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The fantastic way this French company brings IoT to retail shopping

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

SES-imagotagNobody thinks a whole lot about the price tags at retail stores. Well, that is until you come across one that is priced incorrectly or is missing all together. On the flip side, it gets to be a lot when you are the store sales associate who has to keep up with changing prices. It’s a never ending battle. At least once every week, when there is a promotion, they have to switch out the sales prices with the regular ones, and then price the new sales items for the next promotion. It’s a time consuming process that usually ends up being quite imperfect.

French company, SES-imagotag, has an easy and unique solution for exactly these situations, with a lot of other nice perks built right in. And this concept, which seems so simplistic that it really doesn’t need any discussion about it, is actually quite interesting in that it has so many practical uses for both the retailer and the consumer. For starters, retailers will have a central command center where they can set and make all pricing and product adjustments automatically. For smaller retail shops, this command center would be right there in their back offices. For larger retailers, it could even be located at a nationwide headquarters. Similar to large chains who currently, say, have all of the same music playing in each store, that is controlled remotely. They would also be able to ensure that their pricing integrity is always on point. No more mistakes at the individual contributor employee level for missing a sales price or not removing one after the sales is over, creating embarrassment and pricing exceptions if a shopper finds it first.

But accurate pricing is not the only feature of these sleek little gizmos. Maybe even more importantly, they can each be customized to fit with store and product strategies. Not only can SKU numbers and product names be added, but also logos, QR Codes and NFC Chips can be included. This gives the shopper a huge advantage while deciding upon a product. Imagine being able to instantly connect to the product’s internet home page right on your smart phone to get additional information and compare prices. It gives more power for smart buying decisions without needing to search for a sales person who may or may not have all of that information that you need.

While this type of electronic product tagging system is beginning to hit the ground in France, the model that we encountered at CES 2019 is still in the prototype stage. It is getting closer to being brought to market and they hope to introduce it in U.S. markets in the near future. For more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Keep the party going with these kickin’ speakers from Altec Lansing

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Altec LansingWhen we’re making our rounds throughout CES every year, there are a few familiar stops that we really look forward to visiting. Alec Lansing happens to be one of them. And, as always, we thoroughly enjoyed taking a tour of their latest and greatest.

Up first were the new Rock Box XL speakers. These fun, waterproof speakers are certainly ready to party. With an IP67 waterproof rating, you can just toss it in the pool and it’ll float up with great sound. And what’s really cool is that they come equipped with LED lights that not only look great as they light up the pool, but they also illuminate to the beat of the music. To top it all off, consistent with the rest of Altec Lansing’s Bluetooth speaker line, you are able to connect up to 50 other speakers in line with each other. So you’ll be able to turn your home into a true party house with connected speakers in the pool, on the deck, in the yard, house and anywhere you need the tunes to flow. Can you imagine a neighborhood block party with these babies? We sure can. You can start planning your festivities now, with the release date of these expected in the 2nd to 3rd quarter of 2019 at the amazing price of $49 each.

Another cool new product being featured this year is the Action Cam Speaker. It’s a Bluetooth speaker that has an action cam built right in. So you’ll be able to take 360-degree video while listening to your favorite playlists. Why on earth would anyone need this type of product combination? Well, it’s also waterproof, allowing it to be mounted on a kayak so you can capture all of the amazing views that you encounter while also listening to your music. It can also be great at a party to catch all of the action, or on a bicycle. The possibilities are plentiful. You can expect these out in the 3rd or 4th quarter this year at a price point of $199.99.

There are a lot of speakers in the complete line with a full range of great features. Prices start at just $29.99 and go up to $299. You’ll surely find something that you will love, so make sure to check out their website to pick out your favorites.

Interview by Daniele Mendez 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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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.
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From Cool to Sophisticated, Philips Has Headphones for You

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Philips True Wireless Bluetooth HeadphonesIt’s no secret that the Gibson Brands tent is one of our most favorite stops while attending CES. Being able to get a first-hand look at the new line of Philips Headphones is definitely one of the reasons. This year we got to spend a few minutes with their product manager for headphones to learn what’s new.

First up is the UpBeat Range, and they are exactly that. This range has been specifically targeted to an audience that is young and fun. They are cool and exciting with a unique, two-toned gradient coloring that comes in red, blue, grey and purple. You can choose between standard earbuds and in ear models that block out external noise. Both come in either corded or Bluetooth versions. You can also get Bluetooth neck bands that rest right on your neck and make it really convenient between usage. It was important to Philips for them to make this line fun and affordable, but also have the great sound that they are known for. This line has the best sound in this class on the market today. Prices will range from $20 to $60.

Next up is the Bass+ Range. For this line, they wanted to offer a more stylish and sophisticated headphone that still has great bass. They come in earbuds, all the way through to full-cup headphones. The dark, deep colors are classic and suitable for both men and women. The Bluetooth version comes in white and black with a three button remote. They are comfortable and were designed with a fin that ensures they securely stay in your ears. Also in this line are over ear headbands that sit around the ear. They are compact and have a fold system for easy storage and transport. Both corded and Bluetooth versions are available. And of course, there is also an on ear selection that comes in in blue and maroon.

And, of course, we were also really excited to see the True Wireless Earbuds in the Bass+ Range. These have a tiny design and play time is an impressive 6 hours. This is more than just about every other brand out there. They come with a nice pouch that is also rechargeable and gives an extra 6 hours, so you’ll have true all day playtime. Prices on the Bass+ Range begin at $20 for the corded earbuds and go up to $130 for the True Wireless.

Check out all that Philips has to offer by visiting their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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Shuttercase Knows How To Make Photos Astoundingly Easy

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Vantas ShuttercaseThese days people are using their smartphones for taking pictures even more often than a regular camera. Vantas has developed a case for your phone to help you to be more creative in your photography by freeing up one hand. This product is called Shuttercase, and it is essentially case with a gripper that enables you to let go of your phone with one hand and press the shutter with the other hand.

The feature that sets this case apart from other photo cases and selfie sticks is that there are no electronics involved. Rather than using Bluetooth to trigger the camera, Shuttercase uses mechanics to press the volume button on your phone. This means there is no setup or pairing and you never have to worry about interference or battery issues. Shuttercase is a combination of a case, a mechanical shutter, a stand to set the phone down while shooting and a power bank, which has a rechargeable battery. It comes in six colors and you can also purchase additional batteries.

The basic price point starts at $60.00 and will be available in approximately 60 days. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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ARRAY Finds a Smart Way to be Secure in Your Home

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Array by Brinks Home SecurityThe world of home protection has been enhanced by a new product line from Brinks Home Security called ARRAY, designed and manufactured by Hampton Products. The line features many creative products to keep you and your family safe and protected.

The first product is the Brinks Push/Pull/Rotate Handleset. The doorknob offers the ability to open by pulling the handle, as well as the traditional turn, while the handle can be opened by a simple press. The handlesets are available now in a variety of styles, including knob, lever and handle, as well as different finishes.

To compliment the handleset is the ARRAY Wi-Fi Smart Deadbolt. The deadbolt is made from military grade steel and contains a solar panel to keep the electronics powered. It also has a hands-free feature making it very useful for entering your home when your hands are full. The deadbolt can be paired to your smartphone and senses when your phone is approaching your door and unlocks it. When combined with the handleset, it makes coming home with your arms full easy. The deadbolt is available for preorder in a variety of styles and finishes.

One of the most interesting features of the ARRAY locks is the check lock ability. This feature uses the ARRAY app to check your security at bedtime without having to go back to the doors to be certain that they are closed and locked securely. Using the feature, you can eliminate your nightly “lockdown process” of verifying the state of all of your doors. You can check this from anywhere in the world and, as long as the door is closed, you can even lock or unlock the door remotely.

Next up is a set of ARRAY Smart Light fixtures. Both styles feature a 1080p camera with night vision, 270 degree motion detection, a solar panel a microphone and speaker. We’ve all had a motion sensor light go off any time a cat runs through the yard, or a neighbor who has it pointed towards the street and anyone who drives by turns on the light. The ARRAY light has built-in AI and can recognize humans for activation, meaning that animals or cars will not set it off.

The first design is a coach-style fixture, which is easy to open and change the bulb, and looks like a traditional light fixture. In addition, if two lights are needed, for example to go on either side of a garage door, there is the availability of a slave light, which has no camera but it reacts to the master’s commands. Whenever the master light turns on, so does the slave.

The second design is an LED security light. It features two LED panels with power up to 2000 lumens and can be programmed by your phone to control the brightness, in the event 2000 lumens is too bright. This fixture can also be programmed to be used as a floodlight to enjoy your outdoor area in the evening. Both of these lights will be available in the near future.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
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Captivated by the Invasion with the Head Monster

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Monster SuperStar speakersThis year’s Monster Takeover was nothing short of a Sound Invasion and we were so excited to be front and center for all of the fun at CES 2018! It kicked off with the press conference that showcased the new and exciting products for this year. Then, during the show itself, getting to see everything in action at the Monster Booth in Central Hall, including the Pure Monster Sound that has been integrated into the Volkswagen R. Also at the booth, we were lucky enough to chat with Peter Miller and then see Iggy Azalea when she stopped by to say Hi to the press and take a brief tour of the booth.

But the definite highlight of the show for us was getting to speak with the Head Monster himself, Noel Lee, before the Monster Concert featuring Joe Perry and Friends. After Noel took a few minutes to address the crowd at the pre-show cocktail party and give a first-hand look at the whole lineup, including the Expanded Blaster Family, he took a few minutes to sit down with us to discuss the new Monster SuperStar Series. With the S200 speaker in hand, Noel discussed the features that makes this line of speakers outstanding. For example, V Sound, which plays from both sides of the speaker to provide an all encompassing sound at any angle, and Monster Talk which allows you to request any song (or genre) from any of the streaming services, or from your own playlist, instantaneously. And we love the aesthetics of the line. They fit in with the Blaster Series just like family, which is exactly how Noel and the entire crew at Monster make us feel.

If you’d like to be a part of the family as well, pick out which SuperStar(s) would best fit into your lifestyle, starting at just $59. Take it from us, you will love the way they sound!!

SuperStar S100
SuperStar S200
SuperStar S300

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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The Bliss of Full Musical Freedom in Working Out with Vinci

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Vinci 2.0 headphonesHaving interviewed Max Wu with Vinci a couple of times already for their 1st generation headphones, we knew it was a must to stop-in and say hello when we saw him in Eureka Park this year at CES 2018. We loved their headphones that debuted last year, which were the first in the world to incorporate standalone voice command. They allow users to take them on the go and pull up their favorite music without having to reach for a cell phone. So we were really excited to see what’s new.

They did not disappoint. This year they are even more geared towards sports and working out with Vinci 2.0 Earbuds. They have added all of the functionality of the headphones into a much smaller form. These earbuds only weigh 80 grams, fit comfortably on the neck and in-ear and offer all of your music without the need to even have your phone on you. So you will be able to go out jogging and be able to listen to your tunes as well as take phone calls without having to lug around that bulky phone, which is great since lots of workout gear don’t have pockets.

Setup is simple and also the only time that you need to use your phone along with them. The app will take you through adding (or changing) your favorite music streaming services and libraries. From there, these 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth earbuds will automatically synch with your phone when they are together, to keep all of your information up-to-date. And don’t worry, it doesn’t only synch up your music, but it also gathers your health stats and adds them to the health centers in you Apple and Android phones.

Classic to Vinci, there is still a screen, but it is much smaller and designed to blend in to the aesthetic. It is definitely a more passive system for power preservation, but you can still customize it to your preferences. The screen makes it easy to check the on/off status, battery life and signal strength. The battery will last for up to 14 hours of continuous play and it comes with a USB docking station that will give a full charge in about 2.5 hours.

The Kickstarter for Vinci 2.0 recently ended and they should start shipping in Feb 2018. Pricing starts at $89 for 8GB and goes up to $249 for the 32GB. Check out all four colors and choose a pair of your own on their website. You can also pick up a pair of the full size headphones on Amazon.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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The Gift of the Universe Right on Your Smartphone

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Vaonis Stellina TelescopeVaonis introduces Stellina – a completely new kind of telescope. It is easy to use, portable and delivers the images directly to your smartphone. Their goal is to make astronomy more accessible for everybody. The thought of having to set up a standard telescope properly, looking through a small hole and still not really being able to see what you are looking for is not very appealing. But Stellina changes all of that. Via the connected app, it knows your GPS location when you set it up and it searches out the stars for you. You can also request specific sightings and Stellina will find them for you. For example, a certain nebula or galaxy, or even the International Space Station when it is in your area. Imagine having this kind of telescope during an eclipse. It will find and track the best viewing vantage and you can watch the whole thing right on your phone.

Stellina is compact and lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack and boasts 5 – 10 hours of battery life, depending upon usage. The app is easy to use and, once installed, is easily accessed via the push of a button on the telescope. It not only provides you with amazing images that are easy to save and share on social media, but it will also provide information about what it is that you are viewing.

Whether you are wanting an easy and fun way to keep up with your astronomy hobby, or you are looking to become more active in the astronomical community, Stellina is for you. It will be available in Q3 2018 for $2,999 but you can preorder yours now with a CES special for $2,499 from their website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
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