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Cord Cutting Olympic Fans Beware:Its Nearly impossible for you to watch the Winter Olympics without a cable plan

Finding the Olympics Online!NBC Olympics Logo

U.S. Cord Cutter Sochi Winter Olympic fans beware!  Its nearly impossible for you to consume steams of live Olympics coverage in the United States without having a current cable package to authenticate against.  NBC will be providing many hours of live and on-demand coverage via the second screen, but authentication is the only way to access it.   This is not a new story, as most all second screen content is distributed in this model to keep cable providers and content owners happy (and not infringe on current agreements in place which are revenue streams for the local broadcast channels and national cable channel.)

Free Broadcast Options… If you have a TV and HD Tuner

Not all is lost for the cord cutter though.  NBC’s Broadcast network is providing many hours over free airwaves via their local broadcast channels and affiliates. In fact if you are an insomniac, you can watch all night long on the NBC channels. (Confirmed on KNBC in the Los Angeles market.)  Or, each evening, you can have Bob Costas come into your living room from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm with the Prime-time coverage of the past day’s events. (Keep in mind they are 12 hours behind us in the Los Angeles market.)

If you have a cable subscription

If you do have a cable subscription package then certainly download the Live Extra App.  Its easily found at the iTunes store and Google play store.  If you want to watch at home on a laptop of computer go here http://stream.nbcolympics.com/live-extra/  There you will need to authenticate with your cable provider but then you can consume Olympics footage. BUT KEEP IN MIND, live-extra is just that LIVE!  so with the time delay, you may get repeated performances during waking hours in the USA.
 
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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Cord Cutting, The Second Screen

 

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Reebok Checklight: The Wearable Head Impact Sensor

Reebok Checklight

Reebok Checklight

The science around head trauma and brain injuries in the last 10 years has revealed that even slight impact to the head should warrant vigilant observations of the victim to ensure there is no underlying brain injury.  With children playing impact sports in High School, Reebok’s Checklight has given parents, coaches and participants a way to monitor an impact to the head.

Developed by MC10 and Reebok, the device is a flexible strip which wired back to a processor and can detect sudden impacts.  It’s worn inside a skull cap and comes in sizes for Men, Women and children.  Basically, should there be any kind of impact, enough to set off the sensor; the sensor will alert the wearer and everyone around them. Walking by their booth at the 2014 CES, I stopped to see the device up close.  I was impressed.

To quote MC10’s website,

“In the heat of competition, athletes aren’t always aware of the severity of a blow to the head. We’re delivering a simple solution. Our design uses multiple sensors to capture head impact data during play, while being virtually invisible to the athlete. Tucked under any helmet, this smart, sensing skullcap serves as an extra set of eyes on the playing field, contributing crucial information towards the assessment of each athlete. Because the best offense is a good defense.”

Product Close upI can see this product penetrating the football market in High School.  Maybe even seeing School districts requiring something like this to be worn to monitor children’s impacts to their head.  Most kids are not reporting their head injuries.  Our extended society knowledge is telling us each head injury can be an issue later in life, especially as they accumulate.  The Reebok Checklight is a good first step in the war on head injuries and keeping our youth safe, but still being able to engage in impact sports.

Currently the Reebok Checklight is priced at $149 and can be purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods online, Reebok online and Amazon stores.

Links to more information:

MC10 Checklight

Endgadget Review from CES 2013

Zagg Post

Reebok Booth Poster

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Consumer Technology, Wearables

 

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BASIS Wearable Carbon Steel

Time magazine reviewed the wearable market and ranked the BASIS ­­­­­3 out of 24.  Basis Carbon Steel Edition leadWith a crowded market, that’s not too bad.  Basis Science, the creators of the BASIS band, showed their newest wristband at CES 2014. Back in 2012, they had one of the earliest “lifestyle wearables” (the B1), which for me, having been a recent convert to using a Heart Rate monitor at the gym, made me take notice.  And I’ve been watching these guys for a while since I first saw them in 2012.

The Basis slogan, “Find the Super human in you” continues.  Like its predecessor, the new “Carbon Steel” BASIS band still captures heart rate with an optical sensor; movement with a 3-axis accelerometer; galvanic skin response sensors measuring sweat levels enhancing analysis of your movement activities.  With these analytics, BASIS develops a picture of the user and your activities through the day, and night.

Basis Medium LogoThe release of the Carbon Steel model gives an even more in dept review of your sleep health.  From their recent release on their web site:

“Leveraging our Body IQ™ technology, Basis is the only health tracker that comprehensively captures every aspect of your sleep: REM Sleep, Deep Sleep, Light Sleep, Toss-and-Turn, Interruptions and Duration. To help you understand and improve your sleep quality, Basis provides a personalized sleep dashboard with a summary of these metrics, an easy-to-understand Sleep Score, your benchmark for sleep quality, and rolling averages for key metrics so you see your progress over time. “Sleep Picture

This is what’s setting them apart from the other wearables.  Most of the others are only tracking using 3-axis accelerometers.

The real magic happens when interacting with the web applications.  BASIS works with you to develop goals and accomplish those goals.  Unlike my Polar product which allows me to simply view and make my own conclusions, BASIS takes the analytics a step further.  To quote their website, “Unlock your full potential through the power of habit.”  BASIS keeps you honest, tracking you and letting you know if you are ahead, behind, or right on track to meet your goals.

The 2014 Carbon Steel model releases Feb 2, 2014 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon for $199.  But keep in mind the older model B1 is also available on Amazon for $179.

I’ve found some great links with more information about the wearable:

New Basis 2014 – you Tube

EndGadget Article – hands on

EndGadget Article – New Basis band announced

 
 

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CES 2014 – Samsung Refrigerators

With an upcoming kitchen remodel on my plate this year as well as my passion for cooking, my bias at the show was towards the kitchen appliances.  So when most attendees are swarming the Samsung smart phone and tablet sections as well as checking in on the 4K monitors, I’m looking at their innovations in kitchen appliances.

Samsung Food Showcase Refrigerator IMG_8426

The Samsung RH22H9010SR (called the Samsung Food Showcase Refrigerator) was quite different than what we expected in the refrigerator class.  Part of the Samsung Chef’s Collection line, Samsung won a CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards for its design.  Called a “showcase and innercase” door system, the door to the refrigerator of this side-by-side opens normally as well as a secondary door which opens with access to the door’s inner shelves (see photos) like a door within a door.  In the past we’ve seen this integration in small openings of the door, but in this design the engineers decided to make the entire door open.

The booth representative also boasted about the Samsung technology called the Metal Cooling Plate which enhances the cooling process.  Specifically this is located on the inside of the external door, thus helping to maintain temperatures in the unit and work more efficiency.Home_CES_Samsung_Food_Showcase_010814

Along with the usual features, this model includes:

  • Counter Depth
  • Metal Cooling Plate
  • 6 Showcase Door Bins – 2 Slide Out Drawers
  • Digital Inverter Compressor (with 10 year warranty)
  • An Indoor Icemaker to give more freezer space
  • High efficiency LED lighting (both Top and Side.)

Samsung Chef Collection 4-Door Refrigerator

The other model shown was even more spectacular with its 4 door design.  The model RF34H9960SR is being called the “ultimate refrigerator for food preservation” and includes some unique, chef friendly features.  First, there are the 4 doors, think like a hybrid side-by-side with a French door.   There are three cooling areas which allows the user to make the bottom right door compartment into a refrigerator or freezer as the user needs.  Samsung then incorporates the metal cooling plate technology on the back wall of the refrigerator to maintain even cooling throughout.

Courtesy of Samsung

Courtesy of Samsung

The most fascinating concept though is the Chef’s Pantry, which contains the Chef’s Pan.  The compartment allows you to keep meats or fish at a cool temp until ready to cook them. Its temperature controlled.  The pan lets you go from refrigerator to oven to dishwasher, a convenience for the home chef.

Additional Features (including what was mentioned):

  • Innovative T type Refrigerator with 4 swing doors
  • Triple Cooling System (2 compressors, 3 evaporators)
  • Convertible zone
  • Fingerprint-proof Coating
  • Stainless Look LED Display
  • Ice and Water Dispenser

IMG_8428

Some review pages and links for more information:

CNET review

Samsung Press Release

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Consumer Technology

 

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CES 2014 -SpeeCup

IMG_8717
SpeeCup in black

iPhone Gadget In the Car

Before attending CES, I did see the iCreation’s SpeeCup on the CES website as it was an honoree for CES Innovations – Design and Engineering Award.  I found the booth on my last day.  To say the team there was enthusiastic is an understatement.  These guys were passionate and proud of their product.  I spoke with Gus Jockers in the booth.  I see the SpeeCup as an alternative to those who need an easy to use, hands-free device in their car but don’t have an integrated entertainment/navigation system.  Available on their website at $129.99.

IMG_8718

A Non-Hand gesture model of SpeeCup

The unique design of the SpeeCup is that it looks like a travel coffee cup and thus fits into any cup holder in many cars.  This eliminates the different mounts we’ve all been working with in the past (sticky mounts, heavy mounts with bean bags, slide proof mounts etc.)

Basically, connect your phone via Bluetooth to access your phone’s music and play through the SpeeCup.  You can use hand gestures to move to the next song and to answer a call.  Volume is controlled on the unit with contact, moving the top ring left or right for volume up or down.  Additionally, the SpeeCup acts as your hands-free speaker phone, thus allowing you to answer and make calls.  In the center of the device, on top, is the mic button which gives you access to Siri (for iPhone) and S Voice.

SpeeCup hand gesture controls perform limited actions, like cueing the next song or answering an incoming call. However, plans for future models include more gesture controls and fancier lighting design. The inventors of this device are an engineering manufacturing company of OEM products – specifically those we may encounter in a restroom faucet (think hands free faucets.) Thus leveraging their knowledge, I’m looking forward to seeing their next generations SpeeCup which will incorporate more hand gestures.

Next Generation SpeeCup

Next Generation SpeeCup

Links:

SpeeCup Web

iCreation Web

CNET Video Review

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Consumer Technology, Mobile

 

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The Wearable fitness band market has grown since 2012

IMG_8625

At the 2012 CES conferences I first stumbled upon the lifestyle/activity bands and integrated iPhone application to track your steps and movements.  Essentially it was like seeing an advanced pedometer with more analytic.  As I saw today, the market has grown.  Now the devices have ways to know when you are sleeping and make assumptions about your sleep patterns (as well as tell you to walk more during the day.

With the New Year a few weeks behind us, the crowds gathered to see the devices which may be able to help many of us keep finally keep the New Year resolutions which we have failed at in the past.  Below are a few of the current players on the market.  I’ll bring more information for each one in future posts.

Basis is back with an improved model.  Again, the wrist mounted device has 4 sensors like its predecessor.

vivoFit from Garmin shows off style and tracks similar analytics of Basis.

Viiii by a company called 4iiii is an enhancement to their product line, which can measure heart rate and be worn on the wrist.

Shine manufactured by Misfit is a simply disc device, which fits into various mold including one on the wrist.

Alpha by Mio is a heart rate monitor watch. They claim to be more accurate for exercise heart rate monitoring.

Reign by Jaybird was a sleek device, my favorite of the show, and one I think will make an incredible splash once it debuts this spring.

Rhythm Smart from Scosche is worn on the arm higher than a watch, but this device also controls music.

IMG_8619

 
 

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I don’t do windows, but my bot does…. CES 2014 – WINBOT W730

I don’t do windows but my robot does.  At least that’s what the WinBot W730 can do.  Its made by ECOVACS and its pretty cool.   It crawls up the window, like your robot vacuum and maps out its work then, using suction to keep it on the window, it cleans the glass and works its way around vertically.  To see the pictures its incredible.

Seriously, its a real gadget! The one issue I overheard the booth representative talking about related to power loss and the unit falling off the glass.  I shot some video and took some pictures.  I also found an excellent NY Times article from this past fall.  Amazon currently lists this at $399.00 and its Prime eligible.

NY Times Article – Inside the Winbot

Winbot Suction to your window

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Consumer Technology, Uncategorized

 

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