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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Zibrio is here to keep you balanced and in good health @ CES 2021



Zibria balance trainingThere’s nothing worse than falling and possibly getting badly injured. Falling is the #1 reason for trauma deaths. Part of the reason many people fall is poor or improper balance. Zibrio, which looks and functions like a bathroom scale, has been developed for helping to find your area that needs attention.

Many times people aren’t even aware that they have a balance problem. Balance is defined as your postural stability, which means it’s your body’s ability to maintain an upright and stable position. That means standing, walking, or being active. The three things that make up this postural stability are sensory output, which deals with the inner ear and the bottom of your feet The second is a processing link to your brain or input, and the third is output which tells the brain to react.

They have commercialized NASA technology to help with finding balance problems. The technology was used with the astronauts inside their boots on the moon to make sure they had good enough balance for the mission they were on. Zibrio developers wanted to be able to help people find our where they had balance problem so that they could avoid falls and potentially serious injuries. They found that the company was 2-5 times better at finding high-risk problems than what the doctors were doing. Wanting it to be a friendly device, they made it available for in-home use as well as in your doctor’s office so you can use it daily, weekly, or monthly.

Your balance changes daily and with Zibrio you can track it and find out where you need to focus to improve it. There have been cases where elderly people have started out scoring very low and using Zibrio, have been able to raise their level of balance. This has been a great help in assisted living facilities where there is a high risk for falls. The senior population, which has a 28% chance of falling, is the group that needs to improve its balance. Some unfortunate ones never recover.

Zibrio comes with a consumer app, which shows such things as your sleep, and your stress level, both of which directly affect your balance. Knowing where a problem is part of the solution to keeping you upright and healthy. The measurements can be retrieved in 60 seconds and you will find out where you are on a scale of 1-10. The border of the unit lights up in the color that indicates the area of concern. Green is good, yellow is marginal, and red is the area you need to take care of.

The cost of this amazing product for the consumer is $299. For the clinical version that is used in your doctor’s office, the cost is $449. For more information go to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Pigro makes finding answers from your company data easy @ CES 2021



Pigro knowledge managementEvery company may produce different products and services, but one thing that every company produces is a ton of information. For a lot of companies, it can be difficult to keep that information organized, and even more difficult to grab the information you need when you need it. This is never more urgent than for support staffers, who often need to access very detailed bits of info in a short period of time. That’s where Pigro comes in.

Pigro, which means lazy in Italian, is a data indexing and search platform designed specifically to be able to answer questions about the company and its products when needed. The whole aim of the system is to make data searchable to reduce the amount of time spent trying to answer a question.

Take, for example, a product like a smart TV powered by Roku. The operating system is not made by the same company as the television itself, but support staff will certainly be asked questions about the operation of the Roku system. Rather than having to train every support team member on every aspect of a product your company doesn’t make, you could instead load all of Roku’s support documents, as well as your own, into Pigro so your staffers can find the answers to obscure questions on demand.

The best part of the system is that it takes requests in the form of natural language. This means that you can ask questions in the same way you would to a coworker next to you, which we don’t currently have. It also means that you don’t have to guess what keywords the person who uploaded the document may have used, as they are likely not the ones you are thinking about for your question.

Pigro is currently available, and the company will give you a demo of the system in action on your own dataset. To find out more and to book a demo, head to the company’s 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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Hello Genius bridges the learning gap for parent and child @ CES 2021



Hello Genius Early LearningThe idea of Hello Genius is a genius idea! When a child is in public school, the parents aren’t always aware of the true nature of what the child is learning. Hello Genius is an app-based learning system that is designed to build greater connectivity between parents and their young children through a personalized learning experience.

Founded in 2020 by Jack Lee, CEO, and Lee Daley, the chief strategy and marketing officer, the idea for Hello Genius was inspired by the desire to better understand their children and connect with them as they learn. Hello Genius believes that all children learn at a different rate of speed and at different levels. Children are more receptive to learning if it is done with something they are interested in or care about. At that early age, they aren’t normally driven by the average curriculum but rather by something they are truly interested in-something that captivates them.

The Hello Genius software platform is driven by the principles of non-linear adaptive learning and natural development during the child’s early formative years from ages 3-10. As the child explores, the system will adapt to feed or satisfy the particular interests and potential of each child.

There are two apps available, one for parents and one for children. For children, the system adapts with a tailored learning journey while revealing their interests and preferences to their parents through quantitative and qualitative data.

For the parents, the app provides a set of features to help parents support their child as they learn and grow, also encouraging the feeling of safety and security of their children being online. One feature is a live activity feed and the capability for parents to share topics in real-time and receive content from their children, which may also have messages, voice and video call functions, and push notifications.

The software platform uses AI and machine-learning algorithms to build the child’s profile based on valuable data and insight, helping parents to get a deeper understanding of the child’s growing interests and talents. The app management feature provides parents with the ability to regulate a safe mode as the child engages on the Hello Genius app. This safe mode allows the child to engage with other third-party applications, selected by the parent, apart from the main app, and thereby reassuring the parent’s desire for safety and security.

The cost of this app is less than the price of a cup of coffee, only $0.99 a day. Hello Genius is currently only available in English, but there are plans for expanding to multiple languages in the next 12-18 months. Hello Genius is offering free subscriptions for the remainder of 2021, along with a lifetime membership to the parent community who download the early release of March 1, 2021. The early release platform is available on any iOS or Android device. For more information go to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Maicat from Macroact is a realistic robotic cat companion @ CES 2021



Macroact MaicatCompanionship is an important part of life, and for many, a pet can be the perfect companion. However, for a variety of reasons, not everyone can or will have a pet. Some people have allergies, some are scared, and others live in a controlled environment. In these cases, and others, an artificial companion can help overcome the challenges. Macroact has a robotic cat, Maicat, to help fill this void.

Macroact is a robotic startup which is combining artificial intelligence with robotics but focuses on very specialized markets. The first of their adaptive robots, Maicat, is a companion robot that is designed to behave and interact like a cat. This is done without sending the robot into the uncanny valley, so it is compelling and cute.

While other companion robotic animals have been created before, Maicat separates itself in size. It is about two-thirds the size of its competitors, making it a more manageable device. In addition, Maicat features autonomous motion control and 21 actuators, allowing it to interact with the people and objects around it more similar to a real cat. Thanks to its integrated environment detection system, it is also able to know its environment and avoid obstacles in its path.

Like a real cat, Maicat learns from your unique interaction with it, including using voice and facial recognition and sentiment analysis, and determines the perceived intent, both positive and negative, of each action. The robot also develops its own unique emotional rhythmic cycle and uses that to respond to external stimuli with each interaction. This means that, like a real cat, each time you interact with it, the experience will be different. This will obviously make the experiences more diverse and fun.

One clear use for this technology, as pointed out by Christopher Jordan, is for helping to teach a younger child about pets. Rather than the child learning the hard way through scratches or bites that certain activities are inappropriate, Maicat can help instead. To learn more and find out when it becomes available, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Skreeneo SoClean makes public touchscreens safe to use @ CES 2021



Skreeneo SoCleanIf you’re like me, you hate public touchscreens. Just the idea of touching something that someone else has been fiddling with seems gross. However, the technology is getting more common and will get even more common over the next few years at places like fast food, convenience stores, and grocery stores, as these places are forced into additional automation. However, the fear of touching public screens is even greater today, thanks to public health concerns. Fortunately, Skreeneo has technology that alleviates the concern while eliminating constant screen cleaning.

The Skreeneo SoClean technology uses silver ions to act as a barrier against bacteria. The ionized protection blocks the instantaneous growth and proliferation of microbes. When the silver ions come into contact with the bacteria, they prevent them from growing. With no reproduction path, the bacteria die in place, preventing them from spreading the disease to the next user, no matter the public health situation. It also prevents the devices from discoloring prematurely.

The SoClean technology is available in a variety of forms. The company offers unique kiosk and touchscreen solutions for business and display, with the SoClean technology pre-installed. So, if you are installing a new kiosk system, anything from self-checkout to autonomous hand sanitizing stations, you can have it be sanitary from the start. However, if you already have the technology in use, you can retrofit those devices with an add-on film.

As the demand for autonomous systems increases over the next few years, the importance of keeping those systems clean is going to increase. If you are working on a solution, for your business, Skreeneo’s SoClean technology should be part of your project research. To find out more about the company and its digital signage and SoClean technology, head over to their website for more information.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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MoviWear makes aging in place less stressful for everyone @ CES 2021



MoviWear Aging SmartwatchIf you have a loved one who is aging in place, it can be difficult to feel comfortable that everything is okay. Is the persona okay or have they fallen, or maybe having heart issues? For most of us, the best we can do is hope that everything is okay and, if not, our loved ones will call us to say something is wrong. But, many people don’t want to admit that something is wrong, so that is less likely. However, MoviWear is working to alleviate these concerns.

The company provides a number of connected devices that help track the wearer’s activity and status and can report it to family and caregivers. Depending on the device, you can track different things, ranging from heart rate to blood glucose level (without pricking yourself). The devices connect to a central system and aggregate the data, creating a live report for caregivers.

MoviWear’s primary wearable is the NurtureWatch. This smartwatch looking device is designed with the brains, but without the visual bells and whistles. While it may not offer an app store or web browser, it does provide the wearer with a number of major benefits. Of course, it’s a watch, but it also incorporates AI-powered fall detection. This feature allows the device to detect when motion falls outside of the normal range of motion and can report to medical personnel, friends, or family, that something has happened. The watch also features a red SOS button, which can be used in the event assistance is needed.

In addition to the watch, the company also offers a simple panic button. This device works like the red SOS button on the watch but is a stand-alone product. It can be worn as a pendant, watch, or set on a table – whatever is most convenient for the user at the time. Both products are available from the company’s website and retail around $250.

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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