Newest Use For iPhone – Terrorist Hunter, Stud Finder, Leak Detector Day 3 at Consumer Electronics Show

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 for iPhone

FLIR for 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.

FLIR selfie

FLIR Self

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.)

iphone Home Automation

Home Automation


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.

Muse Stress Manager

Muse Stress Manager


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.

Ford electric car. Notice the roof has solar panels to recharge the electric powered car

Ford electric car. Notice the roof has solar panels to recharge the electric powered car

Audi with Laser headlights

Audi with Laser headlights

Closeup of Audi's new Laser headlights

Closeup of Audi’s new Laser headlights

Toyota's concept tri-cycle pod car

Toyota’s concept tri-cycle pod car

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Preview Day at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas

I am wondering if the days of the movie theater are numbered. Coming to a Best Buy in the near year are 100 inch plus Ultra High Definition TVs and screens that curve with the push of a button, all with 4x the clarity improvement on what’s available today.

Frankly, were I still on TV in the Tampa market, I’d hate to see my makeup bill. When detail and color are so rich that the sins of too many greasy burgers and sodas from your teenage years are depicted in wall to wall glory, making your face look more like a lunar surface, Houston we have a problem. Even though these models allow for streaming home movies and digital pictures, without some help from Photoshop, I believe you’ll restrict the use to the images doctored in Hollywood. And wow do the movies pop in 4K !

Samsung UHDTV

Samsung Ultra High Definition 4K TV

Here at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where pushing the innovation envelope is expected, our week of bringing you a glimpse into the future starts with the screens you’ll put in homes, use at trade shows and add to the boardroom.

LG’s bendable Ultra OLED is just a mere 77” and goes from flat to curved with a rather well engineered unlikely combination of water and gears. The slender mechanism bends the edges out 7.5 cm, giving you more of a cinema experience. Remember this is the future you’re looking at, and this model won’t hit stores until sometime in 2015.

What will be available later this year is from Roku. The puck like set top box maker known for streaming 100 plus channels of content like NetFlix and HBO Home via the Internet got tired of the promises from Silicon Valley and brought in six partners including TV makers Heisense and TCL and integrated Roku into the TV along with a very easy to use interface.  Prices will be on the Walmart side and give all of us pause to eliminate the cable bill.

Tv with Roku

Hisense TV embedded with Roku platform

 

Some manufacturers are breaking from the how-thin-can-it-go design. Sony, for example, offers a rather stylish wedge design for its mammoth collection of 4K TVs. Plus you get their collection of films for downloading, including Captain Phillips on the day it’s released on Blu Ray. Now with the thousands of other gadgets here, if I find the movie theatre popcorn emulator, all I can say is sell your stock in Regal Cinemas.

Why is this important? The flat screen, high def TV in your living room is about to hit 10 years old.  Over the next three years Americans will go on a spending spree to replace those early sets that were stunning in 720p and 60 cycles.


Among the other big stories that will debut here on opening day:

There is a race to reinvent the automobile. Electronic touch screen dashboards, sensors that not only create a safer driving experience but fully integrate smartphone apps for hands free driving are on display from high end makers like Range Rover down to Chevy. This show is easily stealing the spotlight from Detroit.

And the other big story you’ll read about online today:

Intel's SmartWare Earbuds

Intel Earbuds new SmartWare for the health conscious audiophile

Forget the NSA, America is about to start spying on itself. The emerging theme here at the largest Innovation Stage in the world is all about SmartWare – intelligent devices that create a lifelog to help inspire, motivate and improve. From chip maker Intel to Sony’s Core, the aisles are buzzing about earbuds that monitor your heart rate, movement-sensing bracelets and smartwatches to a lightweight sensor attached to a tennis racket to improve your swing.

Many of you have given me specific items to look for in the premium rewards channel, for promotions, or in construction safety and IT hardware. I’ll be communicating directly with you as the week unfolds.

A great site for comprehensive coverage is Engadget.com They must have 25 reporters here and with a show that spans the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, the adjoining Las Vegas Hotel, The Venetian Convention Center – –  it’s just too big to see everything in four days.  But I’m going to enjoy every step.