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Toys & Gaming

Sphero Specdrums: The most fun you’ll ever have tapping your fingers

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Sphero SpecdrumsDo you ever sit at your desk and tap along to the beat of a song? Is the steering wheel in your car a full-on drum set when your favorite song comes is playing? If you’re like me, you’re a world class drummer in your own head. So, for all of us who don’t quite have the time or drum set to become rock stars, Sphero has introduced Specdrums.

Specdrums are sleekly designed, Bluetooth enabled, app connected rings that detect color, combined with accelerometers that detect tapping. So you are able to play music on anything in the world around you. They are a fun new musical instrument that provides an accessible, portable, and tactile way for anyone to create music anywhere. You can play on the included color pad, or really on anything, like your shirt, a drawing or even a bowl of fruit. They are perfect for beginners who want to explore but also open-ended for advanced musicians to get creative and show their chops. Specdrums provides an outlet for whether you are practicing music using your hands without loud, expensive, and large physical instruments.

They work by sending a very quick, low latency color signal to the app on your device. The colors can be programmed in the app to have a specific sound for each color. They also have curated packs in the app for different genres of music. Each pack has a combination of loops that continue to play like drum or baseline and also some instruments like a keyboard. With all of these great features, they sound great right out of the box. And with all of the customization choices available, you’ll have your own amazing creations in no time. They offer sets with one ring for $64.99 or expand your play experience with a 2 ring set that allows you to switch it up using two hands with more versatility or to play with friends for $99.

You can get more information and grab your own set on their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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3dRudder frees up your hands to play VR games in a more natural way

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

3dRudderAs the world of virtual reality gaming gets more sophisticated, so must the control systems that make the games possible. If you have played any VR games, you know that the current methods of controlling your position within the virtual world are both unnatural and self-defeating. Trying to use a standard controller to move around takes you out of the VR experience and reminds you that you are not actually experiencing those actions and activities.

Fortunately, the team at 3dRudder have created a paradigm that allows you to control your character’s position with your feet. This means you can move without feeling like you are exerting an outside force on the game, but instead feeling like you are moving more naturally within the world being created for you. The product looks a little like a smaller BOSU ball, allowing you to place your feet on the platform and move in all directions simply by using your feet. Obviously, this is a far closer approximation to reality than using a controller, keeping you in the virtual reality.

While the 3dRudder has been available for PC for a while, the big addition this year was support for PlayStation VR. Combining the PlayStation Move controllers with the 3dRudder really brings gameplay far closer to reality. Being able to control your movement with your feet, while aiming and firing, punching,m etc., with the PlayStation Move wands is an incredibly accurate and realistic control system. And, by combining these two on the PlayStation, it really just makes the game more fun.

While there is obviously a lot of talk around using the 3dRudder with VR, there is no requirement that you use it within a virtual reality experience. In fact, you can use the 3dRudder with any game that accepts controller input. Now you can separate your hand controls from your foot controls on PC games, freeing you up to move around and fire quicker.

The PC and PlayStation versions of the 3dRudder hardware are available now on their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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The Most Amazing Chess Board… EVER!!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

SquareOff electronic chess boardSo, you see a nice wooden chess board while walking around a large tech show. You glance at it, give a little smile and almost walk right by to the thing that has all of the bells and whistles down the row, because it’s just a chess board, right? Luckily our team didn’t just keep walking when they came up to this one. I have to say that with all of the technology out there and after years of coming to CES, it is pretty rare for us to see a new product demo and have our jaws actually drop. But that’s what happened when we saw the sorcery at the Square Off booth in Eureka Park this year at CES 2018.

Square Off is an automated chess board that allows you to play against the built-in artificial intelligence. So, big deal, right? Electronic chess has been around forever. Well this isn’t your grandpa’s electronic chess. This game is played on an actual, physical chess board with real pieces. And after you take your turn, the built in intelligence not only calculates its next move, but it actually moves its piece on the board. It accomplishes this via built in pressure sensors, magnets and an electronic arm built inside. You have to see it to believe it. It even moves around other pieces and removes your captured pieces from the board itself.

There are 20 different levels of difficulty for playing against the computer, and you can also connect with it online and play with anybody across the world. They have connected with Chess.com so you will be able to challenge any of their 16 million users to a game, at any time, whether or not they have the board as well. The accompanying mobile app connects to the board via Bluetooth. The app is where you set the difficulty levels and search for friends. You can also analyze your games, record and share them and check the leader boards, among other features.

Don’t know how to play chess? No problem! There is a training mode that will not only teach you to play but also how to up-skill your game. Go take a look at the two different models they offer on their website. Pricing for the Kingdom Board will be $330, and the Grand Kingdom Board will be $400.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
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Play The Best Games During Your Down Time

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Gamestream Cloud Gaming SolutionGameStream offers video game streaming services to businesses in the hospitality industry. This allows their clients the luxury of playing video games while they are waiting for their services to be complete. They are offering a highly qualitative Cloud Gaming solution that allows them to stream a catalog composed of the latest AAA games and a selection of the best independent games in HD (1080p/60fps). The White-Label solution serves Hotels, Cruise ships and hospitals by enabling them to bypass the limited internet connections inside their premises. This “Next-Gen console experience” is easy to integrate where no console needs to be installed.

The founders know that others have tried and failed in this space. They feel that their extensive background in gaming, as well as game design and production give them a distinct advantage. They are not just tech people adapting their ideas and technology to gaming, as others have been. They feel that just as people have options for various music streaming services and are able to find what works best for them, that the same will be the case in game streaming if gamers are given good options.

Currently available overseas, the company is looking to expand into the U.S. They are also looking to increase their exposure in hospitals. They found that not only does it give the patients something fun to do, but it also aids in their recovery because people do better overall when their spirits are lifted.

They are also looking to offer streaming services directly to consumers in the future, when 5G wireless is available. For more information, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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What Happens When You Open Young Minds to an Innovative Idea

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Cubetto by Primo ToysNow very young children can learn the basic programming logic with Primo. It is a tactile programming language meant to introduce children from 3+ the basic skills meant to do programming in a manner that they can understand and get excited about without a screen. This is done through the eyes of Cubetto, a little wooden robot whose movements are determined by placement of colorful plastic pieces on a wooden track.

Each color represents a different command: green for go, red for right and yellow for left. The company tried hard to incorporate alliteration into the command colors so that young children will associate with it easily.

The price point for this learning experience is $225.00 for the basic pack including the robot, the command pieces and track and a map. There are additional sets available for $29.00 each and a Color Pack for $45.00. Availability is through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or smaller toy stores around the country or through educational catalogues.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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AI, Robotics and Augmented Reality Collide in the Amazing New Game Chancellor of the Universe!

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Brave New WorldAre you a fan of table top games? Do you love video games? Are you a robot enthusiast? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then Chancellor of the Universe is the game for you!

Brought to life by the minds of Brave New World, Chancellor of the Universe is the first game to combine robotics, AI and board games. You play as a new hire who works for the Chancellor, but you aren’t just set on staying in your meager position, no, you have bigger dreams, dreams like overthrowing the Chancellor (and anyone else standing in your way) so that you can be the one true Chancellor of the Universe! The game comes with a game board and mini robot that will move around the board, give out tasks, and even berate the players on occasion. The only thing you need to do after that is to download the app to any phone or tablet, and you’ll be ready to go. Currently still in the Alpha stage (looking for a 2018 release) the game boast from one to four players, with future plans of extending that number to eight. The company also plans to create different shells for the robot, so other AI games can be played using the AI interface as well.

All in all, if you are a fan of Sci-Fi, games or gadgets this is the game for you. So you can play solo, play as a team, or double cross everyone else at the table so you become the sole, and one true Chancellor of the Universe!

For more info, visit their website.

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Game Like a Professional with DXRacer Chairs

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

DXRacerLong term comfort is really hard to come by when looking for office and gaming chairs but DXRacer has made sure that it’s no longer a problem. 2017 brings new office chairs that can help your performance in the workplace and DXRacer calls it the Elite Series. DXRacer is known for making desk experiences better by giving their customers 3D adjustable armrests and a small, convenient lumbar pillow for long lasting comfort and productivity. Colors include red, black, brown, white, and silver.

The DXRacer CES booth this year focused on gaming and Twitch streaming. They had a large table filled with sponsored Overwatch teams that came out to Las Vegas to support DXRacer’s gaming chairs. DXRacer live streamed through their Twitch channel: twitch.tv/dxracer. Subscribe to join in on their gaming shenanigans.

You can purchase the Elite Series now for $299 at Amazon. Find the chair that suits your needs for gaming, office, performance or entertainment with DXRacer.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Razer’s Attractive New Project Will Blow Your Mind

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

RazerCES 2017 had many new promising products but there was an exciting announcement made at the Razer booth. A new concept that we are hoping to see on the market is Project Valerie. Valerie is the world’s first triple display automated, fully integrated laptop. Many people prefer a multiple monitor experience but Razer made that possible in a portable notebook chassis. It is designed to give you the desktop experience anywhere you go.

Project Valerie is a nicely packed laptop that can operate solely on one screen depending on preference and is automated to deploy the additional screens at a touch of a button or program. When viewing the hardware specifics, it is important to note that they are subject to change because Valerie is in its prototyping stages of development. What we have seen so far is fantastic. It has three 4K 17 inch panels with 100 percent adobe RGBT color accuracy and it is G sync enabled. The closed unit is approximately 1.3 inches thick.

Razer is currently gathering feedback from CES and the community feedback to help perfect the product before releasing it to the market. You can read more about Project Valerie by visiting Razer’s website here.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

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The Best Innovations will Empower Parents and Inspire Kids

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

EPIK LearningIt’s really nice when we find companies that are out there working to make a positive difference in the lives of kids. Especially when it’s in one of the areas that we find extremely important: education. Epik Learning is doing just that with their line of computer products that are just for kids.

For many years, when parents wanted to get their kids engaged with computers or tablets, they would just go out and find a low cost, entry level device to purchase and let them use. But this type of computer is not really good for kids. They do not have the right software built in to help the kids learn and grow into the next levels of education and some of them can barely handle the rigors that an adult can put them through, much less be built tough enough for a child. That’s where Epik Learning came onto the scene. They started with a line of tablets made specifically for very small children with educational games and apps that are fun and create a good environment for learning. Kids finally had something of their own that wasn’t just a plastic toy but an actual device that functions.

Here at CES 2017, they are unveiling their new line of kid’s laptops. The TEQNIO line expands their base from small children to those that are a bit older and are ready to venture more into the world of Microsoft applications. The line consists of an ultra slim laptop and a convertible laptop that is also a tablet. Both are built with family use in mind. From doing homework to business applications to streaming movies, you will feel good about this investment in your child’s education. These devices are a great addition to their overall lineup and really bridge the way from early childhood learning to teen development to adulthood.

Overall pricing starts at $69 and goes up to $249, depending upon the model. You can purchase yours at Amazon.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Gaming with Fatal1ty and Monster is Amazingly Brilliant

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

FATAL1TY Gaming Gear for MonsterIt just doesn’t get any better than Monster Products! Until you combine them with Fatal1ty, that is.

That’s right: Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel is one of the Brand Ambassadors at Monster Products. The combination of gaming with the best quality headsets is incredible and something that both brands can be proud of. This great partnership has created the Fatal1ty by Monster FXM Series Headphones. Lightweight, flexible and durable, these headphones are a gamer’s dream as they are engineered for great sound and long wear. Specs include custom built drivers for maximum detail, in-line audio controls for listening to music and taking calls, tangle free cable AND a detachable noise cancelling microphone – I mean come on! All of this with two versions available and price points under $100. We’ve definitely got these babies on our gift wishlist. Pick yours up here.

Also being featured by Fatal1ty at CES this year is the ASRock Motherboard. While the processor might be the brain of the computer, the motherboard is what connects all of the pieces together. If you cheap out on that, you lose performance on everything else. That’s where Fatal1ty’s partnership with ASRock comes in. He has designed a series of motherboards that focus on the connection between components in a way that gives as much power to your games as possible. Several models are available at Amazon.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.
Blast to the future with the Monster Blaster: the boombox reimagined.
Meet the Microsoft Surface family, the most productive devices on the planet.
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