Category Archives: Computers

Tanoshi computers are a perfect school companion for kids @ CES 2021



Tanoshi kids' computersHaving a computer for children went from a nice to have in 2019 to a near necessity in 2020, and that requirement seems to not be slowing down. Of course, not all computers are great for kids. Either they’re too fragile, too easy to use for unapproved reasons, getting into unsafe places, and more. Over the years, kids’ computers have been a thing, but they always focus on very young kids. But, the Tanoshi computers have a wider range of ages.

The Tanoshi computers take some inspiration from the Surface product line, being able to use as both a full laptop or as a tablet. In laptop mode, you get a full hardware keyboard complete with a touchpad and emoji key. For tablet mode, the screen detaches from the keyboard and continues to function as a complete computer. When doing schoolwork, this gives the student the ability to choose where and how to work. After school, they get the ability to take it with them and explore.

The computers feature Android, as opposed to Windows or ChromeOS. With Android, they get access to the Google Play Store, but in a limited way. The computer features a robust parental control system, so parents can approve and deny apps, monitor screen and app use time, set approved usage hours (like turning off at bedtime), and more.

Of course, as a kids’ computer, there are some things that will make the experience better. For example, the durability is impressive. In fact, during the conversation, you can see the screen literally thrown across the room and continue to work. It is also available in a choice of bright colors, which will be appealing to kids.

The Tanoshi 2-in-1 is available for $199, and the new Tanoshi Scholar is available for $299 (with a special at $249 as of this writing). To learn more or purchase one for your family, head to the Tanoshi website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Mercku M6 Mesh is an attractive, powerful Wi-Fi system @ CES 2021



Mercku M6 Mesh Wi-Fi systemWi-Fi is an essential part of our daily lives, made even more important with the global lockdowns. But, many home wireless networks are questionable, which can cause a lot of problems working from home or watching content on your phone, computer, or tablet. A strong, powerful Wi-Fi system running on the most modern publicly available standard, can help address this. The Mercku M6 Mesh is just such a system.

Mesh systems, like the Mercku M6 Mesh, allow you to use multiple access points around your home or office, which all identity as the same wireless network. This allows you to walk around your home while maintaining your Wi-Fi connection. This can be almost required for a two-story building, like our offices, where you lose almost all coverage when you change floors. But, by placing a second device, which connects to the first and acts as a repeater, you can keep your signal strength at peak performance.

The Mercku M6 Mesh also features Wi-Fi 6, which is the current standard coming into CES 2021. This standard provides the fastest speeds and strongest signal available. With a faster maximum bandwidth, it allows for better speeds even with degraded coverage (such as in outer corners). Wi-Fi 6 also allows the mesh to have the best possible connection between access points.

Another big focus for the product is appearance. Unlike Wi-Fi routers of the past, mesh routers are designed to be placed out in the open to maximize signal strength. As such, appearance is an important aspect of the product. Many mesh routers take a minimalistic approach, looking like boxes or air fresheners. The Mercku M6 Mesh, however, is designed to be seen and to be a point of aesthetic pride.

The Mercku M6 Mesh is coming soon and will have a suggested price of $349. To learn more about the product and to find out when it comes to market, check out the Mercku website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

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Blacknut has a huge catalog of cloud streaming games @ CES 2021



Blacknut cloud gaming platformThere is no doubt that the future of gaming has a big place for cloud streaming services. There have been a number of companies, including Microsoft and Google, who have gotten in on the game. However, there seems to be a lot of question over the stability of and the commitment to these platforms. One company that is showing both stability and commitment is Blacknut.

The company has taken a very similar approach to Microsoft, in that the service is a monthly fee and includes all of the games in the catalog. The games in the catalog have no ads and no in-game purchases. Your game state is stored in the cloud, meaning that you can start your game on your phone and continue it on the computer, or vice versa. But, how many games are available? Currently, the service offers over 400 games with n ew games added weekly.

The catalog is also very diverse. There is a large collection of Japanese games with anime styling, such as BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. There are a lot of racing games, from big name franchises like Asphalt, Gravel, and MotoGP. And, there are weird games, like Overcooked and Farming Simulator 19. There is definitely something for everyone.

The service also has a strong focus on families. On your single subscription, you can create up to 5 profiles, so everyone has their progress separately. There are also parental controls, disabling access during certain times and limiting access to games with certain ratings.

Blacknut is available now for $15.99 per month, with a 50% discount for your first three months with discount code WELCOME3M21. You can play games on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Fire TV, and Google TV. To learn more about the platform, browse the catalog of games, and start your subscription, head over to the Blacknut 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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Wonder Painter – Tech Podcasts Network Best of CES 2020 Award



Wonder PainterThe Tech Podcasts Network team awards its TPN Best of CES 2020 Award to Wonder Painter.

As a kid, almost everyone imagined themselves as the protagonist in their favorite stories. Heck, most adults do it when they read. However, those picture books never actually feature your face, right? Wonder Painter has created a technology that can directly bring any drawing or photo to life. The technology can allow publishers to use the reader’s drawing or photo as an integral part of their storytelling experience.

Imagine a story about two kids going on an adventure – it’s a fairly standard kids book concept. However, using Wonder Painter’s technology, that story can feature you and your best friend as the kids going on said adventure. During the story, the two of you need a horse to get across a large field. Simply draw your own horse and the drawing comes to life as your transportation. This is nearly every kid’s dream scenario and it is now a possibility.

The company has published a few demo apps to the Apple App Store to show off the basics of what their technology can do. While these demos are a ton of fun, the really important part is the technology. It is available in a platform-agnostic way, making it possible to build for the web, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and more. The company licenses this technology to content creators to allow them to make their own products and services more interactive. They are currently working with LG, Baidu, Alibaba, and more to make interactive applications a reality.

If you want to see the technology in action, check out the Wonder Painter apps in the App Store or the company’s website. You can also learn about the SDK, Cloud service, and ask for a private demo of the development tech.

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MicroVision – The Gadget Professor (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)



MicroVisionThe Gadget Professor awards his TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to MicroVision.

Over the past few years, the cost of projection technology has come down significantly. That has been paired with the size of the technology getting smaller. On Black Friday 2019, we saw pico projectors being offered for less than $100. However, these devices don’t provide a lot of value for most consumers. That’s because the way we interact with our computing technology has changed, as well.

Most people expect the screens in their life to be touch. Nearly all laptops, definitely all phones and tablets, and even a lot of desktop (all-in-one) computers offer touch input. Projection screens, however, still require external input – that is until now. MicroVision has developed the Interactive Projection Engine – a very small hardware array that allows developers to produce devices with touch-enabled projection.

The demo device we got to see allowed for nearly any standard video input and computing output to connect to a device. We saw the projector connected to a phone with impressive touch recognition capabilities. But, the possibilities are endless, especially when connected to a computer. Even in our portable broadcast studio, this projector would make traveling easier, because it would eliminate the need for monitors.

Imagine being a business traveler, maybe you’re a salesperson. You don’t know what your client might have in a conference room. You don’t want to pack a full projector, but the pico projectors tend to be too dim. This technology, however, is laser-powered, making it possible to use it in standard lighting. We even saw it on our wall in the studio with our lighting and the light of the convention center.

The demo device is available for developers through an application. The company is working with manufacturers to produce commercial products based on the technology.

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Coinbask makes investing in cryptocurrencies easier and safer



Coinbask Cryptocurrency InvestingIt’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since the original whitepaper describing Bitcoin was first released. In the last ten years, the technology has grown from a concept to a global household name. However, the adoption of cryptocurrency technology in the mainstream has been somewhere between slow and non-existent. While there are many reasons why this is the case, the two primary issues involve ease of use and breadth of choices. Coinbask is working to address both of these issues.

First, there are a lot of coins available on the market. How do you choose which ones to buy? If you want to buy a variety to diversify your portfolio, how do you do it and how do you manage the whole collection? That is the point of the basket aspect of Coinbask. By purchasing a tokenized basket of currency, you get the ability to invest in a collection of coins. A more diverse portfolio can mean you can absorb the loss of a volatile coin’s price fluctuation.

Second, interacting with cryptocurrency isn’t easy. Each platform can require a separate wallet, making the management of a diverse portfolio difficult. With Coinbask, you only need a single wallet to buy and sell a basket. Plus, the process of buying and selling is peer-to-peer, meaning you don’t have to wait for hours or days for a transaction to complete. It also means that the process is more secure because you don’t have to move your coins from a private wallet to a public wallet, through an exchange to sell, only to be reversed on the other side.

Coinbask is currently in early access and the company is looking for testers. If you want more information on the platform, or want to sign up for early access, head over to the website.

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Advocado allows advertisers to connect TV ads with Google Search



Advocado Online Marketing ToolsOne of our absolute favorite interviews from Collision 2018 was with a company called Advocado. That’s why we brought back the co-founder, Brian Handrigan, to give us an update on the platform.

The platform is designed to give companies the ability to enhance their online advertising experience while making it less expensive to accomplish. It all works by knowing what is happening on television and responding accordingly. Advocado’s system watches television all over the country looking for specific advertising and content. When that content is detected, the system goes into action, making changes to Google AdSense advertising rules for a short period after the trigger.

Since last year, some big changes have happened. First, no longer does the system require a special watermark to identify the triggering content. This is important because it means that an advertiser can now run online micro-campaigns based on content that is not theirs. Previously, Amazon could buy Google keywords for AWS and cloud for 3 minutes surrounding their Amazon Web Services commercials. Now, Microsoft can buy keywords for AWS and cloud for 3 minutes surrounding commercials for Amazon Web Services. This is a game-changer for companies who want to take advantage of the increased search traffic of their competitors.

The second big change is the response from Google to the platform. Google uses AI to detect changes on the internet to identify indicators for search results. For example, a trending topic on Twitter might change the way search results are displayed for related keywords. Advocado’s technology has been so effective for their customers that Google’s AI has detected the platform’s buying directives as search trend indicators. This means that the longer a campaign runs for a particular keyword, the better the results will get for the advertiser.

Advocado’s advertising platform is available now as a full-featured platform. To learn more, check out their website.

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ActiveChat makes chatbots easy for websites and natural for users



ActiveChat Natural ChatBotsOne of the biggest trends over the past few years on the web has been the addition of the chat bubbles in the bottom right corner of websites. These little bubbles can provide website visitors with the ability to communicate with people at the company, such as support or sales. However, they don’t give immediate information. Usually, there is no one sitting at their computer waiting for a question to come in. Instead, “someone typically replies within a few hours.” However, with ActiveChat, websites can provide instant answers to common questions without agents or support tickets.

The system is based on conversational chatbots, giving website owners the ability to choose their most common support items and automate the answers involved. Using a visual building platform, the owner would usually start with a template. In the case of an online retailer, perhaps the problem they are looking to automate is verifying the status of an order. In this case, you might start with a shipping tracking template. From there, you can integrate your order database, including tracking numbers. Then, once deployed, a customer could ask the chatbot, in plain English, “Where’s my order?” and the chatbot can get the required information, and automatically track the shipment.

The real magic of the platform comes from the conversational style of the chatbots. Rather than the user having to know the strange and stilted syntax of the bot (think Siri), they can speak in more natural sentences, and the bot can determine intention (think Cortana). Using Natural Language Processing means that these chatbots can easily be used by first-timers who do not have training on the platform.

ActiveChat started its life on AppSumo, a service that features top-quality new software for small businesses. It is ]available today to everyone, starting with a free tier.

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Manage your clients while giving them every advantage with AppBind



AppBind service paymentAll small- and medium-size businesses want to make sure that they have access to, and are utilizing the best resources possible. One way to ensure this is by working with contractors, like management, marketing, and software companies, who are experts in their chosen fields to help give them a leg up. The best marketing agencies and software development companies strive to provide their clients with the right resources to make them as successful as they can be. Unfortunately, this can be difficult because billing gets in the way. Often, the contractors have to ask for the client’s credit card information, or the client has to sign up for the service themselves, without knowing what they’re doing. Sunir Shah knows the reality of this all too well, and that’s why he has developed AppBind, a system that automatically tracks and securely expenses all future charges to agency clients from what they refer to as a single pane of glass.

AppBind gives you the ability to buy and manage subscriptions on behalf of your clients. This is because the platform allows the client to put their credit card information into AppBind without the contractor ever seeing it. Once the funding source is added, the contractor can obtain all of these subscriptions for their clients easily, whether it be Welby, Mail Chimp, Facebook Ads, AWS, GitHub, or whatever best fits each client’s needs. They accomplished this by generating a new credit card for each of these subscriptions so when the charges come in, you can quickly find and track them for each client. Another nice perk is that you can easily add a markup and pass the charges directly on to your client’s credit cards. It is also very safe because the contractor is not holding any financial risks, which makes it easy to set up subscription stacks for their customers. It makes the whole process neat and concise and shows a great level of added professionalism to customers. This is truly a win-win for all parties.

To find out more about AppBind, be sure to watch the full interview and also check out their website.

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