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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Millo Appliances brings a small blender on the go @ CES 2021



Millo Smart BlenderSome areas of our lives get regularly updated, while others tend to stay about the same. The kitchen has mostly stayed the same over the years, with the exception of the occasional trendy appliance. However, the next major change in the kitchen has been coming for a few years and is starting now with Millo Appliances.

For years, we’ve heard about the wireless kitchen of the future, but it always seems just out of reach. But Millo Appliances has made it a reality with the Millo Smart Portable Blender. Now, care of this small, portable device, you can have smoothies and more anywhere you are. And, unlike the traditional wireless kitchen promise, this device is battery-powered, meaning you can take it with you to the park, the beach, and more.

The portability and size are possible because of the technology that powers the device – a magnetic air drive. Rather than using a traditional motor, which requires a lot more power because of the loss of torque, this motor uses magnets to drive the blades, which almost entirely eliminates the torque issues. Less force requires less power, meaning that this little kitchen device can run on a battery. This battery can charge up in about 2 hours and will last for up to 10 smoothies.

To go along with the unique driver, the Millo Smart Portable Blender also employs a unique interaction design. The carafe simply sits on the base without the need for a docking pin (because of the magnetic drive). In addition, the entire base is a control surface, meaning there is no front or back. When you touch the base, a segment of capacitive buttons lights up, giving you full speed control. If you rotate the base and touch a new spot, the buttons will follow you.

The Millo Smart Portable Blender is available for pre-order now at $399 and will be shipping soon. For more information or to pre-order, head to the company’s website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Nooie brings beauty and security together in your home @ CES 2021



Nooie Cam DoorbellThe technology field is full of fascinating products that, while doing a great job to help the user in his chosen field, are not very attractive to look at. This is where Nooie is so different. The Nooie line has beautiful cameras and a smart-looking doorbell.

Nooie was created in 2018 in San Francisco by co-founder and designer Sasha who introduced us to Nooie. The Nooie Cam Doorbell is designed for beauty and smart function. One of the advantages of the Nooie Cam Doorbell is the ease of installation and use. The wiring has been eliminated and replaced with a powerful battery with a 10,000 mAh capacity. The base station, on the other hand, plugs into a standard outlet and must stay within 20 feet of the bell. One of the things that set this doorbell apart is that it is a 2K camera instead of HD. This will give greater clarity when viewing remotely or reviewing footage.

Another product of this company is the 360-degree camera with night vision. It has horizontal and vertical rotation with advanced algorithms that can track motion wherever the action is. The night vision has two 940nm infrared LEDs that will ensure a perfectly crisp and clear picture up to 32 feet, even if it is pitch black. There is also a 2-way audio system allowing you to listen and talk to your family and even your pets anywhere in the house. It has a built-in anti-noise feature and a mic and speaker. You can share streaming and recordings with others if desired. There is a capability of also using it with Alexa, making it like having a personal assistant in your own home.

These designer security products are available now on Amazon. The Cam Doorbell retails for $149.99. The Cam 360 is retailing for $49.99. To learn more about these and other Nooie products, check out 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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URGONight – Talking Sound (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)



URGONightThe Talking Sound awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to URGONight.

Have you ever had a period of time where you just couldn’t sleep at night? Maybe a week leading up to a big event like CES. Maybe you’ve got a big project at work that you’re worried about. Maybe you can’t figure out what’s going on, you just can’t sleep. That’s where URGONight comes in. Their product is a training device for your brain that helps you learn to get into the right state to sleep.

Rather than the common scenario of wearing a device while you sleep, which can negatively affect your sleep, URGONight is worn during the day. Even better, it is worn for only a few minutes per day. It does this using an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor combined with brain exercises on the connected app. The device is based on existing technology that was previously only available to those who took the time and expense to go to a sleep clinic.

Early testers seem to love the device. The fact that it doesn’t require wearing the device to bed is seemingly the most popular feature. The fact that it doesn’t use any wave emissions or sounds is a big deal, too, though. Because it doesn’t try to make any changes through the device itself, it can create ease of mind for the user. And, even without any electronic stimulation, users could see lasting results, thanks to the guided exercises. Those exercises are recommended based on the readings of the device with the intention to help you sleep faster and better.

URGONight is not currently publicly available, but it is coming. If you want more information about the company, the product, or want to sign up for updates, you can check out the company’s website.

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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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Voiceitt – The Tech Ranch (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)



VoiceittThe Tech Ranch awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to Voiceitt.

Over the past few years, we have seen a variety of products that provide language translation services. These products are great for traveling abroad or if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t speak the language. Most of these products require communication within a very limited set of parameters in which even strong accents can be a problem.

But what if you communicate in a non-traditional way? How can you easily communicate with people who are not used to your style? Millions of people have vocal disabilities, due to stroke, cerebral palsy, and other causes. That is where Voiceitt comes in – it provides a way to verbalize communication for people of all abilities. The product is based on the idea that verbal communication is an essential human need, whether you’re ordering food or telling someone “I love you.” For those who have limited speech capabilities, the limitations are difficult to overcome.

Voiceitt is designed specifically to understand and respond to non-standard and dysarthric speech. This is accomplished through a mobile application, which is currently in a closed beta phase. It allows for face-to-face, real-time communication with friends, family, and people around you. This can bring an aspect of everyday life for most that was previously unavailable, helping to build stronger and more meaningful connections.

If you are one of more than 10 million people in the United States or Europe who suffer from speech disabilities or are the caretaker of one of the 8 percent of children with a temporary or consistent communication disorder and would like to join the beta program, you can apply to join on their website.

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