Tag Archives: smartphone

Ventev Brings Battery Packs and Accessories to CES

Ventev LogoAlthough there have been great improvements in battery technology, the bigger screens, thinner devices and faster processors mean that it’s always necessary to monitor a smartphone’s battery level. USB power packs can help in alleviating battery anxiety and Marlo chats to Scott Franklin of Ventev to see what they have to offer.

Ventev brings a selection of mobile accessories including battery packs and cables with some specifically aimed at Apple products with Lightning connector. With prices from $39.99 up to $99.99, there’s a pack for every situation and price.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch. Note that the early part of the interview is missing.

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Kodak Shows IM5 Smartphone at CES

Kodak logoNew technology can be great but sometimes, it’s loaded with so many options that it can also be difficult to truly grasp how it works. That’s the problem Kodak is hoping to solve with its new IM5 smartphone.

Todd talked to Lindsay Higgins from Kodak about the IM5. Lindsay explained that the device was designed with Baby Boomers in mind. She described the IM5 as an affordable camera phone that’s easy to use, with simple features that emphasize browsing and sharing photos.

The IM5 runs Android 4.42 and it uses a 13 megapixel back camera as well as a 5 megapixel front camera. The base model includes 8 gigabytes of storage, with models that expand up to 32 gigabytes. The IM5 also allows for dual SIM cards, so it’ll easily travel abroad.

Interview by Todd Aune from The Elder Divide for the TechPodcast Network.

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Eliptic Labs add Ultrasonic Gesture Controls to Devices at CES

EllipticLabs logoThe touch interface goes back as far as the early days of mobile devices to the Apple Newton and Palm Organiser. Elliptic Labs now add non-touch to the mobile user interface with ultrasound gesture recognition. Todd gets a demo from Laila Danielson, CEO.

Elliptic Labs use an ultrasonic speaker to create a sonic field around the mobile device. Moving a hand in front of the device creates ultrasonic echoes which are picked up by microphones and the changes in echo patterns are converted into gestures. For example, waving a hand from left to right scrolls a picture gallery. Moving a hand closer to the phone brings up additional information on a film or movie.

It’s currently a prototype device being shown to OEMs so expect the technology to appear on mobile devices in the next year or two.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Schneider Optics adds High-Quality Lenses to Smartphones at CES

Schneider LogoDigital pictures and smartphone cams have changed the photography industry beyond recognition in the last twenty years and the quality of this imagery is such that innovative filmmakers are using iPhones to record footage. One restriction remains and that is the lens itself; there’s only one and it’s fixed in place. But Schneider Optics might have a solution. Todd finds out more from Don.

Schneider Optics iPro Lens systems provides a selection of high quality optical lenses for Apple iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy S4, including macro, wide-angle, super wide, tele and fisheye. The system works by fitting the smartphone itself into a case and then mounting the lens onto the case with a bayonet connector to ensure the best possible alignment.

The iPro Lens is available now for the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5S. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus variant will be on sale shortly. Lenses cost from $39 to $99, the case is $31 and there are also kits available.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Floome Checks Your Alcohol Levels at CES

2045 TechYou shouldn’t drink alcohol before driving as even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgement. But, if you do need to check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), then the Floome smartphone breathalyser from 2045 Tech can help you determine if it’s legal to drive. Fabio Penzo CEO shows Todd how it works.

Floome is a small palm-sized device that plugs into the earphone jack of a smartphone. The owner breathes into Floome and it then analyses the alcohol concentration and passes the data to the Floome smartphone app. The phone then shows the BAC on the screen along with a green or red indicator. The app has other features such as showing the location of the nearest taxi service or it can send “come and get me” messages with the alcohol level superimposed on a selfie.

The Floome will be launching in Italy for 49 euros and will come to USA in a few months.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Program All The Buttons with Flic at CES

Flic logoFlic is a bluetooth-enabled button. It’s a simple idea that has many uses from taking pictures with a smartphone to autodialling or even working as a personal distress signal. Nick and Todd met with Pranav Kosuri, co-founder of Shortcut Labs.

Flic is a coin-sized button that can be stuck or clipped onto almost anything. When pressed, it sends a bluetooth message that is received by the Flic app (available for both Android and iOS) and actions include controlling music, dialling phone numbers, sharing GPS position, taking pictures, dimming lights and more. Different things can be done depending on the number of clicks or if the button is being held down: one click could be take a picture, two clicks take a video. The possibilities are huge.

The Flic is currently on Indiegogo and $99 gets 5x Flics with delivery in April 2015.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Remote Control Your Hearing Aid From Your Smartphone or Tablet at CES

siemens_logoHearing devices are getting better and better all the time. Chris Montera, the Geekymedic, guest host for Health Tech Weekly talked to the folks from Siemens about their new connected hearing aids and how you can control them and use them in association with other devices like your smartphone and tablet. The controller programs for hearing aids give the user flexibility to dial in their hearing aids to each unique and specific situation in which they find themselves.

The best part of using a mobile device like an iPhone or Android phone to control your hearing aids is that you can do it without anyone know that you’re doing it or even revealing that you’re hearing impaired. You’ll just look like you’re texting like anyone else and not fiddling with your ears or holding an odd looking remote control up to your ear. The connection is via bluetooth with the MiniTek remote controls which then communicate with the hearing aids via inductive technology.

These devices are available now and can be found with your local hearing health professionals. For more information and to find a local hearing professional, visit hearing.siemens.com.


Follow-up with more segments from CES 2014 here at TPN.tv and over at the Health Tech Weekly Podcast with host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic.

CES 2014: visit CES Unveiled with IdoNotes

CES 2014 Unveiled is a chance to get an early look at close to 100 exhibitors and what they will be launching as the week of CES continues.  Chris Miller (IdoNotes) visits the show floor and gives you a video summary.

Chris breaks the exhibitors down into what appeared to be five major group areas complete with pictures and commentary. See everything from home automation, phone cases, audio, health to just plain stuff.

Video summary by Chris Miller (IdoNotes) of Spiked Studio.

Sphero Releases Sharky the Beaver Mixed Reality App

Sphero LogoGNC first saw Sphero at CES last year and it’s a really cool toy: a rugged waterproof ball controlled from a smartphone or tablet. So what has Sphero been up to in the past year…Todd and Don find out from Ian Bernstein, CTO Founder.

While the  hardware is unchanged from last year, Sphero has grown the number and type of companion apps from around 5 apps to over 20 with several produced by third parties. New on the scene is a mixed reality app which uses the tablet or smartphone’s camera to track Sphero and overlay Sharky the Beaver on the device’s screen. It’s particularly fun as the real-world interaction with Sphero creates a relationship with the cartoon character which makes it that bit more believable.

Sphero works with both iOS and Android devices, and retails for around $130. Lots of fun and there’s an SDK if you feel like rolling your own (sorry!)

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.


Big Surprise: Women Love Spiders

breffoAt least when they are the  Breffo Spider– a mounting system for desktop, auto, bike or cubicle. It’s not clear if they love spiders, or if they are buying them for gifts, but it’s been a surprising trend since it was introduced a year ago. Applicable to any sort of mobile device, the completely pliable legs capture GPS units, smartphones, cameras, radar detectors, portable radios, music players and other devices. Using a premium grade of steel rod, it holds in position rather than springing back.  Oriented in portrait or landscape, it can be molded to the car headrest or other vehicle parts. TPN Interview by Andy McCaskey, SDRNews and Scott Ertz, F5 Live: Refreshing Technology .