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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

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    As "Special Correspondent" - once a month, for a full hour, I join Craig Crossman and Co-Host Ben Crossman on Computer America - America's longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show about computers. But when I'm on the show we talk about every kind of gadget! To hear the show, or to go to the archives (which now covers the past two years) click below www.computeramerica.com

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    An item from Dick's Gadget Warehouse gets a lot of attention at CES 2017.

    CES 2017 will usher in the shows 50th year! To help celebrate they're going to to have an exhibition of break-through technology gadgets of the past 50 years. I told them I had something to contribute, the Timex Data-Link, which was really the world's first 'smart watch'. And I happen to have a Data Link Watch in in the original box! (Since I loved the one I used, I bought a spare, just in case.) Here's some info on the watch via Wikipedia: The Timex Data Link was a line of early smart watches manufactured by Timex. As the name implies datalink watches are capable of data transfer through linking with a computer. The Datalink line was introduced in 1994 and it was co-developed with Microsoft. The early models included models 50, 70, 150 and model 150s (small size). The model numbers indicated the approximate number of phone numbers that could be stored in the watch memory. These early models were, at the time of their introduction, the only watches to bear the Microsoft logo. The watches have been certified by NASA for space travel and have been used by astronauts and cosmonauts in space missions. There had been an evolution over the years as to the number and type of entries that can be stored in the various watch models as well as the mode of data transfer between computer and watch. (And now back to me.) You downloaded the software to your computer, filled in the names, phone numbers, etc. and then held your watch up to your CRT computer screen. The watch's sensor windows read the flashing bars of light on the monitor and turned it into data on your watch. The Timex Data Link was also a full-function timepiece. Not only water-resistant to 100 feet, but you could get two to three years of battery life. And all for about $180.00 to $200. By the way even though you could send up to 150 items of data to the watch from your computer, they were limited to 40 characters each! It took under a minute for the info to be transferred to the watch. (Sometimes after many tries.) Laptops and LCD monitors were not bright enough to transfer the data, so Timex can up with a USB light sender. This limitation started the end of the usefulness of the Timex/Microsoft Data Link watch.

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/pbBLs2gS3Lo

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    Smart Remote wins three CES 2017 awards including most innovative product in the Smart Home category.

    It's a dream we all have. Being able to pick up one single remove to control everything in your home. Well now the folks at Seven Hugs say that can happen. That their Smart Remote instantly adapts to anything you point at. Anything?? Well, pretty close. Smart Remote is compatible with over 25,000 devices and counting. It gives you the ability to control any device via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared. That includes devices like Smart TVs, Philips Hue and LIFX smart bulbs, Sonos speakers, Nest Learning Thermostats, and many more. Their point and control technology enables Smart Remote’s screen to adapt instantly to any device and display intuitive touch-screen controls customized for each device you point at. It uses motion tracking sensors and an indoor positioning system. It allows users to control their devices and more. Even get instant access to popular services like Uber. Order a ride by pointing Smart Remote at your front door or check the weather forecast by pointing it at your window. Do people want this? Well Sevenhugs’ Kickstarter campaign goal for Smart Remote was $50,000. When I checked on 1/20/17 the campaign was over and the project was funded with $1,323,009! Smart Remote will be available at select retailers in Fall ‘17 for $299.99. But depending on when you're reading this, there may still be early-bird Kickstarter pricing. You can get there via their website link below.

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/9rx5tlTeZ1o

     

    https://remote.sevenhugs.com/ 

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    Love VR? Meet another 2017 CES Innovation Awards Honoree....

    If you're a gamer, and even if you're not, you probably know the name MSI. They're famous for building high-powered, high tech, high concept computers. At CES they unveiled their VR One, a VR­ready wearable gaming powerhouse. It's the world’s thinnest and lightest VR backpack PC. "The VR One ushers the future of VR gaming by delivering superb performance in a truly mobile way, whether you prefer immersing yourself on a desk or completely untethering from wires,” says Andy Tung, president of MSI Pan America. The VR backpack PC weighs only 7.5 lbs. Powered by a unique cooling system to prolong gaming sessions, it comes with swappable batteries, eliminates cables and chords, and is now available to deliver a truly wireless VR experience. Other features include: Windows 10 - Latest 6th Generation Intel® Core i7-6820HK processor - VR Ready graphics with NVIDIA GeForce® GTX1070 or GeForce® GTX 1060 - Directional cooling - Powerful personalization and customization with the Dragon Center application - 360° virtual surround sound powered by Nahimic - Networking with Killer DoubleShot Pro -Thunderbolt 3 certified. There are two models. One at about $2000 & the other about $2300.  

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/nVLICTqzEA4

     

    Company website VR info: https://us.msi.com/Laptop/VR-One.html#hero-overview

     

    The new Trident models also shown in the video are here: https://us.msi.com/search/trident/product/1

     

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    I saw this at CES 2017, but they weren't giving rides!

     About ten years ago I discovered the Cruzin' Cooler, an ice cheat with a motor that you actually sit on and ride. I found it and rode it at the National Hardware Show. Leo and I laughed about it, thinking it would never sell. Well, the company is still up and running introducing newer and faster models.

    Now I have my doubts again about the suitcase you sit on and ride. It's called the Modobag. It was touted at being at the National Hardware Show in May, but I couldn't find it there. While you might look silly riding on an ice chest, you will most likely be doing it outdoors where there's plenty of room and not many people around. But riding a suitcase in a crowded airport, I think is going to create problems. And since Motobag is $995 for early backers on Indiegogo, I would worry airports will outlaw them. Then you have may have spent almost a $1,000 for something you probably won't use as a regular suitcase because empty it weighs 19 pounds. But they have a lot of backers already. They were looking for $50,000 and they already raised about $430,000 USD from 415 backers.  

    It is currently available for $1095 on Indiegogo  (as of 1/19/17) with an estimated shipping date of May 2017. (But I only see "3 ordered already".)  

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/modobag-world-s-first-motorized-rideable-luggage-travel-technology#/

     

    Company Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCQFoa1X_-g 

     

    Company website: http://www.modobag.com/ 

    Saturday
    Jan212017

    Out Damned Germs! 

    I saw these two Ray Cop devices for the 1st time at the Pepcom event, so the info here is from the company: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a single mattress may be home to as many as 10 million dust mites and a multitude of bacteria and viruses. Unlike a regular vacuum, RAYCOP purifiers have a dual filtration system incorporating a primary filter along with a HEPA filter which is proven to capture 99.9% of common allergens like dust, pollen and mold. Additionally, the combination of UV light technology, suction and pulsating pads in RayClean Technology® effectively extract potentially harmful microorganisms to capture allergens and outdoor pollutants, leaving home surfaces sanitized.The RAYCOP RS2 and RAYCOP LITE are designed to clean and sanitize where families live, sleep and eat within the home. Both use ultraviolet (UV) light technology, pulsation pads, optimized suction and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to eliminate and collect potentially harmful allergens, pollen, bacteria, dust mite matter and microorganisms, leaving the home not only cleaner, but safer too. MSRP: RAYCOP RS2 $329.99 and LITE $189.99. 

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/HREBKZydxfE

     

    Company website: http://www.raycop.com/