an average of 27,000 steps walked per day (photo here just to prove it)
hundreds of hand shakes
14 glasses of highly-caffeinated iced tea (we don’t do coffee)
less than 6 hours of sleep per night
3 packed suitcases of gadgets and trinkets that will either change my life or trash up my garage
I am receiving more items from companies who announced or launched products at the annual Las Vegas convention. I continue to talk about and review them on my radio show (11a-1p Saturdays, KPRC/iHeartRadio) and TV appearances. Here is a recent clip from “Great Day Houston” (KHOU, CBS) with much more to come:
My 20th year covering CES in Las Vegas. It only gets larger and crazier, at least in terms of the product launches and offerings. Sex “toys” are the thing this year after being dissed at the tech trade show in 2019. I’m still waiting for samples to arrive for full review.
Smart homes, cars, 8K TVs, 5G, AI, Google and Amazon are all over the place. Tune in to my radio show on KPRC 950AM and iHeartRadio for live reports from the show floor.
Jaguar’s Activity Key Gives Outdoor Enthusiasts A Sense Of Security
After test driving the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace for a few days I couldn’t help but notice a black wristband sitting in the glove compartment. I thought it was a fitness watch that was left behind by another auto journalist. On closer inspection I saw the word “Jaguar” printed on the black, rubber band and then did some digging in the thick manual.
As it turns out, this buckled strap is an add-on feature in newer-model Jags along with certain Land Rovers – Jaguar’s sister-company. It’s called the Activity Key and offers a solution to a problem I have had for decades. I am a runner and often drive to training grounds, parks and races. I don’t like carrying my car key when I run for fear I may lose it as I traverse up hills and bumpy paths. So I generally hide the car key somewhere around my parked car and hope no one finds it during my run.
The Activity Key takes my worry away. An RFID chip is embedded in the strap which is then worn on your wrist when you are away from the locked car. In fact, you can lock the actual car key inside the vehicle. Once the driver’s door is closed you have 30 seconds to walk to the back of the car and place the Activity Key atop the letter “J” in Jaguar. A small antenna receives the wireless signal from the strap and locks all the doors. You are now free to run, hike, picnic and even swim (the Activity Key is waterproof up to 30m) knowing that no one will find a hidden key in obvious places such as on top of a tire (my usual hiding spot).
To unlock the vehicle, press the trunk release just above the license plate and then touch the Activity Key to the letter “J” again. Boom. All of the doors – including the trunk – are unlocked.
The Activity Key is a $410 option on the F-Pace I tested.
I just want to know where this technology was back in 1995 when I was training for my first marathon. See how it works below:
Good morning from the set of “Great Day Houston” (CBS) where it’s time for another show-and-tell segment. Today I brought along some products to make life and the outdoor experience a bit easier. Watch my segment HERE where I talked about these cool products:
I was a mere pup when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The only thing I remember from those days was my astronaut-themed lunch box adorning the metal container and Thermos, though I can’t recall if my mom put Tang in there. I loved that lunch box. And we all still love and enjoy the technology that NASA developed for those space missions because many of them still exist today.
Here is my recent appearance on Great Day Houston (CBS) where I discussed some of these technologies and products including baby formula, GPS, the Dustbuster and memory foam. The computing power on those space capsules had less power than our smartphones have today. But make sure to have battery chargers to keep your phone and all your devices powered up.
A special thanks to myCharge for supplying HubPlus Universal portable chargers to the TV show audience. These 6700mAH chargers have built-in Lightning and USB-C cords and they recharge via built-in wall prongs. There is a special 20% discount on the HubPlus Universal for Amazon Prime Day – if you buy through the myCharge seller Amazon page, you can get $5 off each charger and double up with this 20% off promo code (20OFFPOWER).
With the recent news from Amazon that it allows constant monitoring and “listening” from its Echo devices to help with home security, I discussed this new feature on “Great Day Houston” (KHOU-CBS). Other products that also help with home monitoring include:
Killing time in the “dull” months before the Mother’s day, graduation and Father’s Day gift suggestions start to roll in…
I stopped by “Great Day Houston” (KHOU – CBS) with a few goodies I had hanging around my office. Host Deborah Duncan and I had a quick rag session on Samsung’s latest mobile OS update and its removal of our fave photo editing app (BRING IT BACK!!). Then it was gear time:
The Lumicharge Smart Desk Lamp has a LED screen that displays time, date, and temp, and it features 2 USB ports for charging, as well as a built-in dock for any phone.
Benjilock by Hampton is a great padlock that can unlock/lock using your fingerprint. It can store up to 10 fingerprints and the battery lasts from 6 months to a year.
The HP Tango Printer has a small footprint made for today’s wireless world. You can print from anywhere from any device wirelessly, and you can also scan and copy via a mobile app and send straight to the printer.
The Gekkostick is a flexible and functional selfie-stick so you can take pictures and videos from any angle. It also comes with a Bluetooth-remote, so you can take pictures away from the camera.
Tune into “Great Day Houston” on Wednesday, April 24, at 9am CT for my next appearance. If you have a gadget that you think is interesting, let me know.
My 15th year of covering CES brought a slew of things I never thought I would see. Let’s start with 5G…because I didn’t see it! Rumors swirled for weeks that many companies would be touting new 5G services and products that could utilize the highspeed bandwidth. Bust. I saw a few products that wanted to latch on to the 5G hype but nothing solid because there is no actual 5G yet. I’ll save that story for CES 2020.
What I did see was plenty of companies touting partnerships with Google and Amazon, the leaders in voice assistants. Alexa was the only player here a few years ago but this week was tough to get away from a product that didn’t turn on after hearing “Hey Google.” The search company which is much more than search built a monstrosity of a booth in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center that was part mansion, part “It’s A Small World” ride.
A Google rep told me they had to pour a slab of concrete – on top of the current parking lot concrete – to construct the temporary shrine to the five colors. Visitors walked through “rooms” made to mimic a kitchen, living room and even a garage complete with Google-made and 3rd party-made products. The other part of the building housed a roller coaster-like ride that moved through scenarios of a typical day in a home. Voice activated curtains opened in the morning continuing to mom asking the Google Assistant how to make a birthday cake. The queue had a waiting line of sometimes up to 45 minutes; not really worth it save for the Google Home Hub that was given out to all riders at the end (so yeah, I guess it was worth it).
TVs continue to be a big thing and 8K was the winning number-letter combination at CES (sorry again 5K). LG showed a 65″ TV that rolls up-and-down at the push of a button. Samsung, TCL, and other manufacturers had so many monitors I was afraid of getting sunburned as I walked by. 8K screens (twice the resolution of 4K) looked great even side-by-side of 4K monitors. But wake me up when networks and providers start delivering even 4K content on a prevalent basis. My guess is my grandkids may one day enjoy 8K TVs with content to fill the screen. Note: my kids are relatively young.
CES has seemingly become the de facto national car show as most every major OEM – from Audi to Mercedes to Hyundai – had massive booths and displays to tout their new vehicles and concepts. Audi always brings it A-game booth design and tricked out an A8 with front and rear seat video screens along with seats similar to a D-BOX rumble seat found in movie theaters. A quick screening of “The Avengers” while sitting in the back seat reminded me of a 4D ride at Universal Studios. All they needed were motion sickness bags.
No new smartphones were announced at the trade show; most companies are waiting to release them next month at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Bad news: my travel budget does not reach that far so I’ll have to report from afar. While smartphones were not found amongst the 4,000+ exhibitors it seemed like half of the vendors were handing out smartphone cases. I got one for my Samsung Galaxy S9 that apparently can withstand a drop from 5 floors up and continue to work in 10 meters of water.
My main takeaways from CES 2019 were that this massive gathering of tech giants, buyers and media does not seem to be slowing down despite the dearth of new products that are already on the market or planned to be released soon. But it is OK to dream and ooh and ahh. Because I certainly did. Especially when I went to sleep each night after walking an average of 18,000 steps each day (according to my high-tech watch).
For all the highlights, join me in a 12 minute video recap:
NASCAR Champ Joey Logano Takes A Victory Lap in Houston
2018 NASCAR Champion Joey Logano stopped in Houston recently during his tour to thank sponsors and share stories of his success. Logano’s local pitstop was at Shell’s headquarters on the west side of town. He spent a few hours taking photos, signing autographs and attempting to shake hands with Shell employees despite wearing a heavy, diamond-laden championship ring.
Logano’s #22 racecar is sponsored by Shell Pennzoil. He spoke to employees and the media with his success stories of winning the Monster Energy NASCAR series using the company’s lubricant product.
Here is a clip of a few fun moments chatting with the champion:
So I missed the Hanukkah deadline but that’s OK. I got a rock. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you as there are some pretty cool gadgets, tool and gear to be had this holiday season. Here is a list of goodies I recently showed on my “Houston Life” TV appearance. Watch the clip below and then start clicking and ordering: