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Samsung Gets More and More Impressive Each Year

February 27th, 2018

Samsung 8K UHD TelevisionWe love being immersed in the Samsung Electronics booth at CES. If The Wall was the main attraction for 2018, it definitely had some competition in the booth. Also featured is the first 8K QLED TV in the world. And as if that’s not impressive enough, it also features AI technology. It’s this AI technology that elevates the standard definition content to an awe inspiring 8K resolution. Basically, the picture quality is transformed via a proprietary algorithm to transform any regular content to a high-resolution 8K.

But Samsung did not stop here with this beauty of a TV. They also added several new really cool features, including detail enhancement, which not only upgrades the standard definition content but also adds noise reduction and has an edge restoration function to more clearly outlines objects on the screen. There is also automatic sound adjustment that differentiates between various content, like sporting events and music concerts. Also, your viewing experience will only get better over time with firmware updates that will upgrade the set with the latest improvements. So, the longer you own it, the better it’s going to get.

One of our absolute favorite features is that they have made the initial setup as easy as possible. This TV is an extension of their expanded Smart Things platform and includes Bixby, which is their own voice command system. When you first plug in, the Bluetooth will automatically connect with your smartphone, which enables it to link into the Smart Things app and update your new TV with not only your network Wi-Fi password, but also bring in all of your existing streaming platforms, complete with those passwords as well. It will also automatically configure the remote control with the other remotes in the home, even the cable remote, so you will have easy access to everything from one remote. It’s the same with your gaming devices. You will now have full control of all of your entertainment, gaming and other Samsung Smart Things appliances right from your TV remote control. Imagine sitting on the couch and asking Bixby what’s in the fridge and also having the oven start preheating. Talk about living the dream!

Samsung is looking forward to launch the 85″ QLED 8K TV during the second half of 2018.

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

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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The FLIR Partners Brings More Great Things to Life

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

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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Exciting Ways to Free You Up with WPC

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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Clean and Plentiful: Complete Water Independence is Now Here

February 26th, 2018

Zero Mass Water SourceWhile walking through the courtyard at the Las Vegas Convention Center this year during CES 2018, we came across an array of solar panels. We walked past them at least a few times without really thinking about it. After all, just about everything is going solar. Then the name of the business caught our eye: Zero Mass Water. And as we pondered the name, we were offered a glass of water. That also was not all that unusual, many of the companies offer you a bottle of water while you are at their booth. Before we could ask about their business, they started to ask us if we enjoyed the taste of the water and explaining how their water source could help us to eliminate the need for buying bottled water, etc. Sounded great, but where are they getting the water and what are they powering with the solar panels?

Introducing SOURCE: a Hydropanel that makes drinking water directly from sunlight and air. This is a truly renewal water source that doesn’t need infrastructure or electrical input. And you can generate up to a case of bottled water per day from just a pair of panels.

Tapped into the unlimited supply of water vapor in the air, SOURCE uses sunlight to power a renewable supply of drinking water. No more waste from bottled or filtered water. It produces pure drinking water and adds exactly the right minerals to optimize health and taste. These electrolytes make SOURCE drinking water delicious. Each SOURCE array is connected to their global network, which enables monitoring of your water production and performance in real time. You’ll also be able to see what sunshine and humidity are expected in the coming days. There’s even an active green light signal to let you know that SOURCE is keeping your water safe. And as a Water for Life member, you’ll get even more data and control over your array.

Most homes can replace all of their drinking water with a 2-panel array. The water flows into a 30 liter reservoir where it is mineralized for optimal taste, storing up to 120 standard bottles per 2-panel array. The price for the two panels and installation is approx $4,500.

This is not only an amazing product for those who want to be environmentally conscience, but imagine how sustainable, clean water will be able to help people drought stricken areas and undeveloped countries. The possibilities are truly exciting.

To get more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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From Cool to Sophisticated, Philips Has Headphones for You

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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Gourmia Adds High Tech Smarts and Improved Convenience to the Kitchen

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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Klipsch Sets The Standards For High Performance Speakers

February 25th, 2018

Klipsch C SeriesKlipsch is redesigning one of their highest performance sound systems: the Reference Premiere Line. This system has been on the market for several years now with a high satisfaction rate, so Klipsch decided to step it up by making the speakers look as great as they sound though the new generation called the Reference Theater Pack 5.1 surround sound system. These speakers are aesthetically pleasing with copper accents in a walnut wood veneer with a cast aluminum base and a vent-in tweeter to give you a more dynamic sound than the previous line.

Klipsch is also displaying their newest line of compact and high-performance subwoofers with The C Series. Klipsch really focused on performance in a smaller body therefore, the C Series comes in two sizes that are smaller than your average subwoofer: the square 10 inch and the 8 inch. Each subwoofer can be connected to the Klipsch mobile application to give you the ability to adjust the sound the way you like it straight from your phone! This application allows you to adjust five bands of parametric EQ, all the parameters and inputs, and even offers a room correction option.

You can learn more about these product as well as purchase them for yourself by checking out the Klipsch website or see the whole lineup on Amazon.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Light It Up and Enjoy Great Sound at the Same Time

February 24th, 2018

ION Audio Solar StoneAt ION Audio, their catchphrase says it all.. Sound Experiences. ION is known for their unique lighting and sound products that enhance any space. Whether you have a peaceful, elegant outdoor setting or a complete party palace, you are sure to find inspiration when browsing their product line. We particularly liked two of their new additions for 2018.

When spending time in your outdoor space, lighting is key. Tiki torches are always a fun addition to the backyard but we’re not always in the mood for that bamboo look, and filling them up with oil all the time can really be a pain. A nice set of elegant electric torches would be great, but who wants to spend a fortune and then hassle with the installation process. That’s where ION has come to the rescue with Tiki Sounds. They use a warm-white LED bulb with realistic flicker effect. And don’t worry about installation. Not only are they solar, requiring no wiring at all, but they are also designed to fit into your space in multiple ways. They can be staked into ground, placed on a table, or hung on a tree. Also built in is a 10W full-range 360° Bluetooth speaker with Multi-Link. This enables you to pair unlimited Multi-Link enabled speakers together for an all encompassing sound experience that completely fills your entertaining space.

Another great Multi-Link product coming out soon is the Solar Stone Multi, and upgrade to their current Solar Stone series. These 6.5-inch, 20 watt speakers offer dynamic power and since they look like a stone, they add a great aesthetic to your yard as they are designed to fit right into the landscape. They are also Bluetooth enabled and can easily pair with the Tiki Sounds, as well as any other Multi-Link enabled speaker. Like the torches, they are IPX4 water-resistant and they recharge by embedded solar panel or with the included AC cord.

The Tiki Sound will be available later in Q1 2018 and will be priced at $69.99 for one or $119 for a pair. The Solar Stone Multi will go on sale in Q2 2018 and be priced at $129 each.

In the meantime, take a look at some of their other amazing products on Amazon:
ION Tape Express Plus / Cassette Player and Tape-to-Digital Converter
ION Holiday Party / Multicolor Projected Lights
ION Audio Party Starter MK II / Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In Beat-Sync Light Show

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Declare war on crappy earbuds and treat yourself to a better headphone experience with new Monster headphones.