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Tools of the Trade: February 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
February 1, 2019
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1. LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R

 

All the items in Tools this month debuted at the CES 2019 tech expo in Las Vegas, Nev. As expected, new televisions attracted considerable attention, and none were more striking than LG’s Signature OLED TV R with its 65″ 4K HDR display that automatically unrolls, rising out of its rectangular base. The idea is to maximize the space in a room by rolling back the large screen after use with simple voice commands. It has embedded artificial intelligence (AI) that enables built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, LG’s second generation a9 (Alpha 9 processor), and Dolby Vision and Dolby Sound with 4.2-channel, 100W Atmos audio. The AI supports Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. There are three profiles for the TV: screen fully extended for viewing, screen rolled down leaving just the speaker and base, and something called “Line View” where the screen is just partially raised displaying six modes—music, clock, frame, mood, lighting, or home dashboard. At this height you can check the weather, see your photos, or listen to music. LG says the rolling Signature will be out later this year but offers no information on pricing. www.lg.com

 

2. ASUS ZENBOOK S13

The new ZenBook S13 gets about as close as you can get to an all-screen 13″ display—its screen is 97% display and only 3% (2.5mm) black bezel. The display is 1,080p with very good contrast and color accuracy. The top of the screen has a slight ­ex­tension to allow room for the camera, and this notch actually makes opening the laptop easier. The processor is Intel’s 8th generation Whiskey Lake with up to 16GB of RAM. Onboard storage is up to 2TB of solid-state memory. The S13 has a ­silver-finish aluminum case that’s very thin, and the laptop weighs just 2.5 lbs. Battery life is listed as up to 15 hours. Despite the thin profile, the key travel on the keyboard is good, and the touchpad is responsive and has a built-in fingerprint reader. The S13 will go on sale in March 2019. www.asus.com

 

3. WITHINGS MOVE ECG

A number of wearable personal health products joined the familiar tracking and activity monitors and watches at CES this year. The watchmaker Withings introduced the first analog watch to offer on-demand ECG (electrocardiogram) monitoring. Unlike the other digital wearables, Withings combines traditional analog watch design, long-life batteries (up to one year), and the ability to take an ECG in real time for anyone who might experience symptoms like a palpitation or shortness of breath or for those who want to create a running record of their own heart activity. The Withings Move ECG has three electrodes that can be activated by merely touching both sides of the watch’s bezel. The reading syncs with the Withings Health Mate app on your phone. The watch also records conventional activity and workout tracking. www.withings.com

 

4. AERBETIC ­WEARABLE ­GLUCOSE SENSOR

Three AerBetic noninvasive diabetes alert wearables are designed to monitor type 1 diabetes with gas nanosensors that measure exhaled breath and skin for signs of hyper- or hypoglycemic events. There’s a watch-style sensor or a pendant that can be attached to a child’s backpack. You don’t have to breathe directly at the sensor because the nanotechnology detects gases emitted at a parts-per-­billion level. When triggered, both visual and haptic (touch) alerts are activated, and a text notification is sent to remote caregivers. The AerBetic devices are now in beta testing and will be available this year. www.aerbetic.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 24 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 21st year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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