one, so you can charge one while recording with the other.

The OPKIX One can be ordered now for $295 for the cameras, or $395 for the cameras and a pack of accessories.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Jammy is a digital guitar that makes travel easier for players

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Jammy guitarWhile the guitar is one of the most popular instruments to learn, it is also one of the most difficult to transport. The large size makes it nearly impossible to bring onto a plane, with several well-known incidents of professional players having their guitars damaged during transportation. That is where the Jammy portable guitar comes into play. Unlike a regular guitar, the Jammy can snap apart into 2 pieces, making it small enough to fit into a backpack.

The Jammy is a fully-capable digital guitar featuring real steel strings. Rather than using the strings to create sound directly, the Jammy is a MIDI controller, turning your actions into digital commands. Those commands can, naturally, replicate the acoustics of a guitar, but can be used to produce any number of collections of sounds. The best part of all of this is that all of the signal processing can be done directly on the guitar, meaning you don’t need a phone or tablet in the mix for the Jammy to work. This gives you the power of digital audio without the lag of external processing.

On the device is a collection of audio interfaces. The first is the obvious: a 1/4″ jack, which is the standard for connecting an electric guitar to an amplifier or professional sound system. If you’re not playing in public, you can use the 1/8″ jack, which is the standard jack for headphones. With that, you can play entirely privately, using your own choice of headphones. Finally, it also features a MIDI interface over USB-C, so that you can connect the Jammy to a computer. Jammy can then be used with any number of music programs to create beats and more.

The Jammy can currently be preordered for $399, with a future retail price of $499.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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SELFLY allows you to take the perfect selfie without a stick

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

SELFLY camera droneThe biggest trend in technology in the past decade might just be selfies. Encouraged by services like Instagram and Snapchat, and glamorized by celebrities, almost everyone has at least one. The problem is often that the angle of a camera held by the photographer prevents great framing. It’s even worse when there is a group. In fact, even on our team we only have a couple of people who can get a good group selfie. For the rest of us, we now have the SELFLY drone.

This tiny multicopter is actually designed to be part of a phone case, meaning that it is always with you. That means that the drone is always with you when you’re ready to take the perfect selfie or record the perfect video. How does the drone help with that, you might ask. Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Using your phone, you can control the drone like a standard multicopter, allowing you to aim the camera and frame your photo or video exactly as you want.

None of that makes the device a drone, however. The drone capabilities come when you use the copter’s ability to lock onto a target. Once the SELFLY is in the air, it has the ability to choose a person and follow them as they move around. This is a perfect feature for filming a video without a camera person. You can lock the camera onto yourself and move around, having the camera act as your camera person.

One of the best features, and certainly one of the things that set it apart from other drones, is the ability to use gestures. Rather than having to carry your phone to take a photo, you can actually trigger the shutter with a hand movement. That will keep your photos clear of the clutter of your phone.

The SELFLY drone is available now for $99.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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OV Loop makes texting with your voice easier and more usable

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

OV LoopAs we all know, texting and driving is a huge problem. Every tech company has seemingly worked to help solve this problem in various ways. The most obvious way to tackle the problem is via voice commands and messaging, but for anyone who has tried to use a service like Siri or Google Assistant for text message transcription knows just how poorly it can work. The team at OV Loop have a new and novel take on the problem: the OV App.

While using your device’s native voice service for messaging, the recipient receives a computer-powered transcription of what it thinks you said; the inaccuracies of which are well-known. With the OV App, OV Loop’s messaging system, not only does the recipient receive a transcription, but they also receive the original recording. This means that when you inevitably receive a message that makes no sense, you can still decipher the intent by listening to the original voice. The best part of all of this is that it can be accomplished with minimal interaction with your device. In addition to text and voice, the app can also do what you expect from a messaging system, like photos and videos.

The real standout feature of the platform, however, is the OV Pro headphones. While they look like standard in-ear Bluetooth headphones, they feature voice control capabilities on-board. When pairing the OV Pro with the OV App you can now send and receive messages completely hands-free. You don’t even need to press a button to summon the voice commands like a standard Bluetooth device. This makes using them in the wild a far safer experience. You can even use the OV Pro to trigger your device’s native assistant to perform all of the tasks you would expect.

The OV App is available now for free for Android and iOs and the OV Pro is available for $179.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The Canon Rayo projector packs a large image into a very small package

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Canon Rayo S1 projectorWhen most people think of Canon, their first thoughts tend to be of cameras, and for good reason: the company has been making cameras and lenses since at least 1940. But soon, some people might think of projectors first thanks to the Rayo S1 mini projector. While Canon is no newcomer to projectors, the S1 takes on a whole new market in a big way. This little device is able to produce an 84-inch image with only about 3 meters of throw distance while being only about the size of a portable CD player.

This projector is the perfect companion for any salesperson, as they can easily carry it in their laptop bag or briefcase and, since it has an internal battery, they won’t even need to find a power supply in the room where they are giving their presentation. Imagine being able to easily set up in a coffee shop without having to sit in just the right booth.

In addition, the S1 itself runs a version of Android right on the projector. Because of that, you can install apps directly onto the device and use it without any external device plugged in. A member of the Canon team discovered that if he strapped the projector to the side of his bed, he could use Netflix on his ceiling without any setup.

At $259, this mini projector can even be part of anyone’s travel bag. Rather than carrying every possible cable that a hotel television might have so that you can watch Hulu at night only to be disappointed because the hotel TV doesn’t have working HDMI ports, you can bring the S1 projector with you and know that it is going to work without any problems.

The Rayo S1 mini projector should be available this May from Canon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Amazing and affordable sound to fit all of your needs from TCL

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

TCL HeadphonesNo tour of the TCL booth at CES would be complete without checking out the sound systems. We already know that they make amazing TV’s that get better every year. However, as the sets get thinner, the more difficult it gets to deliver good sound. Bruce Walker gave us the skinny on their new sound tech.

In the next couple of months, TCL will be introducing a family of sound bars that are designed to deliver a great audio experience. The line up will contain two families of sound bars called the Alto 5 and the Alto 7. Both will be available with or without a wireless subwoofer. The Alto 7 improves the audio of the Alto five by having separate woofers and tweeters in the main sound bar for better clarity. The 7 has a slightly bigger subwoofer and also has the ability to have HDMI connectivity. This allows for one cable connection to the TV for automatic communication between the two for easy control. The best part is that these sound bars that are under $200 but deliver very good and robust sound quality. There are also three preset sound modes including movie , music, and news to tailor the sound to what you’re watching and offer a great home theater experience on a budget.

Also in the sound section, this year is a new family of headphones that aim to appeal to a wider and younger audience. The lineup includes the SOCL for the inspired lifestyle, the MTRO for a bold sound, the ACTV that are perfect for any workout and their ELIT headphones that will deliver premium performance. And we have to say, the prices can’t be beaten. Prices range from $10 to $99 but don’t think that you will have to skimp on features. From 18-hour battery life to an integrated remote and everything in between, you will be able to match the perfect set of headphones to every aspect of your life.

To learn more about the entire TCL line, click here to visit their website after you watch the full interview.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Here Comes the Bus brings added peace of mind for worrying parents

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Here Comes the Bus by Synovia SolutionsEvery parent that has a child that rides the bus to school has worried about their arriving at school safely and on time. Synovia Solutions has introduced Here Comes the Bus, a platform designed for having the capability for the parent and the school district to track the bus as it delivers their children safely to their destination. It is literally a morning de-stressor for parents!

This was designed primarily for fleet management for companies to manage their drivers’ behavior, progress, and patterns. They have developed an app for the school districts all over the country to also be able to track the drivers of school buses as they transport the students to school and home again. They have 900 school districts that are involved! It offers an app for parents to also observe the same thing. Now they can watch the bus’ activity and follow it on the route. They will see if it is delayed for any reason or stopped in an unexpected place.

It is built on GPS technology. This allows communication with a satellite which in turn communicates with the software and then relays the information to the parents. This also allows employees of the school districts to know if there are any problems with the buses. School administrators can then be alerted to a late bus. Maintenance will also know if a potential problem with any bus is occurring.

In addition to being able to track the bus, parents are able to find out if their children have gotten on or off the bus. This is accomplished by using a barcode scanner as they get on or off the bus. If the students have an ID that already has a barcode, it can be used for this purpose. If not, one can be provided for them.

Here Comes the Bus is available now for school districts that are interested. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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YubiKey adds 2FA to your online accounts without all of the hassle

Friday, February 15th, 2019

YubiKey by YubicoIf any single topic should be a focus for 2019, it should be online security. At least once per week, if not more frequently, there are reports of a platform being hacked or data being stolen. More often than not, the data that is stolen is user credentials: username, email, and password. Because we all use so many different services, it is fairly common practice to use the same password for some, many, or all services being used. Because of that, a single breach can compromise every system that you use.

These breaches have certainly brought about the importance of 2-factor authentication, more commonly referred to as 2FA. The common way of dealing with 2FA is either by receiving a number via text or through one of the authenticator apps. The good news is that there is a better way to protect your account. The YubiKey by Yubico is a physical 2FA device that secures your accounts with biometrics. Rather than having to get a text message to a phone that you have to then type into another service, all you have to do is touch the little device and you’re done.

In addition to 2FA, the YubiKey can also be used as a primary authentication method. For example, Microsoft supports the concept of a biometric login, allowing you to not have to use your email address and password at all to log in to your Office 365 account, OneDrive, or even your email. Simply touch your finger to the YubiKey and you’re logged in.

There is a range of keys available, depending on how you are planning on using it. From a standard USB-C key to a low-profile key, and even one designed for NFC, allowing you to use it with Android, there is a YubiKey to protect your accounts.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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ThirdEye brings the power of mixed reality to a lightweight headset

Friday, February 15th, 2019

ThirdEye GenThe last couple of years have brought a lot of interest back to virtual reality and augmented reality. In the AR world, while Microsoft’s HoloLens might be the best-known brand, there are a lot of companies bringing a lot of major innovation to their own AR headsets. One such company is ThirdEye, who is bringing their second generation AR headset, the X2, to market in the near future. This headset is the smallest mixed reality headset available, weighing in at only 6 ounces (as opposed to the HoloLens, which comes in at 20 ounces, or 1.28 pounds). All of this is accomplished while not being required to be tethered to a computer or any external computing device.

The weight isn’t the only feature that sets the X2 apart from its competition. One of the biggest problems with augmented reality and mixed reality hardware is the field of vision. Essentially, that means that the hardware itself block a large portion of your peripheral vision or that the viewable area of the screen is only a very small portion of the overall viewable area. The X2 has taken this problem to task and created a 42-degree field of vision. For reference, this is the equivalent of a 90″ television in your living room.

Obviously, none of this has any value if there is no software available for the platform. To address this concern, the X2 runs on Android 8, meaning that anyone who can develop applications for Android can develop for this mixed reality headset. To aid in that endeavor, ThirdEye has the VisionEye SLAM SDK, which provides the ability to track position with six degrees of freedom, allowing for high precision.

The X2 is currently not available but can be preordered with delivery planned for later in 2019. The preorder price for the hardware is $1,950.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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