Monthly Archives: April, 2017

Ohmni – The Telepresence Robot

The area of home robotics is highly interesting, and keeps growing by leaps and bounds. There is no dearth of robots that are available to do our domestic chores. Many companies are exploring newer and innovative ways to best address growing potential markets out there. Here comes the newest addition to this ever-growing list – Ohmni Telepresence, a robot that automatically connects so that you can easily video chat with your family members or roam around your house virtually. Isn’t that great? This smart robot is the brainchild of Ohmni Labs, co-founded by Jared Go and Thuc Vu. The company aims to bridge the gap between human connections and bring people together digitally.

Ohmni Telepresence is a home robot, and has a built-in camera that sits atop a tall shat. The base has a flat platform and wheels that are powered by Glide Drive that includes brushless motors that help get around easily and smoothly and not create disturbing noises. Ohmni Telepresence encompasses easy carry-on capabilities, and can be folded easily. It is 4’ 8” tall and weighs just 20lbs. No matter whether you are working hard at office or away on an important business trip Omni Telepresence helps communicate with your family easily. It also acts as a caretaker and keeps an eye on both children and old people at home. Ohmni has already helped someone save his mother’s life. A user from San Diego was on a business trip. He grew worried when his mother didn’t answer his calls one morning. He activated Ohmni and found that his mother was in bed, unwell and unresponsive. He was able to get her the needed medical attention right away.

Telepresence robot is not something totally new. But when it comes to usage at home, Ohmni is the first of its kind, stands out of the crowd for several reasons. It’s affordable pricing is the most important one among them. For just $1899, Ohmni Telepresence is definitely a great deal, given the number of amazing features that it contains. This telepresence robot comes bundled with a tablet, and includes auto docking station that helps charge the robot with a tap on your smartphone. The wheelbase of Ohmni Telepresence is a tripod, and its moving neck can be tilted to different angles as per your need.

You just have to log onto the website with an existing Google or Facebook account – or, there is absolutely no pesky software installation. Users can have Wi-Fi network credentials pre-installed easily on Ohmni Telepresence. The battery used is made of lithium iron phosphate. It’s safer than the commonly used batteries, and lasts for about 5 hours. Ohmni can be customized into different colours and materials. The robot is 100% remote controlled and work in real-time. Or, you don’t have to dial or call to keep in touch your dear ones.

The key advantage is the ease with which it brings together people who are separated by large distances.  While text and voice calling apps, help stay connected, Ohmni automatically connects and helps video chat easily. It lets you virtually join your family, interact, and experience life together.

Would you like to buy one for yourself?

Mastercard unveils biometric card with fingerprint sensors

The days of having to enter your PIN number to make a transaction could soon be over.   Here is a next-gen biometric credit card that helps authenticate payments with fingerprints! US-based Mastercard has unveiled the new biometric card with a small fingerprint reader that can store up to 2 fingerprints on its chip. It resembles a regular card, and the sensor is thumb-nail sized, and sits on the top right corner.

Once the card is ready for public, here is how it might work. As and when the card is available, you have to visit your bank branch and get your fingers scanned. The EMV chip in the card stores the encrypted digital template of your fingerprint. You can save 2 fingerprints but both have to be yours. Or, you cannot authorize someone to use your card with their fingerprints. Once the template is saved, you can use the card at any EMV card terminal. In other words, you don’t have to fear anymore about ATM frauds, or struggle to shield your PIN number from prying eyes anymore.

Biometric login is quite common these days, and has slowly replaced PINs and passwords that were our primary means of unlocking doors, safes, and smartphones. Wondering why? Its unique, secure, and most importantly convenient, given the chances of forgetting passwords and signatures. No two people have the same fingerprint, the chances. Hence it makes complete sense that Mastercard is testing fingerprint sensor enabled cards that help safely authorize each transaction. You don’t have sign any papers or enter PIN numbers anymore, just place your thumb, and you can prove your identity and pay your bills.

The biometric cards are currently tested in South Africa. Mastercard plans to roll them out to other part of the world by the tail-end of 2017. However, you will have to wait for banks and other financial institutions to get on-board without delay.

When it comes to contact-less payment, Apple holds the monopoly now, as it uses biometric method in Apple Pay to authenticate payments.

Are fingerprint-sensor-embedded cards more secure? Will it help prevent fraudulent activities? What do you feel?

A squeezable phone

HTC is all set to unveil the HTC “U” in Taiwan soon. The tagline on the event invite reads: “Squeeze for the brilliant U.” The company has already given a glimpse of the device via a small teaser video posted on HTC’s Twitter account. Wondering what’s new in the “U”? If rumors and “leaked information” are anything to go by, the line-up of features in HTC “U” is highly impressive. But why would someone ever want to squeeze a smartphone? How on earth is a squeezable phone going to help an ordinary user? The first article that I read had a misleading headline, and I felt the Taiwanese company will start selling a rubber like device. But I went ahead and read the post, and checked for more details on other websites like Venture Beat.

Here is what I learned about the HTC “U” smartphone:

The smartphone was rumored to be named HTC Ocean. It has advanced metal frame with embedded sensors. The device won’t bend, but users can easily control the settings and carry out various tasks by squeezing the sides or by swiping up and down on them. In short, a user can control the phone easily with one hand, and doesn’t need to stretch his/her thumb across the screen, unless they want to use the on-screen keyboard. The new feature will help users launch apps or camera with just a squeeze. Interesting, right? The technology used is called “Edge Sense”. HTC “U” is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, and will include Sense 9, one of the most-talked-about user-interface. It’s expected to include an exciting blend of incredible features that already exist in the HTC U Ultra and the HTC U Play.

Let me now leave the technical details behind and tell you about what an ordinary user can expect – better camera, storage, memory, and many more features. I read the TG daily article to get more details on HTC U. Here is what I found – The ‘squeezable’ HTC U will have a 5.5-inch 2560X440 display, with MicroSD slots, and Android Nougat 7.1. It will have a 12-megapixel back camera, a 16-mega pixel front camera, and IP57 dust/water resistance, but might ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The aforesaid details have not yet been confirmed by the company but the end product will undoubtedly be as surprising as the range of features that are listed in the leaked information about the super-smart HTC U.

This flagship smartphone will be officially unveiled on May 16th. Planning to buy one?

A butter lover’s dream

Almost everything eatable, even the blandest of foods that you know, gets better and delectable with some butter on them. But for fear of overdoing and putting ourselves on the road to heart ailments, we keep avoiding the use of butter. What if you can convert rock-hard butter into spray? Biem Butter Sprayer helps turn a stick of butter almost instantly into a spray, so that you can dole out the golden deliciousness in measurable amounts. While sprayable versions of margarine is already available in the market, Biem Butter Sprayer helps avoid the artificial route and use fresh butter sticks to cook your favorite gourmets.

How to use it? The process is very simple. Slide a butter stick into the sprayer. When you pick it up to use it, a built-in motion sensor in Biem Butter Sprayer turns on its heating element. The butter you need gets heated to almost 95 degrees Fahrenheit in seconds, after which you can grab the Biem Butter Sprayer. Hold the sprayer by its handle, aim onto the food in a steady motion, and in seconds an air pump blasts butter in needed amounts. With no chemical propellants or CO2 cartridges that constantly need to be changed, Biem Butter Sprayer is safe and effective. It uses a rechargeable battery to melt butter sticks.

This innovative kitchen gadget promises the best of both words. You can enjoy having butter and not fear about compromising on taste or health. Biem Butter Sprayer is the first ever butter sprayer that can transform a stick of butter into liquid spray in just seconds. It has an accelerometer that helps detect when you pick it up and turn it on. The special patent-pending nozzle of Biem Butter Sprayer helps prevent clogging and ensures portion control, thus cutting half the calories that you normally consume.

From seasoning your steamed vegetables and popcorns to greasing your pans or flavoring your bread, the possibilities of using Biem Butter Sprayer are endless. It’s a culinary marvel and a user-friendly appliance to add controlled amount of butter to your favorite dishes, or season your frying pans and trays without using margarine or vegetable oil sprays.

Wondering how to clean Biem Butter Sprayer? It’s as easy as sticking it under a faucet.

Travemate – The First Robot Suitcase

For anyone who hates carrying heavy suitcases, here is happy news. You can soon purchase Travelmate, a smart suitcase from Travelmate Robotics. Wondering what’s new? Unlike other suitcases, you don’t have to grab the handle of Travelmate and drag it along. This GPS-enabled and LED-lit suitcase can follow you wherever you want to go, and stays nearly 3 to 5 feet behind you. Travelmate can be linked to your smartphone to record the location. This autonomous robot companion will follow you based on your location, thus making travelling much easier. In short, you get a sci-fi travel buddy, almost equivalent to having a trustable person who can follow you and carry all your stuff. Travelmate is the brainchild of a team of American robotics specialists from SMP Robotics.

Called “the first true fully autonomous suitcase,” that can loyally trundle after its owner automatically, Travelmate can move both vertically and horizontally, and weave through the crowd effortlessly. If attached to non-robotic cases, Travelmate will carry them along with it. This innovative travel companion encompasses an optional camera which helps record your journey or patrol your home when you are away.

Travelmate can easily match your speed, up to 6.75 miles per hour. The battery charge lasts for 4 hours if the suitcase is used in fully autonomous mode, or 100 if used in standby or regular suitcase mode. No matter what the kind of usage is, the LED lights on the suitcase will indicate the battery level. The lights can be turned off whenever required. A TSA-compliant autonomous robot companion, Travelmate has fingerprint-enabled lock system to ensure unmatched security. You can open it manually as well. The removable GPS chip helps keep track of Travelmate. The chip can be attached to any other bag that you wish to track. Two extra chips will be provided with all models.

In addition to a smart lock and a location tracker, Travelmate contains dual USB charging ports too.

Irrespective of all advantages available, many are apprehensive of the usage of travel mate, as it might cause security risks and chaos in busy airports. But the company has ensured the best security possible. If someone intents to steal the case, it will soon sense the danger, lock its wheels, and sound an alarm.

Travelmate comes in three sizes, costing $399, $495 and $595. It’s available for pre-order on the company website.