Interviews with Start-ups & Entrepreneurs
Interviews with African-Americans
DeeNice, the Digital Dynamo: CES 2012 Top Pick For Weirdest-Looking Exhibit: Pacified, Eyelash-Batting Robotic White Seal – Meet Paro, used for Animal Therapy
OK, I have an open mind. But I have to admit that when I walked up to this booth, I did have to take pause for a second.
As a caregiver myself, I understand the importance of hugging and love.
I think the pacifier in the seal’s mouth looked sort of weird to me. Don’t get me wrong – I am sure it has a valuable place in caregiving for chidren, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities. But it STILL looked weird to me.
So I nominate this exhibit booth as my Weirdest Pick @ CES 2012!
Meet Paro is a therapeutic robot baby harp seal, intended to be very cute and to have a calming effect on and elicit emotional responses in patients of hospitals and nursing homes, similar to Animal-Assisted Therapy.
It was designed by Takanori Shibata of the Intelligent System Research Institute of Japan‘s AIST, beginning in 1993. It was first exhibited to the public in late 2001 and became a Best of COMDEX finalist in 2003, and handmade versions have been sold commercially since 2004. Paro is based on harp seals Shibata saw in Canada, where he also recorded the harp seal cries that Paro uses.
The robot has tactile sensors and responds to petting by moving its tail and opening and closing its eyes. It also responds to sounds and can learn a name. It can show emotions such as surprise, happiness and anger. It produces sounds similar to a real baby seal and (unlike a real baby seal) is active during the day and goes to sleep at night.
Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations were showcased at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 11-13, 2012. What makes this all the more important was the fascinating exhibits of new and upcoming technology companies, who received international exposure because they were at CES. The start-up exhibitors were my first stop-off at CES. Here is where the humble yet visionary tech-ites who hope their invention, product, or service will launch them into stardom gather, and where they attract their angels: distributors and venture capitalists.
|The Stylus with Style “On-Hand” when you need it. The txtRng;) is a beautifully-designed silicone ring stylus that blends style, comfort, and FUNction into one accessory. Conceived by an artsy mother of two toddlers, the txtRng;) was created to meet the needs and desires of everyone who uses small, electronic touch screens. It’s available in small, medium, and large, and is currently offered in black, with more colors and styles to come. Tech accessories are ubiquitous, always with you or on you, but not always very attractive. The txtRng;) combines the beauty of simple lines with comfort and functionality. It’s a cool “on-hand” tool.Precise and Playful: The precision of the capacitive stylus allows you to say and do what you want on your touch screen. It also allows you to tap into your playful side as you enjoy the freedom to create.Ergonomic: The txtRng;)’s ergonomic design helps relieve thumb stress and helps prevent repetitive use injuries. The comfortable position of the stylus allows you to navigate your screen intuitively.Additional Fun Fact: 6 in 10 American adults are wireless internet users (i.e., use small electronic devices), according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.|
| Cubelets are magnetic blocks that can be snapped together to make an endless variety of robots with no programming and no wires. You can build robots that drive around on a tabletop, respond to light, sound, and temperature, and have surprisingly lifelike behavior. But instead of programming that behavior, you snap the cubelets together and watch the behavior emerge, like with a flock of birds or a swarm of bees.
The RAH(a) is a “Retractable, Attachable, Headset,” used with all portable sound devices including iPod’s, MP3’s and all cell phones. The battery door RAH( b)is integrated into the back cover of these devices. The RAH Skin(c), is a skin with the RAH built into the skin.The RAH comes with a back plate (holder) and a reel housing a retractable headset, with attachable carrying clip.
No more tangled wires.
No matter where you place your headset, the wires always seem to be tangled and take time to un-knot.
No more dangling wires.
You don’t have to wrap your headset around your device anymore, with the RAH it automatically winds itself back into the reel. User’s often get dangling wires caught on items which rip them from the device or the ears. At times the headset breaks and needs replacement. On occasion, the actual phone or sound device may need to be replaced. Dangling ear buds can get crushed, or caught in car doors, stepped on, sat on, etc. The ear pieces themselves get crushed because they are dangling.
| Featured at CES at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas was Eureka Park – showcasing new tech businesses.Labdoo.orgA laptop is a door to education, providing children free access to open-source educational tools and electronic books through the Internet. In the richer countries, more than a hundred million laptops are replaced by new ones every year. This number continues to increase, yet most of the children in developing regions of the world still lack access to education. The goal of Labdoo is to use grassroots, decentralized, social networking tools to bring excess laptops to children in the developing world efficiently, without wasting more of the Earth’s resources.
Trying to get through all of CES in 4 days is like trying to cut your lawn with tweezers. So here are a couple of great tips for both newbies and returning CES attendees.
Helpful stuff: I do like the MyCES portal they have online to organize your day. It is very helpful in personalizing your agendas for each day.
People who come to CES really need to have at least 4 goals to accomplish, to make it worth their while. I have 7, because I am a hyper-type gal. I decided to journal my trip this year, and my journal should be up Wednesday morning at DeeNiceGoesToCES.com.
The keynote addresses are good, but they are recorded, so unless you need to meet up with a high-profile notable for business, networking, etc., the keynotes are better viewed on the Internet. Just my humble opinion. My favorite part of today was going to the New Upstart, sorry, I mean Start-up Businesses. I saw some really cool products and met some really cool folks. I’ll add some of the highlights of my day to the blog.
This year, they have the exhibits split up between the LVCC, the Venetian, and the Hilton (which is now called the LV Hotel).
Remember, What Happens in Vegas… Goes on Twitter.
So finally, after missing my favorite tech event, CES, for 3 years in a row, I made it in. I had quite the adventure in re-learning the ins and outs of getting a great airfare, with only 4 days to go until the Consumer Electronics Show.
Check out how I was able to get a $248 flight when all the rates were $700 or more.