January 2020 Update #2

There’s a new podcast available! (finally) … and, as promised on that podcast, I will provide links (here) to the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) products I mentioned during the podcast and others I alluded to during the podcast!

This new podcast is a brief (14 minute) talk about some of my favorite CES introductions. For those of you who don’t follow the happenings in the electronics world(s), that’s what I’m here for: to provide you with a source of all-things-tech-related to us (Boomers & Seniors). CES is an annual trade show during which EVERY developer and manufacturer (worth their salt) displays their newest, latest and greatest. This year there were more than 4,500 exhibitors. Yes, you read that correctly: more than four thousand, five hundred product producers. I suggest it is impossible for any  one person to cover that amount of real estate during the four days CES convenes and yet there were more than 175,000 attendees who tried (at least to cover some of it.

I made life easier: i read about it, did NOT attend, curated a list, culled form the 4,500, that are relative to us … and I know I did NOT cover them all. I’ll continue!

As promised during the podcast, below are links to the home sites of the folks I found most relevant and interesting. Please, bear in mind, these are O’Keeffe-isms / preferences. I have NO STAKE in any of the products or applications. I have no financial interest and no one I know will benefit from my recommendations (except possibly YOU if I touch upon something that might be of benefit to you. THAT’S what I try to do !

Drum-roll, please … (in alphabetical order) …

Adok: (Turns “any” surface into a touch screen) https://www.getadok.com/

CamTouch: (Also turns “any” surface into a touch screen) https://camtouch.com.ua/en/

Centers for Age Control, Inc.: (“AgeMeter” measures at what age you function vs. your actual age) Hmmm, doe that mean I can act anything other than my physical age and get away with it – scientifically! http://centersforagecontrol.com/agemeter/

Connected Garden: (Guarantees its recommended plant list is 100% going to grow in your soil … after their device and app evaluate your growing conditions.) https://www.connected-garden.com/homeen

Cubii: (designs fitness products … for the market that cites lacking time. motivation or ability to be active … makes fitness approachable for people of all ages, abilities and lifestyles … ) https://www.cubii.com/collections/ellipticals?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=branded&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI14vH7fuV5wIVkfhkCh2iSg97EAAYAiAAEgL8NfD_BwE

DabKick, Inc: (Dabby – radically new home entertainment device that brings a revolutionary way of watching media. Dabby uses AI to search and display content from verbally issued instructions: by genre, star(s), or title and its browser-based not device dependent.) https://www.dabkick.com/

Envision Technologies: (smartphone app for blind and low vision users that uses AI to help users read all kinds of text, recognize faces, find objects, describe images and more.) https://www.letsenvision.com/

Fingertips: (“Promotes social links between elderly and their friends and family. Connected to their TV, “Viktor” enables them to receive video calls, photos and messages while offering a range of entertainment content. It’s touch sensitive interface makes it very simple to use.”) http://spin-off.biz/?lang=en

HeyHerbie: (A digital platform that keeps older adults safe, connected and happy. HeyHerbie augments older adults TV to allow access to virtual workout and hobby classes, video-chat and even set up reminders.) https://www.heyherbie.com/

Nuheara: ( “Multi-award winning Nuheara IQbuds MAX with Active Noise Cancellation+ and Ear ID™ personalization that automatically calibrates the buds to your unique hearing profile. Enjoy unparalleled noise control and sound fidelity from the world’s most advanced hearing bud. Pre-order now for delivery commencing in March 2020.” Word: these things retail @ $399. On sale: $319.00) https://www.nuheara.com/usa/products/iqbuds-max/

Amazon Echo Show 5

A NEW review! The Amazon Echo Show 5.

Usually, in the tech world, a numeral following a product name indicates a version. In the case of Amazon’s Echo Show 5, the number indicates NOT a version, rather, it indicates the screen size! Very odd and NOT unlike Amazon to twist something for marketing purposes.

I’ve read much about the device and the reviews have been GREAT! The picture is described as “very good” and the sound “amazing” for a device its size. And, it has all the functionality of any Amazon Echo (“Alexa”)!

There’s something happening in the world of voice assistants: they’re starting to include screen. Now, instead of being voice in/out, they’re becoming visual assistants as well. How nice to be able to say “Alexa, rewind (the cooking show) ten seconds” or “Alexa, show me the front door” (meaning the view from your smart doorbell [with camera] or your front-facing security camera).

The device can play music, too. And with the millions of titles available on the Amazon Prime Music service, you have hours, days, weeks, months of streaming music available to calm your stressed-out inner beast.

iPhone X Review

OK, so I’m not the first person to offer a review of the iPhone X and I doubt that I’ll be the last!

I believe I’m becoming a bit jaded: I received my “X” on Friday, the first day it shipped. I did NOT set it up (or even open the box) until Saturday. Yawn.

Out-of-the-box set-up was crazy simple. The device seemed to anticipate EACH step from getting facial recognition set to restoring apps from my old “7+” … except … (and this is B-I-G!) Once set-up was complete, the “X” seemed operational. Note: I said “seemed” … It was NOT until the following Monday, after dropping my wife off at the commuter train (BART, for those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area), and driving home that I realized the “X” didn’t “bing” my wife’s usual message that she was “on board and rolling.”


When I arrived home, I checked the phone. The Message app indicated “awaiting authorization” (?!) SO did the Phone app ?!

Apparently, I had been carrying around a “brick”. The final step in the set-up was contacting the carrier (in this instance Sprint) and telling them to authorize the device.

Would have been nice to read that I must contact the carrier to authorize the device somewhere in the set-up instructions (I don’t remember reading any set-up instructions!)

I’m still adjusting to the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the “X” and the “7+”. So far, so good. The facial recognition is excellent! Swipping up in lieu of the double press on the Home button to “Close” apps is taking a while to adjust to and switching among apps is easy and fast!

I’ll use it more and add to this brief review at a later date.

Isn’t it a GREAT time to be alive?!!

August Update

“TechTalk” is a bi-monthly gathering that I host to discuss all things techie that might be of value to the Baby Boomer generation. Today was our first August meeting and it was a winner!! We were introduced to “ELLI-Q” from Intuition Robotics.

“ELLI-Q™ is an active aging companion that keeps older adults active and engaged.”

Although NOT available to the public as yet, the company appears to have an excellent outreach program that introduces the concept and one of the original working prototypes to groups of older adults. These presentations take the form of a focus group. Our presenter, Danielle Ishak – User Experience Researcher – provided us with company background and then dove right into the gist of ELLI-Q stopping along the way to ask for questions and suggestions, likes and dislikes.

It’s a clever device that “emotes” with easily-interpreted gestures and sounds. She speaks, similar to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Assistant, however she’s much more. Once “on-boarded”, ELLI-Q begins to “learn” her owner’s likes and dislikes and begins to – proactively – make suggestions for anything from playing music (“Shall I play Iron Butterfly’s In a gadda da vida?”) to playing games (“Hey! You’re going to be playing bridge with the girls this afternoon, would you like to practice for awhile?”).

She’ll also do all the routine things like reminding you to take your medications and to go for a walk and she’ll monitor your environment and your activity to be sure you’re safe. If she detects that something’s not right, she’ll alert whomever you have on her call list.

ELLI-Q is still in beta and the developers are working through kinks while adding new behaviors. And, they’re seeking the input of the folks they want ELLI-Q to live with: us!

Check ELLI-Q out: I’ve included the link above and another here.