So the lipstick battery stick – greatest thing since sliced bread – may have been a bit premature. I found something even better at the International Consumer Electronics Show – a high tech thermal imaging device that works with your iPhone.
FLIR, the people whose technology helped capture bin Laden, helps boaters’ find their way at night, are now making it possible for you to find a stud in the wall, a leak in the pipes, or a creep hiding in the shadows.
Five years ago this technology was military grade only and came with a six figure price tag. Starting in April a mere 349 bucks will get you the FLIR One. The device slips onto your iPhone’s back and sports both a visible and thermal camera. It has its own battery back, which can power the device for hours.
From safety on a construction job site to safety in a dark parking lot the uses are endless. Up for the most innovative gadget at the CES Show, it’s not the only iPhone enhancer making news today.
(I had to include one selfie from Vegas – even if it is a thermal image.)
Home automation is a highly fragmented market. Competing technologies and professional installation all but relegated early attempts at remote control for most, except the well to do and those building new homes.
Revolv, a startup out of Colorado figured out a way to take all the competing Wi-Fi signals from smart light switches, door locks, thermostats like Nest and more, and combine them in a single hub that could interface with an app on your phone. Priced at under $300, you can easily do presets that trigger by time or your GPS position relative to returning home and have the lights on, the temperature adjusted and even dinner started in the oven.
Other major advancements at this year’s show include any number of Smartphone connected health devices that do everything from monitor your heart rate and if need be alert your cardiologist to watching glucose levels, right down to making sure an elderly parent takes their daily meds.
All of these inexpensive sensors extend the possibility of independent living for seniors, save money and help reduce unnecessary trips to the ER for those living with chronic health issues.
Of course as with any trade show, there are a few somewhat questionable devices we found. Muse has a brain sensing headband that claims to help you manage stress.
Incorporating seven EEG sensors to detect and measure your brain activity, just as a heart monitor measures heart rate, the information is converted into an app you can track via tablet or smartphone and then provides a series of training exercises designed to calm and focus so that emotions don’t get the better of you.
Finally the fun stuff! Here are pictures of the new high tech cars unveiled at CES. Ford’s solar powered car, Audi’s very sexy laser light headlamps, and Toyota’s concept tri-cycle pod car that is actually in use in Europe.