All posts by PLUGHITZ Live

MightyMic Pro brings high quality audio to any device @ CES 2021



Ampridge MightyMic ProPaul Ackel, Vice President of Ampridge, a U.S. based company that makes the MightyMic, a microphone for smartphones and cameras, joined us at CES 2021 to tell us about some of their latest developments in microphone technology.

Their core product, the MightyMic Pro, is a wireless Bluetooth microphone that can be paired to almost any device and can transform almost any headphone into a wireless microphone. Designed to work with most popular apps, the latest iteration of the MightyMic is the MightyMic Pro 3, a robust mic designed to accommodate a longer battery life, reaching 9 hours on a single charge. It also allows for the addition of external microphones. With three different sensitivity settings, it provides highly customizable audio recording. Additionally, the Ampridge MightyMic Pro employs a unique circuit design that solves the challenge of playing back music when recording video.

Ampridge delivers its MightyMic Pro in a series of different packages serving different needs. The MightyMic L-Pack includes the wireless adapter plus a clip-on Lavalier microphone, providing an off-the-shelf solution for hands-free broadcasting from any device. The MightyMic F transforms the mic into a mini-shotgun microphone. The Mic F effectively provides 4-in-1 microphone capabilities, with a fuzzy windscreen attachment for outdoor use on a DSLR or other device, the ability to attach it to the mic jack on a tablet or phone, to a phone rig, or to a boom pole. With the MightyMic adapter attached, you can also wirelessly stream audio. The MightyMic is also compatible with most gimble mounts.

The Ampridge adapter allows users to take any traditional 4-pin designed headphone microphone and turn it into a wireless microphone. Ampridge also makes the MightyMic C, a directional hand-held microphone with multiple settings and an XLR cable.

The MightyMic Pro retails for $80. The L-Pack sells for $100. The F-pack and the C pack both retail for $110.

Visit the company’s website for more info and find their products on Amazon.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Actasys gives your vehicle and its sensors 20/20 vision @ CES 2021



ActaJet by ActasysVehicles these days are extremely sophisticated with intricate computer systems. They have many sensors used for everything from outside temperature to automated braking. Because these sensors are generally exposed to the elements, they eventually need to be cleaned. Unfortunately, many are too sensitive to come in contact with, while others are not easily accessible. Even worse, what happens if they get dirty while you’re on the road? Actasys has developed a technology to autonomously keep the sensors clean and functioning.

The company’s technology, which is called ActaJet, is a unique sensor cleaning system. It uses small focused jets of air to keep the lenses and covers clear of dirt and debris. This is done by a series of small actuators, which means there is no need for fans, pumps, or compressors. This ensures optimal operation of the sensors and cameras in all environments and weather conditions.

Imagine driving down the interstate following a large truck. The truck hits a puddle, spraying mud and water all over your car. You can clean your windshield with the wipers so you can see again, but your car doesn’t have the same ability. Suddenly your automatic braking system, lane guidance, and tailgating alarm stop working. That’s why ActaJet was created.

Actasys focuses its attention on working with the sensor builders and OEMs, meaning that the vehicle manufacturers don’t have to do anything special to incorporate the technology. Because ActaJet is designed in a cartridge, all that is need is a single power wire instead of tubes or valves. The ease of implementation is a core aspect for wider adoption. Being an electronic device, one of the concerns is always power consumption. The system draws less than 10 watts of power and as low as one. This reduces the potential drain on the battery.

For more information go to the website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Smoothtalker technology that boosts your cell phone signal @ CES 2021



Smoothtalker cellular boostersThe modern world runs on mobile devices, and when it comes to mobile connectivity it all starts with your signal strength. That is where Smoothtalker comes in! With devices that are easy to use, Smoothtalker is bringing the world of cellular signal boosting from the commercial market to the home in 2021.

Whether you need a couple of extra bars in your home or on the go Smoothtalker has you covered. Their units made for home and commercial use are no larger than your average router and boast ranges from 6 miles to your closest mobile tower that cover a range of up to 2,500 square feet, to a model with a whopping 30 miles distance from your local cell phone tower that covers up to 5,000 square feet. With range like this you can guarantee your family and visitors complete mobile connectivity across your entire house, whether in the city or just outside the city limits.

On the go in the car, RV, or even in a boat? No worries. With a full line of mobile units for single user or multi-user use, Smoothtalker wireless boosters are ready to get you connected at. Whether it’s your office on the go or your family on vacation, Smoothtalker mobile boosters are good to go with minimal wiring knowledge needed and easy to use functionality that assures you the best connection for cellular phones and wireless devices. Even if you are taking the family out on the houseboat for the weekend, that does not mean you cannot still be connected. The Wave x6 marine booster and its water ready brethren are the solution for all your connectivity needs while out riding the waves of the internet on the lake.

Stop on by and checkout the full line of great products from mobile connectivity to mobile accessories and more today at https://www.smoothtalker.com.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Caregiver Smart Solutions eases the aging in place process @ CES 2021



Caregiver Smart Solutions aging in place technologyAs we age, certain abilities degrade. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong or embarrassing about this – it’s just a part of aging. However, many people still feel a level of embarrassment about these changes and will do things to pretend they don’t exist. When aging in place, ignoring these issues can be even more of a problem because they can indicate other issues, or cause future issues. Caregiver Smart Solutions has a suite of products designed to help identify these issues while maintaining privacy.

People with hearing loss will pretend all is fine and not look for hearing enhancement technology. Some will begin to experience mobility issues, and not tell anyone including their doctors. And we know when we ask our parents how they are, the answer is often “fine” regardless of the truth. This can cause a lot of stress for the families of those aging in place, and a lot of ways of checking up on your family can be intrusive. The Caregiver Smart Solutions suite allows you to learn about your family’s behaviors without installing cameras and other intrusive technologies.

In an example provided by Ryan Herd, founder of the company, think of your mother coming home with groceries. She puts them away but doesn’t completely close the refrigerator door. She isn’t able to hear the refrigerator beeping to let her know, so she leaves the kitchen and goes to watch TV. When she returns later, she finds the door open, but still uses the food that may have spoiled in the fridge and gets sick. With this solution, however, you could get an alert that there is an alarm going off in the kitchen and call your mother to check on her.

The sensors track a lot of other environmental conditions, as well. For example, you can learn whether your family is eating, sleeping normally, moving around. It also has the ability to detect falls and notify you without the need for a wearable device or a panic button.

You can purchase the Caregiver Smart Solutions in kits or individual sensors now. To learn more about the system and make a purchase, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Absolar finds the best locations for solar installation @ CES 2021



Absolar solar logisticsFor those of us in places like Florida, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, or Hawaii (where most of our CES team members have property), the idea of solar power is ubiquitous. You don’t really have to consider whether or not installing panels on your home or business will be productive or if the investment will ever be able to pay for itself. However, for those in other parts of the world, that is a real consideration. In order to help determine where solar will be a success, Absolar was created.

The company has created a fascinating system that combines two standard CES technologies, LiDAR and artificial intelligence, in a service that is not an autonomous vehicle or robot. Instead, they use massive yet detailed LiDAR scans of an entire city to map out the physical structure of an entire city. From that scan, they apply a machine learning algorithm in order to determine the surfaces on which solar panels will be the most productive and which will pay for themselves.

The technology was developed in conjunction with local governments in England in an attempt to reduce carbon output and non-renewable energy dependency. The LiDAR scans were made available by the government, and the data models were generated by Absolar. Together, they were able to map out a large number of buildings that could benefit from the installation of solar technology.

Even more interesting is that the technology is not limited to solar technology. With the scans and a new data model, they could identify other benefits, including green roofs, which is a trend that is starting to gain steam in the West. By training a new AI, new benefits can be achieved.

To learn more about Absolar or to find out how they can help your green initiatives, check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Cutii is a companion robot to ease social isolation @ CES 2021



Cutii by Care Clever companion robotWe all want to maintain our independence and lifestyle as long as we can, but for seniors, that can be difficult. Memory can slip and activity can wane, but the biggest challenge is actually being alone. Senior isolation has always been a problem, and it has gotten even worse in the past 12 months. There are great services out there that can send a home health worker to the house or even a “grandkid on-demand,” but what about the in-between times? That’s where Cutii by Care Clever comes in.

This robotic companion combines the best aspects of a telepresence robot with the voice control capabilities of a digital assistant. It is designed to help relieve some of the stresses created by social isolation by creating virtual environments in which to interact with other people. For example, during CES, a Thai Chi class was held through the platform. While other virtual class platforms exist, Cutii sets itself apart because you can easily interact with your classmates. This makes the experience a lot closer to what it would be like to be in a real class.

In addition, Cutii has the ability to interact with things around the house, including smart devices. This is because of its wide range of communication technologies. Cutii can turn on lights, check doors and windows, and more. You can also summon Cutii to your location with your voice, which is possible because of the onboard sensors which create a map of the house. While voice is a common technology these days, Cutii also makes interaction via touchscreen a possibility, because it is designed to be accessible to the most people possible.

Cutii is coming soon. For more information about the product or the company, or to find out when it becomes available, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Ariel is a solar-powered robot for easy pool cleaning @ CES 2021



Ariel by Pivot Solar BreezeThere are so many pool owners these days and as everyone knows, there is a lot of upkeep to make sure it stays clean. Who wants to jump in to cool off if there is a layer of leaves and debris floating on top? Even worse, once you’re done cleaning, you are too tired to enjoy the pool. Paul Sim from Pivot Solar Breeze introduced us to a contemporary new robotic cleaning system for your pool. It’s called Ariel and it literally runs itself because it is solar-powered.

Most people clean their pool in what Paul says is an upside-down method. That is, cleaning with the device that resembles a stingray, which snakes along the bottom of the pool. By the time the debris is on the floor of the pool, it has decayed and created bacteria. It then requires more chemicals to bring the pH to a safe level, also forcing the filtration system to work harder than it has to.

Ariel floats along the top and literally scoops the debris and bugs before they decay and sink to the bottom, making the cleaning process easier. The robot has a paddle wheel that powers the movement to pick up the leaves, bugs, and debris into a mesh screen. There is a window to see how much has been collected so that it can be easily emptied. Being solar, Ariel only runs while the sun is out, making it self-powered. There is a 12W solar panel that also keeps the lithium metal battery charged.

It weighs a little less than about ten pounds. Even when the debris is collected, it shouldn’t be much more. That makes it light-weight to lift out and empty. It will be available in the second quarter, just in time for pool season. Your pool will always be “party-ready!” It retails for $528 but there is a CES special for $468. For more info go to their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Publidata wants to streamline communication with government @ CES 2021



Publidata government communication platformIf you have ever tried to get meaningful information from your government, you know just how challenging it can be. When we moved our studio last year, we had to learn what the rules were for trash and recycling. Finding accurate information was not easy, because different parts of the website had conflicting information. It was also seemingly impossible to find out what days were collection days. Fortunately, we were able to get answers from a neighbor, but it shouldn’t be like that. Publidata is working to fix that situation.

Publidata is a system for managing and disseminating data in a single, unified way. It provides a single back-office portal with the ability to update any piece of information, whether it be the hours of your local pool or the availability of trash pickup. From there, UIs can be built on top, including government websites and applications. The company even has a number of pre-built applications designed to streamline the time from adoption to general availability.

In addition to data entry capabilities, Publidata’s system can incorporate fleet location data. Instead of just knowing that trash pickup is Tuesdays and Fridays, you could know exactly when your pickup will be today, or whether it has already happened. Think of it as the governmental equivalent of the Amazon Prime delivery tracking system. With a GPS tracker on the garbage truck, you can get information on where it is right now, and potentially see how long before it arrives at your property.

Publidata’s system is currently in use in France, covering 2.6 million citizens. The company is currently in the process of expanding outside of the country, and is looking for governmental bodies interested in implementing the technology. For more information on the system or to find out about bringing it to your city, check out the company website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Aladin by Domalys is improving safety in assisted living @ CES 2021



Aladin by Domalys smart lampAnyone who has ever been in a hospital room or assisted living facility is familiar with the standard light fixture over the bed. It provides light as well as a nurse call capability via a chain you pull. But, this fixture has remained completely unchanged for years and, more importantly, is completely passive. If something happens, you have to be close enough to the fixture to pull the chain or wait for someone to come by. Domalys has a solution to all of these problems with their Aladin lamp.

This light, which is currently focused on the medical industry, offers everything in the current light fixture, but with the added benefit of active reactions. Instead of having to manually turn the light on and off, Aladin does this for you. If you get up at night, Aladin turns on the light to help reduce the risk of falling. This is important because nearly 30 percent of older people have serious falls.

If you do fall, Aladin can detect the behavior and report it to the facility staff. This eliminates the need to pull a chain or push a button that you may not be able to reach. It also reduces the amount of time before a staff member can get to you to help you up.

The sensors are not only used for detecting falls, however. They can also be used to track behaviors, both day and night. This allows the system and facility staff to detect changes in behavior over time. Some of these changes, including increased bed lifts or lower sleep quality, can be indicative of other declines in health. Being able to detect these changes early can help reduce the lasting effects of these changes.

Domalys is currently working with facilities to implement the technology. For more information or to engage them to install the system, head to the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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TROVA has it locked up tight, for hiding things in plain sight @ CES 2021



TROVA privacy boxesPrivacy for certain things is important these days. Who wants to have a secure place to store things that screams out that there is something of value inside it? Scott from TROVA has brought a sleek secure storage box that is cleverly designed as a decorative accent piece for your home.

TROVA is a personal biometric safe used for secure storage “out in the open.” It is wirelessly connected through Bluetooth and secured with your phone’s biometrics. To open the box and access the contents inside, open the app on the connected phone and sign in using fingerprint, facial recognition, etc. Some of the models offer the ability to unlock with the multi-function button but that severely limits the security.

It’s made of aluminum alloy that is very strong. TROVA offers a few ways to physically secure the box. For simple installation, you can use the Kensington lock to connect it to your desk or table. For a stronger lock, it has internal bolts that are hidden from both the inside and the outside of the box. It is also able to send alerts based on different events. For example, if your TROVA gets too far from your phone, you can get an alert on your phone. You can also get a warning if the box is left open or it’s been moved.

The HOME offers a few added benefits. You can be notified if another user unlocks the device. There is an internal organization with a clever sliding shelf system that allows storage of several layers of items. It also offers Wi-Fi and NFC which gives more options for unlocking it.

TROVA GO and TROVA GO plus are available now for $199 and $229 respectively. The TROVA HOME is available for pre-order for $549. For more information go to their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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