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Be proud to tell your stories in amazing video quality with Canon

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Canon VixiaIt seems that video recording is more important now than ever. And Canon stays on the cutting edge to bring us the best assortment of video cameras. Whether you are recording all of those special moments with your growing family, capturing your favorite vacation memories or starting your own podcast or vlog, Canon has a camera that will fit your needs.

Drew McCallum, Senior Technical Specialist, indulged our love of Canon Video and showed us their newest additions to the line. New for this year are the VIXIA HF W10 and VIXIA HF W11 camcorders . There’s also a new waterproof VIXIA camcorder. They also have their HF G50 and their brand new 4K camcorder for a little bit higher end user. We were particularly mesmerized by the waterproof camcorder that was swimming behind us. It’s capable of depths up to sixteen and a half feet. It’s ready to go for all of your vacations and adventures. And it’s not just waterproof, it’s also freeze and drought proof. It offers a lot of versatility in a very small, compact design. The four-hour battery is internal and charges via USB

Another product that we at PLuGHiTz Live have a lot of interest in, is the 4K camcorders. As we look to upgrade to higher quality cameras for the crew, these really caught our attention. The VIXIA GX10 is Canon’s first 4K UHD consumer camcorder. The compact and portable design offers a truly outstanding combination of features and functionality. It delivers refined video quality and delivers stunning detail to video enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers alike. It’s a twenty times optical zoom and a five-axis image stabilization system. You’ve also got a dual card slot so if you are doing long interviews like here at CES you are able to back them up.

We love our Canon video recorders. We use them in our studio and at all of our special events. And we look forward to expanding our own stock. We’d really like to hear what you think about them, too. After you watch the interview, drop us a line in the comments section. For more information, visit their website here.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Intel helps Resolve a big problem for animal preserves: poaching

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Intel TrailGuard AIOne of the things that Intel is known for is custom designing unique solutions for clients with unusual needs. One such organization that Intel has worked with is Resolve, a group partnering with the National Geographic Society and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to prevent animal poaching. This nonprofit group installs cameras throughout habitats, in particular, elephant habitats, to track potential poachers and alert on potential dangers.

Before Intel’s participation, Resolve had been installing standard cameras which would send alerts based on activity. These cameras used a fairly standard amount of power for a camera, but it did require that the batteries be charged or replaced on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this solution could only help to catch poachers after an incident had occurred. With Intel’s help, Resolve has been able to begin implementing a new version of their TrailGuard cameras that solves both of these problems. The battery issue is solved by making the cameras passive, meaning that a charge can last up to a year and a half.

The biggest upgrade, however, comes in the inclusion of Intel’s artificial intelligence technology. With the addition of the AI, combined with Movidius Vision Processing Units, Intel was able to predict a poaching event before it happens. This means that the technology can send alerts before an animal dies, giving Resolve the ability to intervene and save the life of the animal, not just identify and prosecute the poachers afterward.

All of this technology is made available in a device that is far smaller than the hardware used previously. In fact, the entire array, with the camera and AI onboard, is only about the size of a pencil. The size helps to make it easier to make the device covert, so it is harder for a poacher to detect and disable the device.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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OBSBOT Tail is a small and powerful AI director in your camera bag

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

OBSBOT TailWhen filming activity, one of the most difficult things to do is keep the people involved people in the frame. As people move around, keeping the camera trained on them is difficult enough, but moving it in a smooth manner is even more difficult. Luckily, OBSBOT is here to help with their Tail smart camera. The Tail is a surprisingly small camera, that has the ability to track people and keep them in the frame, while still packing full 4K video at 60 frames per second. This means that you can mount the camera in an appropriate position and, as the subjects move, so will the camera. Think of Tail as your own personal cinematographer.

This is accomplished with a motorized 3-axis gimbal, meaning that the camera isn’t trying to crop a wider angle based on the position of the subject, which lessens the quality of the video and often creates a jittery pan. Instead, the physical movement of the lens means that you can keep the video quality and still maintain the subjects you’re wanting to feature. That doesn’t mean that there is no zoom capability. In fact, you can tell the Tail to follow a particular aspect of the frame, such as the subject’s feet during a dance demonstration, and the Tail will only focus on the feet.

Interacting with the camera is also really easy. Rather than having to touch the camera itself, possibly shaking the video, you can take full control of it from a distance using your phone. From there you can decide your subjects and your framing, as well as taking over from the AI, holding a steady shot, rather than having the camera in motion.

The OBSBOT Tail is available now on Kickstarter through March 15, 2019, starting at about $489 USD.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Step right in to this unique new take on virtual conferencing

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

GlowblThe video conferencing software that many consumers use on a daily basis does not actually fit most of their needs. Virtual communication is so very different from physical communication and those differences are difficult to accommodate. If you feel this way, you are in luck. Glowbl has a whole new take on how we should be communicating online by making those virtual interactions closer to real life.

Glowbl is a web/mobile based solution to bring more interactivity to virtual classrooms and conferences. In the education space, a typical classroom has a teacher that lectures to a room full of students. The teacher can walk through a slide show presentation, describe projects, and assign homework by displaying the information on a board visible by all students. Most virtual classrooms mimic this by using a screen share that has many disadvantages such as showing your personal desktop and files that may be visible during the share. Glowbl uses an upload system that takes less bandwidth, shows less of what is on your screen, and still has the advantage to share the content in real time for everyone to see.

Glowbl is as easy to use as walking into a classroom but in a virtual sense. All you need to do is launch the application and physically click and move through the “room” using your bubble. Before class starts, you can carry out conversations with your friends by moving your bubble next to theirs and only the bubbles in close proximity can hear your conversation. This technology is great for virtual teachers that assign group projects. Students can break out into groups by moving their bubble near their peers and the teacher can navigate through the room and talk to each team. You also have the ability to public and private message.

This application is currently being utilized in major universities in France but is looking to expand internationally. To find out more information about Glowbl you can visit their website here.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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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.
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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.
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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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STEM is for Everybody: Brilliant is Absolutely Beautiful!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Beauty and the BoltBeauty and the Bolt is an online education platform with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry for girls and women that are interested in engineering and technologies. It’s a village where anyone can learn physics, math, engineering, making and more. Their goal is to share engineering and the maker movement in a cool new way and, in turn, increase interest for those who wouldn’t normally be exposed to these topics. There shouldn’t be a set demographic for recruiting engineers. The less we stereotype, the more creativity we will gain. So what better way to show that anybody can create than by framing the movement around the princess Belle and subliminally informing the world that femininity and engineering are not mutually exclusive!

It is commonly known that women and minorities are vastly underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Beauty and the Bolt aims to make learning engineering easy, cheap and accessible for anyone – especially teens and young adults – while also encouraging creativity and individuality.

Having realized that current manuals and tutorials were putting off as many people as they were attracting, the founders set out to make a change. They began producing video tutorials that would be entertaining and engaging for a much wider viewer base. The videos take away the intimidation factor by simply showing a girl complete the tasks. The projects are geared to inspire everyone to learn and create. Their goal is to bring as many resources as possible to encourage and inspire whole new groups of people to be interested in STEM by making the topics as approachable, fun, interesting and affordable as possible.

The YouTube videos that they make are free to makerspaces, as they want to get them into the hands of as many people as possible. They also sell kits in bulk to the makerspaces. Each set has a goal in mind, for example a hand drill kit to get users accustom to using the hand drill and make it easier and less intimidating.

Check them out on YouTube Channel as well as on their website.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.
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Marvel at The World’s Most Powerful Communication Tool

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Solaborate Hello 2 video conferencingIn today’s world, it is more important than ever to keep connected. It can be a challenge to get everybody together for collaboration in the workplace, in study groups and even for event planning. Solaborate has come up with the perfect solution with their line called HELLO. This is not just video conferencing; their products put everything you need to effectively communicate, collaborate and create right at your fingertips. It truly could not be easier.

HELLO first debuted last year as a convenient cross-platform application that allows you to push voice calls, video calls, text messages, live broadcasts, or any other compatible streaming content to your TV by just a swipe on your phone or tablet. And in just one year, they are coming out with a suite of improvements and products to make that communication even better.

With Amazon Alexa and Google Home technology built right in, the 2nd generation, HELLO 2 has also added speakers, touch and auto tilt and hack proof privacy controls. Also added is an array of form beaming microphones for better sound quality, as well as whiteboard and additional screen sharing capabilities.

Coming soon is Hello Touch, the smartest and most affordable 4K Touch TV Powered by HELLO 2 that facilitates real-time collaboration, whiteboarding, video conferencing and wireless sharing. Also coming are Gadget Extensions that include a Controller to aid in gaming and a Hello Button, which is a re-programmable smart button that allows you to control things around you with one simple click.

As part of the open platform, they are also introducing HELLO 2 Creator Edition, which is designed specifically for the developer community. Because the more open collaboration, the better, to bring as many working uses to this amazing and flexible platform as possible.

The first generation of HELLO is currently available on their website and on Amazon for $299. All off the second generation products will be offered on KickStarter in just a few weeks. Keep an eye out for them and let us know what you think.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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Love Story Time? Here’s a Fantastic Solution So You Never Have to Miss It

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

CaribuOne of the most wonderful things in this world to do is to read to a child. Nothing can match seeing their sweet faces light up as they enjoy the stories and learn more and more about the world around them. It’s a very special bonding time for both the adult and the child.

Some are in a situation where their work keeps them traveling. Or sometimes Grandma lives far away and wishes she could be there for more story times. Luckily, Caribu came along to offer an amazing solution. Caribu is a mobile app that brings story time to you no matter where you are. They have wonderful picture books from the best children’s publishers that are just one click away in their bookshop. They make it so easy to be engaged and enchanted anywhere, at any time by incorporating a video chat along with the pages of the book so the kids can follow along when you are reading, pictures and all, just like at home. And they have fun learning and coloring activities that you can do together, as well.

Our team is super excited about this ingenious tech and we can’t wait to use it with our own family members. Find out more and download the app, which is available for iOS and Android, here.

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