Home automation winners at Showstoppers

A joule of an idea.

The essence of genius is turning complex and confusing concepts into elegant simplicity. The Energy Joule manages the trick of taking your home's energy usage, benchmarking it against often byzantine electric utility rate pricing and distilling the result down to a simple glowing light.

Ambient Devices sells it to electric utilities, who in turn provide it to their customers. The idea is to give instant, easy to understand information about what it's costing to keep the lights and everything else on, so consumers can keep their bills down and utilities can spread out their load.… More

Taking the fun out of hide and seek

8 January 2013 by Steve Blum
, ,

At least it isn't Big Brother watching.

Parents don't particularly want young kids to have mobile phones. But they do want the convenience of reaching them at any time. And, apparently, they want to be able to track their whereabouts 24/7.

At least that's the idea behind the Vivo Play, a mobile phone and location tracker from Evado Filip that was on display at the Showstoppers press event at CES tonight. It looks like a wristwatch.… More

Electric skateboard wins investor pitch crown at CES

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
, ,

Made in Modesto.

CES's first start-up beauty pageant tiara went to ZBoard this afternoon. The Modesto, California based electric skateboard manufacturer was declared the winner of the inaugural Showstoppers Launch.It competition, which has been designated the official investor pitch event of CES.

Eight companies competed for the blessing of a panel of five experienced early stage investors, led by tech guru Guy Kawasaki.

The four minute presentations ranged from crisp to baffling. My favorite quote of the day came from a guy who struggling to explain exactly what his company did.… More

On my way to CES

6 January 2013 by Steve Blum

The first official CES events are today. There are a couple of CEA press conferences about the state of the industry, then at 4:00 p.m. CES Unveiled begins. It’s the first of three PR group gropes. Tomorrow evening is Pepcom and Tuesday is Showstoppers.

All three follow pretty much the same format. They set up a ton of small display stands in a big ballroom, lay out some food and set up a bar. The place is packed with company PR people and, frequently, executives, reporters and analysts.… More

Qualcomm launches consumer M2M industry with 2net medical monitoring platform

12 January 2012 by Steve Blum
, , , , , , , , , ,

The first consumer-focused M2M (machine-to-machine) ecosystem is on the market. Qualcomm launched its Qualcomm Life subsidiary last month, folding in its wireless health business. QL’s flagship offering is the 2net platform, a medical-grade (it meets HIPAA standards and is FDA listed) cloud server that links personal health and fitness monitoring devices to medical professionals and, when appropriate, directly to consumers.

Qualcomm is building and managing the network and cloud computing infrastructure. The health and fitness monitoring devices on one end and the interface with health care providers and consumers on the other are provided by Qualcomm’s customers.… More

No mass market home automation players yet

Incremental advancement but no break through into the mass market for the home automation sector at CES this year. It remains a niche for hobbyists and specialty contractors.

Core technology companies, such as Qualcomm, NXP and Marvell, continue to support it. And there’s no shortage of companies offering, or at least developing, home automation products and services.

Part of the problem is the multitude of standards. Some device makers support more than one, but interoperability is the exception rather than the rule.… More

Smokey and the Crowdsource Bandit

Burt Reynolds made a couple of good movies and several bad ones featuring fast cars, CB radios and a determined, but dim-witted, police pursuit. A 21st Century remake of Smokey and the Bandit or Cannonball Run would feature Escort Inc’s SmartCord-enabled radar detectors, which can pull in real time radar/lidar trap information from every similarly equipped car on the road and display it on a smartphone screen.

They call it “social networking for the road”. Sheriff Buford T.… More

First practical augmented reality marketing platform: SightSpace from LCi

The first breakout augmented reality product for the consumer market could be LCi ‘s (Limitless Computing Inc.) SightSpace platform, which was demoed at the ShowStoppers event last night at CES.

It’s easy enough to use, does what it says it will do and has a direct path to major marketing support and revenue from mainstream brands.

SightSpace lets you preview how new furniture or a kitchen remodel or just a fresh coat of paint will look in your home.… More

Real Time Tweets from Showstoppers at 2010 CTIA Enterprise and Applications conference

F-Secure doing anti-virus, background app monitoring software for mob phones, downloads & runs just like anti-v for computers #showstoppers

F-Secure supports Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian now, sez iPhone and RIM in process #showstoppers #ctia

The Borg are invading the Enterprise (market), DeviceAnywhere selling racks to imprison phones & software to torture them #showstoppers

DeviceAnywhere hosts 2,000 phones & sells remote access to developers for testing, lashes them into racks like Borg mothership #showstoppers

Now IT depts can build mobile phone daughter ships using DeviceAnywhere racks & test enterprise apps on many phones at once #showstoppers

aisle411 wants to provide shelf by shelf, row by row info on where to find products in big box stores #showstoppers

aisle411 sez they can get 90% accuracy by asking shoppers to update product locations voluntarily, 99% if stores give the info #showstoppers

Pull out your iPhone in HomeDepot & ask for drill bits, scan bar code & get reviews, but won’t do price comparison #showstoppers

Guys might like aisle411 if it cuts shopping time & need to ask directions, not everyone wants to diminish shopping tho #showstoppers

aisle411 will find niche when RFID tagging is ubiquitous in, but conflicted biz model needs happy stores, not happy customers #showstoppers

Seven Networks makes contact, calendar, platform for carriers and OEMs, providing a free MobileMe clone for Samsung #showstoppers

No more guy directions on GPS nav units, Navteq testing “natural guidance” like go through second light & turn at yellow house #showstoppers

Navteq sez it’s directions like friends would give you, OK, but it depends on which friends #showstoppers

 OK, Windows via iPad, but please wash
 your hands afterwards
KineticD offering free remote access apps for Windoze and Macs, access on iPad & iPhone via RDP & VNC #showstoppers

Remote access suites are free, KineticD uses it to promote paid secure cloud storage, good apps, good marketing, good karma #showstoppers

Still, it’s unnatural to watch someone operate a Windoze machine on an iPad #kineticd #showstoppers

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them, One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them #showstoppers

Starttalking does Android app that lets you address & write txt messages via voice, with no hands or eyes #showstoppers

StartTalking SMS app is free, will have premium app that does email, Twitter, Facebook, will support iPhone, RIM next year #showstoppers

Millennial Media is an old idea for new media, sells remnant ad inventory from mobile publishers to major brand advertisers #showstoppers

Damaka does mobile video conferencing between 4 users on peer to peer basis – want to stream a live concert to your friends?… More

Real time tweets from Showstoppers at CES 2010

7 January 2010 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

PlaticLogics QUE Pro Reader
 PlasticLogic promises and delivers
PlasticLogic is back with a real product this year, was worth the wait, $649 to $799 for coolest pro-level e-book reader.

PlasticLogic QUE Pro Reader delivers newspapers, displays work documents, has PIM functions, wireless connectivity.

Screen 10.7 inches diagonal, unit 8.5×11 total, wafer thin, light as feather, at top of a crowded category.

Xyxio has breakout potential although it’s a headscratcher at first look, control a computer with your breath.

Xyxio is a technology company, offers means to create devices that are breath controlled and do the same thing as a mouse.… More