Tag Archives: connected device

Wayzn turns your sliding door into an automatic pet door @ CES 2021



Wayzn automatic pet doorPets can require a lot of attention. In particular, they need to go outside to do their business fairly regularly. This can pose a challenge when you’re working, whether you’re working from home or going into an office. They may also need to go while you’re gone to the store, or out with friends. Wouldn’t it be great if they could let themselves out? That’s the goal of Wayzn.

Now, there have been options for pet doors for years. The most common is the traditional flap. They’re fairly inexpensive to purchase and uncomplicated to use. However, they require you, or more likely a contractor, to cut a hole in your exterior door. Plus, if you don’t lock the flap or put a board in front of it, you’re inviting wildlife into your home. A cool place with food left out is a raccoon’s dream scenario, and the flap would make that possible. There are also sliding door inserts, and, while they’re easy to install, they have the same issues as a regular flap, plus they limit the door’s usage.

With Wayzn, you get all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. The system sits on the bottom part of the track of an existing sliding door. As long as the door is long enough and the fixed pane is outside, you’re likely good to go. Installation can be done by you with little trouble. Once installed, you can set the door to open on its own, by an app, or by voice control.

Wayzn devices are in limited production but are available to purchase now. They run only $399, which is less than the installation of a flap. To learn more about the Wayzn door opener or to take the survey to make sure it will work with your door and to purchase, head over to their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Swidget is future-proofing your smart home devices @ CES 2021



Swidget modular smart homeThere is no doubt that smart home devices are becoming a normal part of most homes. Whether it be a daily driver type device, like a connected thermostat, or a less complex product, like a lightbulb, connected devices are everywhere. One of the big problems, however, is the interconnectivity, or lack thereof, between different brands and technologies. Fortunately, Swidget has a way to keep your products working with one another.

Swidget has taken the concept of smart devices and broken it into components. Take, for example, a connected light switch. Let’s say you purchase a set of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bulbs and get a light switch that controls them. When the bulbs need to be replaced, the brand no longer exists, so you buy new bulbs. Unfortunately, these bulbs work on Z-Wave. This means that your light switch no longer controls the bulbs, so you have to purchase a new switch, too.

With the Swidget technology, the communication method is separate from the device. That means that you can pop out the communication module for Wi-Fi and swap it to one for Z-Wave. Now you’re up and running again without having to do electrical work – it’s literally as easy as a snap.

In addition to just communication modules, Swidget allows you to add functionality. The modules can have USB ports, video cameras, thermometers, guide lights, and more. The idea, of course, is that your devices can carry forward with you as the technologies change. But, for those who like to be in full control of their devices, which is the target demographic for smart homeowners, you can truly decide exactly what features you want, and where you want them.

Swidget switches, outlets, and inserts are available now in Wi-Fi configuration, with Z-Wave modules coming soon. To learn more about the technology or find where to buy, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Fauna Audio is putting amazing audio into your glasses @ CES 2021



Fauna Audio GlassesListening to our favorite songs and movies, and even taking conference calls are all very important aspects of our daily lives. And it seems that we usually need to make sure that we aren’t disturbing coworkers and others around us. Now, we all love a good set of headphones. But, honestly, they can be quite bulky and even impractical in a lot of settings. Earbuds are great. But even they don’t always fit the best and, like headphones, aren’t always perfect in the office, while driving or even taking a walk, because many times you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Luckily Fauna Audio has been working on this very thing. Their new line of smart glasses is an excellent solution, not to mention quite fashionable.

It was a pleasure to have a discussion with Isabel from Fauna Audio this year during our coverage of CES 2021 and learn more about them. And even though the virtual nature of the show this year has made exhibiting some of the products a little more difficult, it was actually a great way for us to get a good look at the smart glasses in action, as she was using them for the interview. This sleek and stylish eyewear features MEMS loud-speakers that are produced by USound. With these speakers located in both temples, they boast technology that concentrates the sound around the ears to reduce audio leakage and are designed to only be heard by the listener. These easy to use glasses pair with your devices via Bluetooth, have a built-in mic and also a digital voice assistant, making them perfect for hands-free calls.

They didn’t stop their design process with only great style and sound, either. They also wanted the best for your eyes. They have included Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect lenses in their regular line, as well as Carl Zeiss Vision for their line of sunglasses. These lightweight, high quality, and durable lenses are BPA free with more than 99% protection from UVA/UVB rays and offer distortion-free, clear vision. The frames are also designed to allow for the lenses to be easily swapped out with most prescriptions lenses.

Currently being sold in Europe, they are hoping to launch in the U.S. soon. To learn more about their convenient and stylish audio eyewear, make sure to watch the full interview and check out all the specs and designs on their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Pleco water monitor provides real-time data for real impact @ CES 2021



Pleco water monitorMarcelo DeCarmagc, the co-founder of Nudge Systems and the Pleco water monitor, hails from a background of instrumentation and measurement. His partner and co-founder works in the water utility industry. In 2014 they experienced one of the severe droughts common in California. In the process of discussing how difficult it is to get compliance when governments and utilities ask people to conserve water, Nudge Systems was born. The company’s goal is to save and conserve as much water as possible while giving people the tools and information they need to make good conservation decisions.

Nudge Systems believes the gap in the residential market related to water conservation, exists because residents don’t have an intimate relationship with water, and therefore don’t understand exactly what they need to do to make an impact. Their solution, Pleco – named after the common aquarium suckerfish that keeps tanks clean – is based on the premise that people would be more willing to conserve water if they were given more actionable information. Nudge Systems nudges people to take the steps to do what they wanted to do but didn’t previously have the information to inspire them to do it.

Most water conservation systems for homeowners are complex, says DeCarmagc, and require professional installation. The Pleco system consists of three main elements and an app, all of which can be installed and deployed easily, without tools. The sensor is a “water watch” that’s wrapped around the existing water meter and measures water flow into the home. The sensor data transmits the water usage data to the homeowner via a customized radio system. The data appears on the Pleco touch screen display in real-time. The display also acts as a hub connecting to the internet and a companion smartphone app. The entire system can be set up in minutes by the homeowner.

By measuring water flow in real-time, the homeowner can not only see the information, but via an algorithm that recognizes patterns of usage, can actually identify where the water is going – to showers, faucets, toilets, irrigation, or being lost through leaks. By seeing more clearly in real-time where their water goes, Nudge Systems believes that homeowners can and will change the way they relate with and use water in their home.

The device retails for $249. You can learn more about Nudge Systems by visiting their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Ninu Perfume creates unique scents for different occasions @ CES 2021



Ninu Perfume smart perfume systemModern technology has led to a new concept of individualized experiences. The concept can range from small, home breweries or distilleries, to automated drink mixers. These experiences have begun to branch out, with the latest one coming to us, care of Ninu Perfume, a connected device that allows you to create your own custom scents.

Ninu Perfume is taking the standard concept of perfume or cologne and making it personal. And, it’s not just personal to you, the wearer – it is personal to your current state. Consider the experience of going on a date. For that, you might want something bold. If the date is with someone you know well, perhaps you want to integrate something you know they like. However, if you are going for a job interview, you might want something subtle.

Within the app, you can choose between environments, such as move, work, and love. Rather than category, you can also choose between moods, like fresh, sexy, or elegant. Based on your choices, the system’s AI can build a scent based on your preferences. Then, the app connects to the device, which mixes the scent.

The device itself uses a sustainable refill system, which allows you to maintain the different components that are used to produce the final scents. The components have been tested to be safe to the skin and are 100% vegan. Using those components, the device mixes the scent that was designed for your mood and environment. If something is created that does not match your style or preferences, you can alert the system so that it learns what is and is not something you like.

The Ninu Perfume has been developed, and will be entering crowdfunding through Kickstarter soon. To learn more or sign up for notifications, you can head to the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Smart Home Need helps you identify needs and solutions @ CES 2021



Smart Home NeedThe concept of the smart home is getting pretty popular. A recent study shows that 13% of homes have a smart bulb and 9% of homes have a smart outlet. With acceptance like that, it is no surprise that some concern over the way these devices work together is beginning to creep into the public consciousness. Unless you buy into a multi-brand system, the chances of two brands working together are pretty small. Even Todd Cochrane says that few of the items in his own home are compatible. This is one of the ways in which Smart Home Need is helping consumers on their smart home journeys.

The Smart Home Need system is designed to help you identify your needs by asking questions. Once your needs are identified, it helps you understand what those needs are why any they are important. Not all of these needs are easily solvable via technology, so an assessment is made as to which make sense to apply tech to solve. Then, you have the ability to act with meaningful habits and smart home technology to help address those needs.

Clearly, the intention is to improve your overall well-being without adding additional stress to your life. By designing and implementing a technology solution that can address your needs without adding a large collection of unrelated devices into your life, they can help with that goal. Even with all of these benefits, the service is offered to customers to try without charge. This is because of relationships with manufacturers and donations.

Smart Home Need is available now to the public. To learn more about the service, to learn what products are currently in the system, or to give it a try for free, you can head to the company’s website. Try tier is offered for free. Learn and Flourish tiers are charged yearly.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Essence USA introduces healthcare and security products @ CES 2021



Essence MDSenseIsrael-based security manufacturer Essence introduced various new 5G forward-compatible security products at CES 2021.

In our interview, Todd Cochrane talks to Josh Locke, Director of Sales for Essence USA. Essence provides smart connected-living solutions for security, communication, and healthcare service providers. Backed by 20 years of experience and over 15 million devices installed worldwide, Essence takes pride in the full ownership of our end-to-end solutions; from concept development and design, through the manufacturing of hardware and software to the day to day operations.

Essence’s PERS 5G, introduced at CES, is, according to a press release, “a highly advanced gateway that provides activity monitoring, fall detection, and voice capabilities anywhere in the home. The 5G technology enables service providers and users to enjoy the highest levels of dependability and accuracy.”

As for a non-5G wellness application, Essence also touted its MDSense fall detection system, which leverages another cutting-edge technology – radar – to cover a full room using a wireless device that looks much like a traditional PIR motion detector. The product is ideal for people who might not be wearing an emergency pendant and/or cannot reach a panic button.

Beyond the wellness monitoring area, Essence also introduced an intrusion detection system aimed at homes and small businesses. The company calls its Integrated FogShield product “the world’s first 5G standalone solution for intruder prevention.” Connected via 5G CAT-M networks, it includes motion detection, video recording, two-way voice capabilities, and a smoke diffuser that fills a room with a harmless but disorienting smoke that forces intruders out of the premises. Suitable for both residential and commercial buildings, the company says the system can be integrated with existing security systems or used as a standalone solution.
Essence believes in building a future where technology is a seamless extension of people’s lives. Enriching, enabling, and shaping life’s possibilities.

Learn more about these and all of Essence’s products on their blog.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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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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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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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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