Tag Archives: mobile

Fixbid wants to save you from bad home renovations @ CES 2021



Fixbid contractor hiring toolFinding a quality and trustworthy contractor can be an absolute nightmare. Almost everyone who has done home remodeling work has a story about someone involved in the project who was or caused a problem. When my family built an add-on to the house, we ended up with a large collection of issues (we still have one door we can’t use nearly 30 years later). But, the mobile app Fixbid wants those issues to be a thing of the past.

There have been contractor rating platforms before, but they never quite work. The problem has always been that the scores come exclusively from customers. And who takes the time to review someone? Unhappy customers or people being incentivized. Joe Lycett showed just how easy it is to become the top water purification system on Trust Pilot without ever having a product. The process is far too easy to game, making the scores fairly useless.

Fixbid set out to fix this problem by using actual certification metrics. Rather than just hoping that customer reviews are accurate (which they are not), Fixbid uses the American Rating Company as its basis. All contractors that are listed on the system are all Diamond Certified Contractors, giving a higher level of confidence in hiring them.

Of course, the goal of the platform is to help you pair up with a contractor that offers the service you need, whether it be electrical, plumbing, solar, and more. You can find, communicate, and even pay for the services all through Fixbid.

The service is currently available in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, with plans to expand that service area in the future. To learn more about the service or explore the available contractors, head to the Fixbid website. From there, you can register and download the app.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Signal Cortex simplifies task management for staff & managers @ CES 2021



Signal Cortex task managementMatt Crowley CEO of the start-up, Signal Cortex, is the former CIO for Philadelphia and Cleveland airports. During his time with the airports, he became accustomed to working in complex situations with large traffic flows and heavy background work done by frontline employees – everything from mopping floors to moving chairs around to directing customers. Current systems for managing these tasks, he says, are very complicated. For example, for janitorial staff trying to clean up a spill, they need to carry multiple devices and complete a long questionnaire after completing their task, so management can make proper deployment decisions going forward. It is a messy system with inconsistent results.

Signal Cortex addresses the bulkiness of these challenges through a system they’ve developed that simplifies complex enterprise environments, getting tasks to staff members more easily and results back to management more efficiently, to help them make better logistical decisions. The company’s first product is a simple phone app that can use commodity Bluetooth devices and convert routine tasks that employees need to do into audio-based notifications.

The system automatically dispatches and manages work for individuals, groups, or teams, empowers staff by streamlining data collection, reduces training time and process complexity, and is easy for everyone from staff to management to use.

Originally developed for airports, Signal Cortex pivoted because of COVID-19 and redirected their enterprise solution as a building management tool for building service contractors. Building service contractors typically lose half of their customers each year due to bad data, says Crowley, with either employees not receiving information about their tasks, or failing to report the tasks completed, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Their solution eliminates both those problems.

Ultimately Signal Cortex views itself as both a business and a consumer product as well. The company officially launched publicly at the end of January.

To learn more about Signal Cortex, visit their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Typewise brings intuitive typing to your fingertips @ CES 2021



Typewise mobile keyboardDavid Eberle, CEO and Co-Founder of Typewise, joined us at CES 2021 from Switzerland to talk about his company’s unique take on the mobile keyboard.

Typewise is a smartphone keyboard that works on iPhone or Android devices, promises up to five times fewer typos, and safeguards your privacy in the process. The keyboard system, developed in partnership with is ETH Zurich, is AI-powered and completely customizable.

Typewise was developed to help improve productivity by overcoming the slow and cumbersome traditional keyboard system, that’s over 140 years old. The keyboard consists of a honeycomb interface with hexagonal keys that are 70% larger than standard mobile device keyboard keys. Space keys are in the center, conveniently situated for thumbs. While it lacks shift and backspace keys, those functions are replaced with more intuitive gestures that complement the capabilities of touch screens. The result is 80% fewer typos, a number the company arrived at by replicating a 2018 Cambridge University study that analyzed the behavior of over 30,000 users across a variety of keyboards.

Where typically every fifth word typed using a standard keyboard contains a typo, the Typewise system drops that number down to one in every 20 words, on average. Future releases will integrate autocorrect technology with voice-to-text, so the keyboard knows how the user spells certain words when typed, and the voice-to-text engine will be able to type spoken words as the user would. The keyboard will eventually work on desktops, VR and wearables, and any device where you have to input information.

The app is completely free, with no advertising, and is available in 40 languages. A premium version is available as an in-app purchase for those who type in multiple languages at the same time, enabling the keyboard to switch easily between the languages.

Visit the company’s website to learn more or download the free app at the Google Play Store or the App Store.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Mighty Health keeps your body in shape and your mind alert @ CES 2021



Mighty Health fitness trainerAs folks age, their health needs slowly change, sometimes to the point that they don’t realize their decline. James Li, co-founder, and CEO of Mighty Health tells of the time his father was rushed into the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery. He was told in no uncertain terms that he either must change his current diet and lifestyle or he would be back in three to six months, even though the surgery was successful. Out of this scary experience came Mighty Health, a nutrition and lifestyle program designed especially for those over 50 years of age. James described it as a virtual YMCA.

As we age, it’s natural that we cannot do things as we used to that requires regular exercise or physical stamina. Older people’s needs are much different for fitness. Maybe it’s running a 5K or doing weights that are not working the way that they used to. Another common problem is joint pain. These days we are very restricted from going to places that many people share a limited area due to COVID-19. This has many negative repercussions, one of which is loneliness and isolation, which is definitely a contributor to poor health, both mental and physical. Not only are there nutritional classes and workout videos, but just by being involved in this program, you’ll find yourself in a community of people who are just like you. This is 360 support for you and you find that you are not in this alone.

The program has cardiologists and fitness trainers from all over the world who will guide you through the journey to better health through your nutrition and exercise program. Mighty Health will also send alerts to your family members so they can cheer you on for support.

The easy-to-use-app is not only available for iOS and Android, but for your phone and tablet. The cost of the program is $19.99 a month or you can get a discount by pre-paying for a year, which is $159.99. For more info, go to the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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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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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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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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Arculus looks to secure cryptocurrency assets from theft @ CES 2021



Arculus cryptocurrency cold storageIn the past few weeks, the value of several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, has skyrocketed. This change has caused a lot of new people to get involved in investing in these currencies in an attempt to make some quick cash. However, unlike owning a few shares of Microsoft or Apple, there are inherent insecurities in owning cryptocurrencies. Most notably, having a public, or hot, wallet on an exchange holding your coins, is just asking for trouble. In fact, billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency have been stolen in recent years. However, Arculus has a new solution to the problem.

The basis of cryptocurrency security is in making the wallet that holds those coins unavailable to hackers. This process is called cold storage, or storage that is not accessed regularly, compared to hot storage, which is accessed often. This could mean keeping it on a flash drive or a portable hard drive that is kept disconnected from a computer. However, Arculus’ new process adds a number of layers of security that the normal process is lacking.

In particular, this process has three-factor authentication. You must have something you know, which is your PIN, something you are, which is your biometric lock on your phone, and something you have, which is the Arculus card. This means that, without you, the value of your wallet is zero. In addition, the currency is maintained in an air-gapped state, meaning that it is not connected to the internet – preventing external hackers from stealing from you.

The company has built this technology on the back of its security expertise. They produce metal credit cards for several companies, as well as governmental access badges. With that background, they have produced what could be the most secure way to store and transfer your cryptocurrency assets. The Arculus card should be available soon. To learn more and sign up to be notified of the launch, head to the company’s website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Nomadplug makes traveling a breeze for your devices @ CES 2021



nomadplug foreign travel adapterA hardware startup is not an easy thing to accomplish. There are numerous obstacles out there just waiting to slow you down, such as currency fluctuations, your certifications, selecting your manufacturer, or even a global lockdown! Now there is a great product called Nomadplug, created by Ryan Silberman. Nomadplug is an international travel adapter that has been in development for 3 years. It’s sleek and small, making it very lightweight to travel with. Speaking of travel, it functions in all of the 195 countries!

Nomadplug is a slick new product for many reasons and these are what sets it apart from other travel adapters. Unlike most travel adapters that have an individual piece for each plug type, Nomadplug does it with one interlocking connection. You simply disconnect the stack at the location you need and plug it into the wall. It also uses a rare earth magnet for keeping all the interlocking modules together.

On the backside is a universal plug so you can use almost any device from any country in any outlet in any country. The only limitation is that the device must support the voltage of that particular country. This makes traveling with modern phones, tablets, or computers easy. The plug features an easy to use hinge that prevents it from falling out of sockets.

In addition to the adapter, there will be three USB-C chargers that can also be used for your laptop and mobile phone. That means no more traveling with extra power bricks! The model that is available now provides 18W and a single USB port. Future models will be available with 30W and 65W, both offering more than one USB port. You can currently purchase the current model in a variety of colors for $76.44. For more information go to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Movo introduces a trio of universal smartphone lenses @ CES 2021



Movo SPL Smartphone LensesThere is no denying that the cameras on smartphones have improved incredibly over the past few years. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy S21, announced during CES 2021. The back is seemingly covered in lenses, but still, it doesn’t have all of the capabilities of a proper camera. That’s because, no matter how many extra lenses for different modes are added, there will always be capabilities that are missing. Fortunately, Movo has a solution that will work with almost any phone.

The company has announced a new line of clip-on lenses for smartphones, known as the SPL Series. The line is launching with a trio of options: a 238-degree fisheye lens (SPL-FE Super Fisheye), a 3x zoom perspective (SPL-TELE Telephoto), and an 18-mm perspective wide-angle (SPL-WA Wide Angle).

The feature that sets these lenses apart from many of the past products available on the market is that it is not dependent on the model of phone you have. In the past, these lens kits were form-fit for a particular model of phone. This limited the ability to take the lens with you when you upgraded your phone, meaning you had to rebuy every time you changed phones. The SPL Series of smartphone lenses are instead designed to clip onto nearly any phone, making them a one-time buy for photographers.

Most importantly, these lenses follow the company’s longstanding tradition of providing quality products at affordable prices. The existing product line contains photography and videography supplies, including lens accessories for cameras. The move to include universal lenses for smartphones into the lineup is a natural extension of who Movo has always been.

All three lenses are available to pre-order, with shipping expected in February 2021. Each lens retails for $39.95. For more information or to purchase, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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