Category Archives: Gadgets

Lighthouse Tech aims to improve safety for visually impaired @ CES 2023



Lighthouse Tech Visual Impaired Smart GlassesOver the past decade, it seems that everything has become smart. From lightbulbs to refrigerators, to even glasses, everything is getting smarter. In some cases, the benefits have been obvious, such as being able to control lightbulbs without having to go to a particular place in the room or having special wiring. However, some items being smart have mostly been gimmicky, like glasses. That is until now – as Lighthouse Tech has a new take on the tech, making it a truly useful addition for many users.

What is Lighthouse Tech?

Lighthouse Tech is a company making smart glasses for a new demographic – those with visual impairment. In general, smart glasses have included pretty pedestrian features, such as Bluetooth speakers or cameras. On the other hand, we’ve seen products like Google Glass, which were both ahead of their time and surprisingly useless.

Lighthouse Tech has thrown out all of those ideas and totally changed directions. These glasses are not intended to make you look techy. Instead, the glasses themselves look entirely like normal glasses. These glasses, however, are designed to help improve the safety of wearers with visual impairments by giving alerts and information about hazards that other safety measures generally miss.

In particular, the glasses are intended to find items outside of the range of a walking stick. This includes, but is not limited to, low hanging tree branches, street signs, store signs, and more. Specifically, the glasses look for things that are hanging or physically separated from the base to which they are attached.

How does it work?

The Lighthouse Tech glasses are designed to protect the safety of their wearer. This is done using front-facing sensors. These sensors are able to detect obstacles within the path of the wearer, as well as the distance between the glasses and the obstacle.

The glasses are able to provide feedback to the wearer through vibration. This is an important detail because, if the glasses are to be used on the sidewalk on a bust street, audible feedback, including beeps and speech, would be difficult to hear. In addition, audible feedback would make the glasses more obvious for their intention, possibly making the wearer more self-conscious about wearing them. The design of the glasses, which are traditional and low profile, are intended to go the other way. Thus, audible feedback would undermine the concept.

To improve feedback, the company also offers a small, connected bracelet. This allows the wearer to move the feedback from the temples to the wrist. For many, the wrist is a more sensitive area of the body and can help improve the awareness of the safety alerts.

Summary

The Lighthouse Tech glasses are currently in active development. The company is searching for beta testers to give the tech a try and give feedback. Once beta testing has completed, the company will finalize the device and bring it to market. To learn more about the company and the product, or to sign up to be a beta tester, head over to the company’s website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Withings plans to allow you to monitor urine tests at home @ CES 2023



Withings Home Urine AnalysisFor many people, there are medical conditions that require constant active monitoring. Others have needs that can progress in unexpected ways, and whose trajectory can be monitored easily. However, the technology to track these conditions has generally been limited to doctors’ offices or companies like Lab Corp. However, in the past few years, the ability to monitor and track a person’s health has been miniaturized to the point where we can now do it at home. One company that has been at the forefront of this medical democratization has been Withings.

Who are Withings?

Withings is a company that makes a variety of at-home health and medical tracking devices. The brand has been around for a number of years and produced devices ranging from connected scales to blood pressure monitors. Most of the company’s devices are fully connected and sync together into the Withings app on your mobile device.

This integration of devices can give you a better overall view of your health, from tracking weight loss progress to steps taken and even a regular log of blood pressure. The system can also be integrated with data from other providers, including Apple and Google. Together you can track your activity, weight, and more.

Withings urine analysis

This year at CES 2023, the company showed off an entirely new entry into the product lineup – urine analysis. The new product is called U-Scan and is intended to help you keep track of a variety of important body metrics at home without any need to go to a lab. In fact, the U-Scan is like a urine analysis lab in your bathroom.

Now, the initial question might be, “Why do you want urine analysis at home?” That is a perfectly reasonable response, as it is a fairly new idea. The reason is that there are a number of health metrics that can be determined and monitored using this analysis. Using the U-Scan, you can monitor these metrics at home without doing anything special or outside of your existing habits.

The U-Scan device makes its presence almost unseen while still providing its value. The device is only about 90mm in diameter and fits into the toilet. So long as it is in the right location, you literally need to change nothing about your bathroom time in order to gain the benefits.

Benefits of U-Scan

The device is able to test for and monitor a variety of biomarkers. The cartridges that are inserted into the device contain a dozen different test pods, which is where the tests are carried out. Once the tests are completed, the device syncs the data to your Withings app to be compared against previous results as well as other Withings data.

If something is out of sync, the app is able to alert you to changes in your body’s state. For example, the U-Scan is capable of tracking nutrition and hydration. If you work out, which can be logged into the app, and then your electrolytes or water level are low, the app is able to let you know that your post-workout behaviors might need a change.

Summary

The Withings U-Scan is in active development and will be made available to the public in the near future. To learn more about Withings, U-Scan, or to sign up for launch alerts, you can go to the company’s website.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Chipolo helps you track personal items that might get lost @ CES 2023



Chipolo Simple Device TrackingHave you ever lost your keys or wallet? Of course you have! And it always happens at just the wrong time. You’re running late and headed out the door and your keys are nowhere to be found. Now you’ve got to spend time that you don’t have looking for your keys, making you even later for wherever you’re headed. Fortunately, there is an easy way to solve this problem thanks to the team at Chipolo.

What is Chipolo?

Chipolo is a company that produces a line of products to help you find what might get lost. The product works by attaching a small Bluetooth LE tracker to the item that you want to track. When you need to locate the item, simply open the corresponding app and, if you are within range, press a button to cause the tracker to make noise.

If you are outside of the transceiver’s range, you still have the ability to track it. By default, the app will show you the last place that it was encountered. If you are in a remote place, or in a private location, you will see a map showing where your device last encountered it. If the device is in a more public place, it can be tracked live through interactions with other phones and tablets within range.

Why Chipolo?

The line is similar to some of the other brands you may have heard of, but with a variety of benefits that are lacking with others. Firstly, the most obvious difference is that Chipolo makes products that work with both Apple’s and Google’s ecosystems. So, no matter what type of phone you own, you still have the ability to use a Chipolo tracker.

Another benefit is that the trackers come in a variety of colors and styles. For example, if you are looking to put one in your wallet, the company offers a slim tracker that looks like a credit card called the CARD. For keys, backpacks, and other uses, there is a small round tracker with a mounting hole in it, called the ONE. Offering multiple styles with different purposes makes the product more versatile. Having one product that tries to do everything means that it doesn’t do anything great.

In addition, the ability to purchase in different colors allows you to really personalize your experience. You can also easily differentiate between two similar items because of the color of the Chipolo tag attached. For example, our team has several of the same camera bag, but we can differentiate between the team bags because of the color of the tracker.

Which Chipolo to choose

If you are securely in the Apple product family, the line you want to look at is the Spot. This family works with Apple’s Find My ecosystem, allowing all iPhones and iPads to help locate it. If you are in the Android camp, or you have a mixed collection, then the original family is for you.

Either way, both product families are available for purchase today. To learn more or to buy some for yourself, head over to the company’s website, or find the products on Amazon or Best Buy.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.

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Familink makes a truly connected photo frame for families @ CES 2023



Familink Connected Photo FrameDigital picture frames are not a new product category. In fact, they’ve existed nearly as long as LCD screens have been affordable. However, as time has gone on, new features have been added to these products in order to make them easier to use for those to whom we really want to give them. The biggest issue has been giving a photo frame to an older member of the family and never being able to change the photos. The team at Familink looks to fix that with a truly connected device.

What is Familink?

Familink is a company that specializes in creating products that allow families to share photos. In particular, the company focuses on allowing family members to share photo experiences with their older loved ones. There are currently 2 product offerings for the company: The Magazine and The 4G Photo Frame. The Photo Frame is the product that was shown off at the show this year. It is a traditional digital picture frame, but with a few added features.

Familink’s 4G Photo Frame is a great way for families to make sure that their elderly loved ones are able to enjoy photos even when they don’t have access to the latest technology. With its simple setup and easy use, it’s an ideal choice for those who may not be tech-savvy. As a bonus, it’s also a great way for families to stay connected even when miles apart.

Why choose Familink?

Firstly, the frame works without Wi-Fi, making it perfect for elderly individuals who may not have access to such technology. However, if the family member does have Wi-Fi at home, then the frame can be connected to that network instead of relying on cellular connectivity.

Secondly, it is made ready to use right out of the box and requires minimal setup. This is ideal for a family member who is technically challenged. If everything is ready to go right out of the box, it means that there is no need for a phone call or a trip to visit just to help setup the frame.

Thirdly, it has an automatic switch off at night so that you don’t have to worry about it running all night long. This is a feature we have begun to see in smart screens, allowing the screen to reduce power consumption as well as ambient light created within the house.

Fourthly, the photos are displayed instantly and can be changed from any smartphone or tablet via the Familink app. This allows family members from around the world to send new photos to the screen to update your family on their lives. The updates can also be done without installing an app, by either sending photos to a special email address or even through Messenger.

Summary

The Familink team looks forward to continuing to bring innovative solutions to families everywhere and connecting families together in ways that have never been done before. In today’s world of technology, it’s nice to have a product that allows us to keep the important people in our lives close even when they are far away. To learn more about the company or to purchase the frame for $149, you can go to the company website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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The future for BenjiLock is secure and brighter than ever @ CES 2023



BenjiLock Biometric SecuritySince we first encountered BenjiLock in Eureka Park in 2017, the company has changed a lot. Those early days were at a tiny booth with a non-functioning prototype. Before we got to see them again, the company had been on Shark Tank and partnered with Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary. O’Leary put together a partnership to help Founder Robbie Cabral bring the product to market with manufacturing, sales, and more. Today, the company is looking at its next phase in life, including helping to support other startups at CES.

What is BenjiLock?

BenjiLock is the world’s first biometric padlock with a traditional key. The importance of having a biometric padlock allows you to go to the gym without having to carry anything with you. We’ve all had a phone fall out of our pocket or had to go look for our keys later on. With the BenjiLock, you can safely leave your items in a locker without having to carry a key.

The importance of having a physical key allows for a backup. Batteries die – and always at inopportune times. With other smart padlocks, if the battery dies, you’re possibly out of luck. You’ll have to cut the expensive lock off and throw it away. However, with the physical key, you’ve got a way to open the lock in that situation.

BenjiLock also now offers a wider range of products. The line now includes a biometric deadbolt and biometric bike lock, offering the convenience of unlocking your door or bike without keys. BenjiLock hopes to revolutionize home security, bike safety, and more with its innovative technology. By expanding the ecosystem, more people in more situations can go about their days without the need to carry as many keys.

BenjiLock at CES 2023

This year, the company took a different approach to CES. Rather than having its large blue booth on the show floor, Robbie spent his time helping to bring awareness to other startups exhibiting at the show in Eureka Park. BenjiLock sponsored the startup pitch event on the CTA Stage with Canon, allowing BenjiLock to help new startups get their start by giving them a platform at CES. BenjiLock was able to use its resources and experience from standing out in Eureka Park just six years ago to give back and help other startups get their big break.

This event was in partnership with the CTA Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Consumer Technology Association, the organization that oversees CES. The event was intended to showcase the best startups and entrepreneurs in technology, giving BenjiLock a chance to help out where they originally got started. Their support of the CTA Foundation really shows how far they’ve come since their first appearance at CES in 2017.

BenjiLock has gone from a small startup with big dreams to an established company ready to give back. The company is continuing to innovate, bringing biometric technology to the masses in a way we’ve never seen before. Robbie Cabral looks forward to what the future holds as the brand continues to grow and expand their product line. BenjiLock has come a long way since 2017, and with its support of other startups through initiatives like this partnership with the CTA Foundation, the company is setting itself up for even more success in the years to come.

Summary

The entirety of the BenjiLock product line is available now through the company’s website, as well as Amazon, Ace Hardware, and more.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Whispp is bringing language back to those with disabilities @ CES 2023



Whispp Voice Enhancement TechnologyFor many people, natural speech can be a challenge. Whether it be because of a stutter or throat cancer, speaking becomes an uncomfortable thing to do. But, through modern technology, there are solutions to help people overcome their speech limitations. Whispp has brought out a technology to help bring natural and normal volume speech capabilities to millions of users.

What is Whispp?

Whispp is a speech recognition technology that can convert whispered or vocal cord impaired speech into natural, normal volume speech. This technology works in real-time to provide users with an audible and comfortable speaking experience that they can be proud of. With its incredible accuracy, the system is making it easier for people with speech disabilities to express themselves freely and confidently.

At Whispp, the company is dedicated to providing our users with the best speech technology available. They strive to empower people with speech disabilities and help them speak freely, audibly, and confidently. With the technology, millions of users can now express themselves without fear or limitation.

How Does Whispp Work?

Whispp works by using an algorithm that takes in whispered or vocal cord impaired speech and converts it into natural, normal volume sound. This technology also allows users to customize the output of their voices so that they can have control over how they are heard. In addition, the system supports both natural speech and whispered input.

When out and about, the system uses a microphone plugged into a smartphone to gather audio from the user. For one on one conversations, the listener would likely wear an earbud. But, in a group, you can also use the speaker on the phone as an output. For making calls, users simply use the Whispp app to initiate the call and the technology continues to work.

The software is also available for the desktop, bringing the natural processing to other platforms. Once installed, Whispp can enhance audio on systems like Teams and Slack, or even Skype and Discord.

What Are the Benefits of Whispp?

Using Whispp can bring many benefits to people with a voice disorder or stutter. When using this particular technology, users are able to express themselves clearly and confidently without worrying about being misunderstood or misheard. In addition, Whispp can help reduce the social stigma associated with voice disorders or stutters as it allows people to feel more comfortable speaking without fear of embarrassment. Finally, it also offers increased privacy and noise reduction features so that users don’t have to worry about disturbing others while they are speaking.

Everyone should have access to an accessible and comfortable speaking experience. That is why the company strives to provide users with the best technology available – one that can make a real difference in their lives. With Whispp, no one should ever feel limited when it comes to expressing themselves and communicating with others.

Summary

Whispp’s technology is available on the market today for both mobile and desktop platforms. To learn more about the technology or to try it out for yourself, you can go to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Skyted is a noise isolation mask for calls and streaming @ CES 2023



Skyted Noise Isolation MaskToo often these days, we are forced into places that are not conducive to conversation. This is exacerbated when you’re on the phone or computer. This happens because microphones, in general, do not discriminate between sounds. These microphones pick up whatever sound they hear and push it to the other side of the call. In a loud area, this means it’s nearly impossible for the person on the other side of the call to hear anything you say. This is the problem that Skyted is hoping to solve.

What is Skyted?

Skyted is a headset, of sorts, intended to improve sound quality while in a loud environment. At first sight, it might appear to be a little odd. However, the design is well-tested for years. That’s because the device is modeled after the systems used on fighter jets. The device fits over the mouth as a full mask, allowing for sound to be isolated and directed toward the microphone.

Skyted is different than other headsets because it is designed to block out background noise. This means that when you are in a loud environment, such as a game center, or simply talking on the phone in public, your sound will be isolated and clear for the people you’re speaking with.

Other headsets may attempt to filter out environmental sounds, but they are limited in what they can do. With the Skyted headset, you can be sure that your sound is clear and crisp even in a loud environment.

Who is Skyted for?

One of the great strengths of Skyted is its versatility. Because the mask microphone is designed to work with Bluetooth, it can be used for a variety of purposes. The original purpose is to allow for public phone calls – limiting the background noise, but also preventing people around you from having to listen.

In the past few years, however, other types of public calls have become commonplace. in particular, Teams and Zoom calls have become a regular part of doing business, especially while traveling. But, working in public has become a normal situation, even for those not traveling.

In addition, gaming in public has become more common. Gaming centers, like our friends at STRYKE eSports in Tampa, are popping up in more places. Online gaming is enhanced by live chat, which is equally difficult in public. But, with the Skyted system, you can chat with other players without having to hide in a pod and without disrupting the gamers around you.

Another aspect of public speech where the Skyted can really be a benefit is streaming. Obviously, if you’re streaming a game in a game center, the benefits are clear. However, there’s a lot of In Real Life (IRL) streaming, where people stream their experiences with games outside of a studio. This applies to games like Pokémon GO, where you have to be in the wild to play. Once again, this device will help you isolate yourself from the people around you while streaming.

Summary

Skyted is planning to be made available through pre-orders starting in March 2023. To learn more about Skyted or to pre-order one for yourself, you can go to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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VersaWare helps you eat healthy while saving time @ CES 2023



VersaWare Healthy Eating TechVersaWare is on a mission to help you get healthy and save time. They provide users with a culinary ecosystem that is tailored specifically to their health goals. Their recipe-AI and real-time nutrition breakdowns make it easy to create healthy meals quickly and efficiently. With VersaWare, you can finally achieve your health goals without sacrificing your time!

What is VersaWare?

VersaWare is an AI-powered platform that puts the power of a personal chef in the hands of everyone. Through their AI-based recipe engine, VersaWare helps users create delicious, healthy meals quickly and efficiently. Their nutritional breakdowns help you track your daily caloric intake and easily adjust dietary preferences to meet specific health goals. From fresh ingredients to detailed recipes, to meal plans and nutrition guidance, VersaWare’s culinary ecosystem has everything you need for healthy eating success.

How does VersaWare work?

VersaWare combines the power of AI with physical kitchen gadgets to help you prepare healthy food that tastes great and, most importantly, that you’ll enjoy. This pairing is the secret ingredient to their own corporate recipe. By using smart kitchen items, the platform is able to help you go through recipes to ensure that you are only using the quantity of ingredients that you are supposed to.

Why is this important? Because counting calories only works if you are able to be accurate about it. If a recipe calls for 1/4 pound of ground beef, but you accidentally use 1/3 pound, then the number of calories you will get from the meal is larger. Similarly, the fat intake will increase. Quantifying your ingredients like this allows you to have a very accurate log of your food.

Currently, the company is focusing on two kitchen implements: a smart mixing bowl and a smart cutting board. The decision was made to focus here because they are items that everyone uses and have a large impact. Both items are able to weigh what is put into them and, combined with the information entered by the user about what is being used, the system can calculate an incredibly accurate nutritional matrix for the meal.

Of course, as they are intended for the kitchen, both items are easily washable and waterproof. Both connect to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi to allow tracking and ingredient steps. And, the system was a recipe AI to help you plan out what you want to eat while still being healthy.

Who is VersaWare for?

VersaWare is the perfect solution for busy people who want to get healthy without sacrificing their time. With VersaWare, you can create tasty dishes quickly and easily while also tracking your nutrition intake. VersaWare’s culinary ecosystem makes meal planning simple and efficient, so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the food that you make. Get healthy and save time with VersaWare!

VersaWare products are in a beta phase with a few products in testers’ hands. The company plans to finalize production and bring the devices to market in the Summer of 2023. To join the waitlist or to learn more about the product line, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Toniebox makes story and music time easier for young kids @ CES 2023



tonies kids' smart speakerChildren enjoy music and stories, but younger kids need help. Things like CDs or even streaming services require too much interaction and knowledge – plus they usually require a screen. This is where the Toniebox comes in, producing a smart speaker that allows kids to listen to music and stories on their own in a safe and easy way.

What is the Toniebox?

It’s an innovative audio system designed specifically for little listeners. With its soft, rugged construction and low-maintenance charging, Toniebox is the perfect companion for your child’s music adventures. It also comes with a select compilation of traditional children’s songs preloaded, so there’s no need to search through endless libraries of music!

Just turn it on and pop a Tonie on top, and your child can be off to explore the audio world! With its long-lasting battery life of up to 7 hours, you can be sure that Toniebox will keep kids entertained all day long. So, set your little ones free with this speaker – they’ll love it!

The Toniebox is a fantastic way to introduce children to music, stories, and sound effects in an interactive and engaging format. Get your kids’ imagination running wild with this fun and an easy-to-use audio system!

How does the Toniebox work?

Simply turn on the Toniebox and pop a Tonie on top. The device then automatically starts playing audio content from the chosen Tonie. If this is the first time that the Tonie has been placed on the box, it will go out to the internet and download the associated audio file. This means that you’ll need to be connected to the internet the first time you use a new Tonie. After that, the audio is stored on the Toniebox for future listening. In fact, the speaker has the ability to hold around 100 audio files and has an algorithm to determine what to remove based on how frequently and recently a Tonie has been used.

When your child is done listening, just take off the Tonie and the Toniebox will power down automatically. With its easy-on, easy-off charging system, you can be sure that your Toniebox is always ready for those long listening sessions. This makes it easy for the kid to use the box and not have to worry so much about charging.

What audio is available?

There are some great options available, including children’s songs, stories, and sound effects – so there’s something for everyone! The company produces a variety of Tonies based on existing and original characters. These characters include everything from Sesame Street to Disney to Peter Rabbit. Some of these Tonies have licensed content that already exists, while others have original content.

For example, the company has worked directly with the voice actors for several Sesame Street voice actors in order to create exclusive stories within the Sesame Street experience. The company also has its own characters available. This allows them to expand the offering beyond just licensing.

Summary

The Toniebox is currently available in several various markets. The starter sets run $100 which includes the Toniebox and a variety of Tonies depending on the set. Additional Tonies are available generally running at $15. Some of the more unique Tonies, such as the nightlight, cost more. To learn more about Tonies and the Toniebox, head over to the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Skinetic adds haptic feedback to virtual reality and more @ CES 2023



Skinetic Haptic Feedback VestPlaying a videogame is intended to extend the experience of entertainment into a more personal connection. With a movie or TV show or even a play, you watch what is happening and pretend to put yourself into the action. With a videogame, however, you are in control over the experience – sometimes in small ways and others in large ways. However, we’re still generally separated from the game in a variety of ways, but Actronika wants to bring you directly into the game experience with Skinetic.

Who is Actronika?

Actronika is a company specializing in haptic technology. While we all think of haptics as the phone vibrating when we touch it, there’s much more to the technology. In this case, the company focuses on a more high-definition version of haptics. The more focused technology allows for the creation of different haptic zones as well as different textures.

This technology has come together to form Skinetic – a haptic vest that can provide feedback during an entertainment session. The vest is able to replicate the sensation experienced by the character on the screen while not intentionally hurting the one experiencing it. The best part is that this is not limited to gaming. In fact, it can be used across nearly any type of entertainment.

Skinetic in gaming

The Skinetic vest is a perfect companion for gaming. When you’re playing a game and a grenade goes off nearby, being able to feel that explosion makes the game a more immersive experience. But, because of the detail of the vest, you can also have a smaller experience, such as being tapped on the shoulder.

While this seems like a perfect companion for traditional gaming, it’s even better for virtual reality. VR glasses are specifically designed to place you in a first person perspective for your entertainment experience. By adding Skinetic into the mix, the experience truly does become more personal as well as more immersive. The game can bring you into the action and leave you with more of a consequence for failure.

Skinetic in movies and television

While interactive entertainment is the most obvious place for Skinetic, it can also work well for passive entertainment. The inclusion of haptic feedback into movie and television can help to pull you more into the entertainment. In gaming, you’ll have consequences for your own actions, while in this example you’ll have consequences for the actions of the characters on screen.

How does Skinetic work?

Skinetic has to be integrated into the development of the entertainment experience. For example ,a videogame developer must know about Skinetic and build for it. Fortunately, we’ve already seen some big titles get on-board, including the VR experience Half-Life: Alyx, which many consider to be one of the definitive VR games.

Development is made easy, though. Unlike many gaming tools, Skinetic support can be built outside of the game.development tools, you can create and test the individual textures and feelings.ect and quicker development. Once you have your texture, you can import it into your game.

The vest is incredibly detailed in design. There are 20 action zones, meaning that if someone taps you on the left shoulder, you can feel it only on the left shoulder. This is something that sets it apart from other VR vests, in that the experience can be tailered to the game environment.

Summary

The Skinetic is still under development, but developers can get ahold of a prototyping kit or evaluation kit. For consumers, you’ll have to wait only a little while, as the pricut is intended to hit the market in May 2023. To learn more about Skinetic and Actronika, head over to the company’s website.